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Saturday, March 29, 2014

CVC Pattern Donuts

Paper plates + foam pieces cut into circles = Easy center for CVC Pattern practice.

Producers and Consumers

For an introduction to my Economics unit I brought in some juice and left 5 cents (fake coins) on each kids desk. They all purchased the juice and I collected their money. I discussed with them that a person that sells an item is called the producer and the person that buys the item or good is called the consumer. I had them write reflections afterwards.

Producers Consumers

Ox- Cart Man is an AMAZING book for discussing Producers, Consumers, Goods, and Services with your kids. Last year I just read the book to my kids but this year I found the Reading Rainbow video read aloud and played that also. The first day I read it to them and asked them to find the goods and services in the story. The next day I played the video and they searched for the producers and consumers.

Grinch Writing

To Make the Grinch Grin I would....

On the hearts, I had the students write "caring" words for our IB word of the Month.

Blog Love

So I recently started my teaching blog and I am obviously obsessed with it.
 My adorable fiancĂ© asks me the other day... "So are you going to blog everyday?" Clearly concerned about my time dedicated to my BLOG and not him.
 I reply "I promise will try to only blog on the weekends.
No more blogging throughout the week hunny."
I feel like I am having withdrawals....

Measuring Our Bodies

Found this FREE Measuring Activity on TPT:

I used it in my Math Centers and had each team do one together.
Each student measured, wrote measurements, and explained why they would use feet to measure their leg and inches to measure their pinky.

I have 4 (20 minute centers) a day for 5 days and they were able to finish the whole assignment in that time.

Plus they look really cute hanging in our classroom!  :)



Wants Vs. Needs

Our Economics Unit is one of my favorites because it is always a hit with my kids.

I wanted to see what students had background knowledge about the terms "wants and needs" so I gave them each two sticky notes and asked them "What do you think WANT means? What do you think NEED means?

One of my favorite sidebar conversations that I heard was "Well I asked my mom for new Nike shoes and she said I DIDNT NEED THAT" "But you do need shoes to survive, so she SHOULD have bought them for you."

Afterwards, we watched a BRAIN POP Jr. short video that explained Wants and Needs. Students were able to write down the real terms if they didn't already have that answer on their sticky note.
Next, we started our Wants and Needs Folders. The students were given $40. They had to spend $20 on things they need to survive and $20 on things that they thought would increase their quality of life. I gave each student a lined piece of paper where they made a T chart to keep track of their spending. Their objective was to total up their purchases to make sure they did not exceed their $20 limit.

I had both magazines and Publix adds to groups to look through. It was interesting how many students asked "Can I buy this Puppy?"




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Character and Setting

This week we were working on the comprehension strategies Character and Setting.
I decided to do an author study of sorts on Jan Brett (one of my favorite children's authors) and have the students compare and contrast some of her books.

First, I had the students read their assigned Jan Brett book and describe the main character and setting.
 Students shared their character and setting with the class and we made a class chart of the different characters, settings, problems, and solutions. We did a thumbs up, thumbs down activity during this part of the author study to see who had similarities in their books.

Next, I had the students pick a partner and trade books. They read each others Jan Brett books and verbally discussed the similarities and differences between their stories. This is where they got there graphic organizer to jot down these thoughts. We spent a great deal of time discussing character feelings/actions and setting descriptions to ensure that they were thinking broader with their compare/contrasting.

Last, they used their graphic organizer to make their final draft of a venn-diagram on the paper plates. I just stapled them together prior to the lesson but you could have them clue them together if you wanted. When they were finished they were able to pick a character from both stories and draw them to decorate their venn-diagrams.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Inch by Inch Centimeter by Centimeter

Found this cute activity over at

The students have already been learning about measurement (inches, feet, yards) and our next chapter is about metric units (centimeters, meters).

I read the story "Inch by Inch" by Leo Lionni to the students and showed them that the ruler is a measuring tool for both inches and centimeters.

Each student drew a picture of an animal onto their white paper. They colored, cut out, and measured the height and width of their animal in centimeters. Next year, I will have them measure in inches and centimeters to compare the different units.






