Folktales {An ELA Mega Unit}

Happy Halloween everyone! You may have noticed that I haven't been posting my weekly ELA units the past few weeks.  That would be because I have been working on a Folktales MEGA unit!  We have been reading and studying Folktales in 2nd grade for the past 3 weeks, particularly Tall Tales, Fairy Tales and Fables.  I put all of the centers, graphic organizers, activities and resources together into one mega-pack! It has been such a fun three weeks since folktales are so much fun to read and talk about.  Besides the resources in this pack I have also been using the iReading 8 in 1 Fables app on my iPad which my kiddos love. It costs $1.99 on iTunes.

It looks great projected on the SmartBoard and I love how it reads to you and includes a moral at the end of each story.  You may have also seen these super cute, Fairy Tales floating around Pinterest lately.  Scholastic Book Clubs has them in a Fractured Fairy Tale pack for $14 which I snagged for FREE using my points.  They are GREAT to teach points of view or to compare and contrast similar tales. 

If you have a subscription to Reading A to Z, We have also read several Tall Tales using their projectable book option (which takes up no copies, this make me very happy since we are on a strict copy budget this year).  Reading A to Z has some really great resources and they are my go-to resource when I can't find a book I want for my literacy block. 
(Sorry they're so tiny, but I can't find high quality image)

Click on the image below to check out my new Folktales Mega Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers! 

*Please note that the genre posters, bookmarks and journal cards are also available in my 26 Children's Literary Genres pack*


I have been all about the Monsters lately.  If you aren't allowed to celebrate Halloween at your school, monsters are a great way to spread a little spookiness without making them about Halloween.  We did a little monster fun today in writing and math.  I saw these pictures on Pinterest this summer and my mind was working on how I could make these in my 2nd grade class.  I decided writing was the way to go.

Source: Cocoa Bean

Here's a picture look at how our Rock Monsters turned out!
 (We made the teeth with white out)

Yes, our Rock Monsters are in plastic bags because I displayed them in the hallway like this:
One of my kiddos wrote this about why the Rock Monster is in a bag:

I made some Rock Monster paper that you can get for FREE if you click on the image below!

Since I am on the Monster theme...In Math we played Math Movers: Monster Edition as a review for our end of the nine weeks assessments! Here are few pictures of my kiddos in action!

(He's finished and is practicing his math ring while he waits to move to the next number)

If you'd like to play Math Movers: Monster Edition in your classroom you can get the packet from TPT by clicking on the image below!

Are you scared yet?? : ) Off to work on some literacy things for my little monsters next week! 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention!  Primary Punch now has a Facebook page, head over to "like us"!!!

26 Children's Literary Genres

I was planning for next week and realized that I keep making posters for each genre of literature that I am teaching each week.  I know there are some posters already out there but I also wanted some other resources like bookmarks and journal glossary cards.  So I decided to make a big ol' pack of resources to teach 26 of the children's literary genres.  I found the cutest clip art and have to say that the posters turned out super cute!  For each genre I made an instructional poster, a bookmark and a journal card for our writing journal glossaries. Here's a list of all the genres included:
Fairy Tale
Historical Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Science Fiction
Short Story
Tall Tale
Narrative Non-Fiction
Pourquoi Tale
You can check out the pack by clicking the picture below.
I would love to give away a FREE copy but I know it's not fair to always say the first person who comments soooo...comment below on your FAVORITE literary genre and I will choose a winner tomorrow night using the random number generator.  My favorite is fairy tales : )

Updated Non-Fiction Text Features Posters

I have been tirelessly teaching informational text and non-fiction text features to my little 2nd graders and realized I needed to add a few new things to my posters.  The updated version now has a poster for sidebar, hyperlink, icon and cutaway.  They are still FREE from TPT and you can get them by clicking on the image below!

Math Movers: Monsters Edition

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who purchased during the bloggy birthday sale, it's still going on until tonight at midnight if you haven't had a chance to grab some sale prices!  The blog is now somewhat together but I have yet to add to all those great tabs at the top.  I will be working on that during the next week or so, so there are still some more changes coming. 

 Last night I realized that the end of the 1st nine weeks is coming up fast which means I am supposed to give the 1st nine weeks math assessment next week.  So, as a fun review I created a new Math Movers game!  This cute clip art from KPM Doodles and the fact that it's October inspired a monster theme!

Here is a small preview of what kinds of questions and recording sheets are included.
A 2nd grade common core alignment is also included in the packet! 

Under Construction

Please excuse the state of the blog, Primary Punch is getting a makeover to celebrate it's one year birthday and we have run into a few hic-ups along the way!  The blog will (hopefully) be corrected and up and running like normal in a few days!  Thanks for sticking with me! In the meantime I am throwing a flash sale over on Teachers Pay Teachers to celebrate Primary Punch's bloggy birthday!  The sale will only last for today, so make sure you head over there and check it out!
(Fonts from Jen Jones at Hello Literacy)

Literacy Centers

I have had a lot of questions about how I run literacy centers in my room lately.  We don't use Daily 5, our county has it's own framework it wants us to use but with the new Common Core we aren't limited to using a basal reading series anymore which is great!  This is a long one but full of good information and hopefully some new ideas. So, here is how literacy centers goes down in my room of 2nd graders!

