Monday, September 12, 2011

Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives

Here is a quick around the room activity I made to use with my students tomorrow. I wrote up ten sentences and underlined one noun, one verb, and one adjective in each of them. I will laminate them and then hang them around the room for the students to find. They will pair up with their partner and search for the sentences, identifying the different parts of speech. My plan is to cut the recording sheet into the three strips, and work on one part of speech each day for the next three days. For example, tomorrow I might say "When reading the sentences around the room identify which underlined word in each sentence is the noun." 
Hope you can use and enjoy this activity with your students...anything to get them out of their seats, right?
Click on the picture below to download the activity.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Teaching with Picture Books

Click on the "Teaching with Picture Books" tab above to see how I will be using the book Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman to teach antonyms to my second graders. 

New Blog Design and Button

Thank you to my sister Becky over at Create-Teach-Share I have a new design and button for my blog. I love it! 
If you have my old button on your blog, please switch it to the new one.

I have also decided to change the structure of my blog a bit to make it easier to find what you are looking for. 

You will see two new tabs at the top. Under the tab "File Folder Games" you will find links to all the file folder games I have made and continue to make. Under the tab "Teaching with Picture Books", you will find stories and ideas I am using to teach reading, writing, and math mini lesson to my second graders. 

I hope you find these resources to be helpful during this next school year. 
I can't believe I'm going back to work on Monday...where did my summer go?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

First Day of School Activities

I'd love to hear what activities you do with your students on the first day of school. 
Link up below with one of your favorite activities or share your plans for the whole day. 
This year I created a small book for the first day/week of second grade. My students will write about themselves, the school, the classroom, and me (the teacher). I will use it to asses their writing. I also created an end of the year book (So Long Second Grade) with similar ideas. I will use that book at the end of the year to hopefully show them how much their writing has improved.
If you would like to check out the two books click here for the Welcome to Second Grade book and here for the So Long Second Grade book.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Letter Writing

Letter writing is a big part of second grade. I decided this year I am going to have my students write letters and actually mail them...they get so excited when the get a response in the mail. I typed up a little note to the parents and asked them to share a few names and address of friends and family. I even asked for some donations of stamps, we'll see what I get.  If they don't want to share addresses, I will just send the letters home and the parents can mail them. 
I also keep a map up in my room all year and we mark different places that we read and learn about. I'm hoping we get a few letters from around the country and the world to help us with our geography.

If there are any second grade teachers that would like to do pen-pals with us, please e-mail me or comment below and we can get in touch. 
I'm located in Northern California.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Let's See your Writing Centers and Ideas

   As I prepare to go back to school here in just 3 weeks...can't believe summer is almost over summer to do list isn't even half way completed yet... I am really looking for some help and ideas for teaching writing.
I teach 2nd grade and when it comes to teaching math and reading I'm pretty good to go, but I have always struggled with how best to teach writing. My district doesn't really have a set writing program...I have an old Step Up To Writing binder that was left behind by the last teacher, and I have just started reading through it today. I also read No More I'm Done by Jennifer Jacobson and really liked a lot that she had to offer. If you haven't read it yet, it's great.  I find myself going through each year teaching random writing lessons and struggling to keep it all together. After reading No More I'm Done, now I struggle with the idea of letting the kids choose their topic or choosing one for them.

   I know you all have so many amazing ideas and I would love to hear them...or if you know of someone else who has a great idea please link it up below or leave a comment.  I'm looking for ideas on how you teach writing as a whole, not just individual writing lessons, and I'd also love to see what some of your writing centers look like. My writing center is a work in progress, this will be my first year having one...I will post pics when I finish it next week.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fraction Match Up

Went to Lakeshore Learning today to get some borders for my room.  I saw this great fraction game as I was walking out, but there was no way I was going to pay $24.95 for it. So I created my own version of it! And I am so happy with it...hope my kids enjoy it too.  

Click on the preview of it below to download the game...enjoy!

- Megan

100th Day Activity

TBA is celebrating their 100th day in the blogger world with a linky party full of great 100th day activities! Click here to join!

Here is an activity I did with my class this past year and they loved it! I got the idea from a blog or Proteacher...The idea is not my own, but I did create it in my own way. If this book is your idea please tell me so I can give you credit.  Anyways, Its a little book called "I Wish I Had 100..."  The students write and illustrate about different things they would want to have 100 of, and then on the last page they write about something they would never want 100 of. We started the book in the morning filling in their ideas and then they worked on the illustrations throughout the day as they finished their other work...a few of my students actually drew 100 of the different items in their the end of the day they loved getting to read their books to the class...more ideas to come when we get closer to the 100th day of school...I can't think that far ahead when it's still summer.

