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Comma Practice

Writing
We recently covered commas in my class. I’ve always found commas kind of a boring thing to teach so I tried to spice it up a bit this year. I’ve also always found that they confuse kids. When you use them? When you don’t? When you need more than one? And so on..
So here’s what I did this year…
We started out by watching a Brainpop Jr on Commas that went over the basics. Then, we created the anchor chart below together. I decided to focus on using commas in a list, to separate two adjectives, separate city and state, and using commas in a date. I feel like these four were age-appropriate for second grade and ones they’d be able to understand. When creating the chart, I had the kids help me. I wrote the topic and they came up with the sentences. This sparked great conversation because if someone didn’t use the commas correctly we could discuss why.
After creating our chart, we read the book below – When Comma Came to Town. This is a cute book and explores commas in a silly way. I highly recommend Grammar Tales – they have books on many different grammar topics.

Then, we practiced in small groups. We used my comma practice for separating words in a list from my Grammar Fix It – Commas product in my TPT store.  Students have to fix the errors in the sentence and re-write the sentence correctly on their recording sheet (included in the product). In this one, students had to fix the capitals, end marks, and comma errors.
Then, later in the week we worked on Grammar Fix It – Commas whole group.  This time I projected the sentence onto the board and students had to fix the errors and re-write the sentence correctly on their white board.  They were looking for comma, capital, and end mark errors.  After the students finished writing their sentence on their individual white board, we corrected the sentence together on the board.
My Grammar Fix-It Commas Practice includes:
  • Commas separating a list of words
  • Commas separating city and state
  • Commas separating information in a date
  • Commas used with introductory phrases
  • Commas used with compound sentences
The packet also includes practice with all of those types and capitals, end marks, and apostrophes.
Check it out…here… in my TPT Store!

Five for Friday – April 21

Math, Social Studies, Writing

The week after Spring Break is always tough. Hard to get back into the routine after an amazing week off! But, we did it and I’m back linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Here’s what we were up to this week….

My school does a large Earth Day celebration every year! It’s a lot of fun and the kids get to go to different rooms and learn about all kinds of things surrounding the topic of Earth Day!  I decided this year to also have my students do some writing about Earth Day and ways they can help make the Earth a better place.  Their answers were pretty cute! I especially like the above one – “if you ride in a car… you can pollute the air…and it’s your fault.” Too funny!  This writing prompt and five more can be found in my TPT Store – Earth Day Writing Prompts.

We learned all about coordinate grids in math this week. We started by watching a Brainpop video and then created the above anchor chart. To practice plotting points, the kids played this fun game called Gridlock from MathWire – it can be found here

We finally finished our Map PBL this week. The final part of the project had students creating their island using some of the landforms we discussed. They also buried treasure on it and had to write directions for how to find it. Their maps turned out amazing!!! 

Where have I been? I’ve seen many people posting and writing about Epic books, but I never looked into it. I remembered yesterday trying to find something for my Earth Day class and it is wonderful! It’s full of so much information and fun books – I can’t wait to dive into it more!
On Monday, I presented to some of the teachers at my school about Differentiation in Writing Workshop. It went well and we had some great discussions.  Stay tuned because I’ll be doing a blog post soon on some of the ideas for differentiation in writing!
Have a great weekend!

Earth Day Writing Prompts

Writing

Earth Day is a huge celebration at our school! We have the whole day dedicated to celebrating Earth Day. The students get to attend classes on different topics around helping the environment, nature, plants, etc, and they always have a wonderful time!

To help capture some of the things they learn and have learned about Earth Day, I’ve created these Earth Day Writing Prompts, which are now available in my TPT Store.

They include the following writing prompt questions:

  • Why do we celebrate Earth Day?
  • What is recycling?
  • What items can be recycled?
  • Why is it important to recycle?
  • How can you help the Earth?
  • List 3 ways you can keep the Earth Clean.
This product is perfect for students in grades kindergarten – third grade! The writing paper is differentiated.  
Paper Options:
3 lines and large picture
8 lines and a medium-sized picture
All lines and no picture
All paper options are printer friendly and you have the option to print them with no graphic or with a black and white graphic.
You can check it out in my TPT store…here
Earth Day Writing Prompts
Check back on my Instagram and Facebook page later this week to see my student’s examples!

Five for Friday – April 14

Math, Writing

I’m at the tail end of my Spring Break and I can’t believe how fast it has gone! Why do weeks off fly by and weeks working go slow sometimes?? I’m linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday. Check out our week below… not as many educational pictures today since it was break…

This has been one of my spring break projects.  On Monday, teachers head back to school for a PD day, but the kids are still on vacation.  We have our Differentiation and Ed Tech Fair on Monday and I’m presenting about Differentiation in Writing Workshop. So this week I’ve been putting together the presentation so I’ll have everything ready to go Monday morning!
This blog post has been in the making for awhile. And, with Spring Break finally here, I had time to write it.  In my Graphing Project blog post, I blogged about an awesome project I do at the end of my graphing unit. Check it out…here

I decided to use this week off to re-dedicate myself to my fitness goals. I really want to get into better shape and having the time off this week has provided me a chance to start some better habits. If you want to keep up with my fitness journey – check out my Instagram – jjohnsongetsfit.  I’m also on Fitbit! If you are interested in doing a Fitbit Challenge, write in the comments or add me on Fitbit – sunsfan328@gmail.com

We’ve also added a few things to our home this week. I’ve been eyeing these bar stools forever and we finally purchased them last weekend from Target. We also got some cool lights for our walkway! I love doing some home decor shopping!

