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

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Place Value Boo!

Wow, it has been a while.  It has been a busy beginning of the school year,  I feel very fortunate however to have an amazing class this year!  They are so sweet and good, that has definitely made it easier since it has been so busy!

We have been talking about place value for the past few weeks.  This next week we will be doing some fun review.  I decided to make a "Place Value Boo!" game.  It is essentially the game "Bang", but I changed it to go along with Halloween to motivate the kids!

Here is how you play:
Students have a set of cards in a bag.  They take turns picking out cards and answering the questions.  If they answer the question correctly they get to keep the question card, if they answer it incorrectly they have to put it back in the bag.  If a student pulls out a "Boo!" card they must put all their questions cards back.  Whichever student has the most cards at the end of the allotted time wins!
Grab a free copy of the game here!
Try it out, let me know what you think : )

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hard and Soft C and G Word Sort

We are talking about hard and soft c and g this week.  I figured a word sort would give the kids some good practice determining whether a word has a hard or soft c or g sound and it would also help them to realize when a letter makes the hard sound and when it makes the soft sound.  Grab my freebie HERE!

Here is a picture of what it looks like: 
The kids did great with it and had a lot of fun : )
We also did our describing fish today!  These were a favorite from last year, so I had to do them again.  Read about it here.  Here were some of my favorites from this year!  They look awesome in the hall and the kids are so proud of them. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Superheroes for the year!

Traditionally in Second Grade at our school we teach about relationships and consequences as part of our communities unit (teaching the kids how to be a good citizen/member of a community).  This year I decided to do communities and relationships and consequences at the very beginning of the school year.  It's something that I wanted the kids to get right from the beginning of the year and not in the middle somewhere.  I had a three day unit and the kids LOVED every day!

Day 1:  Emotions

I put up a list of emotions on the board.  We went through all of them.  I had the kids show me what they looked like and we talked about when we feel the different emotions.  We played the "mirror game" where two students stand across from each other.  One student would have to use their body and facial expressions to display an emotion.  The other student had to mirror (copy) them and then guess what the emotion was.  Each partner got to lead a few times.    After  that activity I had a bunch of pictures of people displaying different emotions.  The kids had to decide which emotion each picture was showing.  After this we talked about how we should react and interact with people when they were feeling each of the different emotions.  We then broke up into groups and each group was assigned an emotion.  The group had to come up with a skit with some people showing the assigned emotion and others reacting to it.  The kids loved the lesson and I think they really took it to heart. 

Day 2:  Consequences

I started by sharing a PowerPoint.  There were pictures that had clear consequences (for example a glass sitting on the very edge of a table).  I had the students raise their hands and tell me what they thought the consequence would be of each picture.  Through this we learned what the word consequence really meant.  After we were done with the PowerPoint we talked about how consequences can be bad or good.  I gave the students some scenarios and they told me what the consequence might be and whether it was bad or good.  After this I held up an egg (not boiled) and asked what the consequence would be if I dropped it (into a bowl of course).  There were audible gasps, I don't think they believed I would actually do it - but I did : ) Of course the egg cracked.  We talked about how I might be able to clean up the mess, but I could NEVER put the egg exactly back how it was.  That is how it is when we make a mean comment to someone, bully someone, or hurt them.  We may be able to say sorry or make up, but the damage has been done and we can't completely un do it.  I think this analogy really hit home for the kids and it made them realize that their actions are important.  It was a powerful teaching moment.

Day 3:  Kids can be superheroes!

Our school counselors have a superheroes theme this year and that is what got the thought process going on this lesson.  My final lesson about relationships and consequences began with a discussion about superheroes and what my students knew about them.  They were excited to answer and they shared a lot of great characteristics that they knew superheroes had.  I then asked them if they thought kids could be superheroes.  I was surprised that almost all of them said yes right away.  We talked about what kids could do to be superheroes and made a list of what they would do specifically this year to be superheroes.  We then went back to our desks and I showed them a couple of videos from a website called Kids are Heroes.  Find some of the videos here.  After that of course we had to make our own superhero faces!  When they were finished I put them around the superhero pledge we had made.  It turned out great and I am going to love looking at it in my classroom all year long.  It will also be a great reminder to the kids of the type of person they need to try to be this year!

Here is a picture of the pledge and the superhero faces: