Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We Love Sparky the Fire Dog...and the Free App!

As we all know, Fire Prevention Month is in October. We had so much fun learning about Fire Prevention today. We started today's lesson by listening to Sparky's Birthday Surprise on the iPad.

Did I mention the app is FREE? Yes...FREE. Also, it comes with a story, music video, games, and much more! It is worth checking out. It had my students engaged the entire time. After the story and a few games on the iPad with Sparky, we started on our Fire Prevention worksheets. Made by Clever Classroom, these worksheets were adorable. Grab them up here.

Last, we even had a special guest today, a firefighter. My boyfriend is a firefighter so he came out and helped me today with my lesson. The kiddos were able to try on his gear and ask him questions about firefighting. They loved it! He even bought them goodies, hats and coloring books. Check out these awesome pictures! We had too much fun today!

We are truly fired up about learning!
What a day!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

AR Party Time! We All Made Our Goal!

The deadline to make your Accelerated Reader goal for the 1st 9 weeks was at beginning of October. The class read their hearts out every opportunity they were given to reach their goal.

I was thrilled when deadline came and found out my ENTIRE class made their goal! YAY! We were all excited to go the Tie Dye Party. Each student got to make their own Tie Dye shirt. With different colors and patterns, they turned out really cute. Several people came out to volunteer including our awesome soldiers.

We are already reading our hearts out for the next AR party. 
I'm so proud of my kiddos! 

Peek at Last Week: Our 2nd Grade Program - Moon Madness

What fun we had getting ready for the 2nd grade program! Our program theme was spaced themed and my class' song was entitled "Moon Madness." We dressed us as monsters and I even got in on the action. Check out our pictures!

We had a spook-tacular time! 
Check out a clip from our 2nd Grade Music Program!

2nd Graders Researching with QR Codes: Magic School Bus Lost in Solar System

What fun we had with the 2nd Grade ELA CCGPS extended text, Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System.  With this book, we learned how to research and write a narrative.

Teaching 2nd graders how to research can be rather tiresome and boring for the students. However, my students love to research now due to some much welcomed use of QR codes. I began my lesson by teaching the 5 steps of researching:

1. Determine what you are researching
2. Determine where you will retrieve the facts
(Internet, Book, Encyclopedia)
3. Determine the key points you're looking for
4. Write facts down in your own words
5. Cite your sources

My students loved the fact that college students research all the time and they wanted to work like college students. They learned a new "college" word: Plagiarism. They were very careful to cite their sources in fear of plagiarism. They wanted to be just like college students. Too Cute!

One of our task in the 2nd grade ELA CCGPS was for the students to research all the planets, sun, moon, asteroids, and comets. After which, students must write a narrative about a trip to space they take with a friend and include facts about space within the narrative. If you think about it, that is a lot for the average 2nd grader. Therefore, I had to really think of a way to keep all students engaged during this CCGPS task.

QR Codes
I thought why not use QR codes. It was a hit. Not only for them but for me as well. When researching on internet, my major concern is the safety of the students first. With the use of QR codes, I didn't have to worry about where they going because I already knew. Before I started the unit, I did a little research of my own on all the planets. I made the class QR Code Research Flipbooks. Took me some time on a Saturday but it was well worth it. When it's time for the students to research, all they have to do is scan the QR code and it takes them to kid friendly planet site where they will retrieve all of their facts. Once their students write in their flip book the key facts about that planet. They loved it!

Here is a look at the QR Code Research Flipbook I made for them:

Here we are using our iPads to research using QR codes. They did an awesome job! 

After we completed our research, we started writing our narrative. Here is our writing prompt:

 In Magic School Bus Lost In the Solar System, the class went on a trip into space. Create a comic strip to assist in the telling of a trip into space Illustrations and dialogue should convey sequence of events and should display characters’ actions, thoughts and feelings.  Reference to moon and sun is required. Write a narrative to provide detailed explanation of events from comic strip.

Check out this out of this world narrative. Yes...that's 5 paragraphs! They all wrote 5 paragraphs. I am one proud 2nd grade writing teacher!

Here they are writing their narrative and making their comic strip. I've never designed a comic strip template and my kiddos loved making their comic strips. I was so excited with their finished product!!


They are doing a such a wonderful job writing! 
These 2nd graders rock!

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