Five for Friday with Erupting Volcanoes & Pics!

I'm super late, but I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday on an early Monday morning.  Head on over and check out the other Five for Friday posts or write one of your own.  It's easy - just tell 5 random things about your week!  Click the button below to join in on the fun!  A big thanks for Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting this fun linky!

We had a super exciting week last week in our classroom!  This might give you a little indication of how much fun we had!  See below:

Since adopting the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), we have been coming up with some super fun and hands-on ways to explore the standards.  This little ditty above was super simple and easy and is NOTHING new or anything created by me, but in case you haven't erupted a volcano, I'll take you through the simple process.  The picture below shows all you will need (minus the red food coloring which I forgot).  Even without red food coloring, when something erupts in class, the kids go wild!  :)

We began with small cups and "attempted" to cover them with play-doh, however we quickly figured out there was not enough play-doh to get the slanted volcano look we were hoping for (even when each student had their own can).  BUT, it was a learning experience.  We were scientists and sometimes science doesn't always work out the way we want it to - teachable moment, my friends!  Anywho, we covered the cup nonetheless with as much play-doh as we could just to get the general idea that it was NOT a cup underneath.  Clearly, it's a volcano, right?!  ;)

Next I gave the kids a small amount of baking soda to put inside their volcanoes.  Again, as a scientist we didn't measure the amount.  We just poured about 1/4 of the way full of baking soda.  Next was the vinegar.  I poured some vinegar in their empty extra cup (pictured to the left of the volcano).  Now, I didn't tell the kiddos how much vinegar to pour.  I didn't tell them to pour it slowly or quickly.  I let them completely explore on their own.  But I will say that as scientists, their observations skills were pretty keen and they were quickly learning what made the volcanoes erupt when they saw others erupting around them!

After the eruptions and I cannot lie, we erupted twice (don't tell), it was time to talk about what happened and why.  This experiment was kicking off our science unit on slow and rapid changes to the earth and this was exactly what we needed to grab the students' curiosity.  We talked about the chemical reaction and that the energy created had to go somewhere, hence the eruption.  The kiddos loved it and it was a great way to begin talking about the center of the earth and the energy inside.

This was the kick-off to studying about the NGSS standard 2-ESS-1-1 that states: Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly. [Clarification Statement: Examples of events and timescales could include volcanic explosions and earthquakes, which happen quickly and erosion of rocks, which occurs slowly.]  To see this standard on the NGSS website click {HERE} where it provides you with a LOT more information!

Like a million other people, I have decided it's time to get ready for swimsuit season, so I'm bustin' up some gym time, y'all!  Literally, I'm hittin' it hard 5 days out of 7.  This is some proof and once again, I cannot lie, I DO take pictures of my Polar Heart Rate Monitor each and every time I work out.  I'm a little crazy like that.  This was my Monday workout this past week.  I did a Tone and Firm class, followed by some hard-core Kickboxing!  I did the classes back-to-back which is SUPER tough, but totally worth it to see how many calories I burned!  Check it out!

This little gadget is the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor.  If you are hard core into exercising or just getting started, this is a MUST!  It's not as simple as it looks.  You do have to wear a heart rate monitor strap across your chest while you are working out.  It has sensors on it that monitor your heart rate as you exercise.  It has a transmitter that sends that data to your watch where you have already input your height, weight, and age and BAM!  I burned 1,084 calories in 2 hours and 10 minutes of torture - ha!  Serious motivation right there!

Also this past week, we started back to school (after our two days off for EXTREME COLD), with a little flip-flap book from Anna over at Simply Skilled in Second.  This girl has some AWESOME products!  This was our 2014 New Year's activity that we created.  The students REALLY enjoyed setting goals and New Year's Resolutions.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen this :)

This sweet girl has these adorable flip-flap books for all kinds of different content areas and I love them to pieces!  The next one we will be completing on Tuesday is a MLK Jr. flip-flap book that you can find {HERE}.  I've already got it all prepped!

Ready for a shocker?!  This was what I came back to from 2 weeks off on Winter Break:

But have no fear!  I have an awesome administrator and some fabulous custodians that helped me move it all back in and it now looks even better than before....and the yucky, old carpet is GONE!  :)  It was like a clean slate mid-year - BRILLIANT!  So that was the before, this is the after...

Isn't she pretty?!  It's crazy how I should have been stressed out about moving my stuff back in over Christmas break and getting organized again, but it was just what I needed to begin with a fresh start in 2014!  I was smiling and with the help of my sweet hubby and little boy, it was done in a couple days!  And the white floor instead of the nasty carpet just makes my room so much more open and clean looking - I love it!  :)

Finally, I have been a BUSY little bee finishing up TWO brand new products and updating another just in time to plan ahead for February!  The first continues my series of ELA Printables with some Valentine love!  You can see what's included below or click {HERE} to check them out in my TpT Store!  I love the Random Act of Sweetness in this pack and can't wait to have my kiddos complete this activity!

I also added another new product to my TpT Store just in time for February 2 - a Groundhog Day Unit!!  This one is a combination of some ELA, Math, Research, and Writing Fun!  I did something a little different this time and created a PowerPoint to be used when teaching/introducing Groundhog Day so that students know and understand the history behind the special day and the famous Punxsutawney Phil!  How fun!  This product will contain a ZIP file which will include two files: the PowerPoint for teaching/intro and the Printable file for the Math, ELA, Research, and Writing Activities.  The PowerPoint will be a great resource for the Shared Research Writing included in this pack!  I'm excited about this one and love trying something different with my products!  You guys will have to let me know how you like the PowerPoint included this time!  You can check it out by clicking {HERE} or on the picture below.

One more and then I'm done - promise!  I just gave a major makeover to my Valentine Math & ELA Centers, Games, and Fun unit.  This was the FIRST center-based unit that I created on TpT and it seems like just yesterday.  This baby was created in January of 2012, so she was ready for a makeover 2 years later.  I changed all the fonts, some of the graphics, updated the formatting, and updated and added to some of the recording sheets.  I also added printer-friendly versions of all task cards for those who are trying to save on ink (see the third preview picture below)!  I will say that this product is 110% better than before!  The cool thing is, if you have already purchased this unit, you can get the updated version for FREE just by going to your "My Purchases" on your TeachersPayTeachers account, finding the unit, and re-downloading.  How awesome is that?!  For those that haven't purchased, I just gave away 2 free copies and then ran a 20% off sale today on this unit.  The secret: you have to follow 2nd Grade Stuff on Facebook to get awesome notifications like that!  ;)  You can check out this unit {HERE} or my clicking any of the picture previews below.

Whew!  That's my Five for Friday on.... well, let's just say Monday morning - ha!  Better late than never!  :)  Hope you guys enjoyed catching up!  Feel free to PIN anything you see on this blog post!  I truly appreciate all the continued support!  Have a super week!  :)


  1. Jamie, these packs look amazing (as always!) and your room is gorgeous!

  2. Saw your post on FB and couldn't wait to read your blog post... And then I read this!!!! How sweet are you??? Thank you soooooo much for the shout out sweet friend! You are just too much! Thank you so much for always bring so supportive of me ;). You really are sonething else!!!! Big hugs <3


  3. Love everything about this post! Those printables look amazing! :)

  4. Love your CAFE / Daily 5 board! Where did you get your printables?