NO Stress Spelling

Getting my little kiddos to THINK about spelling patterns in words in BRUTAL no easy task.  Many times they are rushing during their writing activities to "just get through it" and refuse to take the time to use the different strategies that I teach them to help them write with conventional spelling patterns.  This makes me a bit crazy unsettled.  I know that I can't expect them to spell correctly all the time.  However,  I do want them to use their strategies of stretching out words or listening for chunks and endings on the words they want to write.  Applying these skills should be a daily, if not a minute-by-minute occurrence during any type of writing activity.

There is ONE very important tool that I use in my classroom, every day... ALL DAY... and that wonderful tool is our Word Book!  This little book is a godsend!  I have been using this word book for the last twenty-two years that I have been in second grade.  It has been updated throughout those years  with new words and of course, cute clip art to be more appealing to my kiddos.  Our Word Book is our GO TO TOOL in my classroom.  It is on their desk during EVERY SINGLE THING WE WRITE...with the exception of their spelling tests ;) How many times a day do you hear, "How do you spell...?"  Those words make me twitch a little, but by the end of October I NEVER HEAR THEM AGAIN...yes... you heard me correctly!

I introduce our Word Book the third week of school.  I like to take the first few weeks of school to authentically assess their spelling skills, so I allow invented spelling the first couple of weeks.  It gives me a very clear picture into my students' strengths and weaknesses as spellers.  During the third week of school, I introduce our Word Book to the whole class.  I explain that it is the most important tool they will use in our class, next to their brain, of course :)  I explain in detail how to utilize our word book.  

When my students need to know how to spell a word, they must first S-T-R-E-T-C-H out the word by listening for the sounds they hear in the beginning, middle and end of the word.  Now that they have an idea of a few of the sounds in the word they need, they open their Word Books.  They turn to the correct page and begin to move down the list focusing on each of the letters they "hear" in the word they stretched out.   This skill definitely takes some practice.  But we practice it A LOT over the next couple of weeks.  If they cannot find the word in their Word Books, which does happen, they will raise their hand and put up a Number 2 using their fingers.  That means "I need a word in my Word Book."  I will either call them over to my desk (if I am working with a group), send them to my "student helper", or I will go to their desk and write it in their Word Book.  As the year progresses, and they become comfortable using their Word Books, I will write the words they need on a post-it note and they must transfer the word into their books.  This just gives them additional practice using and writing the word.  Never again will you hear those words  "HOW DO YOU SPELL...?" and you will thank me to the clouds and back :)  By mid-year there are so many words that will have been added to their Word Books, the need for words decrease as the year progresses.

This is what our Word Book looks like.....

If you would like to take a look at the Word Book that I created for my kiddos, please check it out by clicking the image below....

Thanks so much for stopping by..... Here's so STRESS-LESS SPELLING!!! :)


Peek at my Week :)

Hi Friends... This is a FIRST for me :)  I have never done a Peek at my Week blog bare with me :)  I am not going to create visual plans, but I will show you what my "plans" are for the week :)  I'm just amazed at my blogging friends that put together those AWESOME weekly plans with clickable links... I really wanna be just like them :)  

So this week I have a TON to get accomplished....

For ELA will be reading the story Pearl and Wagner: Two Good Friends and we will be working on Author's Purpose and Questioning as our comprehension skills and strategies!  We will work on my Author's Purpose Mini Flip Flaps for our Guided Reading Lapbook...

We will also complete my Questioning Tab-Its book for our Interactive Notebooks.  

Next up.... Verbs!  We worked on verbs just a little bit when we talked about Nouns, but this week we will get into the nitty gritty of verbs using my Parts of Speech Flip Flap Book.... I will begin this unit by reading the book To Root, to Toot, to Parachute and we will brainstorm a huge list of Verbs for our anchor chart.

Then my students will work on my Verbs Flip Flap book...

Onto Math... We are beginning our unit on Measurement.  One of my favorite units to teach.  I always begin this unit by reading the story called Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy.  Then we measure around our classroom using a "Penny Ruler" kiddos LOVE this activity every year!  Here are few images from last year....
(Click the image above to check it out on Amazon.)

Measuring the file cabinet with their Penny Ruler.
Measuring the window with their Penny Ruler

Measuring their leg with their Penny Ruler

Measuring the carpet with their Penny Ruler

Measuring the bookshelf with their Penny Ruler

Measuring the table with their Penny Ruler

Measuring their desk with their Penny Ruler

Working together to measure the rug.
Here is the mini-book they used to record their Non-Standard classroom measurements!

After we complete a week or so on learning how to measure using standard forms of measurement, they will compete my Measurement Exit Book for their Interactive Notebooks....

In Social Studies this week we are focusing on Landforms and Bodies of Water.  We completed a riddle and picture match in class after we watched a video on Landforms and I read them one of our big books.  Then we started to create Landform posters...

