Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last Night's Halloween Printable- FREE

Use this writing sheet for the day after Halloween. Your students can reflect on their night of fun with this printable. They will all want to share about their Halloween anyway! My plan is to have this sheet on their desk tomorrow morning when they come in as a morning work activity. When students are finished, they will get in small groups to share about Last Night's Halloween!


One color copy and one b/w version included.

This is a FREEBIE...If you download, I would greatly appreciate your feedback! And please consider following my store!

Special thanks to Rocky Creek Studio for the cute border. 
Clip art by


To see my complete Halloween Activity Pack click here…

11/1 UPDATE: We did this today and the kids really liked having a place to share about their fun night! I was impressed by the quality of writing as well for the day after their candy spree!

Here are a couple of my student's work…

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Last week was Red Ribbon Week where we celebrate our ONE life and understand the importance of saying NO to drugs. Each day we had a theme. We wore our CAMO gear on Monday to show that drugs can't find us and on Tuesday we teamed up against drugs and wore our jerseys.

On Wednesday, we supported our ONE WORD for the week which was NO by wearing our own ONE word for the year on our shirts, face, arm, sign...whatever. Here is a pic of our class with their one word.

In our GE group, Great Expectations, where we have a mixture of k-2 students or 3-5 students, come to  us each Wednesday for good citizenship lessons etc, we made a poster to show that we have the power to say NO! 

Here was our group's poster using Pic Collage. (Have I mentioned how much I like that app?)

The next day, was RED OUT against drugs and every single one of my kids participated and wore red! We also had a pep rally that afternoon for our Marcus Marauder football team. We are the only elementary school in the district to have a pep rally for our high school with all the football players, cheerleaders and coaching staff involved. The kids loved it, of course, and it gives them a great sense of pride in their future high school.

On Friday, to wrap up the week, we wore our mismatched socks. Didn't get a pic of that day. It was a great week and I hope the kids always remember the importance of teaming up against something that will certainly rob them of their ONE WORD!

Who Sank the Boat? in Science!

In science, we have been studying matter and specifically combining matter. Last week, the kids were instructed to build a boat with their choice of materials with the goal of staying afloat while holding 10 pennies. To begin the lesson, I retold the story of Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen where 5 animals attempt to go on a boat ride. First 4 animals fit in the boat just fine but when the little mouse hopped in, the boat sank! I asked the kids why they thought this happened and for the most part, they understood that the boat had had enough!

So...I gave them about 40 minutes to come up with a plan for their boat, agree on materials and construct their boat! Materials available....paperclips, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, foil, popsicle sticks, foam paper, regular paper, tape, and staples. It was so interesting watching their ideas come to fruition AND for most groups, changing their plan after discovering a better way.

 Making their boats!

The next day, the groups presented their boats and described how they combined the materials. They had to justify why they constructed their boat the way they did.

Here are some pics of the groups with their boats and their results!

First group!

It floated with 10 pennies!

2nd group...

Another success!

3rd group...

 Unfortunately this one didn't make it after the 8th penny was added. :(

Next group...

I love the suspense here...


And for our last group....

Another successful floating boat!

Here is a close up of our floaters...

Why do you think these all floated??

And here was our sinker...

The group claims they used too much tape and they didn't have anything protecting the 2 sides so water got into the boat pretty easily.

After we tested the boats, the kids each wrote a reflection of their results, explaining what happened and why.

I took a pic of each reflection page to upload to their e-portfolios. It is so neat to see their thinking!

Next week, we are building a bridge that needs to withstand the weight of 3 books. That should be a fun one Stay tuned. :)

Shape Hunt and Pic Collage!

We've had a busy week and I wanted to post some of our highlights!

In Math last week, we reviewed solid shapes and figures with a fun Shape Hunt. The kids were in small groups and each group had an iPad. Our objective was to see how many solid figures we could find in our school. After reviewing our iPad rules, (Get the iPad Rules HERE!), we started off in the classroom and took pictures of things that resembled our solid figures. The groups also each had a recording sheet with a clipboard to record the things we found.

They LOVED this and were very excited about all the shapes they found.

When we got back to the classroom, each group made a Pic Collage of all the shapes/solid figures.

