Browsing Category


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!

TPT Cyber Sale Begins Today!


The amazing TPT Cyber Sale begins today! Be sure to stock your shopping carts with all kinds of TPT goodies.  My entire store – Jordan Johnson – will be on sale today and tomorrow! If you use the code CYBER2016, you’ll get 28% off!

I also just finished up my next Grammar Fix It product. This Grammar Fix It focuses on using apostrophes correctly with possessives and contractions. It also provides additional practice with capitalization and end marks.  Quick practice for kids and printer friendly! Could be used as Around the Room activity or as a literacy station.

Check it out – here.

Five for Friday – October 28

Math, Writing

I cannot tell you how excited I am to have today off! We have today off for Nevada Day. We haven’t had a day off since Labor Day. This teacher…needed…a…day…off.  Especially to prepare for what will be a crazy Monday with Halloween parties and Halloween. For reals – why does Halloween have to be on a Monday.  Anyways…I’m linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week….

This was the answer to my Morning Message question – Why is it important for us to know how to tell time? It cracked me up!  I don’t think I ever had a professor ask me in college if I knew how to tell time lol.

As you can tell from #1 – we’ve been working on telling time this week. Man is this concept a tricky one for some kids. To practice, we used Hope King’s Measurement Playbook – Time Match-Up game. We also used this cool app called Telling Time Quiz on the iPads.
We’ve been working nouns and as a recap/review/formative assessment, students worked on Nouns Around the Room from my TPT Store. It can be found, here.  Nouns ATR has students identifying nouns (in different ways) and making singular nouns plural.  Love using Around the Room activities to review and see where kids at.  Way better than sitting and doing a worksheet.

Our school has a Strategy Game Room and it is AWESOME! We finally checked it out and went there for our Fun Friday last week. It is so neat. It has large versions of many games – Jenga, Connect 4, Scrabble, Dominos, and more. The kids had so much fun playing and creating different things. They also worked really well together and was an opportunity to practice working with others. We’ll definitely head back there for future Fun Fridays.

This week we started our informational Writing Workshop unit called Lab Reports and Science Books.  I love it so far! We started out by doing an experiment testing to see if the little toy car would go farther from the ramp on the carpet or bare floor. The kids were so excited to test it out.  Some even tried it out at home too! As we went through the experiment process, students worked on their lab books covering topics like hypothesis, procedures, writing results, and coming up with conclusions based on the results. This is my first time teaching this informational book and I am a fan so far!
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Rest up – next week will be a long, crazy week with Halloween on Monday!

Author’s Celebration


We finished up our first unit of Writing Workshop and it was time to celebrate! Last week we had our Author’s Celebration and I wanted to share it with all of you!

Our first unit in Writing Workshop was narrative writing. Students have been working so hard on writing a small moment story while incorporating craft moves from mentor authors that we studied. Not an easy feat for 2nd graders (I don’t ever remember writing things like this in 2nd grade), but they rocked it!  We worked on interesting beginnings, strong word choice, stretching your story across the pages, dialogue, and adding details to make the reader feel like they are there.

For our celebration, each student got to share their story under the document camera and read it out loud to the class. Then, each student picked 2 kids to give them a compliment. I then, also gave multiple compliments and we applauded.  Each kiddo had a chance to share and at the end we celebrated with some yummy cookies.

Here are a few photos from our celebration.

Five for Friday – October 21

Reading, Writing

What a week. This one felt like a very long one for some reason.  The full moon on Sunday/Monday night didn’t help things either. I’m linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another round of Five for Friday. Here’s what we were up to this week…

This was a first! I’ve had many kids tie their shoes together – this was a first for socks! My little friend’s socks have capes on the back of them and she was experimenting.  She had quite a fun walk down to the lunchroom with her socks tied together.  
We are about to start our Vocabulary Station during Literacy Stations. I like to introduce the activities on the task cards whole group first, before they do it with a partner in the station. To help practice our weekly vocabulary words, students worked with a partner and had to use the words in a story they created together! Great way to incorporate writing and vocabulary!

This week we reviewed nouns. We first made a tree map of nouns and then went back to identify which nouns were common and which were proper.
Then, we played a little “game” called Common or Proper.  I showed the word on the projector and the students wrote a “p” for proper on their white board or a “c” for common. This was a quick way to practice and check for understanding. And, way better than a worksheet!


My newest product is now up in my TPT Store. It’s called Grammar Fix It. The first version covers capitals and end marks.  Great way to practice whole group, small group, with a partner, or independently!  Check it out here
We are loving the new Blazer Fresh channel on GoNoodle. My favorite is “Read with Expression.” That tune just gets stuck in your head! We tried out their new one about patterns this week and the kids loved it. What’s your classes favorite GoNoodle video??

