Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spiders and a Halloween Freebie!

Halloween time is perfect for integrating skills using a “spider” theme. The Boys couldn’t wait to discuss the creepy, crawly critters, and the girls got excited to use their crafty skills to create pom pom spiders.
This year we are implementing the new common core standards along with still teaching the old standards to ensure our kiddos are ready for the Ohio Achievement Assessment in third grade. Writing an opinion piece is a part of the new ELA Standards for second grade. After brainstorming several opinions, students were quick to share how they felt about the hairy 8-legged creatures. (One of our favorite opinions was "they are gross because the guts splatter on your shoe when you step on them." ) haha

They were quick to engage in meaningful discussions about spiders after reading several nonfiction texts.

(I was so exicted when this student called me over to point out a label which was one nonfiction text feature we already learned!)

Students were sooo excited to make their very own spiders to go along with their opinion writing. Aren’t they adorable! (Hobby Lobby is one of our favorite places! ;)

To celebrate our week on spiders, we made our “cheesy spider  web” snack thanks to Christina Bainbridge’s snazzy snack recipes. Students had a blast creating their own spider webs and spiders.  It was a tasty way to end a great week on spiders!

Click on the image below for a Halloween freebie I have, Who has game with doubles and doubles plus one facts!

Happy Halloween! =)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Save the Literary Pumpkins

Whew! We have made it through our first party of the year. Although we are exhausted, we couldn't wait to show your what our kiddos have been up to!
Last year we purchased the 'Save the Literary Pumpkins' pack from the LessonPlan SOS Teachers and gave it a try with our kids. It was a HUGE hit! This year, we did it again.
Each student is trying to 'save' a pumpkin from being carved by disguising it as one of their favorite storybook characters. After they disguse their pumpkin, they write about how this disguise will save their pumkin from being carved. Take a look at how neat they turned out!

Annie: The Magic Tree House Series

The Lorax


Hello Kitty

Cookie Monster (who came with a plate of real cookies!)

Then, we filled our school display case with all of the pumpkins and the accompanying books:

Our kids have truly enjoyed working on their pumpkin. They love when we have time to walk past the display and look at all of the different characters (Out of 3 second grade classes, we only had 1 or 2 kids use the same character as someone else....there was definately a variety!)

Interested in trying this with your kids? Use the link above to head to the LessonPlan SOS TpT store and purchase the pack. You won't be sorry!

We hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Linky Party

We are linking up with The 3am Teacher for this fabulous linky party! She is celebrating her 1 year blogging anniversary!

We are very new to the blogging world, seeing as we have only been blogging for a few months. With that being said, it is hard for us to pick out our favorite memory. We feel that we have learned so much not only about the blogging world, but about ourselves in the process. We have met so many fabulous "fellow bloggers" and have gained so many resources along the way.

Since we have to choose, one of our favorite memories about blogging would have to be hosting our first giveaway. There were so many questions running through our minds....Who would be willing to donate an item for our give away? Would anyone even enter? How-in-the-heck do people get that cool Raffelcopter thing on their blog?! Pushing our questions aside, we plunged forward. We asked some friends to donate items to the give-away, we spent waaayyy to many hours figuring out Raffelcopter, and yes, we even had some people enter! We will never forget the feeling after it was all said-and-done. Phew! We made it through. That's what is like for us as newbies....stepping out on a limb and hoping for the best. We know that we're probably not the only ones who have felt like this but all you bloggers are so dang good, it can be hard to keep up sometimes!

Are you interested in joining this linky party? We hope so, becuase we want to read some of your favorite memories from your first year of blogging. (and meet some new bloggy friends of course!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fiction or Non-Fiction?

This post is going to be short and sweet. We have our Fall Festival tomorrow night and I still need to get some last minute things done!

We have been working really hard  (Ok....I've been DRILLING) the difference between fiction and non-fiction. My kiddos have been doing great with this concept this year....until we discussed the difference between realism and fantasy. Now, when I ask what type of story we are reading I either get 'fantasy' or 'non-fiction'. So I decided to create a simple flow-chart to help my kids. It's nothing fancy, but hopefully it will get the point across. 

Think you might be able to use this in your room? Click on the picture to download. Leave us a comment below and share how you teach the difference between these various types of stories.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Introduction to Science--Tools, Terms, and Scientific Method

Just the mentioning of the word science sparks our kiddos excitement and ours as teachers…I mean what better way to elicit higher order thinking than to perform experiments! Although experimenting is a HUGE part of science, we wanted our students to have an understanding of what it really means to be a scientist. Therefore, we have created a mini unit consisting of rules, terms, and tools. Our students absolutely LOVED the tools matching game (a.k.a. memory). You can see a sneak peek below.

In addition to the basics, we also felt it was essential as “scientists” to understand and USE the scientific method. After students learned the method by reading the steps on the kid friendly posters, they got to experiment. What better way to truly understand the scientific method than to utilize it in action! Some of the experiments consisted of using candy (their favorites of course). Others in the pack are titled “Salt Art,” “Balloon Rockets,” and “Homemade Bouncy Balls.” Honestly by the end of unit, our students could not only recite the steps of the scientific method, but they could tell us when and how they used each step while conducting their experiments…this was a slam dunk moment for us!
At the end of the packet are several assessments on tools, terms, and the scientific method. Students also will be awarded a certificate congratulating them on their hard work and informing them they are now ready to be “real scientists.” This gave our kiddos the extra confidence to tackle any science experiment in the future! Click on the picture below to check it out at our TPT store!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October Currently

So excited to be linking up with Oh Boy Fourth Grade for our *first* currently. (I  know, I know! We're a bit behind on the times but hey, life gets in the way sometimes!)

Head back to our blog next week for a peek at our newest science unit. We're testing it out with our kiddos now, and we are really enjoying it! Enjoy these last few days of warm weather before it really starts to feel like fall!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Place Value Freebie

It’s been awhile since we have posted a freebie so we thought we’d share our latest math creation. We have found this year that a handful of our kiddos are really struggling to grasp the concept of place value. Since this is the foundation of ALL other math concepts we thought we’d better make sure our students have a good understanding before moving any further. What better way than to play a game right!? Of course our students are at different levels so we have created two different place value activities at 3 levels. We use the varied activities during our small math group time when students meet with us.

The first game requires students to spin the place value spinner while identifying base-ten blocks. The second activity can be used with base-ten blocks or just numbers for students to compare two numbers and fill in the signs >, <, or =. It is versatile so teachers may use however they choose! You can click on the image below to visit our TPT store and download this activity pack for free!

We are strong advocates for technology in the classroom so we have found a great link which practices place value and also has varying ability levels. We were thrilled to find a website that differentiates!