Thursday, January 31, 2013

Groundhog Persuasive Writing Freebie

I am getting this up a little later than I had hoped, but between "snow"days and report cards, I have been really overwhelmed! I am trying to incorporate more persuasive pieces of writing in throughout the year now that we are teaching the Common Core.  I made this writing activity and thought I would share it with everyone.  It basically has the kiddos decide whether they want 6 more weeks of winter or spring to begin.  We had a discussion about Groundhog's Day and what seeing his shadow would mean.  After they decided what they wanted, they had to brainstorm reasons to support that decision. This has a planning sheet to help with that.  Last, they write a letter to the groundhog trying to persuade him to see or not see his shadow.  The class enjoyed it and some of the reasons were a lot of fun to read.  The font is from The Tattooed Teacher - which if you don't follow her, you really should!  She has great stuff and is fun to read. Juli has been working on a unit she got from Rachel and is loving it. She will be blogging about it soon.  I am stalking her matter unit that I hope to snag on one of these TPT sales soon.  Please feel free to use the Groundhog Writing this year - or maybe next year since I am behind in getting it shared.  Click HERE to grab your copy.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine's Day Line Plot Match Up

I have enjoyed these last few days off!  I hope that you all have enjoyed them as well.  I have had the chance to get lots of school work done.  One of the things I have worked on is a Line Plot matching game in preparation for Valentines Day.  Last year, I created some other line plot activities and wrote about them here and here.  One of our stations in our math rotations is what we call a Manipulation Station.  I created this activity as a hands on matching activity for our students to use while reviewing line plots.  It could also be used as a game in the game station.  It also includes a recording sheet to check for understanding.  Head on over to my TPT store to pick up your own copy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shape Concentration

Do you remember the post where I talked about teaching shapes with the shape book?  You can refresh your mind here.  Heather and I teach our weekly skill during our guided math groups.  However, when students are rotating through their independent math stations, we have them review skills from the week before.  So the week following our shapes lessons, we needed some stations that allowed the students to practice what they had learned the week before and be able to work independently.  For our math game station, I made a shape concentration game that would let the students identify the shapes as well as use attributes to identify them.  I unfortunately did not snap any pictures of my students using this game (I was too busy teaching this week's guided math lessons on partitioning circles and rectangles into rows and columns).  You can pick up your own copy by following my link to my TPT store on the side of the blog, or by clicking the picture below.

On an unrelated note, Heather and I didn't have school on Friday due to "snow".  To put it in perspective to understand just how little snow we had, my 6 year old woke up on Friday morning and asked why we weren't going to school.  I explained that we had a snow day.  When she looked outside, she said "but Mommy, that is just frost!"  EXACTLY!

So, we got ourselves a day off, which seems like a great thing since we don't have school on Monday or Tuesday this coming week giving our students a 5 day weekend.  However, now thanks to our "frost day" we will now be in school on Saturday morning!!  BOO!!!!!  So we have been busy enjoying our 5 day weekend since next weekend will only be a 1 day weekend.

Happy Shape Matching!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Homophone Freebie

We have been teaching homophones this week. I found this cute activity on Pinterest where students write and illustrate their pairs of homophones on pears.  I did the activity with the class and the first words that come to mind are "hot mess." Granted I do tend to be completely slightly OCD.  But I didn't think the class would be game to play "Let's redo this so I can feel better about it." Not to mention that doing something over to calm my OCD tendencies has no educational value! So I put it out in the hall. Here is how it looks:

I really just wanted it to look neater.  I made a new one to use next year. Click on the picture to download your own copy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MLK Day and a Freebie!

Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King, Jr.!  He and my hubby share a birthday today!  So in a few days we will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday at school.  I am excited to celebrate the holiday with my kiddos.  I am excited first that I found these awesome biographies.  Since we teach famous Americans, I thought that these biographies would be great additions to our class library.  I found them at Target and Books-a-million.  For my interactive read aloud this week and next I am reading this one:

I am so excited about our bulletin board.  I love this and it makes a great addition to the hallway.  I took black and white pictures of my kids but had them look away from the camera.  I  had them write in their speech bubbles what they want to be when they grow up.  It is precious and I love the way it comes out.  To tie in technology, I may have them type inside of the speech bubble.


