Saturday, September 29, 2012

Morning Work and 100th post!!

Have you been on this website yet?  If you haven't you need to check it out!  I found it last summer as a suggestion on Proteacher.  I am so glad I went on...I've been hooked ever since!
I mainly use it for our daily morning work.  But I have to tell you... I find something AmAAzing every time I go on.  I thought our morning work was great last year.  Then I went back on this past summer and found something even better!
Here's a sample of something that I use for morning work:

I am pretty particular with the things that I do as worksheets.  I often make my own because I am not happy with what I find.  That is not the case with so many things on this site.  The site is run by a TEACHER (and no she is not paying me to plug her site!! :) and she is changing many things (like this sheet above) to align with the new Common Core.  And the best part~ there is every subject and every component of the subject you can thing of!  It's so jam packed that it will take you months to go through it all.  The only downfall is you will be buying a lot of ink to print all the great stuff.  Oh, and there is a yearly fee.  I believe $27 but I have to tell you (as someone who just renewed for the second year) it is worth every.single.penny!  :)

I am excited to announce that this is my ONE HUNDREDTH POST!!!  Really? 100?  Wow, how did that even happen??  So.. in honor of that milestone... first...
I'm having a sale! 20% off!

Also, If you do purchase something today or tomorrow... send me an email telling me what product you purchased.. you will get another product of your choosing FOR FREE!  And if you buy 2 you will get TWO MORE FOR FREE!!  And so on.. :)

Don't miss out on that amazingness!

Finally... make sure you stop by my store and find the product that just happens to be marked FREE until Sunday!! (usually $3.00!)

Happy Weekend Friends!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sale and Space Stuff!

Just a reminder that the Fall Sale is going on until midnight tonight! :)
Make sure you grab my newest product that I looovvvvee! :)
There are 45 days worth of problems! :)
And I leave you with some space things we have been doing...
This wall is in the hallway.  We did a super fun space ship craft from Adventures of Ms. Smith!

  We had the kids become "experts" with a space vocabulary word.  They had a ton of fun using the big kid dictionaries as they learned about their word.  Then they became the teacher and taught each other about their word.  It was a great activity to start with and it becomes a great display!
Finally, we are doing a reading incentive that will last for a few months.  The kids designed and built their own space ship.  They need to read 180 minutes to travel from planet to planet.  The goal is to get to the SUN!  At each planet they get a small prize (Oriental Trading).  Once we get everyone to the Sun, we have a Sunny Surprise Party! (it's just pizza but its totally fun!) Oh, and the kids bring their sunglasses that day~ because it's sunny on the Sun! :)


Have a great SUNday!
ps... this is my 99th post!  I wonder what might happen on my 100th post??  :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Parent Helpers... finally!

I am so sorry for the delay in the post.  I just knew that it would take time to get this post put together so I needed to wait until I had that kind of time!  Well drum roll please... :)
OK so if you read my previous post, I mentioned that I have my helpers working on just 3 areas..
Seems simple right?  Well it took me a LONG time to realize that my helpers were best utilized working with the STUDENTS and not doing the little things like cutting, hanging, sharpening etc.  OF course I still do have them working on those things occasionally, but not as often.
Ok, so let's start with reading.
My number ONE thing I have the parents working on is called Flash Fluency:
It's completely free, researched based, and very easily down loadable right from the link above!  I love how it moves the children through word lists in a very sequential order.  The word lists include "no excuse words" as well as academic vocabulary.  I just have a file folder for each child and I have them reading from the appropriate list for their reading level.  For second grade, I use mainly the last 3 lists (however, the last list is very difficult and I only have a few children who make it there).

The other thing I have parents doing with my students is high frequency words.  I assess my students and then we do an activity that you can read about {here}.  You can get all the materials from this set (on sale!)

