Spring is finally here!  It has been so nice this week to have beautiful sunny days with no jackets at recess.  Spring has been such a tease around here lately.  First, we've had beautiful warm days and then wham - the next day is cold, raw and rainy.  You've got to love Mother Nature when you live in New England. 

Anyway, it looks like spring is here to stay so I thought I would share some seasonal selections with you.  (Did you like all that alliteration - that's a second grade common core standard, you know!)  I am so excited to be featured today on Teacher Mom of 3's "Seasonal Saturday!" 

Visit her blog for some great spring ideas, along with ideas for teaching literacy.  Thanks Teacher Mom!
And since we're all in the spring spirit, I thought I'd share a springtime freebie from my TpT store. 

This is a quick and easy way to get some practice with those editing skills, including:
- spelling (phonetic elements and high frequency words)
- homophones
- grammar (verb tense, possessives)
- capitalization and punctuation
Click on the image to go to my store and download your freebie.  It's easy to use in a center, or as independent work.  In my room,  copied the sentence pages back to back and had each of my students use a highlighter to show the mistakes.  Then they wrote the sentence correctly on the recording sheet.  It was helpful to model one first - showing them how to use the "Check It" sheet and going through one part at a time. 
I hope everyone enjoys a beautiful spring weekend.  I'm going to try to get some work done sitting out on my deck.  Thanks for stopping by!

Whew!  Two days back after April vacation and I'm already tired.  I forget how busy the day gets!  We are starting my favorite writing unit this week - all about fishing!!  We do two different kinds of writing - an informational "how to" piece and a narrative story.  I love this unit.  More on that later this week when we really get rolling...

For now I can share a quick math practice game we did today that my kiddos just LOVED!  It always amazes me how it's the simple things they most enjoy.  I can spend for.ev.er planning a lesson, including great activities, cute recording sheets, etc... and they'll have fun, but give them a game I modified on the spur-of-the-moment and I become the "best teacher ever!"  (Which, of course, I am, but let's not shout that too loudly...)

I needed a quick 15 minute filler for math today when things didn't go as planned (shocker for those of you not in the classroom... my day rarely goes exactly as planned.. ok, maybe never..).  My "go-to" game is a card game that I think comes from a math program somewhere, so rather than get myself in trouble for not having a license to say the word or something, I'll just call it "The Card Game."  Students pay in partners with a deck of cards (which are pretty easy to come by when you live in a state with two casinos near-by).  The first person takes 2 cards and adds them together.  The next person takes 2 cards and adds them together and the person with the highest total gets to keep all 4 cards.  Play continues until all the cards are used, then you count up who has the most cards to see who wins.  Sometimes I vary this by doing it with subtraction.  Not as fun for them... they do not like subtraction.

Anyway, we've been finishing up addition and subtraction with regrouping, which blessedly! - most of them have (finally).  This time I told them they each had to take 2 cards, make a 2-digit number, then take ANOTHER 2 cards and make a different number and add the 2 numbers together.  The player with the highest sum got to keep the cards. 

You would have thought I gave them the moon.... they were off to the races, having a grand time... and when someone asked if they could do 3-DIGIT numbers instead, of course, I said yes.  That's what you would expect from "the best teacher in the world!" 
Needless to say, this game got put in our centers for the week.  If you don't have cards, you could play with dice, or number cards, or a spinner... I'm always using games to review, practice and enrich.  I'd love to hear about a quick and easy math game you use in your classroom. 

I cannot believe my spring vacation is almost over.  I know, tomorrow is Friday, so that means technically I still have 3 days left.  But once it's Friday the whole vacation thing seems to have disappeared.  I'm glad I was able to get some great things done this week.   Blogging, creating, online shopping.... unfortunately for some reason the housekeeping fairy has not yet shown up at my house so that means this weekend it will be laundry, dishwasher.... blah.

I am getting my plans finalized (face it, they are never REALLY finalized) for next week and I wanted to share with you my Earth Day morning meeting activity.  We do a Morning Meeting EVERYDAY.. and oh boy if I don't!  My kiddos really enjoy starting the day together this way.  We do a greeting, calendar on the SMARTboard, share news and then do an activity.  I switch off the activity between fun games community building activities and some academic review games.  This one falls into the first category. 

