Sunday, July 31, 2011

New File Folder Games and Activities

I've spent waaaaay too much time of my summer "vacation" making new games for my kids. Since I'm looping with last year's second graders to Third Grade this year, I want my room to have new activities to inspire the kids. Here is a shot of some of the new games I've made. Most of these were made from "freebie" links I found on blogs. It helps to find them if you do a Google search and click on the arrow next to "more" above the Google Search Box. Choose "Blogs" from the drop down menu to limit your search results to what can be found on blogs.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Linky Party Alert!!!! Share Your Favorite Vocabulary Idea!

Don't forget my Linky Party for Vocabulary ideas! Please link in with your best vocabulary ideas.

And after that, go to the Ultimate Linky Party and check out all the other great Linky Parties! Click on the button below!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Super Books for the Writing Station

I have just about finished setting up my Writing Station in my classroom and hope to post pictures soon. I wanted to share some of the books I place in the Station to help jumpstart the kids' writing.

The kids LOVE any of the I Spy books. They can write a story or description of any of the items in the awesome pictures. (I also use the books to teach main idea and details). These pics unlock even the toughest writer's block! So many bloggers are using pirates in their classrooms this year, that I wanted to include Can You See What I See? Treasure Ship. You'll get lots of pirate stories if you use this as a prompt.

Share Graeme Base's Animalia at the writing center to show your students how to use colorful words in their writing. Younger students can use the sentences as models for writing alliterative sentences for the beginning sound they are studying. The sentences are also great to use for picking out parts of speech.

Any of Barbara Lehman's picture books inspire even the most reluctant students to write. Students can write about the stories told in pictures in The Red Book, Rainstorm, and Museum Trip or can pick just one of the illustrations to describe. (Great for making predictions and inferences!)

istvan banyai's wordless picture books could inspire a year's worth of writing! Show the students Zoom, Re-Zoom, and The Other Side and step back and watch inspiration hit!

 A Circle of Friends, by Giora Carmi,  just begs the children to add words to the beautiful artwork. Friends are an important topic of choice, so be sure to include this one.
You own't be able to put Ooops, by Arthur Geisert, down long enough to leave it in the Writing Station! This book is great to guide students in an ongoing story or chapter book. Does the house fall? (Another predictions/inferences favorite.)

The simple text of The OK Book, by Amy Krovise Rosenthal, is a wonderful model for students to follow to write OK books about themselves. Once they have done that, use the format to write OK sentences about the topics you are studying in Science and Social Studies.

The pictures in Black and White, by David Macaulay, tell two different stories. Let students pick one story line to follow.

And last, but not least, go right now and get Meanwhile, by Jason Shiga, if you do not already own a copy. You might want to go ahead and get two while you are ordering, because your kids are going to looooove this book. You choose your own ending to each page of the book. The story lines are practically infinite!

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Post-It Fun!

I posted about the fun Post-It Linky Party that Create-Teach-Share is hosting. I had to make another entry to her party after I bought these cool sticky notes at The Dollar Tree yesterday! I plan on using the Don't Forget notes as Reader Response notes. Students can fill in the What, When, and Details sections as they read. The Reminder notepad can be used to jot down the main idea or other info from the story.

Click on the yellow sticky note below to add your own ideas!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Post-it Linky Party

This is one of my most favorite Linky Parties ever!
Create-Teach-Share is hosting a Post-it Linky Party. Join in and add your favorite idea for using Post-its in your classroom.

I ask my students to write one important event from a story we are reading on a Post-it. We put all the events in the middle of the table. Each student takes a turn pulling one event from the pile and putting it in the correct order. What a fun way to review the sequence of events!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

50 Followers Giveaway -- Target Booty!

I am going to try to do a Giveaway when I reach 50 followers. I think I have figured out how to get my comments numbered, so I will use the Random Number Generator. Please leave a comment to this post that you have been following my blog or have just started. When I reach 50 followers, I will send the winner a $10.00 Target gift card!

