Monday, April 28, 2014

A Read Aloud Favorite {Must Read Monday}

Hey everyone!  I have been thinking that it would be fun to share some of my favorite read aloud books with you. Over the past few days, I have been making a list and organizing ideas for a lengthy all-in-one post. That is, until I stumbled upon Amanda Madden's Must Read Monday linky.  Yay!

http://www.teachingmaddeness.com/2014/04/must-read-monday-chocolate-socks.html

Instead of that lengthy post I mentioned above, I'll share one of my favorites in a much shorter post today. (You're welcome...hehe).  And, I will share other favorites in future posts.  It's a win-win for all of us!

I love to read aloud to my students. It is such a magical time, seriously.  Whenever I sit in my chair with an open book, my students are silent as I read. Silent!  Their eyes widen, they lean forward, they laugh, and they gasp. Sometimes, they physically respond to the text by rolling their eyes, covering their face, or shrugging their shoulders.  They love to hear my read alouds just as much as I love to share them!

I'll be the first to admit that read aloud time can be hard to come by.  By read aloud time, I mean a time where I read books to my students "just because."  My read aloud books are not tied to a specific lesson or skill. While I definitely use books as mentor texts, etc. (all the time), I like to read to my students to help develop a love of books.  You know, reading for pleasure, unaccountable reading, reading for the purpose of enjoying the story behind the words.  But, since you're a teacher, I think you get it. ;)

I like to read aloud to my students once a day.  Honestly, this is easier on some days than others.  This is why I love the Mercy Watson series. 

http://www.amazon.com/Mercy-Watson-Boxed-Set-Adventures/dp/0763657093/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398746273&sr=8-1&keywords=mercy+watson
The chapters are very short, which is perfect for those days when I only have 5-10 minutes to read to my kiddos. Let's be honest, some days just do not lend themselves to a 15-20 minute read.

The text may not be overly challenging or difficult, but it does leave room for brief discussions about vocabulary.  It also lends itself to making predictions and inferences.  Plus, it is very high interest.  The kids are always so excited when I pull one of these books out.

Once I begin reading them in class, I often see my students returning from Library with borrowed copies of the books.  That always makes me smile a bit lot.  Anytime I can inspire my kiddos to want to read, I'm one happy teacher!

I hope to share more of my favorite read alouds in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, do you have a favorite "quick read aloud" that you use in your classroom?  If so, I'd love for you to comment and share.  I am always looking to add to my collection!

Toodles!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Counting Coin Eggs, Silly Carrots, and More {Five for Friday}

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!



Spring Break has officially begun.  That is all.


Ok, so that's not all.  It has been a rough road leading up to our super late break this year.  So, I brought in a basket of goodies to bribe the kids today. It worked like a charm!  Whenever I caught someone being good, they got a candy-filled egg...and they got to eat it at their desk.  What?!



We have been practicing our coin counting skills like cuh-razy lately.  So, today, I busted out some plastic eggs filled with coins.  I numbered the eggs 1-10 and placed them in some inexpensive Easter tubs.  I'm never above novelty, my friends.  Each table group got one basket of eggs.



The kids counted the coins contained inside each egg and recorded their answers on the provided recording page.


You can grab a copy of this recording page {HERE} for free! 


I updated my End of the Year Activities pack on TpT.  It originally included second grade specific pages, but, after receiving many requests, I added pages for first and third grade.  If you already own this file, please be sure to download the most updated version.  If you'd like to check it out, click {here}!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/End-of-Year-Activities-for-2nd-Grade-Common-Core-Aligned-233266


We made these super cute, super funny carrots!


We also wrote an opinion paragraph about carrots to go with these silly guys. I was surprised to learn that only 3 kids do not like carrots. You can find this fun craft and writing activity by From the Pond {here}.

 Doodlebugs and see what everyone else has been up to!

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Poetry and Peeps

Peeps and poetry make the perfect combination.  Want to find out how?  Keep reading.


 Earlier this week, this springtime staple made an appearance in my classroom.



We used these sugary, squishy chicks to write an adjective build-a-poem (one of my all time favorite poetry projects). Whether you love or hate Peeps, it's easy to come up with lots of adjectives to describe them.


When I use this activity, I give each student a Peep.

First, I give them a moment to examine it, smell it, and feel it.  Then, I let them eat it.

After the examination and sampling, we make a list of adjectives that describe the candy.


The students then use the adjectives to write their own poems.

Writing a build-a-poem can be a bit tricky for younger students because there are so many words to keep track of, so I always guide them through this process one line at a time. Don't worry, I don't tell them which adjectives to use, that is entirely up to them. 

As you can see below, each new line of the poem introduces a new adjective and then repeats the adjectives from the line above.


Once the poems are written, I have the students make a quick and simple craft to pair with their writing.  This sponge painted calorie-free, paper Peep was so simple to make and looks great!  Hehe.  



Another thing I love about this poem is that it makes for a super quick and easy bulletin board display! 



I originally shared this idea back when I first started this blog.  But, at that time, I had about 3 followers, so hopefully the idea is new to you! ;)

This poem, and templates for the bunny and chick crafts, are available as a free download in my TpT store.


Click {here} to download a copy for yourself!

Enjoy!

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