Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cyber Monday and New Common Core ELA I Can Statements

We hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving with your families. We both had a wonderful time but ate wayyyy too much;)
We are participating in the awesome Cyber Monday sale on TPT. You can conveniently click the link below to check out our store.

We are soooo excited to announce that we just finished our second grade ELA "I can statements." Each standard is broken into several statements that students are able to understand. A picture accompanies each statement to help make the words more meaningful. This pack is arranged into each of the ELA strands and the standards that go with each strand.  We hope you and your students enjoy!
Have a great rest of your weekend.  We will be spending ours looking at all of the packs we will be purchasing on Monday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


That is one of my least favorite topics to teach my kiddos about in writing. Really. Out of all of the resources I have gathered over the past couple of years, you would think I would finally have it down. When December rolls around and I reflect on my 'voice' lessons from November, I usually feel that 1/3 of my class really grasps the concept and the other 2/3 are thinking "Whew! Glad that is over!"

This is the year though! We have been working so hard to understand what it means when a writer uses voice in their story and I couldn't be happier with the progress we have made. Here is what we have been up to for the past 2 weeks:

The first strategy for adding voice to our stories that we discuss, is making our emotions stand out. We spent a lot of time looking through various picture books and searching for the author's/character's emotions. These are some of the books we previewed:


Then we started brainstorming other strategies we could use besides showing our emotions. Here is our anchor chart:

And today was by far my favorite lesson so far this unit. I wrote 3 sentences that could be a part of a story. My kiddos worked in pairs to add voice to what was already written. Check these improvements out:

It's hard to read this one but I love it: "Finally, my chick hatched. P.S.- It's the coolest chick in town".
After I demonstrated how amazed I was at their corrections I had some who were anxious to head back to their seats and write their own stories. How fabulous is this one?!

We still have another week or so of working with voice and I am excited to see where my kiddos take it.

We also wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! It is a bit early, but we're stepping away from posting until after gets to be a bit hectic! Enjoy the time with family and friends, we will be back to catch up soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A tribute to Veteran’s Day

Both of our grandfathers fought in World War ll so Veteran’s Day is a special time for us to thank them for all of their bravery and dedication to serve our country.  Many of our kiddos had either fathers or relatives who are currently enlisted in the services.  We are so blessed to have all of those courageous soldiers fighting for us!
What better way to start out our Veteran’s Day lesson than with a great book…Pepper’s Purple Heart by Heather French Henry is a great book for students to connect with.  Through the little girl Claire, and her friend Robby, children learn all about this day and why he honor veterans. 
 After reading this story… students were eager to create their own soldiers and bald eagles that we displayed. Our kids had a great time individualizing their soldiers and brainstorming words to describe the soldiers.  The web below our soldiers was inspired by Mrs. Williamson on her blog Welcome to Room 36 A Kindergarten Blog. You can check our her super cute soldier by clicking on the blog name. 

Students also had a blast making these bald eagles!  We don’t use paint often in second grade so when we do our students go crazy...of course the whole time we were engaged in a discussion about Veteran's Day. By the end of our two projects, students had a greater understanding of this important and special day dedicated to the men and women who serve our county. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

November Currently

This year is just flying by! I keep hoping that it will slow down so that I can do a better job of keeping up with this little blog. But....that's life!
We are linking up with Farley over at 'Oh Boy, 4th Grade' for November's edition of currently.

There are just too many cute Veteran's Day packs on TpT and I just can't pick! I did find a cute craftivity on Pinterest so I'm pretty sure that is what we are going to attempt. I'm not a fan of breaking out the paints but these bald eagles were just too cute to pass up. I will be sure to post some pictures next week after I try it with my kids. (and I want to make sure I link up to the webiste where I found it!) How do you discuss Veteran's Day in your classroom?