Open House and A Birthday

I know many of you started back to work this week, but it was my 4th week in and this week we had Open House. I was a bit stressed about it, because I really didn't have much up on my walls and didn't want my parents to come into an empty class.

So we buckled down this week and finished all kind of fun projects.
We finally finished all of our Surf Buddies!!
They came out so cute. I love the way they all have their unique flair.
They all got their reward necklaces.  These are what the girls received...
and these are what the boys got.
I am using them for their behavior clip chart, AR, and other assorted recognition.
We did another timeline of what we do in a day.
I love this one
He has a smiley face all through the day...
until he goes home, lol.  His mom told me he loves coming to school:)
I personally know this little guy and he has a pretty happy home life in case you were worried;)
I had students write clues about themselves so their families could guess which was their paper.
I told them to just fill up the page with as many clues as they could think of.
Then they drew a little cover to hide who it was.

They were so excited to have their parents find their pictures.

We also finished our plant lifecycles for Science.
We started our Surfer Of The Week, (formerly Star Of The Week) which was little old me:)

I brought in lots of items to share with the students and they oohed and aaahed over my treasures:)

 My only Barbie left from my collection

 Ribbons from Track and Cross Country in High School
Pictures of my pets and sketches I do for fun.
Then they all wrote me letters telling me what they liked about what I shared and the class.

I love getting these letters every year!! I put them all into a book and place it in our class library.  I pick a new Surfer at the end of the week and they are so excited to share and receive all the wonderful letters from their classmates.
Open House was a success and I enjoyed talking with all of the families.  I was so happy to receive such sweet compliments about how much their child loved the class and how bright and colorful our room was.  They also loved the Surf Theme and the Clip Chart which they have heard so much about at home.
The highlight of  Open House however was another timeline of sorts. The parents loved this and thought it was a hoot.  Well, the ones who had kids with close guesses anyway:)

The students knew my Birthday was coming up because of my cupcake on the timeline.

So I had them guess how old they thought I would be turning today.

Okay, I'm liking these answers...A+

Still okay:)

Good Guesses

Okay these kids are right on, but more to the left please...

Okay this is pushing it...70, and 71??

Whaaat?? I didn't think I looked that old,  hahahaha!!
I love doing this activity, it really gives you an idea of what kids have number sense or at least relate who you are to what they know in their own life.  The kids who have close guesses usually tell me they just wrote how old their mom was:)

 I love these little guys and we celebrated with a licorice treat:)

Aren't they just the cutest:)
So today I am officially 44 years old!! Yikes, I'm getting up there.  What am I doing for my birthday??  If you follow me then I think you probably can guess.  I am headed to Waikiki today to surf.  Here on the North Shore waves have been non-existant for weeks.  So I told the family I wanted to go to Diamond Head, one of my favorite surf spots in town, and the only place with waves right now.  My hubby surprised me by getting a hotel room in town so we can stay and play all weekend:))  So I am unplugging for the weekend and going to enjoy the surf and sun.
 I hope everyone had a fantastic week, especially those of you who just started back, and that the weekend is wonderful as well:)


Personal Timelines

Happy Monday! I wanted to share one of the fun activities that we started this week.  I told you our class is working on timelines and today I sent home a project for their personal timelines.

At the beginning of the year I ask the students to make a timeline of their life from birth to now.  They find a picture for each year of their life and put them in order.  They then tell about something they could do at that age.  In the past I have just cut pieces of butcher paper for them to create their timelines on.  Here is the last one I made. It may be time to update:)

Last year I found these from Really Good Stuff.

I thought this was perfect and ordered them.  They were a bit small and you have to cut the pictures to make them fit in the little squares.  There isn't much room for the kids to write on either, but it does help them to organize their work.  Here is my daughters that she created last year.

Here is my oldest daughters from 3 years ago on construction paper.

Either way you decide to do them they are just so wonderful to look at and share.  Both of my daughters teacher's laminated them and I have them in my keepsake box at home:)

I send home a letter telling parents what we are doing and include a sample picture of a timeline.  I remind them that this is a family project, not a parent project, so that the writing and decorating should be done by their child. 

