I know everyone is saying the same thing- that they can't believe it's already February! This time of year tends to fly by for me- and it's even worse when I have an amazing class like I have this year! Can you relate? Well, to kick off February, I have a few freebies for you!

First of all, I have a fun thank you idea for your classroom volunteers and colleagues. My classroom volunteers help my students so much! Without their help and time, so many of my students wouldn't get the extra one on one time they so desperately need. All you need to do for this easy gift is print out the tags you like (there are square and round options, and two different sentiments) I plan to add a bag of scones along with this adorable honey bear! What a "sweet" and thoughtful gift! You can see the freebie file by clicking on the picture below!

Another fun idea I have for my volunteers are these "Thanks a Latte" printables! There are a few different choices, including more printer friendly ones with less color. I love giving these to my volunteers and colleagues, and they love them too! Click on the picture below to download them. 
I'm planning on throwing my students a Valentine's party, with a little help from my room moms! I created a party pack that includes treat bag labels, homework passes, Valentine cards, a banner, and a few other goodies! Click on both pictures to see the file. You can also click HERE to download a page from this file- a freebie teacher Valentine gift thank you note!
Before I left school yesterday, I prepped a few Valentine's goodies for my kiddos! I can't wait for my students to see these task cards on Monday! They are from PAWSitively Teaching and are absolutely adorable! There is a pack for Regrouping with Mixed Addition and Subtraction and Money, Time, and Missing Addends. This is exactly what my second graders need right now! I wanted to use little gift bags from the dollar store, but they were all out of the red ones. I remembered I bought these little plastic containers from Target's Dollar Spot, so I printed the title pages from PAWSitively Teaching's pack four to a page, laminated and cut them out, and taped them to the containers. Now I can easily switch out the titles and cards when we move on to new concepts! The kiddos can grab a set and go to their seats when they have completed their independent assignment correctly! I love that these are adorable, and not another worksheet to fill out! You can also use these cards as a Scoot activity! More to come next week as my students work on these fun task cards! 
And I prepped my Learning to Love the Dictionary and Thesaurus pack. My students have been having the most difficult time using the dictionary to edit their writing! I haven't even attempted the thesaurus yet, because they can't even look things up alphabetically! I decided to create this file that could be used any time of year, but is especially adorable during February! Included are seven different activities including alphabetizing, using guide words, a dictionary scavenger hunt, using a dictionary and thesaurus, synonyms, antonyms, and shades of meaning. I have included a set with color, and a set with less color that has the backgrounds removed. 
I'm going to let some groups grab a bag and take it to their group, and I 'm going to work with a few of them at a time to practice their alphabetizing skills. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some extra practice will do the trick, and soon they will be loving the dictionary and thesaurus! I am going to store each activity in the little bags I found at Target in the Dollar Spot. I laminated the title labels and again, the kiddos can grab a pack and go! 
For easy storage and organization, I keep the contents of the file in a file folder with pockets that I purchased at Staples once we are finished with it. I might have to use two folders for storage for this pack, since it's pretty thick! All of the task cards, recording sheets, and answer keys go inside the folder!
I use these 5 x 7 envelopes, also from Staples, to organize each set of task cards. These file folders are stored in plastic magazine holders according to subject. It makes it so easy to find exactly what I need! 
And here's a little preview of some of the activities, ready to go on Monday!

I hope I've given you some ideas for the month of February and that you are able to use some of the freebies!

Be sure to check out the Super Bowl Sale and $1 Deals going on today and tomorrow!
Here are my dollar deals! 

Congratulations to Cecilia B. and Tina B. for winning this amazing unit!  I know you guys will love using it in your classrooms.

