Friday, January 29, 2016

Five for Friday

Thanks, Doodle Bugs for hosting
Our week began with a little snow outside, and these great snowflakes inside!

Stop by on Thursday to grab your freebie for this project.
My class has been working hard on their Google Slides Biography presentations.  Last week the students completed their graphic organizers for their famous person.  This week they completed their presentations.

Students gave their presentations today and some will finish up on Monday.  How fun watching the presentations.  Some students really enjoy being in the spotlight.

Here is the rubric I used to guide the students through their work and grade the presentations.

This week dictionary work was on our radar.  On Wednesday we did a fun activity - Dictionary Dig.  It is a very simple activity - I write a random word on the board, while holding their dictionary high in the air students say the word.  Here's the part that makes me smile, I say charge, students drop their dictionary to their desk and as fast as they can they try to find the word.  When a student finds the word they stand up.  After three students are standing, I stop everyone, we say the page number, and everyone gets on the same page.
Next, I ask the three students who are standing a few questions. 
What part of speech is the word?
How many different meanings are there for the word?
What is the example sentence?
Spelling races - a great time filler for those extra minutes.

Our week ended with creating this beautiful winter picture!  Visit this site to get the directions.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

How is it possible that the week has flown by again!?  Maybe that is a good thing.

Today I've a good thing for you to use during your math workshop.  In the thrifty style we like, it is a freebie!

My math students needed a change from our shape unit, so why not practice our 3-digit addition skills!  I know I've told you before but my class loves to scoot around the room with various activities.  Maybe because they get to wander walk around the room to complete their work.  It always puts a smile on my face to secretly know they are doing more work during a scoot activity than if I would hand them a worksheet.  Shhh, that will be our secret!

You can grab this freebie at my TpT store.

Have a great Thursday and Friday!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Five for Friday

It's Friday! Thanks, Doodlebugs!

We've been working on our shape unit.  The kiddos were excited when these building materials came out.
 Very good example of edges and vertices, yummy too!
Our science investigation this week was Fishing for Ice.  Yesterday I shared our investigation paper with you.  When my class works on an investigation/experiment we discuss what "real/grown up" scientists probably do in their labs.  This quick discussion focuses the students sets the stage for more serious work from my second graders.
You can see my little scientists had success with their investigation.  When you read through our investigation paper you'll find there are two secret ingredients.  The students perform the entire experiment without knowing what the secret ingredients are.  The final step is tasting the secret ingredients.  What a surprise to the students!

To conclude our science time I hand out the last page in the packet.  This page gives the what happened during the experiment.

As a teacher, I loved hearing, "This is so much fun!"  "This was our best experiment yet!"
Quizmo - I'll call this game vintage because it's on the aging side.  With that said, my students really love playing addition bingo.

We enjoyed a reader's theater presented by some first grade students. 

Our week ended with taping another second grade teacher to the wall!  The students at our school read 27,000,000 words during the first semester of school.  The reward was taping Mr. E to the wall, what a good sport!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday, Friends!

Today I'm sharing a STEM activity that we will do today!  Here in northeastern Wisconsin many people go ice fishing but, in our classroom we are fishing for ice.

My students love the STEM activities we do.  I would love to have the time to accomplish an activity each week but the reality is I can maybe get a couple of the activities each month.  

I like using the investigation form format.  I set the stage by telling the students we are working in a science lab and then pose the question to the class.  Students make their hypothesis, next we have a short discussion time to share.

Now the fun begins with students usually working in pairs to complete the investigation. Side note - I almost always have partners rather than groups of three.  Second graders aren't the best at taking turns and sharing so partners work well for me.  During their investigation time I encourage the partners to stay on topic with their discussions and ask "why questions".

Here is the investigation form and explanation.  

Please share your pictures with me when you complete this investigation!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Today I'm sharing an organizational idea with you. 

Do you write students' names on your board as a reminder for yourself or the students? 

