Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What We Need is a SUPERHERO!

I don't know about the boys in your room, but mine are FANatics about Star Wars, Legos (Ninjago), superheroes (of all types), Pokemon, and Power Rangers.  Well, I haven't been able to find clip art (yet) for Ninjago, Pokemon, and Power Rangers, but I was successful with the Star Wars and superheroes!

So, I spent part of my day off creating two place value games and one on plural nouns using some of this fantastic clipart I found (and bought) over at scrappinggoodies.com!  (I have been hunting for the Star Wars one since I saw someone's cute game with it!).

While I am grateful that "Frankenstorm" didn't hit our area too hard here in central VA, it did cause some flooding and we've been out of school for 2 days.  What a week - we'll start on Halloween!  I have NOTHING ready (I had cute decorations, etc.) and after two extra days off, the kids will be more off than usual!  I hope the Star Wars and superheroes will help soothe my wilder boys! :)

Be sure to check out my newest additions to my teacher stores by clicking on the pictures below which will take you to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Clicking on the link beside the name will take you to Teacher's Notebook! :)

Place Value War:  Battle for the Empire {Teacher's Notebook}

X-Citing Numbers!  Comparing with <, >, and = {Teacher's Notebook}

Super Hero Plurals {Teacher's Notebook}

Monday, October 29, 2012

Manic Monday! Check Out Some Great Freebies!

So who doesn't love freebies???  Whenever someone has a linkup or a linky party, I always try to make time to check it out.  There is an awesome community of teachers out there that produce really great stuff!  It helps inspire me to be better (my husband would probably term it as "crazier") with my products and the overall presentation to my students!!!

So, 'nuff said about that.  This is about a freebie, right?  I'm joining "Classroom Freebies in their linkup of FREE products for Manic Monday!  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have already seen this, but I thought, with the season, it might be worth posting again.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
My freebie is my adjective based "goon" from Goodnight Goon.  I encouraged my students to use adjectives, but you could also use it in older classes for figurative language practice.  It's a great time of year for "goons."  I hope you enjoy!  Click on the link {here} to access it from Google Drive. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wild and Windy!

Can you tell we're studying adjectives?  Well, that and it reflects the weather outside.  We haven't gotten the full effects of Hurricane Sandy (rain is supposed to start tomorrow) but the temps have definitely dropped and we're on a wind advisory until Tuesday!  Whew!

This week has been absolutely crazy!!!  Between being out one day for a meeting, leaving 2 days early, my daughter getting chicken pox (YES!  CHICKEN POX!  and YES she had the vaccine!  Two days out of school on Thursday and Friday for her!), and the general craziness of this time of year....it's enough to drive you to drink chocolate!  I swear, I will never keep to my diet! :P

On Thursday, we celebrated the 50th Day of School.  Of course I was in a meeting that day (but at least it was a planning one...although I had to leave early to take care of my daughter), but I planned some fun things for the kiddos!  During Math, I kept to my groups, but planned a rotation to help review our Geometry unit:  50 pattern blocks to make symmetrical designs, 50 shapes to create on the geoboard, and find 50 objects and determine their shape.  The kids had a lot of fun - oh, and it was "pajama day" for Red Ribbon Week....why can't every day be pajama day - or at least once a week?  I wore mine, even tho I was in a meeting.  (I rarely pass up pajama day!).  

For Writing, they continued by listing 50 adjectives inspired by the book "Hairy Scary Ordinary Adjectives" (I think that's the title) which the sub read to them.  They also did a review on proper nouns and had to list what ended up being a total number of 50 for things such as names of stores, restaurants, books, etc.  They were also supposed to do 25 verbs and 25 nouns, but apparently did not get to that.  It was great for review!

We are studying adjectives, so we did Mrs. Lemon's "All About Me" adjective idea.  The kids turned out better than I thought! (I always hesitate doing these with subs, since I have a general idea of what I want...but fortunately a teammate had done the same activity, so I had one of hers as a sample!).  We also read "Goodnight Goon" (a parody of Goodnight Moon) and created our own goons, adding adjectives to describe it.