You can also grab my button and leave another comment for a second chance to win!

Grade Level Linky Party

The Teacher's Lane is hosting a Grade Level Linky Party. You can link to your grade level so that you can find other teachers with great ideas specifically for you! Go try it out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vocabulary Word of the Day

Each Second/Third Grade Looping teacher at our school has a Word of the Day posted outside the classroom. The kids all look at each other's Word of the Day as they travel from room to room and down the hall. We laminated a file folder to use.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Photo Ideas for Classroom

I take a lot of pictures in our class to document our learning. Walgreens' website has an option to make a photo collage that is 8 1/2 x 11. I use pictures to show what we did during a project. The first picture below shows our school secretary helping our class decorate a pumpkin to look like our principal. We gave her a copy as a thank you for helping us. The second shows off our symmetry pictures. (Sorry about the quality...a picture of a picture doesn't always work!) I also use the collage to teach main idea. The students help me come up with the main idea of the pictures and we use that for the caption.

I also put only one picture in the collage to get a poster. We use these as anchor charts. The kids refer to them all the time.

A sentence

 must start with a capital letter, 
 end with punctuation, 
and make sense!
The students in the posters are acting out the motions we make when we talk about sentences.

The next four posters show our motions and facial expressions when we are discussing the different types of sentences. 

I keep extra copies of pictures at the Writing Station to use for prompts.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another Pirate Freebie

Make several copies of this and glue to folders to organize makeup work for your absent students. Another student can be in charge of gathering papers and recording assignments for the absent child.

Pirate Makeup Work Folder

Free Writing Station Labels with Pirate Theme

Here is a link to my first attempt at uploading to Google Docs. I wanted to share my Writing Station labels with a pirate theme. There are eight different labels, as well as the Header. I hope you will enjoy using them. It's my late attempt to join the Christmas in July Linky!

Writing Station Pirate Labels


(I wasn't able to get the Google Doc to show in my post. Any ideas?)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Every Day is a Special Day Giveaway

Sassy in Second is having a special giveaway on her blog. Be sure to go over there and check it out. (139 pages filled with 28 activities, teaching tips, classroom posters, and student recording forms!)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blog Mixer Linky

Year to Learn in hosting a Blog Mixer Party. Link to
1) a blogger who is a "New Kid on the Block" (like me!)...someone who has blogged 2 months or less and has less than 200 followers.
2)  Post a blogger in your same grade level.
3)  Post a blogger in a different grade level
4)  It's all about the button. Find a cute button and post it.
Here are my finds:

1) My New Kid Blogger is First Year in Third Grade.
2) I teach 3rd grade and I found a great third grade site at Miss Third Grade.
3)  I love Teaching in High Heels.
4)  I chose the button from Runde's Room. I love her ideas.

Now it's your turn! Go to Year To Learn and post!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

First Days in Classroom

I spent today and yesterday in my classroom beginning to get everything ready for the year. My sweet daughter is helping me label all of my books with a Lexile level.
Since we are moving to Common Core, our State is talking about Lexile levels. Our district does not have any test to determine a student's Lexile level. What does your district use? Is there a free instrument out there? (Probably wishful thinking!) Here is a shot of my reading corner right now. It was in a different area of the room last year, but since I am looping with the same group of kids, I want the room to look different for them this year. I'll post again when I get it finished.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Blogs Linky Party at Set This Circus Down!

I just found this great Linky Party at Set This Circus Down ( love the name)!  Find a new blog (like mine!) and add to the Linky Party. You get new ideas and the blogger gets new friends! Great idea!!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Favorite Books Linky Party!

     Runde's Room is hosting a "My Favourite Books Linky Party"! Since I've had fun reading the posts there, I wanted to link in.

1.  Childhood Favorites:  One of my favorite childhood books was Mrs. Wiggs and the Cabbage Patch. I also loved all the Little House books. At school, I always checked out those little blue biographies, but I can't remember the name of the series.

