Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mini-Beast Math Centers

I know, you're probably really surprised. No Seussy colours or bright green filling your screen here! As I was scrolling through google reader I couldn't believe how much Seussy goodness and St Patrick's Day colours and products are for sale on TpT! 

Well, I didn't feel like doing that. What did I want this week? Bugs! We've been talking a LOT about bugs lately because some of my kids think it's ok to hurt insects.. pulling the wings off moths? What fun! Go around stirring up and then squishing ants? Yes please! Scaring the living day lights out of small defenseless tree frogs or trying to keep stick insects inside our bags? No problem! Does it matter that the poor thing will be squished and crushed? Nope! I don't know if these kids mean to be cruel, but well,  it's driving me crazy. Sooo... we've been talking heaps about respecting animals and insects and letting them be.

So where was I? Oh yeah, bug math centres! It's my newest pack on TpT. It covers some of the skills we've been covering lately like patterns, place value and ordinal numbers (Year 2 Net for my grade 2 Aussie friends!). 

Not all pages are shown here (I get tired of taking screen shots!) but it comes with

1. Buggy Place Value - students sort the cards onto the sorting mats according to the place value of the red and underlined number. They can then record the numbers on the recording sheet. This center comes with two sets of cards (tens and ones, and hundred, tens and ones) and two recording sheets.
2. Mini-Beast patterns - students use the cards to make different patterns and then name and draw their pattern on the recording sheet. 

3. Mini-Beast ordinal numbers - students read and view each card (e.g. 3 friends already at the hive) and identify who will be the ___ friend at the hive and which bug is the ordinal number listed. 8 cards are included, with 2 questions per card detailed on the recording sheet. Uses ordinal numbers to 12th.

4. Ladybug doubles - students match the double with its sum and record. Doubles cards to 20+20 included. The recording sheet has room for sums to 10+10 - copy double sided if you want to give out all cards. 

5. Place value butterflies - the place values are all mixed up! Students read the cards, make the number using base-10 on a place value mat (included) and record the number on the recording sheet. These cards use 3 digit numbers. 


You can grab it here.

I am also having 20% off at TpT store for the Leap Day Sale (as if you haven't heard!). Use the code L2P9Y to enjoy an extra 10% off!

Come back tomorrow for an ordinal number freebie! I'm off to empty my cart!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Months, Days of the Week and Ordinals freebie

Thanks again to everyone for your kind comments, I've felt much better the last few days. 

I've fallen way behind in posting freebie things I've made over the past month or so. Here's a couple of things I made during the first weeks of school when we looked at time (days, months, calendars, ordinals). 

The first file has these cute Monster Calendar cards. We were loving monsters at the time as we had just been doing The Day A Monster Came to School activities. We ordered the months, learned and sang a months of the year song and each student was given an ordinal card which they had to match to the appropriate month.
 
You can grab the file in Google Docs by clicking on the image below. 
  We had also made a picture graph of our birthdays and made a proper birthday board with cupcakes and candles (no pic) that will stay up all year.
I also made up some simple, black and white cards to add to this board. I just glued them to coloured paper and laminated. The kids were able to visit this board and answer the questions. Click on either picture below to grab the cards.

Hopefully I'll be back soon to share other things I've made recently.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm in a funk...

I know I haven't posted for a week, but I'm really not motivated at all. I'm only in the 5th week of school for the year and I can't wait for the holidays. 

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Anyway, just had to get it out, I'll probably end up deleting this post when I wake up in the morning...

And I have, I just hated having something so negative permanently on here when I'm not normally such a negative person. Even though I woke up feeling terrible, you have all made me feel much better with your comments and virtual hugs - you've totally made me cry! The support on here is just amazing. I feel I can go into school today not feeling so negative now. It is just so defeating when you try so hard to help and support them and they do everything to stop you but I'll take your advice and focus on the beautiful students that I have and not let the others get me down.

Thank you all. I appreciate it so much. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day

I've picked up a lot of new followers lately so thought I'd point out some great Valentine's Day activities and games I've listed recently. You can download my FREE
which focuses on 2 and 3 addend addition, subtraction and multiplication!

Or my FREE Multiplication Array Number Stories!
If you are wanting to go all out and spend a few dollars, my 7 Valentine's Day Literacy and Math Centers are discounted at the moment!

