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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thanksgiving Writing With a Very Persuasive Pigeon!

Happy Saturday!  I thought I'd pop in to share some Thanksgiving 
writing we did this week with one very persuasive turkey pigeon!

Thanksgiving persuasive writing craft booklet

Poor Tom Turkey doesn't want to be eaten on Thanksgiving 
so he disguises himself as the Pigeon! 

Setting the purpose for our persuasive writing.

Tom Turkey asked my students help him by persuading their 
families to eat hot dogs instead of turkey for their holiday meal! 
And according to Tom, hot dogs really are better!

My class came up with lots of good reasons to eat 
hot dogs on Thanksgiving!

Brainstorming good reasons to eat hot dogs on Thanksgiving!

Students brainstormed all of their reasons on this variation 
of a bubble map,

Brainstorming good reasons to eat hot dogs on Thanksgiving!

then chose their best three to write inside their Pigeon booklets.

Thanksgiving persuasive writing~A twist on the Pigeon and disguise-a-turkey.

Those sunglasses do me in every time! Ha!

Thanksgiving persuasive writing booklets~A twist on the Pigeon and disguise-a-turkey.

We took it a step further this year after I added some 
fun publishing paper.
Thanksgiving persuasive writing~A twist on the Pigeon and disguise-a-turkey.

Students wrote these persuasive paragraphs with lots 
of reasons why they should have hot dogs for 
Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving persuasive writing~A twist on the Pigeon and disguise-a-turkey.

Our Kinders-across-the-hall love passing by our turkeys in 
disguise each day!

Thanksgiving persuasive writing~A twist on the Pigeon and disguise-a-turkey hallway display

Thanksgiving persuasive writing~A twist on the Pigeon and disguise-a-turkey hallway display

You can find this fun twist on disguise-a-turkey in my TPT shop!

Find more Thanksgiving classroom ideas 
on my November in the Classroom board on Pinterest!

Happy almost Thanksgiving, friends!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mayflower Math & Pilgrim Parts of Speech

It's all things Plymouth and Pilgrims in my classroom and 
I'm still wondering where October went!  I thought I'd share a few 
things we've been up to now that October has come and gone!

Some of my second graders are still having trouble 
identifying proper nouns so I introduced my class to
these two sassy sisters.  Meet Constance Common Noun 
and Prudence Proper Noun!

Pilgrim common and proper nouns anchor chart

I passed out sticky notes with both common and 
proper nouns on them and we played a variation of
I have...Who has where 1 student read their noun
and the student with the matching common or proper noun
stood up to read theirs before adding them to our chart.

Pilgrim common and proper nouns anchor chart

Next, students wrote their own on whiteboards. For some
 independent practice students used this noun printable
 to match the two types then used them in sentences 
making sure to capitalize the proper nouns.

Free printable Thanksgiving common and proper nouns activity page

This year my school began using the engageny Eureka Math
program and it takes up every minute of my math block.
I have to really work it to be able to carve out time for us
to do math centers twice a week. It's been an adjustment to
my teaching style, but so far it's been very beneficial
for my students. During November we're rotating through
 Mayflower math centers and my class is loving 
every minute!

We started off making these Mayflower word problem booklets.

Thanksgiving math word problems booklets
My little pilgrims couldn't wait to get their hands on their 
very own pencil quills! 

Thanksgiving math place value puzzles

Quills were flying as they put together these place value 
puzzles and recorded ways to represent the numbers!

Thanksgiving math place value puzzles

We compare and ordered numbers with these telescope
symbols and some number card scrolls.

Thanksgiving math centers comparing numbers

We skip counted to the crows nest by 2's, 5's and 10's.

Thanksgiving math skip count to the crow's nest!

And then it was time to travel! Partners played this
telling time board game by reading the clock
then finding the digital time on the map.

Thanksgiving math telling time board game

Thanksgiving math place value puzzles

Sometimes all it takes is a feather to send that 
engagement factor soaring!

Thanksgiving quills for little Pilgrims

I made some Math Puzzles to 20 for
our little Kinder friends across the hall.

Thanksgiving math puzzles to 20

They not only used the puzzles in their math stations
but my very smart teacher friend printed the templates 
so her class could match and make a Mayflower!

Pilgrims and pirates math puzzles to 20

How fun is that? I love it when resources 
do double duty!

Next week we'll be making this Pigeon persuasive writing craft
Thanksgiving-style!  One of my absolute favorite things, we'll help 
poor Tom Turkey disguise himself as the Pigeon and 
convince our families to eat hot dogs instead of turkey
on Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Pigeon persuasive writing craft booklet

Well I'm off to enjoy the rest of the weekend and
light the first fire of the season in the fireplace. Here in 
Arizona we think we're freezing if the temp drops 
below 70! Ha!

Have a great week teacher friends!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Spooky Math and Reading from Carson-Dellosa

We've been all about Halloween for a few weeks now in my 
classroom and I thought I'd share some spooky reading and 
math resources my class is loving from Carson-Dellosa.  

As a Carson Dellosa Brand Ambassador I get to choose resources to 
try out in my classroom.  Since I'm always looking for new ways to 
supplement my reading and math groups I was pretty excited when 
these came in the mail!

We're working hard to build our math fluency by building models,
and comparing numbers in all their forms.

