Sunday, December 11, 2011

Now Available: Place Value Unit

I have finished my place value unit. It is now for sale on my TPT store. This unit is a 45 page unit that includes nameplates, charts, worksheets, posters, and games. I cannot wait to use this next year with my second graders!

Click here to view this complete unit.

I would be happy to change anything that is in color to black and white upon request. Just let me know.

I am now going to spend the rest of the day cleaning, gift wrapping, and maybe making anchor charts.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coming Soon: Place Value Unit

We are currently working on curriculum guides at our school. When I was glancing over my math curriculum guide I realized that one of the hardest things for my students to grasp this year.... PLACE VALUE...

I was sick with a cold on Tuesday and couldn't sleep due to the decongestant, so my mind kicked into gear and I decided to make a Place Value Unit with many different ways of reinforcing place value.

Here is a sneak peek: 
Comparing Worksheet

Place Value Posters

This whole unit will be available soon on my TPT store. 

How do you teach place value?

Sunday, November 13, 2011


At the school where I currently teach we have a very scripted English program. We only teach students how to select a topic during one chapter. I believe that this is a skill that needs reinforcement... so what is better reinforcement than creating a game?
Click here to download this game at my TPT store. 

This game could be used for individual practice, group practice, or partner practice during centers. I know what you are thinking... we don't have such a scripted program for English. So what? I plan on using this game to teach main ideas and details wherever I go. I currently have a few students that have a struggle choosing the main idea from a list of details. (This also helps students synthesize complete sentences!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Word Sort for -ie,-igh, and -y

Today during what the meteorologists are calling Snowtember (which sadly I got none of) I created my very first center game. Here is a sneak peak...

On Pinterest I saw fry containers from McDonald's and popsicle sticks for this word sort. Cute idea, but who really has anywhere to store something three dimensional... so I took it and revamped it into a two dimensional game that solves my storage problem but also teaches my students the same concept. You can purchase the PDF file in full at my Teacher's Pay Teacher Store ( More to come soon! For all my northern friends stay safe!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reading is Succeeding

This year I have been blessed with a wonderful new teaching partner! After preparing both the classroom (pictures later) and the pre-assessing students in reading (more here later too) we were ready to begin our centers and center rotations during reading. It takes tons of time and planning and preparation, but it is completely worth it to see reading grades climbing.

We have implemented eleven, that's right, eleven total centers this year:

1. Teacher Time- Two groups at a time come to the reading table to practice fluency, comprehension, and phonemic awareness. Better yet--this counts as two centers!

2. Spelling- One group at a time practices spelling words in their weekly spelling unit or practices completing word sort activities.

3. Listening- One group at a time travels to this center and listens to a book on tape (ideally with headphones). After the students are used to listening the books at the center add response cards for comprehension and connection practice.

4. Writing- This is a one group SILENT! center. Select appropriate grade level prompts and have students write a set number of sentences and then illustrate the story.

5. Handwriting- This is another one group SILENT! center. Have students complete handwriting practice on dry-erase boards. There are great ones out there that have letters and strokes on them already. We also teach both manuscript and cursive, so we are completing two portfolios that will be completed at this center.

6. Math- One group of students, flashcards, folder games, and even a fun worksheet are all that this center needs. Review an old concept and introduce a hard concept in a hands on way!

7. Bible- Teaching a Christian school gives us a chance to reinforce biblical truth during reading. Students complete various activities such as placing the books of the Old Testament in order, read Bible stories, and play Bible games that we found at the Dollar Tree.

8. Library- Leveled books in organized bins allow students to read book on their level, one level below their level, and one level above their level. Students are allowed to read to stuffed animals that are at the center. Every so often let the students do buddy reading.

9. Word Building- In this center one group of students will practice building words, finding synonyms and antonyms, and working with parts of speech to build sentences.

10. Poetry- This is the last center. After teaching poems/poetry as a whole class we are going to have students read poems and write a poem with the same pattern. After we feel they are getting the hang of reading and writing poems, we are also going to have them find the pattern!

11. Reading- Have one group of students sitting at there desks reading and/or rereading the story you will be teaching during small group instruction. Assign phonics and easy comprehension pages for practice.

Helpful Hints for Centers:

- Use marble-lined composition books for journals in the Writing Center and the Poetry center, and one for anything else they may need to use paper for.
- Add centers slowly.
-Practice rotating from center to center without having the students do anything at that center.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Binders of Information

I began my second year of second grade determined to do better at the following:

1. Organization
2. Teaching Reading
3. Employing and utilizing centers
4. Communicating with Parents
5. Enjoying educating my students.

Sounds easy, but trust me, these are the areas in which I struggle.

After an earthquake and a hurricane and some major flooding it seems as though things are finally getting on track.

This weekend I decided to tackle the organization of my lesson plans, anecdotal notes, and the other information that seems to pile up on my desk. Instead of creating one large binder, I settled on four smaller binders--one for each quarter of the year.

In each binder there are five sections:
1. Lesson Plans-I normally keep these on a clipboard, take them off, and stack them on a pile. Instead I am going to take them off of the clipboard and file them into my binder.

2. Reproducibles-There are some many copies to be made each week and the originals are usually stored in a magazine organize from Ikea. However, I plan on placing them in this binder in order to be apply to access them easier in the future.

3. Calender/Dates-During Teacher Inservice at the beginning of the year, each teacher receives a school calender. The issue: I need more space to keep track of my tests and quizzes. I went on Microsoft Word and downloaded a simple template, printed it, and placed it in the binder. (Side-note: Write tests and quizzes in pencil until completed, then trace them with a pen. This will allow you to be flexible if needed.)

4. Anecdotal Notes- I am the worst at keeping anecdotal notes. Solution: make quick notes on notebook paper, type later. If I make quick scribble notes that I am able to dictate and recall what happens it will be easier to type up the short anecdotes and print them out. Let's hope this works!

5. Extras-This is where I plan on keeping my current reading group list (more on them later), a list of the centers I utilized each week in order to make sure I don't repeat if necessary, and anything else that doesn't have a specific home in the rest of my binder.

I will carry only one 1" binder in my teacher bag from now on! I cannot wait to grade myself on whether or not I utilize this form of organization.