Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Team Line Ups

I use many cooperative learning structures each day in my classroom.  One that is quick and easy for my chickadees to do is Team Line Ups.  Line ups are great because they provide practice of social as well as academic skills.  I usually use this for a quick spiral review of a math skill or for sequencing events.  An explanation for how Line Ups are done can be found here!

Below are pictures of some students completing Line Ups using number cards. We reviewed putting numbers in order from greatest to least and least to greatest.
 Their favorite part is being able to do their team "Happy Dance" or Cheer when they are correct.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fun Friday..New Blogger Helpful Hint..and a Question

New Blogger Helpful Hint....
If your a new blogger, like me, have you ever wondered how to make a link back to your blog when you leave a comment on someone else's blog?  I finally figured it out after checking with my bff....Google!!  Simply use this code after your comment.
<a href="insert url of your blog here">insert name of your blog here</a>

Now for a question for experienced bloggers :)
Can someone tell me how to insert a reply button after someone leaves a comment on a post?  I would like to be able to respond to comments but have no clue how to?  Right now I just leave a comment myself.

Fun Friday....
Today was an early dismissal Friday, so of course I worked in some crafting time.  We read stories about chickens and baby chicks earlier in the week.  Students created a Circle Map and a Flow Map  (luv, luv, luv, Thinking Maps) to organize their thoughts, then wrote an expository paragraph on chickens.
The Beginnings of a Circle Map
And our craft
"Just Hatched" Facts

I had an example of the chick hanging on the board all week and my little ones could not wait to make it!  You can get your very own right here in my TpT store or now here in my TN store!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Signs of Spring

This will be a short but sweet post because I have to go brush up on my Hunger Games knowledge.  I am in a teachers v. students Hunger Games Jeopardy Game tomorrow!!

Fluency is something we are really working on right now in Second Grade.  We have a few minutes each day that we work on increasing our fluency.  To make fluency practice fun when we work on it whole group or when students are in a workstation I use these:
They are straws from Walmart.  You can also get them at Target (sometimes).  I have bats and pumpkin straws that we use during October and peppermint candy shaped straws that we use in December and now bunnies and eggs for March and April.  The students use the straw as a "word tracker".  They only cost around $1.  This plastic straw really motivates my chickadees to read!!

If you haven't downloaded my Hippity Hop Antonym freebie click here!!

To close, I will leave you with these signs of spring that came to visit me in my backyard!
Too cute!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Freeby Friday

Happy Friday!  I have an Easter themed freebie to share with everyone.

If you would like this item for you and your little ones simply click here!  If you download my Hippity Hop Antonyms, please, pretty please, with sprinkles on top, rate this item item and leave me a comment in my TpT store <3

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Friends and New Ideas

Happy Wednesday everyone!  If you are on spring break I hope you are relaxing and pampering yourself.
A big shout out to Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle for the k-2 linky party.  If you haven't checked it out yet, you need to.  I have made many new blogging friends :)  Thank you to everyone who has found me, so that I could find you <3

I have a few cute ideas to share with everyone.  I'm sure everyone is familiar with story maps.  How about a high flying story map?  I just adapted a story map "frame" to a kite pattern.   The title and author are on the kite tails.  I love kite patterns because they can be used for so many things (fact families, a list of synonyms, antonyms, showing an amount of money).  Plus it gives me and my chickadees a reason to be crafty.. and.. who doesn't love cotton balls!!

My students also love word mapping.  They love seeing who can impress me the most with the synonym(s) and antonym(s) they come up with.

I am off to finish my next unit of activities for the Journeys Reading Series for 1st grade.  Why 1st grade you may think, when I teach 2nd grade?  A total act of love for my hubby who teaches first.  If you know anyone who needs resources, please send them my way :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

K-2 Linky Party and Planning Ahead

Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a Linky Party for Kindergarten through Second Grade blogs.  Go check it out and get a list of some great blogs!  This is especially useful for a new blogger like myself!

I returned to school today after a too short Spring Break!  It seems like March has only just begun but yet I have to already think ahead to April.  What?Why?? you may ask.  I have to organize work that I need copied for myself and my team. 

 At my school we have an Instructional Focus Calendar that shows what lesson we will be teaching, in each subject, for each day for the entire school year.  Each team works together to create this monster of a document.

Do you/your team/your school have something similar?
Back to planning for April...I have to look at April's IFC and the lessons that will be taught and decide what I want copied for me and my team (one of my duties).  Each teacher is only allotted 500 1000 (limit raised after spring break) copies for the school year.  This adds up very quickly if you run things off double sided.

