What's been happening in our classroom lately?

I was super busy last week but we still managed to learn and complete quite a bit of things!  Here is a picture walk of the things we have been working on lately.  Many of the ideas were from pinterest or other teacher blogs and I try to give credit under each picture.  My kiddos have been loving all of the hands-on activities!

Here are some pictures of our finished weather projects that I mentioned in an older post.  We finished clouds and rainbows! I found the 3-D rainbows on pinterest of course, they are super easy but the kids can't really make them.  To make them you just cut strips and each color is 1 inch shorter than the one before it.  Put them in ROYGBIV order and staple each side.  You have to bend it slightly so it arches but my kids couldn't way to take them home! I also made rainbow jello because I saw it online and thought it was a GREAT idea.  It took me a week to finish and yes they loved it but it was a tiny bit time consuming.  

We also made some Halloweeny type things since it was Halloween and all.  We created monster glyph's and wrote about them.  I saw this posted on The Teacher Wife which I believe she found form Kindergarten Rocks.  Since they were designed for kinders we bumped them up a little and they made them independently. I also added teeth for the number of siblings they have.  I didn't pre-cut the shapes but they did use tracers for the big shapes.   I also had them write an imaginary story about their monster after we created them using paragraphs. Here some pictures before they started writing.  They came out really well, I was impressed since they made them pretty much from scratch. 

 I also read aloud A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee.  We then created our witch feet that I stumbled upon from Step Into 2nd Grade. They had to describe their witch using adjectives OR character traits. My example is the yellow page. They also made these from scratch and please pardon their spelling and handwriting.  I haven't let them use marker to write words very often and you can see why below.  I had several black blobs where they tried to "X" out their mistakes. My kiddos need erasers! : )

 I also create this little poster from a pin I saw on pinterest. I laminated it and use post-its so we can use it with every story. I use it mostly in small group during literacy block.

Even though it was Halloween I still had to introduce a new math objective since the 2nd nine weeks started today.  We ordered numbers from 0-500 in our math journals. I made these on the computer at school and don't have the file at home otherwise I would link it!

 Whew!  We have been busy and I am so thankful for the internet!  There are so many good ideas out there that I would never have thought of.  I keep finding more and more everyday!


Are you a gamer?

I recently had the wonderful opportunity of attending the NCAEE elementary educator conference. Ron Clark was the keynote speaker and if you have ever heard him speak you know how awesome he is!   He is so inspirational and I don't know how he has the amount of energy he has!  Check out the video of the Ron Clark Academy kids singing a song about voting in the last presidential election.  It's amazing what he has been able to do to motivate and teach his students. He is all about building relationships with his students by connecting with them on things that interest them.

Anywho, I also went to a session about how to use video games to engage students.  This session was presented by a professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and man, oh man, did he deliver!  He has created pre-made game templates that you can use with ANY lesson.  They are free to download and there are ALOT of them.  I already used the race game today with my kiddos while we reviewed some math skills and they were so into it just because the little cars moved when their team answered correctly!

You can check the games out for yourself HERE! If you get a chance to use them in your classroom, please share how you were able to use them!

Welcome to Primary Punch!

I can't believe I have just started my very own teaching blog!!!  I have been in awe of some pretty awesome blogs for a while now and decided that it was time I took the jump!  So, let's get acquainted!  My name is Deana Johnston and I teach in North Carolina.  This is my fifth year teaching and I have taught kindergarteners, first graders and now second graders!  I absolutely love the primary K-2 age group and since I have a wide range of learners in my classroom, I will be adding items for all of these ages!

I hope to use this blog to share ideas with other fabulous teachers out there.  I truly hope you find this blog as a place where you can find things you can use in your classroom.  I have been so thankful for all the other teacher bloggers out there who share their ideas and I hope I can share some as well. I do have a Teachers Pay Teachers store if you want to check out some of the things I have made.  This is where I put things before I made this wonderful blog! I also have a kind of embarrassing amount of pins on pinterest if you want to check out the awesomeness I have found from other teachers, click on my pinterest button above to follow me.

 I wanted to start things off on the right foot so I have also added my very first freebie.  My kiddos are well into math this year and we are currently tackling word problem strategies.  This is a work mat for students to use when working a math word problem.  Click on the link below for access from google docs!