October 28, 2015

Character Pumpkins: Celebrating Fall and Reading

Fall is by far my favorite season and this year is no exception so far! This year with my second graders, I had them do a special take home project with a book they chose from my classroom library. They were to read the book and paint a pumpkin to look like the character! It was a total blast. I couldn't believe the detailed pumpkins I got back! Take a look:

First up we have Spongebob, Cat in the Hat, and Fly Guy! I am totally loving Fly Guy's potato nose.

Then we've got Curious George, Skippy Jon Jones, and David (specifically from David Goes to School where he eats the dog biscuits).

And here we have a rockin' Pete the Cat, a more obscure character named Billie B. Brown (this student is in love with those books and this one comes equipped with her baby brother!), and the classic Ribsy from the old Beverly Cleary book. I was so excited to see my higher readers picking up books in my classroom library that I loved as a kid! Look at that cute doggy pumpkin!!!

Each student read their book at school and again to their parents at home. We journaled about our reading and retold the key details of each story to their small groups. It was such a neat way to combine the season of Fall with our favorite stories.

Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Halloween!!!

October 25, 2015

Sunday Scoop and Lots of Excitement!

Can't forget one of my favorite linkies! Thanks, Teaching Trio!


I was a smart cookie and did most of my lesson plans last week. Just need to finish up a few things that I didn't have time for and send them on to admin. Woo-hoo! Feeling good!

I have been amazing at the gym lately... which is great considering all the crappy food I've been eating....

If you haven't heard, today is the first official Daisy Dollar Day! Click the images below to go to the original blog post and see what I've got cooking for only $1 today!


I have been reading the same book for so long because I just can't seem to get a good reading schedule down. It doesn't help that I am so pooped after work that when I do start to read, I'm so relaxed that I immediately fall asleep!

That being said, let's watch Gilmore Girls instead! ;)


TWD is back and I am SO EXCITED!!!!! Episode 3 tonight!!!

Daisy Dollar Days!

Can you believe it's another Sunday?! I haven't blogged in a week! Last week I had some sort of stomach bug and used my first sick day of the year. Not bad, right?! I made it through the first quarter without using a sick day! That's certainly an improvement from last year. :)

What have you been spending your Sunday morning doing? I made over one of my oldies this morning and could not be happier with the results! Take a look: (And scroll down... there MIGHT be a fun surprise at the end........)





I added some more attractive graphics and made the entire product much more kid friendly. Wait till you see the coloring pages for each little skit! They are so darling and so much fun!

If you've already purchased this product, go to your purchases tab on TpT and re-download to get the changes. If you do not already own this product... (I can't believe I'm doing this...) It will be on sale for ONLY $1. Oh my gosh...

That being said, let's start a brand new linky! I am SO EXCITED to annouce Daisy Dollar Days! Every two weeks, I will be posting a product from my store on sale for only $1. Other teachers may join in as well! For today, my new and improved Under the Sea Scenes are on sale for only $1!

If you are a seller and would like to join the fun, BLOG with me! Copy the image below, add your product cover, and link up your awesome sale blog post! (PLEASE read the rules below).

Blog posts ONLY
No product links
Must use Daisy Dollar Days button (above)
Bi-weekly on Sundays

And, just for fun and to celebrate the very first Daisy Dollar Days, why not do TWO products for only $1?!

Click the image to get this regularly priced $5 Halloween product for only $1!

I am so excited to announce this new linky and new makeover, that I'm going to stretch this Dollar Day to TWO days. Yep, I've lost my mind...

Sellers who are participating in the first bi-weekly Daisy Dollar Days, link your blog posts below! I can't wait to browse the other sales! Happy shopping!

October 18, 2015

Loving This October Sunday!

Living in Florida means we don't really GET a Fall season. I mean, the weather cools down a tiny bit, but then all of a sudden it is a Florida Winter without the leaves changing color and of course, no snow. That being said, it actually feels like a Fall day here today! The air is crisp and not humid like it usually is and a few of the leaves are crunchy! Just a few... Happy Sunday!

What are you up to this fine day?

If you do not follow me on Instagram, you need to GET ON THAT. Tonight there is a Freebie loop for Halloween Freebies! I have teamed up with a huge group of teachers that will be offering a Halloween FREEBIE through Instagram starting at 8pm EST. Click below to go to my Instagram and follow me so you can get in on the fun!

October 13, 2015

The Human Body Unit

For Second Grade Science, our first unit was The Human Body. I have to tell you, I was not impressed with the curriculum and resources available to my students for this topic, so, of course, I made my own. I made the pieces as we went along and kept adding to this growing project. I am finished teaching this unit, but The Human Body Unit had yet to be posted. So although it is late... better late than never, right?

Ladies and gents, this was definitely a labor of love. I put so much work into this and am totally obsessed with it. I'm actually sad that we are done with this Science unit and moving on because I had a total blast creating, teaching, and experiencing this with my students.

Before diving into the writing and the INB pages, my class and I did a lot of hands-on activities and read-alouds. We read The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body, Parts by Tedd Arnold, and after learning about the brain, we totally learned the song "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz. They loved it! I loved hearing, "Wait, Mrs. Smith! He would NOT be able to dance and sing if he didn't have a brain!" 

I turned to Pinterest for a couple of hands on ideas, especially with the heart and the brain lessons.