You can make your own bulletin board too!  They aren't much but you can pick up a copy of the speech bubble, here.
Happy MLK Day!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sad News and New Product (finally)

Hello all! I hope everyone is having a good new year so far.  My new year has been a little rough. I debated on sharing this on the blog. However, some of my favorite blogs out there are the ones where the bloggers share more than just school things.  Plus I felt like Georgia deserved a little good bye here it goes.

Twelve years ago a little beagle mix puppy became my first puppy ever.  My husband and I named her Georgia in honor of my family who lives there. What an adventure she turned out to be! She ate EVERYTHING in, plastic, golf balls, paper, etc. You it name and she would eat it.  She had a funny broken tail because she got stuck backwards during birth and her mom pulled her out by her tail, breaking it in the process.  The tip curved in the opposite direction so she was easy to spot with her little hook tail. She was extremely smart and could open doors and car windows.  She was a total pain to live with! But as much work as she was, she was so sweet. Both of my boys came home from the hospital to Georgia waiting to greet them.  She loved them right away. She was always gentle with them and let them crawl, drool, pull, and climb all over her.  Of course, they were just as giving and provided diapers - which was one of Georgia's many favorite treats - please refer back to the sentence about her being able to open doors and being a total pain to live with.  The last couple of months have been rough and Georgia had a chronic condition that caused her to get sick almost daily and usually several times a night.  The past weekend my husband and I decided that it was time to say good bye and let Georgia be at peace.  I am filled with too much emotion to know what to write next, other than how sad we are and hope we provided her a good life. I'm adding a picture of her below. Thank you for letting me use the blog to say good bye!
Now please try not to get whip lash from the complete and total subject change! I need to move on and I know not everyone wants to continue to hear stories about a dog they have never met! I finally got around to finishing a product. I am the worst at finishing things!  I get started and then a diaper needs to be changed, or the laundry is ready to be shuffled, or one of my fabulous extravagant dinners is ready. Okay, I made that last part up. I burn toast and have trouble boiling water.

Back to the point, I created an author's purpose game because Juli and I have noticed that the kids DO NOT GET IT! It doesn't matter what we do. If they don't constantly practice it - it's gone. So I thought I would create a game for a station to review the concept. Here is what some of it looks like:

 I also made these "posters" to review the concept and place around the room.  I thought it would be cute for any of you out there with a pirate theme. 
 If this looks like something you might be interested in, you can find it HERE. However, I am giving it away free to the first 3 people that leave blog love.

Sorry again for the downer beginning to my post, but thanks for hanging there. Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shapes, Shapes, and More Shapes

Hello friends!  Have you ever had one of those days that you got out of bed and within the first 30 minutes awake, you wanted to climb back into bed and claim a do-over?  Well, that sadly was me this morning.  I had one of the most terrible mornings I have ever had in a long time.  I cried to school the entire way and began my morning at school at 6:30 already having cried off my make up and a red and puffy face.  Knowing me as well as she does, Heather immediately knew something was up.  I spent about 45 minutes in my classroom quietly trying to get myself back together.  I was very worried about the way my day would continue to go.  I am one of those people that has to have everything go "just right" or my day will fall apart.  I prayed that my morning would not dictate the rest of my day and I am pleased to tell you that it in fact did NOT dictate my day!!!  My class had a great day and it was one that I was able to look back on and think, "wow, I was good today!"  Nothing like tooting your own horn, right!?!  Any who, I thought I'd snap a quick picture and let you know what we have been working on in our second grade rooms.  We have just finished up a horrible, mind numbing, torturous,  lovely unit on addition and subtraction with regrouping.  Notice our LONG silence and break from blogging.  You can thank regrouping.  I don't know what it was but this blew their minds!!!!!  There was little that was good to share so hence our sabbatical.  So after that fun little unit, we have moved into something more fun and enjoyable...GEOMETRY!  We began by building our common shapes with Popsicle sticks and began filling out a shape books.  We have discovered that our kids are good at shape identification but lack the ability to rationalize why they know the shape based on attributes.  We have them create these shape books and keep them for reference as they work.

You can pick up your own copy of this shape book here.  Or by clicking on the picture below.  

Happy Shapes to you!!