Free File Folder Games

I found this link today and was VERY excited.  I had to share my wonderful find with all of you!!! It is a website called File Folder Fun.  It has FREE file folder games for grades K-5 and for various subjects!!  This really helps me out because we do not have individual science text books in 2nd grade.  The file folder games are a great resource to help reinforce my lesson!!  Hope you guys find this as useful as I do!!!

Free for All Friday

I am a little late due to a busy weekend, but I am here still linking up with Blog Hoppin'!! Here is the Freebie for the week.

A parent got me a class set of Reading Log Charts.  I LOVE them and want every child to have one at school and at home.  So I recreated it.  I hope to have a better copy to put on here later on, but here is what I have for now.  All you have to do is print and laminate and they are ready to be written on!!

Reading Goal Chart

Three for Thursday

Today I am linking up with Blog Hoppin to tell you about my three favs!!! I will have to say that this is going to be very hard because I cannot just pic one for each category!!

Favorite Font
I like to use different fonts, but there is one font that I use the most. It is Cutie Pop.   I found it by simply typing "free cute font" into google.  I get most of my fonts from

Favorite Blog
This one is impossible for me to choose.  I have so many different blogs that are my favorite.  One blog that I go to the most though is What The Teacher Wants. I have gotten a lot of great ideas from this blog!

Favorite Online Resource
My favorite online resource at the moment is  A friend told me about this sight since I am currently planning a wedding.  She told me it would give me a lot of great ideas.  I get great ideas for home and for the classroom here!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

Where It All Goes Down Wednesday

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' to show you my WONDERFUL WORLD!!

 My area

 Clips I painted to hang student work

 Where students turn in their Monkey Binders each day

 This is where students put their homework.  It is a quick and easy transition to the next activity. It is quicker then putting work in binders during the school day. 

 LOVE that my classroom has a sink!!

 Their cubbies are used to hold books, reading phones, Wilson boards, AR folders, and their math kits. 

 Bulletin Boards

 Computer area.  I also display previous class pictures.  The kids always enjoy looking at these.

 My AR board.  This is used so I don't hear "Can I take a Test?" a thousand times a day! 

 A few of my books

 My reading area and Tattling Toby.  I also have other chairs, bean bags, and carpet squares for children to use around the room to read.

 Game shelf and some of my small group activities

 Promethean Board!!! Can't live without it!!!

 Books for the kids

 Work station

 Resource posters I made for the kids to reference to

That is a sneak peek of my classroom.  Hope you guys enjoyed!

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Linking up again with 

Today is all about giving advice to new teachers.  I will do my best seeing as how I still feel like I need advice and am constantly learning and growing.

1.  DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT!!  This is the most important thing that you should do.  I learned this the hard way my 2nd year teaching.  If a child goes to the nurse, document the trip even if your nurse documents this also.  It never hurts to have multiple documentations.  If a child has a constant behavior, you should document this as well.  It is always important to be able to give specifics.  This includes dates, behaviors, times, etc.

2.  CHANGE - Change is a very scary thing for many people.  In the teaching world, things change from day to day and year to year.  It is important to be able to learn how to completely stop what you are use to doing and do whatever new is thrown your way.  It definitely makes your life easier and less stressful if you can easily jump on the Change Train.

3.  SHARE - Always be willing to share with your coworkers.  It makes your job harder when people are unwilling to share ideas.  This is especially true when you have a child with any special needs.  You should share with their next teacher things you tried so that the teacher does not waste their time trying things that do not work.  

4.  DISCIPLINE - This does not mean you have to be Viola Swamp!  It just means that you should have some discipline in your classroom.  My dad always said "You can always lighten up but you can never get harder."  If you do not start out disciplined in your classroom, the children will never let you establish it.  So start from day 1.

5.  STRUCTURE - With discipline comes structure.  Your classroom needs to be structured and have a routine.  There are too many kids with special needs coming through the school system that need and thrive on structure.  There are also many kids that do not get it at home and desperately seek it at school.  

