Monday, December 30, 2013

Last Day in the 40s with a Linky Round Up

Enjoying my "last day in the forties" internet surf time....
Here's the "pre (me) and post(my son) birthday celebrations with the family...not feeling almost 50...
...until I realized I have a 19 year old now ....when did that happen?????

...and happened upon this cool 
hosted by Jennifer over at 

soooo...... I thought I'd join in the fun.  

You'd be amazed at all the great educational blogs there are that have 
some wonderful ideas to share!
Hop over and check it out…
but be sure to follow my  Swamp Frog blog for some more upcoming give aways in the new year….I'm revamping my math rotations and I've got fluency on the brain…can't wait to share what I'm thinking might work to help my kiddos (and hopefully yours as well) become more fluent math fact thinkers…

There's still a day left in the Math Fact Fluency packet giveaway HERE
Hop back in the posts and sign up for a chance to win this packet that has been so useful for me and my frogs! 
....and then go check out all the wonderful blogs that are linking up with

Enjoy your New Year's Eve! 
And be safe!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Math Fact Fluency Checks & A Giveaway

Happy "Almost" 2014!
In an effort to help my second graders become more fluent in their addition and subtraction facts, I've created some fluency checks that are turning out to be very helpful and very low key for my kiddos.
These short checks can be given as timed or un-timed  tests for fluency of math facts to 20.  
There are 23 One Minute Fluency Checks 
Five 1-Minute fluency checks
Teacher Data Graphs to keep records of where the kids are on the fluency check spectrum.
Student Data Graphs to help students keep records of how many times they're taking the checks before moving onto the next level.
I've even got some labels to help you set up your own system of fluency checks to allow students to progress at different rates.

We practice math fact fluency on a daily basis in my classroom.... during our math rotations, calendar math time, and hallway quick checks... You can download a set of the fact cards I use with the kids on my class website HERE or by clicking the picture of my class homepage below...
When I print out the cards, I set the printer to print 2 pages onto one.  This makes the cards small enough to fit into an Altoid Tin box that is just right for my kiddos to grab and go when they are practicing.  I mix the subtraction with the addition cards...and try to keep the math fact families together so they get used to switching back and forth between the symbols.

If you would like to check out some more resources for math fact fluency, hop over to a blog I write for called Second Grade CCSSM Resources...There's a whole page devoted to fluency and my thoughts as well as freebies from others to help increase math fact fluency with your kiddos...
I've also got some resources from the K-2 Math Fact Fluency Book Study we did this summer...I still refer to the book to this day and LOVE the suggestions on how to help the kiddos with fluency and their's easily one of my favorite PD books every!

In honor of some family birthdays this month...
my son turns 19 on the 28th of December
and it's the big
for me on the 31st!
I thought I'd give away a couple copies of my Math Fact Fluency Checks...
one from my TpT Store and the other from my TN Store...

Join in the fun and best of luck!  I'll announce the winners on January 1, 2014!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

May your day be filled with blessings!
Merry Christmas!
From my family to yours!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Math Task Logic Puzzle: Christmas Theme

We worked on this Math Task the half day before Christmas Break and it was a HUGE success!
The kids were engaged and working hard to find all the solutions!
Such a great activity to help them realize that there CAN BE more than one way to solve a problem!
I projected this on the board...

Cut these out so they each had their own strip of characters to manipulate as they talked through the clues... I gave each person a strip and they cut each character out to manipulate :)

Then we started building the solutions...I stopped after 7 as we were running out of time.
I used the clipart and ppt to manipulate on the board so they could show me how they wanted the characters to be in I guess you could say that they had a big hand in creating this download :)

They loved it so much, they wanted one to take I told them I would email a new one to them for the Christmas break so they could see how many solutions they could come up with at home :)
So here's the slide that will be sent to them next week to see what they can do... 

I think I might start working on some puzzles for January and February as well...just have to come up with some different graphics and clues...

Time to head to 
Krista Wallden's TpTstore and see what she has in stock..
and definitely to 
MY Cute Graphics to see all the adorable free clipart she has online!

Hope you're enjoying your break...I know this one's a little too late for this year....but you can always hop over to my TpT store and save it for next year!

Let me know if you have any favorite graphics that would go great for January and February themes and I'll be sure to add them into the mix...just comment below :)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Growing Candy Canes

Grinch Day was a HUGE success....still working on the post to share all our 
Second Grade Observations as we used magnifying glasses this year!

....SOOOOO.....Now it's time to get ready for...

... a Polar Express Day...

...and that means...
!!!!!  PJ DAY !!!!!
a sweet snack 
and some yummy hot chocolate

I thought it would be fun to stir our hot chocolate with Candy Canes ....
even more fun would be to 

You heard me...a CANDY CANE GARDEN!

I've done some research and looked at many different ways to grow a candy cane garden.
has a cute idea for a garden if you'd like to check it out HERE

and if you type "candy cane garden" in a Pinterest search....You'll get a TON of ideas!

So...I headed to Dollar Tree to see what I could find to help me with the supplies...
....and....SUCCESS !!
Instant Snow a CAN!
4 bowls for a dollar...perfect for 4 groups!  Each group gets their own bowl to create the garden!
Candy Cane seeds!