2. Classroom Favorites:  We love all books in my classroom!  My kids really love all the Junie B. Jones books. Last year's class loved all the different versions of Cinderella.

3.  Favorite books I read to my own children: My son liked me to read the Hardy Boys books to him when he was little. My daughter loved the Junie B. Jones series.

4.  Professional Favorites:  The Book Whisperer, anything by Debbie Diller, Comprehension Connections, by Tanny McGregor, and anything by Patricia M. Cunningham.

5.  Guilty-Pleasure Favorites:  I love the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I laugh out loud when I read them. I love all mysteries. Catfish Alley was recommended by a friend at the beach. It's similar to The Help, which I also loved.

Thanks, Rundy's Room, for hosting the party!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Love2Learn2Day's Math Monday Blog Hop

If you haven't gotten your copy of Debbie Diller's Math Stations, get it now! There is even a Blog Party to help you go through the book and apply the ideas to your own classroom. Chapters 1 and 2 are on Mrs. Wills Kindergarten blog.  The book is for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, but is easily adaptable to other grades. This book has inspired me to pump up my math stations!

Vocabulary Literacy Centers and Linky Party

I read several books this summer that emphasized the need for good vocabulary instruction in all classrooms. If students cannot understand the meanings of the words in the reading selections, they will not be able to comprehend the text. Almost every book stressed the need for students to be able to recognize prefixes, suffixes, and affixes. If the students are familiar with these, they can apply what they have learned to figure out many new words. Combining this with my belief that literacy centers are the best way to provide meaningful practice for students, I searched for easy to make activities that were readily available on the internet to make for my students. The best site is the Florida Center for Reading Research. This site has easy to make activities correlating to the Five Pillars of Reading that we teach at Learning Way. I started with the vocabulary resources and have them ready! Access these activities at http://www.fcrr.org/. Click on Instructional Materials for Teachers. From there, choose the Student Center activities for your grade level.    
A great resource for a Making Words Folder for either literacy centers or individual student work is at the blog, What the Teacher Wants, at http://whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com/2011/06/making-words-folder.html
Mrs. McDavid’s Second Grade website has several ready to print centers at http://www.ourclassweb.com/center_activities/lang_arts/.  
Check out Russ’ Rockets at http://www.mrsruss.com/Teachers/foldergames.html for lots of games for literacy centers.
Beth Newingham is my idol! I love her Literacy Centers page at http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/, as well as her page at Scholastic at http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/contributor.jsp?id=3746.  Be sure to check ALL of her links!
These are just a few of the books I read that help me as I plan for the new year.
What Really Matters in Vocabulary, Patricia M. Cunningham
Literacy Work Stations, Debbie Diller
Making the Most of Small Groups, Debbie Diller
Practice with Purpose, Debbie Diller
The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller

I'm interested in hearing from other second and third grade teachers with vocabulary ideas, games, and activities! Click on the Linky Party for Vocabulary on the right!

Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo -- Cinderella in the Classroom

Be sure to check out my page on Cinderella books and activities for using them in the classroom. You can reach this page by clicking on the top menu bar.
My Ten Things

I'll start off by sharing the Ten Things to Know About Me that "Go Fourth with Owens" suggested.

1. I have two wonderful kids, both in college.
2. I love to read....all kinds of books.
3. My dog, Tillie, can jump high enough to look out the window and see who is at the back door.
4. I think teaching my students is the best job anyone could ever have.
5. I love the beach....all I do is read while I am there (and nap)!
6. I love going to our family's lake house more than any other place.
7. My favorite TV show is Sons of Anarchy (thanks to Karen).
8. I collect Cinderella books and cookbooks.
9. My mama's chicken and dressing is my favorite food.
10. I now teach with one of my former students.

Moving Blogs

I'm moving my blog from Edublogs here to Blogger. It's going to take awhile to move the literature ideas, but I'll do it as I have time. I think I've got my page up and ready to post. I hope you will find some fun, interesting ideas and activities.