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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fractions again...

Have you had enough fractions yet? No? Well, okie dokie! Here is one more fraction recording sheet to reinforce denominator using Unifix cubes. I think everyone has Unifix cubes or can borrow some for a week. :)

Unifix Cube Fractions

Monday, January 30, 2012

More Fractions...

Hello, Bloggy Friends!

I am preparing for my CLASS KEYS observation on Thursday. My teamie and I have created some stuff together.

I got out the little yellow and purple boxes I got at Staples in August. I used them for place value dice so they wouldn't go all over the floor when I taught place value. The students loved those little boxes, so we found some colored overhead counters I'd bought a while back and made colored sets for fractions in those little clear boxes. Leah had 10 as did I. We wrote letters on the bottom of the boxes so we put a place for the letter on the recording sheet. The children will count the counters (no pun intended...well, maybe just a little!), then write two fractions to represent the two colors. Check out the picture for the example.

This box has red and blue counters.

She has a set of play farm animals, so she decided to use them to help the children practice making fractions of sets, too. That seems harder for them than fractions of a whole. They are also struggling with denominator. Instead of putting 1/4 of the animals are pigs, they put 1/3 because there are three sheep and one pig. Any of you have students who do that? Anywho, she decided to use her farm animals that way and of course I had to make a recording sheet for it. :D That's how we roll...we bounce ideas off on another, tweak them and make them better, and I get on the 'puter (as Monica said when she was 3) and roll 'em out. I checked out the farm animal counters at Lakeshore. A tub of them was $29.99. I think those from the Dollar Tree will do fine, thank you very much!

                         Farm Animal Fractions

Please download if you can use this...and please leave a comment if you do. Thanks for visitin' my blog!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

TAG! You're It!

Amy over at The Resource(ful) Room! tagged me.

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

12 Fun Facts about me...

1. I graduated Salutatorian from high school...missed Valedictorian by 1/5 (yep, one-fifth!) point.
2. I was talked into entering a beauty contest by my two best friends in seventh grade. I won, BBF #1 won first runner-up, BBF#2 won second runner-up. :)
3. I have been married 28 years June 2012.
4. My darling hubby and I brought our bouncing baby boy home from the hospital on our fifth anniversary! He is our fabulous 22-year-old son who is an assistant manager at Publix and got darling hubby a part-time job (after his welding job was sold out to Mexico...again!).
5. We have three dogs...ever heard of a three dog night? It's that every night at our house!
6. I am now in my sixth year teaching second grade.
7. I have taught PreK, K, first, second, third, and fourth grades as well as third through fifth graders in Art and adults working towards GED totalling 23 years!
8. I love to read and write. I have three children's books on the back burner...can't wait to get at least one published!
9. Walking our doggies in the woods is a favorite form of exercise for darling hubby, son, and me.
10. The school where I teach earned the Bronze Award last year in the state of Georgia for 95% meeting and exceeding on the CRCT! Whoop!Whoop!
11. I bought my friend's $49,000.00 Cadillac (she was going to trade it in for $3,000.) for $3500. It is an awesome car and I was so thankful to have it to drive to Texas when my uncle died and we went to his funeral. 
12. I live next door to my parents and 1/2 mile from my brother. I thank God every day for the days I have with my family..parents, hubby & son, brother & his family, and mother-in-love.

Questions from Amy 1 - What's your favorite season? Spring is my favorite because everything seems so blooming, vacation looming...
2 - What's your favorite book? The Bible is my all-time much love there! My favorite work of fiction is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. She's awesome! I also love the Atonement Child.

3 - What's your favorite TV show? I'd have to say CSI Miami.

4 - How do you celebrate March is reading month? We read all day on March 2 (if it's a school day) or the closest day to it. We also celebrate our reading achievements with our AR program.

5 - Do you live close to your school (work)? I travel about 10 minutes over the river and through the woods to get to school.

6 - What's your favorite thing to teach? My favorite thing to teach is writing. I love the six traits...recently bought the Trait Crate from Scholastic. It's awesome! Songs for the traits which I copied and shared with my little friends for their poetry notebooks. They love singing together to learn information.

7 - How do you track student progress? Our EIP teachers do Probe and Maze to track fluency and comprehension. I use the AR program as well as Guided Reading. I am loving me some Second Grade Word Work by Hope King at 2nd Grade Shenanigans . It's awesome for tracking and teaching spelling and reading. Parents are loving the pretest and the two spelling test options and I'm loving being able to see exactly where my little readers are needing remediation. My school/county is all about pre/post tests for Math.

8 - How do you use technology in the classroom? I have a computer with four stations as well as a Promethean board. I'd love to have some MP3 players ... maybe someday.

