Sunday, February 24, 2013

QR Addition- Technology Integration

As a teacher we are being pushed (and pulled) to use technology in the classroom, not just by the teacher, but by the students as well.  So, I've been reflecting on my classroom technology usage.  I have to admit that while I feel very confident about teaching with it, sometimes I just can't let go.  You see, our school got iPads this year.  Each classroom has 2 and then we have 2 carts that have 30 each.  We haven't been able to use those yet, so I am just using my two.  Two for 23 students has been quite challenging and I've been doing some research and training on ways for multiple students to use 1 iPad at the same time.

Strategy 1:  QR Codes
An amazing 4th grade teacher at our school shared these with me on Friday.  I have seen them, but never became completely interested until I learned how it can help my kids and help me at the same time.  She has her students work on various math problems that contain QR Codes.  Then, she lets the kids use the iPads to check their work (evaluate and problem solve). 

I've decided that I am going to try this out this week.  I created my own printable with a 2nd grade concept that the kids have been working on since January, Two-Digit Addition with Regrouping (that's a mouthful).  I will let you know later in the week how this turns out.  Grab this freebie by clicking on the pic below.

  Head on over to Classroom Freebies for more free printables and ideas!

Strategy 2:  Math Slide App
I learned about this app at a recent DoDEA Grant Training for my district.  You can have up to 4 players and they have avrious games in adding, subtracting, place value, etc.  I grabbed the teacher to my left and there we were having a blast trying to win the math game. is so much harder than it looks.  My brain was on turtle mode for most of it.  A problem appears and you have to slide one of the answer choices from a group of numbers to the middle of the screen.  So COOL!  This is what it looks like.

Strategy 3:  Group Research Projects
I attempted this last week.  I had my students work in groups of 4 to research blue whales.  I only had 2 iPads so 2 groups were on the iPads, 2 groups were on the classroom computers, 1 group explored on the one iPad I have, and the last group I tossed my iPhone.  Yep, I sure did!  The group work went very well with the exception that my iPhone's screen was so small that only 1-2 kids could see the screen at a time.  Hmmm...I wonder of I can hook it to my projector for next time?  Anyone out there know the answer?  Let me know, please!

Anyway, the kids had to find 5 facts about blue whales and write them down (reading, writing, science) plus they made a small blue whale and took measurements of various body parts (math).  Integration Central in this 2nd grade classroom...WOAH!  But guess what....I have no pictures to show for it.  I do have student work that I will take pics of tomorrow and repost them here.

Fingers crossed I can pull off all of these strategies this week.  I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm off to make some beef stew from none other than The Pioneer Woman.  Her recipes are a-maz-ing!!!  Have a terrific week!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Last Week- Valentine's Day Fun

My week was filled with lots of love, laughter, and teaching, OF COURSE!  I am still recovering from the candy coma from the past few days. This was my week in pictures...

We had a HEART-TO-HEART CONVERSATION about adjectives.  
We created this anchor chart with conversation hearts for Valentine's Day.  

Click HERE for free download to create the anchor chart and adjective necklace (found below).

Then, each student got 4 conversation heart papers.
  They had to think of 4 adjectives to describe themselves. 
 I stressed the importance of using positive, upbeat words about themselves.

On Tuesday, the students made these adorable Love Monster bags created by THE TEACHER WIFE.  The students truly enjoyed making these.  The nicknames they came up with were hilarious.

Look what I woke up to on Valentine's Day!  My little Sydnee Sweetheart!  
Okay, so I didn't actually wake up to this since she is dressed, but this morning smile made my day!

My students went above and beyond to shower me with gifts. 
They also showered each other with goody bags.  
The monster bags in the picture above were falling from the whiteboard they were SOOOOO HEAVY!

Did you get lots of chocolate too? I think I need to invest my money in chocolate! Ha!

Monday, February 11, 2013

OI & OY Word Sort Freebie

This week we are studying oi and oy.  I created some pocket chart and word sort cards plus a printable for some word work.  I have a spelling/word work pocket chart that I keep on the board.  I introduce all of the word cards to the students.  I included simple to more difficult multi-syllabic words, this way I am targeting all students.  I love introducing the words because it gives me a chance to hear how students are decoding words.  No matter how many times we said "oi/oy" I still had a sweet student that would segment each sound as in /o//i/.  It gave me a quick sec to review the sound with him until he got it and on we went. YEA!!!

Once I introduce the words, I place them in the word chart and we practice sorting whole group.  Then, I mix them up and {VOILA!} an instant word work center for the week.  I wish I had a picture to show you, but I forgot to take sorry.  Hopefully, I'll post it later this week if I get a chance.  Grab your oi/oy word sort freebie by clicking one of the pics below.

