Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all the strong and brave men and women out there that presently serve, served, or will serve our country. Everything you do I am so grateful for and always will be. A special shout out goes to my son Logan serving in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Activities

Here are some Halloween activities we did this week.
 We learned the names of the main bones in our body. Q-Tip Skeleton

We read several books about bats and then wrote about what we learned.

Tissue paper pumpkins
                              We had a lot of fun this week while learning even more.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Isn't Love Grand

My son is home for 2 weeks from deployment in Afghanistan.  He and his girlfriend had some pictures taken on Saturday.  They are so happy together. The time he is home is passing too quickly.  Can someone slow down the clock?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Going on a Turkey Hunt

This is a Smartboard activity I posted on Teacher's Pay Teachers.  It can be used as math center or a group activity.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Christmas Is Just Around the Corner

I know that Halloween isn't even here yet, but there are only 62 shopping
days until Christmas.  With money being tight, why not make a gift for the people on your list.  It will mean so much more knowing you put all your love into the gift.
We have all kinds of background paper and clip art to make a scrapbook that
has great meaning.
For example.  The home farm means everything to my mother-in-law.  We
decided to make a farm alphabet scrapbook for her.  We have taken pictures all over the family farm that have letters hidden in the pictures.  We to a close-up picture of the barbwire fence post and it will stand for the E. The post makes the line going down and the barbwire makes the 3 lines across.
We took a close-up picture of a horseshoe for the U and a stained glass that is in the     shape of an Abridge across the creel for X. You find a few more letters for the scrapbook every time we go home. 
Find out what your recipients passion is and make the letters from pictures for that theme. It may be old cars, or churches, banks or parks.  You can find the letter shapes in anything.

1. Start thinking in "close-up." Look around for items that when a photo is
 taken close-up will look like a letter. Look at architectural details such
 as windows, stair rails, wood and stone trims, etc.
2. Zoom in and snap away. Zoom in with your camera so that the photo is
 completely filled with the element that looks like a letter. Turn your
 camera so that all of your letters will be vertical photos so that you can
 line them up side by side across your scrapbook page.
3. Select print size. Once you have all of your letter photos on your camera
 card, you will need to decide how large to print each photo. Check with your
 photo developer to see what your choices are for sizes.

4. Print in black and white or sepia. To remove distractions from the letter
 shapes in your photos, print them in black and white or sepia.
5. Use some of the background papers and clip art from The Digital Crafting Mall to make layouts for your photos.

 6. Put in a scrapbook and it will become a treasure handed down from
 generation to generation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

100's Chart Scroll

One of the teachers on our team came up with the idea of using 100's chart to write numbers into the thousands.  I thought they would get bored after two or three charts were filled in.  Boy, was I wrong.  The kids are begging to add to their scrolls everyday.
We took a 100's chart and had the kids write their numbers from 1 to 100. When they finished we stapled another chart to the bottom of the first chart and they wrote the numbers from 101 to 200. I checked to make sure there were no mistakes and that they knew how to transition from one line to the next line of numbers. When the third sheet is added the paper is too long to put on their desk so, we rolled them from top to bottom and paperclip the roll.  When the students aren't working on their scrolls they are stored in a tube from a paper towel roll.
A copy of the 100's charts can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Main Idea and Details

We have been working on finding the main idea and details  in paragraphs. We read a story about the saguaro cactus in our reading series. We then worked in groups the write the main idea and 4 details about the saquaro cactus. The details were written on the arms of the cactus. We used toothpicks for the prickly parts of the cactus. The next time we do this I will have the  students write the details with crayon or marker so they can be seen better.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Teacher's Pay Teachers

