Thursday, December 20, 2012


We have a bit of a tradition in our classroom.  Every year at Christmas time Mrs. Head, Mrs. Shepherd and I like to surprise the students with a Christmas party.  We just love doing this as a reward to the students for all of their hard work throughout the year.  We usually make breakfast to enjoy with the children...this gives us some time to sit and talk and visit with them (something we rarely have time to do).  Then, we always watch the movie Polar Express.  When they come back in for the afternoon session, we have another little treat (this year it was cookies and hot chocolate) for the children to enjoy as they finish the movie.  This is truly one of my favorite days of the year!

This was the table with their gifts ready and waiting for them as they walked in.

Yum! We had breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls!
Mrs. Head, Mrs. Shepherd and I couldn't be more thankful to work with these students on a daily basis.  They are such a blessing in our lives and we enjoy the opportunity to be a part of their educational experience.  Wishing all of our students and families a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Shopping

We have been working on two-digit addition and subtraction with and without regrouping.  I thought it might be fun for the students to practice these skills with a real world application.  We took some sale ads and the students has a ball going through them and choosing items that they wanted to put on their Christmas wish list.  We paired the items together to work on our two-digit addition.  What a fun activity!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Regrouping and Organizing

Well, the students continue to work hard in class.  We were able to catch the students hard at work this week while learning new skills.
These students were working on two-digit addition with and without regrouping.  They got to practice in a fun way.  They played Tic-Tac-Toe Addition.  They had to draw a card with a two-digit addition problem, solve it, and if it was solved correctly AND regrouping was used, they got to mark and "X" or "O" on their board.  Great practice, but great fun as well!

These students had some small group time with Mrs. Head.  They learned all about making a web to organize thoughts related to one main idea.  Here, they were discussing details about how to clean their room.

Now they can't tell their parents that they don't know how to clean their!  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catching Up

Whew! We have been so busy in class that we have barely had any time to blog!  We have snapped a few pictures and videos along the way.  Here are some things we have been up to:
Emily is working on her addition skills with this turkey math paper.  The students have been working on using a variety of strategies to solve addition problems.  Emily likes to "load" the bigger number into her brain and count on.  What a great strategy!

The whole group busy working on those turkeys!  They had so much fun that they barely knew they were practicing addition skills!

These second graders have been working on two digit addition.  Here, we were modeling regrouping with place value blocks.  Students modeled the addition problems and then voted on whether regrouping was necessary or not.  They really caught on to this!

The first and second graders have also been working on the reading fluency.  Here is a sample of their oral reading skills.  We think they are coming along very nicely! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Fun!

We had a great Halloween day at school.  The students were busy in the afternoon with the parade and parties, so we made our morning fun as well.  We worked in stations to review and practice concepts that we have been working on.
This group is playing in the haunted castle.  They had to find pictures  that matched sound clues.  Lots of fun!

This group worked on a spooky subtraction game.  They earned "candy" cards for each correct answer.  The person with the most "candy" at the end was the winner.

This group worked to do a Halloween cloze activity.  Cloze is  a comprehension activity where students have to fill in blanks with pictures or words that make sense in the context of the sentence (or story).

This group of second and third graders had so much fun with this money race game.  They had to roll a dice to determine how many pennies they would get from the banker (Mrs. Berry).  They were able to trade coins on each turn on their race to get to a quarter.  It was a really good activity and the students learned a great deal about trading coins. They asked if they could play again, which is always  a sign of success in my book!

Someone traded 5 pennies and a nickel for a dime.  Good trade!

Gatlin was ready for a trade!

What a fun way to end an exciting week!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chase, Emily, and Marissa - We Are So Proud!

Watch this video and see how well these students are reading.  They have come a long way and we couldn't be more proud of them!  Way to go!

Monday, October 22, 2012


The students have been working on sequencing in reading class. Understanding the order of things, and how that effects understanding of what we read is a very important skill.  As a quick check, Mrs.Head put the students into teams.  They were given a set of words that had to be sequenced into a sentence that expressed a complete thought and made sense.  It was a challenge, but the students worked together to figure it out.  It turns out that the girls took the first round and the boys took the second they were all winners!  Great job!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Did You Know...?

Did you know that we have some great links on our blog?  One thing you may not have noticed is that we have some links at the top of our blog where you can find math and reading videos.  If you click on those videos you will find some resources to help your child with daily practice.  For example, if your child is new to our school and doesn't know about how we learn letters with keywords and sounds, there is a great video under the "reading videos" that shows our students doing a practice activity with this very skill.  Your child could watch this video each night (less than five minutes of practice) to strengthen this skill.  Perhaps your child is struggling to count to 100.  If you click on the "math videos" link you will find a fantastic video that we use in class to practice this skill.  Your child could do this every night (again, less than five minutes of practice!).

Just thought you might like to check them out.  We will add more as the year goes on.  If you have a concept for which you would like video help feel free to leave a comment and we will try to add one for you!  :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Strongest One

The second grade class recently read a play entitled, "The Strongest One."  They  practiced reading fluently and tracking to follow parts in a play.  Here is a clip of the first scene of this play.  We thought they did a nice job!

Skip Counting

The blue math group has been working on skip counting.  To put this skill into practice, they had to work in teams to take a set of cards, determine how they were skip counting (2s, 5s, or 10s), and then put their cards in order.  They were allowed to use any tools they wanted to complete the task.  Several of the groups used their skip counting posters in their binders to help with the process.  It was a great activity for them to look at a set of data and interpret it to determine what patterns were present.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Busy Week!

Wow!  Our students have sure been busy learning fun new skills this week...and we couldn't be more proud of them!  We just love working with these students and we enjoy watching them find success at the new tasks they are being introduced to.  Enjoy the pictures from our busy week!

Justin is skimming and scanning his article to find details about bats.

Jayden has found some details about baby bats!

Our blue math group has been working on place value concepts and different ways to show numbers.  We made these candy corn treats to demonstrate all the different ways that a number can be shown.  The students did a fabulous job!

Mrs. Head has been working with the reading groups to find main ideas and details in reading selections.  These bats turned out so cute and the students really had to work to apply what they were learning.

Another great example!

The red math group has been working on addition and solving addition sentences.  The students played "Watermelon Addition" to solve addition problems.  They worked with partners to count groups of seeds and find the sums to addition problems.  So fun!

Our class has the bulletin board by the office this month so we decided to use our main idea bats and our showing numbers candy corn to decorate the board.  If you are in the building you should take a look...they worked so hard and the final products were great!

Another thing we have been doing is working in stations during math class.  We do this once or twice a week and it really benefits the students.  They spend time at a different station with each teacher and practice our current skill with three different applications.  This week we were working on addition.  Here, Mrs. Shepherd's station was working with an online game where students had to join groups of marbles to solve addition problems.

This was my station.  It was an application station.  The students had to apply everything we had learned to complete the task.  They had sheets with "calculators."  The calculators had addition problems written on them.  The students used counters and workmats to model addition and find the sums.  I was impressed with how independently they worked.

Mrs. Head's station had an addition game.  Students drew a card and modeled the addition problems on their workmats.  Once they discovered the sum, they got to collect the calculator with the matching number.  They loved this game!

Close up of the game.

When students model addition they use these workmats.  They start by forming two groups with the addends.  This was for 4 + 4.

Next the students join the groups to make one whole group (to visualize the addition process).

Finally, they record their answers on the sheet!