On Monday I would my students' names on the board - this was a reminder that everyone needs to complete their required minutes for Lexia, a reading program.  Monday would end and I would erase several names. Next, I would rewrite the list because the empty spaces didn't look good and I didn't like the messy look. Tuesday the process would be repeated and so on throughout the week. 

I knew there had to be a better way.  Here is my organizational plan for maintaining a neat list.  I printed out my students' names and placed them in a pocket chart.  I was liking the look of this list immediately, much neater than a hand written list on the board.

Now when a student completes their Lexia time I use a post-it note to cover their name.  The list always looks neat and takes up less space than the handwritten list.  There is extra space on the pocket chart for other lists or reminders for my students.

If you have an organizational idea leave a comment and/or a link to your great idea.

Pop back on Friday or maybe Saturday for my Five for Friday!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Five for Friday on Saturday

Thank you, Doodle Bugs! I love this weekly linky party!!!
Rulers, inches, centimeters and more!  Lots of measurement activities this week.  Having fun measuring lots of everyday school items.

Quick Spin Math game - I've had this cute finger spinner from Dollar Tree since the beginning of the school and still hadn't used it.  Today was the day to play Quick Spin!  

To play Quick Spin I wrote a variety of numbers on the white board and added the magnetic finger spinner to the middle.  I would spin the first number and have a student spin the second number.  Students then completed the 2-digit addition problem.  When everyone finished we quickly checked the answer.  On cue, cheers were heard for their correct answers! 

We were able to complete as much work as they would have accomplished on a worksheet in about half the time!  Oh the power of games!

This week my Thrifty Thursday post told you about using recycled Christmas materials to make our cool jellyfish.  Today I want to share our completed jellyfish projects. 

To begin the week we discussed jellyfish and created a chart to anchor our learning.
Next, we researched jellyfish facts. Finally the students used their best penmanship to create a great non-fiction writing piece.
Sometimes you just have to have a little quiet in a classroom.  Friday afternoon at 2:30 was that time.  I was fortunate to snag enough Chromebooks for my entire class (even though I didn't sign up in advance).  When I walked in with the cart, the kiddos were surprised.  Some guessed we all have to work on Lexia (a reading/ela program on line).  When I wrote on the board they were excited!  I just bought myself 20 minutes of quiet and they were totally engaged in quickly logging on (a somewhat difficult task for several students) and navigating to abcya. This was the first time this year the students were able to have this type of activity. I know it won't be our last!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday!

Today I'm sharing how we used some recycled items from Christmas.

I confess maybe I hoard some things.  We received several deliveries that contained bubble wrap, which I saved (why I didn't know at the time).  I also saved the tinsel when I undecorated our Christmas tree.  At the time I wasn't sure what I would do with these valuable resources.  Here is the rest of the story...

I don't know about you but it was a little hard getting back into the swing of things at school.  I'm just like my students and enjoyed nights of staying up late and keeping my pjs on later than usual.

So to help with our first day back at school we worked on these cool jellyfish.  The jellyfish weren't a random project but made a great connection to our story in reading - Jellies.  I did a Pinterest search for jellyfish projects, so many cute things to choose from!

I decided to use coffee filters for the body and tentacles.  Students randomly colored 4 filters with markers and sprayed the filters with a few sprits of water.  This makes the colors run together and look beautiful!  The kids thought it was magic!!!

Next we cut the filters in half to resemble the bell shape of a jellyfish.  Students cut the remaining 3 filters in a spiral to create long pieces for the tentacles.  Magic number two, "Mrs. Brown, look!  I can make this longer than me."  How cute to see them holding up their super long tentacles.

Students glued the tentacles and tinsel onto the body.  Finally, the students added the bubble wrap to the outside of the jellyfish body.

Here are our finished projects...
Our jellyfish sway in the breeze as people walk past our classroom.  The jellies truly look like they are drifting in the ocean.

Stop back tomorrow for our Five for Friday. Our writing projects will be joining our cool jellyfish.

Have a great Thursday!