We're also studying Community Changes:  Past and Present (SOL 2.3 for you VA people!) so here are our trioramas on the 3 different types of communities.  We did this after watching "The Little House."  I have the book, but LOVE watching the video.  It's on my wiki page....I feel like it gives the kids a little more experience since we are definitely a rural community - they need to hear the hustle and bustle of the urban community!  We also did a follow-up worksheet on The Little House.  I will try to put up my Community Changes unit things soon as a little bundle - I have to take a pic of my triorama pattern since I drew it.  I'll throw it up on TpT and TN for ya! :)

As for the goon, that was actually my little drawing on Word using the shape tools (freehand!).  This is a freebie you can download {here} in PDF.  Please let me know if it doesn't work...I'm still kinda new to Google Docs/Drive!
  I'm sure I'm forgetting something else!  My brain has been a bit scattered...and on top of that, I've started this Math Investigations course we were told to take that was recommended.  I think I need one of those time thingies that Hermoine had in Harry Potter where I can turn back time and use it to fit everything in! :(

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's a bird, it's a plane...it's a SUPER SENTENCE!

Last year, (if you've been following me), you know I had a SMART table in my classroom. LOVED IT!  BEGGED TO GET IT BACK!  However, I've been told they won't see the light of a classroom until the table tops are fixed.  Don't know if it was a recall or what.  I miss my ol' table...especially the hours I spent creating programs for it!

So, I'm back to square one.  In our second grade rooms, we've all been gifted with a SMARTboard.  I do appreciate it - I really do!  I know we're lucky!  It's just hard to get reaquainted.  I miss the fact that for the table, I just plugged it in, put a flashdrive in and voila!  Now I have to deal with hooking the wires up, orienting the board, etc.  Not to mention creating programs in Notebook.  

So, here's my first "dive in and do it" project.  We are studying adjectives and learning to add details to our sentences. So, I created "Super Sentences:  Using Adjectives and Adverbs."  

I introduced it to my class the other day.  We had a blast dragging adjectives to describe the dog.  I didn't want to go into adverbs right now, so we skipped that page and went to the chart, where we could use adjectives to describe a given noun and give it an action (we've already studied nouns and verbs).  

I would normally have the students write the sentences, but I realized part way through the lesson - I forgot to orient the board!  So things were a little "off"....which amused my students greatly!  However, they each got a turn to use the marker when they went up and underlined and circled adjectives and nouns after we had written our sentences.

Of course, did I have my camera, ready to snap shots?  Of course not.  :(  Ah well.  I made the activity so that we could revisit it each week and all year, if necessary!

If you would like to check it out, I have a free preview on TpT which you can access by clicking {here}.  I hope to have my camera at the ready next time (not to mention the board aligned!).  Until then, happy almost weekend! :) 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Some Days You're a Cube , Other Days You're a Rectangular Prism!

I wanted to share with you a brainstorm I had the other night at (of all places) Walmart.  Hah hah.  Normally I get my best ideas in the shower, but this was while I was pushing the cart down the aisle, my class in the back of my head (as always...I think all teachers do that, right?) when I had a sudden inspiration.

A little background....we are currently in the midst of our Geometry unit.  Students in second are introduced to 3D figures, and have to not only name a cube, rectangular prism, and sphere, but know vertices, faces, angles, and edges!  My poor lil ones were struggling with all of the above.  So, I had a sudden flash of insight:  marshmallows and toothpicks!  Well, if you're going to have a brainstorm, Walmart WOULD be the place to do it!  So, I grabbed a 250 pack of toothpicks (should have grabbed two) and 2 bags of mini marshmallows.  Pretty cheap project, actually.  Think it cost less than $3.

That evening, I spent most of my time cutting toothpicks in half and constructing my own cube and rectangular prism.  I baggied up the supplies my students would need for the cube and a separate one for the rectangular prism. 

