My kids were FINALLY getting Main Idea!!!  After hitting this skill a million times they get it! Here are some cute ideas I found and used this week.

 The good old Main Idea table way:
  • Watch Brain Pop Jr. Video on Main Idea and Details. 
  • Then they filled out the "table" main idea graphic organizer from the Brain Pop Website. 
  • And of course an anchor chart to accompany! 

I recommend printing on cardstock :)
I learned this the hard way :(

It prints like a plus sign and then cut it out/ fold the sides down.

Here's how it turned out!

I Love this idea from First Grade Jungle!!
 I can't wait to try this out. 

Anchor Chart :)

Vocabulary Guessing Game

I tried a new game out this week with my class for vocabulary. I wrote vocab words on laminated sentence  strips and connected them with paper clips (so they could be adjusted and used over again). They had to walk around and ask "yes/no" questions. Rule- They couldn't ask a question to the same person new person for each new question. When they figured out their word,  they knew to take a seat until everyone was finished. 
****THEN they shared what they thought their word was and talked about the clue that gave the word away- good for context clues. 

An "Ah Hah" moment for one of my students. 

The class sitting down while the last
few try to figure their word out.

Quotation Marks

I had a proud teacher moment today. We were taking our weekly Reading test and I saw my student doing the quotation mark hand signals I had taught them earlier in the week. Whenever we saw a quotation mark we put our 2 fingers up and went "woot woot" as we made quotation marks with our fingers. 
They got such a kick out of it. Needless to ENTIRE class got that question right :)


Vocab Journals

Our county just adopted Marzano's teaching evaluation system. As the teacher's scramble to tweak our teaching styles to fit that of Marzanos, I have been racking my brain to figure out how to amp up my vocabulary. I saw this great idea to make vocab notebooks.

Here is how we use them:
Monday-  The students set up the different sections and write the words. They divide their paper into 4 main boxes. 
Tuesday- They draw 4 quick sketches of 4 of the vocab words and then label the boxes.
Wednesday- They choose 3 words to make a dynamic sentence with. 
Thursday- They complete a Frayer Model on the "hardest" word. They write the word, define it in their own words, and then give examples/non-examples. 

Click on the Graphic Organizer to get your copy of the sheet I just made to use. The students will fill it out and then glue it into their vocab composition book. 

Already I have seen a huge difference!!! 

Here is a look at the Frayer Model Box
Here is the Picture box with the labels 
The vocab word box
The Sentences box.
 I have the students label the words they used. 

Vocab Twister!!!

               So I LOVED twister as a kid and kids still love's a beautiful thing! I wanted to spice up my centers because we were doing the SAME thing almost every week with our vocab words, cut and paste...boring! We occasionally threw in a game, but nothing as exciting as twister. I went to a garage sale and there it was...a twister game RUG!  Yes a rug! Not the cheap plastic twister, but a sturdy one that will never rip :) Oh and it was $3.00------but I talked them down to $2.00!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's how we played it:

  • The kids make their own index cards with a mixture of definitions, pictures, and fill-in-the-blank sentences.
  • Then they put the cards down on the velcro pieces I had previously stuck on the game. 
  • The spinner is spun and they play the game like usual. 
  • The TRICK is: Whatever they land on they read the index card and have to guess what vocabulary word goes with that picture, sentence, or definition.
THEY LOVED IT!!!!!  They wanted to bring the twister game AND INDEX cards out to recess!!!!!
That is what I call a success :)

Putting down the cards they made.

They got SOOO into it they were even
 doing the splits to win.

Primer Sight Words

       The greatest thing on earth happened...we can now view You Tube in our classrooms. There are so many amazing resources, but our county blocked it for bad content. I had made sight word movies for my kiddos, but the only way I knew how to upload them to my blog was through You Tube and now they can actually view them at school.

So here is Primer:

First Grade:

Second Grade:

Third Grade: first award!!!

      This whole blogging world is soooo amazing. I am joining linky parties left and right and getting so many amazing ideas from everyone's blogs. My most recent endeavor is getting my first award! Thanks to Second Grade Silliness for awarding me the Liebster Award.

A big thanks to Second grade silliness. Head over to her blog and check out her amazing inspirations.


"You know you're a teacher when....LINKY PARTY!!!"

The cutest linky party is going on over at Kindergarten Lifestyle.

This is such an adorable idea because ladies WE know that sometimes we have some "teacher-only" behaviors.Here are a few of THOSE teacher-only moments I have had:

Ow vs. Ou Poster Story

     I have my new teacher evaluation coming up and I will be teaching one of my favorite phonics skills all year...Ow versus Ou. I am actually quite excited. In celebration, I made this Ou, Ow Phonics poster/story.

Click on the poster to download your copy.

Word Work Station Task Cards

     I wanted to revamp my Work Work Center to make my students more independent. I took all of the ideas I have seen or created over the years and put them all into one. I made 17 individual task cards for students to pick and choose the activity to practice their spelling words. I will pick and choose the ones I want them to practice for that week to switch it up week to week to keep it exciting.

Here is a sample of the task cards. Click on the pictures of the task cards you want to download. Unfortunately the whole set together exceeds the maximum upload MB available on Scribd / Google Docs :(

Brainstorming with technology!

   I am so excited about this new website (new to me) I can't wait to use with my students tomorrow. It is a brainstorming/think cloud and very bubbly. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy that I think my kids could use it no problem. It is such a great tool for visual learners...any learners for that matter because it is a way to organize their thoughts.

I did a super quick popplet just to see how it worked. Click on the picture to take you to the website to see for yourself how AWESOME it is. Here's how mine came out:
You can easily add pictures by clicking the flickr button which will excite the kids. Also you can change the color/fonts of each bubble also.

100th Day of School

        I have to say that the overall opinion at our school about the 100th day is that only "primary" grades should be celebrating, "It is more of a primary thing"..."older grades have too much to fit in."

MAN!!!!!!!!!!!     I love the 100th day of school. After persuading others that 2nd grade is typically considered "primary" I was able to sneak in some 100th day fun :)

Here is our 100th day of school fun that we did.

1. Face Sheets

2. Googly Eyes

3. Cotton balls
4. Buttons
5. Doilies (gives the pictures that "old" feeling)

" I am going to be a grumpy old man"...This CRACKED me up!!!!

This one had missing teeth...HAHA

The lips :)

My Nanny actually does look like this!

Mrs. Washington right?

"When I am 100 years old I will play croquet and shuffle board."

Measurment Game

       I was so excited to find this Measurement game. The boys and girls will both have fun playing and deciding how to measure different distance and lengths. I changed the game up a little bit by using matchbox cars as their game pieces...a little extra touch!

Click on the picture below to get Pitner Potpourri's measurement game