Tuesday, August 29, 2017

All About APPLES!

Friends~It is almost APPLE season!  I love this time of year.  The air is crisp and the applesauce smells sooo good in the crockpot. There is so much learning that can take place with this sweet fruit!

Bringing apples into the classroom in September is the perfect way to ease your students into learning. One of my very favorite apple fiction stories is Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson.  
It is the sweetest story about a young girl and her time picking apples with her family.  It shows real perseverance.  Check out a video read of the story below!
 One of my favorite activities to do with this book is to create purple punch cards for my students just like in the book.  As they work throughout the day, I punch their cards with an apple hole punch. Like the one below.  You could also use the a moon shaped one like in the story. 
Then I reward them with a sweet apple treat at the end of the day as they turn in their cards!
Here are some response questions for you to use during a book talk to help second grade teachers hit RI.2.1 I can ask and answer W questions
 This standard will also work with the nonfiction books below!
I also love to use the fable of the Magic Apple to hit my 3rd grade reading skill, RL.3.2 I can recount fables and determine the central message. 
Below is a video read of the book to add to your lessons. 
 
This file is great for unlocking folktales from Pearson!  Be sure to click below and save!
I love to bring in some factual information about apples too!  This video is a great lead into the nonfiction word of apples.  
Here is another video that is great for the life cycle of an apple!
It is so simple to put a fun life cycle craft together. See the example in the picture below. 
I love the Book I Am an Apple for this project!  Students can use this book to walk them through the life cycle. It is also a great book to talk with students about beginning print concepts.  Take them on a picture walk and discuss the title, cover, spine, illustrations, and words.  
RF.K1 I can understand print concepts. 
or grab this download of the story The Magic Apple for Kindergarteners! 

My favorite book for apple facts is Apples by Gail Gibbons.  
Reading both fiction and nonfiction books on a topic will allow first grade teachers to hit RL.1.5 Ti can tell which books are stories.  
Be sure to check out the video of my All About Apples below!  It will lead you through tons of FUN apple learning and end with a most loved APPLE Day in class!
Click the image below to read more about the file.
*Please know that this post includes Amazon affiliate links. 



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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Character Dress Up & Dr. Seuss



Friends~We had just the best week in 2nd grade last week!  We celebrated Right to Read Week as a school with all the wacky hair, socks, and Dr. Seuss fun. 
We made these simple Dr. Seuss silly FACT hats when we researched Dr. Seuss on PebbleGo.  My kiddos LOVE this site and I 💓 that it is a safe place for them to research.  (Sign up for a FREE trial!)  
All you need is a sentence strip.  We wrote All About Dr. Seuss on the front and they added strips for each fact they found about Dr. Seuss.  We then added stars, hearts, and fish to the end of the strips. 

Check out my sweet kiddos flashlight reading below!
We have really been working on our stamina using online timers.  Click the image below to check out some of the timers we use. 
    
I love this Time Tracker from Learning Resources.  It has audio and visual alarms.


But my FAVORITE part was that each class dressed as one book.  Meaning, no individual dress up.  We had to decide on a book as a class and then recreate it as a class.  Totally not as easy as it looks!  
As a class, we decided on a fairy tale.  The students broke into groups and made lists of fairy tales they knew. 
We jumped into our fairy tale book tub and did some buddy reading exploration. 
We watched some fairy tales on Youtube.  
We then voted...
Our favorite as a class was:
Princess and the Pea!

Be sure to check out Play Posit!  It is a awesome site where you can find pre made "bulbs" with interactive questions for students.  Super GREAT for Listening to Reading!
Check out the two I found below!  Sign up so you can make your own! 

Their PEA hats crack me up!  
Of course I was the princess-tiara and everything! 


Here are just a couple of my AWESOME teammates and a whole bunch of PEAS!  
 You can check out more fairy tale fun with The Schroeder Page HERE!

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Teaching Respect

Friends~One of the toughest things about teaching is managing children.  We never get a cookie cutter class.  It is always like a box of chocolates...you never know what you are gonna get. 

To me, that makes teaching exciting and challenging. 
(Exhausting? YES!)

I am a firm believer in teaching the whole child.  Not just academics.  Manners, social skills, behavior, and so on.  So many times we jump on board with these "behavior" systems for a quick fix.  We never take the time to teach what acceptable behavior is.  Truly if a student is having behavioral issues, a clip to red over and over is NEVER going to fix it.  
Do we need reminders?  YEP!  But those reminders need to be authentic.  They need to be meaningful. 

Look at this picture, read the words, let it speak to you!  I love the message Mandy Neal, from Teaching With Simplicity shared.  It is so powerful!

At my school, we have 4 school wide behavior expectations.  We review them every morning during our morning meeting. 
Be KIND
Be SAFE
Be RESPECTFUL
Be RESPONSIBLE
I have been working to teach each expectation indivudially.  This past week, we focused on RESPECT. 
I LOVE this Respect Rap! 
 So do my kiddos. 
 It totally spells it out!

