Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gettin' em up and Moving!

Hey Again!
This is a post that was on my previous blog at wordpress. I penned it a month or so ago, but I think it has some really useful stuff and I would like for it to be available to my new followers as well! So, here you go and I hope you enjoy!

I love to incorporate as much movement into my lessons as possible.  The kids love it, they retain the information, and frankly, if I am bored, they are bored. are some of our favorites. I did not invent these activities, I just picked them up here and there and modified them for second grade simplicity. If you DO know the inventor of these games, or are the ONE, let me know and I will gladly give you credit! :)

Spelling Scavenger Hunt

I hide (and sometimes I don't!) words all over the room that follow the spelling pattern we are looking at for the week. For instance, in the photograph below, we were focusing on -ar words (far, jar, smart, etc).   The students get a clipboard, paper and pencil and go for it! I give them a set amount of time, and inevitably, they always want more. Sometimes we make a contest out of it to see who can get the most words,  or we do girls vs. boys. They are not limited only to the words that I have hidden, they can use a dictionary, book covers, the walls, anything that has print. This activity takes spelling practice into the higher-order-thinking realm. They are problem solving to find the words and making connections between word patterns. I love it! Sometimes, if it is a common spelling pattern, and I am short on time, I don't even hide words, they just have a free-for-all hunt- as long as they stay out of my desk!
Clever Girl- she looked at our spelling list!

Spelling Tableaux

This is an activity where I simply split the students up into groups and they spell out their words with their bodies! They work together and plan how they are going to do it.  Each child is one letter. If there is more letters than students, two students may make up one letter. My students really enjoy this activity. I usually reserve it for one or two of the hardest words, because the planning and implementation on their parts takes a little time.
Can you see the word we spelled? Yep! That is "small." The two boys at the end are working together to make an uppercase letter L.

Guess My Word

This game is not necessarily a spelling game. It works best with content vocabulary. I print off the vocab words and cut them out. Each child will get a vocabulary word taped to his or her back. It is very important that they do not SEE the word. The students go around asking questions that have yes or no answers to try and guess what their word is. The student may only ask each classmate one question. Again, higher order thinking! They are not just trying to recall the definition of the word, they are trying to analyze the attributes of ALL of their vocabulary words to figure out which one is on their backs.  This may sound a little complicated, but it is not. My class is more than half English Language learners and we are a Title One school. My students did beautifully with this when we were reviewing weather terminology.
A game to review content vocabulary
Sorry about the less than perfect photography. That is why I am a teacher and not a photographer!
Well, that is all for today. I have more of these little games up my sleeves, and I will share at a later post. For now, give these a try and let me know how it goes! Also, what are some ways that you incorporate movement into your lessons? I want to know!

Noisetrade and ABC Books

I am in a state of euphoria right now- perfectly legal, I promise. (:  Sipping a pamplemousse La Croix and listening to some Christmas music that I downloaded from Noisetrade. I especially like this one. Have you heard of noisetrade? It is a place where you can legally download music from established and upstart musicians. Free. I love bargains, but it is even better when it is FREE! If you have the means and desire, you have the option to tip the musician after you have downloaded the album. So easy, no fuss, I love it! I play music in my classroom all the time and this is a great way to mix it up a bit. We used to listen to Pandora, but our district blocked it because it sucked the bandwidth pretty bad. Noisetrade is an option that keeps everyone happy! Give it a try and let me know what your new favorites are!

Another thing that adds to my bliss is the ABC book that my class is going to be working on in about 10 minutes. We have been planning and pre-writing before we finish the final product and they are turning out so cute! The students are assigned letters for the alphabet and have to think up words that start with that letter- that somehow can be fanangled to pertain to Christmas. They write a sentence using that word and then illustrate their sentence. This is a perfect project for writing centers or those days right before Christmas Break. I finished the template and it is up on TPT. I love it! Hope you enjoy and find something to make yourself euphoric today!

Happy 12-12-12!!!

Love and Teaching,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Go scrabble? Or Scrabble fish? How about 3,2,1, Action!

Hellllooooooooo out there!
I don't know about your neighborhood, but things are starting to get chilly and festive here in the great state of South Cackilacky!

The Grinch has found his rightful spot outside my door, the Christmas lights are hung on the Promethean Board with care and little bits of paper are everywhere! (snowflake attemtps) We are definitely getting into the spirit of things! What are you doing in your classroom to get ready for the holidays? Are you able to celebrate at your school? Luckily, we are some traditional folk out this way, and no one has tried to mess with Christmas, yet. Lord help them if they do!

Anyway, taking a little side-step here, I wanted to talk business for a second (grade).  I am having a sale! If you have ever been to my TPT store, you know that things are pretty reasonably priced anyway (I am a teacher- I know how little much you make!) Anyhoo, to share my festive spirit with you, all of the items in my store will be 10% off tomorrow through Monday. I have some pretty cool folder games in there and just put up a neato scrabble/ go fishy game to practice spelling words that end in -tion.  You can go here to look at it.

Show and Tell time!
 Doesn't that look like something your students would enjoy? I hope mine do...have not tried it yet, lol!

Also, I am working on some holiday-themed reading comprehension skills flipcharts. Here is the first installment:

Well, that is all for now. I am still trying to figure out the whole linky party thingy. I really want to host one soon. Be sure to leave some comments and let me know how your December is going!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Liebster Award, Whoop, Whoop!