Today I'm going to share with you something that I use every day and has greatly improved my students' grammar and writing abilities. It's Mentor Sentences from Ideas by Jivey!
Ideas by Jivey
Last year I was fortunate to learn about Ideas by Jivey's Mentor Sentences for 3-5th grades and used it with my third graders. What first caught my eye were the wonderful story titles, many of which were already in my classroom library or readily available from my school library. After using Mentor Sentences for a few weeks, I couldn't believe how quickly my students grasped grammar concepts that in the past were so difficult for them! They were finally able to easily identify parts of speech, similes, metaphors, homophones, and other grammatical concepts. I saw a huge improvement in their writing as well! In my twenty years of teaching, I've never used a program that helps students to understand how language works quite like this one. You would think you would have to devote tons of time each day to get these results, right? Well, all you actually need is about 15 minutes a day! 
Jessica has recently created her Mentor Sentences for first and second grades! Her first and second sets are available, and she is working on a third pack right now. These packs would be perfect for first and second grade students. The first pack is geared towards the first three months of school, and the second pack focuses on November-January themes. There are many titles included that would work for any time of year. You can click on the pictures below to see them more closely. 
I'm going to share with you how I spent a week using Mentor Sentences. I was so excited to see Officer Buckle and Gloria as one of the titles, since that was the story we would be reading in our anthology the following week! Complete daily lesson plans with answer keys are provided for each set of Mentor Sentences.
On the first day of the week, we began with Invitation to Notice. After reading the story, I gave each student the sentence on a strip, which is provided. They glued their sentences into their Writer's Notebooks and together we discussed and took notes about what they noticed about the sentence. The students were able to discover common and proper nouns, sentence types, pronouns, plural nouns, and verb tense, all included in one sentence. I was also able to clear up some misconceptions they had about parts of speech. I took notes on the easel, and they copied their notes into their notebooks. 

On the second day, we diagrammed the sentence and I asked them to tell me the part of speech of each word in the sentence. The students began to see how words work together in sentences. The more you use Mentor Sentences, the more concepts will begin to stick with your students. They will start to see how adverbs work with verbs, and how adjectives give nouns more details, not verbs. My students now shout out "simile" whenever we read a simile in our read aloud or other mentor text, and they can easily identify subjects and predicates. Below you can see what we came up with for days one and two. 
On Day 3, the students were asked to revise the sentence to make it even better than it already was. They could add adjectives, vivid verbs, or specific nouns, and try to stretch the sentence. I told them they needed to spice it up!
Day 4 was more challenging for them, as students were asked to write an imitation sentence. They needed to write a completely new sentence with the author's style, but using their own words. We also discussed how we could spice up the sentences we created. We still need to work on this part a bit more!
After the students completed their imitation sentences, I went around the room and chose four sentences to place in a Star Sentences pocket chart. These students were excited to write their sentences on sentence strips with my special Scentos markers! I kept these posted until the end of the next week, when I chose new sentences from our next Mentor Sentence to replace these.
On Day 5, I gave the students a quiz, which was also provided. Students are quizzed on the concepts for each Mentor Sentence. The students aced this quiz since we discussed the concepts throughout the week. 
This Grammar Homework page is also included. I love to use this as a review for the students before the quiz. This is perfect for homework or morning work. 
Ideas by Jivey has added a freebie for you! Just click on the picture below to download your own copy of her Diary of a Worm Mentor Sentence. I would love to hear how you like it after you use it with your students. I hope you love Mentor Sentences as much as I do!
You can read more about Mentor Sentences by clicking on the picture below. Jessica has more examples and videos about her mentor sentences on her blog.
Ideas by Jivey is graciously giving away one copy of her Mentor Sentences Unit: The First 10 Weeks for Second grade! And that lucky winner is going to also win a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers from me so they can purchase the second set of Jivey's Mentor Sentences. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!
My good friend Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching is also using Jivey's Mentor Sentences in her classroom and is joining me in the giveaway. She will also be choosing a winner from her blog! Be sure to check her blog post and see how she used Mentor Sentences. I am going to be borrowing a few of her ideas next week! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stephanie from Mrs. D's Corner is celebrating her birthday with a huge giveaway! She is giving away three $100 gift certificates to Amazon that were donated by various TpT teacher authors! Click on the picture below to enter on her blog! 
Good luck and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Ashley from One Sharp Bunch is celebrating her birthday in a big way! She is giving away 6 prize pack bundles which include products from various (awesome!) TpT sellers and $10 to spend in her store! Check out the bundles below- they are organized by grade level and math or ELA. You can enter on her blog by clicking on the picture below beginning today until Thursday the 22nd. Be sure to follow her FB page, because she will be giving away flash freebies from 9a.m. until 9 p.m. EST. Click on the picture below to enter this amazing giveaway! 

It's time for another giveaway! This time it's Melissa from Mrs. Dailey's Classroom who is hosting! She has reached 500 TpT followers, and a group of teacher bloggers have joined in the celebration to donate $10 from each of their stores! Be sure to enter to win between today and Sunday, January 18th! You can check out the prizes below then click on the picture below to enter the rafflecopter on her blog!

Good Luck!!!

And be sure check out the Winter "One"derland dollar deals! Check out all of the dollar deals below! Happy shopping! :)
Here are my dollar deals!

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