Monday, September 1, 2014

Our First Weeks in Pictures (with Freebie)

I've survived three weeks of school and things are finally slowing down some. Those first few weeks are so hectic with meetings, paperwork, and all those back to school extras. I also hurt my rotator cuff in July and I've been having to go to physical therapy twice a week after school. I'm glad for a long weekend to relax and catch up on some things.

Last night, I went to the first football game for my Vols. It was kinda strange since it was on Sunday but the game rocked. We were picked to lose my many people but the game was never close. I have season tickets to the games and I've stuck through the bad times lately. I'm hoping we are on an upswing this year.

It poured down rain for a while before the game started but once the band hit the field, the sun was out and there was a rainbow in the sky.

Okay, now onto the pictures of our first few weeks.

We started our time together with this fun activity from Linda Kamp. It was so cute! Linda's pack really saved the day. I have a craftivity for this book in my Back to School with Books pack that I had planned on doing. Well, our copier that runs construction paper broke and got taken away. Now, my entire school is operating with 1 copy machine that doesn't run construction paper. Grrr! It's been 3 weeks and we still don't have another copier. It's highly irritating! We did one craft by tracing the pieces on construction paper and there's just no time for that. Too slow for me and the kids.

For Linda Kamp's activity, I pretended like I had been waiting on the kiddos all summer and I wanted to know where they were. I was going to do what they had been doing all summer before they came but we had already talked about that so I had them list something they had to learn before they came into second grade. I got some really great answers.

We also did this page from Linda's pack. I loved their answers. My favorite answer is below. "Pretty soon, I'll be able to boss someone around." :)

In math, we started off the year with Amy Lemons' "Let's Get Started" unit.

I loved using the silent puzzles to promote teamwork without talking.

I found this cute green owl at Hobby Lobby. I hung it on the cabinets behind my small group table. I love that I can hang cards on rings on the hooks for its feet.

We spent the first week working on Hope King's paper bag book. I loved how these turned out but they were so much work. Next year, I'm going to have to be more choosy about what is included. Considering everything takes so long at the beginning of the year, these books were a big undertaking.

We have been working on complete sentences. I loved this sorting activity from Teachers Clubhouse and the kids did too.

 We also played the Sentence Showdown game from Teachers Clubhouse to review.

We had Open House this past week. I found these magnetic business cards at Office Depot. I thought these would be perfect for sending home my contact information with the parents.

 These business cards are adhesive and you can just stick your contact information (business card size) on the top. Easy peasy!

I used the format below for my business cards. I just copied them on cardstock and cut them apart. 

I've made these editable so you can use them too. You just need to be a Facebook fan to grab these freebies.

Also, I've had lots of questions about my next Reading Street unit. I am making units for each story but they will be slowly posted. There's just not much time to work on them. Thanks for all your sweet comments and I'll do my best to get them posted soon.

Have a great day! Good luck to all those who start school tomorrow.
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Visual Plans (September 1)

I'm back to share my visual plans with you for this week.  This past week was incredibly busy with Open House, a few other meetings, and lots of things that I had to do. I feel like I dropped off the face of the Earth. I had no Instagram photos and no blog posts this past week. I hope to do better this week. I've started getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go to the gym before school. I am loving how it makes me feel each day. I have so much more energy. I thought I would be dragging by the end of each day but not so much. Thanks to Katie King for inspiring me to get up and go so early!

So this week will be focused on consonant blends, character, setting, plot, predicates, personal narratives, and subtraction.

We are running full speed ahead with our reading rotations. My kiddos are doing great with Read to Self and Work on Writing. I introduced centers last week and they are working mostly without my help. I'm going to spend this week monitoring the rotations and then start reading groups next week.

Our personal narrative from last week is taking a little longer than I thought but I feel like I am getting such quality writing from my students. I decided to extend it through this short week so we can focus on all the aspects of the writing process.

Click on each image to download the plans and get to the links. 

I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share my plans.

I'm off to watch my Vols play today. It seems really strange that we are playing on Sunday so I'm going to be confused about what day it is all week long.  Have a great week!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Visual Plans (August 25th)

It's time for my weekly visual plans. Last week, I was way overplanned. I keep forgetting how long it takes 2nd graders to do anything at the beginning of a school year so I cut back on my activities this week. 

For phonics this week, we will be learning about long vowels with silent e.
Reading is all about main idea. Main idea is so hard for 2nd graders that I know that it will not be mastered by most of my students this week.
For grammar and writing, we are working on subjects of sentences and writing a personal narrative.
We are finishing up our addition strategies unit this week.
As always, you can download these plans to get the links to the freebies. 

I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share my plans.

Have a great week!
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

T is for Technology (ABCs of 2nd grade)

Today I am sharing some of my favorite pieces of technology with you.

I'm lucky enough to have access to lots of technology in my room. My newest favorite piece of technology is my Apple TV.  I have it hooked up to my Activboard so I can show things from my iPad to the entire class. I love using it to read digital books to my class. I was using the Storia app, which I loved, to read these books. However, Scholastic recently decided to cancel this app so I'm not sure how much longer it will work. I will now use the Kindle app to read books to my class. I love that they can see the words as I read and follow along. You can also use iBooks to read these books too. 

My local library has a digital book collection that you can check out for free. They have a wide variety of fiction books that I can check out. You might want to check with your local library to see if they have a service like this.


I am a huge fan of PBS kids. I show Electric Company clips all the time because they are fun and feature great content. I just found out that PBS now has some great apps.

Look at all these apps. Some of these are for preschoolers but you can search their site for apps that are appropriate for your age of kids. The age search stops at seven years old but some older kids will also enjoy some of the apps.


I've made a list of my favorite free apps for kids. You can click on the image to download.

So what are your favorite apps or pieces of technology?
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