Mar 30, 2014

Indiana Teachers Dollar Sale and a SNEAK PEEK

Well, we are at it again...a group of Indiana teachers are putting on a DOLLAR SALE all day on Sunday, March 30th to celebrate SPRING! (Even though I'm looking out my own window right now and seeing SNOW SNOW SNOW!)
There are promises of 60 degrees on Monday though! (Fingers crossed!)

Here are my dollar items:

This packet includes 5 centers FOR ONLY $1:

High Frequency Word Roll and Read
Phonics Word Sort (Consonant + el, le, al)
Phonics Oops Game (Consonant + el, le, al)
Adjective Compare (with accountability sheet)
Main Idea Match (with accountability sheet)
Here are the 6 centers included:
Double Digit Dribbling Facts (addition)
Odd & Even Basketball Sort
Place Value Scoring
Missing Number Hoops
Measurement Top It
Subtraction with Regrouping

....and I added a few more last minute items! (Oops!)

Telling Time Around the Room with QR Codes (Quarter Hour)

Telling Time Around the room with QR Codes (Hour/Half Hour)

For all of the $1 sale items offered from other Indiana teachers, see the links at the bottom of this post!
Now, for my other good news---a SNEAK PEEK at something coming up this week! I'm going to start a Workstation Wednesday series. I'm teaming up with Abbie in Tales From the First Grade.

We are going to give you a look inside our classrooms and show you how we run our Literacy Workstations/Centers! Starting THIS Wednesday, when we will give you an introduction and overview of our classrooms. After that, come back each Wednesday for a more detailed post about each station/center! I'll show you my 2nd grade classroom & she will show you her 1st grade room! Get excited!!!

Mar 25, 2014

Indiana Spring Teacher/Blogger Meet Up

Well this weekend was a whirlwind of fun! Loved every minute of it! Abbie from Tales From the First Grade and I left school Friday and traveled down to French Lick, Indiana.

We didn't get there until pretty late, and we had some interesting adventures on the way (if your gut tells you not to follow the Garmin speaking, you probably shouldn't follow it, that thing was going wacky!) Anyway, we eventually found our way to French Lick Casino and Resort and met up with some amazing people!

The weekend was put on by the lovely hostess, Holly Ehle!

She did a fantastic job and it was an amazing feeling to come together with so many teachers that took the time (and money!) to come and meet up with other teachers, just-for-the-fun-of-it! We were able to learn some great tips from each other for the classroom, blogging, and overall social media. We had a great lunch and collaborative session together, full of laughing and prizes!

Thank you to School Girl Style for the decorations!

Thank you to the Vera Bradley company of Fort Wayne, Indiana!

Thank You to Scentos for your amazing donation to all of us teachers! 

Thank you to Erin Condren for the gift certificates!

Thank you to Crayola for your donations!

Later, we went for dinner and to visit the beautiful dome at the West Baden Springs (part of the same resort). It was amazing!


Sunday morning, we all met together one last time for an amazing brunch and to say our goodbyes!

Can not wait for another meet up, I think I'm addicted!!!

Thank you to everyone for a great time!

Mar 24, 2014

March Odds and Ends

Picture tour of the last few weeks.

Geometry Salad to complete our Envisions math assignment.

Using Keynote to write expert books 

Squeezing in Dr. Seuss! 

Freebie Lorax activity from Mel D at Seusstastic Classroom!

Middle of the year mClass math testing. We've been practicing like crazy! (Look for a blog post explaining more!!) 

Another snow day! In March!!!!

Creating Geometry portfolios to help us through this unit! (The worksheets are from Amy Lemons "Show What You Know" math packet. I used them as a pretext/post test.) 

Working hard to publish put expert writing projects (using Keynote!) 

Introduced new informational reading material to help with our expert writing

We have had so many snow days that we now have extended days through the month of March and most of April. Here are some of the extended learning activities we have worked on in that extra hour each day! I've been trying to keep all of the activities fun and engaging!! 

This ice cream and popcorn activity come from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers in her "Mastering Main Idea and Details" packet! Love it! 

Mar 20, 2014

MClass Math Assessments

We use mClass math assessments in our district, much the same as we use DIBELS assessments for reading. We test at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. There are five assessments for 2nd grade: Number Facts, Missing Number, Computation, Concepts, and Quantity Discrimination. Although we have used these assessments for maybe 5 years or so, it really hit me last year that I needed to do something differently to raise these scores. I didn't think my scores were horrible, but I wanted them higher (of course!) I didn't feel like our math series that we have adopted and are required to use was quite cutting it for preparing students for these tests, so I decided I needed to take it upon myself to add something more. Not just extra flashcards practice here and there, but a real, consistent plan for this year.

I created this resource for my classroom and for our whole second grade to use this year, as a sort of test to see if we could raise our scores. Good news, so far, we have!!! 

This is my beloved binder of mclass resources!!! The plan includes daily morning work practice and daily homework.  

