Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thank You Teachers!


There are so many teachers in my school that work with my little ones, I like to make sure they feel appreciated all year, but especially Teacher Appreciation Week!

I recently updated my set of Thank You Notes to include cards for Teacher Appreciation!

There are plenty of choices, some in color, and plenty in grayscale for easy printing. These will work well for Mother's Day, as well as the end of the school year. 

If you hang onto this set, there are some you can use at Christmas as well!

If  you're interested in a sampling, click this image or click HERE.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Alphabet Books

There are tons of Alphabet books available for children.

Some are quite simple. These really are just teaching the alphabet.

But there are other alphabet books that teach so much more! Here are a few amazing Informational texts in alphabet book form: (Click any image for a link to Amazon for more information!)

                                             

Personally, I've got my eye on that Skull book, it looks amazing! It shows the skulls of many different animals, and, along with clues, encourages the reader to figure out what animal belongs to that skull. I know a lot of little boys who would LOVE that!

I'll often share a few alphabet books with my students, showing the different styles and possibilities of an alphabet book.

Then, during writing time, I'll offer them this:


It's a template for a "Make your Own Alphabet Book"! It's a freebie, and it's easy to put together: just print back to back, fold and staple! Just click the image for the link!

I'll keep several blank copies available for the children, and encourage them to pick one up if they are an expert in a subject. 

Don't you know a few experts? 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What to do with Leftover Jellybeans?


Do you have left over Jellybeans?  If you don't, I'll bet you can get some real cheap!

My students and I have been having some fun observing jellybeans that have been soaking in different solutions.

We started by recording our predictions on what might happen.

Then we poured the solutions in and watched.

A day later, we recorded our observations.

The conversations between the groups were priceless! They were drawing conclusions and making logical comparisons. What an awesome group of scientists I have!

We have a couple of days before the final observation at the end of a week. It should be interesting to see their final conclusions!

This experiment is part of my Science and Social Studies for April.


I've been adding one of these to my collection each month in an effort to squeeze in Science and Social Studies topics into my second grade. We have so much focus on with literacy, math and RTI, it's tough to squeeze in the subjects that the children love the most!  

With these Science and Social Studies printables, I can find the time to do some fun stuff, without wasting much class time or prep time. 

Besides the jellybean experiment, there's another experiment on how to make an egg float, a close read on Earth Day, and a mapping activity based on major league baseball teams. (The latter is a mini-version of Baseball Geography, which you can see more about HERE.)

Typically, I have more than 4 activities in the Science and Social Studies printable sets, but life got ahead of me this month. I plan to add more later, so grab it at the low price now, and you'll get more activities for free!

Now I'm starting to work on my May set! 
I'd love to have suggestions for Science and Social Studies for May!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

What to do with All Those Papers!


No matter how we go about it, there are always papers at the end of the day. Once they're all corrected, what do you do with them all?

I used to give them back at the end of the day, but I found they'd get lost in backpacks. The kids wouldn't even look at them, and they'd never get home to be seen by families.

Then I decided to file them, and send the paperwork home in an envelope once a week. 

The work got home successfully! The parents got to see it and anticipated the work coming home every Wednesday!

But then, the kids never got to see their own work! 
That means they never got feedback on their written work!

We all know feedback is what feeds learning. 

If the children don't know if they've done well, how do they know to keep doing it?

If the children don't know they've made mistakes, how do they know to stop doing that?

Here's how it's organized
1.  I write notes on the children's papers, letting them know what they're doing well, or what they need to fix. (Gently, of course!)

2. They find the previous day's papers on their desk in the morning. They take a few minutes to look them over and see their feedback.

 
3. They file their own papers to be saved for the week.


4. Those papers are sent home weekly in an envelope for the parents to see.

That's my bright idea for April! 

If you like what you see here, please consider following me on facebook, Pinterest, or Teachers Pay Teachers

For more bright ideas, feel free to browse the linky below!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Baseball Fun and Learning!


I'm so excited that baseball season is finally here! Baseball means spring! After the toughest winter I can recall, anything that means spring is ok by me!

I've been doing a lot of baseball reading this week, in honor of the opening of baseball season. Here are some favorites: (Each image is a click to Amazon for more information! :)

                                                     

Baseball and April brings another opportunity: It's National Poetry month! What a great opportunity to write Diamantes!

Why Diamantes?  Because they are shaped like diamonds! (Get it? baseball diamonds?)

To add to the fun, I've found a great website where the kids can make their own diamantes online! (HERE!)

Speaking of shapes... a baseball diamond could be called a square or a rhombus, but did you realize home plate is shaped like a pentagon?

Have you noticed, when we connect learning to sports, all those little boys perk up?  (Many of the little girls do, too!)

I have a new product I'm VERY excited about called Baseball Geography

These are all task cards based on the locations of major league baseball teams! I had such a blast putting this together, and so far my students can't get enough! Plus, they're really getting to know the locations on the US maps!

Here are a couple of other baseball themed games I've got:
Baseball Antonyms combines a couple of popular games with antonym practice. 

Plus, I have a couple of BINGO games with a baseball theme:

Home Run Two Digit Addition gives the children practice adding 2 two digit numbers, along with a little strategy. 

Home Run Two Syllable Words is a similar BINGO game, but this one gives the children practice reading two syllable words. 

The students LOVE these BINGO games! 

Come to think of it, they love anytime I combine learning with sports!

How do you include sports in the learning process?
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