I am all for my students getting out of their seats, inquiring, and learning through doing versus watching! So, when I saw this awesome measurement activity I knew I was going to have to do it with my kiddies!!! 

First, I printed and laminated 19 pictures of random objects/ things and drew a black line on either the width or height depending on which I wanted them to measure. 

Then, I had my students make a chart in their math journals that listed the following :
-object on card
-students name
-measurement in inches
-measurement in centimeters

Last, I put a tape donut on the back of all the pictures and stuck one on each students back. (They didn't know what their object was...I instructed them to keep it secret from the person they were measuring.. This was very exciting to them!)

Then the fun began! Students really enjoyed the activity and I could clearly see who was still struggling with using a ruler correctly and who was able to make the connections between centimeters and inches. (I measured each picture under the doc cam and students checked their chart to see if they measured correctly)


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Water Cycle

We  did another experiment in my classroom! Shocker I know! :)
We used water, shaving foam, and blue food dye to show the water cycle. The students were able to explain that the water molecules were condensing and forming rain drops that fall from the cloud. In this picture my students are mocking my crazy "Molecule Dance"... #teacherlife #dancingmakesthingsmorefun

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon!
I used a flash light to represent the sun, a globe to represent the earth, and a paper plate that I drew to make look like the moon. I asked a student to walk around the globe to show how the moon orbits the sun and had another student spin the globe to show how Earth is constantly turning on its axis and I stood holding the sun to show how the light shines. Each student had an opportunity to play a "part" in the cycle.

Dr. Seuss Day

Dr. Seuss Day was a blast!
We read the story "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" then conducted a science experiment!
Students discussed color mixing and the scientific method. They made predictions about what they thought would happen if we put the tissue into the two colors of water. Surprisingly, some my second graders did not know what secondary color blue and yellow made or what red and blue made (primary colors vs. secondary colors). They also were in awe of how the water traveled up the tissue and down into the third cup.
The wonders of water!

Meet the Teacher

The Giving Tree was an idea I stole from my dear teacher friend Jen Einstein! She put hers up for meet the teacher and I just loved the idea. All of my parents that took an apple, returned the apple attached to the item/items that they purchased so I get to use them again next year!

Pronoun Petals

Found this Pronoun activity from Each group was given a pronoun and they had to come up with a noun/nouns that their pronoun could replace.

Measurement Garden

I got this adorable Measurement Activity from Amy Lemons blog over at
I gave each student a different size piece of bulletin board paper. Their objective was to draw any type of flower that fit the height of their paper. After they had colored their flower they cut them out and were given a ruler. I asked "What is the best unit to measure your flower? Feet or Inches? Students discussed that their flower was larger so they would measure in feet and that their flowers were smaller so feet would be too big so they would measure in inches. It was a really fun activity and looks beautiful around our bathroom door!
The sticky notes are the measurements of their flower. Next year I am going to have them measure the stem, leaves, petals, height and width of their flower for more practice.

Plot Rollercoaster

Plot can get boring after teaching it multiple times throughout the year. I saw on a teacher blog that a teacher drew a rollercoaster onto chart paper to represent the Beginning, Middle, and End of a story! We used sentence strips and card stock to make our carts. They wrote the beginning, middle, and end on lined paper and put it underneath their rollercoasters. Next year, I am going to have them add wheels to their carts and maybe have a person hanging out of one. :)

Cookie Erosion

So I had some leftover cookies and I thought "What kind of experiment could I do with these?"
Sometimes, its the simplest activities that are the most fun!
First: I wanted to see my students background knowledge. I wrote the word "EROSION" on the board and asked "what does this word mean or make you think of?"
Answers: Starts with an e, so maybe earth.
The sun
Then I explained what Erosion was by playing a short video from Discovery Education.
I wrote the word EROSION on the board again and asked "what does this word mean or make you think of?"
Answers: Water moving dirt.
Dirt breaking down into smaller pieces.
Rock being made into different types of rock.
Experiment time!
I showed my students a cookie and a cup of water.
I asked the essential question:
Students made their predictions as a team then shared for our chart paper. (1, 5, 7, 10)
We practiced our time skills by watching the clock. During each prediction time, teams wrote down observations about the cookie in the water onto sticky notes.
I can honestly say, I have never seen my kids more excited.

