Bears Love to Read AND can be Superheroes too!

Hey Cyber Friends,
Just wanted to write up a quick post about our "I Love to Read Week." We are having such a great time! As promised, I found a way to incorporate the bear theme (for I Love to Read Week) with my superhero theme! Of course, (this is "the as promised part") I have a freebie for you. 
It's really just a template, but still worth the visit!

Before I share all about Mr. and Mrs. Tough Stuff (that's the name the kiddies insisted upon) I would like to share a great activity that our school's Reading Week committee prepared. It was such a wonderful experience for the kiddies, everyone should try it! Shout out to Ms. Kelly (I know she'll read this) and the committee for this wonderful idea.

Today, we had a read aloud. Every teacher in the school chose a story book to read (bear themed of course) and displayed it outside their classroom. I'm a little ashamed of my sign. It was a last minute creation and lacks my usual twinkle and shine! I may have forgotten to make a sign! 

As our school is separated in a really great way, (firsties and second graders on one floor, grade 3 and 4 on another and 5 and 6 on the top floor), we were able to have the kiddies choose which reading they wanted to attend. It was just darling to watch the kiddies contemplate and finally decided which story to listen to. They took it very seriously! It was also really nice to have firsties and second graders together, as well as students from several classes mixed shoulder to shoulder in one room. 
What a fun 30 minutes it was!

Now, here's the freebie! As it is "I Love to Read Week" and the theme is bears, I decided, along with my s.t. Amanda to incorporate it into our superhero unit. The kiddies made bears who put on reading glasses. The reading glasses gave the bears superpowers. The kiddies wrote all about the powers the bears received... Things like invisibility, flying, super speed, intelligence... One little cutie wrote about a bear who made everyone in sight fall in love with her, when she put the glasses on. Too precious!

Here are some examples...

If you'd like a FREE template for the bear, you can grab yourself a copy right over HERE!
Grab yourself some stationary right over HERE!

 Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo

New Units and Some Other Stuff...

Hey Everyone,
Hope you're all doing well. I am feeling super fantastic today! 
This week our school is participating in I Love to Read Week. The theme is bears and we have got all kinds of great stuff going on, from bringing teddy bears to school to filling out bear trivia ballots. The kiddies are sure having fun and our school is really doing a great job at promoting literacy. 

As we are in the middle of a superhero unit, I was somewhat concerned as to how we could add a "bear" component to our theme! Love for literacy is certainly not an issue in our class! Reading and writing are definitely big staples in our daily schedule and I have the most eager readers ever! I couldn't be happier about that! Isn't second grade the best? Everything you suggest and present to them is exciting! 
I never hear... 
"Awwwwww!" or ""Not again!" or "Nooooo!" 
It's always...
 "Can we do that?" or "Yay!" or "I can't wait!"

Again, second grade rocks! Am I right people?!?! Well as I mentioned, I was feeling a little perplexed about this whole bear superhero business, until my s.t. Amanda and I brainstormed some ideas and found a really cute way to incorporate bears into our superhero theme! It's too cute! The kiddies have not finished yet, due to a wonderful performance (which I am getting to in a second) and so I will be blogging about it in the near future! Freebies will of course be a part of that post! :) Stay tuned!

We also have a wonderful African percussionist performing for our students this week. He was born on the Ivory Coast (can you see wow!) and has a Mayan father! He is a wealth of information about the African culture and brought about 30 tam tams to school. The students were beyond thrilled to take part in this activity and make beautiful music together! The room was absolutely energized and everyone, I mean EVERYONE was animated and smiling! What a great experience for all!

I thought, since many of you really enjoyed my spring and Easter units, that I'd let you know about two new units I've just posted on my TpT.  They are both beyond cute (at least I think so!) and are very useful to those of you who may be working on blends and digraphs with your students. I know that at this particular time of year, most students have mastered these skills, however I do have students who continue to struggle with digraphs especially, and some who would really benefit from practicing blends in order to better their reading. No such thing as a homogeneous classroom right?! These units are also really useful for remedial work or even tutoring. I love making my one-on-one time with students a little more fun and exciting! You can still review sounds, blends, 
and digraphs in an amusing and engaging way!

So here goes...
If you love to hit the dance floor, like me, you will definitely fall for this one!

This is what it's all about...

Break out your dancing shoes! This vibrant, colorful, and engaging unit will have your kiddies dancing with digraphs! Student will learn all about the "ch," "sh," "wh," and "th" digraphs while taking part in amusing literacy centers.
This package includes:

- 4 center menus
- 1 alphabetizing center
- 1 bingo center
- 1 sorting game (records and jukeboxes)
- 1 matching game (memory)

If your anything like me and are a real of a fishy in the water,
 you will want to dive into this one...

