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Sneaking in a Little Curriculum with a Morning Greeting


We always start our day with a morning greeting. 

Sneaking in a Little Curriculum with a Morning Greeting: Here are some ideas to sneak in those content concepts as the children greet their classmates.
One at a time, the children shake hands and greet each other by name. Then they say something related to a given topic.

As we know, squeezing in enough time for everything is nearly impossible, so we squeeze in some learning any place we can! Time for social studies and science are especially strained, but we squeeze them in!
 
We all love starting our day with a morning greeting, and I usually try to squeeze in a learning concept while we greet each other. 

After a lesson on Columbus the day before, they were asked to state something they remember from the lesson.
 

After working on the 4 kinds of sentences, I had them tell statements about themselves one day, then ask each other questions on another day. Their questions were priceless! (Some of their answers were even more priceless!)
 

For a writing project this week, they had to tell why their school was great. (We'll be writing opinion stories!)
 

I read an information book about Bats, so the next day they had to tell a fact they remembered about Bats. It was amazing what they remembered!
 

It's never tough to think of a topic, 
we just think about what we've been learning! 

Of course, sometimes we just have a fun question. 
Today we shared our favorite kind of ice cream!


Halloween Favorites and Freebies!

Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays! Why? Well, first of all, it's a chance to be something you're not. What kid (of all ages) doesn't like to play pretend? 

Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

I also love Halloween because of all the great children's literature out there!  Here are some favorites!

Who doesn't love Room on the Broom?
 
 


Dogzilla is a favorite in my classroom, along with its sister story, Kat Kong!
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

I'll be exploring the world of bats this week with my class, and Gail Gibbons is my favorite author for information books for second graders. She manages to put information in a way that little ones can understand it. 

Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.
I have 2 copies do In a Dark, Dark Room, and both copies are barely holding together!  That's a good sign it's a popular book!
 
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

I also have a few Halloween related joke books, and they are wildly popular! (And a good time to introduce homophones, since most jokes depend upon a double meaning!)
 
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

I usually read a kid's version of the classic: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on Halloween day. If I have a class that can handle it, I'll turn off the lights, but I don't want to scare the dickens out of those sensitive ones!
 
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies. 

Last, but certainly not least is my very favorite Halloween story, the Hallo-wiener! Who doesn't love a book where the underdog becomes the hero? (Pun intended!)

Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

Besides books, I try to squeeze in some Halloween fun wherever I can! 


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-No-Prep-Activities-Literacy-and-Math-156747?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Halloween%20no%20prep%20freebie

See the image above for this freebie sampler of Halloween No Prep Worksheets and Printables! Or, for the whole set, see the image below:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-No-Prep-Activities-Literacy-and-Math-156747?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Halloween%20No%20Prep


We're working on sentences in my classroom. This freebie set saw a lot of attention last week! Just see the image!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Sentence-Work-Freebie-354433?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Halloween%20sentence%20freebie

Or, if you'd prefer the full set, see this image!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Sentence-Practice-354283?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Halloween%20sentences


Or perhaps you're looking for some math?

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Math-Story-Problems-Freebie-157463?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Halloween%20Math


 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Math-Story-Problems-Freebie-157463?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Halloween%20Math
 
Check out this fun Boom Learning deck with a Halloween mapping theme!

Still looking for Halloween resources? This bundle has plenty of October resources at a huge discount! October Bundle:


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/October-Morning-Meeting-Greeting-Activities-hellofall-4034538?utm_source=October%20resources%20post&utm_campaign=October%20bundle

How do you celebrate Halloween?

What are your favorite books?

What are your favorite Halloween activities?

Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.
 

It's Time to Let Go of Summer, But Hooray for Autumn!

Summer is almost over. I hate to let go of summer, but...

Hooray for Autumn!
 
It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!
 

Don't you love this time of year? The kids are settled into their classroom routines and are really in "learning mode!"

The weather is perfect: cool nights for sleeping, warm days for playing outside. Perfect for football, apple picking, carving pumpkins, and jumping into those beautiful leaves!

I'll be focusing on the change of seasons in my classroom this week.

This will be our writing focus this week:

It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!

See the image or see here for this freebie: Summer or Fall Opinion Writing.

