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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Compare and Contrast

We've been learning using Thinking Maps for the past two years.

My latest is Directions for comparing and contrasting The Gingerbread Boy and the Gingerbread Girl OR The Wolf's Chicken Stew and My Lucky Day (both by Keiko Kasza). 

To work toward this Common Core standard, ELACC2RL9: Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures, I created a directions sheet to go with blank Double Bubble Maps for my students. Maybe I fudged a little by comparing two stories by an author from another culture...but the gingerbread boy and girl balance the scale, don't you think? My students loved The Wolf's Chicken Stew and one of the boys in my class had My Lucky Day at home. He said he had a story that was sort of similar. I asked if he thought maybe the books had the same author, but he didn't thinkso. When he brought the book to school the next day, we discovered they did have the same author and it grew from there. The children loved the stories, especially My Lucky Day. If you haven't read that one, you'll enjoy it. It has such a surprise ending! :)

Find the Compare and Contrast Directions here if you wish to use them. 

Happy day! 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Golly Molly! Reflex Math, anyone?

Golly Molly! I can't believe it's September 26 and I haven't blogged since August 28! Let's leader-check; healthy mom-in-love-check; CCGPS SEATS plans-check; Instructional Calendar for 2013-2014-check; busy second graders-check; student teachers-check; happy students-check; healthy parents-check; tired teacher-check! 

My Caddi that was such a deal has just about gone its last mile. It smokes like a freight train now. My Toyota RAV4 is ordered and soon to arrive (please pray it arrives TOMORROW!), and so much more is being done or needs to be done! Top all this with a friend having a Yard Sale Saturday and wanting me to join. Ha! 

I have also received a grant from Reflex Math that I think you should check out. Has anyone used Reflex Math? It is a computer program with games to teach Math Fact Fluency (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). The website touts their success rate. I will definitely let you know if the results in my classroom back up their testimonials. It certainly looks like a fun game to me. I applied and received this online. You may want to check into it if you've not heard of it before. The company will grant two teachers per school to use the program free for one year. The website also says they have a limit per county or school district. I was gung-ho to get it in order to use the computer games for my students to practice Math facts! I'll keep you posted...

I am going to have Reflex Math as one station, SumDog Math as another station, iXL (which my school purchases) as a third station, and then "Teacher Time" with myself and my student teachers (yes, two of them!) to practice skills using games and paper/pencil work. Whew!! What a busy classroom we have! I am thankful to have 10 nooks, a quad (one computer, four stations), a teacher computer, a laptop, and a Promethean Board in my class this year! 

I'm soooo thankful for all the blessings in my classroom for my students! God has been soooo good to us! 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


It has been an interesting Spring and Summer. I celebrated birthday number 50 in April. Our son moved into an apartment in July, so my husband and I became empty-nesters. Darling Hubby decided this was the time to put down the hardwood floors I bought at such a bargain after we sold my old car. What a way to spend the summer! YIKES! I haven't slowed down to get online lately. 

My Mom-in-Love had her second bought of breast cancer. She found out just before July 4th and had a mastectomy August 1. After her surgery, she had a "bleed" and almost bled out the following evening. Combine that with the beginning of school and you can imagine I have been one tired puppy. :)



Monday, April 8, 2013

A Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener in a BUSY Second Grade Class

Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! WOW!

     The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener really does what it says it will do! Troy at Classroom Friendly Supplies was kind enough to offer me a sharpener for my classroom for my honest opinion on the sharpener. It is awesome!

     First, let me explain. I teach second grade sweeties (you already know this part). Sometimes they are a little rough on a pencil sharpener (I bet you suspected this, if you didn't already know it!). I've gone through many, many pencil sharpeners in my years teaching. I even refused to allow anyone (other than my appointed "pencil sharpener") to touch my electric pencil sharpener. I have gone so far as to HIDE (seriously, folks) my pencil sharpener (or at least the part that catches the stuff so it wouldn't work) when I had to be out and leave a substitute in charge. That was a result of previous pencil sharpeners being destroyed utterly annihilated by my lovelies when I was not at school!! >:(

     Woe be unto me the times I forgot to hide the parts and came back to a pencil sharpener that chewed and whirred and ground all day, but would no longer sharpen a pencil properly. The latest in a long line of pencil sharpeners was my $75.00 electric sharpener that I HID for the summer, only to come back and find that it chewed and whirred and ground all day, but would no longer sharpen a pencil properly!! Can you say ticked? (Yeah, I know, I said worse, too!) Let's just try to keep it clean here...

    Then suddenly, on the horizon, the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener is making all these promises...promises of 1-NO NOISE (very little!), 2-a perfect point every time (YEP!), and I quote "It will change the way you sharpen pencils in your classroom." Well, I have to say...I was skeptical. I wanted to see this for myself and I'm not even from Missouri (the Show-Me state). So...the judge is in and the verdict is...this pencil sharpener delivers on its promises!!