9 - Do you use Accelerated Reader? YES! How do you reward kids for points if you do? My students receive a new pencil of their choice from my collection and a ring pop to eat in class when they earn their first five points. For each ten point milestone, they get something out of my huge treasure chest (it's an old trunk). I have a friend who works at the General Dollar who calls me when things go on clearance. I can get some stuff for $0.05. They also donate to me sometimes. :) My school also has AR celebrations each quarter. The first and third quarters are rather low-key. The end of first semester is a grade level planned activity. We had game rotations. The children LOVED it. The grand finale comes in May. We have a Luau with the blow-up slides and bounce houses, water games, loads of fun stuff to do, and snowcones and snacks. It's an all day event!

10 - Do you play sports? what? My only sport currently is blogging! ;) I walk my dogs...

11 - How much time do you spend doing your hair each morning? That's a day by day thing for me. On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, I probably spend 10 minutes with drying and styling. My hair is naturally very straight. Drying it with a little styling gel makes it lie down quickly. Wednesday and Friday are dress down days, so it's a baseball cap for me on warm days. On cool days, I have an assortment of hats from which I choose an appropriately matching one.

12 - Whats your favorite memory from high school? WOW! I suppose my favorite memory from high school would be winning Student Government President, being chosen STAR student for having the highest SAT scores in my class, or graduating Salutatorian and receiving 2 scholarships for college.
People I'm Tagging...

1. Becky at 2nd Grade Rocks!

2. Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans

3. Fern at Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas

4. Jess at Rambling about Reading

5. Mary at Pitner's Potpourri

6. Heather at Heather's Heart

7. Kelli at Castles and Crayons

8. K. Mo at Falmingo Fabulous

9. Ginger at Ginger Snaps

10. Erin at Kleinspiration

11. Kim at Konecny's Star Talk

12. Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files

Questions for those I've tagged...

1. How did you decide to become a teacher?

2. Did you marry your high school sweetheart?

3. Where would you choose to retire and why?

4. What is your favorite cook-at-home meal?

5. Do you have a teacher "bestie" with whom you plan? Tell about him/her if so.

6. What is your pet peeve?

7. Does your team share everything or do you have some "stingy" teamies?

8. What is one of the funniest stories you can tell about your teaching experiences?

9. Have you ever run into your garage door? (I personally--not my car--did this last week one morning before school and slammed myself to the ground...OUCH!)

10. Do you have pets? What kind and how many?

11. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

12. Where is the most exotic place you've ever been?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fraction Table

Hello Fabulous Friends!

We are working on fractions. I made a fraction table for my students to use as an example. I am going to make copies, laminate, and use this as a Math Journal station. I may regret this and wish I'd just handed them a copy to complete, but creating the product should help them better understand all these things about fractions, don't you think? My buddy/teamie, Leah, suggested adding numerator and denominator. Please help me out by sharing your opinion...

I hope someone can use this.
Click here for your copy...Create a Fraction Table .
Now I'm off to visit with my Auntie Nell before she heads back to Texas tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Solid Shape Robots

One of my teamies has built robots for the past two years to help her students learn their shapes. Students brought in boxes, paper towel holders, tissue holders, water bottles, anything they thought they might like to use to build their robots. So...this year I decided to try it. Here's some advice: ask an unsuspecting  a helpful parent to come do this! Plan to take the entire afternoon! The children love it. Here's what we did...

Students had to plan their robot with drawings and explanations in their Math journals. They brought all their parts to the sucker who planned this me. We ended up taking three days to complete the hot glue part of our robots. The children added yarn for hair, small boxes for purses, construction paper parts, and even googly eyes! One child in my teamie's class even put a heart inside the box her robot's body. Our principal planned to come down to help out in our second grade classes for the day. Yep! She helped glue robots...and loved it!

Students counted the faces, edges, and vertices on their robots with buddies to extend the learning. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

For Alisha...

    This post is for Alisha at The Bubbly Blonde. I probably don't blog enough. This week has been hectic, to say the least. I love, love, love reading everyone else's blogs. I love to tell stories and talk, so why aren't I blogging more? So, thanks, Alisha. I believe I will! As you so succintly put it, no one has to read my blog if they don't like it, right?

     I've been fighting off the crud since the week before Thanksgiving, so I haven't taken pictures and posted as I should. Please forgive me, peeps. I truly love blogging. I always have something to say and try to be consistent about commenting on posts. I love the freebies people share...and have great plans to learn to make games, etc. for sharing. Soon, very soon!

    I must say that until Christmas break, I don't relax. To my way of thinking, second graders really "show up" and "show off" after Christmas. They're just so young before Christmas. I guess my favorite age to teach would be the second half of second grade and the first half of third. Maybe next year I'll figure out the magic ingredient...maybe not, though.

