I have teamed up with some fabulous fellow bloggers to create an *awesome* Fall packet for you!!

We've been working on the packet for a few weeks now so I am super excited to share it with you!

There are over 70 pages of fall themed Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies activities for you to do with your kiddos!

The BEST part about the packet is that you can snag it for *FREE* for one week only!
All you have to do is follow each one of our blogs and fill out the little questionnaire below:
{click the link below}
Follow our blogs to receive your freebies!

We will send your Fall packet out in a week.
This will only last for this week! September 30th-October 7th, so follow us fast! After this giveaway we will be placing the packet in our stores to sell!

*The giveaway is now over*
You can find my Pumpkin Science Life Cycle and Experiment unit for sale in my TpT store.

Click the picture to go there and check it out!

Congrats to my Versatiles winner, Lorina!!  I'll be sending you an email to make sure you get your prize!

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I'm almost at 600 followers!  So exciting!  To celebrate all of you, I would like to share with you my poetry book cover.

I love teaching poems, chants, and songs to my class.  We sing songs about social studies content, chants about science conent, and read poems about reading strategies.  We sing songs before we leave the room, and songs about the days of the week.  We say chants abot the plant life cylce and chants about our home state, Hawaii.  We love it all!

I make my students a poetry book each year.  Each book has about 50 blank white pages in it with a cardstock cover and back.  I use a heavy duty stapler to adhere it, but a comb bind would work, as well.  Kids keep these in their book boxes so they can read them during Read to Self time to build fluency through repeated reading.  I also try to find recordings of the songs and chants or record my own students singing or chanting them to put on out class iPods.  Kids love listening to the songs and chants during reading centers.

I introduce one poem a week by doing call and response for each line.  We then practice singing it altogether.  I copy off the poem for each student so they have it in front of them as we are learning it.  Some need that visual cue.  We then talk about what the poem means.  Did we learn a new concept?  We we learn a new poetic element (rhyme, alliteration, etc), did we practice a skill we already knew?  Then the students sketch and label their pictures of what the poem taught them.  This is a OCDE Project GLAD® (Guided Language Acquisition Design) strategy, but it also ties in nicely with Marzano's vocabulary program.

Speaking of OCDE Project GLAD®, I love to use academic poems when I can.  Here is a freebie I made for you to help you get started with poetry books in your classroom.  Have so much fun!

What poems would you put in your poetry book?

Freebie Fridays

Last week was a super crazy week for me.  I took the ferry to Maui on Friday and Saturday for a training called Kahua - intro to Hawai‘ian Culture, then flew off to Honolulu for an EdisonLearning conference in Waikiki.  It was great to get to go to both of these professional developments!  Plus, I had never been to Waikiki before, so it was fun to get to see the famous beach!

At Kahua, we talked about how your name and where you call home can make up who you are.  Celebrating both of these will help build relationships and community in your classroom.  We started out by making nametags, then going around the circle and telling about ourselves and how we got our name.  Of course I got nervous and forgot my name story!!  So I'll tell you, instead :)  I was supposed to be a boy!  My mom got an ultrasound and the doctor told her I was a boy.  I went home from the hospital in a blue outfit that said 'Daddy's Little Boy".  My name was going to be Nicholas Daniel.  No joke, my name is Nicole Danielle.  Haha!
My name tag: boats, ocean, sunshine, my family, and the University of Oregon :)
Another thing I took away from Kahua was celebrating the place we live.  We learned all about Maui - the history of the Lahainaluna high school (one of the only public boarding schools in the country and the oldest school west of the Rockies), and took a tour bus all around Ka‘anapali and Lahaina.  It was so great!  It made me really want to learn more about the history of Lana‘i.  I know some history associated with the Dole pineapple plantation, but there is still so much more to learn.
Sunset from Lahainaluna High School.  So amazing!
4 out of the 6 new teachers this year.  
As I left Kahua, I decided that I am going to learn as much as I can to incorporate Hawai‘ian traditions into my classroom.  I typed up four Hawaiian songs and had my students glue them into their poetry books.

Here are the best audio versions of the songs I've found to teach your class:

Hawaii Ponoi ($0.99):
Hawaii Aloha ($0.99):
‘Ekolu Mea Nui (free):
Hawaiian Alphabet (free):

I made the song sheets into a little freebie packet if you are interested in teaching your class some Hawai‘ian songs, too!  Included is a poster for pronouncing the Hawaiian Piapa (alphabet), a song book cover, and all four songs typed up.  There are boxes on each song sheet for students to illustrate what the songs means to them.  This ties in nicely with the Marzano vocabulary program and also works well for ESL students who are learning English.  Click on the picture to download from Google Drive.

I also made a packet of color posters in Hawai‘ian and English.  You can check them out here, if you are interested. 

When I taught 1st grade in Oregon, we used to make color word rainbows, so I decided to do it in Hawaiian this year!  I used my Hawaiian Colors posters to help teach the colors.
I'll be working on an Alphabet poster set next and I'll let you know when it's finished!

