Friday, May 31, 2013

Graphing Our Favorite Fruit

Today we graphed our favorite fruits to go along with the big book Kakadu Jack.
I provided a variety of fruit including: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, and green melon.  During our fruit taste test, we came up with adjectives to describe each piece of fruit like they do in the book. 
Once students had tried at least a "baby bite" of each type of fruit, students had to decide which fruit that they had today was their favorite.  We discussed how they might have another favorite fruit that was not tested, and how that would be a very large graph.

Then we went to the Create a Graph and created a pie graph as everyone has mastered the bar graph.  This is a great site to create various types of graphs and can be used in a variety of grade levels.
This was our graph.  I was able to e-mail myself a copy from the site.  I meant to print it in color for each child, but my computers were just broken and I appear to no longer have color printer access since they have been fixed.  :(
 I had the students write a few sentences about the data that the graph showed.
I feel that this was a great end of year activity:)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Bucket List 2013

Just a few days of school left!  In one way, I will be sad because I have had such a wonderful class this year and I will miss them very much.  But in another...I am so ready for summer vacation!  I am linking up for the "Summer Bucket List Linky Party."
1. Sleeping in and enjoying my coffee!
2. Volunteer for a few days at Grandparents University at Michigan State University.  I am very invovled with the MSU Alumni Association so helping "future Spartans" to see what MSU and college life is all about is a very fun experience:)  The program is for kids a little older than I teach, but it is a lot of fun to see them learning about engineering (LEGOS), animal science, etc. with their grandparents.  :)  You can learn more about the program here.

3. I have downloaded so many books onto my tablet that I have a lot of reading to catch up on!  Fortunately, with the daily deals that I find many were either free or less than $1!
4. Travel: My sister just had her baby so I will be going down to Maryland a few times:)  I also enjoy spending time up north at my family's cottage.
 5. Trying out some Pinterest recipes:)
6. Spend plenty of time with friends and family!

1. Find some great interactive websites for my students.  I have tons of math and listen to reading (but who couldn't use more), so I am really focusing on science and social studies.
2. many books, so little time again!
3. Work on developing items for my classroom/my TPT store
4. Plan for next year, integrating the many Pinterest ideas that I have found!  :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Field Day, and more:)

I hope that you had an awesome Memorial Day Weekend!  I was fortunate to go and visit my week old nephew outside of Washington D.C. over the weekend.  Such a blast!!!   As I flew out of D.C., we flew right over the Arlington National Cemetery making me really think about what the day was about.

Anywho...I woke up this morning not knowing whether or not field day would be held today as it was wet and foggy, and storms were in the forecast.  I dressed for it because it is my experience that you never know if field day will be held.  When I got to school, I found out that it was a "go."

Field Day was a little different this year, and the kids really liked it:)  K-2 was supposed to be out on the playground in the a.m. completing various activities.  We went out, but it quickly started to rain, and it was a bit chilly so we went back inside.  We went back and did an Adventure to Fitness episode (the castle one).  The kids really enjoyed learning about castles, moats, etc. and they were moving too!

Then...the highlight of the day (from what many students told me) was the bounce houses similar to the one below that were set up in the gym (along with a snow-cone maker brought to us by our parent club).  One was an obstacle course, and the other was one that they crawled through.  The kids had so much fun!  I ended up having to go part way through the obstacle course one to check that some kids were moving.  Wow!  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be!
After an hour of the bounce house, it was time for lunch!  All through lunch it poured.  Then the kids relaxed and did read to self for a bit before it was time to go outside to the high school track next door.  As it is made with turf, the "grass" dried quickly.  The kids had a lot of fun there as well with the more traditional field day games.  It started to sprinkle on our way back, and poured just after school got out for the day.

I was going to have the kids work on their social studies projects at the end of the day (some of the 2nd graders wanted to work on them during their lunch recess inside as they find them to be fun), but in the end they ate a snack and we watched a Charlie and Lola (TM) DVD that I have. I am a huge Anglophile, so I love pretty much anything British so when I found these DVDs (based on books), I was so happy!  The kids really enjoy hearing the British accents that the characters have in these adorable stories!  They are some of my favorites for "listen to reading" on the BBC site.  My personal favorite is, "I Am Not Sleepy, and I Will Not Go to Bed" where Lola comes up with tons of excuses for why she can not go to bed.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


This week my 1st and 2nd graders worked together with the other two 2nd grade classes for a graphing project.  We first had the students ask questions that they wondered about shoes.  Then we buddied students up to measure each others shoes in centimeters.  They traced their feet first, and then cut them out.  They had to check their partners work which was a lesson in itself as it depended on how they measured the shoe/foot.