If we turn items in to be approved by admin. as a team, the copies are not deducted from our limit and we do not have to supply the paper for those copies.  The items have to be turned in early enough so that enough time is allotted for admin. to go over and approve our copies and then.... finally... the copies...are made :)
What is your copy policy at school?  I am very curious :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Passing the Love to a Teacher in Need

I came across a linky party today at Kreative in Kinder that was for a super cause, helping those teachers/students who were effected by the recent tornadoes across 5 different states.
Saying I would feel devastated if I lost everything surely doesn't encompass how those effected by the tornadoes are probably feeling.  I have decided to help a fellow 2nd grade teacher with supplies to get going again and I am sure after talking to my team members when I head back to school tomorrow, they will be willing to pitch in as well.
Please spread the word and link up to help out!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

And the Winner is..........

 Drumroll...........Congratulations Erin!! It's your lucky day.  Email me at twirlybirdteaching@gmail.com so I can send you the file.  I hope you and your students enjoy my Baseball All Stars Activities!

Well this is my last weekend of Spring Break.  I plan on some retail therapy today and maybe a pedicure.  To those of you just starting Spring Break, enjoy your much deserved time off.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Peep Peep Craftivity

Hi everyone!!  My afternoon of crafting (as I like to call it...a crafternoon) was successful.  I have a new Easter Craftivity available in my Teachers Notebook store (TpT store to follow soon).
This includes directions and patterns, 2 tree maps and 7 writing prompts.  All this for only $1.25.  An Easter themed unit that includes math and literacy items will be coming soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Awards and a Crafternoon

I am currently trying to enjoy Spring Break, but started it off by getting sick :( bummer!!  I was thrilled when I logged on to see that I was triple tagged by Vicky at Traditions Laughter and Happily Ever After, Erin at First with Frankilin and 3 Teacher chicks at 3 Teacher Chicks for One Lovely Blog Award.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

There are a few rules for accepting this award:

1. Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Pass the award onto 15 other bloggers.

3. Follow the person who sent it to you.
I am passing the love to the following people:
Tanya at A Class Act
I stopped at 7 because finding bloggers who don't already have this award is hard work (especially with all the sneezing)
I plan on spending the rest of my afternoon creating/modifying my Easter crafts for an Easter craftivity.  A little crafting (aside from shopping) always makes me feel better.
There is still time to enter my Baseball All Star Math and Literacy Activities give away if you haven't already.  Don't miss out on a chance to win this unit!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Freebie and a Give Away!!

I just posted a free math workstation/cooperative learning activity in my Teachers Notebook and TpT store. It is a great way to practice doubles and doubles plus 1 facts.
I also have posted a Baseball themed math and literacy unit.  I went with a baseball theme in honor of the beginning of Spring Training.  I love watching baseball, especially in person.

This picture is a sample of some of the activities that are included.  I hope it's not too blurry :)
Would you like to have my Baseball All Star math and literacy activities set for free??? It could be yours because...........
I am having a give away!!!

To enter all you have to do is.....
1. Follow my blog >leave a comment
2. Follow me on TpT >leave a comment
3. Follow me on Teachers Notebook >leave a comment
4. Blog about the give away >leave a comment

You have until 8 p.m. Friday March 9th to enter.  As my students would say "this is easy peasy lemon squeasy!"
Good Luck!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fantabulous Friday

Today was a busy, busy day.....but more importantly it was the last school day before Spring Break. Yes, I have the whole week off next week {sigh}.  Spring Break is really early this year, but couldn't come at a better time.  I have been soooo exhausted the past week.

Today we had Circle of Hope at school to bring awareness to and support cancer.  It was started by a student who was diagnosed with cancer at age 6 but is now happily and thankfully cancer free.  All 1500+ students and staff went outside to make a circle and show our support!

To kick off our fun filled Dr. Seuss themed day I was fortunate to have a fantabulous guest reader who read Dr. Seuss books to our class in honor of Read Across America Day!  By the end of the day and all of our activities I was all Seussed out!

My students transformed themselves into Thing 1 or Thing 2 and wrote about what Thing 1 and Thing 2 would do if they visited their homes.  The hair was made out of blue easter grass.  Soooo cute! I saw this idea somewhere, but can't remember where. I think next year I will have the Easter grass cut up into smaller pieces to make it more manageable.  My students got a kick out of their "transformed" selves.

I have been searching for blogs with less than 200 followers to share the love with.  So far I have passed the love to the following blogs.
*First Grade Smart Cookies (great info. on free educational apps and cute freebies)
*Paste and Pearls (cute St. Patrick's day freebie)
*Second Helpings for Teachers (great resource for teaching measurements)

I'm off to search for more blogs and work on a spring themed freebie that will be available for everyone soon!