     Check this little baby out. It's pulled out so you just squeeze the black tabs on top together, insert your pencil, put your hand on top of the green barrel, and sharpen until the pencil stops. SOooo simple and easy, yet marvelous! Students can sharpener their pencils perfectly (2 at a time, please...then hurry back to writing!) without all the noise.

      Seriously, I am going to forward this to my princiPAL and let her know that in my humble opinion, we can save mucho $$$$ by ordering at least one (preferably two for morning sharpenings) per class! At $25.00, the price of the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener is about half what I usually spent on an electric sharpener. If I'd known about the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener when I spent $75.00 for the big one, I could've had THREE! Count 'em and weep with me! With the teacher pack, I would have had enough left over to buy a burger, even! The school pack makes the savings even better, hence my suggestion to buy for the entire building.

      I just wonder how durable this cute little car would be. Isn't that the neatest? I might get one of those for my grandbabies (if/when I am ever blessed with one/some)...think Troy would share one of those with me for another blog?
      Of course, now my dilemma is finding a way to 1-convince my princiPAL that this truly is the way to go as far as pencil sharpeners go, and 2-getting that cute little car. Hint, hint, Troy! ;)

      Hurry, order yours today at Classroom Friendly Supplies! You won't be sorry. Now, when are they going to create scissors that won't walk out of your classroom when your back is turned?!

Lovin' my Classroom Friendly Sharpener,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Congratulations to our Carson-Dellosa Common Core Standards Kit Winner!

Congratulations to Raye W who is the winner of Carson-Dellosa's Common Core Standard Kit! I hope you enjoy it, Raye!

I'm lovin' it. Not only do I have standards posted in the pocket chart where my Essential Questions (EQs) are posted, but I have pulled out standards for my small groups. We are highlighting key words in the "I can" statements as well as reading and reviewing the standard written on the opposite sides of the cards. What an awesome resource. Thanks again, Carson-Dellosa!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My First Give-Away: A Carson-Dellosa Common Core Standards Kit

Carson-Dellosa sent me a Second Grade Common Core Standards Kit for review. It came with a Daily Standards Pocket Chart 
and Granny Smith apples! How neat is that? Carson-Dellosa, you ROCK! The Second Grade Common Core Standards kit is so easy to use and fits right in with our requirements of posting standards. Receiving the Daily Standards Pocket Chart and apples were an added perk which I appreciate! Mucho gracias!

Here's a photo of the pocket chart of Standards with Essential Questions. I posted this on my board where I had previously posted typewritten standards which weren't "I can" statements. The "I can" statements really fit in with my second graders.

Here are close-ups of the Standards pocket chart...

 and the Essential Questions I added...

I am excited to share this neat little box of standards. I received it on Wednesday afternoon, so of course I took it to school Thursday morning and bragged to my teamies about my boon! Then, I hauled carried it with me to our faculty meeting on Thursday. I just sat the Standards box on the table with my notebook/calendar to see who would notice first. I can't remember who noticed first! :( Honestly, you'd think I would have paid closer attention...but that's my ADHD kicking in according to Debbie we had committee meetings and other important "stuff" which captured my attention. It seems that L was the first person to speak, "What you got there, Stapler?" At any rate, my goal of advertising this wonderful product at our meeting was successful. Several teachers saw it and were interested. I even shared that I'm blogging about it and they can enter to win a freebie! :D

To win your very own Carson-Dellosa Common Core Standards Kit-a $19.99 value, enter below by following my blog and leaving a post telling me you're following. Don't forget to add your e-mail address so I can send you contact info for ordering your free kit! Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, January 28, 2013

Carson-Dellosa & Student Teacher

Hello. It seems like forever... it's been an extremely busy time, but I see light at the end of the tunnel! First, Carson-Dellosa e-mailed me about their first Complete Common Core Standards Kit! I will receive two: one to blog about after trying it and one to give away! How exciting-my first giveaway ever! Hopefully I'll receive the kits and have everything ready to blog and do the giveaway around Valentine's Day...stay tuned! I am soo excited!

Next, my newest student teacher (fourth one since last January) is, in her words, not your typical college student. She is an experienced substitute teacher, married and mom of three boys. I am thrilled to have her in my class! Today went fantastically well. I just wish she were going to be in my class more than two days weekly. I'll take what I can get, though.

Stations went much more smoothly with two sets of eyes watching. She even commented on how well my students were behaved!! My students...the ones who cannot be still even if you sit on them! ;) Oh, what a lovely Monday it has been today!

Don't forget to stayed tuned for more information on the Common Core Standards Kit which even includes "I can" statements written on the students' level!

Blessings & peace,