Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Day Sale!

We have another snow day today! This is getting crazy... -25, snowy, and blowy. SOOOO we're having a sale! We hope this warms you up.

Enjoy your Monday!
- The Sisters -

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five for Friday Link Up

Hey everyone!

The sisters and I were texting back and forth last night hoping we'd get the call and like Sister 1 said... we did! Today was our 4th snow day in January. We've only actually had 10 days with students this month, which is pretty crazy to think about seeing as how it's almost the end of the month!

I thought I was going to wake up, make a cup of hot chocolate, and relax but instead I woke up to a missing dog! We could hear him crying but couldn't find him. Finally, we realized he locked himself in the bathroom. Poor baby, who knows how long he was in there! To make it worse he lost ANOTHER nail and has to wear a cone.

Once all that excitement was over it was time for that cup of hot chocolate. My relaxing didn't last long... an empty dishwasher, a clean kitchen and living room, vacuumed carpet, a little bit of organization in the bedroom, four loads of laundry, and a tasty dessert for I am. PHEWW I'm ready for a nap!

Have you guys ever made these...?

I've been obsessed for the last month. They are super easy. All you need are pretzels, Hershey Kisses, and M&Ms. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Lay out all the pretzels on a cookie sheet, I like to line it with parchment paper (makes for an easy clean up!). Then put one Hershey Kiss on top of each pretzel. Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Try to press an M&M in the middle, if they are still too hard put them back in for a little longer. Once they are melted enough the M&M will go into them easily. I put mine in the fridge, they are way better cold! WARNING: Once you have one you're going to want to eat them all!

Today marks 31 weeks pregnant! Holy moly... time is flying. Only 9 more weeks until I meet my precious baby. Tomorrow we are getting a 4D ultrasound done! I can't even wait. We're going to get pictures and a DVD so we can show off our baby to all our friends and family. Who will the baby look like... me or daddy?????? I hope a nice combination of both of us.

This past week at school we were very busy! Like Sister 1 said, we reviewed nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Grab a parts of speech freebie here!

We also talked a bit about geometry. We started by having the students build 2D shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks. It was a blast. Then we did a cooperative learning activity where students had to list as many things (with 2D shapes) as they could in 5 minutes. It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be, they struggled to think of things. I saw a lot of them looking around the classroom, I love that they were using their resources! Maybe the timer made them nervous????

We also talked about what makes a shape a polygon, they are experts at that now! You can grab a few geometry activities here for free!

We also started a chapter book study on Chocolate Fever. Thanks to Amy Lemons for an awesome activity pack! The kids are totally into the book. I actually hear "aww man" when I say that's the last chapter for today. LOL they wanted to finish the book in one day! Next week we have a cute writing project where they each write about a "fever" they might get. Look for a post about that at the end of next week.

Snow days fly by! It's almost 5 and I haven't started dinner yet. Chili Con Queso Pasta Bake. Tonight is date night in... dinner and a Red Box. I might even make some Monkey Bread. :) Can you tell by all the food talk that I'm pregnant?!? It's all I think about.

Enjoy your weekend!
- Sister 3 -

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snow Day Smiles!

Yippee!!!!  I'm so excited...I just can't hide it!!  No I am not singing an 80's throwback!  We just got our Remind 101 text that we have NO SCHOOL tomorrow due to extremely low temperatures!  I'm one of the sisters who has no use for winter except for the bonus days when we are lucky enough to get the day off. This winter in Michigan has been a rough one...lots of snow and ice and "polar vortex" temperatures.  "Polar vortex?" you ask!  Yeah, I have no idea either but THANK YOU polar vortex whatever you are! Check out the crazy temps....and these are without factoring in the wind chill!  Yes, Monday and Tuesday's temps will be below zero....hmmm another day off next week perhaps?!  A girl can dream can;t she? :)

This week has flown by....well ok it was really only 3 days with kiddos!  We had a big week in our classrooms and in the TPT world!  As we mentioned before, this week we were selected to be in the newsletter!  We feel very excited about this even aside for the "milestone" it celebrates!  We also got a shout-out on TPT's Facebook page and hit 5,000 total sales!!  WAHOO....we were very excited!

This week we worked on Parts of Speech.  We taught thought we taught nouns, verbs, and adjectives already this year.  Then about a week ago, we did a lesson that included this and lets just say some kids must have missed the days we learned these.  So this week we decided to do a fun activity each day for each...hoping this time it would be more clear!  Yesterday was verbs....ANGRY verbs!!  The last few years we've had students color a character from Angry Birds (the app) and attach it to a sentence with a verb that's made to look "angry" in the sentence.  To be honest, I am not sure where we saw this online so I can;t give credit to someone for the idea but we did find the character pics and blew them up a little bigger to color.  Here's a look at how a few turned out...

