Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fun Friday Tomorrow!

I.  Love.  Fridays. 

How 'bout you? 

I love that we usually get to wear jeans.  I love the excitement of the weekend coming up.  It's the weekly equivalent to Christmas Eve.  It's great.

I'm even more excited for tomorrow because I have a few fun things planned for tomorrow.  

In English Language Arts we are going to work on synonym rolls using the whole "synonym roll" theme that you've probably seen on Pinterest.  Finally in First offered a cute freebie I'll be using for this.  And I got some delish cinnamon rolls for them to snack on while they work! 
Then, later in the afternoon for Math we're going to do M&M math.  I got fun-sized M&Ms for my kids to add, subtract, estimate, divide and eat, of course!  
My kids are going to just love me sending their kids home all sugared up.  :)

What fun things do you do with food in your class?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Working from Nouns to Paragraphs

At the beginning of the year I like build my second graders into writing paragraphs in a methodical way.  Last year I really focused on reminding kids about nouns and verbs, used that to help kids be able to recognize and write complete sentences and finally taught them how to plan and compose a paragraph. 

I had terrific results and fast when I used this method last year.  My kids could easily whip up a paragraph for the rest of the year and I even noticed an improvement in their quality of their test answers.  

So this year I'm reusing the method I used last year and I decided to whip up some cute activities for my kids to do to practice these things.

I made a flipbook to reinforce the idea of nouns being a person, place, thing or idea.  We did these today and I was really impressed with my kids' thinking on these.  I wondered if the idea part would be tricky but they took it in stride.  You can get this flipbook for free here or by clicking on the picture.

I also made this fun little tent for action and being verbs.  Kids do a pretty good job remembering that verbs are action words but the being verbs are a little trickier, so I thought this would help them.

In addition to these I made a little pocketbook for students to differentiate between nouns and verbs.

If you are interested in these activities plus tons more, including sentence and paragraph writing activities, click here to check out my Nouns, Verbs, Sentences and Paragraphs pack. 
How do you teach writing?  


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A peek at my classroom

I have to tell you, blogs have totally rejuvenated my teaching!  I only just discovered the blogosphere and TPT last winter and it has made a big impact on how I teach.  One way it has influenced me is in the way my classroom now looks.  I'm not naturally a creative person but seeing so many amazing classrooms motivated me to do something with my room.  One particular post from Schoolgirl Style really lit the fire under me and over the summer I dreamed up what I wanted my room to look like, made some purchases and threw it all together.  Let me show you some of my room.

Melanie from Schoolgirl convinced me I needed a cohesive color scheme so I chose turquoise and red.  Dots on turquoise from Creative Teaching press was perfect for this.

This picture shows my Daily 5/Cafe Menu.  I created the Cafe menu this summer and it goes perfectly with my scheme.  

 I made a turquoise curtain to hide storage.  I hang my anchor charts in front of this.  I'll admit, my anchor charts are blah.

This is my calendar math area.  I do half of my calendar math here, the rest on the Smartboard.  Also, on the left of this picture you can see my schedule.  I was pretty pleased with myself for creating these.  :)

 I made red curtains with turquoise trim.

 I created these cute turquoise labels for lunch count.  Also, below that is my sign-out for restrooms.

Another shot of my curtains.

This is the bulletin board by the door as kids walk in.  I'm kind of in love with the turquoise pom.

The view from my desk across the room.  I made poms to hang above each table and used Lindsey Haralson's table labels.

This is my word wall.  I got it as a freebie from Samantha Halbert on teacher appreciation day and am in love with it.  It would totally be worth the cost.

What do you think?  Did I pull off the turquoise/red scheme?