31 August 2013

Writing Piece of the Month

I am back to school and getting back into the swing of things.  My kiddos have gotten off to a great start.  I will be back to post classroom pics very soon.  Today, I wanted to share my newest writing resource that I can't wait to get going in my classroom.  I spent a large chunk of my summer working on it and it's finally done- YAY!

My goal for this resource was to have a fun writing activity each month that I could compile together at the end of the year to make a writing portfolio.  This is completely separate from the writing pieces we do in Writers' Workshop.  These writing activities are seasonal pieces that go along with popular children's books.

This is a great way to expose children to a variety of writing genres and great literature.  Here is a peek at what is included:

There are 15 different activities included that encompass 11 different genres.  
I can't wait to get started with my students!  I'm going to start this week with the 2 August activities.  It's still early in the year, and they are still getting to know each other better, so it's perfect timing.

These are the books I will be using for this resource, but there are so many other great books that can be used in addition or in lieu of the ones I listed.  Mine are merely suggestions.
If you are interested, you can check it out in my TPT store by clicking here, and I would love to give it for free to the first 2 people that leave a comment.

19 August 2013

Monster Theme

I am so excited to finally have a classroom theme. I tried a frog theme once many years ago, and that didn't last!  I went out and bought everything frogs, got it all up, and took it all down by the end of the day.  Nothing against frogs, they just weren't for me.

At the beginning of the summer, I came across JW Illustration's monster clip art and fell in love. Oh my gosh, they are so cute!  It started as just a monster sign and spiraled into this MONSTERpiece.

Here are a few pics of a few of the items in this set:

I'm going to use badge holders this year for my hall passes, but there are also large passes in the set.

     If you are a monster fan, then you can check it out in my store by clicking the image below.  

P.S. The first 2 people to comment will get it for free.  Don't forget to leave your e-mail.
Thanks bunches!!!

*** I've added additional items to the set.  Please click here to read more about the additions.
Here is what was added:

11 August 2013


In my last post, I briefly mentioned my Daily Math spiraling activity.  I used it last year, and really ended up loving it.  I made a few additions and it's ready to go for this year.

Over the last 10 years, I have tried so many different published spiraling activities.  I liked many of them, but didn't love any of them.  I always felt like there weren't enough of the types of problems I needed for my students.  For instance, I especially need regrouping problems mid to end of the year.  I wanted my spiraling activity to encompass a variety of skills, but I wanted to start very basic and work towards building the level of difficulty.  I simply start with what they should know from first grade.  For instance with money, at the beginning of the year, I'd start with all pennies and gradually increase the level of difficulty.

Using the Math PODS allowed me to make my own problems (within the template) and choose the level of difficulty.  I started with single digit numbers at the beginning of the year and ended the year with 2-3 digit numbers.

There are only 2 pages that I copy front/back.  I give them a blank copy for the week and they keep it in their Math POD folders.  I like to write the answers on a blank copy and then use my document camera to display it on the Smart board.  By doing this, we can discuss the answers interactively.  You could also use an overhead projector.  I simply hand write the problems, and they copy and solve them on their own copies.

Here is an example of the PODS with suggestions:
There are also these additional pages for students to monitor their own progress.  
We complete these each Friday.

 When students score a 100 for the day, they will get a punch on their POD Squad punch card.  I don't actually use them as punch cards.  My students glue them into their folders and I initial them. 
At the end of last year, I was super pleased.  My students were very strong on every skill covered on these Math PODS, and I know the reason had to do with the repetitive review.  They never got bored, because the problems were always different.  They loved to be challenged weekly and looked forward to our MATH POD time.  I was also super excited when I got to money and time, and all my kids already knew how to do it.  YAY!!! When it was time to teach those skills, I was actually just reviewing.

If you are a second grade teacher looking for something a little different as a math review, you can check it out HERE.