Sunday, November 16, 2014

What the November???

How on earth did it suddenly become November!?  Let alone, the end of November!  But, I'm really glad it's here, because that means December is just around the corner.  Some of my most favorite classroom activities happen during this special month.
I've got the calendars copied, the cardstock purchased, and the paint ready to go.  We are starting this adorable Christmas Gift tomorrow!  I can't wait!  I started making these calendars during my first year of teaching.  But I took a break from them the last two years, as I adjusted to the new state, district, grade level, and school.  Now I am ready and raring to go! 
Last year was the first year my classroom ever had a little Christmas Elf.  It was more fun than I could have ever imagined!  I really hope we get another one this year.  ;) 
In case we do, I prepared a little Christmas Elf in the Classroom packet. 
It is FULL of activities and ideas to use with your classroom Elf. 
Included in this packet are:
-Two Calendars to fill in for the daily Elf Activities
-Worksheet for students to decide on the Elf’s Name
-Tally Chart and Bar Graph for choosing the Elf’s Name
-30 Suggested Activities (with original matching poems) for your Elf to do
-Two Versions of A Daily Elf Journal
-A Weekly Elf Reflection Page
-A note to leave if your class is too naughty
-A note to leave on your Elf’s last day
Lucky for you, it is ON SALE today and tomorrow. 
Click here to check it out! 
Gingerbread Houses
I LOVE the tradition of having parents come make gingerbread houses with their children.  At first I thought it would be too chaotic, but it was definitely a controlled chaos.  :) 
Pretty soon we will be sending a note inviting parents/families to this special event.  When we do, I will upload a copy of the note here for you to use. 
Have a great week!  :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher

I'm linking up with Stephanie from Falling Into First to help you get to know Ms. Van Orman a little bit better.  :)

 I am 29 and living the dream in Arizona!  I love everything about this state - the warmth, cactuses, palm trees, pools, real Mexican food...  :)  This is my TENTH year teaching!  Can you believe it??? 
I'd just like to take a minute to tell my junior high and high school teachers - HA!  I did it.  I amounted to something.  You didn't think I would, but I did.  :) 
I taught 1st Grade for 7 years in Idaho before moving down to Arizona to my dream job - teaching 2nd Grade! 

Tumblers. Target.  Thank You Cards.  Manicures.  Pedicures.  Pools.  Tanning.  Sunshine.  Singing.  Ice-skating.  Starbucks.  Netflixing.  Flowers.  Books.  Chocolate.  Pink.  Chevron.  Traveling.  Family.  Friends.
I'd love to write children's books, or own a cute, little bookstore.  You know, like the one on You've Got Mail?  Adorable.
Perfectionist.  Compassionate.  Fun.
"Oh yes!  Another inside recess!"  said no teacher EVER!!!
My Family. 
I have three older brothers, three sister-in-laws, three nephews, and four nieces.  They all live in Canada and I miss them constantly! 
Confessions of a Workaholic
The ability to stop time.  Then maybe I'd get everything done in one day!  :) 
*And wouldn't you know, this song came on my Lea Michele Pandora station right now!*
Total morning person!!  I get pretty tired and grumpy from about 4:00 p.m. on...  :/
I can't pick a favorite... I love them all!  But, I especially love my newest products.
I decided on a new classroom color scheme this year, and needed a new alphabet and classroom rules to match.  Since I couldn't find any I loved, I made my own!  I love them!
I may be a good teacher, but I was a poorly behaved student!  I was on a behavior plan starting in the 3rd grade.  I just couldn't keep my mouth shut!  Oh the stories my parents could tell.... but they won't.  :) 
On a more positive note, I toured Europe with my High School Girls Choir.  We went to England, Germany, and Scotland.  We had an amazing time and saw more castles than I knew existed!  We even sang in St. Paul's Cathedral!
Go link up! 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Week Fun!

We survived our first week in 2nd grade! 
The first three days were a whirlwind, to say the least, but we had a great time! 
Meet the Teacher
 On Tuesday, I got to gather supplies and meet most of my kiddos for the first time!  It was wonderful to see all their smiling faces and gear up for the new year. 
I gave them these yummy welcome treats.
Click here to grab these treat toppers. 
I also gave them their first homework assignment! 