There has always been a discussion as to whether teacher's should share their materials or if it is ethical for teachers to sell what they make.  I thought long and hard about it and then my husband lost his job.  I knew I had to do something to add to our income until he could find a job and bring our income back to where it was.  We have two children and one is in college.  The bills keep coming no matter how our lives change.
I decided to take what I make everyday for my classroom and sell it on TPT.  I am proud to say that there are teachers out there willing to pay for my work.  I don't charge much.  My items are between two and five dollars.  It's amazing how those small amounts add up. I doubt if I will ever replace my husbands income, but I'm proud to say I've made $2000 this quarter. This will pay for the apartment my daughter shares for almost the entire year.
If you need extra income you should really consider becoming a seller.  Click here and get started today.  It really is a good felling to know others appreciate your work.
Kestner's Kreations

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Corn Maze

We went to the local corn maze last week.  The kids had a great time.  They had to find 20 different stations and answer questions about Illinois history.  Wish we would have had more time.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Smartboard Giveaway

This smartboard activity is to help improve sentence editing in the primary grades.  Students make corrections in the sentence on the slide and then click on the box to reveal the corrected sentence.  The number of errors in the sentence is given as a clue.  The activity also includes a worksheet with all the sentences so students can be involved throughout the activity.   The activity can be downloaded in my googledocs.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Phases of the Moon

We read the Reading Street story Exploring Space.  We talked about the planets and the moon and then used Oreos to show the phases of the moon. The kids couldn't wait to eat the leftover cookies.  I hope they take something with them from this lesson other than how good the cookies were.

Teacher's Notebook

 Teacher's Notebook
EXCITING NEWS - No monthly fees!
As of today, members can open a shop by paying a one-time setup fee of $19.95 that includes the following:
  • No Monthly Fees
  • No Sales Fees or "Royalties"
  • No Listing Fees
  • List Unlimited Items
  • Keep 100% of every item they sell
Yes, you read this correctly. You can setup a shop for only $19.95 and that is it! You never have to pay a monthly subscription fee and you never have to pay a "royalty".

Saturday, September 3, 2011


We have been working on developing fluency in second grade. We use reader's theater and poetry to read more fluently.  I recorded the kids reading a poem the other day.  Here is a sample of what we did. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


We just found out that since our 3rd and 4th graders are each getting a laptop, then all the second graders will be getting their own ipad. Where in the world does all this grant money come from? Illinois government can't pay their bills, the federal government is over their head in debt and yet their is money for 200 laptops and 100 ipads. What's wrong with this picture?

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Week Down

We just finished our first week.  The kids are very chatty, but a very nice group.  I posted some pictures on my web page if you care to look.  There is a tour of our room, and some pictures of the kids presenting their 5 things I like.  It helped the kids get to know each other a little bit. View the whole website at Mrs. Kestner's Second Graders are Groovy .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Teacher's Notebook

Teacher's Notebook has extended their ONE-YEAR FREE TRIAL program until the end of August, at which point the FREE TRIAL will revert back to ONE MONTH.
Join before the end of the August to take advantage of this great offer. It's easy to get setup and you can begin selling your items in no time at all.
Some of the main reasons to sell your items on Teachers Notebook include:
  • You keep 100% of every sale from your shop (minus normal PayPal fees)
  • You get paid right away via PayPal - no waiting months to get paid!
  • Buyers who buy from your shop earn rewards points!
Click on the button to the right that says Open Your Own Shop

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spelling Test Forms

This is a packet of 40 spelling test forms. Each form contains lines for as many as 20 words. The page also includes a cute graphic from Thistle Girl Designs. A different graphic is on each sheet. I find that by using these cute graphics it makes the spelling test a little less painful.  TPT.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Desk Nameplates

I have made some simple nameplates for my student's desks.  I tried to limit the amount of ink needed to print them while keeping them fun.  They are available in a set of 26 in my Teacher's Pay Teachers store at 30% off.
These below are available here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hall Passes Hippie Theme

 This is a set of hall passes for your room. Stop by my TPT store to see other themes for passes.  If you don't see the theme you need, let me know and I will customize one for you. Download here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Download at
 Check out my other items at TPT.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


If you are into inexpensive digital clip art, srapbooking clip art, downloadable crafts printables  and the like, check out the Digital Crafting Mall.  It has some great designers and some very cute clip art.