Want some info about this one? Here goes...

Get out your scuba gear because we are going on a diving adventure! The treasures we will find are sea creatures and blends! Take your students on an engaging, colorful and fun trip under the sea to learn all about blends!

This 86 page unit includes:

- 5 center menu cards
- 1 blend and word ending game (create real and/or nonsense words)
- 1 memory game (find the words that have the same blend)
- 1 spelling center
- 1 create a sentence center
- 1 feed the sharks center (place the fish word cards in the correct shark stomach paying close attention to the blends)

Drop by my TpT Store and get a better look at Dancing with Digraphs and Blends & Bubbles

Hope you like em' as much as my other units!
Don't forget to keep a lookout for my superhero/bear freebie!

Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo


Superhero Writer's Workshop Freebie!

Hello again,
Have I mentioned how much I love the second grade. Why? You ask. Well, because we get to do things like dress up as 100 year olds in the middle of February or wear superhero capes to work! I've also had occasions where it was perfectly okay, in fact it was required, to wear pj's to school!

Again, I love teaching the second grade and I love, love, love our superhero unit! The kiddies have been working on using quotation marks in their writing. 
Check out my superhero freebies post for a great freebie activity on that! 
They wrote some exciting stories (with quotation marks, yippee!) this week and I would like to share the stationary and templates with you!

I printed 3 different superhero body templates on card stock (several copies of each) and let them choose the one they wanted to trace on construction paper. I also gave them a cape template to trace. 

You can grab yourself a copy of these freebie templates along with the freebie stationary 
using the links below!

Stop by again soon!
Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo


And the Winners are...

Hello Blogger Friends,

I'm so excited to have had my very first giveaway!
Turns out, using the random generator is really quite simple! Hehe!

I would like to thank all of you for participating! Welcome to all my new followers and of course I'm always glad to have my faithful friends who have been following me for some time now!
I also appreciate all your sweet comments! Blogging is just so much fun! 
I love it (almost as much as teaching)!

So here are the winners... Drum roll please...

First up is... H. Carpenter! Congratulations!

Next is... Lisa! Bravo!

Finally, we have... Kate! Yippee!

Thanks again to everyone! I will most definitely have another giveaway in the next coming months! Until then, feel free to stop by for freebies and other great ideas. 

For any of you who would like to purchase my Spring Unit you can find it right over HERE!

You can also take a look at my new Easter Unit right over HERE!

It includes...
4 center menus
1 word matching game (memory)
1 word sorting game (with eggs and baskets)
1 word search 
1 bingo game
1 word wall

Of course, all the centers include all the words from the word wall. This way the kiddies will almost certainly be able to recognize and spell most of the Easter theme words.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stop by tomorrow for another superhero freebie!

Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo


Spring Giveaway!

Hi Everyone!
Are we all feeling Happy and Excited?! I sure am! 
Spring has finally made it’s way to Montreal, Canada and I could not be any happier! I’m also loving that I have FINALLY reached 100 followers! Yippeee!!! Thank you, for all the love and comments! Keep em’ coming, I loooooooove it!
So if you have been reading some of my previous posts, you might remember me making a promise. I am a woman of her word and am now about to follow through with this said promise. 
Yes! I have created an adorable (at least, I think it to be) spring literacy unit. 

Leap into spring with this engaging and colorful unit! Students will enjoy participating in various literacy centers as well as, use the word wall and stationary for writer’s workshop. This package is designed to ensure that the students are able to recognize and write the 30 spring theme words. Each station requires the use of the same 30 spring theme words. The repetition and the visual reminder from the word wall (also including the same 30 spring theme words), will encourage students to read and write the words frequently. 

The package includes:

4 center menus
Bingo Center (including 30 words) 
ABC Order Center (including 30 words and recording sheet) 
Word Search Center (including 30 words) 
Spelling Center (including 30 words and recording sheet) 
5 writing stationary sheets 
1 word wall (including 30 words) 

It is available on my TpT page, however I thought I’d have a little giveaway and decided to send it via email to three lucky followers. I will attempt to use the random generator (not to worry, I have a very tech savvy friend over at All Students can Shine, who has used it and will help if I am stranded) to choose the three lucky winners.

Of course, there is some work for you to do!

The following is a MUST, if you want to be considered as a participant!
Please follow and leave a comment (necessary, as this is what I will use to pick the winners).
Please include your email address in the message. 
Not a MUST, but would really appreciate it!
You can also like my Facebook page and I would most definitely not object to you blogging about this giveaway or my blog!
I will announce the winners Saturday, March 24, 2012. 
Good Luck!
Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo  


Another Superhero Freebie!

