Surfing, Hiking and Giveaways!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  The weather here has been gorgeous and the surf has been fun!! I have been able to surf three days in a row!! Yay me!!  I don't know if there are any other surfers out there, but surfing just always puts me in a great mood!

Today I took my daughters for a hike up Koko Head Crater.  This in on the other side of the island, so it was about an hour drive.  This is a hike that is straight up.  It's more skill than anything.  There are about 1,100 steps!!  It's actually an abondonded railroad track that the military used to carry up supplies to a lookout shelter up top.  You don't usually see too many kids along the trail.

I wish I was laying on the beach...

Can we go back down now??

Getting higher
Top of the trail
This is the shelter...of course the girls ran right in

My oldest is not the most energetic and we took lots of breaks but we made it!!
It was much cooler at the top and the fog was rolling in.

 I think my youngest one ran all the way up!!

Just had to share.  They both love hiking, but this was definitely a feat for both of them. 

If you have been scouting around blog land there are a bunch of great giveaways going on out there, including mine, lol!!

Mrs. Bainbridge's Class

Christina is giving away 100 Brag Tags!!


Michelle is giving away 5 tote bags and 18 sets of clip art!!

Swimming into Second

And Courtney is giving a $20 gift certificate to the Digital Bake Shop!!

Okay head on over to all of these great blogs and enter for these great goodies!!


My First Giveaway....Yay!!

Well I finally did it!! I finished a Spelling Program that I have been working on for a long time!! I don't know what Spelling program you use, but the one in our reading series was just NOT working for me.  It was so random and it didn't follow any particular order or skill.  Our reading program is over 10 years old, and it doesn't look like we will be getting a new series anytime soon.

My struggling readers and writers were bombing every test! I hated seeing them fail:(  Sooo, I looked around and grabbed a list here and a list there and finally just created something to work for me.

Here it is.  There are lists for each week of the year, starting out with short vowels and moving on from there.  I also created more challenging lists for those Super Spellers that already have their basics mastered.  There are also Holiday word lists, enrichment ideas and details on how I set up this program in my class. It is geared for second grade, but would work in first or third.

You can pick it up in my TpT store anytime or.....

I am giving away 3 copies to some great followers out there and one lucky winner will also receive the lastest Jack Johnson cd!!
Jack Johnson & Friends - Best of Kokua Festival (A Benefit for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation), Jack Johnson

This is the Best of The Kokua Festival and it includes many different artists that have performed at this festival over the years.  This is a gift from the Kokua Foundation, and I am passing it on to get the word out about this great program that helps out so many kids in Hawaii.

(If you can't see anything below
Click Read More to Enter this Giveaway :)


Fun Fraction Flipbooks....Say That Three Times Fast

Who's feeling the snowball effect of the end of the year!! As I look at my calendar we have sooo much coming up in the next few weeks!!

Lei Day
Our biggie is May Day!! This is a schoolwide extravaganza here at our school. Each grade performs a Hula from a particular culture.  Traditionally May Day celebrates Hawaiian Culture, but our school takes it a bit further. Our Second Grade team is doing China this year.  The girls are doing a ribbon dance and the boys are learning a Kung Fu routine.  We are busy, busy, busy!!  Stay tuned...

While this is all going on we are finishing up our last chapter in our math book.  Our K-3 classes switched to Go Math this year.  It is aligned to Common Core which has been a super plus for us!!

The last chapter is Geometry and Fractions.   I really love teaching fractions, but Common Core seems very weak to me in this area, so I extended this chapter with a few extra activities.

The chapter covers equal parts, and creating equal parts, but it doesn't have students write fractions in numerical form.  So we did this anchor chart together and talked about what fractions meant.
Then we got into the fun part.  I had students create their own fractions in a flip book.

They did such an amazing job.  Some used templates and some just drew their pictures.  I was so impressed with their work and they really enjoyed creating them.  We will finish up tomorrow and do assessments on Friday.  I think they've got it down!!

If you have some fun fraction ideas I would love to hear about them.  I am always in search of more hands on activities!!


I would also like to give a shout out to Krista over at Stellar Students.  She is having a 200 Follower Giveaway!! Go Krista!  If you haven't checked out her blog head over there.  She does some fantastic activities in her class and  she has some really great items in her Giveaway too... I really want that necklace:)    Head on over and give her some Aloha.


Our Little Class Buddy

Mondays always seem so long and tiring, especially when it's cold and rainy.  What happened to our beautiful spring weather??

 On Monday mornings I always have a new Star of The Week.  They bring in their backpack full of items to share (I tell them to bring in at least 10 things), and then they read their journal about what they did with Norbert.

Who's Norbert you ask??  Well this year Norbert is our class buddy.  I actually ordered him from Really Good Stuff.  They were clearancing him out for $3.99 so I figured that's what it would cost me to set him up on my own.

Basically he is a stuffed animal that goes home with the Star of The Week on the Friday before their week.  He comes with a carrying bag and a journal that has a picture of him on it. 
Well today my last little guy shared the journal about what he and Norbert did and I just had to share how much my kids loved this little guy.

I always start out the year as the first Star of The Week.  I bring in lots of pictures of when I was little and some of my old toys, trophies, awards etc...  This year I took Norbert home first and wrote about what we did together.  I took some pictures and glued them in the journal so the students could really see I had taken him home.

