It's Monday, so that means I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for another edition of Monday Made It.


This week I have three projects to share.


My first Made It gave me a few challenges.  When I attended a professional development session for our new math program (Investigations) last week, the presenter shared a perfectly made large 10 frame that I just had to make.   

Mine did not come out nearly as neat, but I'm still excited about it.  (I tend to have some difficulty when it comes to making things straight.  The plastic was an added challenge.)  I am happy with how it turned out, and I'm sure it will be put to good use in my classroom.

The frame looks like this.

Make a mega-10 frame!

I got the plastic from Joanne's.  It was $3.00 a yard, and I only needed 2 feet.  The Duck Tape was a gift from one of my sweet students last year.

The next step was to get some counters.  I used plastic plates from Meijer.

Use plastic, Duck Tape, and paper plates to make a giant 10 frame!  This is great for tactile learners.

I love how students now have a large visual of a 10 frame.  This will be a great way to work with my tactile learners.


Several years ago, I remember reading about focus sticks.  I thought they would be really cute if I ever switched to a younger grade.  Well, now I am switching to second, so I had to make some.

First, I read this fabulous post from Hoots N' Hollers.  This post has a free download, so you can easily make your own focus sticks.  I just needed to buy craft sticks and Googly Eyes from Joann's.

These focus sticks are great to help with editing for conventions.

There is also a free download for a label on the same post.  However, I made my own label to match my classroom colors.  Finally, I put all the focus sticks in a can from the Target Dollar Spot.

Focus sticks serve as a great visual guide for students during the editing process.

I plan on using these focus sticks to assist my students with editing.  They will serve as reminders to edit for spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and (my favorite) asking, "Does it sound right?"


My last Made It is an item for my TPT store.  I added another set of word wall letters using my new color scheme, "Fun Colors".  I love my blog colors so much that I just had to make some coordinating classroom decor.  

Five different color combinations for word wall letters!

You can check out the preview below.  Click on any of the pictures to view this product in my TPT store. These letters will be marked 20% off until the end of the day on Tuesday, June 28.

3.5 inch word wall letters in "fun colors"

4.5 inch word wall letters in "fun colors"

6 inch word wall letters in "fun colors"

This post shows five different word wall options.

***In addition to having this product on sale, I have all my classroom decor marked 20% off.  You can click here to see all of my sale items.

Now I am off to see what everyone else has made.  Thank you, Tara for hosting this linky.  There are always so many great ideas linked up.

Have a great week!  

I hope everyone is enjoying the first official day of summer!  It's super hot here in Columbus, so it was the perfect afternoon to finish up a few projects.  Today, I am linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for her awesome linky, Monday Made It.


I have four "Made Its" to share with you today.


The first thing I made is a "Welcome Back!" banner for the beginning of the year.


This banner is a freebie on my Facebook page.  If you would like to purchase a full set of editable pennants, you can click here.


I'm really excited about some changes that I plan on making to my reading program next year.  I have completed quite a bit of reading about reading workshop in the primary grades.  There seems to be a recommendation that students always have 5-10 books readily available to provide choice in what they read/reread each day.  I really like the idea for students to take turns to go "book shopping".  That way, most of the class will always be reading, and students will always have a stash of books handy.  A structured schedule will also help me prepare for conferences with those students who need help selecting "just right" books.

In order to track my book shoppers, I created this system.  



I also used my new set of numbers to make a "Pick Me" can.  I was inspired this pin by Fifth in the Middle.  Diane attached two containers together so numbers could be moved as they are called and not repeated.  That way everyone gets equal turns.  

Use empty Crystal Light containers to create a name stick holder.:

I used 2 Viactiv containers to hold the numbers.  I hot glued them together and secured them with purple Duck Tape.  

Here is how it turned out. 



I also made a larger set of numbers.  I will use this set to track my daily helper.


I put all of the signs from this post on a Google Slide.  You can download them by clicking the pink button below.  


Click here if you are interested in purchasing the colorful pack of numbers (includes both types).

Now, I'm off to see what everyone else has created.  Thank you, Tara for hosting this linky!

Have a great week!
As I prepare to move to second grade, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I want my reading block to look like.   Our district is switching from the Daily 5 format to a workshop approach.  I definitely see positive aspects to both approaches, but I am open-minded to making changes, especially since I am switching grade levels.

One aspect of the literacy block that will need to change is the way I track the reading students complete at school.  I need something different than I used in fourth grade and different from the Daily 5 tracking sheets.

Suggestions on how to track students' reading at school


I do plan to continue tracking the reading stamina of my young readers.  I definitely see the benefit of tracking the amount of time students can fully attend to their reading.  It's great to have a visual so students can see their growth.  I like this cute form from Taming My Flock of Firsties.  I plan on using it next year.

Daily Five Building Stamina FREEBIE
This week I spent a lot of time reading Lucy Calkin's Guide to the Reading Workshop.  As you can see from all of the Post-its, there were lots of great suggestions here.  


One of the points she emphasized was for students to keep a record of what they read in class.  I got to work on developing a form for my students to track their reading.  One thing I definitely wanted to include was a goal section to help students set and maintain high expectations for themselves.  Here is the form I came up with.

This free reading log helps set and track reading goals.

Then I thought about the students who were not quite ready to read chapter books.  I know I will work together with the Intervention Specialist to help a few students who are below grade level.  I wanted to make a form that would be appropriate for them to use as well.  It is important to me to have the forms look similar forms so no one would feel different.  My second form looks like this.