On Tuesday, my kids built their cubes first.  To make the cubes, you need 8 marshmallow ("vertices") and 12 toothpicks (6 cut in half). 

To make the rectangular prisms, you need 8 marshmallows ("vertices") and 4 regular size toothpicks and 8 shorter toothpicks (4 cut in half).

To add to the lesson, we went over what each part of the solid was.  The toothpicks were edges, the marshmallows the vertices, and of course the space on the "inside" of the vertex was the angle.....the only thing we were "missing" were faces, but that was the one concept that my kids had overall really gotten.  (You could probably cut card stock to "fit" in the space for faces if your students weren't sure about it).

Needless to say, it was a hit.  I only really needed one big bag of the mini marshmallows for 21 students, but I used the extra bags as incentive.  The students all had to answer a question about their figures before they got the extra marshmallows to munch on.  Students then placed their "solids" in the baggies to take home and practice building in front of their parents.

It really seemed to help some of my students who were struggling.  Granted, they had been handling shapes in the classroom and we had been attempting to draw (which is very hard for 3D!).....but I think actually "building" it made all the difference!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

It Was a Math Kinda Weekend....

Yes, it was.  I spent most of Saturday working on my Geometry unit.  Investigations just isn't cutting it for my little learners right now, so I backtracked, evaluated (gave a pretest even tho we had started the unit), split my kids into groups according to what they knew.....and Monday starts the "new and improved" unit!  Ten days of learning about cubes, spheres, rectangular prisms, vertices, angles, faces, and edges.  Whew!  It's going to be good though.  I have LOTS of games, including a SCOOT, I Have/Who Has, Bingo, assessment checklists, activity sheets....47 pages worth!  I was so excited to put it up on TpT today and bam....wouldn't take my images :(  So I thought I'd post them here!

Then, the rest of the time, I was working on my read aloud for the week - it's a double-whammy.  We're doing Lemonade for Sale from Harcourt, so I thought I'd throw some money/economics books in there.  I have at least 2 activities for each book, including comprehension and money sense.  You can also pick this up at my store, (and again the darn images wouldn't upload!!!).  Not sure if its the Internet connection or what.

Well, hope you enjoy and check it out!  MY natives are restless (we don't have internet at the house and I'm currently sitting in a hotel lobby near my husband's work to use their wifi!!!) and I fear that we're going to get eyeballed here in a moment!  Ah, the joys of parenting! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Natives are Restless.....and Surrounded by BUGS???

Well, in a sense...yes.  This was a busy week for us!  We've begun our study on Native Americans and we had the Outreach program from Jamestown come and talk to our students about Powhatan Indians on Tuesday.  This is such a fabulous program and costs $1.25 per student.  It's great...they bring it to YOU and your school!  I know that the Virginia Living Museum does similar programs, for those of us in good ol' VA.  I'm sure other museums around the country do the same.  I just LOVE Outreach programs! :)

Of course, then, Thursday was READ FOR THE RECORD!  We've been "ladybugging" it all week long using wegivebooks.org, so my students were very familiar with Lulu and her bug squad!  The students school-wide were invited to dress like bugs for the day!   We had a special assembly that morning with a skit.  Our school has a "reading rap" that we all then sang at the end.

Our team then (thanks to the help of one of our 'mates who is a "football coach wife") invited the high school football team to come over that afternoon and help make the day a bit buggier by creating ladybug cupcakes!  We had our parents send in ingredients and it was funny...each teacher's was slightly different.  I also had my students make a ladybug and write about what bug squad member they would be and what would be their superpower!  All in all, a good week!  

I posted my activities with the Ladybug Girl on TpT...the "Bug Squad" one is a freebie, so be sure to download it! (The paper came from the "Bumblebee Boy" book packet!).

Whew!  Next week I hope is a little less "active."  Let's just say that red dye + football players = loss of control in the classroom!  At least we have the weekend to recover! :)