Go and check out more freebies at Classroom Freebies!

We also worked on our cute Valentine Love Monster bags that I picked up from The Teacher Wife's pack on sale through tonight at TPT.  I just {heart} her!  She has some amazingly, cute ideas.  I will share these tomorrow if I am not so worn out.  :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Biography Boxes Completed!

On Friday, my students completed their biography box projects.  We created them during our Social Studies lessons.  I gathered some famous African-American biographies from the library.  I laid all of the books out and let students choose which African-American they would like to learn more about.  Of course, some students chose the same biographies so I simply grouped them together in groups of no more than 3.  Then, they were off to complete their research.  They not only used the books, but also Wikipedia for some technology integration.  Look how adorable they turned out!

Some of the famous people included- Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Oprah, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Lebron James, Alicia Keys, Thurgood Marshall, Jesse Jackson, Louis Armstrong, Michael Jackson, etc.

I have uploaded this project to TPT.  This project is versatile and can be used for President's Day or any other biography study, as well.  Click on the project preview below to purchase from TPT.

I'm off to grade and get ready for Monday.  :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

100th Day..Hip Hip Hooray!

On Monday, we celebrated the 100th Day of School!  It took quite a while to get to this point, but we made it!  Here's what the door looked like when the students arrived at school...

I just used bulletin board paper above the door, sliced it, and created the sign.  I wish I had time to laminate it, but a page protector had to do.  Click on the pic below to get the sign for free.

We also spent the day using tons of math skills!  We added double digit numbers with sums greater than 100 and measured classroom stuff that was less than and more than 100 centimeters.    This awesome freebie can be found on Yvonne Dixon's website Sassy in Second!  Click on link below!

That it for tonight!  
I'll be back tomorrow with the Black History Month Project my super smart kids created.  
Goodnight friends!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Shopping Sunday

I hope you are enjoying the huge Super Sunday Sale going on over at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Many teacher authors are throwing amazing sales.  I picked up quite a few goodies from many teachers and I can't wait to use them.  If you haven't checked out the sale, head over to, grab some goodies in your cart, and don't forget to enter SUPER in the promo code at checkout.  My entire store is on go grab some stuff HERE!

My latest unit filled with President's Day centers, activities, and an All About Abe Craftivity will be available THIS WEEK.  I have worked many nights on this unit and I'm excited to begin it tomorrow with my kiddos.

While I'm on the topic of shopping, I want to introduce you to my latest obsession.  I stumbled upon two awesome websites that have great jewelry, clothes, decorative housewears, and all types of cute things on sale EVERY DAY.  Both websites sometimes have similar items or completely different ones.

One website if  They have so many handmade items at very reasonable prices.  I purchased a 3 stone bubble necklace for 7.99 and I can't wait for it to come in.  

If you haven't been to Very Jane.  You must go NOW!  I bought these two jewelry hangers from Very Jane since the OCD in me needed some organization in the jewelry section. (see GroopDealz today if you want these hangers.  They will only be on there for 1 more day.)  I wish I had a picture, but I also bought some really cute handmade earrings for $1.99 a set.  \You can't BEAT that!  I even bought some for my dear friends, too.

Click the pic to get them while you can at GroopDealz!

Now that I've gotten all my shopping out of the is time to get ready for the BIG game.  Let's just say I'm not rooting for anyone since my BOYS aren't playing.  But, a piece of me wants the 49ers to win so I will have a happy husband Monday morning. :)


Friday, February 1, 2013

Biography Boxes

TGIF!  I don't know about you, but it has been the looooooongest week EVER!  My kids have been super busy, so you would think time was flying by.  Maybe I just try to cram too much in, but I can't help it.  I need to fill my students minds with knowledge and the best way to do it is to keep them busy with lots of hands-on learning.

This week my students have been building our "Black History Biography Boxes".  We started them on Tuesday by building one piece at a time.  Since the Common Core is all about informational text, I thought it was important for my students to use biographical books and wikipedia to research a famous African-American for Black History month.  I put my students into small groups of no more than 3 and their job was to find out as much information as they could on the person they picked.  They have been having a blast with this activity.  It not only promotes HOTS (Higher-Order Thinking Skills), but is very hands-on.  I am all about HANDS-ON!!!

Next week, we will finish our biography boxes, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak at how my students are creating their boxes.  I will  post this pack next week once the entire project is complete with pics and all.

Check out these cuties!

Well, I'm off to make some hot chocolate.  It is supposed to be 19 degrees here tonight and I'm already freezing.  YIKES!  I'll be dreaming for warm days with my feet in the sand.  Goodnight.


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