Saturday, May 13, 2017

Weekly Update

Happy Saturday friends! Just popping in to share a few snaps from my week on Insta! 

This week's science focus was on the life cycle of a chicken! We learned all about oviparous animals, what the inside of an egg looks like, a chicken's life cycle, and even had our very own chicks hatch! You can grab this flip book in my life cycle of a chicken TPT product. 

We've also been celebrating a different student everyday! We draw a name out of a bag (the names are written on the back of the little pieces of paper pictured above) every morning and that student gets to be our line leader, our Go Noodle picker, a pencil, and a sweet note written to them from their classmates! It's the perfect way to end the school year! You can grab the "Let's Celebrate!" tags and a template for students to write their notes on for free here.

Friday was our Friendship Day. We made friendship mix (pictured above) and signed yearbooks. We also completed an end of the year memory book. You can grab my Friendship Day packet on TPT.

Last, but not least, my kiddos wrote the sweetest Mother's Day books for their moms this week! You can grab the template for our A-Z book here

I want to wish all the sweet mommas out there a very Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy your special day!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at my little man's school. I've had so much fun giving little tokens of appreciation to his wonderful teachers! I wanted to share a few of the gifts I have given them so far this week.

For sweet treats day, I filled this cute pineapple bag that I picked up at the Target dollar spot with their favorite candy. I attached this tag from Michelle Griffo (Apples and ABC's) to it. You can find the adorable tag for free in her store!

For pamper your teacher day, I filled these sprinkle popcorn boxes, also from Target, with shower gel in their favorite scent and added a loofah to the top to make the gift look like cotton candy.

Tomorrow we are bringing flowers for his teachers. I will wrap these flowers up in the morning and attach the tag pictured above to the stem. 

You can find these tags in my May Gift Tags product. How do you celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week? Do you have theme days too?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weekly Update

Happy Saturday! I wanted to share two freebies with you that I used these past couple of weeks during math.

This activity was used as a review for partitioning rectangles into squares. I gave each kiddo a different, even numbered, amount of seeds to plant in their rectangle "garden". They had to decide how to arrange the seeds and divide their garden into same sized squares. Then, they wrote a repeated addition number sentence to match. If you'd like this you can download it here.

We used this the week before Easter as a review of plane shapes. Students were asked to create a bunny using a combination of shapes and count how many of each shape they used in their drawing. If you don't want to have your students create a shape bunny, I also made a shape animal handout similar to the one above. You can find both of those here.

Hope you can use these in your classroom! Have a great weekend! 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Little Red Riding Hood: A Fairy Tale Study

I'm so excited to share that I have completely updated one of my first TPT products!

In this fairy tale study, you will find lesson plan ideas for a 2 week Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale unit. Not only did we compare and contrast different versions of Little Red Riding Hood, but we also dove into story structure, story elements, character traits, point of view, and opinion writing!

To kick off our unit, we discussed what we knew about fairy tales and I had the kids guess what fairy tale we would be studying based on this prop.

One of my favorite activities was this character case file!

Students had to provide character traits and text evidence to prove who the real villain from the Little Red Riding Hood story was. We read Red Riding Hood by James Marshall and Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten by Trisha Speed Shaskan. In Red Riding Hood, we identified that The Wolf was the "bad guy", but in the other story, The Wolf didn't actually seem so bad; it was really Red Riding Hood who was the rotten one. My kiddos then used this evidence to write a letter to a classmate who had a different opinion to prove that their character was really the villain in the fairy tale.

We also made a craft to go along with our opinion writing.

I was also able to model how to write about the sequence of events in a story after we read Little Red Riding Hood: A Newfangled Prairie Tale by Lisa Campbell Ernst. 

You can find this unit, and other fairy tale units, here in my TPT shop!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Life Cycles

Spring is in full swing and that means so is our life cycle unit! Life cycles is my favorite science unit of the year! We have so much to cover, so I rely on engaging text, fun crafts, and BrainPop Jr. to help my kiddos make connections to the content!

Let's start with insects...

I begin insect week by making a KWL chart, watching BrainPop Jr. on insects, and reading Fly Guy Presents: Insects. Throughout the week, I like to read books by National Geographic Kids on different insects. The insects I focus on are butterflies, ants, and bees. I like the book about the butterfly migration because it helps explain another aspect of the Monarch butterfly life cycle. The book A Butterfly is Patient is also a great book to use when teaching about the butterfly life cycle. I plan on reading that book tomorrow since our caterpillars have all just formed their chrysalises. 

The book Puppy to Dog is a great book for teaching about the life cycle of a mammal. It is two books in one. If you start from the back of the book, you can read from kitten to cat. My Book of Life Cycles has many different life cycles included. My kids like this book because of the variety of animals mentioned. They love to compare different animal life cycles!

A life cycle unit isn't complete without a week long plant investigation! I like to read A Seed is Sleepy, A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds, From Seed to Plant, and National Geographic Kids Seed to Plant

I also like to keep materials consistent each week, so my students know what to expect. This helps them stay organized. For each life cycle, we complete a flip book to help us describe each stage in the life cycle. I also keep a life cycle poster hanging on our science wall for students to refer back to. You can find National Geographic Kids Frogs! here.

With our plant unit, in addition to learning about the life cycle, we also plant lima bean seeds and observe their growth. 

You can find my life cycle units in my TPT store. The unit pictured above is a freebie! If you download the life cycle of a dog, it will give you a good look at what the other units include! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weekly Recap

Boy oh boy... it has been a busy week! I'm feeling the end of the year rush to get everything in before I have to say goodbye to my sweet second graders. Anyone else?! Today I'm sharing a few Insta posts from a couple of weeks ago...

In my class, we have green marker checkers. This is how it looks in my class... I select a few students who have shown mastery on a skill and those students become peer coaches. I try to choose different students each time, so that every student has an opportunity to share their strength. These students either help me check independent work, or coach their peer through an assignment as I work with other groups of kids. For example, in math, I give a quick independent assignment after my mini lesson and before students go to their math center. I select students who can help check the assignment and help others who have questions. 

I have used this book recently to help me plan my reading mini lessons. The Reading Strategies Book has great ideas for every grade level!

We used my Letter Writing with a Fairy Tale Twist mini unit when studying letter writing and fairy tales. I just love singing the parts of a letter to the tune of head, shoulders, knees, and toes. This handout really helped my students connect the song to how we set up a letter!

I hope everyone has a terrific weekend and a happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Weekly Recap

Happy Easter! I hope y'all had a wonderful Easter spending time with family and friends! I'm popping in to share a weekly recap in case you missed it.

I shared this resource that I use on a weekly basis while planning my lessons. This Common Core flip chart by Mentoring Minds has many great ideas!

My little man so enjoyed his Easter Basket. I was able to get most of the items from Target or Walgreens. The book, Where Are Baby's Easter Eggs?, I ordered off Amazon. 

Did you watch the Masters last weekend?! What a great finish! Little man got this book, Badges, Egg Salad, and Green Jackets, as a gift last year. It has great information! 

This past week in math we've been working on 2- and 3-dimensional shapes. I had students build shapes using marshmallows and toothpicks, based on attributes that I called out loud, as a review for our test. They loved it and I loved the conversations I overheard while they were trying to figure out what shape matched my descriptions!