Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween Gifts for Students

Some teachers do Halloween Gifts for their students and some don't.  We are a gold medal school so we try to avoid candy and unhealthy treats.  That makes Halloween treats a little hard.  My kids needed pencils and erasers so I figured I could get those for them.  I didn't want to get the holiday ones however because they are not great quality and never work or last for long.  I got normal pencils and erasers and "Halloweenified"/"monsterfied" them.   I also threw in a Halloween fruit roll up, a little better than candy.  The kids loved their Halloween treat and maybe now I will hear a few less of the "Teacher, I don't have an eraser" comments. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Inferencing Bottles

We talk a lot about making inferences in second grade so I decided to make some inference bottles.  I spray painted glass lemonade bottles black and spray painted the lids gold and then used a sharpie to write the numbers 1-4 on the top.  I put different things in each bottle.  In one I put paper clips, in another I put pens, in the third I put water and in the last one I put plastic coins (all things found in my classroom). 

We talked about what an inference is and about how we don't just make a random guess but we use the information and clues we have to make a decision about something. 

I gave each table a recording sheet where they had to write down each bottle number, their inference of what was in the bottle, and three reasons for their inference.  I started each table with a bottle and then when they had made their inferences we rotated the bottles so that each table go to make an inference for each bottle. 

They did surprisingly well!  And they came up with great reasons for the inference they had made!

The students loved this activity and it was a great way to reinforce that we can't make random guesses, that we have to have reasons when we are making an inference. 

Here are some pictures of the before and after of the bottles:


Bucket Filling Display

It has been WAY too long since I have blogged!  Planning a wedding and teaching has proved to keep me rather busy, much more busy than I would like to be.  I'm so excited to be marrying my best friend in December though!

This year our school theme is "bucket filling".  We love that it focuses so much on the positive!  Kids are trying to be bucket fillers instead of bucket dippers.  We have little pieces of paper that we give them with drops on them that they earn when they are being a bucket filler.  There are then bucket fillers from each class recognized weekly. 

We have our class bucket (courtesy of the principal) hanging on the wall in our classroom.  This is where they put all the drops they earn.  At the beginning on the year when I introduced the theme I had the students write on their own bucket what they would do to be a bucket filler this year and then sign it.  I hung those up around the bucket that they put their drops in.  It makes for a cute display. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Some Summer Organization

It has been WAY too long!  It has been great to have summer to relax and rejuvenate.  The highlight of the summer was definitely getting engaged to my best friend!  The big day is in December!  Now that I am headed back to work in a few days my mind is on school and I thought I would share a couple organizational ideas from this summer.

My hundreds, tens, and ones blocks used to be in a huge bucket and I would divvy them out each time we needed to use them in math.  In second grade we use these often (addition, subtraction, place value, double and triple digit addition and subtraction) and I decided that I wanted an easier way to pass these out.  Tupperware containers proved to be my perfect solution.  Now I will be able to easily pass out the Tupperware containers when we need to use the hundreds, tens, and ones blocks.  Not only that, but the students will be able to put pack them up and put them away easily. 

My students have pencil boxes in their desks with the things we use on a daily basis, including crayons for when they need to color.  For some projects however colored pencils are better and the students get excited about using markers every once in a while.  Since we don't use colored pencils and markers every day (or even close to every day), I created a basket with colored pencils and pencil sharpeners and a cup with markers for each table group.  When we need colored pencils or markers someone from each table group will be able to go get them (I like having in the cubbies pictured above because the kids can reach them and therefore get them and put them away).

Those are a couple of my organization projects from this summer.  It is nice to be teaching second grade for the fourth year! I can focus a little more on organization and other things that may help the year to run a little more smoothly. 

Good luck to all you teachers out there with the beginning of your school years!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Egg Hunt Review

This is going to be a "Throw Back Thursday" post.  I didn't blog nearly as much as I would have liked to this past year.  I had a great group of kids and it was a really good year.  I was sad to see them leave at the en of the year, but look forward to their smiling faces in the hallways as third graders after a well deserved summer break!  I am excited that I have some time to relax, rejuvenate, get some projects done for the classroom, and do some blogging. 

Towards the end of the school year I am always looking for fun games and ways to review math.  I have posted about some of them in the past.  This year I got some plastic eggs and put a math problem in each one.  I numbered the eggs and then hid them around the room while the kids were at prep. 

When they came in they each got a recording sheet with 23 numbered, blank boxes on it (similar to the recording sheet that you would use for the game "scoot" if you are familiar with that).  I then explained the rules that students had to find each of the eggs and put the answer to the question in the corresponding box.  There was also a rule that there was not to be more than one person at an egg at a time and the eggs needed to be put back right where they were found. 

The kids were completely engaged and had a great time with the review.  I love when I can let them be a little more active while still being engaged in learning or in this case reviewing. 

While I did this at the end of the year, it could also work as a review for a single unit in math or be adapted and used as an activity to practice a literacy skill.

It's feels good to be blogging again, hopefully I can keep it up through the summer and do a little next year too!

If you would like a copy of the review questions I used, you can find them here.  Happy hunting!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fortune Teller Antonym Practice

Growing up in the 90's fortune tellers folded from paper were all the rage.  As I was trying to come up with a fun way for my students to practice antonyms they came back to mind. 

Monday my students will get to put 8 different antonyms in these fortune tellers.  They will then practice away!

Here is what it might sound like:

Student 1: Give me a number
Student 2: 7
Student 1: (moves the fortune teller back and forth on their fingers 7 times) 1, 3, 5, or 7 (I numbered the words so that they could pick the word without saying it)
Student 2: 3
Student 1:  What is the antonym of happy?
Student 2: Sad

This would also work great with synonyms!  I hope that you can put this idea to use in your own class!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Place Value

We have been studying place value.  This is our last week and we are just reinforcing and doing activities that give the students some extra practice.  My birthday is this week and I figured that it would be fun to do a birthday place value activity.  Here is what I came up with.  The students get a piece of paper with a cake, candles, and sprinkles for them to color.  They then cut them out. and glue them on a piece of paper.  The layers in their cake represent 100's, the candles represent 10's and the sprinkles represent 1's.

Students them write how much their cake is worth.  They also write it in expanded form and word form. 

If you would like to use this activity with your class whether it be for a birthday or not,  grab a copy here