Sunday, December 30, 2012

Teachers Helping Teachers @ Sandy Hook

Teachers at Teachers Pay Teachers are working together to help make "Back to School Day" a little smoother for teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary this week. The project currently has over 60 sellers donating items from their store, but they are in need of a few more. The need is for teachers with items on TpT for 4th and 5th grade, and specialty areas (Art, P.E., Music). If you are a seller and can help with any of these areas, please clink the link below for more details. They want to finalize the list by Tuesday. Thank you for helping out!

Pirate Girl 101

It occurred to me while visiting other blogs, that since starting this blog, I just jumped right in and started talking (yep, I do that) without any kind of introduction. So, ahoy this is Pirate Girl 101.
My name is Merinda Nunez Powell. I have been married to Todd for 21 years and we have 4 kids. 
Michael (currently deployed to Afghanistan) married to Michele, 3 kids, 1 grand, and 1 on the way.
Amanda (takes care of Todd's mom)
Jack (sophomore in college in Tallahassee)
Bridget (middle schooler).
We (our moms and almost all of our extended families) live in the beautiful, small town of Fernandina Beach, Florida. It is on Amelia Island, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Our town has a very rich history, it has been under 8 flags, named after Princess Amelia, and inhabited by pirates (that's where the pirates come in).
Our mascot (for our 1 high school and 1 middle school) is a pirate, so everyone here grew up wanting to be a pirate. Me included. When I started teaching in the school where I attended K-2, I knew that we would be Mrs. Powell's Pirates. So that's who we are. 
I have been teaching for 20 years (1st, 2nd, 3rd grade). I am currently back in 2nd grade and I had forgotten (8 years in 1st) how much I LOVE 2nd grade. Since it has been so long since teaching 2nd grade, it feels like starting over. So I am here sharing some things that I have been making for our classroom.
I also feel called by God to write Biblical units that can be used in classrooms around the world. Even though I cannot use them in my own classroom, I know that there is nothing more important than spreading His love and His word.  If you are still reading this, I applaud you and I really hope that you will consider becoming a blog follower, visit often and find many things that are useful to you and your kids. Godspeed!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday FREEBIE...

When we head back to school in a couple of weeks:) we will be starting adjectives so I thought I would share a FREEBIE adjective sheet that we will be using. I'm thinking of using the left side as an introductory activity and then check for understanding by having them complete the right side.
He is COOL!
 I also linked this to the Teaching Blog Addict, so after you download it, be sure to hop over and grab all the FREEBIES they have featured for today. Happy Friday!

Freebie Fridays

Super Sale.......

My friend and coworker Crissy Bass is having a sale this week at her Teachers Pay Teachers store.  She has some great graphic organizers, writing templates and power points for practicing sight words. Many are on sale for less than $1. Who can pass up a good sale?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Giveaway....

My friend Cynthia over at The 2nd Grade Pad is celebrating her Blogiversary and she is giving away her store! Hurry over for your chance to win! 

Gift for the Grandmas:)

This morning I'm on vacation, so I'm digging up an old post to share for Cynthia's Take It & Make It. It is an idea I love!!! Hope it is something you will find easy to make:)
Be sure to check out the other great ideas at The 2nd Grade Pad.
I have been so excited to share what we made our Grandmas for Christmas!
 I found the idea (where else?) on Pinterest and I have been waiting for an opportunity to make them. Well, Christmas was it. I knew Mema and Grandma would love them.
You just have your kids pretend to be holding/hanging from a rope. This is Jack and Bridget.
We liked the one with both of them the best, so that is the one we turned into a bookmark. They were super easy and a huge success. (They now want bookmarks of all their other grandkids:)
I think they would make nice Mother's Day gifts this year. We'll see......
If you like the idea, click on the link and you will get step by step directions from Creative Family Moments.
 Creative Family Moments (bookmarks)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

So thankful for this day and the birth of Jesus, but even more so I am thankful for what this day would lead to. As you celebrate His birth today, keep in mind why He came and what He willingly did for all of us.
Shepherds gaze in wonder
While angel voices sing
This night of nights has come
And brought the world the long-awaited King
The earth is filled with gladness
And yet the heavens weep
For heaven's eyes can see
He was born to die for me.
It must have broken God's heart
For the future He could see
Yet He formed His hands and feet
Knowing one day they'd be nailed to a tree.
So all the world could know it
A gift came from above
For God so loved the world
That He gave His only Son.
Baby Jesus
With a tear of love in your eye
Baby Jesus
You knew you were born to die.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why I Still Love Teaching....