Here's my Pinspiration for a timed "Beat the Clock" activity to help kids realize how strong and amazing our heart is! They had a BLAST. I found this idea through Pinterest which led me to The Primary Theme Park blog:

The heart pumps 1.3 gallons of blood per minute! So we got a gallon of water in one bucket for students to try and scoop to another bucket in a minute! I couple of kiddos got close but no one was able to. Of course it was raining outside the day we did this, so we did it inside, carefully on our Superman blanket. Thanks to the Pinspiration above, here's our try below:

Also during the lesson we did on the heart we did an AWESOME and extremely easy activity with our pulse. We put marshmallows on toothpicks, balanced them on our wrists after finding our pulse, and watched the toothpick dance! To spice it up a bit, we did an exercise video and then watched our toothpicks REALLY go wild with our heart rate even higher. The students were amazed at how the toothpicks were moving. Here's the Pinspiration from What the Teacher Wants blog:

And here's our try! I will be doing this every year. It was easy and it really stuck with the kids.

As we moved through the unit, my class did a fabulous job keeping track of their learning activities in their Interactive Science Notebook. I pulled a couple of resources from the Florida AIMS Life Science book, but I made a lot of my own. Check out the photos below. These activities are included within The Human Body Unit on TpT.

We also created "brain hats" which was another Pinspired activity. The students looked so cute walking around with their brains on all day. LOVED IT!

Here's the Pinspiration from Ellen McHenry's blog. The free download for the template is there. The Pinterest photo shows the different sections of the brain. I printed the template without that and the students colored the different sections.

Here's one of my kiddos sporting her new awesome brain hat! Here's what I learned: card stock is WORTH IT; use Scotch tape instead of glue and don't be skimpy on it; print the adult size version because there are some kids with BIG heads. 

HOW CUTE IS THIS?! While we wore them, we read a mini-book from the Florida AIMS Life Science book (Brain Power) and learned "If I Only Had a Brain." I linked the video below. The kids loved it and it was a nice little break from the "work." ;)

Within the Human Body Unit, I included integrated Literacy and Math printables. The writing task cards were a big hit in my classroom and not only allowed me to see if the students understood the human body, but also allowed them to make self connections. There are several full color and black and white centers, including a True/False sort (perfect for practicing for true/false test prep), Word Wall cards (very handy to go with those writing task cards), and some really neat "brain games." Take a look at the preview and larger pictures below:

Check it out in my TpT store HERE or click the image above. I hope you enjoy this unit as much as I did!

October 11, 2015

Another Sunday Another Scoop

Thank you as always to The Teaching Trio for one of my favorite linkies!

HAVE TO: The other day was my best friend Heather's birthday! I made her what we call a "Loot Crate." My husband and I came up with the idea and modeled it after the popular subscription box Loot Crate. Basically I make a box of surprise items that my best friend will totally love. My husband and I did it for our anniversary and the opening of said loot crates is on YouTube:

HOPE TO: I have such a fun Science unit in the making and I am ALMOST done!!! Here's a sneak peek I posted on Instagram the other day. I am totally in love with it and can't wait to share the finished product (hopefully today?!).

A photo posted by Amanda Smith - Daisy Designs (@daisydesignstpt) on

HAPPY: My baby puppy has an allergic reaction to something or something like that. She doesn't feel well now and is under the influence of puppy Benadryl. There's a picture on my husband's phone that I'll post to my Instagram when he wakes up ;) So make sure you follow my Instagram!

Happy Sunday, ya'll!

October 10, 2015

Oh Blog

Wow, ya'll. Life has REALLY gotten in the way of blogging and Teachers Pay Teachers lately! This week was the dreaded "I don't have a second to breathe" week, so I am STOKED that it is finally the weekend! So happy to be here blogging and reading the posts I'm so behind on (with my pumpkin spice coffee, of course).

First off, it's a new Currently and I'm only 10 days behind schedule! :P Thanks, Farley, as always for the awesome linky!

LISTENING: Living in Florida means lots of rain, people. Even in October.

LOVING: As mentioned before, this week was crazy-talk. I am SO happy it is the weekend!

THINKING: My blog needs more love and I think I can finally give it the attention it deserves each week after the craziness that was September.

WANTING: Every now and then I play video games with my husband on his live stream (twitch.tv/brutallstatic) and talk to viewers and just have a lot of fun. I did that last night and now I want to play some more! It is addicting!

NEEDING: Did I mention it is raining? Yeah, that means I breathe funny. Need to take some allergy medicine but it just makes me so darn sleepy!

BOO-TIFUL: Any time I play online on my husband's live stream, he always broadcasts that I'm the most beautiful woman in the world. It sure does make me feel like I am!

While I'm here, let me take the moment or two to tell you that I am feeling INSANELY motivated today (and I hope it sticks with me). In my county every grade level at every school has an appointed STEM lead that goes to trainings and inservices to bring back valuable information to the team and lots of resources and teaching strategies. I had one of these all-day collaborative planning days with the STEM leads for Second Grade yesterday and I learned SO MUCH. I was a little overwhelmed but after sleeping on the info and looking over everything this morning, I am so excited to get the next Math unit up and running.

If you have some great Math center ideas or hands-on Math ideas, link them in the comments or share the pins with me on Pinterest! I have a couple of boards that I have Math ideas in (one is general and has a lot of Kinder ideas in it from last year... and the others are general second grade and printables). Check them out below! I'll be pinning like a maniac this weekend I think.

Follow Amanda Smith @ Daisy Designs's board Math on Pinterest. Follow Amanda Smith @ Daisy Designs's board Second Grade on Pinterest. Follow Amanda Smith @ Daisy Designs's board Printables on Pinterest.