I read my two page  journal entry to all of them and the smiles on their faces were just too cute.  I told them that when they were the Star for the Week they could take him home, but they had to sign a contract first.

Basically they had to agree to take good care of him, take him everywhere they went and help him write about his adventures in the journal.  They signed it and so did their parents.  If it didn't get signed then they couldn't take him home.  I only had one student who didn't return it. (I still let her take him home)

Well this little guy has had all kinds of adventures this year. 

I was amazed at how much each student wrote, and they wrote it as Norbert.  Most entries began  "Hello friends it me Norbert.  On Friday I went home with..." 
  The journal is completely used up!! We had to add extra pages and tuck them in the back.

During the week we place the journal in our Class Books basket so everyone can read it.

So as the year draws to a close I know what to add to my list for next year. 

 I will just buy a little buddy and use a regular composition journal to make sure we have enough pages and place it in a cute reusable grocery bag that I seem to have tons of:)

I'm sure this idea is not new to many of you.  I have actually done this early on when I first started teaching and I guess it just kind of faded from my memory until I saw this little guy on sale.

Let me know if you do something similar in your class. I would love to hear all about it!

The Ugly Truth

Okay, so we all know as teachers we are Super Women!  We selflessly care for the wonderful kiddos in our class.  We put in hours of time into our well aligned curriculum, have fabulous activities, literacy and math centers, inspiring art projects and keep our classroom lovely and tidy. 

Then we go home to wonderful families to prepare fabulous dinners, help with homework, do dishes, spend quality time with everyone and then have time to blog all about it. Right??

 The Ugly Truth is  when school's out there are two things I want to do, either nap or go surfing.  I drive a typical mommy van and it's usually loaded with a beach bag full of suits and towels and my surfboard.  There are many days when I tell my girls, "We can do homework later, mommy wants to surf."  But sadly, (for me) most days we head home to do homework and make dinner. 

Pinned Image

I feel like this all the time.  The Ugly truth is I really do not enjoy cooking at all!! Seriously, cooking just gets in the way of all the other things I would rather be doing.

 Luckily my significant other enjoys cooking and eating.  If it were up to me we would have Macaroni and Cheese or Tuna Sandwiches every night and that's pushing it!   A bowl of popcorn would be fine for me.  He usually prepares dinner while I help my daughters with their homework, or take a nap.

Which takes us to another Ugly Truth.  What does your classroom really look like??  We all stage our pictures a bit to make our classrooms look great, but what's on the other side of that chart stand over there? Holly over at Criss Cross Applesauce is having a fun linky. 

Okay so if you walk into my room it looks pretty good:)

Looks nice from far away, but what are all those papers shoved in those extra desks and whats all that stuff hiding under the table?

My book center looks pretty good, games look a bit scraggly though

Writing center has lots of fun stuff in there, but I think its starting to pile up

Umm, okay don't know where to put these things and this is just ugly
along with the horrible blue paper drawers

My center chart looks a little frayed and what's all that behind there?

All my PE equipment-Where am I supposed to store it??
And it's blocking my beautiful clean closet...
not bad, just don't look down....

I guess I could straighten up a bit, but there are creepy, crawly things in there!
So I just open it and toss things in.

I love this bulletin board of my Star of The Week letters...
again don't look down
My recycle bin is overflowing and that dead computer
has been in there all year. It's heavy and I don't feel like
lugging it down to the computer lab.

The Ugly truth is I love things to look nice and tidy, and I usually just open up a drawer and shove everything in. There you have it, confessions of a not so perfect teacher/mommy. Who knew??

Are you ready to share about your Good, Bad and Ugly?? Head on over to

100 Followers and a Freebie

Aloha!! I loved visiting  new blogs this weekend and meeting so many teacher's who just adore their pets.  As I look through my list of blogs that I am following I am amazed at how quickly they add up!!  I seem to stumble upon a new blog daily!! I also can't believe that I am at almost 100 followers!!  Mahalo to everyone who has stopped by and left me great comments and information.
As a token of my appreciation I would like to share a Literacy Idea that I use in my class.

I usually just call this the ABC center.  I choose a theme or topic that we have been working on such as habitats or geography.  I then provide  books about that topic and a few dictionaries for students to browse through.  The students then hunt for words in that theme that start with each letter of the alphabet.

They really love to challenge themselves to see if they can find a word that fits for every letter.  I share a few books with them to help them get into the hunt.


I'm sure lots of you already have Bad Kitty and Poor Puppy in your class.  My students love all the Bad Kitty books by Nick Bruel.  They are cute, funny and use great vocabulary for each letter of the alphabet.  It's a fun twist on Alphabet Books.

I start them off with a few letters of the alphabet and they are ready to find the rest of the words on their own.  This is a great way to reinforce alphabetical order, dictionary skills and help build vocabulary.

You can click  on this link to pick up this Freebie  at TpT or click this one for Google Docs.   If you don't have time to photocopy you can just have them write it right into their journals or use lined paper. 

Let me know how this works for your class.

For more great ideas check out Charity Preston's The Organized Classroom Blog.  She is having a blogger challenge to get everyone thinking about what they are posting and how it is helping other educators.  Are you up for the challenge?

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