Saturday, April 4, 2015

You Oughta Know About...Task Card Storage

I am thrilled to be linking with Jasmine from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her You Oughta Know Blog Hop! 
You definitely oughta know what I found at Target!!!   I absolutely love shopping at Target.  It's rare that I leave without something new for my classroom, even if it's only a new pack of scented markers. But, one day, I found something even better than scented markers and fancy washi tape!  I was strolling the aisles of Target (okay I was actually chasing around my 5 year old), when I laid my eyes upon this...

You can probably imagine what I was thinking...Oh my gosh, these are PERFECT for task cards!!!  I mean they must have seriously been envisioning teachers as they created these containers.  They are the perfect size for task cards and there are 6 individual containers per bin.  I thought I'd hit the jackpot for sure.  My husband on the other hand just shook his head, and looked at me as if I were crazy.  He simply doesn't get how exciting new containers are for teachers! Of course, I couldn't buy just one, I filled that shopping cart up with 6 of these puppies!

I have been teaching for 11 years, and I am just NOW realizing how fantastic task cards can be.  I can't even come up with a good reason for why I've never used them in the past.  Honestly, I think it was in part because I had no idea how I'd store them.  Now, that that problem is solved,  I've been filling up my TPT shopping cart with task cards galore.  There are so many amazing task cards on TPT, and I seriously can't believe how many are even free!

If you already have a bunch of task cards that simply need a home.  Head off to Target, you'll love these!   I was able to fit 2 sets of task cards in each of the smaller boxes. 

The task cards I'm using are all Math, so I created labels for each container.  They are free for now, so be sure to go check them out.  The bottom portion is editable, so you can be more specific about the task cards inside.  For most of them, I simply put how many cards are in the set.  I hope you'll leave feedback if you download.  I'd love to hear what you think.

I also created this generic recording page that you can get for free by clicking the image below.  I wanted my students to be able to use the same recording page regardless of which task cards they chose.  It works as long as there are no more than 40 questions.  Luckily, all of the sets I have, have less than 40 questions.  I wanted to have a bunch of these pages available, so my students can simply grab it and go with their task cards.

Thanks a bunch for dropping by and head on over to check out all the neat ideas by other bloggers.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Tall Tale Extravaganza...

We had such a great time learning about tall tales this year.   It's honestly one of my favorite units in second grade.   Slue-Foot Sue has always been ones of my absolute favorite tall tale heroes.  I mean she rode a catfish the size of a just gotta love her!  I found the Idiom worksheet below, which is part of the Evan Moor's Tall Tale Literature Pockets resource.  When I saw the title of the page...I knew I'd have to create a downright silly Slue-Foot Sue to match.  They had so much fun with idioms, and it certainly looks like Slue-Foot Sue bit off more than she could chew!

I get all of the Tall Tale stories that I read aloud to my students from the Evan-Moor Resource.  It's an amazing resource.  The Slue Foot Sue template we used can be downloaded below for FREE.

You certainly can't learn about Slue-Foot Sue without learning about Pecos Bill.  I mean she is his better half.  We worked on these webs after learning about Pecos Bill.  Click here to get the free download.

We made the same posters as last year and I really fell in love with their illustrations! You can check out last year's post here if you're interested in reading more about the posters.

We always learn about the four tall tale heroes in the graph above.  But, this year we added a new tale to our list.  I had the opportunity to correspond with the author of the story, A Rip Snortin' Tale of a Toad.  The author is Ruth Bates and I was super excited when she reached out to me to share her adorable tale.  I really couldn't wait to share it with my students.   I'm always thrilled any time there is an opportunity to incorporate new books about Texas into the curriculum.  My students just fell in love with Rip and they are still talking about him today.  I also found out via Instagram that apparently there in a parade for Rip each year in Eastland, Texas.  If only, we could travel that far for a field trip.  How cool would that be?

Here are a few of the activities we did along with the book.  There are so many cross-curricular activities that could be done with this book.  We spent a week on this story, but we could have easily spent another week on it.


All of the Rip activities can be found by clicking the image below.
If you are interested in this adorable book, you can purchase A Rip Snortin' Tale...of a Toad directly from the author, Ruth Bates.  Her e-mail is listed in the image above. 

 I'd love to give away a free autographed copy to one lucky reader.  Simply leave a comment below with your e-mail and I will contact the winner via e-mail.  I will choose a winner Friday, April 3, 2015.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Morning Messages: Adjective Edition

This school year I seem to be busier than ever!!! I couldn't believe it when I saw the date on my last blog post!  I'm REALLY looking forward to summer, so I can finally spend some time on my neglected blog.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who continues to stick with me even though my posts are getting farther and farther apart.

Today, I really wanted to share something new I started awhile back.  My district began requiring us to do a daily morning message.  I had done morning messages in the past, but due to time constraints, they didn't always happen regularly.  I really tried to get back into the hang of doing them, and ran into the same problem this year.  My students LOVE doing them, but I was always struggling to find the time to create them and then write them out on chart paper.   I started with a bang and then they fizzled.

