Monday, September 30, 2013

Back in the classroom!! Yay!!

As many of you know, I'm now a work at home mommy and teacher-preneur. I haven't been out of the classroom but only a few months and I do miss it. I know I'm doing the right thing by being with my baby (and the one on the way) but I do miss teaching. Luckily, I get my teaching in different ways. I teach a Sunday school class, which is AWESOME and this week I am teaching intersession classes at my old school. The last school I worked at was a year round school. When they are in between sessions (intersession) they usually have four half days of tutoring type classes for students who need extra support. I usually taught those classes because it allowed me to stay after the kids left and catch up on my to do list. (Before I had a baby, I LIVED at school.) 

Anywho, I was really excited to get to go back into teacher mode today. I am teaching second grade math. I remember last year in second grade thinking that sums of 10 was HUGE. So many of my kids had not mastered sums of ten and other basic facts like doubles, doubles plus one, etc. So I figured this would be a good place to start.

Here we are on the carpet, brainstorming ways to make ten. I bought them all new journals to use, I used math journals in my classroom last year and I wanted them to have something to take home with them at the end of the week that had all the stuff we did and then some. (I know...I know...buying them all journals...don't tell my husband!) ;)

We reviewed all of the sums of ten using cubes and ten frames. Then I gave them sums of ten flash cards and pockets to make. The pockets are a rectangular piece of paper with dots on 3/4 of the edges to add glue. This way they can put their flashcards in the pocket (once it dries) and keep them there safely. I made a label for the pocket called "Ten is my friend!" They cut apart their flashcards, reviewed the problems and put them in their pocket. This way at the end of the week they will have a journal full of flashcards to practice, practice, practice at home!

After our math facts review time, we played a math game called "Roll, Build, Add and Record". This is a game from my "Ten Frames Math Stations" unit. The students first build ten (or have a ten frame with 10 dots on it already) and then roll the cube. After they roll the cube, they add that many counters to the empty ten frame. Then they add to find the total. We talked a lot about "subitizing" the full ten frame: instantly recognizing that the full ten frame contains ten, instead of starting at one cube and counting all ten. We also talked about the pattern they found when adding a number to ten. We discussed how the number they rolled takes the place of the zero. 

Because I always taught the inclusion class, I am big on differentiation. In my ten frames pack, I also included a 9+ ___ response sheet. The kids play the game exactly the same way, but they start with 9. They roll the cube, fill up the ten frame with 9 in it first to make a ten, then add the rest of the cubes. We discussed why this is trickier than adding a number to 10 and the power of making a ten when adding.

We ended our morning with some Halloween problem solving. I am SO proud of this little guy. Look what an amazing job he did, no support at all. He found the answer but didn't quite finish the writing. Amazing job though. 

I'll be with these kiddos through Thursday and I'll keep y'all posted on our math activities. Do y'all use ten frames or math journals in your classroom? What does that look like? I'll  post everything I made for this week so you can grab it for your classroom or small group math. Be looking for that post coming soon! Happy Monday!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mustache Bash Pictures, a SURPRISE, sight word {FREEBIE} and a sale!!

Hey Y'all!! I can NOT believe it's almost October. September kept me very busy. I'm sure y'all feel the same. My son had his first birthday party last Saturday and it was SO MUCH FUN!! Somehow we fit 80 people into our house...amazing! We did the "mustache bash" theme and it turned out very cute. I promised pictures so here you go!!

We also had a nice surprise for our guests. Jackson is going to be a big brother!! We are expecting our second child in April. :)

All in all, a great party! Alright on to the freebie! I've been working hard creating shared reading packs for my kinder teacher friends. When I taught kindergarten I ended up making my own big books and emergent readers because the curriculum my school had was from the mid 1990's and was not appropriate for my kids. Our big books were also just enlarged trade books that were way above my students.

I found that by making my own big books I was able to incorporate our popcorn words (sight words) into the other ELA objectives such as 1:1 correspondence and basic reading strategies. It took about 10 minutes to make each big book but I eventually trained a PTA mom to do it for me and it was AWESOME! Even better, I could print out matching emergent readers to give my students on Fridays. They would butter up popcorn words by coloring the popcorn words yellow and they got to color the pictures in. Their emergent readers were placed in their book boxes and read OVER AND OVER throughout daily five time and when we had reading buddies. It was awesome to get to see my kids reading their books to their 3rd grade buddies. Because they were so familiar with these texts they really saw themselves as readers, it gave them so much confidence. 