    I must brag on the Volume Control Levels poster and the Clip Chart, too. My life as a second grade teacher has been much easier this year because of those two things I found blogging. Blogging has also provided me with hours and hours of activities for my students' further practice of concepts we're learning. Hallelujah! My bloggy friends are the BEST!

   There are days (okay, weeks and maybe a month or two) that I haven't posted. I just didn't think anything was fabulous to share. I can share this...(no pictures, yet--I'll add those after I go to school and take some tomorrow)...we built robots this week. Yep, robots! Our students brought in boxes of all shapes and sizes, paper towel cylinders, cups, water/drink bottles, etc. We used this as a midway springboard exercise to get our children thinking about edges, faces, and vertices. We make shape mobiles each year with the shapes from the Accu-Cut that must be folded and glued together. This year we added robots made of various boxes. You should see some of the cuties! Students were asked to discuss with a partner the number of edges, faces, vertices, and even shapes their robot contained. WARNING: recruit parents to come and spend the day helping glue! We used 3" masking tape, elmer's glue, and hot glue. That's why you need parents!
     Our principal wanted to spend the day in each grade. She came to our class to help glue robots. She loved it and my students were thrilled to have her attention directed specifically toward our class for the entire hour! They loved, loved, loved having her with us! We had a mom come help finish up the last few today (thanks, Mrs. Mathis!). I am sooo thankful they went home today! Boxes, boxes, everywhere! Am I whining? NAH! Just glad it's over!
     We start fractions next week and we are going to hit dictionary, thesaurus, and glossary use hard next week as well. We're also pushing those silent sounds (mb, kn, dje, etc. ... thanks to Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans for Second Grade Word Work! It is awesome! I found this over the Christmas break, so I am pulling out what works best for the remainder of this. I will follow the schedule next year from the beginning because I believe it ROCKS right along with my reading instruction! MARVELOUS job, Hope! :) Thanks a million!

   Happy weekend, my beloved bloggy friends! I pray you rest well and are pumped up and ready for the next week on the school merry-go-round! ;) 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

a blog all about books

I am thrilled to be reading all about what others are reading and enjoying! Reading is such a favorite, relaxing pasttime for me! Erika at the Honey Bunch started this blog for everyone's enjoyment. Check it out!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Snow Day!

Mary at Pitner's Potpourri is having a Snow Day Linky Party and a Happy New Year Amazon card giveaway. Check her out. Here's a link to my Snowmen---Building, Painting, Globbing post. I show the pictures below to my students, we discuss their snowmen (if they built any), and then go on to create our own snowmen in class so they have many things to include in their writing!

I love, love, love snow! I always pray that everyone is warm, has shelter, and food.'s out into the snow I go to party! I love, love, love to build snowmen snow people! Check these out... ;)

I made the Red Hatter Snowlady pictured below with charcoal, scarf, sticks, and mittens from a Snowman kit given to me for Christmas in 2008 by a third grade student. His younger brother is now in my second grade class. :) I added a tiny carrot, the red hat, and Luden's cough drops (her red mouth).

This Snowlady (below) was about 5'8" tall. She had leis from our Luau celebration as hair, tangerines cut in half for her mouth, a rose for her nose, the same scarf as my Red Hatter Snowlady, my clown glasses to shade her eyes, a little Valentine basket as her purse, and a round tablecloth as her "Doo Rag." :) While I built her, my hubby sat on the porch and made fun of me rolling snowballs. My son had gone to visit a friend in Miami so I had no help. He usually lifts. It was a job getting her head on! 

My niece and my brother built this Snow Cowgirl on my brother's truck. I hiked through the woods to their house to get to see her. Her nose was a Dorito chip. Her mouth was a red hairband, and notice the Mardi Gras beads, too!

This is my little Iceman. We had icy snow and it was really hard to form. So, in order to have a picture (How tall does he look?), I made an iceman. The flag is one of those small flags you wave at the Fourth of July. His nose is the smallest of carrots I had, and his eyes are pea gravel. His mouth is a broken piece of gold decoration off my Christmas tree. When I showed this picture to my students, they thought he was as tall as they are...or taller! :)

I hope that we have some snow this year that packs well so I can build a snow family. I want to build a snow family including a snow dog and a snowman like this...
Don't you just love it? I would not have thought of that, but I will definitely build one like it! :)
I also saw a friend's snowfamily last year that had a snow princess. I wanna build one of those, too! Can you think of some other snowpeople to suggest? I'm always open for suggestions...maybe a hula snowgirl, a snowbaby.... Ideas, please! ;)