Reading Strategy Charts

I've created reading strategy charts to align with the graphics used in my personal focus walls.  I've uploaded the file to my TpT store.

HM 2nd Grade: Theme 3, Selection 2

Theme 3 a Trip to the Firehouse

HM 2nd Grade: Theme 1, Focus on Poetry

Various themes have a section called, "Focus On ..."  or "Progress Monitoring".  I picked up the manuals at school today and completed Theme One: Focus On Poetry.

Theme 1 Focus on Poetry

HM 2nd Grade: Theme 3, Selection 1

Theme 3 Chinatown

Postcard Exchange

It's time to sign up for a postcard exchange!  The basic idea is to enlist 50 school teachers, one in each US state, and get their class to commit to writing and sending out 50 postcards. 

You'll need to send out 49 postcards to each state participating (you are the 50th).  This does require you to purchase postcards and stamps.  

If you find 25¢ postcards, that will be $12.50 in postcards, 40¢ postcards will run you $20, and 95¢ postcards will cost you $47.50.

Postcard stamps are 29¢ each, so the 50 stamps are going to cost $14.50.

Ms. Mathes and I would like to open up a postcard exchange to classrooms with a blog so that we can read blog post updates with pictures of cards received. 

The exchange is open on the first come, first serve basis.  Participants will include an introduction to their classroom and a fact about their state.  We would also like to include a line "want to learn more about _______, just Skype us at _____" OR "want to learn more about ______, just contact us at _______".

We would like all participants to mail out their postcards by the end of October.  The deadline is set to allow correspondence between participants through blogs, email, or Skype.  

Are you hooked?  Link here and see if your state is available and details on how to join the postcard exchange!  

Math Work Stations: Chapter 5

MWS Chapter 5

Here's a list of books for various skills across all curriculum. You'll find math on pages 3-6.
Skill Books

Last week I posted Batter Up. This game works on place value through 1000.

Are You Ready 4 Doubles Connect Four reinforces doubles math facts.

HM 2nd Grade: Theme 2, Selection 3

Here is the 3rd focus wall for theme 2. The selection is Around the Pond:Who's Been Here?

Theme 2 Around the Pond

HM 2nd Grade: Theme 2, Selection 2

Here is the 2nd focus wall for theme 2. The selection is Exploring the Parks with Ranger Dockett.

Theme 2 Ranger Dockett

HM 2nd Grade: Theme 1, Selection 3

Here is the 3rd focus wall for theme 1.  The selection is Mrs. Brown Went to Town.

Theme 1 Mrs Brown Goes to Town

HM 2nd Grade: Theme 1, Selection 2

Here is the 2nd focus wall for theme 1.  The selection is Julius.

Theme 1 Julius

Personal Focus Wall

Ya'll, I've been keeping myself busy the first few days out of school.  Why do we feel the need to jump back into the game without a days break?  Several years ago, my county adopted Houghton Mifflin Reading.  When I started Mrs. Saoud's Blog in 2009, I featured many resources to use on bulletin board focus wall.  The only problem is the lack of space made available after all other requirements are posted, so I reworked my system.  I decided to create a set of posters that allows the focus wall to be private and personal.

At times the kids become a little distracting when getting in and out of their seat.  To create independence, I encourage an open classroom allowing kids to use any resource or supply they need without asking.  Okay, this is given within reason.  There are a few, people I know we all have them, that will try to evade their work.  For testing purposes, I have an office in each desk.  After thinking it out, I decided to incorporate a personal focus wall in their office.  This partition is commonly used for testing.  I do LOVE collaborative groups but there are times when reading is private to allow personal reflection.  Other times, the kids are moving about in pairs on the floor and need a system that will allow travel without lots of tools.

To make this work for me, I cut off the edge of a pocket protector since the whole punched side for notebooks will not be needed.  I stapled the sheet protector to the inside of the office.

Each week the kids will rotate out a new focus wall.  The old wall will go in their resource binder (link embedded) as a reference.  I love having the binder available with familiar stories that align with the strategies.  When the strategy cycles through a second time, the kids can check their reference sheets and pull this familiar story to draw on their schema.

This will become a collection of words and strategies for the kids to use as reference at workstations, independent reading, or writing.  Here is a preview of the first focus sheet created. 

Theme 1 Dragon Gets By

I've just completed a set of Comprehension Skills and Strategies Posters (link embedded) for my classroom walls.  The poster images are the same as the images in our personal focus walls to ensure consistency and allow students to make connections to our mini lessons.

