Sunday, December 10, 2017

Look What We've Been Doing...

     How can so many school days fly by?  Are you feeling it too?  Christmas is right around the corner and my class has only begun their projects.  We are very fortunate at our school to be able to enjoy the holiday season with all its sights, sounds, and tastes!

     This week we had a whole lot of gingerbread learning going on.  The kids loved it!  Everyday they would check the anchor chart to see a hint of the new gingerbread book would we be reading.  Love the comparing and contrasting discussions!

     On the third day of Christmas my teacher gave to me... gingerbread house designing and a gingerbread movie (only 12 minutes long).  The past few years my creative teaching partner and I give our students 12 Christmas gifts.  Friday the students got a plate of gingerbread house designing materials and turned on their creative juices.  What a fun activity for Friday - treats, giggles, and a cartoon!

     One sweet student had her mother make gingerbread cookies for her birthday treat!  The tasty gingerbread men fit just right in the houses the students made!  Regan was so happy when she saw her birthday treat inside the houses of her friends.  It was perfect - I can tell that Regan talks to her family about what we are learning in school.

     The students had a blast with Gingerbread Coding from Brooke Brown at Teach Outside the Box.  At first the kiddos didn't seem too sure about their ability to follow the code.  But we started slow with just 5 directions.  Then we went to 10 and finally finished with 15!  One student would write the code on the sheet protector (reduced the number of copies), then take it to a friend to have them figure it out.  Another heartwarming teacher moment - conversation about the code and its success or need to change something.

     Parent volunteers! Yeah!!!  This mom has agreed to help in our classroom for three Fridays!  It is so wonderful to have the extra set of hands to complete extra activities.  Mrs. R has gone home with glittered clothing for the past two Fridays.  She loves coming in to work and visit with the students.  Hats off to parent volunteers!

     Finally, it is always a treat to get a note from a student.  This note was written on the back of a quiz.

Happy Sunday, Friends!


Friday, November 24, 2017

Gingerbread Man Scoot 2-Digit Addition with Regrouping

Thanks to everyone who visits my little corner of the education world!  Enjoy this limited time freebie!  

Gingerbread Man Scoot is perfect for your math workshop or center activities.  The set includes 20 cards in full color and printer friendly black and white.  Recording sheet and answer are also included.

Grab this freebie before it goes away!

Once again, thanks for following me on my second grade journey!


Friday, November 10, 2017

Look What We've Been Doing...

     Where did the week go?  I looked through my iPad and couldn't believe that I didn't take many pictures this week! 

     Conferences and report cards all in one week!  Enough said, you know what that is like!  After all the conversations with parents and explaining what "really" goes on in 2nd grade, some kiddos had a little time to evaluate their quarterly goals.

     When the students arrived this morning they saw this on our daily schedule.  "Mrs. Brown, what are we going to do?" was asked again and again.  I kept them in suspense for most of the day and throughout the day there was a lot of catch up work going on.  The something special time finally came.  Students who met all the weekly goals were able to enjoy chewing gum and playing Thanksgiving bingo!  Then the students have a little free time with our Chromebooks!

     Added bonus... while the kiddos were enjoying their free time, I had a few minutes to wrap up my things from the week.  And I was able to leave work early on time. 
     These cute treats were enjoyed by the everyone!  Our Owl S'mores was another recipe we added to our recipe books this week. Yum!

     That is a little look at what we were doing this week.  Stop by again for another visit.

Enjoy your weekend!


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Look What We've Been Doing!

Happy Friday!

     Each week flies by!  So many activities and so many activities I want to do!  I guess that's why my second graders say, "It's the end of the day already!"  That statement always makes me smile and I can't help but think, "I'm so glad you feel that way.  I must be doing something right."

     Enrichment Group - I am having so much fun with these students.  This is a group of students who have opportunity  to participate in a wide variety of activities while other students are in intervention groups.  This week the students started working on a ZOMBIE unit!  When I first mentioned we would work on zombies, the giggles came out!  Thursday the group had to draw conclusions as to where the zombie outbreak possibly started!  Each group had a lot of discussion and explaining their answers.

     I want to give Tristen Dixon a huge shout out for her fantastic unit.  You can find her unit in her TpT store.
       Working with place value - I love to see the kiddos engaged in our classroom activities!  Our school uses Expressions Math, so you will notice the secret code cards.  It was tedious laminating and cutting out the cards but, so worth it as each student has a set they can use.  More place value activities planned for next week.

     Also, just as we were starting this activity, our admin team (yes 2 administrators) stopped in for an informal evaluation.  I was so pleased the kids were so into our activity they didn't even notice our visitors! 
      Keyboarding Time - This week our second grade students began keyboarding time.  The students use the Typing Agent program.  This isn't an ideal situation, last year we had a qualified keyboarding teacher work with our students.  She was much more qualified to instruct the students in the proper finger/hand form and keyboarding process.  I can only manage the students and they are all at a varying levels within the program.
     You know as well as I do, as teachers we do the best we can with the challenges presented to us.

     Finally, God is so good!  Look at the beautiful sunrise I saw on my way to school one morning.  That sentence made me chuckle, on my way to school watching the sun rise!  I can see many of you nodding your head in agreement.
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Look What We've Been Doing!

