I meant to do this post on Sunday.  Oops!  Here is a sneak peek into what I am teaching this week!

In Langauge Arts, I am teaching about bats from Erica Bohrer's Batty for Bats science and literacy unit and Reagan Tunstall's Stellaluna Book Study.

On Halloween, I'm reading There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat and doing Sharing Kindergarten's Literacy Unit.  Even though the unit is meant for K-1, there are plenty of activities that my kiddos can do.  It's really fun!

I'm also doing these fun freebies from Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher.  Only problem is that kids are supposed to count, graph, and add candy corn and i couldn't find any on my island.  Really??? No candy corn!  So, I bought the kids fruit snacks instead.  I'm sure they won't mind :)

In my reading centers I'm doing Katie's Spooky Centers.  This pack is AMAZING!  95 pages of math and literacy fun!

And we're of course doing my Compound Word center and Contractions center.

And we started my pumpkin science unit last week.  The kids are having a blast with the experiments!  I ended up adding a poster and worksheet to walk students through the steps of the Scientific Method.  My kids are having fun and are really getting the steps!

Here is my pumpkin.

First, I read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara.  It was a great introduction to the pumpkin experiments!

After we tested out if our pumpkin  floats or sinks and students predicted how many seeds are inside, I cut open the top and walked around to let the kids look inside.  Then I passed out laminated tens frame sheets from my pumpkin unit, plastic gloves, and paper towels.  I put a handfull of seeds on a paper towel on each table group and let kids work together to fill up their tens frame sheet.  They then shared out how many seeds they had and we added them all up.  Our pumpkin had 309 - way less than I originally thought!

That's my week!  What are you teaching?

I just love learning new things from other bloggers.  The teacher blog community is seriously the best!  One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsey from The Teacher Wife, has a new blog: Teacher Blogging Basics.  Lindsey is so good at design elements, she even designed her own blog!  So far, she has 6 posts with tutorials for starting a new blog in blogger, creating a blog button (where was THAT when I first started??) and also creating a banner for your TpT store and creating a hyperlink in your product descriptions.

The Teacher Wife

Sounds awesome, right?  If you look to the right side of my blog, you will see a new little arrow.  That will scroll all the way back to the top of the page.  Pretty cool!  Check out the tutorial for it here.

Now, head on over to Teacher Blogging Basics and learn something new for yourself!  What project are you excited about starting to dress up your blog or TpT store?
What teacher doesn't like Sharpies, right?  I use them all.the.time in my classroom. I label things with them, write on the top of file folders in my filing cabinet, write my name on classroom books, and even use them with kids when doing art projects.

When I saw these retractable Sharpies, I knew I needed them!

Seriously, they are so easy to use.  Just press the top with your thumb and get to work!  They are the "fine point" kind, but I found it makes a wider line if you rotate it to the side a bit.

Here I played around.  I used the tip to write "Mrs." and then I used the side to make the left of the letters on "Heinlein" fatter.  I wrote on the back of some scrap polkadotted cardstock.  It didn't even bleed through to the back!

It's easy to see I'm in love with these new markers.  I might have to order more! :)

Go here to see more about the Sharpie Retractable Pen.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I've joined up with Casey from Second Grade Math Maniac and am now a writer for Second Grade Freebies!  Check out my first post about teaching poetry and snatch up some other fun goodies from all my second grade bloggy buddies!

Second Grade Math Maniac
My awesome friend Jessica from Mrs. Stanford's Class is hosting the 2nd Magical Product Swap!

This time around I got paired up with the lovely Sandy from Ms. Fiorini's Stadium!
Ms. Fiorini's Stadium
Sandy is a 2nd grade blogger from Illinois.  She sells her creative lessons on TpT and Teacher's Notebook.   She was sweet enough to let me review her Persuasive Writing Unit!

