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The Sisters in Hawaii!

This past Saturday I got the opportunity to listen to The Sisters with some of my Hawaiian blogger friends.  Gail and Joan were so kind to take a picture with us, and we felt like we were with celebrities!

From left to right: Gail, Courtney from Teaching in Paradise, Tonya from Tonya's Treats for Teachers, Corinna from Surfin' Through Second, Nicole from Teaching With Style, me, and Joan.

It was AMAZING and so INSPIRING!  I had read both the Daily 5 and CAFE books a few years ago, but it was so much better to hear them speaking in person.  If you're not familiar with The Sisters, you can read more about them, the Daily 5 and CAFE {here}.

They shared some really great information that any teacher in any grade can use and implement in their classrooms.  The focus of this conference was on using CAFE in the classroom.

There was a TON of information shared, and I took LOTS of notes!  During the next few days, I'm going to share with you guys some of the more important things I took from listening to The Sisters.  Some of the things they said, really impacted me as a special education teacher.  They brought up some really great points that I hadn't thought of before but made perfect sense!

So this is going to be a short blog post for today, but I'll be back later this week with more info and stuff I learned!  For now, I want to leave you with this quote:

"If we continue what we've always been doing, we'll get the same results."

And now isn't that the truth?

2nd Grade Educents Bundle!

Are you ready for some great resources for your second grade classroom? If so, you are going to LOVE this awesome deal by Educents and some fabulous bloggers!  This bundle will give you 24 amazing products for only $29.99!!  That's less than a $1.25 for each product.  That's an awesome deal you don't want to pass up!

I'm very excited to be a part of the bundle with Educents!  I know you will love my Thanksgiving Differentiated Math Centers!

My kiddos love these cute center activities.  You'll find 6 different center activities that can be differentiated for your students and each one has a recording sheet for you to check their learning.

There are 23 other products in our bundle to get your kids learning!  Hop along to see all the goodies you will get!  

Special Teacher for Special

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But that's not all!   I am giving you a chance to Pin It to Win It (well you win any item from my store.)  Pin any image from my blog and enter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The deal won't last long so head over now!

What's for Dinner Wednesday

I love to cook.  I know that puts me in the minority with a lot of people, but I love finding new recipes and cooking for my family.  What I don't love is walking through the door after a day of teaching and scrambling to find something for dinner.  During the school year, we've been known to eat a lot of spaghetti and tacos.  That gets old....quick!

I've committed myself to planning out our weekly meals with easy-to-make meals that I know my kiddos (triplet 7-year-olds and a 14-year-old) will actually eat.  I know other teachers are struggling with this same problem so What's for Dinner Wednesday is born!

Every Wednesday, I'll post 4-5 recipes we've had during the past week.  Maybe this will inspire you to find some new recipes and ideas for dinner.

You can find this easy, slow cooker recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs {here} by Six Sisters Stuff.

Ok, seriously this next dish was AMAZING!  There's no Olive Garden in Hawaii.  :(  So when we want pasta, I need to make it myself.  You can find the recipe for Spicy Romano Chicken with Artichoke Hearts and Sundried Tomatoes {here} from Boss Sanders.

I love experimenting with tacos and these BBQ Baked Chicken Tacos {here} by Mix and Match Mama were perfect for keeping tacos from being boring.

In Hawaii, football comes on MUCH earlier in the day.  Every Monday, we take turns recording Monday night football and having a potluck dinner at one of my neighbors' houses.  This past Monday, I brought my favorite Mac n' Cheese recipe {here} by Emeril Lagasse.  Don't be scared, because this recipe comes from Emeril.  It is really super easy and anyone can make it.  Make sure you use sharp cheddar.  I really think that makes a difference.

I love an easy sandwich night and these Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches {here} by Picture Perfect Cooking were yummy!

I love using Pinterest to find new ideas for dinner.  You can follow my recipe board {here}.

Where do you get your dinner ideas?

Dealing with a Student in Crisis

Hi everyone!  Today I'm over at A Special Sparkle with some important tips for dealing with students in a crisis.

Come check out my post {here} so that you're prepared in case you ever have a student in crisis in your classroom.  And please leave any helpful hints you might have for others.

An October Giveaway!

Happy fall everyone!  How is it that today is the first day of fall?  Here in Hawaii, it doesn't really feel very fallish.  Other than getting a little bit more windy at night and it's rained a little bit more, everything is the same in Hawaii.  

But in honor of all you actually experiencing fall, I'm joining up with some of my bloggy friends for a giveaway hosted by Surfin' Through Second.

Here's all the awesome stuff you could win!

Surfin' Through Second is donating her Creatures of the Night unit about nocturnal animals.

Color Me Kinder is adding in her Fire Up the Grill unit for working on teen numbers.

You have all the way to next Saturday to enter so don't miss out!!!

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I Can Count Within 1-30 (Freebie)

At the beginning of the year, my 1st graders were needing a little help remembering how to count forwards and backwards.  They were pretty good at counting if they started counting at the number 1 but were struggling to count on from any other number.

So I made this little activity to help them out and give them some extra practice.

I printed off the number cards 1 - 30 and divided them into a pile of 1-15 and 16-30.  Students took turns drawing two cards and counting from the first number to the 2nd number.  We practiced counting forwards and backwards.

We also practiced writing numbers starting with the first card we drew.

This little activity was great practice for my kiddos and it's a FREEBIE for you!  Just click on the picture to download.

Learning Names

Learning how to identify and spell your name can be tricky for some students.  Some students need extra practice, while some will quickly pick it up just by practice writing it and seeing it on their desk tags.

Here's a fun, quick activity that you can easily differentiate for your students.  I like to write the students' names on cardstock and cut them into puzzles.  For my students who are just initially learning their names, I just cut the name into 2 or 3 parts.  As they become more familiar with their name, I will start cutting it into more and more pieces until they are putting their whole name together.

I provide the envelopes with their name written on the front until they can put their name together without looking at an example.  

To keep my students from getting tired of doing the same puzzle everyday, I sometimes take the puzzle out and add magnetic letters in the envelope.  You can also write letters on bottle caps, clothespins, or any other material/or manipulative you can find.

This isn't just for those Kindergarten babies either.  You wouldn't believe how shocked I was when I realized one of my 7-year-old sons couldn't write our last name.  How in the world did I fail at that as a teacher and parent?  On my behalf, the name Grimes-Graeme is long and pretty tricky.  My husband swears it wasn't hard for him to learn it as a kid, but I'm kinda doubtful.   I made a last name puzzle for my son to work on and we've been "singing" Gri ~ mes - Gra ~ eme for days.  I "think" he's pretty much got it now.  :)

Do you have any tricks for learning names?