Friday, July 20, 2018

4 for Friday: Leadership in the Classroom

Week 2 of summer school is in the books and my husband and I are headed to the Lakeshore Learning Store today! I was able to visit when I vacationed in Ohio earlier this month but they weren't having their annual sale yet so I only purchased a few items. 

This week I want to focus on how to incorporate leadership into your classroom. I base my classroom leadership around the 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey.

Leadership in the Classroom

1. I first like to start out with the 7 Habits of Happy Kids children's book. Whether you focus on the habit for a week, month or day. I always start with this book. It has a cute story that goes with the habit along with follow up questions on how the characters used the habit and suggestions/ "baby steps" for children to implement it. Whenever I see a child demonstrating a habit they earn a brag tag for it. They can earn them more than once. 
7 Habits Posters
2. On the day that I read the story about the habit we are focusing on, I like to send home a flyer to the parents so that they can reinforce the characteristics of that habit as well. 
Parent Flyers
3. Last year was the first year I implemented tried to implement Leadership Teams in the classroom. As I said before, I had a rough crew last year and was never really able to implement them. But next year is a new year and I'm looking forward to trying again! They can be found in the Resources folder of the Teaching Oasis. 

4. Another way to encourage leadership in the classroom is to have students create a Leadership Binder/Notebook. You can do as little or as much as you want with these notebooks. You can use it for journaling (my favorites are found here), to track student data, or as a portfolio. I created some covers and dividers if you would like to implement them in your own classroom, you can download them here.
Do you think you could implement any of these ideas in your classroom? Have an idea to help grow your students into positive leaders for their peers? Leave a comment here or hop on over to our Facebook page and leave a comment.

Friday, July 13, 2018

4 for Friday: Positive Classroom Environment

After a long and arduous school year, I am thrilled to be on summer vacation...even though I've taught a week of Camp Invention and I'm currently teaching summer school. I'm excited to have time to get back to blogging and I'm super excited about this new blog series, so let's jump right into it!

Positive Classroom Enviornment

1. The main component of creating a positive classroom environment starts with you. I know... I know... easier said than done. But when I start to get ready in the morning and can't find the energy to have a positive attitude, when my stomach starts to hurt the moment I get in the car, and those times, though rare, when I actually cry all the way to school...I walk into my classroom and I'm immediately uplifted. I've tried my best to make my classroom a welcoming, motivating environment. It doesn't take much, there are many resources out there for you and some great printable posters on Teachers Pay Teachers. I especially like these Positive Posters and posters from Digital Divide and Conquer. So with the bright and inspirational decor {and the smell of my essential oils} I can usually turn my frown, upside down.

2. I implemented the Super Improver Wall from Whole Brain Teaching years ago. My student teacher this past year loved it so much that she's implementing it with her first graders next year. With the SIW, students can earn stickers to level up the wall for anything you want. So pass out those stickers, the students love them! If you want to read more about it, check out my blog post here

3. I implemented Brag Tags {SMART Tags} in my classroom two years ago. Students can earn them for a variety of reasons but I especially like to give out the tags that relate to positive choices and character traits. Check out my blog post here to learn more about out I implement them and how you can get them... for FREE!

4. I bought this Positive Notes bundle last summer and I LOVED writing my students notes daily to encourage and celebrate them. I got great feedback from the parents of students who were absolutely excited to receive these notes. I used the square size and just purchased the clear sticker pocket sleeves from Target to put on students desks so I can slide the notes in them at the end of the day for students to read in the morning. You can download a free set of Fun Pun Notes here. Are you and your student's into Emoji's... she's got a set for that too!

Do you think you could implement any of these ideas in your classroom? Have an idea to create a positive learning environment? Leave a comment here or hop on over to our Facebook page and leave a comment. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

2nd Grade Daily Math Review

It's Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer! I still have 3 more weeks of school but I'm already getting ready for a new school year.
One strategy that I've found to be very effective is spiral review. This year in 3rd grade I did a Daily Math Review and Daily Reading Review. I truly feel these daily reviews made the difference in their standardized test achievement given this month. I knew I wanted to do something similar in 2nd grade. 
Next year I've decided to create a Daily Spiral Math Review booklet using this resource Math Spiral Review. Even though this product is aligned to the Common Core Curriculum and I teach in Virginia and we don't use those standards, I still intend to use it. I love it because it's 100% editable. I'm also going to buy the 1st grade version and modify those for weekly homework practice.
I also received the rest of the Picture Window Books I ordered for the 2nd grade curriculum, I'm super excited!  

