Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spark Student Motivation Saturday

I really enjoy linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays.

I've always struggled with teaching writing. No matter what grade level I was teaching. Writing is hard for kids, so they're not always motivated to do their best. So often, I find that students rush through writing assignments just to get them done. So, this year I decided to go back to a classic Writer's Workshop. Students have journals, folders, writer's offices, these great prompts from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations, and we have quiet writing time. I can conference with individuals, pull small groups for skills work (Like my Making and Changing word lists), and kids can begin to love writing, while building stamina and improving!

I still have writing tasks and assignments, but not all the time. And when kids finish those tasks early, they know how to write for themselves, for fun!

I think giving kids choice is always motivating! And it build independence. That's a BIG plus! :)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Scoop

Hi everyone! I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio for Sunday Scoop.

I really need to go grocery shopping, and I'm thinking I should do it today. My local grocery store was voted in the top four best places to work in America and they're celebrating today by handing out free cake and clementines! That sounds like a great way to shop...while having a snack! :)

I'm also very jealous of people talking springtime weather. Last weekend was a bit of a tease for us in upstate New York - gorgeous and 60 degree. This past week has been FREEZING and SNOWING and WINDY! I'm just crossing my fingers that spring will come soon! And stay!

I can't tell you how many times my second graders write to me about Lucy in their Reader Response Journals. Or "Loosy." She's just so darn cute.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Currently March

Linking up with Oh Boy It's Farley for Currently!

I'm just rewatching some Game of Thrones as I catch up on blogging! I'm loving this lazy Saturday! Although, as I sit here typing, my poor little dog is crying at my feet for treats. She's always hungry. She was crying at the cabinet for treats, but I was doing too good a job of ignoring her, so she came into the living room and upped her crying game at my feet. I suppose I might give in. Soon.

Happy March, everyone!

Favorite Things

I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio for Favorite Things. This is my first time joining this link party!

There are gorgeous illustrations in this book! Really beautiful and great for students to generate a retelling of this classic tale.

I love this book! I love all of David Wiesner's wordless picture books, but this one really gets the kiddos thinking!

I like to use Tuesday to introduce my second graders to the comprehension strategy of questioning because it can be a puzzling(and hilarious) book!

Spark Student Motivation Saturday

I'm here to link up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!

I downloaded these great science kits for Valentine's Day this year. Instead of loading my kiddos up on MORE sugar, I made these science kits. It worked out really well because our Valentine's Day celebration was the day before our week long winter vacation! So, the second graders had some great science experiments to get them through the vacation!

Now, that was so successful, that I decided to purchase more of the Science kits from TPT and send science experiments home for the next vacation that's coming up, too! My school does not give second grade a time to teach science (we teach it through our ELA time), so we do not get to do as many experiments as I would like. Kids love hands on experiences!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Five for Friday

Hi there! I'll be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday today. So, let's get started! :)

Lucy and I have been loving all of the snow in upstate New York recently!
Of course, with the crazy weather here, we have 2 feet of snow one day and then two days later it's 50 degrees and everything is melting! 

Just a little shout out to Teach-a-Roo, who created an amazing resource! I downloaded these Valentine Science kits this year instead of giving out treat bags (because they definitely don't need MORE sugar on Valentine's day!) and they were a huge hit! I went back and downloaded other science kits to use for other vacations throughout the school year!

I visited a local living museum on a full moon when they were doing an Owl Moon night. It was a lot of fun! There was a nighttime snowy hike in the woods, roasting marshmallows, a reading of Owl Moon, hot chocolate and cookies, and....REAL LIVE OWLS! Very exciting!

Here is a sample of some writing one of my second graders did for me recently. I love Reader Response Journals! I write my kiddos a letter each week in their journals, and they respond to me. One paragraph is personal, and the other is text-based. You can see some of the scaffolding I provide (which goes away as the year progresses). I love looking back through these journals and seeing how far each of my students has come!
I'm still loving the Brag Tags! They are a new addition to my second grade classroom this year. I wish I had thought to use them last year too, because I know that class would have appreciated them as well!