Thursday, February 28, 2013

Accountability Station

Some classes require a bit more love and attention than others. A.K.A. there are some discipline issues.  At Christmas break, I took some time to evaluate what was working and what wasn't. 

I use a twist on the traveling behavior stick.  It's worked really well for my class over the past three years; however, I realized that this year there needed to be a little something more.  So I shook it up in January by adding an accountability station.  This is a place where students can reflect and have a quiet moment to calm  down. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vocabulary! Vocabulary! Vocabulary!

Vocabulary, Vocabulary, Vocabulary...

I recently had the opportunity to hear Joanne Billingsley present "Vocabulary Magic".  Inspired by her presentation. I created the following vocabulary activity to go along with the literature unit, " I Like Where I Am."

Students are paired and given a deck of cards. The deck contains 10 vocabulary cards, 10 definition cards, and 10 picture cards.  Students sort the cards into three stacks. With partners they read the vocabulary words and match the pictures to them. Students then follow up by reading the definitions and placing them with the coordinating vocabulary words. Using the new common core mind set... I do not give the students the correct answers. Instead the students are encouraged to discuss the pictures and definitions making changes as they go through the activity. 

To wrap it up, students view a "trailer" that provides the correct answers.  Joanne added music and slides of "Did you know?" statements.  I don't have those in this example, but will add those elements to later versions.

Monday, February 18, 2013

This week second grade kicked off a Math Mania incentive.  Over the past year, I have attended many common core math trainings. One of the biggest ideas expressed was that we have to own it.  With this in mind we decided that fluency was imperative. After a little brain storming, here's what we came up with.

Math Mania
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

December Stem Lesson

Instead of making Christmas crafts this year.  Second grade grew Crystals and studied the water cycle.  Planning began by creating a text set.  We selected the following books from scholastic. Included were below, on-lovel, and advanced texts.  

A Drop of Water
Growing Crystals
Down Comes the Rain
Water Cycle 
The Water Cycle

Next came the fun part. Identifying and refining the big project. We pulled the Crystal Tree idea from "Pinterest."   We also included a simple related experiment.  

This is result of dipping black construction paper into a salt water solution and then allowing time for the water to evaporate.

After just a couple of hours, this is what our crystal Christmas trees looked like.

We added a few drops of food coloring to  the tips before adding the liquid solution to give the crystals some color.

At the end of the school day our card board trees were almost completely covered.