Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Word Study... Revised!

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Change can be good! 
1) Make all three differentiated lists have the same spelling pattern. 
2) Update the word study homework activity sheet. 
3) Put all 93 lists (31 lists for A, B and C) on 
4) Find activities to match each spelling pattern.  Add these activities to and our team's Google Drive word study folder.
5) Select 4 vocabulary words from each spelling list so the program is more integrated. 

Word study words were selected from Hope King's Second Grade Word Work product.  I made three lists out of her two.  One big selling point for King's product is that she was inspired by Beth Newingham's word study tutorial.  They both recommend calling out pattern words that students do not study at home.  Like Words Their Way, we will be doing weekly word sorts.  Word Work will continue to be a literacy station center.  Big change:  (most days) Students will choose between two activities instead of always having free choice.  Everyone can understand that students have a favorite, but they should use other activities besides Play Doh :).  

Organization idea - Number each word study list.  When I find matching activities, I put the spelling list number before the link's or document's name.  This should make weekly planning much easier!

Online links - Looking for online word study activities?  I've started finding online activities for each list.  Here's what I have found so far: link.  Students will be able to use these links at school and at home. 

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Updated Homework Activity Sheet (editable document link)

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Old posts that have links to a few resources mentioned below:  spelling/word study resources

Word Study Centers  (editable document link)

1.     Dry erase boards (3x each, sentences, bubble letters, dotty letters, spelling stairs)

2.    Cubes

3.    Magnets

4.    Dictionary

5.    Stamps

6.    Stencils

7.    Coin Code

8.    Sign Language

9.    Pipe Cleaners

10.        Scent Markers

11.    Letter Beads

12.        Spelling Story

13.        Word Sort

14.        Type words

15.        Draw pictures, label

16.        Word Work Roll and Create sheet

17.        Rainbow Roll-n-Write sheet

18.        Play Doh

Three STEM Challenges

Here's three of my favorite STEM challenges!  They are all simple, fun and inexpensive.  It really gives students the chance to show teamwork.  If you're familiar with Habits of Mind, it gives you a great opportunity to talk about working interdependently. 

A few notes:  Give students time to decide on a plan before letting them begin the challenge.  Talk about having a plan B.  Sometimes I select the groups, other times I let students pick their partners.  I think they need to experience both ways.   

Challenge 1:  Paper Chain  (groups of 1-3 students)
I prefer to let my students work in groups of two for this challenge.  Each group needs one sheet of construction paper, scissors and a glue stick.  You determine the amount of time.  The longest chain wins the challenge! 
More information from the Math Chick: The Great Chain Race

Challenge 2:  Spaghetti Tower  (groups of 3 students)

Students need a handful of marshmallows and spaghetti noodles.  I do not count these out!  This challenge was more difficult than my students expected.
More information from All About 3rd Grade:  Spaghetti Tower

Challenge 3:  Coffee Filter Chromatography (groups of 4-5 students)
Important tip:  Make sure you try a black Mr. Sketch Scented Marker. This marker had very different results than Crayola and Expo.  (see picture) 
Students simply make a line with a black marker near the bottom of a coffee filter.  Put the filter in a cup of water.  (about 1/2 inch)  
More information: Coffee Filter Chromatography
These activities are great any time of the year, but the end of year is when I usually let students do the most challenges.  My students made sure they included details about STEM in their letters to future second graders.  It made me realize how much they enjoyed these activities.

Short video about being an engineer: NASA for Kids: Intro to Engineering


Monday, November 23, 2015

Seasonal How-To Writing

Thanksgiving Fun!
How to Make An Apple Turkey
What a fun way to introduce how-to writing!  First, we watched a BrainPOP Jr. video clip on how-to writing.  (one of my favorite sites)  I modeled how to write this type of paragraph since it was the first time we focused on how-to writing.  After I completed each step of making the apple turkey, we decided on a sentence that would describe the step. Students wrote their own paragraph and then made their own delicious apple turkey.  
We used this site for the idea:  Candy Apple Turkeys
My favorite part was the feet.  Too cute!  (Circus peanuts are one of the only sweets I can say no to.)

I'm looking forward to more fun how-to writing in December.  I was so excited to learn there's a new book in the how-to series by Jean Reagan.  (author of How to Babysit a Grandpa)   
                                How to Catch Santa

Amanda Madden has some great writing extension activities that I plan to use in December.    

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Skip Counting to 1,000

I found the hand sticky notes at Wal-Mart.  You never know where you will find inspiration :).
Counting by 5s - Crazy Hair Activity:

(Such creative, artistic students!)

For math stations.....
This idea was found on Pinterest

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sound Unit

Image result for science experiments kids clipartImage result for science experiments kids clipart    Image result for science sound clipart kids

Sound Unit Resources            

We just finished this unit and had a lot of fun experimenting with vibrations.  The internet is full of great ideas... You'll see my favorites below!

Sound unit links:

Sound Freebie- Tap Those Bottles! Pitch - from TpT

5 Experiments Link  - for stations or whole group activities

5 Experiments include....


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Resources for Teaching Persisting

              found on
1. Biographies
There are so many biographies that show great examples of people who exemplify this trait. 
Just a few....
1. Helen Keller
2. Walt Disney
3.  The Wright Brothers
4.  Dr. Seuss
5.  Albert Einstein
6.  Harriet Tubman
7.  George Washington Carver
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2.  Discuss inspiring quotes.... Here's two of my favorites for second graders. 
Work on #persistence.

found on
                                                We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough. Helen Keller | #perserverance, #inspiration, #motivation
      found on

3.  Fiction books with the theme of persisting:

Can't forget this one!
ABC Preschool Curriculum-trains/strength in Christ
Picture book to teach theme = perseverance.
Picture book to teach theme = perseverance.

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