Hello to my all my faithful followers and new friends (Yay, for linky parties!),
I am so happy to share this freebie with you. As many of you may already know, I like to use word walls to encourage my students to be independent writers. I have a permanent word wall filled with sight words and power words (Love my magnetic chalk board and magnetic words. So much fun!) as well as a theme word wall (which I change every time we begin a new unit). 

I also like to use word folders, as I find it to be a great way to organize words. The students also enjoy bringing the folder to their desk. 

When I created my Superhero Word Wall, I completely forgot to make my word folders! Turns out the kiddies did not forget and reminded me today that we were missing Superhero Word Folders! 

Here they are...

You can grab yourself a FREE copy right HERE!
Enjoy and have a Happy Friday tomorrow!

Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo


My Reading Intervention Basket

Hey Everyone,

Today was another great day! Judged a talent show audition at my school. Can I just say, some of these kids could out sing Adele and Celine combined! WOWZA!!! I'm really looking forward to tomorrows batch of auditions!

I'm also loving this linky party that's going on (see post below for more info). Getting to "meet" all kinds of new and great bloggers out there! Have I mentioned how much I love to blog and chat with all you wonderful educators. It's such an amazing community!

I'm also over the moon with the fact that I have a student-teacher. One of the many great things about having Ms. Amanda in my class is that I get to have a lot of one-on-one time with some of my struggling students, while she runs a lesson. I am beyond grateful for the time I get to spend with these kiddies. In just two weeks, most of the students I meet with, have gone up one reading level!

Now let's face it! There is no such thing as a homogenous classroom and the variations in academic levels of my kiddies range from k-3 and everything in between! I have students learning second grade concepts (as this is the grade that I teach) as well as students on modified, adapted and even enriched programs! This is a very busy classroom! Like I said, I am cherishing this extra time I get to work with some kiddies one-on-one.

Let it be clear that this post is about one-on-one time for reading intervention and is aside from all the shared and guided reading activities that we do in small groups. That's also going on! When I am without a student-teacher, the remedial teacher in our school conducts these 
little one-on-one meetings with my kiddos. I also keep kiddies (voluntarily) in at recess and lunch (don't worry I let them eat!) to meet with them. 

The activities change, based on the academic level of the child. However, I will tell you a little about what I do with some of my students who are non-readers. 

I start with a review of our sounds (Which we also do each day as a class during morning routine. We have large sound cards on the wall and a special student gets to point while everyone practices the sounds). You can get yourself a FREE COPY of these fabulous sound charts 
over at my bestie's blog First Grade Frenzy. I'm telling you, these things are life savers!

The above sound chart is great because it fits in one page and the students can have it in their writing folders and reading baskets. I use it with reading intervention as a tool to review all the sounds. I also use it with my students who are reading, however not at level. More specifically, today a student was reading a book called The Big Hiccup Problem and came across the word "burp." He did not recognize the word and paused for some time. I simply pointed to the last picture on this sound card which displays the sound "ur" and a picture of a turkey. Almost instantaneously, he was able to sound out the word burp!

After reviewing the sounds, we practice some word families. I love word families for beginning readers because of the repetition and confidence that it builds. Let's be honest, it's also kind of fun!
So here's what I do...

I begin by showing my student a word family card and ask them to read the word. For instance, the "ar" family and then give he/she a stack full of alphabet card letters to make words. It looks something like this...

Then, I have the student read the word (obviously!) and then the student gets to record it on this lovely sheet! There is room for "real" and "nonsense" words.

The kiddies love this and as I mentioned earlier, it does wonders for their confidence in reading.
You can grab yourself a copy of this and many other activities in my Word Family Wonderland Unit, over at my Teacher Store.

After the word families, we usually read a book. Now for my non-readers and struggling readers, they are reading a book that is just right for them as I don't want to discourage or frustrate them. I usually choose three that are good fits and asked the student to look through them and choose the one he/she wants to read. Interest plays a great role in how successful the reading of the book will go! First, I ask the student to look at the pictures on each page and tell me what is happening. This helps with the reading a great deal. The the student reads the words to me. I also have them reread the book, as now they know the words and are very proud and happy to read the book without stumbling.

The last activity we do is sight word practice. I have eight sets of sight words and usually introduce a set a week (sometimes it may take longer or shorter, depending on the students grasp of the words). Each time we meet we review the sight words we have learned along with the new ones. I use the cards from my Sight Word Unit and just drill, drill, drill them! We all know these are words they need to know on sight and not sit around and try to decode and sound them out. Sometimes we also play a game with the words such as...