I just want to mention one last thing that I have also had students doing with parents (since fluency is such a biggie!) is called "Lucky Listeners Club."  I have a bunch of poetry that the students can pick from and bring home to read to as many people as they can.  There is a place to record how many times the child read the poem on the back.  Then the child returns the poem and they pick a new one.  The initial letter looks like this:
Next, I have the parents working on math.  The main thing I have them doing is math flash cards.  Yes, it's that simple.  Second grade is the year to establish math fluency and accuracy and it is a main focus for my helpers.  I have revamped how I approach math facts since I first taught second grade.  Now I assess the students on the facts they should be practicing INSTEAD of expecting them to memorize all the facts.  It helps the child really learn the facts.  Of course they are two products that I have available:

Math Facts- Timed Test and Parent Letters for Addition!

Math Facts- Timed Test and Parent Letters for Subtraction!

The actual flash cards are not included in these sets, but all the materials to conduct a math fact program are.  I have had GREAT success with my math facts since changing to this "program" :)

Writing is my last area... I do spend more time focusing on the above two and I start writing about mid-year.  Here is a sample of the letter I have with my writing materials:
Also included in my writing basket are fun pencils, erasers, paper, crayons, colored pencils, and picture prompt cards.  I try and make this a fun one! :)  My most recent addition is the writing wheels that we have had FUN with:
Whatever will hook them right? :)
PLEASE email me or leave a comment below if you have any further questions.  If you want anything specifically, let me know and I might be able to send you the file.
Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Fall Sale and NEW PRODUCT {giveaway}

Happy weekend everyone!
This is just a quick post to let you know that there is a fun blog hop sale starting at midnight through Sunday!  Thanks to Casey at Second Grade Math Manic for hosting! 
click to visit my TpT store!
I wanted to share my newest product.  It's a pretty sweet one that I have just starting doing and have had GREAT success so far!  It's...
click to see! 
I created this product this year for 3 reasons:
1.My students struggle with reading and solving word problems (especially multi-step.)
2.Our math block was increased to 60 minutes and I wanted something that I could start off with everyday and that was meaningful for all.
3.With the new Common Core, I wanted a push for higher level thinking! 
These problems are designed for second graders but could be used to challenge some first graders or be an intervention for third.  They align with the Common Core standard:
2.OA.1- Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g. by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
Here are some samples:

It's amazing what you can get second graders to do with some modeling!  The word problems progressively get harder and there's a great poster included to help the children (and you!) through the word problem process!
If you don't have a notebook for the children to work in, I've included several math journal templates for you to choose from! Yippee!
And yes you guessed it, I'm giving one away! I will be randomly drawing a name from the comments below at NOON Saturday so you have to act fast!!!

True Random Number Generator5
Make sure you visit all these wonderful bloggers to check out their amazing products (ON SALE!!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SO EXCITED {and nervous!} Winner!

Oh my goodness am I tired!  I think there is also something going on with the barometric pressure... my head just wants to explode!  Anyone else just plain tired??  Ugh.
I'll start with the BIG winner of my $50 giveaway!!!

You will be getting an email from me soon! (how fun will that be to pick out $50 worth of stuff!!)
So why am I so excited (and nervous) you ask??  Well...
I just found out that the second grade at our school has made the most progress {in math} towards getting our kids "college and career ready" out of all the schools in our district!!!  There's 16 schools in our district!  I'm thrilled!  This is just after I changed literally EVERYTHING in my math block.  I guess...
change is good!
I think I know the reason we are doing so well...
this puppy has changed my philosophy on how I teach math!!

Which leads me to why I am nervous... I have a superintendent AND principal from another school coming to watch me run a session of my Math Workshop tomorrow! {gasp!}  They are interested in bringing this type of teaching to their school.  WOW!  I'm super excited to show how amazing it is... yet... extremely nervous!  I did a run through today and it went well.. I just hope everything goes as smoothly!  Also... I got an amazing email from a teacher who wanted more help with her math block (I LOVE those emails!!) and she inspired me to create a video of my math block in action!  Do you think this would help you?
Why else am I excited you say?? Well... I am ALMOST finished working on two more MATH products!!!  One will be ready for sure by the weekend.  The other... possibly next week.  But I'll give you a sneak peek :)
The first one I started using this week and I am in Loooovvveee!
It's called...
I will post more about it WITH PICTURES.  But it has TONS of word problems that meet the new common core.  There is also a math journal and a step by step poster to help your children solve those tricky one or two step word problems!  It is best for grades 2 or 3, yet if you want to challenge some firsties~ this would be great for that! (I will also be making a set 2 and possibly a 3 so that there will be enough word problems for the entire year!!)
Secondly, I am also working on this beauty...