It's a take-off on the "Find Someone Who" activities many people do at the beginning of the year.  Everyone has a sheet and has to walk around the room talking to each other, looking for someone's name (or initials, depending on how big my second graders decide to write that day) in each box.  The object is to try to find someone different for each box.  Here's a link to the freebie if you'd like to use it in you classroom.  Just click on the picture below.

Honestly, I do not do too much for Earth Day.  I know.. throw the tomatoes (organic ones, of course).  I never seem to be able to fit too much in.  I do have a couple books to share and I'll do one of the questions on the sheet as our sign in so we can talk about some math questions with it.  That will about do it.
Oh - if you're interested in a few more "Find Someone Who" activities on different spring themes, visit my TpT store. I have a whole set of them just for spring!  They're lots of fun for morning activities or a break during the day.  Well, I'm off to enjoy another couple of days of staying up late and sleeping in.  6:00 is going to come WAY to early on Monday.  

Once upon a time, a second grade teacher was beginning her blog... Last week, my friends, was a crazy week.  Fortunately, I got through it though, because this week is SPRING BREAK!  Can I have a woot-woot?!  I have been so jealous of all of you who already HAD your spring break.  And some of you for more than a week, no less!  But now it is my turn and that gives me time to relax, rejuvenate and turn my attention to blogging and creating!

Last Friday we had our school-wide Read In day.  We spent the whole day doing reading activities based on a theme.  This year the theme was "fairy tales."  It came at just the right time to connect to the folktales unit we have been doing.  We identified characteristics of both genres and compared and contrasted the two.  We read TONS of fairy tale and folktake stories, made cute foldables for story elements, did a web for character traits...

I know, I know... it would have been nice to have some pictures to go with all these ideas.  But being as I am new to blogging, I haven't yet remembered to take pictures all day, so this time you'll have to settle for a freebie.  (Way to redeem myself, I know.)

Our grade level divided the kiddos into 4 groups and they rotated through different activities for the morning.  I did a "Read the Room ~ Fairy Tale Style" activity.  My students LOVE to read the room.  They love to walk around the room.  They love to dance around the room... or jump... or crawl.. or boogie..  I have a very energetic class.  Movement is important here.

Anyway... I gave them each a "Find It" sheet with little snippets about different fairy tale characters.  I had posted cards with fairy tale character names and information all around the room.  Their job was to "read the room" and try to find the name of the fairy tale character who fit the description in one of the boxes.  Here's what I mean:

There were 12 different cards to match their sheet.  They had a blast.  I told them even if they KNEW which fairy tale it was from reading the sheet, they still had to find that card and read the information just to be sure.  After everyone was done, we shared our answers.  You can download the whole thing from Google docs by clicking on the picture above.  (Hopefully you can ... being new to blogging I'm just learning how all this works.)
I have to say, I was a little disappointed about how little some of them knew about fairy tales!  Even ones I thought would be easy, some of our kiddos hadn't heard of.  And don't even get me started on the fact that Rapunzel is NOT the same as "Tangled!"  Apparently fairy tales and nursery rhymes are becoming lost.  So sad.
Well, I think that's enough for one blog post.  I'm going to go find my Kindle and some trashy magazines and enjoy some "me" time! 
The End.

Hello Bloggy-world!  I am so excited to be writing my first post.  I first discovered teacher blogs a couple of years ago and instantly became hooked!  I got TONS of new ideas on every topic imaginable and always thought it would be neat to join the fun.  Fast forward a few years (boy, time flies!) and I said hello to the world of Teachers Pay Teachers.  Although my bank account may not have been thankful, my students and I certainly were!  I downloaded freebies and bought many (way too many!) products to use with my second grade kiddos.  I added many new blogs to my reading list and felt like I had made new friends in the process.  That's what really drew me to blogging about my own classroom.  The teacher blogging world is so friendly and helpful, I just knew I wanted to be part of it on this end.  So.... here I am!  I plan on sharing thoughts, ideas and freebies on many topics - from teaching ideas to technology, classroom management to life as a teacher.... Every day in the classroom is so different that you just never know what might happen!  Let the fun begin!
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