ABC Order



Fill in the Blank

You can find these and many more games for each of the eight sets of sight words in my Sight Word Literacy Center Activity Pack at my Teacher Store.

All these activities essentially take place over a span of 15 to 20 minutes. I know it seems like a lot, however we do go through it rather quickly! As for my readers who are simply not reading at level, I typically choose a book that is one level higher than their actual reading level and have them read it to me. So far, this has been working great for me, as I am there to guide them when they are struggling and I help them choose strategies that are useful.

For instance, when they come across a word and read it correctly, but do not sound out the vowel properly, I ask them if they know the word or if it sounds funny. They are usually able to recognize that the word is unfamiliar and thus I tell them to reread the word using the different vowel sound, such as short (if they read it long the first time and vice versa). I also get the opportunity to remind them of rules for long vowels, silent "E" and much more. It's always a great review of some of the concepts we have learned over the year.

I also encourage them to refer to the very special aforementioned sound chart. When they see a word that has the "ir" sound, they can look at the picture of a girl and remember what sound "ir" makes.

I remind them to look at the picture cues (absolutely nothing wrong with using a picture to help) as well as reading the rest of the sentence to see if they can figure out what the tricky word might be. By reading a book that is slightly more challenging, the students learn new vocabulary and are faced with new words to read. Often, once they have read the words in one book, it is imprinted in their reading repertoire and they are usually able to read it again.

Most of the time the more difficult books are not read with the outmost greatest fluency and intonation, so I usually give them the book again and ask them to read it faster! We turn it into a game. I read the page and then ask them to try and read it faster than me. Sometimes we even time it (obviously, I don't read it as fast as I actually could!) It's usually quite funny. I will also have them reread the book on their own later on in the day or during the week to continue to practice fluency.

Now this might all seem like a lot and you might be thinking, these kiddies must get sick of all this work and especially of reading the same book over and over again. Let's keep in mind that these are second graders and they love to play games with repetition as well as read and read and read books over and over again (at least mine do!). My students ask me daily, is it my turn to read with you! I also throw in LOTS of praise and stickers! Furthermore, I take the time to have a little conversation with them, this is usually the time they tell me about something special or what they did on the weekend. They feel so special spending quality alone time with the teacher. They have to share me with 20 other kiddies, sometimes its nice to have me all to themselves for some time!

I hope this has been helpful to some of you! I'm sure you all implement similar practices in your classrooms but if you are able to come away from this with one
new idea or strategy, then I've done my blogging duties!

P.S. Come on, I'm almost at 100! Let's keep showing the love!

Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo


Superhero Word Wall and Linky Party!

Good Evening All, 

Feeling real great right now!
Good day at work, good workout at the gym, and great walk with a great friend!
Now time for some blogging!

As you already know, I'm all about our new Superhero Unit. The kiddies are really getting into it and I have a word wall to share with you.

It's a freebie with 32 words. You can print it on white card stock and laminate for durability. 
I also like to glue it to colored card stock to give it that extra something. Makes it POP!

You can grab yourself a free copy of the word wall right over HERE!

While I have your attention, let me tell you about this great little k-2 linky party that will help you find some new blogs! Don't forget to follow over here and any of the blogs you find via this linky party!

Stop on over to...

Show Jeannie some love and join the party!
Simply visit her blog: Kindergarten Lifestyle

I'd love some love too!!!! 
Click follow for more freebies and great ideas!

Will be sharing all about my resource/one-on-one basket soon. Great ideas for remedial work!

Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo


Let's Sing it like We're Superheroes!

So first day back after Spring Break and I got myself one compliment and one insult!!!

One of the firsties from the classroom next door came over to me after recess and said, "Nice jacket Ms. Nicole." I'm wearing my new Spring leather and couldn't be happier about it! So, I answer the little firstie, "Thanks, you like it?" To which she then replies, "Yes, I didn't like your other one though." 
I nearly fell over laughing! This was just too cute!

I really love working with kids. They really do say the "darndest" things sometimes! 
I also love the fact that we can sing songs and act silly! 

I spent some time looking for Superhero songs for my new unit, as I like to incorporate singing and dancing in language arts. Come on, surely I'm not the only one!

I was really only able to find one that was suitable.
  Please leave me a comment, if you can tell me where I can find some more, as we really do like to sing during our morning routine!

So I found a great song by Richard Graham and also found a website that plays a video of the song. You can show it to your kiddies on the SmartBoard and it will also give you the opportunity 
to learn the tune to for the song! 