Another issue was that I really did not have time in my reading block for both morning message and a separate language lesson on top of all the other Balanced Literacy activities I do daily.  So, I came up with this idea to integrate my language and morning message.  I couldn't be more happier with the results.  Keep in mind that this isn't the only time I teach language.  In the morning message I focus on teaching the content, and then it's integrated into everything I do the rest of the day, especially in writing!
Here is a little peek at what's included:

There are a total of 15 pages designed to teach students all about adjectives.  These activities are so much more than simply filling in blanks. Students can interact with the message by looking for abbreviations, contractions, possessives, proper nouns, pronouns, rhyming words, spelling patterns, and even counting syllables. I simply use my digital camera to display it on my Smart board.   Then, my students can come up and interact with the morning message on the Smart board.  My students love working on morning message, and I am thrilled that so much learning takes place during this simple 15 min. block of time.

This Adjective Edition introduces adjectives to students.  It also discusses comparatives, superlatives, and sensory adjectives.  The Day 5 page is designed to be completed independently.  This is a quick way to assess what they have learned over the week.  It is also a great way for them to interact with the morning message on their own.

This is an example of a Day 5 page.  I really wanted them to have to explain their thinking in their own words.
I am currently working on the Adverb Edition.   This summer I plan to complete the sets for sentences, nouns, and verbs.

As always, I'd love to give it away for free to the first 3 people that leave a comment and their e-mail.  Just a way to show my love to the wonderful teachers that follow my blog.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Objective Headers

When I looked at my last post and realized it was Christmas themed, I realized I was long overdo for a blog post.  This new year has brought a lot of changes for my district, and one of those changes was the requirement to have all objectives posted.  My grade level already had them posted, so we felt like we could check this off our list.  They worked great and I loved that they took up very little space.  This smaller set is editable, so you do have the option of typing your objectives.  I used the bottom portion of a ziploc baggy to make a pocket to slide the objectives in. I simply used double stick tape to attach the baggy to the laminated poster. I started to refer to these posters regularly in the classroom and loved how my students could clearly see what their goals were.  The more we used them, the more I realized it was time to upgrade these posters to a larger size.

This is how the original set looks:

I decided to go ahead and make a larger size and added this to the same resource on TPT.  These are the larger posters.  Now, this set is not editable.  I kept it pretty simple.  I just laminated the posters and use dry erase markers to write the objectives.

I added the Key Vocabulary strips on the side, so that students have easy access to content area vocabulary or even key words I'd like them to remember.  These are also written with dry erase markers, so they can be easily changed.  I used magnets to hold everything on my front board, so I can simply grab it and go when they need to be changed.  Both versions of the headers are included in the same resource, so you can choose the best fit for your classroom.

As always, I'd love to give these headers for free to the first 3 readers to leave a comment with their e-mail.
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Fun...'s been so long since my last post!  I wanted to share just a few things we did over the last week.  It seems like every year I am stumped over which craft I should do for our holiday parent ornament.  Last year, my teacher besties did these super cute ornaments where their students looked like they were stuck in the ornament.  I fell in love with them, but was super nervous about trying them myself.  I'm a major perfectionist, I thought it would make me totally crazy trying to get those pictures just right in the ornament.  To my pleasant surprise, they were SO easy!

I really love how they turned out! I will definitely be doing these every year. 

I also wanted them to have something made entirely by them.  Kid-made ornaments are always the best.  So, we made one of my past faves, the popsicle stick X-mas tree.  They turned out super cute!

I had also purchased photo booth Christmas props on Etsy several years ago, and finally got around to using them.  So glad I did!  They looked really adorable inside their Christmas cards.  I wish I could remember the Etsy shop, but there are so many adorable ones to choose from if you do a search for Christmas Photo Booth Props.

You can get the card printable for free for clicking below.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Arthur's Thanksgiving and more

I am knee deep in papers that need to be graded and I thought it would be far more interesting to write a blog post!  So, I  thought I'd share a few of the activities we did before the Thanksgiving Break.   Next week is sure to spring us into full Christmas mode, so I better post this while I still can!

We always read the book, Arthur's Thanksgiving, and it's always a class favorite! Arthur is in charge of directing his class play, and my students always make so many great connections to it.  I was in the middle of reading the story, when I came up with this spur of the moment idea.  I love kid art, so I thought a directed drawing of Arthur would be super cute.  Our second graders no longer have a separate art class, so I really try to bring art into the curriculum any chance I can! 

I looked at the cover of the book and kind of just went with it.  I just started giving them different steps and hoped for the best!  Their drawings really turned out super cute!  I was pretty impressed and I love how unique they all turned out.  No two are exactly alike! 

If you are interested in the summarizing labels, you can get them below.  
They could be used with any story.

We also worked on these goofy gobblers that turned out super cute.  This is available in my Writing Piece of the Month Resource.  

They also wrote why they are thankful.  They are so sweet! I am so very thankful for such sweet second graders!

This is also available in the same Writing Piece of the Month resource.  I save all of their writing for the year, which includes all of the pieces in the resource I mentioned above.  We put them all together into a writing portfolio at the end of the year.  Their writing makes a perfect keepsake. 

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