Here are some pics from my friend Hannah's room. She started using the packs last week. 

Here's one of her kiddos reading a "supported" version of the big book. I've leveled the emergent readers for her: the regular version that matches the big book, the supported version that has dots to push as you read (to teach children 1:1 correspondence) and an extended version with an extra line of text and writing opportunity. 

Here's a cute one of one of her girls reading aloud. So presh! This makes me miss kinder!!

You can check out my shared reading packs here: Apples or Farm. I'm working on a fall big book and Halloween big book. Included in these packs are some sight word practices pages. I made some freebies just for y'all! You can pick those up here. These pages are great for daily five word work time, small group or take home enrichment.

OHHHHH K, this is a long post! Last but not least, I'm having a SALE!! 10% off today, tomorrow and Monday. Have a great weekend!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday!

I figured it was about time for me to get my "Five for Friday" on! So here we go!!


1. I finally finished my science notebook pack!! YAY!!! Y'all have no idea how long it took me to finish this. I basically compiled all the stuff I've done in second grade with science notebooks into one pack, all targeted to the Texas TEKS. 

I'm pretty excited about it! I hope it helps some Texas teachers get their science notebooks rockin'! It is a 500+ page unit, it's on sale until Monday! You can pick it up here

2. Jackson's birthday shirt came in!!! I'm SO excited! I cannot believe that he is going to be 1, it just makes me want to cry!  My baby will be one in a week...*tear*

3. I ordered a really cute decor pack on Etsy. We are throwing a mustache excited! Here's a pic of his invite and the pack I ordered:

I'll post pics later of how things turn out.

4. My mustaches came in!!

These will be photo props at Jackson's bday party! :)

5. I've realized I miss teaching kindergarten. :( I have 3 years of experience in kinder and I feel like my second year everything just clicked and I was really having fun. My third year I had a really tough class, a lot of little friends with emotional challenges...not so fun at the beginning of the year. By the middle and of the year, they were all great and adjusting to school really well but it was a battle at the beginning. The year after that I moved to second, and I really liked second, but I didn't LOVE it like kinder. I LOVED the second part of kinder, the kids were still little but had grown accustomed to school and were so much easier to manage. Which leads me to think, maybe I'd love first? Since it's in between k and 2. I student taught first and really loved it, so if I do apply for another job I'd have to say k or 1st would be my preferences.

Anywho, I have a close friend teaching kindergarten and I make a lot of stuff for her. She asked me to make her some big book and emergent readers that match. Our school has a really weak selection of emergent style big books so it's hard to find big books for shared reading. A lot of the big books our school has are really trade book big books, lots of text, small print and long. Not so much predictable, big text, simple format. When I taught kinder I would make my own big books. It was super easy, and I LOVED having them because it really got my kids to master sight words and concepts of print. 1:1 correspondence was taught with my big books too. I gave them all to my friend Morgan, so I don't have a picture to show you. 

But I do have a picture of the big book I'm working on right now:

It's a predictable big book with farm animals. I'm also making matching emergent readers in black and white so the kids can put those in their book boxes on Fridays. I'll post about how I used to run my shared reading/writing time in kinder on another day. ;) 

Happy Friday Y'all! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Second Grade Science Notebooks!

Hey Y'all! I am SO proud to say that I've finally finished a huge file I was working on: second grade science notebooks! I've used science notebooks in my classroom every year since I began teaching. I think they are a huge part of the learning process and I love the way they put a whole year's worth of learning in one place. 

I made a file that targets the Texas science TEKS for second grade. This is something I really wish I had two years ago when I moved to second. I've made goal cards for each individual TEK and several foldables, writing prompts or ideas for investigations to reinforce that TEK. 

Here are some pictures from this 500+ page unit:

I'm not even going to tell you how long it took me to compile all of this together! I know it's hard for Texas teachers to find engaging activities that meet the Texas standards. I'm hoping this will help them in their search! You can pick the file up here. It's going to be on sale until Sunday evening, so grab it while you can!