Just any of you have your class bring in collections of 100 items? I remember doing it when I was younger and I loved it. Gathering the items with my mom and bringing it to school, I just don't remember what we did with them when we got to school....haha...I'd love to do it with my students if I could come up with some meaningful activities...please post a comment and share what you do or any ideas you have.

Ok, click on the large 100 to download the book! 


Same Sound Task Cards

In the first few weeks of school, I spend a lot of time reviewing the phonics skills my students learned in first grade. I've noticed in years past that the students often remember the basics, but forget the knowing that there is more than one spelling for long vowel and other special vowel words. 
They usually just need a little reminder to get the juices flowing.

I love using task cards in my class. I have used them as a whole group "scoot" activity, for partners, and individual work. The best part about task cards is that I can get a quick assessment of my students abilities on any given topic.

How to use Task Cards:

1. Whole Group Scoot: Each student gets one card. Depending on the concept, I give them a minute or two to answer the question. Then I say scoot and they move to the next number and work on that problem(This does take a little practice). The students love any chance to move around. One year I had a problem with lice, so I sometimes have the students stay in their seat and just "Pass" the cards. At the end I collect all the cards and then go over them one by one whole group. Students correct with a pen or marker and then I can see what they know.

2. Partner Scoot: Same as above, I just have the students work with partners. I do this when I don't have 25 cards or when a concept is difficult (usually math concepts).

3. Individual: I put a sticker on the back of the card where the answer is, and the students use clothes pins to choose an answer, by placing the clip on the answer they think is correct. Then they flip over their cards and self-check their answers by seeing if the clothes pin lines up with the sticker. I usually do this once we have already used the set of cards whole group.

I usually print two sets of cards. One for whole group/partner scoot and one for individual practice.  

Here are some "same sound task cards" I just created...please let me know if you find any mistakes...its almost 1am and I have been up with my little guy since 6 this morning. I usually number them, but forgot, so I will just write numbers on them before I laminate them.  I also suggest printing task cards on cardstock for durability. 

Click the apple to download the task cards.

Off to bed I go....can't believe I almost have 100 followers...I may just have to do a little giveaway soon!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Daily Schedule

Joining the linky party over at Simple 2nd Resources...

My schedule is always very busy...We have a very short day and a lot to cram in...I teach second grade.

Here is my Daily Schedule (I am a major planner...every minute of every day always has to be planned ahead.)

8:10 - Final Bell
8:20-9:20 - Writing Workshop
             - Mini Lesson (writing skills/strategies, etc.)
             - Quiet Ten (everyone writes including me)
             - Writing Time: editing, writing, publishing
9:20 - 9:35 - RECESS
9:40-10:00 - Board Math
10:00 - 10:10 - Math Fact Lessons or math review game/activity
10:10 - 11:10 - Math Workshop
        Three twenty minute rotations
            - Work With Teacher...lesson
            - Game/Activity (reviewing yesterdays new concept)
            - Worksheet Practice - review of skills
11: 10 - 12:00 LUNCH
12:10 - 12:45 - Theme, ELA Skills, etc.
12:45 - 1:45 Daily 5
1:45 - 2:05 - Go over hw, pack up, read aloud

I thought I would also share my lesson plan template...I have always used a lesson plan book, but it has never kept me organized...I always end up with little notes written everywhere and papers in piles between the pages...In May, I decided to try a template on my laptop (since I bring it to school every day anyways to use with my Smartboard). I loved it...I've already got all my blank templates saved on my comp for this year so I can start planning ahead as needed.  If you would like to see or use the template click on the image of it below. I'd be willing to share it with anyone, just e-mail me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If You Were A Plus Sign...and linky party

I am sharing a new math project I created today and would love for you to use it. If you have a blog of your own please join the link party and share a math activity you do using literature...Please mention and link my blog to the post. If you don't have a blog please leave a comment sharing your ideas...Thanks and Enjoy!

One of my goals this year is to incorporate more reading and activities into my math instruction.  One of the first math skills we start with in second grade is addition. 

