Saturday, January 31, 2015

Week in Review

This past Monday was our 100th day of school. Like I told you before, I never have made this a big deal in 2nd grade but this year I decided to make it a fun day. I was really inspired by Cara Carroll's ideas for the 100th day. For our 100th day, I did have to change it up a bit and not do anything currently done by the first grade teachers. I definitely don't want to hear, "We did this in first grade."

I cut out the digits for 100 and my kiddos created a picture using the numbers.

Their favorite station of the day was stacking 100 cups. This one proved a little difficult for them but they loved the challenge. 

We played a game where the students rolled their way to 100. This is from Cara Carroll's pack here.

My students also loved making a creation with 100 pattern blocks. This one is a guy in space with stars and aliens. 

This week, we had a late arrival day due to some slick roads from a little snow. I thought this craft would be perfect and they turned out so precious. I got the template for this from A Year of Many Firsts.

I just love this one. He drew braces. So cute!

In other news, my school was completely out of white paper for about a week. I don't make too many copies anyway because I don't do many worksheets. Anyways, I decided to improvise this week so I challenged my students when we were learning about polygons. In the challenge. the cafeteria could only serve foods that were polygons. So they had to create a menu of foods that the cafeteria could serve. The kids loved this and it was a bonus that it took little prep time.

How was your week? Here's hoping for some snow days soon!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Creating a Classroom Economy (Freebie)

Teaching money in 2nd grade is not my favorite thing to do. My students often don't recognize the coins and we are supposed to teach them to count above a dollar in one to two weeks. Fairly impossible for some of them. So, I decided to implement a classroom economy this year to continue practicing money through the second half of the year. 

Each day, students receive credits or fines for their actions in the classroom. My students came up with things that would earn them money and things that would lose money. 

Here's a list of what they came up with to earn and lose. I came up with how much each thing was worth.

I'm glad someone was listening when I'm always fussing about their hands in their mouths. So gross! But believe me, this has worked and we have been fairly healthy as a class. 

I came up with a list of rewards to encourage them to earn. I made them high enough that they really have to work to earn something good.
I made some cards with each credit or fine on them to hand out if needed.

It's actually worked better for me to just have the amounts match up on Class Dojo.  This way, I can quickly see how much money they have earned or lost when they come to the bank at the end of the day. You can see how I've weighted the items on Dojo.

For the last 10 minutes of the day, students come to the bank (me) and get their earnings for the day. We practice trading up coins and they are getting better at it. In a few weeks, I'm going to let one of my students be the banker. 

So, I'm sharing this file with you. I've made it editable so you can make it fit the needs of your class. I would suggest letting your kiddos come up with the credits and fines so they take ownership. 

All I ask is that you leave a comment if you download this file.
Click on the image to download.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

All About MLK

I have a confession to make. I have barely taught any science or social studies this year. Since it is no longer part of our schedule at school, I told myself that I would still teach it during the day. Well, that really hasn't happened and I'm kinda mad at myself about it. What kid doesn't like science and social studies? I've been trying to hit some skills during my reading lessons but it's been minimal. 

So, my goal for 2015 is to try to integrate more science and social studies into my day. With that said, this week I am going to focus on Martin Luther King. 

I found this great book from Reading A-Z to use with my two highest reading groups. I love Reading A-Z because they have everything already done for you. There is a lesson plan, comprehension activities, and a comprehension quiz. I also subscribe to Vocabulary A-Z and this provides vocabulary lessons for the books that I choose from Reading A-Z. Soooo amazing! If you are interested in checking it out, I will have a referral code where you can save $5 within the next few days. Leave your email and I'll send it to you.

This week, my comprehension skill is fact and opinion. I made these freebie last year and posted it in my TPT store. You can check it out by clicking on the image below.
As you can see, it's had over 7,000 downloads but only 48 ratings. #sadface
If you download, please leave me some feedback.

Here are some other great MLK freebies, that I have found. Be sure to leave them some feedback as well.

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If you are looking for some new books for MLK, check out my picks below.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Peek at My Week: Snow

Well, I'm back. I'm not sure how winter break went by so fast but the first week back to school kicked my butt. I spent the last week of vacation in Jacksonville watching my Tennessee Vols play in their bowl game. So fun but I was not ready to go back to school at all!

 The Jaguars stadium was really amazing.  I've been to 5 bowl games and this was the best one that I've ever attended. Plus we had an amazing win!

 I was not ready to come back to Knoxville because that meant my vacation was over. Here's to hoping for some snow days soon!

But now back to business. I'm not really doing the visual plans as detailed as I have in the past because they take forever. So if you are looking for something like that, you can check out my plans from last year by clicking here

This week, I am using my pack for the Reading Street story "Life Cycle of a Pumpkin." This story kinda drives me crazy because it is at the wrong time of the year.

In this unit, I have 2 lesson plans for trade books that I am so excited about. 


I will be using "The Snowy Day" to practice sequencing. "The Story of Snow" will be used for teaching students to identify important details.

I will probably throw in this other snowflake book to continue practicing important details.

For reading groups, I'm sticking with a winter theme. I use lots of books from Reading A-Z, which has quickly become one of the favorites. I have a wide spread of readers this year and it's been so great to find books to challenge my higher level readers as well as meet the needs of my babies.

I'm using these with my lower level readers.  Love that she includes fiction and nonfiction on the same topic.

I use some of these passages for my higher level readers.

This is a great resource for small group and whole group.

For math, we are reviewing double-digit addition and subtraction. Thankfully, we just finished money and I'm so glad that is over. I absolutely hate teaching money. Now that K and 1st don't teach money, it has become an ordeal in 2nd grade. 

I'm using this pack from Second Chance to supplement my math lessons. This unit can be really boring and I really like the games included in this unit.

Have a wonderful week! I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for her weekly linky party. Go check it out if you get a chance.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

This Is Your Year Giveaway

Happy New Year! My friends from Owl-Ways Be Inspired are having a fun giveaway to celebrate 2015. We are all giving away something fun on our blogs and you can win the grand prize of a $100 gift card to Amazon.

I am giving away 2 of my favorite new books.  These books are in  a series of kid-friendly biographies by Brad Meltzer. I am giving away "I am Amelia Earhart" and "I am Rosa Parks." You can check them out below.


When you are finished entering my giveaway, click on the image below to head over to Owl-Ways Be Inspired to enter the giveaway for the Amazon gift card. Good luck!

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