I attached this note to a white paper bag.  They brought their bags back on the first day and we shared them throughout the week.  It was so fun to see and hear all about them.  I noticed we have quite a few baseball, hunting, fishing, and gymnastics fans!  :)
Day 1
On the first day of 2nd grade, I had them write their numbers to 200 (or as high as they could go) and draw their self portraits while I gathered supplies and paperwork.  
Our grade level aide took their first day pictures for their scrapbooks. 

Then we went on our traditional scavenger hunt and school tour.  In the past I've always done a Gingerbread Hunt Tour, to go along with the Gingerbread Man and gingersnap cookies.  But, with the new healthy foods guidelines, we had to change it up this year.  Our school theme this year is The Pink Panther.  I started to read one of our back to school books.  When I opened the book, a pink paw fell out.  It had a rhyme on the back introducing him and inviting us to find him.  Each clue led to important places and people around the school.  The last clue led back to our classroom.  Unfortunately, we didn't spot the pink panther, but he will show up another day! 
For our math lesson we graphed how we get home from school, and discussed the data. 
And we ended the day with my FAVORITE activity - Jitter Juice!  We almost had to skip this one this year, due to that stinkin' healthy foods policy.  But of course, we found a way to make it work!  Instead of the recipe Abby uses in her pack, we used sparkling apple cider.  It was a big, bubbly hit!!

Day 2
On the second day of 2nd grade I introduced them to Class Dojo.  
I'll do another post about how we use Class Dojo in our classroom another day.   
We made our All About Me Snapshots. 

The kiddos went on a scavenger hunt around the room answering questions about me!
For math, we made and explored rekenreks. 
To make these rekenreks, I laminated poster board, cut it apart, and punched two holes on each side.  Then I put two black pipe cleaners through the holes and taped one side down.  I had my kiddos count out 5 red and 5 white beads for the top and the same for the bottom.  Once they put their beads on, I taped the other side down.  Then, they chose a sticker and put it on the "starting position" side.  When the rekenreks were all made, I explained how to use them and then introduced the game "Fast Flash".  One person moves some beads over.  The partner has to guess the number as fast as they can.  It was a fun, quick game to become more familiar with the rekenreks.  We'll use these more next week to practice subitizing, adding, and subtracting.   

Since it was the 2nd Day of 2nd Grade, I made this fun activity for us to do. 
Day 3
To start out the third day of 2nd grade, I had them write about their favorite thing about 2nd grade so far. 
Then, we talked about what will make 2nd grade so special and made a "This Year Will Be Sweet" craft.

In the morning, we FINALLY spotted the Pink Panther!  He snuck into our classroom, waved, danced, and went on his way!  Moments later, our Principal came in, dressed in her detective gear, trying to find him.  Apparently, he snuck into school without signing in at the office.  Our Principal spent the whole day looking for him.   She didn't find him until the assembly at the end of the day.  It was great!  (Sadly, I was too slow to get any pictures of the Pink Panther or our Principal.)
Three days down, only 177 to go!!!  ;)
I used these amazing resources to get through our first week!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Guess who's back????

Back again.  Jingle's Back.  Tell a friend.  

Actually, he's not quite back yet.  He'll be arriving right after we finish up our testing.  I became a little too obsessed with the Elf on the Shelf at Christmas time.  As soon as I saw the birthday version, I bought it instantly and knew I HAD to figure out a way to use it in the classroom.  

And I did!

During the school year we celebrate individual birthdays minimally.  We sing to the child and they get to take home a small birthday gift from me.  They are allowed to bring treats to pass out during lunch.  In order to make each child feel special and enjoy their birthday, I like to have one big birthday party at the end of the year.  I bring cupcakes, we play games, and have a really fun time!  I'm super excited to involve the birthday edition of Elf on the Shelf this year.  My class LOVED having the Elf on the Shelf visit us during Christmas, and I know they’ll LOVE seeing him back at our birthday party. 

