A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

A Little Late Egg Hunt

The week of Easter, Aimee and I decided we would have an Egg Hunt.  I had a high school helper stuff around 400 eggs with various task cards.  The task cards covered many math topics we cover in second grade.  I found many of the task cards on TPT by searching for task cards.  There were also fun rewards in the eggs as well.  The rewards consisted of free ipad app choice, take your shoes off in class, line jumper, purchase a drink or snack for class, homework pass, wear a hat in class, and homework pass.  Of course all of the rewards were free.  After my high school helper stuffed the eggs, I needed someone (or a bunch of someones to hide the eggs on our playground).

Who could I get to hide them? Of course, I called on the fifth grade to help.  So the fifth grade teacher and I traded classes for about 15 minutes.  I took his kids out the playground to hide the eggs.  He watched my kids (well, they just drew in their notebooks).   After hiding the eggs, it was time to find them.   Each students was given a baggie and instructed to find only 9 eggs.  This was fun!

We went back inside (because it was windy) to open our eggs.  We then answered the task cards and enjoyed our rewards.  The comments I got from the kiddos were amazing.  They said "this is so much fun!"  Having fun and learning!  That is my daily goal for my students!

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Trade and Grade

I have been doing the Daily 5 for both of the years I have been teaching. This gives me a chance to meet with small groups through the week! I love my small group time. I have a horseshoe table that allows me to sit comfortably and be surrounded by my kiddos! I got the opportunity to do a product swap with Miss Dianna over at Sassy, Savvy Simple Teaching! This is my second "big bloggy" activity I have gotten to be involved with! I am so glad The Primary Gal is so connected and is giving me the hook up!
Click here to check it out at TPT!

Dianna put together a great reading bundle! The first one her Guided Reading Skills and Observations Checklist. I <3 checklists! This one has quickly become part of my top ten list of favorite checklists It includes 6 checklists based on Guided Reading Levels. Each checklist is driven towards specifics reading behaviors & comprehension questions. Each checklist allows me to keep track of the student's reading behaviors for six different times. This sure helps save paper and I can compare new times with the old! I can track their behaviors based on their appropriate Guided Reading Level.

Here are a couple of the examples on the differentiation. Love it!

Each checklist has a list of comprehension questions too. This is so handy when my mind blanks and I cannot think of what to ask as quickly as I would like!

The second part to the bundle is her Guided Reading that will help you get organized and start your small groups/guided reading groups. It even has mini anchor charts that are chevron!(That is kinda my thing if you hadn't guessed:)) She even includes a Guided Reading cheat sheet to help you figure out what you should do on what days! I got my new guided reading group papers organized in my handy dandy binder last week. I started using them this week! There are a couple pages that help you organize the students you want in your groups. You could organize them by skill level, guided reading level, daily 5 groups, or whatever works for you! I sort my students by skill level and call them to the table during Daily 5 time. Students usually meet with me for a group and a half. We rotate every ten minutes or so.
I haven't quite nailed the whole teacher handwriting... sorry:)

Once my students were seated, I handed out the leveled readers that came with our Journeys reading series. For my lower  group, I have a more specific outline of what we are working on. I can list student names, sight, vocab, and review words, and what skills we will use for before, during, and after reading the story.  I can also add notes for each day.  The page I used for my higher groups was a comprehension guide. It lists all kinds of comprehension skills that should be worked on through out the school year. I circled the ones that were our main focus for this week. I can also list notes on this page.  Along will my guide pages, I have individual pages for my groups that allow me rate how the students are doing with comprehension, fluency, unknown word strategies, and sight words. I use this for all my groups! As my students are reading, I can easily rate them from 1-3 on how well they are doing. This helps me assess what we need to focus on the next time my group meets. 

There is a page that focuses on unknown word strategies and another for recording running records, which are both great for primary grades! 

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Math Groups

I began doing math groups last year when I was in first grade. Cassondra used them too! We collaborated this year to come up with some awesome math activities to use in our groups. First we had to decide what our groups would be. I started the year with something different than I have now, sometimes you just have to switch it up. I kept it very basic because I like to switch the activities so often!
Click here to download these for free!
I created this rotation chart to help my students switch groups smoothly. I have similar ones for Daily 5. I planned on Velcro dots to place five in each group. Students could check in on Monday to which group they wanted to start each day. My students have numbers and the other part of the Velcro is on their number for easy removal and a good "stick."  Once we began for the year, I noticed this just wouldn't work for me. I never got around to laminating these or getting them hung up.
Instead I decided to create a PowerPoint with an automatic rotation, every eight minutes. I can easily pause the slideshow if my group needs more time. I can also group the kiddos so I have mostly higher level and just one or two strugglers at a time. This way I can focus on assisting them after we work a few problems together. I do not like to ability group in math. Having all the lower kids in one group is stressful on me because many times they have different needs.  
To the left(owls), that is how I WOULD have used my cards!
I decided to change the Accelerated Math group to the Computer group. Accelerated Math is offered on the iPad, so my students can do their math on either one! This works out great if I find a great math game or an awesome app to use instead.
My hands-on group always has an activity where they are working with a partner or their group. They are rarely working alone. Some activities could include board games, card/domino activities, using manipulatives, or using task cards.
Students were using blocks and paper clips to measure.

The group that is With the Teacher does the work page that comes with the series. We use manipulatives and dry erase boards a lot! I usually have them just sit on the floor with me. We have been working on measuring this week.
Students enjoy the movement math groups gives them! I love how active they are.