There are word cards, a vocabulary recording page for the child to make their own math vocabulary book, and a poster to put the cards on display.  The cards have the word, definition, AND a small picture to represent the word.  These are strictly GRADE 2 words and they are common core aligned!  If I can get my act together, I will make other grades too!
What do you think?  Do you think you could use either of these new products?Stay tuned for the real unveiling of these goodies... if you've been following along.. you know that I always give at least one away of any new product I intro :)
So on tap for this weekend... I will finish my installment of parent helpers (hang tight Brooke~ its coming!).  Also I will share some writing things I've been doing (thanks Amy Lemons!) and some more space ideas.
AND FRIDAY there will be a BIG announcement!! hehehe
Have a great night!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Parent Helpers and Giveaway reminder :)

What a beeeuutiful weekend it was here in Chicago!  Finally our temps are cooling a bit and we could enjoy the outside and not melt!  My son and I had some fun with chalk...

He drew his first "stick" guy :)
Anyway... onto parent helpers!!  If you are wondering if you should have parents come into your classroom... think no more... do it!  I guarantee that you will have less parent calls, questions, concerns... the minute they see that their child is well cared for and in an academically enriched environment... they will get off your back.  Let's face it...
Why do I know that?  Because I'm a parent too! :)
I get it... parents just want to know what's going on. 
 So anyway... I have my parents fill out a survey as a part of my beginning of the year newsletter.  It looks like :
It's not fancy but it gets the job done. :)
Then based on the info I learn about the days they want to help and time of day, I can plan on when they will help out.  I have always scheduled my helpers twice a year.  I plan out for the months of Sept-December  and then again for January-May.  That way I am not scrambling at the end of every month trying to get a calendar ready.  This way I know exactly when parents are coming and the parents can plan accordingly.  The only drawback is that if I have a special "event" then I will need to ask parents to come in.  This is a rare occurrence.
I have my helpers helping in three areas...
SOMETIMES I have them doing other things like sorting word wall words, hanging projects etc... but I have found that it is best to have things that are already set up ready to go.  Less explaining, less trying to scramble when they get there, less time for them to stand there and stare at you while you teach. ;)  You know what I mean! :)
Here's my helper area:
The baskets have everything the parent would need to help for that subject area.  There are very explicit instructions on what to do. I usually just rotate between the subjects. 
I will give a quick synopsis of what I do for each subject, and I will elaborate in another post (sorry It's getting late!).
Reading:  fluency and high frequency words
Math: math facts (flash cards at their level), telling time, money, number sense
Writing: writing with a picture prompt stressing sentence structure and related sentences
I hope to share all I can in the next post.  Hopefully this has intrigued you enough for you to stop back! :)
REMEMBER... enter my giveaway....
click to enter!
Good night!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Another giveaway and solar system project!

Hi friends!!  I am SO excited!!  I opened up my TpT account this morning and noticed that I had 200 followers!  What?!  I was so busy watching my blog follower count like a hawk that I totally lost track of TpT... I can't even believe it!
I know many people say it over and over but I just have to; I am so thankful for all the people who take the time to follow and read this little ole blog.  I am thankful for the people who follow my store.  I am thankful for the people who take the time to leave a nice comment or two.  You know who you are... and I appreciate you so much!!

So with that... let's do a giveaway!  It's not a fancy smancy one but one that shows my up most appreciation for my followers!  So I am going to give ONE WINNER the chance to WIN .....

Yes, $50.  You pick.  That's like getting almost everything!
  Wowsers! :)

So here's what you have to do....
1. follow my blog and leave a comment stating
that you follow my blog

2. follow my TpT store and leave a comment telling me the product(s) you'd like to use!

3. for another chance to win, in a comment tell me anything about your math time (whatever goes!)

4. for yet ANOTHER chance to win... blog about this giveaway and leave the link to the post
*****Remember to leave your email in all your comments*****

I'm so excited for you to win!!  This will end in 5 days~ Wednesday Night at 10 p.m. Central time.  
Good luck!!