These are the sheets we use for homework. I send home Number Facts on Monday night, Missing Number Tuesday night, Quantity Discrimination Wednesday night, Computation Thursday night, and Comcepts Friday night. There are 5 different versions of each, so after five weeks, they see the same ones over again, but guess what??? Nobody notices!!! 

Here are the morning work sheets that I use every morning. Students always have one waiting on their desk. It haves them daily practice of the skills, plus warms them up every morning. 

Now, you could choose to use these sheets in any way you choose, maybe you'd rather do the mixed practice for homework and the single skill sheets for morning work. I'm sharing how I've used it for the first half do the year, religiously, and now I'll share my results. The left hand data is the beginning of the year (before students used my practice packet), the right side is a picture of the middle of year data after the daily practice.

As you can see, even though the target goals increased at the middle of the year, my students' data increased significantly!! Practice makes perfect!!! At the beginning of the year, my data was almost completely yellow. At the middle of the year, I only have traces of red and a lot more green!!! (Green is benchmark!) 

I'm so proud of my kids, but I'm also proud of myself for staying consistent and keeping up with the daily practice. It has totally paid off!!!!

If you are interested in my mega packet, which even includes some hands on centers to practice the skills, please visit my store and check it out

Mar 16, 2014

Persuasive Writing

Back in February, I was able to write for the first time on the Who's Who and Who's New blog! Here is the activity that I shared!

Hello! I'm Allison from Stuckey in Second.

Stuckey in Second

I teach second grade in Indiana. I'm so excited to be part of this collaborative blog and today I'm going to share a recent persuasive writing unit that we worked on in my classroom. It was my first time teaching it and it turned out to be a lot of fun for the kids. It was one of those units/lessons that just kind of emerged as we went. I had a "plan" of teaching them how to write persuasively, but it turned out much better and more fun than I had planned!

To start out, I had found this concept of using OREO to teaching opinion/persuasive writing and I found a free graphic organizer already created on Teachers Pay Teachers. (Score!) Thank you Michelle Thom! The organizer works by having students list their opinion first, then three "re"asons, then the opinion again at the end.

This graphic organizer really helped me plan what I wanted to look for (and what I wanted to tune my students into looking for) in the persuasive read alouds that I shared with my students.

We read a few read alouds together that had been suggested to me for good persuasion examples. I'd suggest these as well!

After reading Dear Mrs. LaRue, we worked together to complete an anchor chart that listed all of the ways that Ike persuaded Mrs. LaRue into bringing him home from obedience school. This was a pretty basic activity, recalling events from the story, but we were still working on recognizing persuasion when we read it.


After reading I Wanna Iguana, we created a similar anchor chart and wrote down both sides for wanting/not wanting an iguana. (Note that my anchor charts are pretty authentic and the kids do help me create them. They are a work in progress before reading, during reading, and after reading.)


Not only did the kids love the books, but they led me into a good idea for their own persuasive writing.

We decided to first try to persuade the teacher to let us have a pet in our classroom as a shared writing. (Yes, I'm the teacher, but I worked with them as a shared writing, so I was more like one of them!) Then, after we pretended the teacher said YES, I had them write persuasive letters on their own that persuaded the rest of their class which kind of pet they should get in their classroom. We had so much fun!!!

Let me lay this out in more of a step by step manner. I'm going to label it in parts, which could be separate days for you, depending on how long you spend on writing in your classroom.

Part 1: Read aloud and discuss I Wanna Iguana. Create an anchor chart that lays out how the character persuaded his mother into adopting the iguana. 

Part 2: Complete OREO planning sheet to persuade the teacher into letting the class have a class pet.  (Again, very authentic, show the kids your thinking, work together and do this as a shared piece, let them know that it's okay to make mistakes, and go back and proofread and edit together! True planning!)

Part 3: Use the OREO planning sheet to assist in writing a letter to the teacher with all of the key points that you want to make.

Part 4: Explain that now that they have persuaded the teacher into letting them have a class pet (she said YES!), now they have to persuade a different audience! They now need to plan how to persuade their classmates into which type of pet they should get for their classroom. Here is where it can get really fun. Some of them had some funny reasons and some really funny ideas for pets!


Part 5: Let the students use the planning sheets that they have completed to write letters to persuade their classmates on which pet they should get. Here are some examples from my room. Honestly, we have trouble with writing sometimes and this was a very engaging lesson! The kids took the audience they were writing to so seriously and were so "into" the writing that I was hoping they didn't REALLY think we were going to get any of these class pets. (Komodo Dragon!?!?!)

Part 6: Create final product.

It's been wonderful sharing with all of you today! I hope that this can help you out in your classroom, regardless of the grade level! I always love when I find a lesson that is so much fun to teach. 

If you are more interested in what I do in my own classroom, please visit my store. I have created a lot of literacy and math centers and games for my students. I also have a lot of freebies in my store that may be helpful in your classroom!

Click below to go straight to my TpT Store!