I also included a behavior management aspect.  To help manage the kiddos during the last month of school, they are going to need to earn the birthday party.  In the note the elf leaves, he explains that he will be watching their behavior each day and reporting to Santa.  If the class displayed appropriate behavior, he will leave them a green dot to put on the present.  If the class did not display appropriate behavior, he will leave them a red dot to put on the present.  The class needs to have 15 green dots on the present, in order for the elf to be allowed to come to the party.  

What's included in this packet?
-Directions for how to set it all up
-Invitations, Thank-You Notes, and Weekly Reflections 
-An Acceptance letter from the Elf
-A Classroom Management plan incorporating the Birthday Elf
-Blank Calendars for April, May, and June 2014
-My calendar for May filled out with elf antics
-Poems to accompany each day
-9 Birthday Party Game Ideas

Click here to check it out!

I will be updating this packet with more pictures and ideas as I use it in my classroom. You can follow all my elf's daily happenings on instagram @jvanorman or by searching the hashtag #birthdayelfintheclassroom

Now, for the best part...
Would you like to win:



You're in luck!  I'm giving it ALL away to ONE lucky reader!  
Enter using the rafflecopter below!  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt

During my first year of teaching, my co-worker gave me an awesome Easter Egg Hunt for my class to use.  It was a picture that needed to be completed.  Students found an egg, read the directions inside, and followed the directions to complete their picture.  I thought it was brilliant!  I loved that it wasn't just a "for fun" activity.  It involved reading/listening.  I used that activity every year... until this year.  My only copy left was so badly photocopied (and beyond outdated) that I had no other choice but to make my own

I put together an Easter picture for students to complete.  I typed up 24 directions to hide in plastic eggs around the room.  When I taught first grade, I had one student at a time find an egg and read us the directions.  This year, I am going to number the directions and let them find them on their own.  I including a recording sheet, so they could see what numbers they still needed to find.  

Included in this packet are:
-an Easter picture scene for students to complete
-24 directions (in 4 formats, including color/bw)
-a recording sheet for independent students

If you would like more directions, or something else added to this activity, please let me know!  I'd be happy to update it!  :)  

If you follow me on instagram, I had a flash freebie for this one today!  It just might happen again, so keep your eyes peeled!  :)

If you missed it, I'll give it away to the first two people to comment on this post!  
(Don't forget to leave your email address.)

Happy {almost} Easter!  


Oh my word..... how is it APRIL already?!?!
I'm linking up {a few days late} with Farley for my April Currently!  

I've spent the weekend catching up on Revenge!  Man, I just can't stop watching it!  It's so addicting.

At first I hated our class picture.  I didn't like the gangster poses, and I really didn't like being front and center...  But when I got the picture back, I really LOVED it!  There's so much personality.  It's my new favorite!  :)

I can't stop thinking about BABIES!!!  My bff just had her third baby last night!  

She's a DOLL!!!
I'm finally heading out to Chicago to visit this summer, and I can't WAIT to meet her!  

This was at the baby shower for her first baby.  
(We really need to take an updated picture this summer, Michelle!)
Fun fact... her first baby was born on my birthday!  We were destined to be best friends!  :)

I can't wait to go on some trips and enjoy some lazy days by the pool.... 
I stupidly volunteered to teach summer school this year.  But it's only in the mornings, Monday through Thursday, and only in June.  I...will...survive.  That still gives me plenty of afternoons for the pool. Since I'm teaching summer school, I'm cramming all my trips into July.  I'm heading to Toronto, Chicago, and VEGAS!  I am beyond excited for the Teachers Pay Teachers conference.  I can't wait to meet all my favorite bloggers and learn some new tips and tricks with tpt!  

See this massive pile of papers????

I have been putting off grading them for toooooooo loooooong.  Since the end of the year is so close, we've been doing daily math and language review pages for morning work, to make sure everyone is ready for 3rd grade.  My favorite review packs came from Amy and Jessi.  Jessi has daily assessments for every 2nd grade math and ela standard.  She's working on assessments for k-6!  Impressive!    

Hours and Last Day
Student hours are 7:45-2:15.  
My official hours at 7:15-3:15.
My real hours are about 6:30-6:30....  but let's not go there....

Our last day is May 22nd!!!  
33 days of school left... and COUNTING!  :)