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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Day!

Friday I surprised my students, when they came into the classroom it was decorated with orange streamers, table covers, and pumpkins. We had a fun day learning all about the orange fall fruit. Did you know pumpkins were consider fruit? We discovered lots of fun facts during pumpkin day. Here's a look at how we celebrated...
 
Here's a quick glance at our day! Each activity involved pumpkins, and the subject we are usually working on at that time.

When they walked in they found pumpkins on their desks. Our neighbors grew pumpkins in their field this year so I was able to get each of them a pumpkin for free. They were so excited and immediately engaged!




All of our anchor charts for the day were prepped and posted on the board. Pumpkin books were in the display below.

For morning work they recorded their observations and inferences about what our day would be like. They also estimated how many candy pumpkins were in this jar. Later in the day the closest estimate won the jar. They shared one pumpkin with each kid in the class and took the rest home. The pumpkin thinking sheet is from Great Days with Mrs. Day.

During Daily 5 we read these close reading passages and answered comprehension questions from Susan Jones Close Reading Fall Pack. Her packs are amazing, I love all of them!


We wrote about how to grow a pumpkin (these writing sheets are from Stephanie Steward's Smart Pumpkin Unit). Then we used our five senses to record adjectives that described our pumpkins, and put pumpkin words in ABC order (those sheets can be found in Michelle's Hudgeon's Store for free).


Here's the adjective chart we made together after everyone created one on their own. They came up with lot's of different ways to describe a pumpkin!

We made simple paper plate pumpkins for the bulletin board outside our classroom. We put glue on the plate, then covered it with orange tissue paper. Added a brown construction paper stem cut from construction paper and a green vine, strips of green paper curled with our pencils. They turned out really cute. Look for the finished product at the end of this post!


During our math and science times we investigated our pumpkins. We measured them, discovered if they would sink or float, counted the lines on the outside, and estimated how many seeds might be inside. (The investigation sheet we used came from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten).


Then we cut open one pumpkin and counted the seeds together. We grouped them by 10's and found out there are a lot more seeds then we thought there would be! Over 300 seeds were counted and there were many still inside the pumpkin.


We discussed the life cycle of a pumpkin and made this anchor chart. The cut and paste steps came from the Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarden Mini Pumpkin Unit freebie.



They created their own cut and paste flow chart independently. I gave them a blank piece of green construction paper and they used the anchor chart to make their own version. Then they finished with this I-Spy color by sums pumpkin sheet which you can download free HERE!


They were so excited to "cook" something today! We made this simple No Bake Pumpkin Dessert recipe. We measured, poured and stirred. Each student had a cup and we measured out a portion of each step into them so they ended up with their own individual dessert rather than a large pan.

I didn't want to shave chocolate onto the top so we added a few chocolate chips. This was a favorite part!

Finally we got to taste our treat! They already knew we were going to graph if we liked the treat or not so they could be "critics." This was a very important job!


We graphed the results and filled out a data sheet. As you can see they LOVED it, for the most part. A couple of them didn't care for it, but they said they didn't care for other pumpkin desserts either. The graphing chart and data sheets are from Stephanie Stewards Smart Pumpkin Unit .


Here's how the bulletin board turned out with our paper plate pumpkins and our pumpkin facts. Perfect fall display! The "Did You Know" sheets were from Stephanie Stewards Smart Pumpkin Unit as well.

We had a great day of learning and exploring. Everyone was excited to go home and tell their parent's all about pumpkin day! 

Hope you are all having a great October! Thanks for reading!
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday!

Already the school year is flying by. I am loving 2nd grade, these little guys and gals have my heart! They are so much fun, and we've been so busy, I wish I had more time to take pictures and share it all but I just haven't. So today I'm sharing 5 things that have been going on these past few weeks and linking up with Doddle Bugs teaching for...
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So here we go five random things from my week (or month - ha ha!)..

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We started Reading Warm-Up a couple of weeks ago after I read Amanda's Amazing Post , at it has worked WONDERFULLY! We use the first 5 minutes of our reading block to do a little fluency and comprehension practice in partners. If you want to know more about what's in the folders head on over to Teaching Maddeness to see her set up, I'm doing it just like she describes! Thanks Amanda for sharing such a great idea!

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We celebrated Grandparent's day last week. It was a wonderful time of meeting all the amazing grandparents who support their grandchildren. I couldn't get enough of their interviews, so precious. I hope they will keep them and treasure them! Thanks to Kelly Dolling's Thank Goodness for Grandparents packet  and Kindergarden Squareds Grandparents day Mini Unit planning was a breeze. We wrote letters to give them when they came in. Then students and grandparents rotated through the different activities, a grandparent word search, interview, roll-a-grandparent, and a coloring page. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and I loved it!