This freebie is part of my Fall Printables Collection, which I'll be using a lot these next couple of weeks!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fall-No-Prep-Math-and-Literacy-Activities-for-Second-Grade-1446400?utm_source=fall%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Fall%20No%20Prep


Click the image or click here for more information about this collection of fall printables: Fall No Prep Printables

I will be reading a couple of my favorite books for the season:


It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!     It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!     It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!     It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!     It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!     It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!     

Aren't books a great way to bring out science and social studies concepts?

What are your favorite fall books for kids?

What will you be doing to celebrate autumn?


It's time to let go of summer, but hooray for Autumn: It's a great time of year! Here is a freebie, some book ideas, and resources to help your students enjoy the season!

A Quick Exit Slip Procedure

My students have Independent Reading time daily. I try to make it a special time for the kiddos by letting them choose a cozy spot and giving them a comfy pillow. I also make sure I have plenty of fun books. It is often their favorite time of the day!
Looking for a quick way to assess what the children are reading? This post suggests a very simple exit slip procedure using post its!

But reading really is pretty important, and I have a fun, quick way for the children respond to their books. Are you ready for a bright idea? 


Looking for a quick way to assess what the children are reading? This post suggests a very simple exit slip procedure using post its!

Although I have several strategies for checking for understanding in response to Independent Reading time, this is a quick one I use often. It doesn't replace the need for deep book conversations or detailed Book Reviews. It's just a quick response.

It starts with a Post It.

Looking for a quick way to assess what the children are reading? This post suggests a very simple exit slip procedure using post its!

My kiddos each have a Post it pad in their book boxes just for this purpose! Many kids struggle using Post its, so I make it as easy as possible for them.
 
Looking for a quick way to assess what the children are reading? This post suggests a very simple exit slip procedure using post its!

I replace the backing with a red square as a reminder: don't use that side. (It also helps them find their own!)

I have them write on the Post it while it's still on the pad. (To avoid them writing on the sticky side!)

What they write depends on the prompt. I'll ask them a variety of questions, depending on what we're studying. 

  • They might draw the setting. 
  • They might write 3 adjectives to describe the main character. 
  • They might write a general statement about the story. 
  • They could be asked about the Author's purpose. 


I'm sure you can think of many more responses that would fit on a Post it!

Sometimes I tell them the topic before we read. 
Sometimes I don't tell them until after we read. 

Here comes the really easy part:

 

Looking for a quick way to assess what the children are reading? This post suggests a very simple exit slip procedure using post its!

They just put the post it on their class number!


That's it! I've had these same charts for years, and I just keep using them for exit slips! It's easy to see who wrote what, and who hasn't responded yet!

Looking for a quick way to assess what the children are reading? This post suggests a very simple exit slip procedure using post its!

Sometimes I have the children share with the whole class what they wrote. Sometimes I have them share with a small group, and sometimes they don't share at all!

It's quick and easy, and there are plenty of possibilities.


How do you assess Independent Reading?


Looking for a quick way to assess what the children are reading? This post suggests a very simple exit slip procedure using post its!

Sometimes You Just Have to Cry

My typical style is to turn the title of my post into something funny, but I'm actually serious, sometimes you really just have to cry!

I guess it's been since my divorce, but sometimes I have a hard time crying. I suspect it comes from trying so hard to be strong all the time. I have a hard time letting go.

But crying can be good. It's cleansing. 
It helps to get the bad feelings out. 

It doesn't make things better, but sometimes it's part of healing.

A couple of weeks ago, I lost a friend, suddenly, in a plane crash. He was a member of my singing group. I've known him for close to 20 years.

I didn't cry.

I found myself thinking I was a horrible person. 
Why wouldn't I cry?

I think part of it was that I was still in shock. 

My singing group will be singing at his memorial service tomorrow. 

When I heard the music we'd be singing, then the floods started. 

You can listen to recordings of these songs HERE and HERE.

The second one is the killer... if you need a good cry, that should do it!

If that doesn't do it, this is a you tube video of our third song.


Throughout my life, whenever I needed that beautiful release that only a "good cry" will bring, this is the song I'd listen to: 


As I've mentioned here on my blog, I'm a huge theatre fan!

That's Lea Salonga in Miss Saigon. I saw this show in London (starring Lea Salonga) in 1990. before it came to the U.S. 

I admit, I did cry through a good portion of the show, but this song in particular had a strong connection for me.
 It's interesting. This was years before I had a child, but I knew even then how much I would love that child. 

Music is magical. What songs make you cry?
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