Cute right?  Our kiddos LOVED making these.  Hopefully we can update you in a few weeks with news that they know exactly what a verb is still!  We have a pack in our TPT store for parts of speech called "Parties of Speech" which is in the process of being revamped!  It is full of great activities but we are planning to add a few more and make it a little cuter!  If you are an elementary teacher, you totally get that last sentence!  You can find it here:

Last but not least, we recently added our most recent emergency sub plans pack.  It goes with the picture book "Lemonade for Sale."  A part of this book is in our reading series and when we used to use it (yes our basal just does not get it done anymore) our students loved this story!  If you have purchased and/or used one of our emergency sub plans before you know these plans come packed with activities that go across the curriculum.  They are perfect for a sub tub if you are required to have one like we are.  All three of us have used one over the last year and they really are a lifesaver on unexpected days out....and we aren't just saying that....check out the great feedback for each!

You can check it out here:

Well that's all for now!  I am off to stay up late and catch up on my DVR because tonight I can!! :)

Happy "Cold" Day to any of you out there around us!

~Sister 1

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Math Day

Today we spent most of our day in meetings. This morning was spent on School Improvement with a touch of grade-level time. Then, we got to treat ourselves to a fun Mexican lunch with some of our Kindergarten eacher friends. Our school is so big that we often get sucked into our own little 2nd grade world. We have the same lunch and prep by grade level, so it's hard to see everyone else. Anyhoo...after lunch we trekked over to another elementary in the district for some math training. I'm not gonna lie and say that I was super pumped for the training. Especially since the Mr. and my babies were snoozing away when I left this morning and had a pretty fun day planned out without me. But, the training did open my eyes to a few cool ideas. The first is something that I plan on implementing soon. It is called Number Talks. Very simple, yet effective. Basically, you pose a math problem for the kiddos (I plan on doing this as a warm-up), and then many different students how they would solve it. Check back this week for some pics and ideas as I try it! Since math is the theme of the day...the first 3 people to comment on this post with their email address will get our Math Wall unit for free! It is loaded with vocab and CCSS related cards to help you. Peace, Sister 2

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I have to admit this before I even start this post.....I thought today was Saturday.  No joke, the entire day I was thinking it was Saturday.  That was not good when about an hour ago it hit me that it was really Sunday!! about not getting your school to-do list done!  Have any of you had those days?  It's been a super busy weekend which again is maybe why it was gone in a blink of an eye!

Sooooo now that we have established that tomorrow is Monday....yes people means back to work!  Although our kiddos have off for MLK Day, we have professional development.  That means learning so many new things sitting through meetings all day.  We are all at a point where a whole day in our classrooms for planning, prepping, and catching up would be A-mazing but such is life....School Improvement and Math PD it is.  We saved our MLK activities for Tuesday and will share them with you this week! 

Today we were featured in the this week's TPT newsletter! Talk about feeling wonderful about yourself!  We were asked to be in there for a milestone of our store hitting 20k in sales!  It's so great to know that we are helping out other teachers with products they really seem to love.  Check it out here!

As you have read in many posts before this one, two of us are engaged and planning weddings!  This weekend was a big deal for me.  I FINALLY ordered my dress.  I say "finally" because I am a terrible decision maker who has lots of anxiety when I do make one so this was a decision about 2 months in the making.  I ordered the first dress I ever tried on which I knew was the one back then....just had to have some reassurance (which came in the form of 2 more bridal shop visits).  Then today my "husband-to-be" and I started looking at houses. What an overwhelming but fun experience.  Hopefully very soon we will be not only saying "I do" to each other but to a new house to begin our life in as well!

Can't imagine how the last two days got away from me.....

Have a great Monday and for those of you who get the day off...enjoy! 

~Sister 1  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five For Friday Freebies!


Today we are linking up with Doodle Bugs. Who doesn't love Five for Fridays? Especially when it's five FREEBIES!?!

Our kiddies have a really hard time with the difference between nouns, verbs, and adjectives. I can't tell you how many times we've gone over them and yet they still get confused. We decided to do a little cooperative learning activity to help their understanding. We put one of these on each table. Groups of four had to work together. They got one minute to write down as many nouns, verbs, and adjectives they could before rotating to the next table.

They did a pretty good job... hopefully this means they are FINALLY catching on. Grab this nouns, verbs, and activities cooperative learning activitiy here!

This week we've also been working on skip counting, specifically by 5s, 10s, and 100s. To make it a bit more challenging we've had different starting points... so when we count by 10s we don't start at 130 but we'll start at 137. Talk about a brain bender! Gotta get these kids thinking. Grab a skip counting sheet here.

Next Tuesday we are going to focus our writing lesson around MLK. We have tons of great informational books to read and share with the students. We are going to use this organizer and final copy paper. It's nothing fancy but will get the job done. Sometimes that's all you really need! Why make everything a production???  Included in that file is also a winter writing organizer and final copy paper. Enjoy!

