Modern Calligraphy Class

I had so much fun yesterday with my sweet friend Molly from Lessons with Laughter!

We took a modern calligraphy class with Jenna from Mon Voir and we had such a wonderful time!!! It was inspiring, relaxing, and we got a chance to feel like real "artists" for a few hours. 

This definitely reminded me of the importance of incorporating creativity and expression into my classroom!

Now all I need....

are more hours in the day!!!!!! 

Force and Motion Fun {Some Simple, Fun, Low-Prep Ideas}

We've been busy learning all about force and motion these days. We started off with lots of vocabulary, and then of course the best way to learn about these abstract concepts is by doing some hands-on activities and experiments. Here are a few easy, fun, low prep activities you can do with your class to learn about gravity, friction, force, and simple machines. I set all of these activities out for my students one afternoon, and they rotated around. Have fun! 

This is an amazing book! Get it now if you're teaching about force, motion, gravity, etc! 

Click the picture for the link to Amazon! 

If you have access to iPads, or even an iPad, students can drop different objects and then use the slow motion setting on the camera to see how objects will hit the ground at the same time, no matter what their weight. (This brought up some great discussions when students tried to drop a tennis ball and their hat {facing down}, and why the hat fell "slower"...which led to more questions and great conversation and more experiments with parachutes...) 

(Oh my goodness- please ignore the disgusting dirty floor!!)

An easy way to measure weight- tie different objects to rubber bands and hold them up at the same height. Easy! The kids could do this for hours it was so much fun... Another fun way to show weight is to simply bring in a scale. Kids love to see how much they weigh! 

To show gravity- watch honey fall from a spoon. Simple. Messy. Sticky. Fun. Kids loved it. 

If you're learning about simple machines, kids can experiment with this game we found through BrainPop Jr. Kids can experiment with how using simple machines help make work easier and how using a simple machine requires less force.  

(You do not need a BrainPop account to play this game!) 

I love showing kids The Sandlot when the boys use the pulley & wheel & axle to lift Yeah-Yeah over the fence. This is a perfect example of how a simple machine might be used. ;-) It's at 1:09:15 in the movie if you're interested! 


If you have class iPads, I always encourage my students to record whatever they're doing or learning. This serves two purposes: #1 They're able to go back and review and revisit the learning. And #2 They can compile all of their learning together in one spot like a portfolio. Our favorite apps to do this are iMovie and Book Creator! 

And if all else fails, just chuck stuff up in the air ;-) to show gravity!

Next week, we're going to be making ramps using simple household items (empty cereal boxes, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, etc.). If you need a letter to send home requesting these items. here you go!

Just click the picture to download! 

Do you have any other ideas for force and motion! I've LOVE to hear about them! 

Winter SoCal Blog Hop & Giveaway

I'm so excited to be a part of the SoCal Winter Wonderland blog hop to ring in the New Year with my favorite SoCal bloggers and friends!

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be a better blogger... We shall see ;)   

Over Christmas break we had all sorts of holiday fun over here with my little guy (I'm so sad break is almost over!!! How many days until Sring break now....?!) There's something so incredibly special about spending our first Christmas together as a family of three! He gets so excited about seeing all of the magic of this time of year- lights, music, SANTA!!! Someone asked me the other day what they best thing about being a mom is- one of my favorite things is definitely seeing the world through their little eyes; everything is amazing and special and exciting and it's truly magical to watch his eyes light up as he sees new things! I love this picture of him seeing "snow" for the first time with my sister...

(Love you Seester!!!) 

Here are a few other pictures of the fun we've had this break! 

Looking at Christmas lights! 

Cade's first Christmas treeeeee! 

Opening empty boxes kept him busy for hours! (I'm serious!) ;-) 

What do you think he's asking Santa for...?!?! 

We went to Winter Wonderland at our local baseball stadium and it was so much fun!

 I used this easy photography tutorial from Abby at the Inspired Apple found {HERE} to take these festive pictures! 

I love Instagram and am always posting pictures there (of my little guy and school stuff!) You can follow me @soaring_through_2nd and @sandy108

I hope you've enjoyed your break with family and friends! Did you do anything exciting??? 

To ring in the New Year right, I have a fun to-do list for you to help keep you organized as we head back to school!

Just click the picture to download! 

And make sure to enter the wonderful giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now head on over to see Martha at Two Smart Wenches for another fun freebie!

An Awesome Miscue App

Hey there!

It's been a (long) while! What can I say- I've been busy with this cutie pie!

Now I'm in Napa Valley with two amazing teacher-friends Molly and Kay at the CUE conference! 

I had to share with you an app I heard about today that I'm super excited to try out! 
I haven't tried this out yet, but it sounds amazing!

