Friday, September 25, 2015

Take a Peek Into 2nd!!

This year I will be sharing some fantastic information from a bunch of my amazing 2nd grade teachers friends. We're calling it...

Check out our featured 2nd grade blogger this month!

It's..... LISA!!!!!

Lisa has a BEAUTIFUL blog, with super-cute ideas! Check out her blog - Second Grade Stories by clicking here! Once there, check out her other social media, too!

But I have to tell you about one particular unit. This is so excellent, y'all! OMG! I love, love, love squirrels! At least here in Southern California, our squirrels are mellow and merry! So introducing a non-fiction topic that I am really hyped about always makes teaching (and I'm sure learning) so much more fun! 

Look how fantastic this is!

OMG - This unit has got it all!

The unit will be on sale her TpT til the end of the weekend. How nuts is that!

Click here to get this fantastic unit! 

 Click NOW! Trust me, you want this unit!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


My students are really getting accustomed to the schedule and rigor of 2nd grade - this is not like 1st grade, people! 

A great part of finally being in the swing of things and getting our work completed is that we had time for art! I used this awesome unit from Deep Space Sparkle and students worked hard to create their own portraits! 

What a great way to tie in concepts like symmetry, and form, and demonstrate listening skills. 

They really worked their little hearts out on these and I hope they keep them for years to come!

Take a look at the process...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Scholastic Book Orders

Yippee!! I just placed our first book order of the year!

Our next book orders are due 10/20 and there are some great deals and some fun fall-themed books!

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!
Click below to shop for books! 

Remember - our code is NCHK8

Click here to SHOP FOR BOOKS!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Writing About Math!

I've always done math journals and I love them for a lot of reasons.

1. Students get daily practice writing about math.  The students' journals are great because students really have to consider the process and work to explain their thinking.

2. The journals become a source of reference. I start the year modeling and scaffolding extensively so that every student has examples of really good journal entries - then slowly take away support. Students are able to look back and reference similar problems or explanations to help them with future learning.

3. Journals are fun to create! My students are primary kids - they LOVE scissors and glue! These fine motor skills are not to be scoffed at!

4. They are never the same! Though I've done journals every year - how I do them, what I use, how they look - that all changes! 

5. The journals are evidence of learning (and teaching)! I know I refer back to prior year's journals to see the sequence of what I taught and how I did it. I can also show the student's journal at a parent conference to illustrate learning or struggles.

Our journals are already amazing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015



I was excited to find DonorsChoose and Burlington Coat Factory featured me and some of my awesome colleagues in their giving campaign! 

We always have a DonorsChoose project up - So... if you feel like supporting our class - just click the desk icon on the right of your screen! 



There is a lot to be thankful for!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Writing Journals...

We are continuing on with our Two Schools, One Book read, Jack. The students are really loving the Jack and the Beanstalk twist and I'm loving their illustrations and writing.  We are getting a ton of practice responding to literature in a super fun, meaningful way.

Their journals are AMAZING!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Reading Board Up!

My students love hearing The Recess Queen every year. Let's face it - it's probably because I love reading it. We worked on describing the Mean Jean character a few days back and I put up their work on our reading board.  Very quickly I realized there was something I just could not live with - the orange Astrobright paper about blinded me and the students. We all agreed it had to go. 

The students carefully cut out their illustrations and then mounted them on white paper (the democratic consensus) and finished the Bubble Map - again. We all love how it came out - and hey - another board is up! Win!

Learning About Guinea Pigs

This week we read several books about guinea pigs and the students really learned a lot. 

We created circle maps noting what guinea pigs need in our journals and then the students got to writing. 

I just love seeing where my students are as far as sentence structure. We have some work to do. But, I also love seeing some of their stamina - many can write long! AND - look at those illustrations! LOVE!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy September!

I can't believe it's already September! 
Changing our calendar is so much fun. Every year I have my class make something for the next class. Three years ago my class made this calendar and I can't imagine using another. It's just perfect!


So, our new whole school book is Jack! I am super excited about this because it ties is so well to our 2nd grade curriculum and it's just a fun story. PLUS - there's about a million and one companion stories - different points of view, diverse character versions - just so much can be done with this story! 

Today, we read about dirt sprinkling from the sky. My students sketched what that might look like and then wrote about what they think happened to Jaber's leg. No spoilers - you have to read it! 

Check out their illustrations...