I really wish today was Sunday.... I could do with a day off! I've got a parent meeting this morning to discuss behaviour problems. I hope you have a better day than I feel like I'm going to have!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Oh, the places we'll go... Term Goals

We have finally finished our term goals (I know it's week 3 but our new curriculum has been keeping us overly busy!). This was quite rushed as we had to fit it in between what we are supposed to be doing. Setting goals is usually something I like to do at the beginning of each term and we reflect on how we went at the end. 

To go off topic for a sec, I made up these and got them printed at Vista Print. 
I made these 3 posters up and got them printed as one banner. I just cut out each one when it arrived. The first one I've placed with my classroom library, the second one where my genre board will be and the last one near the group table.
This bulletin board was doing the rounds when the northern hemisphere returned to school last year. I don't have a big bulletin board outside my room, so I just got it made as a sign and have it sticking out my window so everyone who walks by can read it.

 This one I found online. I got it made as a car door magnet and have it sticking on the whiteboard.

This one is the one that inspired us to become little Cats in Hats. We discussed goals and how setting them doesn't mean we will achieve them. To be successful we have to make the choice to work hard, persevere and seek help or to give up and not have a go. 

I copied the hat for the kids, but they did everything else themselves. They had to draw their face, they chose how to make their hair (some used paper, cotton balls and wool for example), what colour paper and hat they wanted. I didn't restrict them to red and white.
 I know it's not the prettiest board but it's only going to be up for a week or two and then it's coming down to go in their assessment folder (ready for parent teacher interviews at the end of term with their term reflection) and to make way for new things.
 This boy decided to use paper to make his hair (and to write his name on his hat...).
 I like how this girl made the top of her hair all squiggly.
 Love the beard on this boy!
Here is one finished. Most of the girls came up with the idea of sticking the hair down under the hat by themselves.
I would like to make new friends. Pay attention in class. I want to do good in SOSE.

You can grab the hat template, goal speech bubble, sign words and coloured pic of the Cat in the Hat here via Google Docs.

Images by Scrappin Doodles and KDM Doodles. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Fitting everything in...

Here in Australia, we have started implementing the National Curriculum. With it, we have been given units of work, with all our lessons mapped out for English, Math and Science (so far). Is it just me, or is it really hard to fit everything in?! I've been having to condense what is in the lessons (while maintaining the lesson intentions of course!) otherwise I find I go overtime every lesson! 

At my school, we have been given a timetable (just like high school) which we have to stick to. So I might have 1 hour of math timetabled, followed by English, followed by Literacy, followed by Science etc. This is to ensure we are covering the mandated hours for each curriculum area. To ensure I stay on time, I have been using my clock to set the time for any given task. 
 Whenever the kids start an activity (or D5 activities etc), I tell them how long they have. We count the minutes on this clock in 5s. They can then refer to the real clock while we are working to see how close it is to the time they need to be finished by. This has been a necessity because my class this year is so very slow at getting anything done or started quickly! It is also giving us heaps of experience in telling the time!
I also bought this cane rocking chair on the weekend. I've placed it near the door so after lunch we can come in and sit where the breeze will get us while I read! Boy, has it been HOT!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Homework in Grade 2

I'm linking up with the Lesson Plan Diva's Homework Linky Party.

First off, I'm not fussed on homework. We are only in week 2 of the new school year and I can already tell who will do their homework perfectly and submit it every week and who will be one who will never hand it in (mostly due to the support they'd have at home).

Saying that, we are required to give our kids homework. I'm really lucky in that another teacher did up the whole years worth of homework sheets a couple of years ago. I adjust them where needed but what a time saver! My homework is given out on Monday and is due in on Friday. It consists of two components - a homework sheet and home readers. 

Homework sheet: 
The top of the sheet has a place for each students individual spelling words (every student in my class has a different spelling list) which consists of high-frequency words, personal and theme/challenge words. They Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check their words or choose another spelling activity (bounce a ball and spell, write on dad's back etc) and write 3 of them in sentences. 

The bottom half of the sheet has various math questions based on the previous week's focus (for review) and often some NAPLAN (Australia's national testing) style questions. Down the bottom, there are 2 fun extension activities which are optional. 
 I love how it's only 1 sheet because we only get a set number of copies each term.

Home Reading:
The purpose of our home reading is for our kids to grow in confidence and enjoy their reading. For this reason, we send home 2 readers which are 2 levels below each students instructional reading level so that kids (and parents) don't get stressed and upset with books that might have a few challenges (Phew, what  long sentence!). I know parents who get upset at their child when they can't work out a word and this puts pressure on the kids and makes home reading a less than enjoyable experience so this seems to work really well.