The Liebster Award

I, and every other teacher blog in a three thousand mile radius got nominated for the Liebster Award! This award is given to new bloggers with 200 followers or less. It is supposed to bring recognition and support to all the new bloggers out there.
And the rules are:
1. Post 11 random things about yourself
2. Answer the questions the nominator set for you
3. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them to your post.
5. Leave a comment on this post if you were nominated so I can learn more about you and see who you nominate.

11 Random Things About Me!
  1. I have been to over 15 different countries!
  2. Once upon a time, I played 3 instruments- saxaphone, piano and guitar.
  3. My baby brother and dad are both in Afghanistan.  
  4. I really love to write, I want to publish a children's book.
  5. Heaven to me- a really good book, a fuzzy blanket and a warm cup of Earl Grey Tea.
  6. I was in New Mexico Allstate Choir in 2002.
  7. I met my husband at a rock concert- I was the radio intern and he was the video editor.
  8. My mom and husband both teach 8th grade social studies.
  9. I have an adorable 9 month old baby boy who cut 8 teeth in two months (catching our breaths!)
  10. I lived in Germany for 4 years while my dad was stationed over there.
  11. My favorite time of year is spring, when the world is waking up and coming back to life. It is fresh and beautiful!

Christina's Questions to me:

 1 - If you could be any animal for one day what animal would you be and why?
A lion, so that I could lay around and sleep and no one would think anything of it!
2 - What is your favorite flower?
I love peonies! They are classic beauties!
3 - What is your favorite pizza toppings?
Bacon and Green olives, and no I am not pregnant!
4 - What is your favorite childhood television show?
Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo's Circus
5 - What do you like to do on a day off?
Go to the Art Museum and my back yard garden
6- When at work- make up or no makeup?  
Make up! Don't want to scare the kids!
7 - Disney World or Disney Land?
Disneyland- Paris!
8 - When you were a kid did you always want to be a teacher?
No, I wanted to be a writer, a gymnast, a physical therapist and a number of other things. :)
9 - What is your favorite song?
Tough one! I guess if I had to choose one-
Everything By Lifehouse
10 - If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things would you want to have with you?
Water, sunscreen, a fast, well-fueled motor boat!
11  If you could choose to speak with any one person - dead or alive - who would it be and why?
Stumper! Daniel, from the Bible, he had amazing will-power, that is a character trait that I would love to have more of!

My Questions to the Nominees:

1. What is the coolest thing you have ever done?

2. What is your favorite day of the year and why?

3. What is your favorite part of speech?

4. Biggest pet peeve as a teacher?

5. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?

6. What inspired you to start a blog?

7. What did you dream of when you were a child?

8. What is your favorite kind of cookie?

9. What is your dream vacation?

10. How many years have you been teaching?

11. Who was your most inspiring teacher and why?

And the nominees are:
Ok lovely teacher friends, I have been hunting around for a blog that has not been nominated yet, and it looks like you all (translation: Ya'll, Yuns), got hit already. If you did not and you would like to hop in on the fun, send me a message and I'll hit you up.

For all those nominated make sure that you copy and paste the above instructions and my questions to you on your blog. Don't forget to leave me a comment when you are done!

Happy Friday Eve!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Offerings and One big helping of Thanksgiving Cheer!

Don't you love the new look? A big thanks to Alicia at Dreamlike Magic for getting this up for me! It was very reasonably priced too! Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a link to her very colorful website!

Alright, I have been working away most of the morning trying to get all of my lesson plans and reading centers done for this week. I think we are somewhere near finished (if there is such thing!) We did the whole "write what you are thankful for on the turkey feathers" thing last week, and I wanted something with a little more *meat* (cough-pun intended!) for this week I have three centers in this document- writing, reading and spelling. I really like how they turned out! So guess what? To wish you thanksgiving cheer and thank you for dropping by, they are yours for the taking! Click the photos below to claim them for yourself.
Here's a peak of whats inside:
Sometime today or tomorrow, I am going to attempt to host my very first LINKY PARTY!!!! Most veteran bloggers and blog followers know what that is, but for the newbies, which I still consider myself as, here is my best definition:

Linky Party: noun- a blog post where blogger friends post their latest and greatest into one place for all to view. The theme of the part is: November Show and Tell. More details coming soon!

Have a restful Sunday!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Welcome to our BRAND NEW location!

Good evening to all of my friends in blogland!

I am so excited that you found me! Some of you may have followed me in my old location at wordpress, but I realized that if I wanted to customize and make it look really snazzy, I needed to move over to blogspot. I am a super visual person, and if doesn't look pretty, why bother? Well anyway, we have had CogAt and ITBS testing the last couple of weeks in my grade level and boring test time is the perfect time for me to think (finally, some QUIET!!! lol). My wheels have been spinning and I have some great ideas about the holidays and what not that I can't wait to share!

However, I want to give you something that you can use right now. I got an email yesterday from here. It is a program called Adventure to Fitness.  My students needed to release a little steam after testing yesterday, so I decided to pull it up. It is a history lesson/ exercise video all rolled into one! The kids LOVED it and have been begging me ever since then to do it again. There are a dozen or so different episodes and it is all free. Go check it out and see how you can work it into your lessons. Did I mention that it is FREE to public schools? Love it! Let me know if you use it and what you think!

Happy Teaching and be sure to check back next week for our new look and our first giveaway!