Grammar Fix It – Capitals and End Marks

Here are a few ideas for how to review end marks in your classroom.  And, I have a new product posted at the end that I’m super excited to show you.  It covers capitalization and end marks.
First, we watched the Brainpop Jr movie on end marks and then created this chart as a class. Students helped me create the examples of each type of sentence.
Then, the next day, students created their own sentences for their Morning Message.
And, lastly students worked on Grammar Fix Its in groups during our Morning Meeting activity. Grammar Fix Its provide quick practice on different grammar skills. The first pack has capitalization, end marks, and a set with both.  These can be worked on whole group, small group, with a partner, or independently. It would be perfect for Around the Room or for an activity for a grammar literacy station.  I like to think of it as an updated version of DOL without the extensive drill and kill, repetitious practice.  
These pages are printer friendly and offer two printing options.  The pages can be printed 8.5×11 or I have another set that offers four to a page.
How do you review capitals and end marks with your students? I’m always looking for new ideas to change things up! Leave your ideas in the comments.

Five for Friday – October 14

Reading, Social Studies, Writing

I’m linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday. October is moving along and it’ll be the holiday season before we know it. See what we were up to this week below…

This week we continued on with our Statue of Liberty PBL. Students used books as well as a teacher-created website to research more facts on the Statue of Liberty. They really got into it and I love how excited they were to tell me the new facts they found!

We worked on inferring this week in reading. I love using pictures and videos as a way to introduce inferring/drawing conclusions, which is quite a tricky concept. We used the pictures above that I found on Pinterest a few years ago and had to infer what was happening in the picture. Then, I showed them the Pixar video. This was a new video to most of them and they were dying laughing. But, they also made some good inferences too :-).  

We are finishing up our first Writing Workshop unit on Narratives. Students this week finished editing their pieces and writing their final drafts. We’ll have our first author’s celebration this Monday!

I love this quote! So important to remember! If kids can see and feel our passion for what we’re teaching them, they’ll love what they are learning even more! A little inspiration for my Five for Friday.

Last weekend I was back up in Cedar City, Utah. We went to another football game and also visited the C Overlook, which is about 2,200 feet above the town. Beautiful views from up there!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!

Johnson Elementary – Back to School PBL

Reading, Social Studies, Writing
This is one of my favorite school projects. Last year, I wanted to move into Project Based Learning as a way to teach our Social Studies standards while also incorporating Reading and Writing. My teacher friend, Katie helped me out with some great ideas for how to get started.  See how I teach my first PBL of the year….
Going over rules is an important part of any classroom. And, it’s something that has to be done in every class at the beginning of the year. The first few standards we typically tackle in Social Studies had to do with community, rules, etc.  So, instead of the same old boring here are the rules, here is why we follow them…Johnson Elementary was born.
The kids are introduced to this project by finding out that they will be teachers at Johnson Elementary.  I am the principal – Principal Johnson and they quickly become Miss ____, Mr. ____, etc.  The excitement that builds just from this announcement is amazing! Buy in happens instantly!
Next, we talk about the school we’re opening and what classes our school will have. The teachers (students) get to pick what class they are teaching. We’ve had math, kindergarten, roller blading, ballet, science, cooking, Legos, Minecraft, etc.  I’m pretty flexible on what they can teach. I want them to have fun and pick something they like.  
Here’s the cover page of our PBL Packet.  The Essential Question we focus on is – How do rules help people function in a community and school?
Teacher Info:
On the next page, “teachers” give more information on the class they teaching. They tell me what they picked and why. They also create a list of a few things they will be teaching in their class. 

Class Set-Up and Map:
Before starting this we look at a few pictures/maps of classroom online. We talk about making sure you have things you need to teach and things your students will need to learn.  “Teachers” start by brainstorming a list of things they will need to have in their classroom. Once they have finished brainstorming, they draw their classroom map on the next page.

Classroom Rules:
Before the “teachers” write their rules for their classroom, we research class rules. We read Officer Buckle and Gloria, read an article from ReadWorks on rules, and look at multiple examples online from many different types of classrooms. We even brainstormed a ton of rules on our circle map below. We talked too about a good number of rules. We thought 40 would be too many for kids to remember and 1 rule was not enough. So, we decided to keep the rules between 4-10.

Group Project – Expectations:
In addition to rules in the classroom, we talked about other places that needed rules and expectations. We decided to focus on the bathroom, hallway, playground, and lunch room. The students broke into groups of 4-5 and worked with their group on expectations for their area. They first brainstormed some ideas. Then, they came up with again 4-10 and explained why they picked them.  The last piece was presenting. Each group presented their expectations to the class. They did awesome! Great first presentation to the class.
Essential Question:
After completing the project, students then went back to the Essential Question and explained why rules are necessary in schools and communities.
PBL Rubric:
I created the rubric below as a way to score this project.  This is our first PBL so it includes less pieces than some of our later ones, but I wanted to be able to identify how they did on each area – especially the Essential Question. Most kiddos did great! They really understood why we had rules – safety, keep things fair, etc and really enjoyed this project.

Do you use PBL at your school? What’s the first project you do with your students?