Once we had the shoes cut out, students placed their shoe on the appropriate spot on the graph in the hallway. 
Today we went out into the hallway and discussed our data.  First, I had the students write down something that they noticed about the graph.  They noticed some great things!  One thing that I did not notice at first, but one of the kids pointed out was that we had two numbers 21 cm long, and 22 cm long that at first glance looked like they had different results (we later put up sticky notes), they actually had the same number in each column.  This led to a great discussion!
Following a great math discussion, I had the kids write story problems about the graph.  I encouraged them to use math words such as "compare" and "difference."  The kids had some great problems!  I found that this was a great lesson, and the kids really enjoyed it too!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

End of the Year Ideas

I am so excited for the end of the year...just a few more weeks to go!  I love my class, but I could use the break:)  But until then, we have a lot of learning and a lot of fun things to do!  So, I am participating in
Primary Inspiration

Teacher for the Day: Students are able to sign up to be "teacher for the day" (10-15 minutes in reality) and to teach the class something.  Previous lessons include: all about money, recycling, art projects, and how to make a sandwich.  This is a huge hit every year, and could be adapted to many levels of students.  The kids have a lot of fun with "being the teacher!"  Depending on how many kids that I have interested, we do 1-2 a day the last week or two of school.

Game Day: I usually do this the day before the last day of school.  Students are able to bring in their favorite board/card game from home to play with their classmates.  I emphasize that if they would be upset if something happened to a game piece, they should leave it at home.  We usually do this for about 60-90 minutes providing multiple times to change games.

Teacher Report Card: This gives students the opportunity to grade me.  They love doing this, and telling me what they thing that I am good at, as well as things that I could do to be a better teacher:)  Here is a copy of mine (click on mine).  After you download it, feel free to change it to fit the needs of your grade/students.

End of Year Memory Book: I have several that I have made over the years available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  You can purchase the beach one here, the sports one here, and the camping version here.  All are the same book with different clip-art, and are available for $1.75 each.

Beach Reading Day: I invite students to bring in a beach towel, and then we go outside and do "read to self" and "read to someone" on the towels on the playground.  This is a hit every year!  I usually try to do it at least two times.

Writing Spelling Words/Math Facts with Sidewalk Chalk: This is new to me this year, but I think that it is a great addition. Before we went outside, students had to write down their personal spelling words (see here for a blog entry about that, and also my individualized spelling program available in my TPT store) , along with whatever math facts that they are working onto their piece of paper so that they can copy it outside.  This was differentiated as students copied facts based on what they are working on in (+, -, or x).  Today was a really windy day, and a couple of students lost their papers to the wind, as they flew up onto the school roof.

Some kids spread their words around the playground (see above), while others put their words in one spot (see below).

After the students had time to write their words and math fact, we hunted for spelling words and math facts.  I said such things as find as words that started with a certain letter, words that would rhyme with something, and math fact answers (find a math fact that equals 10).  I told them that they could not look at theirs, but had to find a friend that also had it.  They ran around the playground quite a bit with this activity.  The kids LOVED this!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day Art

Arts and crafts in the classroom have never been my forte.  So...thank goodness for Pinterest inspired ideas!  I found

A Cupcake for the Teacher   
Mother's Day project to inspire me!  I decided that we would make "cupcakes" to show our mothers how sweet they are to us:)  The kids got to pick their "frosting flavor", and then write sweet things about their moms.  They loved it!  Here are some examples.  I love how unique they all are!

Thanks goodness for Pinterest!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Adventure to Fitness

Today I came in and was told that there would not be a teacher for gym today as the gym teacher would be subbing for a classroom teacher that was absent.  So, I was prepared to have my class for the entire day and got my "Adventure to Fitness" on my computer ready to go (our computers can project onto the screen).  
If you don't already know about this site, I highly recommend it!  As it is perfect for the days when it is inside recess due to the weather (or in my case when you don't have a sub and you the kids need a break!  The episodes keep the kids moving as they climb up mountains, and do other fun things!

It is also great because it helps in teaching science and social studies concepts!  Episode titles include:
-Super Volcano
-Captive Castle
-Westward Whoa!
-Atlantis Aquaventure
-Hawaiin Hero

My kids love them!  Fortunately for me, they decided to pull the music teacher instead (unfortunate for the kindergarten teachers who both had music today and therefore did not have a break besides lunch).

18 more days to go!  :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

End of Year Opinion Writing

As the end of the year draws near, I had my students write opinion pieces on the school year.  They had to agree or disagree with the following statement, and support their answers. 

Next year's 1st and 2nd graders will enjoy being in this room.  Agree or disagree and support your answer.

We then brainstormed all of the positive things that they liked about school this year.  They came up with a lot of ideas, including favorite books that we read for read aloud, and favorite games or art projects.  We then came up with some negative things.  That list was small, and mainly included no rest times and less time for recess. 