OK before I go... I leave you with one quick share...
So we are learning about the solar system and we made this totally cool project:
So there is a "brad" on the sun and on the Earth.  You can make the Earth revolve/orbit around the sun and you can show the rotation of the Earth.  Then you can see the Moon revolve around the Earth too!  This was a HUGE learning tool for the kids and they loved making them (they totally came up with making each object "look" like it should and added the white crayon for the stars~ brilliant!).  Once complete, their homework was to teach someone at home about how it works.  It was so fun and I love how they turned out!
I have more to share I just FORGOT to take pictures :(  I'll post again about it!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to "enter" the giveaway!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cuteness, Curriculum Night and Winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much to all who entered the giveaway!  And CONGRATS to the 3 winners!!  You will be getting an email from me soon! :)
I REALLY enjoyed reading all the "made me smile" stories that many of you left in the comments.  They really warmed my heart.  And some of you had some REALLY funny ones too!!  I'm going to share mine (cute and funny!).
So I'll start with a funny...
So I think I have a future project runway contestant in my room because one day I caught her staring at my outfit and then she said, "You know Mrs. Rebholz, you wear a lot of black."  I just smiled and walked away... little does she know that I rethink my outfit choices each morning based on how much black I'm wearing (yes, I DO love black).
So then I wore this shirt a few days later...
and she says to me... "Is your shirt black with white stripes or white with black stripes?"  Ugh.  I really need to get this girl some more challenging work so she has less time to stare at my clothes! :)
My class is SO super sweet this year (even with the fashionista).  These are just two of the many cute cards I get from the cuties....
 This seriously melted my heart!! 
This was from my inclusion student... so cute! :)
I was glad to get our Curriculum Night out of the way.  I feel like that night just weighs on me a bit and I feel as though I can think a little bit more clearly when it is over.  The night is basically when the parents come and sit through a 45 minute presentation from me about their child's classroom.  I do love it because I can cover the most important items all at one time.  I do get nervous with all the faces starting at me even though this was my 14th one!
This year I got a little bit techy!  I used my SMART board and added all my student's pictures on one page.  Each picture was linked to a "secret note" that they made for their mom and/or dad.  When the parents came in (before my presentation) they were able to touch their child's photo and up popped the secret note.  It was a big hit!  It looked like this:
Each photo became a link to a note they created.   
I scanned each note and linked it to their photo. 

It was very sweet :)
This was also my first year using a power point presentation.  I seriously don't know why I never made one of those like a million years ago!  I have NEVER finished my presentation on time and this year I finished 5 minutes early!  I think it was because I had everything all right there!  No more fumbling through my papers and putting them on my document camera.  It was a dream... and best thing was I bought a super cute premade power point from TpT!  Here is just the first slide...
Isn't it cute??!!!
This cute power point came from Mrs. Grauer~ you can take a look at it {HERE}
Last share... I set up my parent table with parent helper calendar, email list, conference times, party helpers, and art mom sheets like this:
And on all the kid desks had their own personalized "folders" with a letter to their parents attached to the inside.  I also had a bunch of classroom information inside too.
Phew! Now that the school year is in full swing and the "big night" is over, I'm hopeful to pick up my blogging again :)  I want to post about the fun Space/Solar System things we have been doing! :)  And stay tuned for how to include parent helpers in your classroom! 
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Ugh.  I am one bad blogger :(  I'm sorry!  I have written about 70 posts... in my head.  Tonight was our curriculum night and it went well and I have SO much to share ... but I'm EXHAUSTED!  So as a sorry I leave you with a freebie and a reminder to enter my giveaway before it ends!! ( I promise some GREAT stuff in the next few days!!)

This is a poster/song that I sing every time we begin learning a new letter for handwriting.  It was a fun way to begin the lesson and a good reminder of where to start writing their letters.  I did sing it more when I taught first grade (they LOVED to sing it) it is also very appropriate for K or even second!  Click below to pick yours up for free and leave me some feedback when you do so!

Above is a poster to hang in your room.
Below is a fun song to sing!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!!