First step is to create the magical soil for the candy cane seed to grow in...

The plan is to open the can of snow and add some water then watch it grow...

If you've never done is SnOw MUCH FUN!
You can read about our Snow Fun last year HERE...

After the kids have has some time to explore with magnifying glasses...
We'll plant the candy cane seeds in the magic soil.
....then the next day ....
Each table will have a garden of candy canes they can use to stir their cup of hot chocolate!

Have a Wonderful Day!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gearing Up for Grinch Day 2013 ~ Second Grade Style!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Grinch!
And Grinch Day has been a favorite of mine since 2010...
when I moved to second grade this year, I was worried about doing Grinch Day again...
....some of the same kids....wasn't sure if they would think it was too " first gradeish"...
But...not to worry... I took a vote 
and you would have thought I had a 
HUGE brain bubble to even consider thinking that there would be NO Grinch Day  in second grade...

"How will we make our Grinch Dust?"

"When will we get to talk about all the Grinchy things he does?"

"Don't you want to wear your Grinch Shirt this year?"
(shirt???? just A shirt???? I have a week's worth of Grinch Wear...and NOT just shirts either!'s my take on what I "think" Grinch Day in Second Grade will look like for us this year...

Grinch Dust...apparently is a must...(kid's words...not mine)...
Here's a new topper for the baggie..

Need a reminder on how to make Grinch Dust...just hop over to this older post...HERE...

We're learning problem solving strategies playing the game of Tapatan...
so here's a Grinch and Heart Tapatan board for some Math Partner Stations...

I went to Math.About.Com and printed off some regrouping with subtraction worksheets...added the Grinch graphic from above....and Voila....Grinch Math...

After listening to the story....and watching the animated movie...I thought I'd change things up this year
with this "quick draw" YouTube video of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" the drawing aspect as it leads into directed drawing of the Grinch quite nicely...

Kathy Barbro at...
has a cool directed draw for the Grinch on her site...

I think we'll draw him in the middle of our paper and then use the phrase sort to put phrases to 
describe the Grinch at the beginning of the story as well as at the end of the story.
You can pick up the phrases here..

I'll have to let you know if I come up with more...I LOVED our "How to Make the Grinch Grins" from First grade...but gotta think opinion maybe we'll write about "Why" we think the Grinch is so mean at the beginning of the story and "What Caused" him to change his opinion to be nicer at the end of the story...not sure just yet...

Hope you have a Grinchy Day planned for your kiddos!
If you've got some ideas for writing or other activities for a second grade Grinch Day...please leave a comment and let me know...I'd LOVE to hear about what you do!

Keep Calm
Grinch On!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter Tapatan Boards

Have you hopped over to the cutest graphics in the world?

Laura Strickland designs some of THE cutest things to use with my games!

I LOVE the game Tapatan
and decided to spend a little time on this gorgeous "Ice Day Off" from school to create
some winter boards for my kiddos to use.

I thought we could use marshmallows as our "chips" for a couple of the boards...then there's always the fun erasers from the Dollar Spot at Target or Dollar Tree...

Pick up a copy of the boards to use with your kiddos HERE....

Enjoy your wintery weekend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Test Post from Blogger App

Hello All!
Checking out a new app for posting to the blog that was available for free
through Apps Gone Free today!

Here's a pic of my new project thanks to the adorable graphics at

I plan to place these darlings all over the room like the Elf (I'm too cheap to buy) !

Stop over and check out all the wonderful graphics at My Cute Graphics!

And if you've never used Apps Gone Free.... you'll be surprised by some of the apps that go free for awhile!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Swamp Frog Turns 3 Years old with Horrible Harry Free Unit

Don'tcha just love being horrible? ....well at least sometimes???

I LOVE Suzy Kline's Horrible Harry character!
Her stories about this lovable yet horribly naughty little guy are some of my favorite beginning chapter books to use with my second grade readers!

We started the year with

I tried using the kindle version for a read aloud and ended up getting the audio version as well so the kids could read and listen at the same time.  It was very successful for my beginning chapter book readers!  And they LOVED using the Kindle!

During Christmas Time I wanted to try to move into...
  Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise

Harry's soooo horrible, yet sooo wonderfully thoughtful at the same time!  Helps remind me that even my naughtiest of froggies can be thinking wonderful thoughts in a different way!

Today is the 
The Swamp Frogs 
Third Year Blogversary

Sooooo thought I'd celebrate by 
sharing a new twist on an Literature Unit I wrote a longggg time ago for 

I've updated the word work to be used in a reading journal that will engage my students as they cut and glue the words as they put them in ABC order.
I've also added some comprehension questions that will require text evidence to answer thoughtful questions about each chapter in 

Click a picture to download a copy of this updated literature unit for this adorable 
Chapter Book by Suzy Kline with one of the most lovable, horrible characters I know...

Just a small token of ...
Thanks for all the support during the last three years of blogging and sharing!  
I've met some AMAZING teachers in this virtual world of professional development!

Enjoy your upcoming holidays!