Thursday, July 31, 2014

Q is for Questioning (ABCs of 2nd grade)

I'm back with my next ABCs of 2nd grade post today. So sorry that I didn't post Tuesday but I didn't have Internet for a few days. We had some severe storms Sunday night and they zapped my modem. 

Today is Q for Questioning. If you are a TEAM school like me, questioning is a huge part of your evaluation and can make a big difference in student learning. If you are also like me, those higher level questions are hard to come up with on the fly during a lesson. I use question stems pages quite often. 

This freebie by Jen Jones is amazing and gives lots of ideas for creating different levels of questions.
I was going to make some of my own by why recreate the wheel and I know mine wouldn't be any better than these.
Click on the image to head to Hello Literacy. Please do not pin this from my page. Pin from the original source.

One thing that helps me when questioning is to use "Pick Me" sticks. As I said in my evalution post, I have a tendency to pick the same kids. This strategy allows me to spread out the questions and keeps all the students on their toes because they never know when they will get picked.
Click on the picture to see on A Cupcake for the Teacher. Please pin from her site.

I have a freebie for you too from my new Reading Street packs. This freebie is to get students to ask questions about what they are reading.

Click on the images above to download on my Facebook page. You have to be a fan to download.

In other news, I start back to school on Monday for a week of inservice and planning days. I know that I'm not going to have time to plan two ABCs of 2nd grade posts each week so I am going to try to move to one per week. This may be hit or miss for a while. 

Check out my next post on one of my favorite topics, Read Alouds.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bundle Winner and Sale

Congrats to Heidi Samuelson! She was the winner of my Reading Street bundle.

If you didn't win, I've decided to mark down my entire store for the weekend to celebrate 4,000 followers on Facebook. Have a great weekend!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

You Asked For It, So Here It Is

This past year, my district got a new reading series, Reading Street. As you know, a new adoption is always so stressful because you are kinda throwing things together all year long. So this year, with one year of it under my belt, I feel more confident in using it and supplementing it when I need to.

I've had many people email me and ask me when I am going to start creating things for Reading Street. Well, I really wasn't going to make separate packs for one reading series but I realized that I needed something to keep me more on track. I felt my reading lessons were all kinds of disjointed this past year. So, I created a few packs that go along with the reading series but use other resources as well. You aren't going to find many activities with spelling words or the main selection in these packs. I have included 2 mini-lessons in each pack that supplement the comprehension skill and are easy to implement. I think these are really going to save me when evaluations start happening and I'm stressed to the max.

My favorite part of the new packs are the songs that I created to teach the grammar skills. I've had a blast writing them and I hope you enjoy them too!

Click on any of the pictures to view on TPT.

I have these available separately and as a bundle. I've marked the bundle down so it saves you money off the price if you buy them separately.
Click here to view the bundle.

I've decided to give one of these bundles away. You can enter below by leaving a comment with your email address. I will choose a winner on Saturday morning.

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

P is for Phonics (ABCs of 2nd grade)

Today's post is all about phonics because I believe that phonics should be a huge part of primary classrooms.

My district uses its own phonics program that was developed by a teacher. I have to say, I was not a huge fan of this program when I started teaching because it was so scripted and I felt really uncomfortable teaching it. Mostly, because I didn't know the phonics rules myself. Sure, I used them but how often does anyone stop to think about them unless you are teaching them to 20 children. But, the program works. In my first couple years of teaching, I saw the most growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year in phonics skills.

So, I've come to love this program and how much it really helps my students become better readers. However, I do have to jazz it up sometimes because I get bored.

My kids and I love watching videos on Between the Lions. They have some catchy songs that help kids remember about different phonics skills.

I adore The Electric Company! Whenever my kiddos earn lunch with me for doing their homework each month, we watch an episode of Electric Company while we eat.  They have lots of short videos that go over those tricky phonics skills.

This summer, I tried my hand at making my own interactive game. I know my kiddos are going to love using this for a short vowel review. Click on the picture below to grab it for free in my TPT store.

I also spent last school year creating some phonics resources to use in my classroom during small groups and as whole group practice. I'm starting the year off with Fundamental Phonics (Part 1). These games really helped my lower readers last year and I can't wait to use them again this year.

Click on the picture below to view on TPT. If you download the preview for this file, you will get the week of short vowel activities for free.

There's also a Part 2 of Fundamental Phonics that covers the rest of the skills we learn in 2nd grade during the year. I use it after Christmas break.

I hope this post gives you some ideas for jazzing up your phonics instruction. It's so important for beginning readers to gain those skills and you can do it in a fun way too.

Check out my next post about Questioning.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

O is for Organize (ABCs of 2nd grade)

Today's post is O for Organize.

I'm going to level with y'all. I am not organized. I always have grand plans for getting myself organized but it never happens. As my friend Joni says, you can tell that I'm creative by looking at my room. I spend so much time each week trying to find things that I've laid down somewhere and now can't find. I blame it on having a million things going on in my mind at a time.

So since I'm not organized but I'm always looking for inspiration. I'm going to share some ideas that I found on Pinterest and I think are genius. If you pin from this post, please pin from the original source.

I love this idea for organizing tasks for early finishers from Ashleigh's Education Journey. It doesn't take up much room and the items can be easily changed out.

Great idea for a portable word wall from Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera.

Great idea for organizing those table supplies from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations.

Linda from Around the Kampfire has some great ideas on her post to keep your students organized.

I love Jamie's ideas for keeping all those papers organized. This is my goal for the school year. All those papers just get piled up on my reading table and I never deal with them.

Those are just a few of the amazing organization ideas that I love. If you want to see more, you can follow me on Pinterest.
Follow Courtney's board Organized at school on Pinterest.

Check out my next post, P is for Phonics.

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