Here is a sample letter to parents:

 I usually give them two weeks to complete them and then we begin sharing two or three timelines per day.

Some students never send them in and that is fine.  I know some parents are busy and it is just not possible.  I don't make a big deal about it, but once parents come in and see them, they seem to find the time:) 

How many of you do personal timelines??  I'd love to hear any new ideas you may have:)



This quarter our Social Studies curriculum is all about history and cultures. The main focus for second grade is Timelines, Family Trees and our Ancestry.  Every year we do a couple of timelines and I integrate this into our literature with sequencing.  I also integrate with math so that we have more time to work on these skills.  Every year we do a Birthday Timeline.

Last year I just had some cute Month headers that my colleague made and shared with me.  The students placed their name and birthday on a piece of paper and put them in order on the timeline.

This year I revamped it a bit.

I found some cute cupcake clipart and then created some month headers with the matching cupcake.
I printed enough cupcakes for each month and had the kids write their name and day of their birthday.

They had to work together to put them in the correct order.  I then had them do a graphing sheet to go along with how many birthdays were in each month.

This was lots of fun for them, especially when it's about their birthday.  I plan to keep it up on the board for awhile and then I will move it to a more permanent position in the classroom. I am also going to rearrange it starting with August since that's when school started.

Next week we will begin personal timelines.  We do them every year and they are just so cute.
I post mine on the first day of school and they love to see Ms. Gandara when she is a baby:)

I will share those later in the week.

If you are interested in the Birthday Timeline I tweaked it a bit after I did it with my class to make it more user friendly to everyone. You can pick it up in my TpT or TN store, but I will send it to the first three people to leave me a comment about it:) Don't forget your email address!

Even if you're not in the top three you can leave me a comment;) I love to hear what everyone has to say.


Back To School Purchases

Alright how many of you spent a little cash this weekend at the TpT Back To School Sale?? I had a few items in my cart and tried to stick to items that I really needed. There is just soo much out there and once I start looking I know I am in Big Trouble!!

 Anywhoo I am linking up to a fun party about what purchases I have made.

Blog Hoppin' is hosting a Sneak a Peek linky

The first item has been sitting in my cart for awhile.  I teach habitats next quarter and was looking for new ideas. Jen over at the Teacher's Cauldron has this cute little unit.


Of Course I also purchased her Beach Time Centers

They are so fun and match perfectly with my theme:) 

I also purchased these cute Message Book Labels from Lori over at

They are a great addition to my writing center. I already printed them out and the kids love writing in the message books.  What a great idea:) If you need some other great writing ideas check out her wonderful blog.
My next item was Back To School Mystery Messages from Cara Carroll.  I needed a fun activity to keep my little guys busy after they finish their morning work.  This is a great way to keep them engaged with math and writing.
 Back to School Mystery Messages
 Nicole over at Teaching With Style had some cute little What To Do When I am Finished posters.  It comes with lots of choices for posting what students can do when they complete their work.I already am using it in my class:)

From Rachelle over At What The Teacher Wants I purchased her Common Core Math and ELA Galore.  These are great checklists to help me keep track of the CCSS for what I have taught and need to teach or reteach.

Something else that I absolutely love is this cutesy binder I bought from Bridget at Lovely Little Leaders

I love all the pages for this!! It's just so cute and fun and now I am completely organized, lol!!

And of course this had been sitting in my cart for awhile and I just had to grab it:)

Cute, cute, cute.  I bought the  book  Surfer Chick after Swersty stopped by my blog to tell me she had created this great little unit.  I have already read the book to my students and now I just need to go through all these wonderful resources and choose some fun activities to go with it:)

I hope if you made some purchases it didn't set you back too much and that your kiddos are enjoying fun new items from teacher's across the country. I truly love that we are all helping each other out and learning and sharing new ideas in the process.  So what did you buy???

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