I also have Frog theme signs for math groups in my TeachersPayTeachers store. They are free, so if you have a froggy class, hop on over;)

Melting Crayons

We have been using our Too Noisy app a lot! I still love it! The app tracks how often the alarm goes off. We have to have some kind of penalty for the amount of times it goes off. I have done several different things so far. Jumping up and down for a minute(which they love of course!), heads down for that many minutes, sentences from the word wall, and my favorite peeling crayons!

We finally have enough crayons peeled for me to melt them down into some cool shapes! I have several silicon ice trays that I like to use. I have stars, cupcakes, dog bones, owls, leaves, snowmen, and hearts! They are usually around a dollar from Target or Kroger. This time I used the owls, cupcakes and dog bones. I filled the stars, but my tray was too full! Maybe next time!
I preheated the oven to 350 and put aluminum foil over a cookie sheet. I wanted to make sure the details stayed in the crayon, so I the crayons were overflowing from each shape. 
I left them in the oven for about twenty minutes. I am always so eager to get them out to see what they look like, but I was patient this time! I let them dry overnight. 

They ended up looking perfect!! My students were so excited about their crayons! I had my sub hand them out while we were doing our EOY Dibels testing. The kids already were asking to peel more crayons so they can get more shapes<3

Place Value

Generally during math, I do math stations.  After our math lesson (whole group activity) for the day, my students split up into math stations.  My students love this time.  Often times, we are doing hands on activities.  I generally have four to five stations going at one time.  Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on what skills I want the students to work on.  In general the four groups I have are Accelerated Math, Ipad/Proboard Activity, Hands-On Activity, and Working with the Teacher.

We needed to review and work on Place Value.  During today's rotation, I decided to teach my kids a simple game (or activity) that they can play quickly at home.  This game requires only a scrap piece of paper and a die.  I wanted my students to make numbers to the thousands place.  Therefore, I had my kids made a large rectangle on their piece of paper and divide it into four smaller rectangles, making a column for ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands.  Then we began by rolling a die.  The students had to put the number they rolled into one of their boxes.  After everyone rolled, we went around again.  The key was to be the person to make the highest number.  Of course the goal would be to put a high number in the thousands box.  It took some of my kids a while to figure this out.  However, most caught on after one or two rounds.  They figured out quickly why another student won.  Of course I differentiated instruction by having my higher group make a number in the ten thousands place and my lower group only a number in the hundreds place.  They loved it.  It was simple and quick to prepare.  They can also play at home because it requires only a die.

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April Fools:)

Yes.. I was the teacher that played some tricks on my students for April Fools. They laughed after I made up for it!
First: A student was absent on Monday. Before he came in to class, I piled on the worksheets for "make up" work. The look on his face after seeing all the work was priceless! The whole class went along with it perfectly! I only let him do one page before I told him;)
Second: Brown-e's
I made brown e's for my students. I had them wrapped in foil all day. Along with the e's were their gifts from my Boston SB trip. I got them Chinese handcuffs from a joke store in Salem. I always bring my students something back from my trips. Along with the gift, they get to learn about the culture, happenings, and history of where ever I visited, and I finally have someone that HAS to look at my vacation pics;)

Before I handed out the e's, I passed out napkins and washed my hands. The kids were ready for their snack! The looks on their faces when they saw the e's....I cannot even describe! Some thought they would be funny too and started chewing on their e. I quickly handed out their gifts then and their real snacks. They forgave me and we ended our day with a Bernstein Bear's video with trick or treating. The one where they are scared of their neighbor because they thought she was a witch, but she turned out to be a nice lady. This tied right in with my brief, very limited Salem Mass. history.
You can see kid slobber on the e!

My husband brought my ice cream home!!!! Best Hubs EVER!


At the end of each nine weeks, our elementary school participates in some sort of school-wide activity.  For the first nine weeks, kindergarten is responsible for the activity.  This year, we had school-wide relays.  Each student is placed on a team and "funny" relays are held.  Staff participates in these relays as well.

At the end of the second nine weeks, first grade is responsible for the activity.  This year, we did a school wide Christmas BINGO on our Promethean Boards.  The first grade teachers made a BINGO board template with Christmas pictures that was shared among all teachers.  Each morning after announcements, our principal would call BINGO over the loud speaker.   If a room BINGO-ED, we called the office.  The first class to call the office would win candy canes.  On Friday, we did a cover all.  Of course, every class won.  Santa would bring around Candy Canes for every class.  I know Santa wouldn't be allowed in most schools, but luckily (thus far) we haven't had any complaints from parents.  This is the fifth year or so that we have done Christmas BINGO.

At the end of the third nine weeks, second (my grade) and third grade is responsible for the activity.  Each year, we do a school wide game day.  This game activity is done the last hour or so of the school day.  Each student in the building is given a number 1-15. Typically we just go down the list in numerical order.  This is the student's group number.  Then we all (entire school) go to the gym.  The students go to their group station.  There is a staff member responsible for each station.  Once at the station, students can play games until time is up.  We have various board games available.  We collect games from staff members in the morning to put out at the different stations.  We also have had games donated to us from the community.  The kids love this activity.  Most kids don't get the opportunity to play board games.  This is the perfect opportunity for students to interact with each other (older and younger) while learning how to play games.  Of course staff join in on the fun and play along.

Finally, the fourth nine weeks fourth and fifth grade are responsible for the activity.  We have a school-wide movie party.  The teachers select about 10 movies (kid-friendly of course) for our "theater".  Students then select which movie they would like to see.  Students then go to the classroom where their "movie" is showing.  During the movie, students are given popcorn (our school has a popcorn popper) and fruit snacks.  There are staff members (usually aides) to chaperon the movie theater(s).  Of course this works out great for classroom teachers.  Since it is the end of the year, we are trying to finish up our rooms and prepare for summer break.  This allows us time to finish up anything projects we are working on while our kids are at their movie.

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