I just love reading the book If You Were A Plus Sign written by Trisha Speed Shaskan. Each page in the book starts with "If you were a plus sign...", and then goes on to explain one of the key features of the plus sign in an addition problem, such as you would make a sum or you would help put things together, etc.

My plan with the book is to read and discuss it with my class when we start reviewing addition the first week of school. Then revisiting it a few days later when we go over adding doubles. I created blank pages with each of the key features Trisha talks about.  My students will create their own rewritten version of the story using addition doubles facts to come up with a word problem and number sentence to go with each plus sign feature. My plan is to have students work in partners or groups to create their rewritten story. The packet includes a cover page, 6 plus sign feature pages, and a back page for students to write all the doubles facts.  Click on the picture below to download it. I will also let each set of partners/group choose which doubles fact they will use on their page. 

(ok for some reason I can't get pics to upload so click here to download the packet...and I will try to figure it out soon.)

Don't worry if you have never read the book or don't have a copy of students can still create a class book of their own. 

Now it's your turn to share....Please join the linky party and mention my blog!

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to leave a comment.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Word Work in My Class

Daily Word Work Activities:
Monday - Word Work 4 Times Each (click on the picture to download the activity)

Tuesday - Word Work Sentences (one of the teachers at my school gave me this great idea!) (click on the picture to download the activity)

Wednesday - Friday - Spelling Games (I have been working all summer to make spelling practice games)

 Here is an example of one of my games, I will post more soon!

(click on the picture to download the activity)

Keep Reading to learn more about how my class is structured and assessed  during spelling time.

I use Daily 5 as a guide for structuring my reading workshop. One of the daily choices for students is Word Work, where the students work independently to practice the weekly spelling words, vocabulary, or high frequency words...whatever it is you choose to use in your class. 

Our district uses Open Court for ELA instruction, so I use the spelling words that go with that program...I will also be having my students work with high frequency words that they still struggle with. I will assess all the students and then each student will use their own misspelled words to create a list of weekly words.  To read more about how I will be assessing my students individualy on high frequency words, check out Beth Newingham's Scholastic Blog...she is amazing! This is my first year using the high frequency word assessments and student generated lists, and I am really excited about it.

So, every week my students will have 10 spelling words, plus the next five words from their own high frequency word lists...I am really hoping to have a parent volunteer come in on Fridays to assess each student on their 5 high frequency words, I am not sure how I will make it work without parent help...I will not be giving spelling tests on the weekly word list. I hope this makes sense, if you have any questions or suggestion please feel free to share them!

- Megan

Favorite Fonts

I love fun fonts! I just had to join the linky party over at Finally In First. Here are just a few of my favorites...I had trouble just picking a few. Now...I'm off to check out the other blogs linked up and ready to download new fonts...hope I find some good free ones.

- Megan

Look What I Made!

I am doing a little western/farm/cowboy theme in my class this year. Nothing over the top, I just wanted a theme to use for my newsletter, AR board, Library, etc. I couldn't find any nameplates I liked, but I found an adorable digital scrapbook set at The western set I got was designed by Mindy Terasawa, and is so adorable. I can see this theme getting a bit carried away, but I am going to try and have a little self control.  I am just having so much fun with it.

I made these nameplates..I love them even though they will use up all my ink to print...oh well! If you want a set of your own, click on the picture and download them at Google Docs. I'm so excited to use them!

Every year my school does a back to school BBQ the night before school starts. The kids get to find out who their new teacher will be and see their classroom. This year I'm going to have a little welcome gift on each students desk...just some pencils, erasers, I made these cute tags to tie to each gift. I hope my students love them as much as I do. Check them out at Google Docs.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grade 2.0 with Mrs.Adcock Giveaway

Head on over to Grade 2.0 with Mrs. Adcock and help her celebrate 100 followers. She is giving away a gift card to Target. What teacher doesn't love Target!?

Happy 4th of July!
I'm off to spend the weekend with my family!

First Day Supplies

   Mrs. Kincaid is hosting a linky party, come join! She is looking for ideas to help organize the supplies students bring in the first day of school.
   At my school we send home a supply "wish list" with each student at the end of the year. For example, myself and the other second grade teachers wrote a letter and created a list of items we would like each student to bring in. Our list went home with the first graders (who will be in our classes next year). In our letter we wrote that all supplies being donated were going to be "community" supplies and shared within the class. Even though my students have desks and their own supply boxes (if they bring one from home) I store supplies in a tub in the middle of the cluster of desks. Any supplies I give to students go in the tub and are shared. If they bring in supplies for themselves they keep them in their desks or backpacks.