I also plan to use these products from my friend Corinna from Surfin' Through Second.
Hawai‘ian and English number posters with models

Here are Corinna's posters hanging in my room.

Hawai‘ian phrases mini-book
One more song to share - a teacher here on Lanai wrote and composed this song about the local cat sanctuary.  The kids in the video are in 5th grade this year.  It's really cute!

I'm linking up to Darling Little Learners.
Darling Little Learners

How do you celebrate your students' culture?  How do you build relationships in your classroom?
Happy Fall!  I am teaming up with Casey from Second Grade Math Maniac and throwing a 20% off sale in my TpT store this weekend!

Included in the sale are some new products that I added recently:

Spooky Contractions Match Up - a Halloween themed contraction card game with three different sets of cards and a recording sheet.

Hawaiian Color Posters in English and Hawaiian.  Included is a Hawaiian vowel cheat sheet for students to practice reading Hawaiian words correctly.

Hawaiian Song Book with two different covers to choose from and three traditional songs in Hawaiian and English.

Our Class is Tee-rific art activity and bulletin board display.  Students create a t-shirt to describe themselves, then you can hang them up on a bulletin board with either a sign or a flag bunting to display.

Customizable Teacher Door Signs - 7 different signs that are completely editable to hang outside your teacher door with your name, grade, and room number.  Email me and I will customize for you with fun fonts and colors!

Welcome to Our Classroom Newsletter - completely editable and includes a schedule sheet in black and white and in color to send home and display in your classroom.

Head on over to Second Grade Math maniac to see which other bloggers are having a sale this weekend!
Anyone remember Cuisinaire rods?  They are like unifix cubes, but with words or letters?  They are great for developing readers to practice blending sounds and making words from individual letters.

The smart people who make Cuisinaire rods (ETA Hand2Mind) also make another great product: VersaTiles!  VersaTiles are a hinged plastic mat that hold square tiles.  One one side are numbers and on the other, a design.  There are multiple books that teach students different skills in math, reading, and science, depending on the set you buy.

Here are some of my kids playing VersaTiles in a small group. The instructions for my set suggest setting up a borrowing system so students can do this as homework.  It's so fun! 

The kids love to play.  They take turns reading the questions at the top of the page, then they scroll to the bottom and find the answer and the letter.  If the answer to number 4 is G, then they place the number 4 tile on the letter G space (number side up), below the hinge.

Here is a student placing the number tile over the letter space.
Here they are finding the correct answer together in a small group.
Double checking their work.
Moving on through the list of questions.
All finished!
Close the lid.
Flip it upside down.
Open it back up.
Check the pattern against the pattern at the bottom of the page.  If it's the same, success!
I got the Level 2 Reading/Language Arts Starter set.  It comes with one VersaTile and 8 different activity books: Fun With Phonics, More Fun with Phonics, Ready! Set! Spell!, Read for Meaning, Read to Understand, Reading for Everyday, Fun with Language, and Language in Action.  It meets a variety of needs and really is fun for the kids.

The great people at ETA Hand2Mind are giving away one extra set of the winner's choice!  Enter the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!
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I am linking up to TBA's Open House Week!  Today is all about parent communication at the beginning of the year.

Do you like to send home a Welcome Letter to parents, telling them all about your classroom rules and procedures?  Last year I changed up my letter from a two-page long narrative letter (Hello, who actually read it??) to the most important bullet points in easier to read chunks and fun graphics.

Here it is, hanging under my "News" bunting
Would you like a Welcome Letter for your class, as well?  You are in luck!  I made my letter an editable document on my Google Drive, complete with the cute clipart and the schedule page in black and white for easy copying and also in color for you to display in your room.  You're welcome :)

Do you usually send home a welcome letter?
I love making books with my class.  When I taught kinder, we made one every week!  By the end of the year, I auctioned them off for the students to take home.  They were ecstatic to get to keep them!

Class books are great for writing opinions about books (common core standard W.2.1!), writing to a prompt, and also publishing.  One year I submitted one of our class books to Student Treasures (read about it from Laura Candler) and we gifted our hard cover book to the library.  Now students can check out our book!  So cool!

This year in 2nd, I won't do a book a week, but I do plan to make several.  The first book we made was an ABC book with all of our names.  It was a great way for students to get to know each other and to get silly with the prompt.

We started by reading the story A, My Name Is Alice by Jane Bayer.  The kids love it - especially since the H animal lives in Hawaii! :)

Here are all of our pages laid out, ready to be alphabetized.

Some sample student pages.
E, my name is Evelyn and my friend's name is Emily.  I like to eat eggplant and I like to play with Easter eggs.

R, my name is Reece and my friend's name is Ryan.  I like to eat raw fish and I like to play with race cars.

J, my name is Joe and my friend's name is Jaymon.  I like to eat jello and I like to play with juggling balls.
You can head over to my Teacher's Pay Teacher's store and grab a copy of this ready-to-go class book!

Do you make class books in your room?  Do you kids love it as much as mine do?