This free reading log helps set and track reading goals.

I am hoping these forms will help students set goals and stay on track during reading time.  I will definitely monitor them closely and discuss reading through conferences and small group work as frequently as I can.

If you would like to download these forms, just click on the pink button below.


How do you track your students in-class reading?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

I am looking forward to sharing more about what I learned from my reading.  I have a lot to tackle, and I will share as much as I can.

Thank you, and have a great week!

Hooray!  It's time for Monday Made It!  I'm excited to link up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for one of my favorite linky parties.


I have two Made Its that I would like to share with you today.


I went searching on Pinterest to find some fun activities for calendar time with my second graders next year.  One of the pins I came across inspired me to make my first Made It.

Here is the pin.  It is from Jessica at Tales of a Teacherista.


I like the idea of hanging this on the board for calendar time, so I attached ribbon to mine.  However, I can also see using it for small group work, one on one help, and partner activities.  Here is my version of this activity.  


I laminated both of the printables.  A dry erase marker works perfectly for writing the amount of money.  I initially used magnet tape to attach the coins.  However, they were a bit too heavy and kept falling off.  I ended up getting out the hot glue gun to secure the coins to the magnets.  I also glued the ribbon to the cooking sheet and used packaging tape for extra security.  



I got the cookie sheet at the Dollar Store and the ribbon at Jo Ann Fabrics.  If you would like the printables I used, you can get them here.


Next up is the Behavior BINGO game I made.  I blogged about this last week.  You can read that post here. Basically, when students reach pink on the clip chart, they may write their number on the BINGO board. Once the board is full, the class helper will pick a number.  The winner may choose one of the prize card rewards.  You can download the printables I used to make this game here.


I have many more items on my to do list.  I am looking forward to sharing more in upcoming weeks.

I can't wait to check out all the other Made Its.  Thank you, Tara for hosting this fun linky!


Now that I am moving to second grade, a lot of things need to change.  In fourth grade, we used a token economy for almost all of our behavior management.  In second grade, the clip chart is a huge part of how individuals receive rewards and consequences.  Today, I'd like to share my spin on part of the reward system that my new team shared with me.

Behavior BINGO is a great way to motivate your students!

When the former second grade teacher moved on to third grade, she generously left me her behavior clip chart.  (It is the same as the others on the team.)  Students may move up and down the clip chart throughout the day.  (I will write more on this in a future post.)  If  a student ends the day on "pink", they get to write their number on the BINGO board.  When the board is full, my helper will draw a number  from the jar.  Whoever gets picked can choose one of the Student Reward Cards.

This post shares how my students earn these fun reward cards.

I love the motivational aspects of this system.  I asked some of my former fourth graders about it, and they all thought it was lots of fun.  I can't wait to use it in my class next year.  If you are interested in any of the printables for the BINGO game, you can get them by clicking on the pink button below.


I am looking forward to sharing more new systems with you as I create them this summer.

Thank you!

I have just finished my 23rd year of teaching.  I am extremely fortunate to be in a district where teachers and administrators are committed to putting children first.  I have spent the vast majority of my 23 years teaching intermediate grades.  There are so many things I love about teaching children in 4th/5th grade. However, I was ready for a change, and I felt a calling to go younger.  I am thrilled to announce that next year I will be teaching second grade!



Now that summer has started, I have a to do list that is about a mile long.  One of the most critical items on my list is to familiarize myself with the second grade standards.  That way, I can make sure to select books and activities that are meaningful for my students.  

I created a set of ELA learning targets to post in my classroom.  (Math learning targets are coming soon.)  I love the color scheme of my blog so much, that I used the same colors on the learning targets. You can check out the preview below.  If you are interested in purchasing these learning targets for your classroom, just click on the pink button below.





Thank you!

I'm just stopping by to let you know that I have started a Facebook page.  I definitely need to thank Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs for designing the page for me.  I love it, and I can't wait to start collaborating!


To follow me on Facebook, click here or on the icon located on the sidebar.

Thank you, and enjoy the weekend!

Today I'd like to share an app that has saved me lots of time and was well worth the $3.99.

This app instantly levels your books!  It also keeps a record of all the books in your library.

Next year, our district will change our reading program over to more formally follow Lucy Calkins reading workshop.  Since we have already adopted Lucy's writing workshop, I am hoping for a smooth transition and lots of clear connections between reading and writing.  I have always worked hard to provide connections for my students, but I am hoping they will be more "effortless" now.

Image result for lucy calkins reading grade 2

As a part of this program, I needed to level my entire library.  I have hundreds and hundreds of books, so the thought of this was definitely overwhelming. 

Enter: Lit Leveler

This a great app for leveling books and tracking our library.  All you need to do is open the app, hover the screen over the ISBN number, and you will see the book level on the screen like this.  Once the book is scanned, you can save it to your library and even add notes.

This app instantly levels your books!  It also keeps a record of all the books in your library.


This app was so easy to use that I had my two student librarians level my entire library.  All my books were leveled before the end of the school year.  This saved me so much  time!  I had students write the level of the book on the inside cover.  My fourth grade library was organized by author's last name, but I will switch that to organizing by genre.  I already had some of my sweet students volunteer to come in over the summer and help with this task.  I am looking forward to taking them up on this offer.  

Another cool feature of this app is that you can search all of the titles into your library.  I now have a list of all my books that I can search by title, author,Lexile, DRA, or guided reading level.

This app instantly levels your books!  It also keeps a record of all the books in your library.

Do you have a leveled library? 

Thank you!

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