My school is transitioning to Common Core and the new standards have a focus on opinion and argument writing.  I knew this unit would be helpful for teaching this standard:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g.,because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Sandy's unit has 28 pages and includes detailed lesson plans for each day of instruction.  The unit has 8 mini-lessons with a center activity and a culminating activity.  The lessons are based on several mentor texts, so I would suggest rounding them up before getting started.  They should be available in your classroom library, school library, or other colleague's classroom libraries.  You can also click below to purchase the books on Amazon.
Also included in the unit are graphic organizers, writing pages, and posters.  The lessons walk the kids through thinking about things they would want to change and why, finding facts and details, determining if the support if good or poor, and multiple opportunities to practice the skills learned.  There is even a rubric included for grading student papers for report cards or other data collection requirements.  
Graphic Organizers
Writing pages with dashed and non-dashed lines included.
Favorite Candy writing project
Here are the sheets for centers to use at the end of the unit.  Kids read the directions and write a mini argument paper.
My students just finished writing personal narratives (from Susan Moran) and they did a couple activities based on Click, Clack Moo (from Rachel Friedrich) when I was in Honolulu for a teacher conference.  I had to call in sick last Thursday, so I had the sub start with the first lesson in Sandy's Persuasive Writing Unit that is based on Click, Clack Moo.  The kids and the sub all loved it!  The sub loved that there were detailed directions and the kids loved stating their opinions!  In the lesson, the teacher reads the book (even though my kids had just heard it a week earlier, they didn't complain since it's so much fun!) then they talk about things that they would want to change in their lives (adding in come text-to-self connections!).  The kids fill out a graphic organizer and brainstorm what they would change and why or how they would change it. I am excited about diving more into this unit when I return to school on Tuesday.

If you head over to Sandy's TpT store, she is having a 20% off sale!  And so am I!  Head on over to Sandy's blog and see her review of my product, What To Do When You are Finished classroom visual.  

Click the picture below to go to my store and see the rest of the products I have for sale.

Sandy and I are also giving away one of each of our units.  Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!  The contest is over on October 6th and we'll announce the winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade for October's Currently!

Listening:  As I'm typing I can hear the microwave thawing out some chicken.  My hubby got a new job the other day, so he'll be working later than me and it is now my job to cook dinner.  The fam won't get tired of Top Ramen 4 times a week, right?  Kidding!

Loving: Hawaii public schools have a week long Fall Break this week.  I can't believe it's almost over!  We've been having so much fun going to the beach, exploring more of Lana'i, visiting my parents on Maui, and shopping at Costco!

Thinking:  Since school started on July 31st, we have already been in school for one quarter.  That's so crazy to me!  I've learned so much, but it still seems like it's gone by so fast.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the year!

Wanting:  As I mentioned above, my parents are in Hawaii for Fall Break, too.  They are in Lana'i with us right now and staying at a hotel in town.  Currently, they are sailing with my son's 1st grade teacher.  Lucky ducks!  It's been so great having them here, I'm not sure I want them to leave!

Needing:  Nothing!  We went shopping in Maui and stocked up on things, my hubby got a new job, I've been spending quality time with the kiddos and my parents.  I am so content and happy!

Book:  I know I was supposed to tell you about a fall or Halloween type book, but I wanted to tell you what I am reading right now.  Moloka'i is a historical fiction novel about a little girl in the late 1800's from Honolulu who contracts Leprosy and is sent to live in Kalapapa, Moloka'i.  I'm not even half way through it and I love it so far.  It's really interesting, is helping me learn more about the Hawaiian culture, and is a good story.  I love how the author weaves in Hawaiian words and traditions throughout the story.  I've heard he wrote another book Honolulu and I'll be checking that one out next!

My monthly Classroom DIY post went out today, make sure to check it out!  It's a project for making art out of torn or ripped books you love.

Also, make sure to check out my current giveaway - an Interactive Story iPad app!
I got an iPad from Donorschoose this summer and love using it to project images, problem of the day for morning work, and even videos through my projector.  I also love using it for reading centers.  I organize my apps by subject and tel the kids they can use any app they want.  I hide the camera and Safari and tell them not to use them - luckily my kids are super honest!  Because my kids use it everyday, I am always on the lookout for quality educational apps.  One that never fails me is the Elfishki series of interactive stories.

Elka Palka Productions was generous enough to let me review Elfishki and the Performance in the Fountain.  It's a really cute story about mermaids.  My students love it, because they can choose to read it themselves or have a soothing voice read it to them.  It also includes a fun I-Spy type game and the illustrations within the book move and make noise when touched.  It is also read in Russian, though I don't have any Russian speakers on Lana'i.  It's still fun for them to hear another language being spoken.  My favorite part, however, are the comprehension questions.  There are 3 questions per page.  I like to have students read this story with a buddy (I have a head phone splitter so two students can use it), then they practice answering the questions together.  

Here are my kiddos reading it together.  We are on fall break and took a mini vacay to Maui to pick up Grandma and Grandpa from the airport. 
One of the pages of illustrations.    

The best part is that this app is only $2.99 in the iTunes App Store!

The good people from Elfishki were also generous enough to offer a free copy of their other new story, Elfishki and the Unwelcome Guest for one of my lovely readers!  This story is read in English, Russian, and Spanish!

Check out their website for more Fairy tales, myths, and legends of Elfishki! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.