...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your loved ones today. I am very thankful for each one of you! Your influence on my teaching has been awe-inspiring. Blessings and peace!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I'm Thankful For...

Thankful Linky Party at What the Teacher Wants... join in and show what you're thankful for this year! So, here goes...

1. What are you thankful for in your classroom?
     I am thankful for a terrific bestie with whom I collaborate all the time, an amazing team and an understanding administration! Teaching isn't easy by any means, but it is wonderful to work with a devoted group of educators!

2. What person are you most thankful for?
   The all-time person I am most thankful for is Jesus Christ, of course. The person in my life right under Jesus that I am most thankful for is my hubby. He loves me despite my idiosyncrasies and is very supportive of me as a teacher. He makes me think of the song "Wind beneath My Wing." He is the quiet, supportive one...I'm the extroverted, "HEY! Is everyone having fun?!?" busybody! I just want everyone to be engaged and learning all the time!!

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?
     I'd have to say Pitner's Potpouri is one of the blogs for which I am most thankful. She always has something going on! Another one is Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade (love reading her blogs about the birds!). I also love to check out 2nd Grade Rocks!

4. What pleasure are you most thankful for? I left out guilty. If it makes me feel guilty, it really isn't a pleasure. Pleasure...spending time with family immediate and extended (we live on our family "compound"...parents next door, brother 1/2 mile through the woods), reading, hiking with family and my furbabies, blogging, soaking up the sunshine...the list never ends!

5. What are you most thankful for? Hmmm...most thankful that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, first and foremost. Extremely thankful to be married to my sweetheart, blessed by our adult son, teaching...doing what I love to do!, I am so very blessed that this list should/could go on and on and on... 

Bloom's Taxonomy Bubbles

Bloom's Taxonomy Bubbles

Using Bloom's Taxonomy to teach to the top (which will also help the others) is something I am working to do better. So, I found some Bloom's Taxonomy questions (can't remember where so if you wrote these questions, thanks!!) and created speech and thought bubbles. I did not add color in the interest of the economy (ink costs!). I hope this helps someone else...please comment if you use this.

Monday, November 21, 2011

How to Disguise a Turkey

Technology Rocks. Seriously. has a writing form "How to Cook a Turkey" which I thought was super cute. I also thought some of my sweeties might be horrified at the thought of cooking a turkey. (One of my second graders a while back was horrified at the thought of her "chicken sandwich" coming from one of those cute, fuzzy she stated that she'd just have to eat a hamburger. Of course, some other students had to enlighten her to the fact that hamburger came from cows. She decided that she'd be a vegetarian. It just doesn't seem as cute on paper...she was a little blue-eyed, blonde darling who would not hurt anyone!) Well, I decided to make my own writing form "How to Disguise a Turkey!"

I think I'll offer both Technology Rocks. Seriously.'s "How to Cook a Turkey" form and my "How to Disguise a Turkey" form next Thanksgiving to my sizzlers. Each child can choose one...or both! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Donors Choose

If you can or know of someone who can donate to my donors choose project, I would be most appreciative! I have 24 days left and so far have only $20.00 toward my project. I am hoping to get a camera for my second grade team to use together for various projects and field trips. Thanks for passing this along...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sentence Recognition

I don't have a picture to go with this one, but it's fairly simple. I have a morning message board upon which I write a daily welcome. I write basically the same message for the first part of the year to familiarize students with some sight words, the date written out, etc. Here's how it looks:

Good morning!
     Today is Monday, November 14, 2011. Layla is our leader. Our exploratory class is at 9:50 a.m. Group 1 goes to Computer Lab, Group 2 goes to P.E., and Group 3 goes to Compass Lab. Remember to be responsible for your day. We are Mighty Titans!
                                 <3, Mrs. S.

This is the perfect place to put Happy Birthday to someone. I always draw music notes around Happy Birthday as if I'm singing (which I do as soon as the birthday child arrives). The reason I am sharing this is... forever and a day I wrote the sentences in two colors of dry erase marker. I didn't last year (can't figure out why I stopped), but started it back today. I am going to point out to the children that I change colors when I begin a new sentence. I also begin having students (who feel comfortable and ask to do this) write the morning message. They know it has to be approved by me before they go home or I will correct it myself.

I have found that sometimes they ignore my message if I don't draw attention to it. About three years ago (teaching third grade and putting more into the message than above), I realized my students weren't reading the message. I added in that the first student who came and told me I look beautiful today without mentioning the message board would receive a regular sized (no snack size for this!) Snickers bar. About 10:30 that morning, a fourth grade teacher walked by and read the message through our door. She came into class and told me I looked beautiful today! I cheered and told her to "Hold ON!! You win the prize!" The students acted like we were both crazy! I gave her the Snickers bar in front of the students. Needless to say, they never failed to read the board again. I didn't even have to spring for another Snickers bar, either! Shazam! :D

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fry Phrases

Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies has an awesome game called Banger! and another one called Banger2! on TpT and Teacher's Notebook. I bought both of them and created Banger! which uses the first 150 Fry Phrases.

I teach second grade, and have some students who are struggling with fluency yet. I googled and found the first 600 Fry Phrases which I thought pretty awesome since I can probably use them all with some of my developing readers.I typed all 600 making 2 columns on each page, similar to what Jennifer had done. To save money, I didn't put my fry phrases on popsicle sticks. I bought colored cardstock ($3.97 @ Wal*mart...savings of about $6.00) and used the yellow. I printed the Fry phrases on the yellow, but them apart, and laminated. We had some of those little "Go" cups from mini Oreos (back when we tallied Oreos) that I had saved, so I used them to store my new little yellow strips, 100 per container (they look like fries~and would even more so with "crinkly" cut scrapbooking scissors or pinking shears!). I have the first 100, the second 100, and so on. I intend to use the first 300 with my students reading around first grade level to hopefully speed them up. The second 300 (Fry Phrases 400-600) will be used with my students who are reading right around 2.0. I wanted to give a shout-out to Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies for her awesome idea! I tweaked it a little for second and I'm thrilled! :) Thanks, Jennifer!