Kids can log on and record themselves reading a passage.

And within 24 hours.......


Amazing! When you sign up you get 10 free recordings a month. And I was told it's an actual person who does the miscuing! You can track and share the data with parents as well! Seems like a win-win-win to have that information without having to take up any precious instructional time during the day! Plus, who really likes to miscue?

I'll be back soon with more great stuff from the CUE! 

And please wish us luck!! We're presenting two sessions tomorrow!

Five for Friday BTS

Oh boy!!! What a week! 

Happy back to school! We survived!!!

Time for.........

I started off the week giving these pencil bouquets to my fabulous team! This way, in a week when all of the pencils have disappeared/been gnawed on/are lost they'll have a fresh set of already sharpened pencils! The tag is from {HERE}! 

I used the fabulous Amy Groesbeck's editable subject banner to create this banner for our first day of school pictures! I love how these turned out! 

We earned our iPad licenses this week by learning the iPad rules! Reagan Tunstall's iPad Basics pack helped with this! I can tell this group is ready to get going and start creating on their iPads! 

And we started a class Instagram account! We're working on the #backtoschoolchallenge ;-) found {HERE}! If your class is on Instagram please let me know! We're excited to connect with other students and classes! 

And we even still fit some family time in with an evening trip to the zoo! 

Hope you had a great week! And an even better weekend!!!

Bright Ideas for Lunchtime

Hey everyone!

I'm so excited to be joining in on this month's Bright Ideas linky! Just in time for some wonderful back to school ideas from the best bloggers around! 

One of the things I despise the most during the school year is packing my lunch. Bleh! It's a hassle to pack the night before (or the morning of!), nothing ever really tastes good, and if you're like me, it's not really lunch- it's more of me shoving random snacks (i.e. M&Ms, Cheez-Its, Gatorade...) into my mouth while frantically running around trying to make copies and get ready for the afternoon....

I do have to say, though- I am lucky to have a duty free lunch! I know many people do not and I don't know how you do it!!!! What does your lunchtime look like??? 

Anyways... here are a few bright ideas for you to help combat the lunchtime blues!!!

Lunch bag is from Target! 

Lunch Buddies

Have a teacher friend with the same lunchtime as you? Be Lunch Buddies! You each choose one day of the week, and on your day you bring lunch in for BOTH of you! This way, the other person doesn't have to worry about packing a lunch that day! And really, you just have to pack extra of whatever you were going to bring anyways! Easy cheesy! And the best part- you don't have to pack a lunch on your buddy's day! You just enjoy what they brought!!! You could even do this with groups of three or four lunch buddies!... The more buddies, the LESS you have to pack your lunch!!!  

Soup/Salad Club

Our Social Committee heads a Soup Club in the winter and a Salad Club in the spring. All we do is place a calendar up in the lounge and designate one day of the week as "Soup Club" day. You sign up for ONE day to bring a soup (or salad during the spring) to share with the other members. That's ONE day over the course of two-three months! Then every Soup Club day of each week, you get to enjoy the soups that other people bring! AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO PACK YOUR LUNCH THAT DAY OF THE WEEK!!!!! Depending on your staff, you'll want to have multiple people sign up for each day so you don't run out of soup or salad! (We've also had people sign up to bring bread or drinks too!) 

Do you have any Bright Ideas for lunchtime!? (Or any other ways I can get out of packing my lunch during the week...???) Please share in the comments!

And for more Bright Ideas, browse through the link up and hop on over to grab some great ideas from some of the best bloggers around!!!

SoCal Blog Surf

I'm so excited to be joining some of my wonderful SoCal blog buddies for the SoCal Blog Surf!

I'm so sad summer will be coming to an end soon- so this is a fun way to enjoy every last minute!!! Make sure to surf through all the SoCal blogs to collect some awesome freebies!!!

Living in Southern California is absolutely THE BEST, and I can't imagine living anywhere else! 
This is what we spend our summers, weekends, and evenings doing.....

There's my little man enjoying a walk at La Jolla Cove!!!

And here we are in Coronado!!!  

With back to school right around the corner, I've got {never-ending} lists, lists, and more lists going on in my head!!! To organize it all, I have this fun to-do list freebie for you! 

You can click any of the pictures to download your to-do list!!!
And now I need to start actually checking things OFF my list...

And make sure to enter our giveaway! You could win one of FOUR $25 TPT gift cards!!! Just in time for the Back to School Sale!!! We'll announce the winners on the 4th so they can use it to fill up their TPT carts!!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now surf on over to see my dear friend Molly at Lessons with Laughter for another freebie! 
And thanks for "surfing" by! ;-) 

Lessons with Laughter

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