Hello Friends!

     Wow!  It has been a loooong time since I've visited with you!  

     So much has happened.  I was off for two weeks to take care of my daughter after the birth of her second child.  Then a memorial service for both of my in-laws.  They were 90 years old and married for 70 years.  God was so good through the years and provided many blessings in their lives.  After all that it was hard to get back into a routine with school and home.

     Several grades (2-5) from our school were able to attend a performance at our nearby two-year college campus.  Field trips are always fun!  The actors were all local elementary and high school students from our local region.
     Fire Safety Day ended our week.  Our local firefighters did an outstanding job educating the students on ways to stay safe.  The presentations included:  dress up in fire safety gear, up close look at fire trucks, operating a fire hose, dive team safety, rescue and safety when fighting fires in remote areas, and several more.
     Thank you, Firefighters for a wonderful learning opportunity!
     As a follow up to our safety morning, students worked to build a house with escape routes.  The partners discussed how to get out of a burning house and what exits could be used.  So much good conversation and idea exchange.  

     Although, one group did struggle with figuring out how to build a house.  One student wanted everything her way and her partner came to me somewhat frustrated.  It's difficult to try to make partners work together.  That will be skill we will have to work on.
      There were many more things from last week, these few were just the highlights.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Solid Read Alouds

Connecting poetry and your classroom read alouds

Hey Teacher Friends!  Rachel and I are so excited to share our updated Solid Read Aloud units!

Poetry was a challenging unit to teach all in one month.  I always felt rushed, there possibly could have been a little eye rolling when I talked to the students about writing their own poetry, and frankly, I  really wanted them to enjoy poetry as much as I do.  This is how I solved that dilemma, Rachel and I created Solid Read Aloud units!  Then, while talking to a mentor teacher/friend, she commented a solid read aloud incorporates many different pieces of literature, fiction, non-fiction, poetry.  This added to my excitement about the units and here we are!  The Solid Read Aloud units have been used in my classroom for the past school year.  I know there will be even more updates in the future.  Hmm, maybe thinking snack connection, directed drawing?!?!

We started planning our units by searching National Observance Days in the United States.  This gave a great list of topics for each month.  At times it was very hard to decide which topic to select.  Rachel and I stayed away from holiday topics and focused on a wide variety of topics.  Because we didn't focus on holiday topics the Solid Read Alouds can easily be interchanged and used when they best fit with your long range plans and curriculum.

Each unit begins with an anchor poem, some are original and others were found (and credited) on various sites.  Each unit contains:  lesson plans, anchor poem, writing paper, anchor chart printables, close read selection, on some units: question cards, project directions, games, graphic organizers, original non-fiction books, and more.

As we read the poems, we have lots of discussion.  Sometimes I use question cards and other times, the students direct where our discussion may go.  Also, when reading poetry the students listen to me on the first day, then on subsequent days I have a student reader.   As the year continues the students are modeling excellent fluency and expression.

The units include examples of anchor charts for your classroom, as well as, printable titles, graphics, captions, and more.  By using the printables provided your anchor chart is almost complete, just add your information.

Solid Read Alouds are designed to fit into a daily 15 minute time frame.  I found that to be about the optimum time for the unit activities.  Last school year our Solid Read Aloud fit into a time right after our milk break.  I haven't looked at my schedule for the coming year to find the best time.  Right now I'm thinking the last 15 minutes before we go to lunch.  Hmm, I'll keep you posted.

To start your school year, Rachel and I are offering our Good Neighbor Solid Read Aloud for FREE!!!  Stop by our TpT store to snag your free copy.  We hope you will enjoy using the read aloud product with your students!  Here's just a little sample... 

Shout out to Krista Wallden for her Kindness Nation clipart

Krista Wallden - Creative Clips

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Made It

Where is the summer going?  There are not too many Mondays left in August.  My first day back for in-service days is Tuesday, August 29.  Each day is so precious, isn't it?

This week my sweet teaching partner, Linda and I are teaching at Triton Academy (a two day PD workshop for teachers) for the sixth year in a row.  Prior to my gig with Linda, I taught at Triton for 3 years.  

I haven't been doing much for my second grade classroom as I was getting ready for Triton Academy.  Maybe next week I'll have an update for you.

STEM is a focus for one of our sessions this year.  I have gathered so much information from everyone this summer as I prepared for the session.  I've found that I am in LOVE with STEM bins!  What a fantastic way to engage early finishers and incorporate hands on exploration in the process.

To prepare for the session I created task cards for three books I found at my favorite Dollar Tree.  I love stopping in at Dollar Tree because you never know what you will find!
The task cards are currently free in my TpT store!  I wanted to give our session participants the opportunity to download the cards for free.  

I plan to place the book and task card set in my STEM area, along with a variety of materials to use to complete the tasks.  Many of the task cards have sentences from the book and a building activity listed.  Some cards have words from the book to spell.

I would love for you to pop into my TpT store, grab your copy, and leave a comment!  Maybe while you're there, you'll find something else you would like for your classroom.

Happy Monday!