Friday, 28 November 2014

Five for Friday

Hey Everyone,
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Five for Friday Fun!

1. Christmas Spirit in the Classroom

I think I have mentioned this about a thousand times... but I LOVE Christmas! Christmas has finally made it's way to our school and we are going to have a BLAST! 
Here are some displays I put up yesterday!!! 

Di you SPOT the "This Classroom is Under Elf Surveillance" poster 

2. OCD is my Middle Name

Another tid bit about me. Also the thousandth time I've mentioned it... 
I'm freakishly organized and I LOVE it! Lately, it's most pertinent that I WRITE everything down AND FILE it in a cute binder. I have problems, I know. The first step is admitting it...

I love, love love, my Blog Organizer and Planner from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd. I also can' get enough of my Editable Calendar from Sarah Kirby!

3. TpT Site Wide SALE

Oh ya! Are you filling your shopping carts, because I sure am!!!! My entire store will be on sale and use the code TPTCYBER at checkout for even more savings!!!

Be sure to check out some of my Christmas Packs!



4. Oh, No! SNOW!!!!!

I live in Canada. THAT IS ALL. 

The kiddies had to tally the snowflake on our weather chart. They were ecstatic. I cried.

5. Goofing Around

What does one do with left over craft pieces. THIS of course!
My colleagues are the best! We have a blast EVERYDAY!

The uglier the facial expression, the better...

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Until next time...

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Fluency Practice

Hey Everyone!
I hope you are all doing well! As I've mentioned, things are a little crazy this month, but also very productive. Upon completing some reading assessments, my team and I noticed that many of our students were struggling with fluency. I'm happy to report that reading comprehension is not a huge problem this year. YAY!

 But fluency sure is! 

Turns out though that practicing fluency is loads of fun! 
There are so many great tricks out there and the littles sure love to practice them all. 

The best trick I've come across so far is timing them.

At this age, students are happy to repeat the same exercise over and over again. Especially if it means trying to WIN or beat their old score. Basically, all we really do is read and reread short fluency passages over and over again, as we try to beat our time. 

Sometimes I read the passage and ask the student to beat my time (their favorite). Sometimes, I just ask the student to keep rereading until they have a good time. 

I also go over the importance of expression, intonation, and inflections during reading. 

We discuss what good reading sounds like. 

I read a passage in a robotic word by word voice and ask if they enjoy listening to that kind of reading. Then I read the same passage in my best road runner voice and ask if they understand or enjoy listening to that kind of reading. I explain that good fluency and good reading has a specific pace and I read the same passage at a good pace.

I do this each and every time we practice fluency to remind them that it is not a race!

Sometimes, I like to practice fluency with the whole group.  

These past couple of weeks we have been using Jennifer's over at First Grade Blue Skies 
Reader's Theater with Familiar Text package. Let me tell you it is a huuuuuuuge hit! 

First, I read the text to them. I model appropriate pace, fluency, intonation, pausing, and expression. 
Then, we read it together while I time our performance. 
We read it together a few times (each time, timing our progress).
Then I assign different groups of students a part in the Reader's Theater. 

This is my favorite part. It just sounds so great! 
This is also the part where we get to highlight our roles! 
Highlighting being a very exciting activity for the students! It's one of the "highlights!" 
4-5 students read a part as we go through the text again as a class. We do this a few times. 

Then I split the class up into groups (making sure that each group has a member for each part of the Reader's Theater) and the students practice together. 

Finally, I ask the groups to present in front of the class. THEY LOVE THIS! We start the timer again and try to see which group has the best time. They are all very positive and supportive of each other and even my struggling readers know their parts by the end of the process. 

It's great fun and it works! All my kiddies are reading and improving their fluency. 

What do you do to practice fluency in your class?

Until next time...

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Math Center Madness

Hey Sweet Friends, 
Just popping by to talk to you about some math fun we've been having. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself. Math has never been my best subject but this year I've got it down to an art! And it's all because of the amazing program we're using AND my math centers (I'll take 1/3 of the credit). Hehe!
The kiddies love the centers and really understand the concepts after completing them. 

The students love using their dry erase markers on the center cards and this saves our school a lot of paper! I walk around and take notes on how students are doing. I also sit with them and help them out.
I choose 4 out of 8 centers to assess (I combine two packs at a time). I ask students to choose ONE card to record their answer on paper. This gives me concrete evaluations.

Midway through the completion of the centers, I assess their knowledge of math vocabulary. 

I use the math word wall to encourage students to answer some questions about the concepts we are covering. All the answers can be found on the word wall. This gives me a clear idea of who is getting it and who needs extra support. 

You can check out my Counting and Comparing Numbers Math Centers HERE!

You can check out my Numerical and Non-Numerical Patterns Math Centers right over HERE!

You can grab yourself a free copy of my word wall and math vocabulary activity right over HERE!
For the other half of this word wall & a math vocabulary activity to accompany it, please click HERE!

Click on the Math Madness label on the right side of my blog to get more free word walls and check out more of my math centers. 

Until next time...

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Monster Mail

Hello Friends,
I'm back with some news from the monster who lives under the bed! 
Yes, you read right! We received mail from a MONSTER! 

One of the components of our second grade program is letter writing. 
Well, in our class, we don't write just any old letter. We write MONTER MAIL!

We read a great message from a monster and decided that we could be monsters too! 
We wrote a class letter to our PRINCIPAL! Which the students insisted on "mailing" to her. 

I used the highlight feature on the Smartboard to highlight the important components of a letter. This helped my kiddies when writing their own monster mail. 

We decided to describe the monster, write about what he/she likes, 
and add a little silly sentence at the end. 

The students used these spelling helpers to help them with their writing. 

The letters turned out GREAT! We even MADE monsters!

They are "hanging" out with our friends Arnold and Toby!

It was such a great way to practice letter writing AND review descriptive writing. 
We had tons of fun!

You can check out my Monster Mail Craftivity pack right over HERE!

Until next time...

Friday, 14 November 2014

Five for Friday

Hey Everyone,
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Five for Friday Fun!

1. Usher

Seriously, the dude is such a hottie! I'm a sucker for boys with charm and absolutely love a great dancer! Usher is the full package!!!!!

2. Girls Getaway

I love my friends. They are the best. They are funny, smart, beautiful, kind and apparently can handle being friends with crazy ol' me. That's always a bonus! We were feeling a little tired and stressed and decided we needed some time away. We went up north for a weekend and loved every minute of it.

Now I'm a bonafide city girl, but I do love me some quiet time in the peaceful woods and that's what we got. I love that I live in the city, but the country is only a short drive away. 

3. Christmas Spirit

I know many of you cringe at the fact that Christmas music is already playing in stores and that Santa has made his way from the North Pole since early October, but I can't get enough of it! Yes, I'm one of those people who LOVES Christmas and who watches holiday movies in July. It's happened... 

I've already watched my first Christmas movie of the season and I'm NOT ashamed to say it! 

4. Primary Powers

I am so proud and honored to be a part of this amazing collaborative blog! It's chalk filled with awesome bloggers and great posts. We just launched the blog a few short weeks ago and it's sooooo much fun. I especially love the superhero theme. 
Us teachers are in fact superheroes and everyone should know it!!

5. Thanksgiving Craftivities

Thanksgiving is in October in Canada, but I'm thankful all year long! I'm thankful for my family and friends, for my health, for my amazing students and so much more. Last month, we wrote some great stories about Turkeys in Disguise and we also wrote about what we are thankful for. 

Click on the pictures to check out my Thanksgiving Craftivities! 

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Until next time...