Find the video right HERE!

I decided to make a Superhero themed song sheet for the kiddies to place in their folder. Here it is...

You can grab yourself a copy right over HERE!

If you do know where I can find more songs like this one for my unit, please leave me a comment! I would greatly appreciate it! Of course, you can also comment if you don't have any song info! 

Looking forward to reaching 100 followers... Will plan something special to celebrate it!

Until next time...
Ms. Nicole xo


Superhero Freebies!

Alright, so here I am the last day of Spring Break having had no rest, no time for blogging, and a big great knee injury! Yippee for me! 

Turns out, I have runners knee. So now, I can't run until it gets better and need to have physiotherapy to strengthen my knee. Did I mention I LOVE to run! Did I also mention I may have eaten some cheese cake (twice) because I was sad about the whole "NO running business!" 

Please tell me its okay, as I may have felt quite more that a "little" guilty after stopping the gym for 2 weeks and eating sugar!!!

 Ok! OK! Enough complaining from me, let's get down to business! I have a new unit beginning tomorrow: SUPERHEROES!!!! 

I am so excited about this unit and so is my student teacher Ms. Amanda. We have been hard at work all week coming up with great ideas for this new theme. 

I have noticed that my kiddies writing has improved a great deal and love how imaginative and original their stories are. Many have been ATTEMPTING to use dialogue in their writing and are having a little trouble! I have decided its time to focus on grammar in their writing and thought we'd begin with some review work and then slowly introduce quotation marks. 

How might we go about this, you ask? Well its simple! A SmartBoard story, of course! As you know, I love to create my own storybooks, via the SmartBoard, and love how interactive it is for the kiddies. I also get to decide the length of my story AND what vocabulary or lessons we will work on. 

This is my latest creation...

The story stars Super Boy and Bubble Gum Girl. They both love to talk A LOT, and so there are many quotation marks in the story! I also used some new vocabulary words to enhance their language when reading and writing.

Here is a sample page...
Read the story to the students (modeling great fluency and intonation, etc... etc...) Then reread the story with the kiddies and have them come up and circle the quotation marks and dialogue pieces.

And here is where you can grab yourself a copy of  this story for FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!! 

Wait! Wait! There's more! As a follow up activity to the reading, we have created a shared reading story. After reading, you can give out the Shared Reading version of the story. 

This is a print copy of the SmartBoard story. Reread the pages with your students and then have them highlight the quotation marks and dialogue (something they will love!). Finally, they must read the story on their own (or with a buddy) and illustrate it. This will take several lessons. Thus, you may review the pages that you have read and choose 1 or 2 more to complete, for each lesson. This is a great way to improve fluency (as they reread a familiar story several times) as well as boost up the confidence of some of your more reluctant readers. 

Lastly, you can have your kiddies think of their own superhero stories and practice using dialogue. Here is a great little comic strip you can use to motivate them to write!

Grab a FREE copy of the Shared Reading Activity HERE!
And... A FREE copy of the comic strip template HERE!

If you are interested in using more superhero themed lessons or grammar units in your classroom, you may also check out my Teacher Store.

As you know, I will be blogging a lot about Superheroes and Grammar in the next coming weeks! I may slip in some other little ideas too, of course! Please don't be shy to stop by anytime and drop me a comment! I'm also excited about the approach of having 100 followers! I may have to do something special when that happens!!!

Until next time.. 
Ms. Nicole xo


Yummy, Yummy Salads!

Good Morning Fellow Bloggers, 
Yes, it's been a while! Oh, the joys of report cards and end of term. Now that it's all done and Spring Break has begun, I have more time to dedicate to myself, my family and friends, and my blogging buddies!

So here I am with a brand new post!

Cute right?!

I forgot to mention that I have a wonderful student-teacher, who is confidant, assertive and takes initiative! She helped me create the little Smart Board story, I'm about to share with all of you (GRATIS!) and carried out this lesson with the kiddies!!

The lesson began with a Smart Board story about a Scrumptious Salad.

Our mini-lesson emphasized the use of contractions (as my kiddies have learned about this concept) and the use of adjectives. 

After Ms. Amanda (S.T.) read the story to the kiddies, she went back to each page and looked for contractions and adjectives. The students circled the adjectives and drew an arrow to the words they were describing.

Finally, when we returned to class, the kiddies came up with their own salad recipes!

Grab your FREE stationary HERE!
Grab your FREE Smart Board Story HERE!

I am working on some new units and can't wait to tell you all about them!
Until next time...

Ms. Nicole xo

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