Mrs. Stallings

I got these for Christmas this year from one of my parent volunteers! I am sad that this will be my last year as Ms. Rose! I will be Mrs. Stallings as of July 12, 2014!!!!! :)

Student Led Conferences

The students get to show off what they have learned and it is a great reflection! Parents can really see how their student is doing and pin point the areas that they need support with.
This year, I came across a teachers blog about making stations for parents. I thought "Wow, I could make student led conferences even more structured!" ;)
So! I bought 4 science fair boards and started collecting student work samples. My goal was to have enough samples to represent each subject. (MATH, SCIENCE/SOCIAL STUDIES, READING, and WRITING)
Every time we did an activity or writing sample that I thought was "Quality work" I would keep it and put it in a big bin. We had our SLC in Jan. so that gave me a few months to collect work.
This is where the fun part happens! I had the students make the boards! I divided my class into 4 groups. I assigned a subject board to each group. Then, I divided the work samples up between those 4 groups depending on what the work sample represented. Math went to math, writing activity went to the writing board, etc.
My instructions to the students:
I want you to look through the work samples in front of you and decide "Which is quality work? Did this student follow all the directions on this particular assignment? Would it impress your parents?"
The students then had to decide as a TEAM on the work sample before raising their hand to tell me the students name. I had all 18 students names up on the board and I put a tally mark next to each student that had a work sample selected to be used on their board. (I obviously had students that had 3-4 work samples selected and I knew the groups needed to select some of the other students that didn't have any selected yet)
In the end, all 18 students had work samples selected and the rest of the work samples were organized by student name to be sent home in PUBLIX paper bags at the SLC.
Writing Station: Writing Goals
The teacher wrote a goal for the student, the student wrote a goal for him/herself, and then the parent wrote a goal for the student. We kept these and put them in our data folders to reflect on each week.

Reading: Bookmarks
I printed bookmarks on card stock then wrote the students names in block letters on one side. I had the students color their bookmark anyway they wanted. At the conference, parents were asked to write an inspirational note to their child that they could read every time they went to read a book!

Science: Matter Sort
We just finished up our Matter Unit so I had the students sort the 3 forms of matter and explain to their parents about the molecules.

Math: Coin Counting
In Math, we had just finished our Money/Time unit so the students showed their parents that they could count coins to $1.00.

As a treat, I found this cute "Mint" idea and edited it a little bit. The parents got a mint on their way out the door!
Get your FREE "Mint" Thank You Note HERE

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect Activity

My students are AMAZING at following directions. (I know....that sounds crazy!) but they are! I have such great listeners and communicators that it makes teaching that much more fun! I did an activity the other day that allowed my students to be creative and move around. Two things they LOVE to do! I was introduced to this type of activity from an IB training that I went to last May. I altered it to fit my lesson and students. :)

First, I found 6 pictures of random parts of a story ( I have these from an old unit in the Treasures series. You could use a picture from online if you didn't have something in your classroom)
Then, I taped it to the center of a large piece of chart paper and wrote CAUSE: at the top.
Last, I wrote EFFECT: at the bottom and wrote an effect that matched the picture.
For example: I had a picture of a coyote carrying a turtle in the desert so I wrote "The coyote carried the turtle across the desert."
I asked the students to work as a team to COME UP WITH the CAUSE! They were so creative!!!

Work as a team!
Each teammate gets to write at least once, then go back around in number order (1,2,3,4,5- my students have assigned numbers)
Each team has a different color marker so I know which team answered what.
Each team has to read the previous teams answers so they don't write the same thing!

Teacher Wife

Such a cute picture from our Engagement Shoot.

Soaring to New Heights Goal Wall

At the beginning of the year, I had the kids take a picture like they were being carried away by a hot air balloon. We then discussed writing obtainable goals, and smart goals. We discussed action plans, and the action cycle to obtain these goals. Students wrote their first goal (with my assistance) then each quarter they wrote a new goal and reflected on their previous goal. They loved it, and I think they turned out pretty awesome!