How many times have we wondered....Is anyone listening? Are they learning anything? Am I making a difference for anyone? What about days when we are soooo overwhelmed that you just want to be a door greeter somewhere? After 20 years of teaching, it seems that these days come more often than they used to. 
And then you get something like this on your personal facebook page......

Hello Mrs. Powell... 
I'm not sure if you remember me, but I'm _______ ________. I was in your second grade class at Yulee Primary a LONG time I just wanted to say Hi and see how you were doing. I am friends with Jack on here as well and of course I seen you were linked to his page, so I had to say something. I am doing great as for me, I also attend College here in Tallahassee like Jack. Florida A & M, Second year Criminal Justice Major with a Minor in Pre-Law Studies. I remember the day you had me and my cousin _______ over to your house, I will never forget it. You were one of my Best teachers. I hope all is well. Chat later.

I sat and cried. Something that cost me nothing, just taking a few of my kids home from school with me one afternoon, meant so much to her that she wanted to look me up 12 years later. We don't hear from as many of our kids as we would like to, but when the stories come they make it all worth while. So fellow teachers, keep it up, keep the faith, you are making a difference, even if they never tell you, YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. 
(criminal justice and pre-law!!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas gift for my Pirates....

Party Day is tomorrow and I have been around and around with gift ideas for my kids. And I have (of course) waited until the last minute. Well, I finally settled on something that I know they want a lot. We have a "Pirate Treasure Log" in our classroom as part of our behavior plan. My kids collect compliments/caught being good, etc. on individual cards (I put a dot on their card with a sharpee). When they have collected 10, they are allowed to choose anything from the treasure log. All items in the treasure log are FREE, and that is my favorite:) We have things such as....Stinky Feet Day (they get to take off their shoes for the day), Eat Lunch with a Friend (get to choose who they sit with at lunch), Stuffy Day (they are allowed to bring a stuffed animal from home), etc. They LOVE trips to the treasure log. So that is what they are getting for Christmas. I made up a little rhyme and will add it to their goody bags tomorrow. Can't wait to see what they choose. 
If you think you can use the poem, please grab a copy below.
Pirate Gift Rhyme

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Word Cards

I just found these SUPER COOL snowman graphics by 
Sarah Cooley ( 
You can pick up your free clip art here.
I used them to make this set of flash cards using the 1st grade dolch sight word list. 
You can pick it up at TpT or at my Teacher's Notebook store. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day of Silence....

Teacher bloggers are calling for a day of silence today. 
Please join us in praying.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pirate Boy

Our "Pirate Boy" is headed home from college today. Can't wait!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gingerbread Glyphs

Christmas in Germany was spent with The Gingerbread Pirates.
We are Pirates, so it was a must read. The kids LOVED it.
The Gingerbread Pirates
After the story we made these gingerbread glyphs.
Many of them wanted to cut off one leg and make them Pirates. (LOL)
But instead we used a FREE glyph offered by Sunny Days on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Click the link below to visit the store and pick up your free copy. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Christmas from Australia!

My buddy teacher (Karen Hyers, who is AMAZING!) and I have been taking our kids on a tour around the world for the last 2 weeks. One of their favorite stops so far has been Australia. They think it is so COOL that they go to the beach on Christmas Day. Since we live at the beach, it all makes sense to them. LOL 
We made these great sunset backgrounds with watercolors and then traced a palm tree with a snowman or Mary and Joseph to add the silhouette on the front. We think they look great with "Surfin' Santa."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trying to keep them focused......

What a week (and another one to go)!
Our Christmas play is tomorrow and along with all the other festivities that go with the season, it has been tricky trying to keep us all on track. In Math we have really been working on addition with regrouping and the kids are doing GREAT. I caught their attention (much by accident) on the first day we started by making the longest addition problem that would fit on my paper. They were hooked:) Here is a sheet we did this week in between play practice and such. 
Yours to grab if you can use it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Have you been over to TpT to get your copy of Winter Freebies? It has some amazing ideas and fun things for your students to do over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to run over and pick it up.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Practice and a FREEBIE.....

I have no idea what I am doing, but I am going to learn. 

While I'm practicing, here is a FREE math sheet to help your students practice some addition facts in a festive way.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Well, I did it.........

Well, here it is....I did it....
Finally started a blog. 
Be sure to check back soon, there really will be some stuff added:)
Blogging tips