First let's start with the Tic-Tac-Toe.  This is my "contract", I make a new one each week and it has all my kiddos center information on it for the week. The directions are there but we go over and over the center routines as a whole group many times before I ever put them in a center independently.  So, for example during the first week of school we only did the top row of centers,  a different one each day as a whole group to learn the routine.  Then during week two I added a row, and so forth. Here's next week's Tic-Tac-Toe for biographies: 

This gets stapled to their packet of sheets that they will need for the week. They turn it in every day so I check them every night. The Tic-Tac-Toe above and below is for my highest group of learners,  I don't have as many rows for some due to the fact that most of my struggling readers get pulled for Title I or special education services during their center time and they simply aren't in the room to finish things.  I also differentiate using shapes (circle, triangle, square).  If anyone is familiar with Houghton Mifflin, you will know these shapes.  The Tic-Tac-Toes have the same directions for all but when they get their materials they may differ depending on their reading level so I may have a different passage to read, a different set of spelling words, different vocabulary/sight words.  The easiest to differentiate is Word Study since I have 4 different groups based on their spelling inventory and I use the Words Their Way books like this for spelling lists.   The top 4 centers are my "group" centers and the rest are either independent or buddy centers.  

Here is how I check the centers every night.  I chose a different highlighter each day and check it according to the rubric on the bottom of the page. If there is an error I highlight the title so they know to turn to that page and see whatever note I have left for them. I like using a different color each day so I can track how much they are finishing each day. My county has pushed a product for EVERY center for the last few years so most of my centers have some type of written task or recording sheet.  They are moving away from this now, but out of habit I still have most of my centers with a product.  

This is my center rotation board, I started using it last year because it was part of Houghton Mifflin and we had to use Houghton Mifflin.  I'm not crazy about the heading cards and now that I am looking at it, I should make some cuter ones but they get the job done.  This chart tells them which center to start in each day.  On Friday we take our weekly assessments and finish up everything so we don't use the chart on Fridays.  I also have the spelling groups on the chart, which I named after continents just to switch it up.  These also happen to be my small/guided reading groups as well, it just worked out that way this year that their reading levels and spelling levels were close enough to make the reading and spelling group the same.  In the past I have done some major switching for spelling and reading groups.  The top person in a column is the "team leader", this is usually a student who is a good leader, can read well and helps others but doesn't do work for them.  I do change the team leader and the groups every week.  Here's a breakdown of my "top" centers in pictures, directions are above in the tic-tac-toe so I'll just let you look at them in action!

So, after they finish their "top" center I have independent/buddy centers to go to.  Here's some of those extra centers that I use each week, most are hyperlinked if you are interested in getting them for your classroom. I don't change these up very often so there isn't a lot of confusion on what they're supposed to do.  I will add new words to the word wall each week, new reading passages, new vocabulary words and so on but the routines of the centers don't change very often.

I do make (or sometimes find/buy from other awesome teachers) a few "theme" centers that include cards or certain standards in my ELA packets for a certain week. I teach these on Mondays and usually it's only one or two of these "special" centers.  These pictures were from my Exploring the West Unit.  I have been trying to make Common Core ELA Units each week with a few new centers, vocabulary cards, minute/buddy reads, comprehension graphic organizers and some standard specific activities.  You can check most of them out HERE

I have a lot of other center ideas in my Literacy Center Menu: A Collection of Everyday Centers which includes many of the centers I mentioned above as well as some easier centers for 1st graders/struggling readers that include phonemic awareness and other phonics ideas. I don't include phonemic awareness in my 2nd grade centers but I do use a phonemic awareness book with quick lessons for small group instruction.  It's technically a first grade book but it's awesome for quick phonemic awareness lessons and everything you need is in the book.  This is what it looks like.

Still with me after all that??  A few centers on the Tic-Tac-Toe I didn't mention are AR which is Accelerated Reader, my school is crazy about AR but that's another post in itself, Digging Through the Dictionary, Word Detectives and Word Wizard.  I am re-vamping my Word Detectives pack and hope to have an updated version soon.  The Word Wizard template and Digging Through the Dictionary are in my Literacy Center Menu pack but Word Wizard is a quick graphic organizer for one vocabulary word (usually cross-curricular) that they look up using a dictionary, define it, illustrate it and use it in a sentence. 

I should also mention that in addition to the things that I make to help my kiddos I also pull from various paid and free resources, here are a few of those resources I like best (besides TPT): 
Reading A to Z (e-books, printable books, comprehension organizers)
Super Teacher Worksheets (Reading Comprehension Passages)
Florida Center for Reading Research (5 domains of Reading Centers)
K12 Reader (Comprehension Passages)

Whew!  That was a LONG post, I hope that I have given you some new Literacy Center ideas or clarification, I really enjoy literacy centers in my classroom.  My kiddos are engaged during center time and I have seen a lot of growth from using these centers.  If you still have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! Oh, and Happy Friday eve!

(Hello DoodlePrint Font is courtesy of Jen Jones at Hello Literacy)

Biographies {An ELA Mini-Unit}

Happy Wednesday everyone!  This has not been my week, yesterday was just a big ol' mess for a lot of reasons that I'd rather not go into and today I was observed by three people at the same time (I didn't know two were coming) for about an hour, had an IEP meeting and a school improvement team meeting after has been quite a week!  So, I was sitting here making next week's ELA Unit (trying to keep my eyes open) and decided it was time for another freebie.  If you are interested in a few things to help teach Biographies click on the picture below to download a FREE mini-unit from google docs.  
Clip art is courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles and some frames are from Fancy Dog Studio.  

This unit is a smaller than some of the others I have made, I am pulling in some resources from different sources for next week including the e-book, Jane Goodall from Reading A to Z, The Teacher Wife's Biography pack and we are working our way through making an Informational Text Feature Notebook from Hello Literacy! If you are interested in what centers look like in my classroom, I am putting together a big centers picture walk/post for tomorrow!