As an authentic assessment for this unit of study, my students will complete my Landforms and Bodies of Water flip flap books using the knowledge they gained from the unit....

They look AWESOME on my bulletin board when they are completed.

In my Work on Writing Center, I put a new "HAVE TO" writing piece in there each week.  Every week when they go to Work on Writing, they complete one "Have to" writing activity and then they may choose another "Can Do" writing activity.  Each week my Have To writing activity changes.   Last week, they wrote about their resolutions and things they will do differently in the new year using my 2015 Shape-Its Writing Booklets for their Writing Notebooks.


This week they will be reading about Martin Luther King, Jr. and writing about their "dreams" and what they can do to make the world a better place...

So...That's my week all wrapped up into one pretty picture...with A LOT to accomplish :)  It's going to be a FUN, but busy week :)

I am excited to be linking up for the FIRST TIME EVER with Deedee over at Mrs. Will's Kindergarten... Check out the linky going on....

Thanks for stopping by today :)  


Happy New Year SALE!!!!

Hi Friends... Happy {almost} New Year!!!!  I just wanted to let you know that I am having a New Year's SALE in my TPT Shop today and tomorrow.   So head on over and pick up some of those items you have on your wishlist during my sale :)  Not only am I having a sale, but my BEST blogging buddies over at the Primary Chalkboard are having sales, too!  Head on over to check them all out! 

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to be better at blogging...ugh... I stink at keeping up with it... Life sometimes gets in the way.  I have focused soooooooo much of my time and attention to creating engaging resources for my own classroom and to post in my shop, that I have let other things take a back seat.. Like eating healthy!  :(   UGH!  I have gained over 20 pounds this last year and I NEED to change this!  So I am putting it out there because I HAVE TO CHANGE these habits....

So my 2 New Year's Resolutions are....

1.  Eat Healthy and plan my meals more ordering in!!  LOL

2.  Be a better blogger for my sweet followers... :)

So.... I can't promise I will succeed...but I PROMISE to try :)

If you are looking for an easy, very LITTLE PREP activity for the day you return to your classroom from the break, check out my 2015 flip flap book.  I have it printed up and ready to go for the new year :)  This image is from last year, but I update the file each year with the new date... so buy it ONCE and get a new updated resource EVERY YEAR!!!

Hugs....and Happy New Year!!!

New Year's Resolutions!

Hi Friends.... Happy (ALMOST) New Year!!!

I wanted to share with you what I plan on doing with my little ones the day we return from break.  I have to ease them in a bit slowly because they had a two-week break this year and I am sure they are going to be T.I.R.E.D. from not being on a schedule.

During our ELA block, I will show them a You Tube video of a girl reading the story Squirrel's New Year's Resolution because I don't have the book and it isn't in my school library.  But I am going to order it from Amazon this week using the gift cards I received for Christmas!  Click the image below to head on over to the You Tube video or click the book link below to purchase it from Amazon.  It is really an adorable book!

After we listen to the story, we will brainstorm a list of new year's resolutions and talk about them.  Then I will show them our new Happy 2015 Flip Flap usual they will be soooooo excited!  Now that we have completed a bunch of different flip flap books this year, I don't even have to go over the directions anymore!  It is just easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Here are some images of my students completing their New Year's Resolution 2014 Flip Flap Book from last year.  What is GREAT about this resource is that I update it EVERY YEAR!  Yep... that's will get an updated version each year for FREE!

Here are some images of the final product when they finished last year!  They look SOOOO cute on the bulletin board!

Here they are on the bulletin board!

If you are interested in checking this out for your classroom, head on over to my TPT Shop to pick it up.  It is ONLY $3.00 and I will UPDATE the file EVERY year with the new year so you only have to purchase it ONCE :)  


CYBER SALE...Newbies...and Something Special!

Woohoooo!!!  My cart is almost full and ready to go for tomorrow!  Have you gone shopping yet for the Cyber Sale?  I am so excited for it!  I stock up on resources to get me through the next few months until the next sale...heee-heee.  I do buy clipart throughout the year tho... can you say ADDICTION...yep.  I wonder if there is a 12-step program for my clipart addiction.. NO JOKE...

I digress... I wanted to show you some of my newest resources...

I have uploaded my Grammar Tab-Its for Grades 1, 2, and 3...

AND... I uploaded these new resources as well... BOOM!  LOL  I love when I am productive!  LOL

I hope you check some of these newbies out :)

AND.... YOU MUST head on over to The Primary Chalkboard for our AWESOME Holiday EVENT!

Check out our Advent Calendar!  Every day of the month, we will have SOMETHING SPECIAL for our readers...but you must check back every day for that Special Something you can get :)  It starts tomorrow, December 1st.  Click the image below to head on over!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!!!


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