And, what would spring break be – without some pool time! The weather in Vegas has been beautiful and I’ve been lucky enough to get out and read at the pool a few times this week!
Hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!

Five for Friday – March 17

Math, Writing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! I’m linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another week of Five for Friday!

We recently finished Bend 2 in our Opinion Book for Units of Study. Students have been writing opinion letters about their favorite books, favorite characters, opinions of characters, etc. At the end of Bend 2, students edited their letters using a checklist and published their final letter. This week during Morning Meeting Share, students shared their letter under the iPad (then projected) with the class. After each student shared, two students from the audience gave a compliment. They did an awesome job! I love seeing how much progress they’ve made with their writing since August.

I love basketball. I’m a huge basketball fan and my husband is also a college basketball coach. I decided to bring a little March Madness fun to my classroom in the form of story problems.  This story problem set includes 16 problems. Most of the problems are addition and subtraction, but there are a few multiplication and division.  This can be found in my TPT store…here
Oh…editing…such a difficult concept for 2nd graders. While in my first entry post for Five for Friday I mentioned we edited their rough draft letters, we still struggle. So, I decided to have a Morning Meeting Activity and Message focused on editing. Students first answered the message writing down things to look for when editing. Then, students worked first individually and then with a group on editing a letter.  We’ll keep practicing until we get it!

This week in reading we worked on the prefixes – re, pre, and bi. In small groups, I had students do the quick activity above. I gave them a word. They then underlined the base word and circled the prefix. Then, they wrote the definition and used the word in a sentence. Finally, they drew a sketch to go with their sentence. This was a quick activity, but provided practice on prefixes, which was the goal.

  
Oh our planners! Check out my blog post from this week on my Planner Challenge! It has greatly improved the kids writing and spelling in their daily planner entries. Check it out…here

Five for Friday – March 10

Math, Writing

Oh my goodness! I got hit with a cold/flu bug and boy did it do a number on me.  I missed Five for Friday last week because of it and have spent this week trying to get rid of it.  Anyone else in the sickness boat?? Anyways, enough of the pity me time, I’m back for another Five for Friday. We’ve been very busy this week so I’m linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching to show you what we’ve been up to….

This is totally how this cold/sickness has felt! I got sneezed on last week by a student and I have many more coughing.  I can’t seem to shake it this cold/flu!!  This stupid cough won’t go away. Anyone else in the same boat???

We started learning about adjectives this week. I decided to use a bubble map from Thinking Maps to help us organize our adjectives. In the middle bubble, students wrote a noun. Then, around that they added more bubbles with adjectives that described that noun.  Great way to organize it and keep it simple.
We also started graphing this week. For our first day we did a review/re-introduction of basic bar graphs.  The graph above and many more can be found in my Graphing for 2nd Grade packet in my TPT store…here

I absolutely love Kahoot! I’ve been using it every Thursday for a review of our weekly vocab and reading skills. I’m very lucky because students in my class are 1-to-1 with iPads. So, each student gets to play and participate. They literally cheered yesterday when I said we were doing a Kahoot! It’s engaging and a great way to review content!
We’re still working on our Map PBL unit. We had a little detour with International Week/a billion other things, so we’ve gotten a little behind. This week we learned about different landforms. Students recorded the definitions and drew a picture of the landform in their PBL packet.  My friend above is the most amazing artist! So talented and only in 2nd grade! His drawings were done quickly, but are beautiful!
Have a great weekend! My plans are rest, rest, and more rest! I’m hoping to be fully rid of this cold/sickness by Monday! Wish me luck!

Five for Friday – February 17

Holidays, Reading, Writing

Yay for a 3 day weekend!! These weeks have been crazy and Spring Break is still far away, but a 3 day weekend will help for now! I’m linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another week of Five for Friday

I’m loving how hard my kids are working on their book study for the book – I Survived The Great Chicago Fire.  The partnership working on this book are really into it and have had some great insightful answers.  This book study can be found in my TPT store…here
Oh…editing…such a tough skill for second graders. This week to help reinforce the editing skills we’ve been working on (spelling, complete sentences, end marks, capitals, etc) I had my small groups work on editing a story. It’s funny how it’s so much easier for them to edit someone else’s work than catch mistakes in their own…but I guess that’s how it is for everyone!  So…we’ll keep at it…keep practicing and hopefully it’ll start to stick and they’ll be able to apply it soon!
We had a great time at our Valentine’s Party on Tuesday. Check out what we did in my blog post – Valentine’s Day Recap.

