Sunday, November 30, 2014

From a Pigeon Thanksgiving to a Christmas Geome-tree

November might have been the BEST and LONGEST author study I've ever facilitated, but it was so much fun! We studied Mo Willems... and who doesn't LOVE Mo?

My kids loved every one of his books.... I think mostly the Pigeon though! Oddly enough, the Pigeon is very very low for my second graders, but they wanted to keep reading it again and again! So we studied him for a while and we learned ALOT about becoming an author. We used some of the following products off TPT and enjoyed every one of them:

We finished up our study by learning about persuasive and opinion writing. So, of course, we did the Turkey Wants a Hot Dog! I absolutely love this unit! I did it a couple years ago with my firsties and they loved it too!

My class this year loved it, but we did a different take on it. This class isn't full of the neatest cutters... and this activity involves cutting and gluing in the correct spot--- all in all--- a lot of following directions.. something my little guys just aren't able to do all of the time. So, instead of going the cutting route, we did the directed drawing/ Drink and Draw route and had a little hot dog party after we finished our writing and drawing!

 How adorable did our little collage turn out?!

I guess it is time to move on... now that December is beginning! We are tackling 2 math standards this month... measurement and geometry! Second grade geometry standards aren't exactly hard... in fact they seem easier than first grade, so I am hoping we can get through them pretty quickly! Anyway, I have revamped an activity packet that was at one time free, but is now loaded with 2 differentiated activities for your kiddos to enjoy!

Click the picture to get this on sale now!!

Anyway, I'm off to bed! Have a great day back tomorrow! Oh, and don't forget to hit up that TPT Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

3 weeks until Christmas Break!!

The realization came to me today when I was looking at my plan book...

Next week I have this...

Then I need to fit in this....

Oh, remember last year when we had fun doing that??.....

Oh, yeah and remember how there are only 3 school weeks until break?!? It seems like once a number like that is put on it, there really isn't time to do anything!!

We are going to fit in a little something though... I mean we do have:
  •  2 whole math standards to master
  • to conquer the unknown out in space
  • to learn about different cultures (which we will stragically place this Social Studies right into the Reading block!)
  • Fun Christmas Activities!!!
Yes, in the words of Tim Gunn, we will "make it work"!

So, to get us off on the right track this week, we are starting off with a project that has partially been completed at home, and will be finished at school over the next 2 weeks. I try my hardest to make learning in our classroom about discovery, but sometimes we have to front load the little brains in our classroom to provide that background knowledge... which is crutial to understanding holidays and traditions from different cultures.

**You can get more information about the Cultural Traditions project by checking out my good friend's TPT store: Vandy Penguins. I was lucky enough to have her on my team!!

Here is our timeline:

 So, here is the *best* part of this project. We recently got some new, very large windows installed in our hallway! They are beautiful but right now when we look at them we think it looks like something is missing!

So, we have asked the artifacts that are brought in to represent the holiday selected be about 2 inches or smaller to fit in a clear ornament. Then, we will hang all the artifacts in the ornaments in front of the huge window.
*We were able to get an amazing deal on the ornaments from Oriental Trading! 

I am super excited to see how it turns out! So, technically, Phase 1 should be completed as of Monday, when the kids are suppose to return the initial graphic organizers.... I sure hope they do!!

Anyway, during reading we will soon begin our research on to learn about these holidays, but we will also do some "close" reading on different holidays too. I spent a lot of my day today looking for the perfect close reading passage that was (free).... but there wasn't much out there that was helping me out! I think I put about 10 in my cart, before I thought... I should have just been typing something up this whole time!

So, I did type something up. After reading this awesome guided reading book called "Celebrate Around the World" by Margaret C. Hall. I made a whole packet to keep us busy in reading for part of the week as we slowly begin our research.

There are about 4 pages with short passages with questions. Then at the end I put a Venn Diagram and a little Vocabulary chart to tie it all together. Please go download this freebie by clicking here or any of the photos above.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and didn't spend too much money because you know Cyber Monday is coming up!! Sale on TPT!!!

Courtesy of the 3AM Teacher :) Click above to make it to my shop for your spending pleasure!!