Saturday, October 27, 2012

Trick or Treat Sale

I'm having 20% off sale on my Halloween items this weekend at both of my shops.  Be sure to check out these items.


Halloween Road Signs
A Letter to the Fly
Halloween Punctuation Booklet
And in Spanish

Monday, October 22, 2012

Making Fact Practice Fun!

By the end of the year 2nd graders need to know how to add and subract fluently within 20.  Here are two awesome resources to help reach that goal.

Xtra math is a great website for practicing math facts.  This is a free site.  All you have to do is sign up and enter your students name. Xtra Math uses tests to determine what facts students need to practice.  It is real easy to use in the classroom.  When a student is finished it gives them the name of the next person.  Every Monday I recieve an email with the latest information on where students are at.  It's another data piece to use with parents as well.  You can print out parent letters that give information on how students can practice at home too.  This past week I had my first student complete the addition facts.  I received an email and I printed out the certificate for my student.  My whole class was excited.  That night I had parents emailing me that their child wanted to practice more at home!  I almost forgot the most important part-  This is a FREE resource!

Another great resource is Arcademic Skill Builders.  This one is just a bit more fun!  It uses arcade type games to promote speed. Games can personalized through a series of settings.  There are many different games/skills to choose from.

I use both of these sites all the time.  Xtra Math the students work on this during our morning routine and during math centers.  I use Arcademic Skill Buliders during math centers as well.  The students love to do this one on the Smartboard.  Even today when we had inside recess my students wanted to play the games.

These sites are a great way to bump up that fact fluency with students.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Having fun with chocolate

Did I get your attention with chocolate?  Chocolate will always get my attention.

With so many food allergies at our school; our principal would like us not to use food if it all possible.  However my teammates and I just love doing this simple science experiment to teach heat energy.  So we had to get special permission to do this science experiment, and get parent consent as well.  Lucky for me this year I only have one student with peanut allergies, but they can be around it just can't eat it.  So I was safe to bring out the chocolate. 

As usual I didn't have my camera, but I did take a picture with my cell phone.  The quality isn't as good, but it gets the job done.

This is a simple, fun, and even a little messy.   Of course I did have one little girl (once she realized that the chocolate was melting in her hand) didn't want to participate any more. - "I can't get messy!  It's digusting!"  However everyone else loved it!

If you are interested in the Chocolate Kiss Heat Energy Experiment
Click on the image below to download it for free on TPT.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I've Been Boo-ed Linky Party

What a great way to start thinking about Halloween.  It's a great twist on the traditional You've Been Boo'd.   Thank- you to Amy from Adventures in Teaching.  Click on her button to check out her blog.

So, here are the rules...
1. If you've been boo-ed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.
2. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!
3. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (maybe yours or someone else's) or freebies(s) that you love!
4. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers-make sure you check this link so that you don't repeat the "Boo"
5. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! While you are there check out the other great blogs!
So here are some of my October activities that I like to do:
A Pinterest Idea from Vicky Moore/Traditions Laughter and Happily Ever After
A great adjective lesson. 
Then I am going to have my students write about what they love about Halloween using the some of the adjectives from the candy corn chart. 
2.) Every year my students love this writing booklet.
3.) One of my favorite games to play at our Halloween Party is the Mummy Wrap.  (So I don't have any pictures of this.)  Place students into teams of four/five.  One person is the mummy.  The others have to wrap the mummy in toliet paper.  The first to do so wins.  This is a huge  hit every year!
4.)  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything Charlie Brown.  This has been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid.
5.)  Would You Rather . . .
My students have been working on this during journal in the mornings.  Journal sharing time has brought up some good debates.
Now to share the love and Boo some other bloggers.
Buggy for 2nd Grade
The Tattooed Teacher

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Product Swap


This past summer I missed out on the product swap.  So this time around I was quick to join the Oct. Product Swap hosted by Mrs. Stanford.  I am teaming up with Nicole from Teaching With Stlye.  (I noticed that she is from Hawaii.  I'm a little jealous now that the weather in Chicago has turned cooler.)