Their paper included the following components:
-3+ reasons to support their answer for 1st grade and 5+ answers for 2nd grade

I have to say that they really "filled my bucket" as they all chose to agree with the statement!  I am awful about hanging things in the hallway, so I think that this is the perfect thing to hang up at this point of the year:)

In the next couple of weeks, I will have my students complete a "teacher report card" which really gives me a lot of insight:)  I will post that soon.

Only 19 days left for us this year!  I do have a wonderful class and will miss them very much!  I still have so many things that I want to do with them!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Miss Math Dork's K-12 Linky Party

I am participating in Miss Math Dork's K-12 Linky Party.  This linky party includes both paid, as well as free resources for the classroom!
My free item is my 2D Shapes Bump Game.  You can click on the picture for the link downloading it for free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

My paid item that I am featuring is my Beach Themed 2 Digit Addition & Subtraction Link 4 Game Bundle.  This is a bundled set so there are 4 different addition and subtraction games with and without regrouping so it can be played by students at a variety of levels.  You can click on the picture for the link downloading it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
I hope that you can join up with this linky party!  It is going on all week.  So at the very least, you can find something for free:)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teachers Pay Teachers SALE!

I am participating in the Teachers Pay Teachers "TPT Appreciates You" Sale from May 7th-9th!  :)

My products  will be up to 28% off!  For some reason, when I throw sales some products do not appear on sale:(  If anyone has an idea as to how to fix that, I am open to it:)  Remember that I have tons of FREEBIES available in my store as well!  :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

"1st Grade Fireworks" Birthday Giveaway!

I am happy to have been asked to be a part of "1st Grade Fireworks" Birthday Giveaway!  You can read more about it by clicking on the button below!  You can enter to win a variety of things for your classroom.  Good luck!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Share the Wealth Saturday Linky

I am participating in the 
My freebie is my Grocery Shopping Leveled Games and Activities from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Click on the picture for the link to it in my store:)

If you are looking for some free stuff for your classroom, you should definitely check this linky party out!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Currently

I can't believe that it is already May! is time to link up for May's Currently:)

I am listening to the news, but that is because I have a hard time watching a tv show while blogging...I realize half way through the show that I have no clue what is going on:)

I can't believe that there are only 22.5 days of school left!  I have such a wonderful class this year, and am really going to miss them next year:(  But, that also means 22.5 days until vacation:)

I hope to stay in lower elementary but you never know!  If I end up teaching 4th or 5th grade, another 2nd grade teacher (formerly a middle school math teacher), has kindly agreed to give me some tutoring sessions over the summer.  Although I excelled in math in 5th grade, I have a feeling that I may have forgotten it a bit...LOL.

I saw my workout buddy's baby today for the 2nd time.  She is 2 weeks old and sooo cute!  Not to mention a stress reliever:)

Who doesn't need more hours in the day???

My bucket list...I feel like I will be in the car a lot this summer as my sister is having a baby in a few weeks and lives 9 hours away so I know that my parents and I will probably make a few trip down there.  Other than that, I have books to read, movies to watch, trips to go on, TPT things to make and update, and good ol' sleeping in:)


Cursive Handwriting & FREEBIE

My 2nd graders have just finished their first cursive handwriting book (the school provided Zaner Bloser blacklines).  They were so excited to start it a few months ago!  Some of them have wonderful cursive, and others, well...they need a bit more practice:) So I found this book.  It has regular practice plus a variety of cross curriculum material as well (ex. space, landforms), so the kids are learning science and social studies at the same time:)

The 1st graders want to learn too.  Whenever I teach the 1st/2nd split, I tell the 1st graders that if they do a really nice job on their printing, I will teach them how to write their names in cursive at the end of the year.  This site allows me to write in student names (or whatever else you want) for them to practice cursive.  They have a printing option as well for students who are not yet ready for cursive.  It is a free site, and there are many fun themes to choose from for your practice page.

I like to read a book to my class about cursive too.  And you can't beat Beverly Cleary as an author in my opinion.  It is a very quick read at 96 pages.
From the site:
 At first, Maggie is just being contrary when she tells her parents she doesn't need to learn cursive. Then her teacher, Mrs. Leeper, says Maggie's cursive is so untidy her name looks like "Muggie," and Maggie decides she will never, never read or write cursive. Nobody can make her. But when Mrs. Leeper appoints Maggie class mail messenger, the notes Maggie must carry are in cursive. Maggie can't read the notes, but she suspects some of them are about her. Now she really has a problem!

Many of the 2nd graders were asking if they could complete their daily work in cursive.  I told them that if they apply for a cursive license, and pass that they may do so.  I am making this cursive handwriting application and license temporarily FREE at my Teachers pay teacher store.  I did not use primary lines as 3rd graders they will be using regular notebook paper without them and I want them to be prepared.  I hope that you find it helpful!