6.  LOVE - Love your children as if they are your own.  You don't always know what a child is going home to.  So, it is important to make them feel safe and loved with they are with you.  If you have never read the book A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer, you really should.  It really makes you think about each and every child and what they could possibly go through when they are not with you.

7.  FUN - Finally have fun!!  The job can be overwhelming, but do not take it out on the kids.  Be sure to have fun with them and make learning fun.  The learn the best is when they do not even realize they are learning. 

Fact Families

I am not a huge fan of our new math series.  My students are having such a hard time understanding it.  So, I am supplementing A LOT!  I created a math lesson to help them better understand fact families.   I associated the numbers with people and talked to them about how your family stays the same.  This really helped the students get the concept.  It is actually the first math lesson this year that every student in the classroom understood completely!!  If you would like a copy of the packet, you can get it HERE.  In the packet, there are a few pages to help introduce the lesson, flash cards, worksheets, and a file folder game.  I also made the file folder game a separate file just in case you need the reinforcement or just need a few more centers for your classroom.  You can get it HERE.

Meet The Teacher Monday

Hey guys! I am linking up with

About Me
My name is Julia and I am 27 years old.  I am engaged to Jack Casteel.  We are getting married this school year!!  We have 2 dogs named Romeo and Rocky.

 At our engagement party

 Our babies snuggling

This is my 6th year teaching 2nd grade.  I always wanted either 2nd or 3rd grade.  I graduated from Tennessee Tech University and started my job hunt.  I got hired the day after school started.  It was a created position because there were too many kids in 2nd grade that year.  I really lucked out!!  My classroom was actually in a workroom also because there was limited space in the school.  I did not have a computer or a white board for quite some time.  I have come a long way since then!!
You Might Not Know......
I have always wanted to be a teacher.  I was born into a family of teachers.  I also have 5 brothers and sisters.  So I spent most of my childhood playing school and teaching my younger siblings with old teacher manuals.  You could ask me at 3 years old what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would always say "I want to be a teacher."  I am also marrying a teacher!
This year
This year I am looking forward to a lot of things.  In my personal life, I am really looking forward to the wedding.  In my professional life, I am really looking forward to my new set of students.  We have been in school for 3 weeks now, and I really have a sweet bunch that is really eager to learn.  They also work work really well in groups.  I am really looking forward to this because that isn't the case every year.  It is great having a group of students that can work together and that can handle things out of the ordinary.

What I need to improve......
If you are a teacher, you know that there are ALWAYS things that you need to improve on.  That is the case with me.  There are many things I want to improve on.  One thing is that I want to be able to come up with more learning focused centers.  This is something that our school is really trying to push and that I haven't fully accomplished yet.  So, I plan on working really hard this year towards that goal.  
I also want to start the Daily 5 and Reading Cafe.  I bought a subscription to the site but feel completely lost and overwhelmed since I have not read the book yet.  So, that is another goal that I want to accomplish in order to improve reading and writing in my classroom.  

Teaching Supplies I cannot live without....
One thing I cannot live without is my scented markers!!! The kids absolutely LOVE them.  Since we do a lot of work together, I usually have another child go around and check papers.  They love using the scented markers and being surprised from day to day as to what scent we will use.  
I also could not live without my Promethean Board.  It makes my life sooooooo much easier!  The kids love being able to come to the board, do interactive games, and watch clips on the big screen!!

Another thing I can't live without is.......JUNIE B. JONES!! I LOVE Junie B.  The kids love to listen to me read the books to them and I love reading her books.  She cracks me up.  It is a nice stress relief for me and the kiddos.

Compliment Chain & Warm Fuzzy Jar

The compliment chain is a GREAT way to enforce positive behavior inside and outside of the classroom.  Whenever my students get a compliment from another teacher/adult, they get a link for their compliment chain.  Once the chain hits the floor, they get a big party.  I use this as a chance for a pizza party, ice-cream party, etc (A party that they do not normally get during the school year.) It usually takes a while for the students to fill their chain.  That is why I use this as an opportunity for a big party.  