Math Work Stations: Chapter 4

MWS Chapter 4

Hayley Bishop of Bishop's Blackboard has a wonderful set of place value flashcards in her TpT store for FREE.  I downloaded, printed, and use in my work stations. 

During district training, I received a Skills and Concepts alignment document developed by RTI Teaching Connections of UCF and funded by the State of Florida. An additional document created was the Concept and Skills Checklist.  See notes above for additional details...


Thanks for reading.  I'd love to receive a comment.  After, link over to Fran's fabulous post.  Grab a few, well more than a few, freebies.

Last Day

I managed to make it through today without crying.  I couldn't say the same for making our class memory books.  I was a blubbering fool.  The kids embraced together approximately 10 times.  It's definitely hard letting go.  Notice I'm about to be attacked in the first picture.  The second picture there is no trace of me.  I'm there amongst BO and all.  LOL!!  We had a picnic lunch thanks to my fabulous parents.  We hung out and reflected on our years together.  We hugged, hugged, and hugged.  I attempted to get the students out of the room and some came back for more hugs.  It broke my heart.  

Camping Work Stations

This morning I arrived early to finalize last minute details for Camping with Books.  While awaiting the kids arrival, I decided to lock the classroom door, cover the window with paper, and build anticipation for our thematic unit.  Several teachers popped in through the office door to explain that the kids were about to burst with excitement over the unveiling.  As we created ground rules, the kids looked like they were painfully  being punished and awaitig their removal from time out to play.

We completed a full rotation through our thematic work stations: observing and identifying the different parts of a ladybug, reading in the tents, creating a camp journal post in the rafts, adding words, playing bug off (Free TpT item), reading along at the listening log,  working on strategies with Kindergylnn's Dial a Word, creating campfire stories, computers, and designing insect crafts for our camp mural. 

This story is looking a little intense!

 I'm anticipating another fabulous round a thematic learning tomorrow.  We will have our end of the year awards ceremony in the afternoon and end with trail mix and an insect video from Discovery's Life series.

Math Work Stations: Chapter 3

I'm having to post a day or two early.  The district will be re-imaging my laptop tomorrow.  It's my hopes to receive my computer back ASAP.  My desktop is S...L...O...W!
MWS Chapter 3

Introducing New Math Stations

Available at TpT Store

A Powerful Tool...

This year has been magnificent.  I've watched the kids grow up and develop into young problem solvers.  Their independence and willingness to tackle new ideas is truly inspiring.

The best thing leaned came from this little device.
I knew the power of having a Flip Camera in the palms of my hands to capture the precious moments and share with families and friends but it wasn't until I handed the camera to my darlings that I received a glimpse of my classroom or teaching through the students eyes.  

Allowing students to take the Flip and film anything they wanted became a tool for me to see their interest and what they felt was meaningful.  Some students simply read work on the wall, others explained their favorite place in class, one took the time to read our weekly focus wall.  

Have you ever wondered what kids are thinking about when you are teaching?  Hand them a video camera and allow the kids to film during your mini lesson.  I watched as one student zoomed in on words around the room as they appeared in the read aloud.  Another student mumbled the answers each time I prompted comprehension questions but this child won't raise their hand to participate AT ALL.  

The Flip was truly a powerful tool in my teaching success this year.  I am sad to report that Cisco has closed down their Flip division because of the power of the SMARTPHONE.  Here is an article from the NY Times that explains Cisco's decision.  This has only prompted me to create a DonorsChoose project this summer for another device with the same capabilities. 

Manatees Write by Moonlight

This school year, kids from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade were given an opportunity to participate in an exciting writing event.  Manatees Write by Moonlight was developed by a group of students.  The kids decided to assign a writing prompt at each Full Moon.  Participants could respond to the prompt with any genre of writing.  Once submitted, the kids were called to the front lobby and received a Moon Pie and take pictures with Administration to celebrate.  The writing was scored and a tally was kept for each prompt throughout the school year.  This culminating event wasn't complete until parents, faculty, staff, and students gathered on a  warm May evening to celebrate the authors, look through telescopes at the moon, and announce the winners.  I am so proud that my student, Hayden, won for second grade.  BIG APPLAUSE!!  Today the kids received their writing back and a printed copy of the FIRST EVER... Manatees Write by Moonlight Magazine!

Manatees Writes by Moonlight Magazine

Math Work Stations: Chapter 1 and 2

MWS Chapter 1 and 2

Math Center Signs

Math Centers

Link over to Mrs. Wills to attach your post or printable item!