Thursday, December 29, 2011

Books Online - Fantastic!

     Here is a fantastic website for FREE online books - - We Give Books.  I plan to use this for some read alouds and for a change of pace for read to self time.  So many possibilities!


     I love to play games with my students.  In fact many former students will tell me they remember playing games in my classroom.  I've also had parents compliment me on the activities/games my students participate in.  Here are a few games we like to play and also a few new games I found during my web searching.  I hope you and your class enjoy these games also!

Quiet Ball
     The object of the game is to see how many times the class can toss the ball without talking or making a sound.  Using a soft ball (we use a soft, spiky, koosh-type ball) the person throwing the ball makes eye contact with the person who will catch the ball.  If the ball is dropped or the person makes a sound they sit down in their place in the circle.  Play continues until only one person is left.  Variation:  The teacher silently counts the number of times the ball is caught.  The class will try to beat that number the next time they play.  This is a great game to play during those extra five minutes.

Beep, Beep
     My class requests to play this game the last few minutes of the day while everyone is waiting to go home.
     One student hides his eyes, the teacher selects a student to hide behind a cabinet.  The remaining students switch places in the classroom.  The first student uncovers his eyes and tries to guess who is hiding.  This is harder than you think, I've tried it.  If the student doesn't guess within a few seconds the student that is hiding says beep, beep.  I will say, "Mystery person disguise your voice and say beep, beep."  Usually the guesser is able to figure out who is hiding.

     Students sit in a circle.  Teacher points to the first student who says the first number in the counting sequence.  Continue counting until a student says 50, 100, or whatever the teacher sets as the final number.  The student who says the final number is out.  Counting continues until only one person is left.  This is good practice for counting by 2s, 5s, 10s.  Excellent activity to engage the whole class. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

January Ideas

     During the month of January our class will work on procedural writing.  Following is a list of activities that we will focus on.

     ~Introduction to Procedural Writing
     To begin the unit the teacher will orally give directions to the class.  Make the directions rather vague and unclear.  For example, first draw a square on the paper, next draw a triangle close to the square, then make two small squares inside the first square.  Now draw a rectangle inside the first square.  Finally, draw a wavy line under the first square.  As the teacher is giving the directions do not answer questions and tell the students to do the best job they can.
     On the second trial give the same directions only include lots of details being very specific as to where the various shapes should be drawn.
     Discuss the difference of the two ways to give directions or tell how to do something.  Why is it important to be very specific when giving directions?  What are some words we use when giving directions?

     ~Procedural Writing with Pirates
     A great lesson for grades 2-4 using the book Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long can be found here.
     Tumble Books Pirates Don't Change Diapers.

     ~How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
     Students write the directions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Next another student tries to follow the directions.  Did your partner include all the steps to making the sandwich?
      After the partner work, students will rewrite their directions to include any steps they missed.  The partners follow the directions again.  Were the directions better the second time?

     ~How to Blow a Bubble with Bubble Gum
     Give students a piece of bubble gum.  They will chew the gum and blow a bubble.  As they enjoy their gum, students write the procedure for blowing a bubble.
      Next, students draw their face on a paper plate (be sure to draw the face large enough to fill the plate).  Then blow up a pink balloon and knot it, poke the knot through the mouth to come out the back of the plate.  Secure with masking tape.  Attach the face and procedural writing paper to a large piece of construction paper for display.

     ~How to Build an Edible Snowman
      Provide students with a variety of snowman building materials:  marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, pretzels, small carrot wedges, etc.  Students will use the materials to build a snowman and write the directions.
      After their snowman is built students will enjoy their treat!

Ready to Write

     Christmas was wonderful!  My three daughters were home!  Everyone spent time relaxing, enjoying visiting, and of course eating too many treats!

     I'm ready to think about January projects with my 2nd graders.  Each day when my students arrive they work on an assignment during homeroom time.  Starting on January 2 (yes we go back to school right away:o( ) I plan to have them work on Christine Bainbridge's I Know a Cold Lady Who... .  Check out this great idea.  This will make a wonderful hallway display.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I'm soooo excited to join the blogging world!  I've followed many of you talented teachers and now I hope to share some of my materials and ideas with you.