  One of the best ways I have found to organize all other things is with numbers. Instead of writing students names on things, I put a number and assign each student a number. At our school we have a lot of families that come and go throughout the year. When students leave and new ones come I don't have to get new supplies or classroom materials, I just give them a number. I make a set of 25 of everything so I am always prepared for a new student to arrive.   

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alternate Endings

One of the standards of second grade is creating alternate endings for stories. I've been trying to come up with many different and of course fun ways to work on this skill with my students. An idea that came to me today was to let them start by predicting endings. I plan on reading a book aloud and stopping before the end...then as a class discussing/predicting what we think will happen. Each student will then write an ending (How they think the story will end). We will share the ideas and then I will finish reading the story and we will discuss correct predictions, realistic predictions, and how things in the story would have had to change for some of the predictions to be true.

Another idea I had was reading a whole book to the class, discussing the ending and then giving my students a "What If...?" question and having them write an ending to the story. For example, after reading a Magic Tree House Book, I may ask them, "How would the story have been different if Jack or Annie had been alone?" You could also make simple changes in the story and discuss their differences. For example, "What would have changed if the story took place on an island rather than a snowy mountain?"

I created a simple writing page with a picture spot and lines for my students to use when we are working on alternate endings. Download it by clicking the link below. Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!



Famous Americans

This year I will be doing a unit on Famous Americans with my second graders. Everyday I will do a read aloud about a different American, both past and present. A few times a week we will write a class paragraph about the person we are reading about. We will use the "Famous Americans" notes page to keep track of what makes or made each person important in our country. We will then turn the notes into the paragraph. I made a notes page and final draft page that you can download by clicking the link below. My plan is to enlarge both pages and make them into a poster, that I can laminate and reuse each time we write a paragraph, and then make individual copies of the worksheets for each student. At the end of the unit the students will have a whole book of information about the Famous Americans that they can add to their book boxes. The final draft paper is star shaped, so the students can cut them out and also create a cover for their final book. There is also a spot for a small picture of the person on the final draft page. Students can draw them in or you can print up copies for them.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Share what you do...

I know giving the kids a random list of words each week, isn't the best way to teach them spelling, but I have yet to come up with anything better. 
In our district we are supposed to use Open Court spelling words, but I don't love what they have to offer. I have heard a lot about Words Their Way, I purchased it on Amazon, and reading it is on my summer "To DO" list. I would love to hear what you do in your classroom to teach spelling. 
Leave a comment or if you have a blog post about it add the link below.
Thanks, Megan

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Odd and Even

When chatting with a friend earlier today about math workshop and the millions of things we want to do to prepare the activities before next school year starts, she mentioned an activity about sorting numbers into even or odd. It was just the idea I needed...reviewing even and odd numbers is one of the first lessons I will be teaching the first week of school and I had yet to come up with an activity for my students.  I made this file folder game using my new back to school graphics from Just So Scrappy Too. There graphics are so cute, check them out here.

Click on the picture below to download the game.

Thanks for visiting, 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Measuring Around the Room

Here is another quick activity I made while driving to the campgrounds...Measuring Around the Room. I'm still trying to figure out how to post the image from Google docs, but for now just click on the plant below to check out the worksheet.

Sight Word Spelling Practice

* The link on the palm tree should be fixed now, please let me know if it isn't working again. Thanks! *

Back from our first family vacation...We went camping with my family...It was so much fun, but so cold.

Six more days of school!!! Not that I'm counting or anything.  

Anyways, while driving to the campsite (4 hour drive) the baby slept and my husband drove so I got out my computer and made a fun little sight word game.  I'm starting a new sight word spelling program next year and my students will practice weekly spelling words and sight words each week during Word Work in Daily 5.  This game is just a simple and fun practice when they finish the daily "must do" assignment. If you are interested in assessing your students on the spelling of sight words and helping each student keep track of their progress check out Beth Newingham's site on scholastic by clicking here. She is AMAZING!

If you would like to download my sight word game click on the tree below. 
I know it showed up as three pages, it's only two pages, one is blank. Cut out the game and glue it in a file folder or on a piece of construction paper and laminate for durability. 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Plural Noun Pack!