To Make:

Print out the Compliment Chain page. I like to print out 2 copies (one for each side) Glue this page to construction paper.  This helps to make it durable.  Punch holes at the top of the page so that you can hang it from the ceiling.  Then cut a slit at the bottom. Slide a piece of paper/cardstock through the slit and then glue/tape it together. 
-->Make plenty of copies of the compliment chain links. When the students get a compliment, add it to the link.

You can also get a FREE copy of the Compliment Chain template HERE
 Compliment Chain
Warm Fuzzy Jar

 I use this instead of doing a marble jar.  I use cotten balls instead of marbles.  (If the jar tips over, it is MUCH easier to pick up.) 

Guess Who?

This is a great activity for an open house night or parent night.  You can place these on the students' desks and have the parents walk around and try to guess which one is their child's.  You can also display them in the hallway or on the board for a fun guessing game.

To do the activity, the students fill out each box by drawing a picture or writing about their favorites.  On the second paper, they glue a picture of the themselves.  Then they simply attach the 2 papers together. 

My kids really enjoyed this activity, and my parents enjoyed reading them on parent night!

You can get this activity HERE.

Find a Friend

This is a great icebreaker activity for the 1st day of school.  Each student gets a paper.  Then they have to go around the classroom and find a classmate that fits each description.  The classmate will sign the square that best describes them.  This gives them a chance to introduce themselves and meet each classmate.  The students always have a fun time doing this activity.  They also get really excited when they get to learn something new about their teacher!  Click on the download button below to get this activity for FREE!!

Find a Friend Activity

Monkey of the Month

I wanted to do something new with my bulletin board outside of my classroom.  Last year I put student's work on it, but I already hang them on the clothes line in the hallway.  So, I wanted to do something different this year.  I decided that I wanted to put my students on display.  Since I have a monkey theme, I did Monkey of the Month.  I put this on display in the hallway, but you can display it anywhere in the classroom.  I plan on picking 1-2 students a month to ensure that everyone gets a chance to be on the board.  I put myself on display for the beginning of the year.  This will help my students get to know about me more, understand what kind of things go on the board, and allow parents to read about me on parent night.  Here is what I came up with.

You can get the labels and stationary at my TPT site.

Monkey Classroom Theme

I do a monkey theme in my classroom.  I've had this theme for a few years and plan on using it a few more since I have a lot of decorations for it.  Here are a few of my decoration ideas.

One thing I am trying this year, that is new, is using plastic/vinyl tablecloths as my backgrounds.  Paper fades really easy and I know fabric does eventually.  So, I figured I could try this out for the year.  I am also hoping that it will be easy to clean the dust off the tablecloths.

Go Bananas Over Reading

 I use this bulletin board to keep track of when students reach their AR goal.  They get a sticker for every month they reach their goal and a sticker for when they reach their 9-weeks goal.

NO Monkeying Around

 This is for my Warning system. These are my monkey pop out cards.  I glued the back to yellow paper because they are a pain to get up on the board and to get them straight.

 When students first come in the classroom in the morning, they move their banana to show if they are buying a lunch from the cafeteria or if they brought their lunch from home.  This is also a VERY quick way to take attendance in the morning.

Swinging into 2nd Grade

This is my door decoration for the beginning of the year.  I also take my kids pictures on promotion day at the end of the previous year.  I cut out their head and tape it onto the monkey.  They turn out really cute and the kids really enjoy seeing themselves as monkeys.

I bought these as plain wooden monkeys a few years ago.  I got them at a craft story really cheap and painted them myself.  I hot glued them onto a clothes pin, and I use them to hang up my kids work in the hallway.

Swinging in to Help

This is behind my door, and I use it to display classroom jobs.  I use Velcro to hang the monkeys on the leaves.

Teaching Blog Addict

This website is absolutely wonderful!!  It gives you links to other blogs and gives you tons of ideas.  There are also multiple posts daily.  The title of the site is appropriate.  I have officially become addicted to this website because I can find so many different ideas in one spot.  Check them out here.

Back to School Sale is having a back to school sale.  They are giving you 10% off the items that you buy.  I am joining in on the sale.  I have marked all my items 20% off August 1 - 4.  There are a lot of other teachers also throwing sales.  Hope you all find something you can use!
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