Oh conferences…. This coming Tuesday we have our next round of student-led/ parent-teacher conferences! At this conference, we go over each student’s three goals on their Personal Learning Plan (PLP) that are tailored to that child’s specific needs.  I also decided to whip up this little Reading Update sheet as another way to give more info at the conferences.  Some of the kids goals are reading-focused, but some aren’t, so I thought this would be a great way to quickly update parents on all reading areas.

I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Got some fun and yummy goodies from my students and beautiful flowers from my husband! Hope everyone else had a great Valentine’s Day too!
Enjoy the 3 day weekend!!

Five for Friday – January 6

Holidays, Math, Writing

The new year is finally here! I think I’ve managed to write 2017 correctly all week….which is a big deal lol.  I’m back linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. See what I’ve been up to the past week below….

So how cute are these! Melonheadz made these adorable New Year’s Resolutions sheets and my kiddos did a great job coming up with goals.  They were detailed and made goals that fit them, their interests, and needs. I was proud of how hard they worked on it and it’ll make the perfect bulletin board for the New Year.  Check out Melonheadz freebie here….

We started multiplication this week. This is something the 2nd graders always look forward to and they are waiting and waiting for us to begin this unit.  This was Day 2 of Multiplication. We learned about arrays and the kids used Skittles to make arrays – and of course ate some :-).  
Stay tuned…Sunday I will have a post explaining how I introduce multiplication and a quick game idea.
This week we practiced finding and editing possessive nouns. The kiddos worked in groups on my Grammar Fix It – Apostrophes – Possessives cards.  Now, lazy teacher here – I really should’ve cut these out, but you can leave them together for time saving purposes.  The packet also includes larger cards (8.5×11) and this smaller option that can be cut. Check it out in my TPT store, here.

New Year’s Resolution here. Not too specific – but I need balance and I need to find time to work on me. The gym is calling my name this weekend as is some meal prep! Looking forward to making healthier choices this year (after our staff happy hour today lol).

My parents are Ohio State alum and I got to join them for the Fiesta Bowl last weekend. Even though the game didn’t go as they hoped, we still had a lot of fun and I always love a visit back to Phoenix even if it is a quick one.
Hope everyone had a great first week of 2017!

Candy Cane Experiment

Holidays, Writing

In Writing Workshop, we’re currently working on our second Lucy Calkin’s book called Lab Reports and Science Books. The kids have loved doing experiments and I thought it would be fun to do one as a class that is more holiday themed.  I found this Candy Cane Experiment on Lemon Lime Adventures and we’ve been having a blast working on it!

We are still following the Writing Workshop model for lab reports and are spreading it out over about a week.

On Day 1, we discussed our question, materials, and kids came up with a hypothesis.

On Day 2, we came up with the procedures and students wrote down the steps we would take to complete the experiment.

On Day 3, we conducted the experiment with cold water. The color quickly came off of the candy cane, but the dissolving of the candy cane took a bit. The kids enjoyed watching it throughout the entire process. (I highly recommend clear cups if you do this so the kids can really see everything happening).

On Day 4, we conducted the experiment with hot water. Same results as Day 2, but super fast. The whole candy cane was dissolved in about a half hour when the day before it took over an hour.

On Day 5, we conducted the experiment using vinegar.  The vinegar smelled, which we all agreed on and worked quicker than the cold water, but slower than the hot water.  

Then, on Day 6, we came up with our final results and conclusions tying together the whole experiment.

The kids had a lot of fun and have done an amazing job writing their lab reports. I love seeing the growth that I’ve seen this year while we’ve used Writing Workshop!   In January, we’ll be starting opinion writing!

Five for Friday – December 2

Holidays, Reading, Writing

How is it December??? November seemed to fly by and that Thanksgiving break definitely flew by! 10 days went by in a second! I’m linking back up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to show you what we’ve been up to this week for Five for Friday.

In Writing Workshop, we are working our informational unit and writing like scientists. I love the lab report format WW uses and wanted to add in a holiday-ish themed experiment. I found the Candy Cane Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures.  It is awesome! Fun, easy, and not too messy! This week we tried out the candy cane in cold water and hot water. Next week, we’ll do the final experiment and try it in vinegar. I’ll follow up with a blog post next week with some of the lab report results.  The kids are loving it and their reflections and observations are getting better each time. 
Love, love, love my room moms. They always outdo themselves with cute decorations!  

He’s baaaaccckkkkk.  Yesterday I started Elf on the Shelf in the classroom. Stay tuned for my blog post tomorrow discussing his first two days of adventures! 

We started working on fact and opinion this week in class to go along with our Journey’s story. In small groups, we discussed it and I had students write three of each. Love this little ones first opinion! 🙂

It’s my favorite time of the year…the holiday season. These are two pictures from Thanksgiving break and since I took a little break from blogging last week, I wanted to share them with you today.  This was my first time ever making Thanksgiving dinner and I have to say it turned out pretty well! No major kitchen mishaps and my husband had a very full plate so he was a happy camper!  I also decorated our Christmas tree! Love having all of the holiday decor up in the house.
Have a wonderful weekend!