Evens and odds always need to be reviewed. We have a full evens and odds pack that will take you through the year posted on TpT but you can grab a free snapshot here

There you have it, 5 freebies.... just for you! We appreciate you visiting our blog and hope you stop by again to follow our journey in teaching, snatch some free stuff, and learn about us!

- Sister 3 -

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Happy Wednesday! We're over the hump of the first full week back to school after holiday break.

Before break the sisters and I decided we needed to incorporate an intense fluency routine into our day. Our kids are so choppy I sometimes wonder if robots are reading! We found an awesome fluency pack on TpT made by Courtney Keimer. It includes 35 passages that will take you through the year, with reading levels appropriate to the average second grade student.

So you're probably wondering how we work it... 

First we made bar graphs to match each of the passages. We copied enough passages to take us through the end of the year. Then we copied the graph to the back of the passage.
Each student was given a Duotang folder to keep everything organized. Inside the folder is a page protector. Inside the page protector we keep our current passage.  The page protector is wonderful because they can write on it with dry erase markers and they wipe off clean. The old passages will be kept behind the page protector. 

The students were paired by level. We paired high readers with low readers and worked toward the middle. On Monday the students were introduced to our new fluency routine. We have the partners play 'rock, paper, scissors' to see who reads first.  We set a timer on the Smart Board for one minute. While one partner is reading the other partner is tracking the words and marking any errors. When the timer goes off the partner marks the last word read and counts the number of words that were read correctly. Then we switch roles. Once both students have their total numbers calculated they return to their desk and graph. They graph everyday to track improvement. 

I have to admit, day one took us about 40 minutes to go over all the directions and expectations and to do cold timings. Tuesday we cut it in half and it took about about 20-25 minutes. Today we were down to 15 minutes! They are getting the hang out it! We will keep you updated on how this is working and if we are seeing progress in their fluency.

We want to know... how do you get your kids to be fluent readers???   

- Sister 3 -

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Recap

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break! This post is going to start as a back track to a few projects we did the week before we went on vacation. They are just too fun not to share!

We had been working on our landform unit and decided that instead of the old clay model final project that's the standby we'd try something new! First we asked our wonderful parents to send in the things we needed to complete our landform models.

Here's what you need: blue frosting, green frosting, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, Hershey Kisses, chocolate chips, Gold Fish, paper plates, and plastic knives... You are probably wondering why there are so many other goodies on the table?? Those were for "Reindeer Day."

Back to the landform model... Here's what we did!

Each table group got a plate full of the ingredients they would need. Each student got a paper plate with a spoonful of blue frosting on it. Then they started to create their model. Take a look at how great they turned out...

What teacher students don't love a project that involves food!?! This project was a HUGE hit. It's definitely replacing the old outdated clay models!


I mentioned "Reindeer Day" above. We found a great pack from Hope King and couldn't resist creating a full day of fun around it! We made a reindeer snack and enjoyed Rudolph. We also made reindeer food for the students to sprinkle on Christmas Eve. One of their favorite parts of the day was making a reindeer ornament. It's an oldie but a goodie!


Fast forward to break. We had tons of great plans... writing lessons and creating units. We did a LITTLE bit of that but mostly we spend our time relaxing and enjoying family and friends. That's what this time of the year is all about, right??

I got a KitchenAid Mixer and had to try it out. I spent a lot of time perfecting the recipe and I think I've finally got it!  I even got fancy, these are milk and white chocolate chip cookies. Next batch, M&M.  

I also registered for my baby shower. We spent so much time researching quality products and finding the cutest things for our little bundle of joy! I never knew how fun it would be to walk around with that little scanner and pick out things we'll need. 

Speaking of babies and preganancy... one of the best things I got for Christmas this year was a preganancy pillow. ALL expecting mothers NEED this pillow!

As you know we are from the Detroit area.  Detroit is a BIG hockey town!  The city hosted the 2014 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic. Sister 1 took full advanage of the hockey fun, her and her fiance have been looking forward to the festivities for the past 2 years! They went ice skating at Comerica Park downtown on Christmas Eve morning. She even went to a handful of the hockey games at Comerica and "The Big House" at U of M. Poor Sister 1 hates winter and of course all these games are outside! It was beyond cold and snowing like crazy but she is a TRUE hockey fan and realized that both of those things made it a real "Winter" Classic. The worst part of the day was the hour drive home that took over 5 hours due to snow and ice. But she wouldn't have missed it for anyting!

Speaking of snow and ice... the best end to our holiday break is with TWO snow days! Our school district is closed tomorrow and Tuesday! Who doesn't love an extended break?!? It's been snowing here since late Saturday night and it doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. I think we have over a foot of snow! (Thank goodness for snow blowers!) Hopefully everyone is staying warm.

-Sister 3-