My students connected quickly with this rap because it was made by students.  I love that the words are posted so they can hear and sing along.  Such an awesome reminder about how we need to be treating each other.  

Warning!  I have been singing this all weekend.  It totally gets stuck in your head!  So, while rapping all weekend, I got to thinking about how I can reinforce respect with this rap. 

I created this Respect Reminder
(Grab a FREE copy by clicking above.)

My plan is, if a student needs a reminder about how to respect others, our classroom, or our school, I am going to give them some quiet time to scan this code and listen to the rap privately.  They will then write a response and have a short conference with me. 
 I will them send it home for a parent signature. 

I plan to keep a copy for documentation as well.  It is such a simple idea but I think it is going to send an important message to my students.  

If you are looking for more behavior management tips, you can click below!


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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wordless Texts & Inferences


Friends~We spent the week examining wordless texts!  I loved how the texts led my students right into the world of inferences! 
 Totally seamless!
I just had to choose my FAVORITE wordless text Tuesday by David Wiesner!  

 (Grab a copy by clicking the image!)

I photo copied a few images from the text on large paper and we broke up into groups.  We focused on examining the illustrations to determine key details from a text.  We combined the details with the text and created inferences to understand the story!  This is such a tough skill for 2nd graders!  I am so very proud of how the class did with this.  

Here is a video read of the story! 
 The kiddos loved it!
We then practiced the skill by creating an illustration and adding details that would help a reader understand what they were reading! 

Grab a FREE copy of my skill practice sheet bellow! 

Read more about how I teach inferences by clicking the image below! 


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Sunday, April 3, 2016

What is Singapore Math?


Friends~What is Singapore Math?  I asked the exact same question when my school announced that we would be using Singapore in our elementary classes.  
It took me quite a while to figure out how to make it work in my first grade classroom.  The tricky thing is Singapore is change in thinking.  A change in how we think about numbers.  


What is Singapore Math?

Singapore Math focuses on children not just learning but also truly mastering a limited number of concepts each school year. The goal is for children to perform well because they understand the material on a deeper level; they are not just learning it for the test.

Singapore Math takes the student beyond the basic algorithm.   It is about mastery not memorization.
Students work through a 3 step learning process.

Concrete: Use of manipulatives like base ten blocks, dice, and chips.
Pictorial: Drawing pictures of mathematical concepts.
Abstract: The use of numbers and symbols

 In first grade, we spend a good amount of time working on number sense.  It is the foundation for future math.  Students learn to decompose and compose numbers with ease.  

In first grade we use the Math in Focus program by Singapore.  It has been fantastic to follow and implement in class! Below are some of the beginning skills that my kiddos worked with to build number sense. 






Now this is my 2nd year with Singapore and I will tell you the first year I felt like we were number bonding FOREVER!  I didn't see the benefit and was super worried that we were not teaching other skills. (We were digging deeper!)  

Here is the moment I became a true believer in the Singapore Process!  We moved to double digit numbers and began regrouping.  (I resisted teaching regrouping they way I always had and went with the Singapore way.)  All of a sudden they were regrouping in their heads!  Mental Math!!!!!

Check out this video of my kiddos regrouping on paper.  So incredible in first grade!

This school year math is my students favorite time of the day.  They love our math centers and each day I meet with a group or 2 at their level.  We work a daily word problem and practice our mental math.  

I am so thrilled with how this year has gone!


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Sunday, February 28, 2016

First Grade Electricity and Art

Friends~I am so excited to share soooo much with you all today!  We finally moved into our new school after 100 plus days at an alternate location.  Check out the pictures below!  We moved in and set up in 2 and a half days.  A total record!!
If you have been following me along on Facebook, you may have heard that I have been moving into a rented classroom at a church on Mondays and moving back out on Fridays EvErY week!  This is the first week that our classroom has stayed in tack and when I go into school on Monday, it all will be in place!  I can't tell you the relief! (That is the major reason I have been missing from the blog world all year-please forgive me!)

This week in our beautiful room,  we started a mini unit on electricity!  We had so much fun reading and watching videos about this powerful form of energy! 


After lots of fun reading and writing about electricity we read Patricia Polacco's Thundercake! It is one of my total favorite books!  
Here is a great read by Patricia herself!

We discussed how lightning and storms produce electricity.  I had the students choose a favorite scene in the book and they drew it on a piece of construction paper.  We then added folded tissue paper over parts of the scene that might move in a storm.  

I added some thunderstorm sounds from YouTube and we were ready to make our art ELECTRIC!
video
We just added some man made electricity-meaning rubbing balloons against our hair and creating static electricity!

We held a school wide open house yesterday so that our families could come and see the new building. My teammate suggested that we put this Electric Art out for the students to show their parents.  It was a HUGE hit!  

Here is one of my cuties checking out the new room with her family!
If you are looking for more to go along with Thundercake, you can check out my file below.  It is filled with tons of literacy activities to enhance this book! 
Be on the look out for more fun posts from room 202!
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