Sunday, May 13, 2018

2nd Day of 2nd Grade

I spent my weekend working on 2nd Day of 2nd Grade resources! I use to do this back when I taught 2nd grade and then a couple of years ago I started celebrating the 3rd Day of 3rd Grade. Here are some snapshots of some of the activities I created:




If you're a 2nd Grade teacher and would like to celebrate as well you can download the 2nd Day of 2nd Grade.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

2nd Grade Homework

I've been thinking about what I want to do for homework next school year. This year, while teaching 3rd grade, they had a reading passage with 12 questions (Thunks Reviews) and 2 spiral math sheets (Math Madness). I sent it home on Mondays and it was due on Fridays.

For next year I created a Weekly Homework Menu. It will go home on Mondays and be due on Fridays. I wanted to be as flexible as possible which is why I listed "weekly suggested times" instead of "nightly" ones. I know how busy parents and students can be so I want them to be able to schedule their homework options.  

Reading- Reading for enjoyment is a given. I'm not into reading logs so I won't require them to track their reading. I also wanted to incorporate Find the Evidence passages so they can practice Text Dependent Questions. 

Math- Our county has a subscription to Dreambox Learning. It's an online math program that all elementary students have access to. I also wanted to incorporate math card games into our homework. While in 3rd I gave each family a ring of games and playing cards when they attended Math Night. I use the Dealing with Math Homework from Teacher's Clubhouse. I plan do the same next year during Back to School Night. My goal is to list the games that will help reinforce what's being learned in class. 

Study Guides- Like I shared last week, each family will also get a book of Study Guides that also have Study Methods included. 

Word Study- Since we do word study each day in class, it will not be apart of their weekly homework but I'll include options for parents who want their children to complete them.  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Team 2nd Grade

The Friday before Spring Break my principal asked me if I was still interested in teaching 2nd grade... and the answer was YES! I taught 2nd grade for 7 years before transferring to my current school to teach 3rd grade. After 7 years, I'm ready to go back to my first love. I cannot explain how excited I am. I've been busy unpacking my new standards and purchasing resources. My new team even ordered me a shirt so it's official!
One thing that I love about teaching 2nd grade in Virginia is the curriculum! I've already started purchasing books to support my science standards. Have you heard of Picture Window Books? I love their Informational Picture Books, I've ordered all the ones that connect to my standards and they've already started arriving. 
When I taught 3rd grade, I created a learning handbook full of study guides from Adrienne Wiggins. Now that I'm going to 2nd, I knew I wanted to do the same thing. I spent my ENTIRE Spring Break creating study guides to go with every Standard of Learning in every subject in 2nd grade.
Language Arts
Social Studies
While I share all of my resources for free, unfortunately I won't be able to do that with these study guides. If you teach 2nd grade in Virginia and would like a copy, please consider making a donation. In the comment box, just add your email address and I'll email them to you within 12 hours.   
Check back throughout the summer, I can't wait to share ideas and resources for 2nd grade with you!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pick a Partner Resource

Wow... it's been a long time since I've been able to blog! I don't know about you, but I could certainly use a vacation, Spring Break is just around the corner for me and I'm hanging in there.

My district is moving toward the Kagan Cooperative Learning Model, however I have not been trained yet. In the meantime, I created a resource that will hopefully save me some time in the classroom. I spend entirely too much time, choosing my students partners. I try to control who partners with who but at this point in the year I need to step back and allow my students to make their own choices. 

I came up with a partner resource pack. There are 3 different versions to choose from. Print and color for your convenience. I even included a slideshow to use with the Partner Sheets. 
  • Partner Sheet- have students choose 6 different partners, they should each write their name for the same food match. 
  • Partner Cards- give each student a card, have them pair up with someone who has the same card as them. 
  • Individual Cards- give each student a card, have them find the “food match.”
This document can be found in the Resources section of the Teaching Oasis

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Winter Olympic Reading Challenge

Due to our recent "snowcation," I was up in the middle of the night creating resources because I couldn't sleep. I decided to create a Winter Olympic Reading Challenge for my students to complete. At the moment they are participating in a math challenge to earn a "Super Bowl Learning Celebration" but I also wanted to challenge them in reading as well. My goal is to have them read 500 minutes but I've broken the minutes up into three categories so that I can award Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals (brag tags).

You may be able to use the challenge in your own classroom. I uploaded a editable PPT into the Teaching Oasis Resource Folder---> February Folder along with the correlating brag tags.