Friday, February 27, 2015

I Can Subtract

So, we have been learning ALL about subtraction with regrouping. This is such a hard concept for my second grade sweethearts to get! UGH!! We have modeled, we have tried everything Ms. Sharp could think of! But.... I forgot about MUSIC. Oh, music just makes my students so engaged. We saw this video on youtube, and it inspired us to make our own subtraction music video!

So this is what my students and I came up with. We worked so hard on our lyrics. And lo and behold, my students are doing subtraction with regrouping! :) I am such a happy teacher when I see those "lightbulbs" and hear... "Ms. Sharp! I get it! I really get it now! Singing that song helped so much!" Oh my sweet seconds! :)

Short post for the day. Sorry I am still new to blogging town but always working to post more often than not! Hope you enjoyed!

- Tess

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Detailed Day

Today I am going to share information about the details of my day. Last time, I shared how my day is set up! I absolutely love the way it is set up.
During my spelling block, I usually have the kids do a variety of activities. (I meant to take some pictures today, but totally forgot.) My week goes something like this…

Practicing our Spelling Words – Sometimes I mix these up, for instance we do the first 4 words one way, the 2nd four another way, etc. Other times, we do different activities different days.

1.     Cheer the Words.
I have students stand, and if it a word like “find” we would clap above our heads on “f,” above our heads on “i,” in front of our tummies on “n,” and above our heads on “d.”

2.    Sky Writing
We also switch it up - I will have my students write their spelling words in the “sky.” In other words, sky writing. We point our finger at the word and “trace” it in the sky.

3.       Mini White Boards
Last year, I found some awesome little whiteboards in the Dollar Spot at Target. I wish I had a picture to share (my next blogging goal). Well anyway, I have the kids write their word, show it to me, and then hide it. I will tell them something like “awesome, terrific, stupendous, etc.” if they get the word right. They are so funny, they love to say, “Yes, I got a beautiful!” LOL! My 2nd graders crack me up!

4.    Side to Side Spelling
My class sits in a semi-horseshoe type thing. I will get a picture tomorrow – PROMISE! Well anyway they are split into 2 sides. I let the sides spell a spelling word. The left side may start first one day – they will spell a word, like “find.” If they get it right, they get a point and it is the right side’s turn. If they miss it, then the other team can steal the point. They get 2 “call a friends”! The kids really get into it.

5.       Forearm Writing
My kids use their dominant hand to “write” with their finger the spelling words on the opposite forearm. For instance, I am right handed so I would write with my right hand on my left forearm. The kids love it because it tickles! Laughter is great medicine!

I think that is about all my spelling activities for my spelling block. I just rotate them around. Every once in a while I try new, unique things, but for the most part we use these same activities! As I continue to grow as a teacher, I continue to look for more and more engaging ways to help my students become better learners! I will definitely update this list if I find anything else my students adore! 

Wow! This got lengthy very quickly!

Thanks For Reading,

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Daily Schedule

Today I thought I would share how I set up my day. ELM stands for Engage Learning Model. It refers to a new model my school has implemented this year. In 2nd grade, we only use it in science and social studies, but the older grades, 4th - 8th, use this for all subjects. It has an amazing impact on our kids. Basically, without spending all night typing, the model refers to a format of project based learning. I'll tell you what, when my second graders can draw connections and will ask me to research their own topics, I can't help but stare in disbelief! :) It is a great model. If you are interested in learning more check out this site... Engage 2 Learn Website 

Well, I hope this gives you a peek into my daily schedule. I will explain in more detail later, but right now I am totally exhausted! :)

Goodnight All,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Keeping Kids On Track in Stations

So recently, as I was looking up from my small group table I see... Let's just call him Tom... Well Tom is making a paper airplane instead of doing his station work. I see, let's just call her Jane, in her own little world doing little to nothing about completing her work. You see, I decided to slow down on the amount of paperwork in stations - I don't like grading it. It takes way too much time. Even if I don't grade it, I get tired of having to sort it all. I knew I had to make my kids accountable in some other way. So I created a rubric chart!

After station time, I give this to my kids, and I make them reflect on their work. They have to really think about how well they did in their stations. I have them put different smiley faces on it to show how they did. I'll tell you what - MY KIDS WORKED SO HARD!!! I was so proud of them! They really were honest with themselves, after I told them it was not for a grade and I wouldn't be sending it home! :) I even heard them talking about what they could do better. So I'll say taking 5 minutes after station time to reflect was absolutely worth it! :)

Well, I am done for now!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Year of Firsts

I am a first year teacher in Texas, and have decided that I should attempt to keep up with a blog. I have tried in the past to no avail. Well, I am more motivated this time and ready to keep up with this one. I intend on sharing my ideas, my creations, and how I teach in my classroom. I know I am a first year teacher, but growing up with my mother as a teacher has really helped mold me into the teacher I am today. I hope that I can share my insights, struggles, and successes! :) I hope that I will keep up with this blog and that you will continue to follow me. Thanks for reading,
Now to get onto my real first blog post,