Monday, August 26, 2013

Making Reading and Writing Engaging in a 2nd Grade Classroom

My 2nd graders are learning that reading and writing can be fun. It just takes a bit of an imagination. Each week we practice fluency, read our story of the week (Open Court Series), read our extended text from the Common Core (Fudge-a-Mania), and write in our journals. It's a lot...but we have fun doing it! Here are few things we do during the week:

For Fluency, we use fluency phones with our story of week. It is a great tool to use for independent reading time. I made my own fluency phones this summer for each student.
(Pinterest-Inspired and Worth Making)

For Reading, we read our seats, on our desks, under our desks, and on the floor. Hopefully, we can take advantage of a pretty day and read outside soon.


For Journal Time, we stretch out on the floor and write our 4 Star papers. I can honestly say I have some wonderful writers with great stories to tell.

To reinforce Fluency, students use iPads to record their journal responses on the App Tellagami. Within Tellagami, they get to create their own Avatar, record their responses, and play them back. Students are able to self-correct and enhance their story with this wonderful App. Did I mention the App is free?!?

Here is an example. One of my students responded to the Fudge-a-Mania Chapter 8 Journal Prompt: Write about your favorite mood. Provide examples of things that cause you to be in a particular mood. Isn't it great? My students love Tellagami! Check it out!

Well that's how reading and writing in done in this 2nd grade classroom. I'm always on the hunt for new ideas to make reading and writing more fun.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Peek at Last Week: Fudge-a-Mania

Well the students and I managed our first FULL week of school. Yes! It was another great week at TCE! I want to highlight a great book we have been reading: Fudge-a-Mania.

We are loving it! We just finished Chapter 5 on Friday. We discussed how safety rules relate to Chapter 5 in Fudge-a-Mania. My students were shocked about how Fudge left the house without his parent's permission. Our discussion led us to making mini posters on the importance of safety rules. Each student had to have a title, illustration, and sentence description. They had fun choosing their own safety rule that they thought was important for Fudge to know and everyone in class to know. Ideas included:
No Texting and Driving
Must Have an ID to Get on Post
Stop at Stop Signs
Don't Talk to Strangers
and Many More!

After we finished our posters, we again discussed the importance of safety rules and how could have Fudge made better decisions when it came to safety. Check out our learning...

Also, last week was pretty great for me because my circus themed door sign came in. I just love it. I got it off of the Etsy store MustLoveArt. MustLoveArt has some of the cutest burlap signs. Well...that's a peek at last week.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Peek at Last Week

Summer has come and gone. Where did the time go? School started for us on August 7th. It's a new year at Taylors Creek and new year down 2nd grade hall. We are team teaching this year. I teach Reading, Writing, and Language and my lovely teacher BFF Corbitt teaches Math, Science, and Social Studies. Yes, our little ones are switching classes this year. We are excited and so are our 2nd graders.

My first few days with my students were great. One little girl on the first day of school made my day by bringing me a nice shiny apple. My fifth year of teaching and I have never received a real apple. How precious!

This week in this classroom we practiced rules and procedures. (How to line up, where to turn in homework folders, how we get home, and much more.)

My favorite thing I've started this year is whole brain teaching rules with the kiddos. It keeps them engaged and "Keeps the Dear Teacher Happy!" Here is a look at our scoreboard. Let's just say I have a terrific group of students.


Also, something else new for this year in my room is that I earned a class set of iPads. I am beyond excited...and so are my students!! We are learning new something everyday. I believe we have mastered how to login and out of Edmodo for assignments and how to journal in iDiary.

As we learned the rules and procedures, we also did some school work. We reviewed nouns in the classroom. The students took their iPads and took pictures. They had to take pictures of a person in the room, place in the room, and a thing in the room. Next, it was time for journals. They used iDiary on the iPads and gave the definition of a noun, listed some nouns, and illustrated a noun.
This week, we also started our Common Core unit on Fudge-a-Mania. We read the first 2 chapters of Fudge-a-Mania. Through the giggles and laughs, I would say we are loving this book. After reading 2 chapters, we did our journal prompt. Each student chose a character from the book. They had to describe the character and illustrate it. They did a beautiful job!
As we did our journals, they had to make sure they had a 4 star paper. I made a wall in my classroom just for writing. It a great reference for the students to look at when they are writing. They know exactly what I am looking for when it comes to writing.
All in all, it was a great first few days of school. Each student has come in with an eagerness to learn and each day I plan to match that eagerness. That's a peek at last week! Enjoy!

Convocation & Blogger Exchange

Wow! I made it through my first week of school! From Convocation to the 1st Day of School, I was rather busy this past week. Convocation was a real treat. I loved being able to see everyone getting excited about the upcoming school year. Look at us...full of spirit at TCE!!!

Also, this week I am linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue. About a month ago I signed up to be a part of the Blogger Exchange.
Participants were paired up and emailed some information about their partner's favorite things, and the teachers were set loose to shop for their partners. Packages have been arriving on doorsteps all over the country and bloggers are linking up to share their goodies!

I was beyond excited to be apart of the exchange with fellow teachers from all over the country. My package came in while I was away on vacation. Therefore, it was a nice surprise when I finally came home. It came from the lovely Jamie from Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie. It came in this black basket with red and white ribbon (of matches my circus theme classroom). Inside the basket I found so many goodies (Pens, Markers, Gum, Stickers, Treats, and Much More!!!).
Look for yourself. She did a great job!!

The funny thing is I was her blogger exchange partner and she was mine. Hop on over to Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie to see what I got her. I had fun shopping for Jamie!!!

Well, tomorrow starts my first full week with my kiddos. I enjoyed getting to know them last week and looking forward to seeing their smiling faces again tomorrow. :)
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