 Making our Pic Collage

Here is one of the group's finished collage

After we shared our Pic Collages with the class we added up all the different shapes and graphed them as a group. It ended up being a really great activity.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Yo Ho! Let's Go! Money Adventure

I created this Money Unit last week, just haven't had a chance to share it yet! This is a complete unit that includes teaching posters, printables and station activities. I can't wait to use this with my class.

Here is a SNEAK PEEK of what is included in the unit. MANY MORE in the complete file!

Some close-ups :)

If you want to see more....or get this for your students, CLICK HERE!

Story Structure posters and Gallery Walk!

We learned all about Story Structure recently and did a few fun things. We introduced story structure by reading A Bad Case of Stripes  by David Shannon.

 It's such a humorous story that the kids love and it also has a great model for story structure: characters, setting, problem and solution. After reading we complete a story map on the smart board that I found on TpT by Khrys Bosland. Here is a LINK to the story map.

The next day we read another great book, Cock-a-Doodle Dudley. After reading, we got in groups  to complete a group story structure poster. I had 3 kids to a group and each assigned a job: writer, illustrator, and editor. They all had to come up with complete sentences to explain the elements of the story.
Here is one group's finished poster. 

Once all posters were complete, we posted them around the room for a "gallery walk". This allowed the groups to see everyone's poster at their own pace. Here is a video to our class checking out each other's posters.

Then throughout the week we worked in our leveled readers identifying the story structure elements as well as creating their own story using these elements.

Super Sentences (in action!)

A couple weeks ago, I had posted my Super Sentences Unit on TpT. We were focusing on complete sentences ourselves in 2nd grade so I was able to use some of the activities in our class. Here we are sorting complete and incomplete sentences. :)

A close up of the activity sheets!

My class loved the Superhero Theme. :)

To get this for your students, click HERE!

Catching up...Class Compliment Reward system

Trying to play "catch-up" a little bit as I've been meaning to post some more pics and happenings from our little class lately. I always forget how crazy the first part of the school year can be with assessments,  getting to know your students, parent conferences...So this is my attempt to go back in time a few weeks a recap some of our highlights.

One of the things I started this year was a Class Compliment reward system. It's quite simple...our class gets compliments from other staff members and we are rewarded after certain number of compliments. My amazing sister (and former 2nd grade teacher) actually helped me come up with the idea so I cannot take full credit. :) I use our ABC wall and placed a star on the "A" when the school year began. When the class received a compliment, I move the star to the next letter. Throughout the alphabet I had set rewards the class would receive when we landed on certain letters.
See the turquoise star? That marks where we are on our compliment rewards. And, yes, don't you see where my ABC strip is coming off the wall?!

The first letter with a class reward was the letter "D" and "D" was for DANCE PARTY! We actually earned that one pretty quickly! We just needed 3 compliments to get to "D". Here is a chaotic video of our dance party!

D is for Dance Party
This was before we had split our classes to add a new section of 2nd grade so yes, that is 25 kids dancing around the room! Too much fun. :)

The next reward took us a little longer to earn but when we landed on letter "G", I invited a special surprise Guest Reader to come read to the class. I knew just who to invite as I had already heard from one of the first grade teachers that I had a fabulous parent reader in my class. Zoe's dad, Mr. Westman, came to read a few Skippy Jon Jones book in his best spanish accent as well as a few other good books! It was very entertaining and the kids really enjoyed it!!

G is for Guest Reader
As we move through the year, we will be earning several more compliments and rewards! The next one  will be on letter "K" for a "Kick Around", meaning the kids will bring their favorite balls and we will simply go kick around outside. 
Then we will be having a Popcorn party when we get to letter "P". 
Hmm....what's next?! Ugh can't remember but I think it is something for letter "S"?!

UPDATE!! The next one is soon after our Popcorn's R for "Read and Feed!" Kids can bring their favorite books and snacks for a reading party. :)

I do know that letter "V" stands for "Victory Lap" where again, we will go run around outside and play after taking a victory lap, of course. :)
Then the last class reward ends at letter "Z" with "Zany Zoo day" where we get to bring our favorite stuffed animals to school with us. 
It has been a great reward system so far and very easy to manage. I did tell the kids that we would just start back at the A once we finished. I have some kids predicting that we will repeat the alphabet at least 10 times by the end of the year! We'll see about that. :)