My class has a mild obsession with candy corn and my math 
groups loved using it in a haunted house to build models 
and solve word problems about a mad scientist who creates
super frogs in his lab! 

This page is from Applying the Standards Grade 2.  All of the
pages target specific math standards and include a 
performance task.  The included problem solving rubric 
and standards alignment pages make planning 
and grading a snap! 

Did you know that in the White House the Lincoln Bedroom 
is said to be haunted?  

Differentiated reading passage from Carson Delosa
We used this non-fiction passage from 
main idea and key details and Honest Abe's Return 
is pretty spooky! All of the passages are aligned to 
Common Core and super high interest for on, above, and below 
level abilities.  The table of contents is organized 
by standard which make it super easy to locate passages 
 that target the standard you're teaching.

Happy almost-Halloween!

Be sure to enter Carson Dellosa's
for a chance to win a $25 Visa gift card!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Teaching with Stellaluna: Turning Readers Into Comprehenders

Here in Arizona we don't have a typical fall season and I 
always look forward to October when I can create 
the feeling of fall in my classroom! Along with 
strands upon strands of colorful fall leaves, October means 
pumpkins, nocturnal animals, and Stellaluna! 

One of my favorite books, Stellaluna lends itself so
perfectly to to digging deeper and helping me in my
ongoing mission to turn my readers into comprehenders.

Teaching comprehension with Stellaluna

We spend time analyzing Stellaluna as a character and
describing how she responds, changes, and adapts 
to the life-changing events and challenges she faces. 

We thought of adjectives to describe her during each 
part of the story and gave evidence to support our

Stellaluna anchor chart (RL.3) depicting how the character changes and responds to major events and challenges

  Each of the characters in this story has a very distinct 
point of view and they feel very differently (and strongly!) 
about several topics. Students compare these points of view
by making a chart.

Teaching with Stellaluna~ Comparing the characters' points of view
We discuss their thoughts and then add them to our class chart.

Teaching with Stellaluna RL.6 Anchor chart comparing the characters' differing points of view
Stellaluna is perfect not only for teaching students to identify 
the differences in points of view, because they are so apparent,
but the characters' personalities are also quite distinct.  
This makes for a lot of fun (and fluency practice) using 
character sticks while reading to a partner in 
the characters' imagined voices!

Teaching with Stellaluna~Turning readers into comoprehenders

Teaching with Stellaluna~Using character sticks for fluency practice

Teaching with Stellaluna~Using character sticks for fluency practice

Students choose a character then take turns reading
smoothly and with expression. Oh, and did I mention 
their favorite part?  In the characters' voices.

Teaching with Stellaluna~Using character sticks for fluency practice

There are some great verbs in this book!
While introducing and defining the story vocabulary I have 
students act them out.  I'm never short on volunteers begging
to give it a go!  Croon is one of my favorites. I'm always 
sure to point out that "back in the day" a singer with a
beautiful voice was called a crooner (Think Frank Sinatra.)
I play Fly Me To The Moon to give them an example
amidst lots of giggles from my girls and eye rolling 
from my boys! It made my teacher heart so happy
 this week when one of my boys tattled reported that 
he needed to work on the floor because 
so and so's crooning was disturbing his learning. Ha!
I'll take it!  Even if he is telling on one of his friends!

Stellaluna vocabulary activity~Students match words to definitions then use the vocabulary in written responses

We  later work more with vocabulary during our literacy centers. 
Students match the words to definitions then use the vocabulary 
in context through written responses.

Stellaluna vocabulary activity
This year I added some Stellaluna SMARTBoard games to 
our literacy rotations. 

Stellaluna activities for SMARTBoard 

Before each game is a minilesson page for a quick review.
I review the skills whole group first, then I added 
them to our center rotation.

Stellaluna activities for SMARTBoard

As another rotation we use Storyline Online by the 
SAG Foundation to listen to Stellaluna on our class computers.

Stellaluna read by Pamela Reed on Storyline Online

Then partners or threes use these discussion cards 
to have a book talk. 

Stellaluna activities~Book talk spinner and discussion cards

Stellaluna activities~book talk spinner and discussion cards

I always save teaching words with the two sounds of C
for when I get to Stellaluna because the book is packed with them!
You bet I seized that opportunity and made a word sort
for my students to play!

Stellaluna activities~Working with the two sounds of C

You can find Stellaluna on and over the years 
I've collected several copies that I use in my small groups.  
One of the things we do is look through the pages
 to locate hard/soft C words. 

We used this template to help us summarize the story.

Teaching with Stellaluna~Free summarizing page

Throughout our book study we make character booklets and 
include our summaries as well as responses we wrote after 
some of our other lessons.

Teaching with Stellaluna~ Stellaluna foldable lapbook

We added a piece on Stellaluna's point of view after 
our whole group lesson.

Teaching with Stellaluna~ Stellaluna foldable lapbook

We also identified major events and challenges she faces and 
wrote about how she responds to these.

Teaching with Stellaluna~ Stellaluna foldable lapbook

Teaching with Stellaluna~ Character study foldable lapbooks
 For some Friday afternoon fun one of my parents made 
she found on Pinterest!

I hope you've found some ideas you can use to help 
you turn your young readers into comprehenders
while teaching with this wonderful book.

Teaching with Stellaluna

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Happy teaching friends!