Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Fun:)

We have had a lot of fun the last few days with Thanksgiving activities so I wanted to show you some highlights...

First, I found two FREE math games on TPT that were perfect for both my 1st and 2nd graders respectively.  Click on each picture if you would like to download it for your classroom.

First Graders played "Gobble Bump" which enabled them to practice their addition skills.

FREE Gobble Bump Math Game - Addition
Second graders are working on odd/even numbers so they practiced "Turkey Trot."  Students decide if they are odd or even.  Then, they roll dice and if the number is even, they move one spot (if it is odd, then they move).  You can differentiate this by having cards with larger numbers as well.
FREE Turkey Trot math game
They had a lot of fun. They seem to love math more when there is something seasonal involved to practice a given skill.

In writing, we made two things: "Thankful Trees," and "Unusual Things to Be Thankful For."

I got the idea somewhere but can't seem to find it right now :(  For the "Thankful Trees," students chose 5 things that they are thankful for.  Then they wrote a page about why they were thankful for each thing.  After that, they made their trees and we stapled their writing next to their trees. They also added pictures on their book covers of the things that they are thankful for this year.  Thank goodness the art teacher is so nice in sharing her bulletin board space:)  Here is a picture:
We also wrote about unusual things to be thankful for.  I got the lesson from Sunny Days in Second Grade.  Students wrote about things such as the alphabet, shoes, band-aids, etc.  She gives them a nice list of ideas, and I let my students choose their ideas to write about (rather than draw a card from a bag).  You can get her lesson for free here.  I think that next year I might combine these two lessons together.

Today was the highlight though I think for many of my students.  We made a project that I remember making when I was in elementary school:)  I think that the kids really got a kick out of knowing that:)  We made apple turkeys with: apples, toothpicks, marshmallows, and raisins. 

Here is a picture of how they turned out:)  If you are wondering about the coffee filters, that is what we used to hold our turkeys as we made them.  I use them all of the time to hold snack!  I tell the kids to hold them like a flower that has not yet bloomed until they sit down so that they do not drop their crackers, etc.
Now, off for me to finish up my report cards!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I am so excited to have my blog featured at:

I think that she found some great highlights from my blog!

I would recommend following her as well as she has some great ideas there as well!  As an American, I felt that it was interesting to see what she did for Thanksgiving in Canada.  My class is pen pals with a Canadian class this year and my kids have been asking about this.

She has a Christmas freebie right now that you can learn more about here by clicking on her image below:)

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Watering Hole Growing in 1st with Mrs. Waters GIVEAWAY

I am taking part in The Watering Hole:Growing in 1st with Mrs. Waters GIVEAWAY!  It is starting tonight, and will last through next Sunday.  There are 20 amazing items for the K-2 classroom!  I am offering "winner's choice" so if you win, you can choose anything that you want from my store! 

You can enter it by clicking on the button below:)
 Displaying ErinWaters100FollowersGiveawayButton.png 
Good luck!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Families and Communities: Then & Now

Thanksgiving will soon be here! I don't know about you, but November has flown by!  I normally don't send a lot of homework over the holidays, but I came across this free product on TPT, I knew it would be the perfect thing for my 2nd graders to do while they are visiting with their families over the holiday.

Then and Now T-Chart Partner Project {FREEBIE}
It is listed as a partner project, but I plan on having students take home selected pages and interview an older family member to learn more about family/community life in the past.

I have a similar project for my 1st graders that a colleague of mine designed which focuses more on family life in the past.

Have you come across any great projects/lessons to help your students learn about family and community life in the past?  Thank goodness for Pinterest as it will give me a head start:)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grammar Wall

When I was in school, I did not like "grammar time." Yes...I was a child during "hammer time." :) I will never forget having to diagram sentences every week when I was in 6th grade.  Ugh...6th grade is a hard enough year:)
So now that I am teaching grammar to my students, I am trying to make it a little more fun.  So every week I am having them draw/write a sentence using that piece of grammar for our grammar bulletin board.  I got the idea from Step into 2nd Grade
After writing their sentence of the week using that particular lesson (this bulletin board was on the use of proper nouns), they draw and write about it on a sheet of paper.
These go along with my Grammar Lessons with Confused Cat book which you can read more about it at this blog post.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Oobleck & More Post Halloween Fun

We had professional development yesterday to learn more about our new math program.  I did learn a few things, but it was so wonderful seeing so many of my friends from the school that I used to be at.  I am blessed to have wonderful colleagues at both schools!

Anywho...the day after Halloween was a very relaxed day in my classroom.  I was missing 6 kids, so that was almost a 1/3 of my class who was gone.  We had fun anyway:)

Our shared book last week was Room on the Broom.  This is a great time of book for this time of year, and is perfect for teaching retelling!

So we watched the video version which I just learned about last week.
It is much better than the you tube version.  I highly recommend it:)  It was the perfect video to show the day after Halloween (it is not really Halloween themed).

We made pumpkin oobleck that afternoon! The kids loved it so much! I made oobleck in the past, but this was my first time attempting the pumpkin version.  It is basically oobleck with a little bit of canned pumpkin mixed in it.  I tried following a recipe, but ended up having to figure out the perfect mix just by experimenting.

The students had lab sheets to complete with different tests (ex. pour test, slow/fast poke tests).  I think that I can safely say of those students who were there that day, it was their favorite experiment that we have done so far this year!  It was a perfect combination for this time of year and teaching matter!  I sent home the regular recipe for oobleck, and many students (including those who were absent) have made it at home over the last few days:)