Collecting and Marking: 
When homework comes in on Friday, we go through the math and extension questions as a class and then I collect to double check, and mark the spelling and sentences. A mum has volunteered to come in and change the home readers (these are held in the school library) each Monday before homework goes out - another time saver!

On Friday, we also buddy test (I partner students up with a  buddy who is at a similar spelling level), I mark, students highlight the words they got correct on their high-frequency and personal spelling lists and then choose the next words on their list that are not highlighted for the next week. It takes a little while for the kids to get used to the system but it ends up working really well.

Here's a checklist I use to see who has handed in their home readers (HR) and homework sheet (HW) each week. It's in word and unfortunately lost some of its formatting in Google Docs, but it's there if you want to fiddle with it after you download.

What do you do for homework? Head over to The Lesson Plan Diva to share your ideas.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Second Grade Giveaway!

Courtney at Swimming Into Second has organized the ultimate second grade giveaway!
Check out the amazing resources that you can win!

Here's how you can enter the giveaway.

(1) Follow all 23 blogs. Leave a comment that says, "I follow all 23 blogs."

(2) Follow all 22 stores. Leave a comment that says, "I follow all 22 stores."

You can find links to all the blogs and all the stores above.
Please leave your email so we can each send you the resources. 

The giveaway will end on Tuesday, February 6th. 
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 7th. 
Be sure to enter your comments on Swimming into Second.
Good luck!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Tagging, Freebie and Giveaway

I've started going through and answering the questions from the 5 bloggers who've tagged me.... needless to say I gave up. I really need a lesson in perseverance.  It was just too much to answer 60 questions, so I've chosen a couple of questions from each blogger and that will just have to do... I really am the most boring person so I'm sure that's all you'd be able to handle anyway!

From Amy at the Resoure(ful) Room
What's your favorite book? The Harry Potter series, followed closely by the Hobbit and LOTR
What's your favorite TV show? Bones and Castle
What's your favorite thing to teach? Reading, writing, math, science. Don't like SOSE. 

From Elisabeth at Twins, Teaching and Tacos
Where is one place you would like to travel? Throughout Asia (for the cultural experience), throughout Europe (for the history - I'd love to see the places I've read about).
What is one thing about teaching you would change? Endless paperwork and data, and meetings.
If you weren't a teacher, what career would you have? What, work a 9-5 job with only 4 weeks a year holiday with absolutely no work commitments? What would I do with all my spare time? I'd be bored! 

From Mechele at Barrow's Hodgepodge
What is your go to recipe when you have a long day at work? Anything in the slow cooker. Just pop on the rice cooker when I get home and dinner is done.
What are some of your favorite graphics you use when creating your units? I love Scrappin Doodles.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Macadamia and also butterscotch. Yum. 

From Sarah at Fun in Title Math
How long have you been teaching? This is my fourth year.
Name one best blog you frequent often. I use google reader so each day I come home to at least a hundred new posts which I read while having a chai skinny latte to unwind from the day. I follow too many blogs to mention! Just the smell of it relaxes me and makes me go 'mmmm'.
How do you like your students grouped?  I prefer my desks in groups of 5-6 but at times I've had some of the desks in rows for those who prefer to work independently or those who need fewer distractions.  
 
From Chrissy at First Grade Found Me
1. How did you come up with the name of your blog? At the time, I couldn't find any other Aussie bloggers and thought we deserved a presence! Happily, there's more Aussie bloggers now. 
What is one thing your teaching credential program didn't teach you? What to do on your very first morning of teaching ever when one of your students vomits over his desk and the carpet....
What are some of your favorite lunches to take to school? Anything left over from dinner the night before because I'm not a morning person so HATE getting things ready in the morning. I also have a thing for jam drop biscuits - yummy!


Here's some random pics
I saw this online and typed it up to add to the door for the first day of school. Unfortunately, this is one of the files that disappeared off my hard drive so I can't share it with you.

This is our Birthday Picture Graph we completed the first week of school. We are learning about months, calendars and seasons in math so this fit in well. 
 
Click on the pic to grab this freebie sheet that we filled in to go with it.

This post is too long already to add information about the giveaway I'm participating in with over 20 over bloggers. But I'm sure you've read about it elsewhere, so I'll post the details tomorrow in a separate post! Head on over to Swimming in Second to enter! You could win my Valentine's Day pack along with lots of other cool stuff!

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