Monday, August 31, 2015

End of Summer Giveaway!

I'm so excited to announce that School Daisies in having the first ever giveaway!

In celebration of the start of the new school year, I'm giving away a sheet of Jamberry nail wraps.  There are certain times of year that I like my nails to look "polished." Back to School is one of them.  Coming out of the summer and not even trying to compete with the sand, ocean water, pool water, gardening, etc my nails always look like they could use a little attention. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!  The winner will be chosen and contacted at the end of the giveaway.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Conversation Task Cards

I have ten days left before I meet my new group of kids.  I'm soaking in every last minute of summer while keeping a part of my mind on planning out those first few days of school.  In years past I've done various ice breaker activities but this year I thought I would do something a little different and get the kids talking to each other.  I want them to have meaningful getting to know you conversations. I plan on using these Conversation Task Cards to get the conversations flowing.

My students are seated in groups of 4 so I will put a stack in the center of their group.  After modeling a few times, they can take turns (such an important concept for them) speaking, listening, and asking each other questions.   These conversation cards can then be used at a later time as a writing center activity.  I will put them on a binder ring and students who visit the writing center can choose a question and respond. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Top Things To Know About Sight Words

Have you ever felt crunched with time during your language arts block and thought, do I really need to review the sight words with my class? Can't I just pass out a list of words and hope for the best?

Here are the top things to know about sight words.

#1  Sight words are also called High Frequency Words. They appear not only in the written language but are most frequently used in spoken language as well. Therefore, by the time a child is school age he has these words in his verbal vocabulary and only needs to make the connection with its print version.

#2  The top 300 sight words make up about 2/3 of the written language.  Think about that. If a child is able to recognize 300 sight words he is 2/3 of the way there to becoming a fluent reader.

#3  Some sight words can be sounded out because they are phonetically regular where others can not and must be memorized as a whole.  Of course there are those sight words that half your class will read and say E-A-S-Y (at, on, it)  but then we throw in those irregular ones like should, though, know and it is suddenly clear why we spend time practicing our sight words.

#4  Recognition of sight words leads to better comprehension.  An advanced reader will read words as a whole.  Try reading this sentence right here but pausing in between each letter and word.  You need to read that several times for it to make sense.  Now try reading an entire article or chapter in that broken manner.

#5  Word Walls are helpful.  Whether you think you have the wall space or not, a primary classroom needs to have a word wall. I can't tell you how often my students refer back to this word wall during their writing throughout all subject areas. Isn't that what we want them to do?!

#6 Sight words make a great center activity.  You don't have to spend direct instruction time every day going over the sight words.  You can work them into a center activity and the students will get their daily practice with the words. I can't tell you how many weeks I need a quick NO PREP word center and quickly put out the week's sight word cards to be put in alphabetical order.

My advanced students will take it a step further and use their sight words in a sentence.

I've also developed these High Frequency Word Practice materials which follow the McGraw-Hill Wonders reading program for second grade. 

At the start of the week I hand them a packet containing all the practice pages for their weekly words (10 words).

 The students practice their sight words by tracing, writing, and reading them in a sentence. Then they cut out the word card on the bottom of the page to practice throughout the week.  

We store them in our homework folders in these plastic pencil cases that I found "el cheapo" for 40 cents each. 
 High Frequency Words

The school year is about to start so here is a Freebie of the first set of words to begin the year.  I also have the complete set of units 1-6 in my TpT store.  

Click the image below to get the complete set of Second Grade High Frequency Words and be set for the year!!!!  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Best Shape To Be

Our class is starting the next math unit on Geometry.  This is one of my favorite units to teach because there are so many fun lessons centered around shapes.
I can't think of a better way to start out the geometry unit than by reading, "The Greedy Triangle" by Marilyn Burns.
This is a cute story about a triangle who is always looking to be something better than he is. "Just one more side, and one more angle" will make him happy. So he thinks...

After reading the story we spent some time making a list of all the shapes that the triangle becomes. We also brainstormed what would be best about being that shape. For example being a rectangle would be the best because you could be a yummy ice cream sandwich.  A hexagon would be best because you could be a trampoline.  We had some trouble coming up with real world shapes for some of them but used our iPads to do a quick google image search and found so many more ideas.

I love being able to tie in Language Arts (especially writing) into Math lessons so I came up with this little writing activity that goes along with our unit on Persuasive/Opinion writing.  It begins like this

"Hello Shapeshifter make me a _________. In my opinion a  ______ is the best shape to be."

The students really had fun with this.  They were able to support their opinion with three reasons/examples and details to support.  
We then made our little shape man to go with our writing.

They add a little life to the hallways....

You can download my Greedy Triangle Craftivity here and if you do it today you get an additional 20% off during the Teachers Are Heroes Sale.
Use Promo code:  HEROES and save 28% on all items in my TPT store.

Happy Shopping!!