Ahh, the lure of the Fairy Door…

img_1403I finally got our new ‘fairy door’ up (I may have gone just a tad overboard with all the accessories that came in the box…) and the Clean Desk Fairy is officially in residence.  I can’t tell you HOW WELL this works, my students are SERIOUSLY motivated and their desks are spotless.  I made these cute little notes to leave in their desks and you can download them for FREE in my TpT store.  Click HERE and you will be redirected to my store.  Enjoy!





Was that a break, or a… nap?

img_1393Ok, so joking aside, it was short and jam packed and I could have used a few more days but there it is.  We went back to school today to single digit temps which means, indoor recess. Boo!  It isn’t good for anyone when my students can’t go outside and get some much needed exercise and air.  In my indoor recess tool belt I have GoNoOdle which my students love!  I also use GoNoOdle throughout our day for transitions and end of the day dance parties.  We have had unseasonably cold weather so I have had to up my indoor recess game this year!  (Our students go outside unless it is below 10 degrees F)

Before break we were also having these single digit temps (for a full two weeks!) so I put together a fun math game to keep it fun in our room.  I put some wrapping paper on a big cardboard box and made a giant bow from construction paper.  I named the game, “What’s My Rule?”.  The idea was to help my students understand function boxes and although they thought it was entertaining watching me do an “in the box, out of the box”impersonation, they much preferred jumping out of a box themselves.  slide1

There is an “In/Out” function box worksheet and the big numbers included in this resource.  (The worksheet comes in two different themes, winter with snowmen and holiday with elves and presents.) You can find it here in my TPT store.  Once students have their boxes filled out, they choose one and get the numbers ready.  The other students have to guess the rule, i.e. +6 or -2, etc.  The student who guesses correctly goes next. Now, I don’t expect that everyone has room for a big cardboard box wrapped as a present in your classroom…but if you do, the students LOVED it!  You could have students be behind a desk or bookcase or just up and down from their chair.  Let me know what’s in your indoor recess toolbox!  Stay warm, Bonnie


Ah, Winter Break…


Ah, winter break, a time for sleeping in and recharging.  In this house though, best laid plans turn into skiing, Nordic, downhill and family visits.  I had planned on getting super organized, redoing my classroom furniture arrangement, lesson planning, creating TPT products, blogging but, I’ve been skiing and playing. I guess I need to hang a ‘gone skiing’ sign up. Have a great week or hopefully weeks off (I only have six days so I am packing in as much fun as possible!)

Pinecone Owl Holiday Ornaments

I have made these Pinecone Owl Ornaments with my second graders for Holiday gifts  for the past two years.  Every time, they come out so darn cute, the kids love them, and I sneak them into a writing project.  Win. Win.  They are really pretty easy to make and the supplies are minimal.  I bought a bag of pinecones from Michael’s this year but you can pick them up at Target or many other places around the holidays.  The supplies are minimal; liquid glue, scissors, scraps of paper or felt, a sharpie, a popsicle stick (a pencil will also work) for placing the cotton between the pinecone petals and a bit of twine or ribbon for making the hanger.  I think the key is to pull the cotton ball apart so that you spread out the fibers, kind of cotton candy looking.  This gives the owl that fluffy look.

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We have been studying non fiction texts and main idea so this project also fit in perfect to our reading.  I have my students select two pieces of tissue paper for wrapping them, and we make a tag out of a bit of paper and punch a hole in it.  I have them thread the tag through the twine (I had a surplus of colored raffia that worked great, we used two pieces a few feet long).  We gathered up the tissue and I helped them tie the raffia around the owl.  We worked on our writing assignment today and they were fabulous.  We wrote our notes to attach to our owls in a letter format asking if they would let us (the owls) live in their Christmas tree.  I sealed them in wax, “No, I’m not fancy, I promise!”, I just happened to have it in the cupboard  ☺

Adorable parent present completed!  They are on our bookshelf waiting to go home tomorrow.  Ahhh, one thing off my never ending, mile long list!   Happy December!




Hot Chocolate, Whipped Cream and Peppermint – Oh My!

Slide1.JPGFreedom Friday, Fun Food Friday, Fresh Food Friday, Fabulous Friday – this was the topic of conversation Friday morning in my classroom.  I had promised the students that we would make Homemade Hand-Whipped Cream and Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix for Taste It Tuesday.  Tuesday came and went and we had an unexpected special, two 12+ hour days with parent teacher conferences (this teacher is TIRED.) so everything got moved to Friday afternoon and we decided we needed a new name for Fridays. (I love those teaching moments that just happen and this was one of those as I explained how a Thesaurus works)  We decided on “Fresh Food Friday” and added it to our schedule for 2:00 p.m.

I love to use recipes from Ree Drummond’s website,  The Pioneer Woman they are so consistent, taste great and these two are really easy for kids to make.  We used her Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix and her Homemade Hand-Whipped Cream recipes which you can link to from the names above.  I have to say, I am always sorry that I don’t take more pictures during these cooking adventures.  I need a go pro attached to a head lamp because my hands are always full or sticky so I don’t pick up my phone often enough.  Let’s just say it was fast and furious and fun!  We had sore arms from whipping the cream, I had 4 batches going at our four table groups.  Two tables made it using the ball jar method and two were whipping with a whisk.  We made the hot chocolate mix together and then right as we were running out of time, I couldn’t find the electric kettle – sigh – picture a crazed 2nd grade teacher opening cupboards looking for pots and pans and trying to boil water as quickly as possible… yep, that’s pretty much it.  (We are very lucky to have a stove in our 2nd grade pod, in a dream classroom, I would have one in my room!)

I added the water to each of their jars, I used ball jars which we are going to use for our snow globes we make in December (so fun!).  As the students were stirring, I showed them how to put unwrapped peppermint candies in a plastic bag and then, using the side of a hammer smashing them gently to make a yummy, unique and pretty topping for their cocoa.

The bell rang and it was as mad rush to make sure everyone got to try some but they all left with BIG smiles on their faces. Happy Fresh Food Friday!