Oh my what a week...Only 12 more school days left!

       I know this year isn't even over yet, but I am already thinking about next year. The last few months I have been experimenting with both a math and writing workshop, and I LOVE it! I will post more about them later.  I already do Daily 5 during my reading block.
      I feel that teaching using a workshop style (small groups) gives me the chance to work closer with my students. I went back and forth with the idea for months. I kept asking myself, is it better to just do whole group instruction where I am teaching longer, or shorter small groups instructions? After much thought I decided I would try workshop because I do think that the smaller more concentrated groups will be more beneficial than whole group instruction that drags on and the kids stop listening anyways. So far it's been going great in my class.  The only problem I am running into is that I don't have enough stuff to keep the other kids busy with meaningful work. So hence the blog...I figure if I am making all these things anyways I might as well share them. that my baby boy is feeling much better I have got him back sleeping in his bed and have time to create. This week I worked on a Plural Noun Pack...This pack has lots of fun goodies from whole class games to worksheets and independent practice games. Check it out at TPT.  With this pack I even made my first set of task cards...I am a task card addict! 

Plural Pack includes: Task cards, I have...Who has...?, worksheets, plural ending sort, file folder game, and a memory/concentration game. The packet is 18 pages plus a cover sheet sharing ideas on how to set up and use activities in your class.  Click on the top robot to check out the plural pack at TPT.

      I also made some classroom posters with the plural ending rules. Click on the robot below to check them out for FREE!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Arrrr! Me Treasure!

I'm home today with my poor little baby boy who is sick...he has an ear infection, pink eye, and a terrible cough.  I guess one plus to me working and him being in daycare is that he will have a strong immune system by the time he gets to kindergarten. 
I was in mommy mode all weekend so I didn't have a chance to post anything new.  He is napping now and I actually have a pretty clean house thank you to my wonderful husband who scrubbed the den and kitchen yesterday while I took care of the baby. He even rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned all the carpet. I am not sure what got into him, but I like it!!! the school year comes to an end I am noticing a few of my second graders are still struggling with counting coins. So I've been working on a few games for them to do during math workshop. 
Click on the pirate below to download the game.

ARRR! Me Treasure! A Coin Counting Game. 

Thanks, Megan

P.S. I am working on putting all my pirate theme ideas into one document so keep an eye out for it...I will post it on here (for free) as soon as it's done!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pirate Puppy Place Value

My students are loving all these pirate themed file folder games that they get to practice during math workshop.

This game helps students with place value in the tens and one place. Students practice counting base ten blocks and match it with the correct numbers. Check out this game and others at tpt. My file folder games are all just one dollar and include directions for the teacher, directions and a title for the game, a title for the folder tab, game pieces, and a matching worksheet so you can check students understanding. Click on the pirate puppy to check out this place value game.


There, Their, and They're

     I made this game to help my students practice spelling and understanding the difference between the three forms of the word there. The sentences are all missing the word "there, their, or they're" and the students have to choose the correct form. I made this game a few weeks ago before I started the file folder games so it's not exactly a file folder game, but it could easily be made into one.   
     When playing this game with my class...I first did a mini lesson on the difference between the three words. I then gave half the students the sentence strips (after printing them on cardstock and laminating them) and half the students the scrolls with the different forms of "there". They had to move around the classroom and find a partner with the matching word or sentence...I had them link arms and freeze where they were and then we went around the room checking for answers. I am so proud of my students, they all found correct partners! They then went to their seats and each filled out the coordinating recording sheet. Click on the cross-bones to check out the game.


Hello fellow primary teachers...This year in my second grade class I have started teaching using mostly small group, workshop like settings. In order for me to meet with the students in small groups I need something for the other students to be working on.  I tried to think of something that would keep their interest, help them practice important skills, and mostly keep them from interrupting me while I am working with the other groups. So, I decided to start making file folder games, and my students love them! I make them using fun graphics that go with each of our themes..right now we are ending the year with a pirate/ocean theme...and the kids are loving the pirate games...sometimes I think they forget it's an educational game. Yesterday they got free choice when they finished their math work and most of them just wanted to play the file folder games...I was so excited!

Anyways, I have decided that a blog would be a fun way to share my games with other primary teachers.  I will post some here for free and put some on TPT for a dollar! Can't beat that! Enjoy and if you have any requests for themes or skills message me and I will see what I can come up with.
With Love,
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