It's Saturday.  Not Friday.  Again.  One of these days I'll link up on the right day!  Right now, I can blame it on my wonky internet connection.  We had the cable guys come look at it, and according to them, they fixed it.  It is not fixed.  It is driving this social-media girl craaazzyy.  Here are my five random photos from the week!

Cute little Halloween numbers are a freebie from Graphics From the Pond!

We started Esperanza Rising!  My students are SO into it!  I was a little nervous about one of my classes, but they both are begging to read ahead.  We got the book on CD and are listening to parts of it.  I highly recommend this.  The woman who reads it does an amazing job.  I found myself entrance and almost forgot to stop it at the end of the chapter!

We are working on dialogue journals in our class.  I will share more on this later this week!

I was an anchor chart making fiend this week!  A huge thank you to Pinterest for encouraging me.  I am not creative at all when it comes to creating anchor charts and I cannot draw to save my life.  Here is a {small} piece of my dialogue journal lesson.  I will share all my charts and their original sources in a future post.

It was Red Ribbon Week this week!  Wednesday was "Sock it to Drugs" Day.  I wore my craziest socks and mismatched them as well!  This gave my OCD some severe anxiety.  But, my resource teacher told me I needed to step out of my box.    Let's just say, I tried not to look down at my feet during the day.  I got lots of compliments from the kids though!

"Mrs. S, you are nice...I mean neat...well, nice and neat!"  My kids caught a glimpse of my desk calendar and that was their reaction.  October sure was a busy month!

 How was your week?  Go link up with Doodlebugs Teaching!  It's okay, you can be late just like me.

Before I go, have you seen this deal from Educents??  There are over 1100 graphics from some very talented artists for less than $30!

The air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors...that must mean Halloween is near!  Well, here in New England, that's how we know the end of October is coming.  To celebrate, I am sharing some of the activities I do with my students each year for Halloween.  I posted about this here, but I thought I would share some more pictures with you!

There are pre-made boards included...

But I prefer to have my students make their own.  That way everyone has their own unique board.  If we play several rounds, the students get to switch with a friend.  You can grab Halloween Bingo for free in my store!

Word Scramble!

I print each set of letters on different colored card stock to eliminate any mix-up.  Then I cut up the words and put them in an envelope.  The students dump out the envelope when they get to this station and they have to work together to figure out what the secret word or phrase is!

Pumpkin Glyph!

Monster in a Jar!

Students create their own monster all squished up in a jar.  Then they fill out a profile sheet all about their monster.  This could then be turned into a writing assignment as well.

This is only half of my Spooky Halloween Fun set!  There is a lot more included.  It's perfect way to put an educational spin on a Halloween party!

I know that there are many classrooms and schools that cannot celebrate Halloween in their classrooms.  I promise not to leave you out, so I am in the process of making a Fall pack for you!

I may or may not have already posted today, but this caught my eye and I really want to participate.  Denise, over at Sunny Days in Second Grade, has started a 12-part linky series called My Truth Monday.  Each Monday will have a different topic and we are to share our truth about it.

This week is fitness.  I know for some, this is the bane of their existence.  I like to workout (please don't throw things at me!).  However, I seem to have the hardest time getting to the gym some days.  I miss the days when I played on a soccer, basketball or volleyball team.  I had to go to practice and I loved being there!

I have learned that working out makes me much happier.  It must be all those endorphins!  It also make me a much nicer person.  Just ask my husband.  So that is my truth about fitness.

What about you?  Share your truth about fitness with us!
Back in April, I shared this picture:

My awful mess of a desk.  It was way too small and just was not working for me.  Since I spend so much time working at my computer, I decided it was time to invest in a new work area!  After some hassling with my husband, I now have a new home office.

I am in love!

My husband told me that I had to give him credit in my blog post, so here we go.  He put together and stained my desk for me (save us some $$).  He also painted and hung my shelves {and re-hung them after I decided they were too close together - oops!}.  He was awesome and did so much to help me!

Everything has a place and is in its place.  Makes me a happy girl.

The filing cabinet still needs some work, but it is doing the trick right now.  My husband also hung my bulletin board for me.  On my bulletin board, I put my favorite quote from Steve Jobs as well as a calendar from Busy Teacher's Cafe.

 I made a visit to the best store ever to decorate my shelves.  The Container Store!  Have you been there??  Oh my goodness.  It's heaven on earth for me.  So much organizing in one place!  I purchased some clear containers to hold all my office supplies.  This first photo shows the coolest thing ever.  It looks like a candy container {with the scoop and everything} but I'm using it for paper clips and binder clips.  So fun!

