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Your teacher wears cowgirl boots...

OK – it’s been brought to my attention by several of my students that I wear cowgirl boots – A LOT! I’ll confess, I do own several pair of cowgirl boots. How many? Well…let’s just say I could wear a different pair every day of the week, but not a different pair every day of the month. In my opinion, cowgirl boots happen to be the PERFECT shoes for teaching. Let me tell you why…

Top 10 reasons why I teach in cowgirl boots:

10. Pointed toe boots are perfect for scooting crickets out of corners.

9. They are truly all weather and all season shoes - in Texas we often experience all 4 seasons in one week!

8. They keep your legs warm.

7. They literally go with anything – pants, dresses, or skirts!

6. They are perfect for stomping the occasional snake at recess (yes – it really happens).

5. They allow you to easily mosey up to kiddos who are exhibiting off-task behavior.

4. They enable you to “Click Clack” down the hall with that authoritative sound that teachers love to make.

3. They NEVER go out of style!

2. They make you appear tougher than you actually are.

1. Hello? I’m from TEXAS…enough said!

Chinese New Year

A big part of 2nd grade Social Studies is learning about the holidays and cultures of others around the world. One holiday that is truly different than any holiday that my students are used to celebrating is the Chinese New Year. This year, it will be celebrated on February 19th. We’ve already began learning about this fun custom in our class.

 We started learning about the Chinese New Year by watching and discussing the Chinese New Year presentation. My kids really loved the Dragon Dance and the Lion Dance. After seeing all of the firework displays, many of my students were wishing that they could visit China! It really is a tradition that is unlike any tradition that my students celebrate.

I’m sharing this FREEBIE from my Chinese New Year Unit. Enjoy!

You can find this best selling unit here:

…or you can buy the complete unit and presentation as a bundle and SAVE

Seasons and the Changes They Bring

When I first made the leap from 5th grade to 2nd, I honestly wondered what the big fuss about seasons was all about. I mean, how much can be there be to teach about 4 seasons? The answer – a lot! The 4 seasons encompass SO much information! For Science, there is the reason for the 4 seasons (the rotation of Earth), the changes in animal behavior, and the changes in plants. For Social Studies, there are the different holidays that people celebrate.

Personally, as ranchers, the seasons are critical. Our livestock has different needs in the different seasons. In the spring they need plenty of grazing. We need to be able to harvest enough hay to prepare for the winter season. In the fall, we have to plant oats so that our cattle will have late winter grazing. In the winter months, our cattle will depend on us to feed them hay that we grew in the spring. Summer droughts are common in Texas. A good rainy spring is crucial for our cattle to make it through the hot summer.

 We started our Seasons unit with a presentation that spurred on our class discussion.

We then cut out Season cards and put them in our notebooks.
Our next step is to make season foldables for each season. Inside of each, we will list what each season means for Plants, Animals, People, and Holidays.
My complete unit has all of these activities plus many other activities on the Seasons!




Camping chairs in the classroom? Yes!

Every year I seem to want to find some way to change up my classroom. This year I added camping chairs to my room. I’ve been using them during our silent reading time. I’ll admit, at first I was really skeptical. Best case scenario - the kids will love reading in them and take care of them. Worst case scenario – it won’t work and my family will have a new set of chairs for ballgames! I figured that I couldn’t lose and bought 6 chairs from WalMart for $6 a piece at the end of the summer. I really thought that the chairs would be heading home before mid-September. However, the kids LOVE them and have taken really good care of them. It has been 6 months now and believe it or not, there have been ZERO accidents with them – and they are all still in one piece! I was certain that at least one of the kiddos would fall out of them (I know that I’ve done that myself at ball games J).

However, I think that we’ve avoided accidents by discussing the ground rules for the chairs before we ever used them. Rules for using the camping chairs:

·         They may be used for READING only

·         Absolutely no leaning

·         You may not use one near someone else (you have to have your own space)

·         You have to carry it to your destination (no dragging them across the floor)

·         They must be folded correctly and placed back in the crate


Like anything else in the elementary classroom, the rules must be discussed and demonstrated several times. They are definitely going to be a part of my classroom for years to come!


100th Day of School

The 100th day of school is almost here! By the time that most kiddos are 2nd graders, they seem to have already done all of the fun 100th day of school activities. Yes – they have made funny hats, they have brought 100 things from home, they’ve made the 100 necklace – in other words, they know the usual drill. To change things up for my kiddos, I like to incorporate the 100th day of school into my Social Studies unit for the week. I truly feel that Social Studies is one of the subjects that often gets swept to the side. I think that Social Studies is crucial.  Students need to understand their community and the world around them. That is why I LOVE teaching this unit! I have had so many responses from parents and grandparents over the years after teaching this unit. Parents and grandparents enjoy sharing their memories of growing up with their children.

We talk about how school has changed in the past 100 years. Students love looking at pictures of schools from the past. How have the buildings changed? How have the classrooms changed? How have the students changed?

(Pictures from Life 100 Years Ago Presentation)
We also discuss how our communities have changed. Cities and towns have changed so much! I like to show a past picture of New York City and compare it with a current picture of New York City. Since we live within an hour of Austin, we also look at past and present pictures of Austin (since most of my students have visited there). Why are there more people walking the older picture? Why are there more vehicles in the current picture?

(Pictures from Life 100 Years Ago Presentation)

My students also like to look how farming has changed in the past 100 years (we live in a rural farming community). I like to let them guess what older pieces of equipment were used for. What pieces of equipment have made farming easier? Why can farmers now produce more food? Why do they need to farm more land?

Households have also changed a great deal over the past 100 years. What did telephones look like? What did washing machines look like back then? What kind of chores did kids have back then? The discussion questions are endless!!!

(Pictures from Life 100 Years Ago Presentation)

This is a sample FREEBIE from my best selling 100th Day of School Unit. I hope that you’ll enjoy it!

You can find my complete unit at:

My presentation that accompanies this unit:

...or you can buy both of them in a BUNDLE and SAVE!

Diving in...

OK – This is my very first blog post. Ever. I am extremely excited to FINALLY be starting my blog. This is something that I have been planning to do for a long time. I feel like there is so much that I want to share about teaching! So, here goes – I’m diving in!

                Let me start with telling you a funny story about “diving in.” My husband and I were sooo in love that we decided to get married before I finished college. Graduation could wait, we apparently could not.  I mean, I had just landed a firefighter/rancher. Who wouldn’t be in a hurry to put a ring on it?!?! Anyways, after we were married I was taking night classes to finish up my last year of college. My husband was at work when I left for my night class. When I returned several hours later, the house was FLOODED! Yep, the potty had overflowed and ruined most of the flooring in the “new to us” house. After ripping out all of the carpet, I declared that instead of getting new carpet that it would be great to use the insurance money to tile all of the floors. We could afford it - if we did it ourselves.

                My husband thought that this was a great idea. However, he had never tiled before so it would be a project that I would do on my own. It wasn’t until I had bought a truckload of tile and materials that he stopped to ask if I actually knew what I was doing. My answer – no, but I’ve seen it done on TV several times. Bless his heart, he actually said OK.

                Wanting to impress my new husband, I set to work tiling every third day (the days that my husband was working a 24 hour shift). It took me over a month to complete the project. I have to say that I was really proud of how it turned out.

                Cute story, but what’s the lesson is all of this? Sometimes you just have to dive in. That’s what I’m doing with this blog – diving in. 

To celebrate my new blog, I’m posting a FREEBIE from one of my best selling units.