 One of my pet peeves of my students is when they come up to me and say "I'm done. What do I do now?" I have always thought I had explained this well enough that they would not have to ask this question.  So when I was browsing through Nicole's TPT one of the things that popped out at me was her product "What To Do When You Are Finished Classroom Visual".  This was perfect for me to try out at the beginning of the year.   I also loved that she used cheveron and polka dot backgrounds.  My classroom is filled with cheveron borders and a rug.  A perfect fit for me!  My students love it because it is visual so my low readers can even just look at the pictures and know what to do.  No excuses for interupting me when I'm working with a small group.

What do you get in this packet?   You get 4 different color variations with two different sayings.

Pictured above the "What To Do When I'm Finished" charts.

The other saying.
The cards that you can choose to create your very own charts. This can be changed easily so they are not always the same.  There are plenty of choices that will work in any classroom/grade level.  

Here is how I have used them.

Pictured above:  This one I use when we are doing Language Arts or after students complete their Must Do Center Work.  Choices that students can pick from are to read, write a story, file folder games, task cards, etc. 
This one I use a little differently.  In my classroom I have use the behavior clip chart.  One of the rewards students can earn is to be able to pick their own activity to do.  These activities are more on the fun side.  Choices include drawing, using play dough, working on puzles, art project etc.
So as you can see this set can be adapted to fit your needs.
Assembly is easy to do.  Just print, cut out choice cards, laminate, and hang in your classroom.  And the best part it does not take a lot of wall space.  We all know how that wall space is at a premium no matter the size of your classroom.
I asked my students what they thought of the choice chart in my classroom.  Here are some of their answers:
I like how I can just look at the pictures and figure out what to do so I don't get in trouble for bothering the teacher.
I like having choices to choose from.
To check out this item on TPT click here
Like this idea be sure to check on Nicole's blog.
On Facebook?  Be sure to check this out as well.  I have liked her Facebook and have gotten lots of ideas since joining her site.
Nicole is reviewing my Persuasive Writing Unit.  So check that out as well.   I hope you are enjoying reading about all these great products on TPT from some wonderful bloggers.  
The best part is all of my items are 20% off on TPT thru Oct. 8th. Click here to view my shop on TPT.  Be sure to check out Nicole's TPT store as well to see what she has on sale.
Nicole and I are also giving away each of our units.  Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Spanish Heritage Month Part 2

I don't know if it is the changing of the weather around here. Or just that calendar turned to Oct. and students are already getting excited about Halloween.  But I am exhausted!  I am so looking forward to having Monday off for Columbus Day.  I could use a three day weekend.

Well here's another post on Spanish Heritage Month by Virginia Duran.

On Thursday I took my students to the public library, we are really fortunate we are a parking lot away.  And as we were getting our tour, we stopped by the Spanish book section and I a book catches my eye.  I find another book on Celia Cruz!.  I immediately grabbed it and checked it out.  I read it to my students.  Well I didn’t have to read it since there was a listening CD in the book!  It was in English, not Spanish, but the narration was great.  It included Celia’s music in the background as it was being narrated and it in included one of her song on the CD!  So my students heard this book, the Me llamo Celia, My Name is Celia, “Let’s Dance”, and I played salsa music.  I did purchase a cd from Scholastic a few years ago with Salsa music for cats and dogs.  I don’t have the title, but I will post it later.  I invited our 2nd grade class and they loved it!   They were repeating “Azucar” and got up and danced with my first grade students.   During recess I had my students make maracas ( see pictures).  I used empty water bottles, beans and corn kernels, and construction paper.   The students decorated their maracas, I either used beans or corn kernels, placed them in the bottles!  They loved them. 

Next week I will try to squeeze Cesar Chavez, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo!  My goal is to have them make a piƱata with the help of their fifth grade buddies.   We also want to meet with the second graders again and play Loteria ( similar to BINGO) since they read Jugando Loteria/ Playing Loteria.

Hope a great rest of the week.