So I am super excited about my new office area.  Let's just see if it makes me more productive!

It's Five for Friday!  On a Saturday.  Again.  In my defense, I was all ready to blog last night.  However, my internet connection had other ideas.  I attempted to fix it but decided to wait for my husband to return home from traveling so that I didn't break anything.

Cute little Halloween numbers are a freebie from Graphics from the Pond.

We are going to be starting Esperanza Rising this week and I am so excited!  Believe it or not, I had never read this book before.  I just finished it and it is such a good read.  My giant binder of resources is from Engage NY website.  There are some pretty difficult, high-thinking tasks in there but I know my students are up to.  I am really looking forward to hearing their conversations about the book.

Since this novel is so involved and each lesson is comprised of multiple parts, I decided to make myself a new planbook page.  Normally, I have two pages per week.  However, the amount of planning I need to do for this novel is pretty intense, so I have switched to one page per day.  I got the basic layout idea from Ladybug's Teacher Files.  Love that girl!  Oh and Kit Kats is the name of one of my ELA groups {Twizzlers is the other group}!

I don't believe I am in second grade anymore Toto!  I went from Henry and Mudge to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Yes, my students were reading this the other day.  Using some close reading strategies, we muddled our way through some background knowledge for Esperanza Rising.

Thursday night was conference night.  I love meeting with parents and learning more about my students!  But, man, is it a tiring day.  We teach all day, then have to meet with as many parents as possible between 5:00 and 8:00.  I get home about 9:30, then have to get up and go to work again the next day.

Evidence!  I have not been a very good blogger this month.  I promise to get better!  This adorable blogging calendar is from Gina S's store.  I love it!  My favorite part is the boxes at the bottom of each day.  

Have a great weekend!

Here's a flashback to Back to School time!  I never got to post all the activities we did at the beginning of the year.  Here is one of my favorites.

Coloring pages for big kids with motivational quotes for an elementary school classroom. Perfect for both classroom décor and management!

I had been on the search for motivational quote posters that were appropriate for my fifth graders.  My second grade ones seemed too "little" for them and all I could find were ones that belonged in a high school classroom.  Then I came across Doodle Art Alley.  They have educational, motivational, and inspirational quotes "doodled" just waiting to be filled in.  I found almost enough quotes for my entire class.  I doubled up on my favorites.

I was soo impressed with how hard the students worked on these and how beautiful they turned out.  They worked for DAYS on these.  My second graders would have been done in 10 minutes!  After they finished coloring, the students partnered up to discuss what they thought the quote meant and how it could apply to our classroom and their learning.

We then glued them onto black construction paper, which really made their bright colors pop.  The posters are now hanging at the front of the room, above the white board where they can all see them.  Of course I don't have a picture of that, but it looks great!  I am so glad that I wasn't able to find a poster at the store and used this activity instead.  So much more meaningful in my classroom.

Looking for more ideas for the beginning of the year?  Check out my Back-to-School board!
Happy!  It's been one  of those weeks.  Had a couple late nights and allergy season has officially hit.  So we will pretend that today is Friday!  Which means I can link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some photos from my week.

 Numbers are from the wonderfully talented Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs!

We have been quite the scientists this week in our classroom.  We have been learning about mixtures and solutions.  Here we are filtering our salt water mixture.  We then let the water evaporate to learn what happens when the salt dissolves.

We finished testing this week!  I had to have my desks in rows, which I do not like.  I would rather have my students collaborating in groups.  And it makes my room a maze!  I also have to take down everything from my bulletin boards so they look awfully bare.  Time to redecorate!

Our school started a new tradition on Friday mornings.  At the end of morning announcements, one of our teachers pretends to be a DJ and chooses a song to play for one minute.  The kids in all the classrooms then get up and dance!  It's so much fun.  Students (and teachers) are allowed to make song requests.  In this picture, we are doing The Twist.  The fifth graders are so cute because they pretend to hate it, but they really love it!

"Mrs. S, there are legs in the hallway!"  I didn't know what that meant, until I came up to find this.  It also explains why my computer turned off and my digital clock started blinking.

My friend is hosting a baby shower for her sister, but was having a hard time finding nice, but cheap invitations.  I LOVE how they turned out.  I made her a few samples and I LOVE how they turned out!  

Also, I completely forgot to choose a winner for my Spooky Halloween Fun pack the other night!  Allergy brain makes me a little spacey.  It was so fun hearing about your different costumes!  Our winner is...Julie from Second Grade Style!

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