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We are a small school, we don't have a technology teacher - we teach computer to our own class. I really do love teaching my students how to use the computer but the first few trips to the computer lab were a little hectic. Most of them know how to use a tablet or a phone, but haven't had nearly as much experience with a desktop computer, especially one that you need a username and password to log into it. So it took us some time to get use to. This picture is a celebration of the fact that this week everyone logged in to their computer and got started on our typing program all by THEMSELVES! YEAH!! They are doing great. I'm looking forward to teaching them all about powerpoint soon!

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 We went on our first field trip this week and it was great! We went to a county park where there is an operating flour mill. We learned how corn flower was made 100 years ago, and how it has advanced today. 
We saw the how the mill works and the miller gave us a bag of cornmeal along with a cornmeal muffin recipe to try out. It was very educational and we all had a lot of fun. It was a beautiful park where we ate lunch and in the afternoon when on an insect hunt. Another great first for me as a classroom teacher!

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Finally this is coming together! My fall fluency set is almost ready, I plan to have it posted this weekend so look for it in my store soon! It's taken me forever since I've been so busy, but I love how it's turned out! Can't wait to share it with all of you.

Don't forget to enter the Barker Creek Giveaway I posted This week. You could win a set of magnetic high frequency words. Today is the last day to enter!

Happy Friday Everyone, I hope you enjoy your weekend. The fall weather here in Indiana is beautiful so I hope to spend some time outside enjoying it. I'll be back with more soon!
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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Magnetic Sight Word Set Review and Giveaway!

I love Barker Creek, I've gotten some of my classroom decor from them and was excited to get this set of magnetic sight words to use in my word work center.
It includes the Kidboard try and the high frequency magnetic words. My students will be able to create sentences with them and then copy them down and illustrate them on their paper.

I love the variety of words the set includes. It even has punctuation which was perfect this past week as we discussed different punctuation marks. I had my students create a command sentence with a period, a question, and an exclamation.
All of these words and more made it easy for them to make interesting sentences. They had so much fun creating and asked to go back the the word work center more than once.

Another feature that I look forward to using is the color coded grammar. We are just starting a unit on parts of speech. These magnets will be perfect for identify the different parts of speech within their sentences. On Monday we will be creating sentences with at least two nouns in them, Tuesday we will add a verb, and Wednesday at least two adjectives. The color coded system will make it so easy to check their work and help them work independently.

Would you like a set for your classroom? You can enter to win one using the rafflecopter below! Just like Barker Creek on Facebook to earn your first entry, then like my pages for additional chances to win. I will choose one winner this Friday October 10th! I am sorry but at this time the giveaway is only open to those with addresses within the untied states.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for reading my blog! I hope to be back soon with more updates from the classroom, stay tuned!
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Off to a Great Start!

We are 18 days into the school year and so much is going on, I haven't had time to share so this is going to be a long post.

We've started our interactive notebooks for reading and math.
 
We learned about meta-cognition, using Tanny McGregor's lessons from her book. We created this poster together, and then added the page to our notebooks.

 
 
We've added a few more pages last week, schema, inferenceing, and questioning have all been added. I love how they kids are sharing their thoughts and everything is in one place for them to reference later on.

Math Journals are just as great. We've been working on telling time...
 
 
 
 
 
We are using Blair Turner's Math Notebooks for 2nd grade. They are wonderful, I love all the options and that every standard is covered.

We started spelling - I loved how the ladies at Second Story Window did spelling so I am using their "chunk spelling" routine.
I made these spelling journals to record our words. I bought small legal pads and then bound them so they would be able to flip through the pages. I used colored card stock for the front, and made the label, you can get HERE free. I printed these two per page to make them the right size for the smaller notebooks.

We used these sound cards, and chunk strips to create a list of words within a word family. Then choose ten words to be our spelling words for the week.
We are storing the journals in the word work area for students to practice their words when they are there.

We are also doing Words Their Way, word sorts are really helping them with their word reading and spelling skills.
 
You can also read more about this on Second Story Window's Blog! I love the weekly set up!

Daily 5 is up and running! We have not started listen to reading because I don't have the right equipment for it but hopefully will soon. love seeing all the learning going on!
Read to self!

Read to someone!

Work on Writing!
Work on Words.

It is amazing to see a group of students working so hard, and learning so much while you teach a small group. I LOVE it! They continue to amaze me with all the hard work they are doing. We practiced a lot so exceptions are well known, and we stop and practice again when we need to. It took some time but I am so happy with the way my literacy block is running now. 

Now if I could just get my math block running this smoothly things would be great! I am hoping to revise my math block a little more and blog about that soon.

It has been a busy but wonderful three weeks. I love my sweet second graders and we've gotten into a good routine now. I hope you are all having a great start to your year as well. Thanks for reading!
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