Math Problem of the Day

Hi Friends!  I can't express how much I am loving Spring Break!!  I have been busy today,  but the best part is that it was all accomplished on my couch! I finally finished my 2nd Grade Math Problem of the Day pack for the 4th nine weeks.  I also updated the 1st and 2nd quarter to include 45 problems each (if you already own them, be sure to download the new pack) then I put all 4 packs into one mega bundle! The bundle pack has all 190 problems for a whole YEAR of problem of the day! The problems are aligned to the 2nd grade CCSS and the bundle pack covers ALL the standards. You can check both the 4th nine week and the Bundle pack below.

The 4th nine weeks focuses on time, money, even/odd and arrays! The bundle pack has all four packs included.  If you already own one of the other packs, please be aware that the same pack is in the bundle.  If you don't own any of them, you can save $2.00 by buying the bundle!

I'm also joining up with several other sellers for a Spring Cleaning Sale! Everything in my store is 10% off for the weekend!  
Graphic By: Krista Wallden

Word Wall Work

The winner of the Hippity Hop pack was Amber!  Congratulations, an e-mail is waiting for you! 

I want to pop in really quick tonight to post an update to one of my older packs.  Word Wall Task Cards has been transformed into Word Wall Work.  I added a ton of Dolch word cards and recording sheets!  Plus it got a little makeover.  If you already own it, be sure to go back and download the new, updated pack for FREE!  We have 4 hours tomorrow before spring break and I am so looking forward to sleeping in for 10 whole days!!!  

Welcome to the Common Core Book Room

WARNING: This room is ah-mazing!  I know how lucky we are to have it, I talk more about how we can afford it near the bottom of this SUPER long post.  I can only take about 1% credit for its existence.  I was in charge of gathering, organizing and labeling the leveled readers.  I also put in my two cents about the unit theme boxes and was on the literacy committee that helped organize the Big Books.  The real credit goes to our two AWESOME instructional coaches that made this room look how it does today.  You may see some extra piles/boxes in some pictures, this is because we are constantly finding MORE books to put into this room.  Okay, so let's get acquainted!

For the last 6 years my school has used a Houghton Mifflin basal series (which we'll call HM from here on out).  My county purchased a large kit of HM so each teacher had a full pack of leveled readers. When we found out we were no long allowed to use HM and had to switch in to Common Core mode we didn't want to just throw these books away.  Especially because they are already leveled and we knew we would need some small group instruction books.  So, we collected ALL of them, they were all organized and put into the common core room! Here's how they look today. The levels correlate to Fountas and Pinnell, which is what we use since it also correlates to our Reading 3D mClass assessments. 

When organizing, our goal was to make it very easy for a teacher to walk in and find the genre/level/theme they were looking for.  You can see the box of clothes pins which is used to "check out" books. Whatever bag you take, you put a clothes pin on the box with your name so you know where to put it back when you're done. We have a few teachers who check on clothes pins that have been clipped for a long time and kindly remind those teachers to return books if they are done with them, so they don't end up in their rooms and are lost forever.  

There is so much organization here it makes my head spin. The color of the label matches the grade level that is appropriate for the books (these are the same colors on the grade level unit boxes a little ways down). 
Pink: Kindergarten
Goldenrod: 1st Grade
Blue: 2nd Grade
Green: 3rd Grade
Purple: 4th Grade
Yellow: 5th Grade

Here you'll see there are shapes on each label too.  Those shapes indicate fiction or non-fiction. When you get to the actual bag of books (which contain a set of 10-20),  it is broken down ever further. It's kinda like a secret code, check out the next picture to crack the code! (sorry for the glare!)

Here's a picture of what the label on each bag looks like.  Now this I can take credit for, I made ALL the labels.  I took me from January to June last year to do this.  It was quite an undertaking. The bags have even more shapes on them, below is a chart that explains those shapes.

How did we know how to organize all these leveled readers this way?  Well it turns out that HM has a nice little Reference Guide.  If you're wondering what it looks like, you can find one HERE and HERE.  The people at HM actually make it very nice to level their books. 

Okay so we have the leveled readers but that's not all!  Looking to teach a unit on animals?? The common core book room also has a science section (all the green labels are Science book sets)!

Want to teach a unit on American History?  We have a Social Studies section too (all the blue labels are S.S. book sets)!

Need a book on measurement for math?  We have math books too, leveled by topic and by grade level.

Back to ELA...We have a LARGE inventory of Big Books at our school.  Many were purchased through grants.  We have had some great grant writers over the 12 years my school has been open. They are now organized in the awesome common core room for easy access.

And there's more...

On top of each holder is a list of titles that work for different grade levels according to our ELA Units that I posted about yesterday.  Here's what that looks like up close.

Sticking with ELA, this is my FAVORITE part of the Common Core book room. The ELA Unit Theme boxes.  You saw the "main stories" that we used for each week of ELA instruction on our unit plans but this is where they are stored, ready for us to check out. 

Some boxes are missing because some grade levels have them, planning their instruction.  Each grade level was given a dollar amount to order books they wanted for these boxes at the beginning of the year.  (These are not the only books we have for ELA, the library keeps all the class sets of chapter books which have to be checked out through the media center but that's another post for another day) 

So these boxes are pretty amazing, let's open one up. 

Each box has a list of titles that are included, more titles have been added since these were typed but that's okay.  At some point we may update them but we haven't had much time for that! We have sets of books in the box (one per teacher) and we also have books that were ordered through Scholastic which match the standards that we will be teaching during the unit.  The sets of books are the title at the top of our unit plans.

Each box has a folder for the teachers to sign-out the books they want or need. We can sign-out books from other grade level boxes if we want to.  

And then we have books in the box that go well with the theme of our unit. Some leveled readers are in here too that match with the theme/standards we are teaching during this time.  The literacy committee at my school helped to stuff these boxes and set aside the leveled readers for the theme boxes instead of putting them in with the leveled area.  

So, how can we afford all this when we know education has taken some serious budget cuts??  Well, before this room we had a literacy room which held A LOT of books.  Some were dispersed to teachers to use in their small group instruction and some were transferred to the new room. As I said above too, we have had lots of teachers write grants over the last decade, which has added to our book inventory.  We are also a very large Title I school (almost 700 students) so we do get a good amount of funding each year which we have spent on adding to our book inventory.  In addition to all of that we held several fundraisers to buy more books (we had a penny war and a raffle for a Kindle Fire) which brought in a good amount of money.  This room was not created over night, it has been MANY years in the making but it is pretty awesome.  If you stuck with me through all of that, I hope you found it interesting!  I am sure it has opened up a ton more questions, feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have below : )

One more thing before I go, we have 1.5 more LONG days before we're off for Spring Break.  I needed something fun to do during these long, restless hours so I put together a couple Springy games.  You can check them out by clicking on the image below.

I'd be happy to give away a free copy, just leave your e-mail below and I'll pick a winner by tomorrow night so you could use it before you leave for break or when you return!

A Year at a Glance {ELA}

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Pin it to Win it!  The winner was Julie!  Julie, an e-mail is coming your way!

I saw in the comments a few days ago someone had asked about how my grade level and I planned for ELA.  Well this was our first year without a basal and our county made an ELA unit analysis document that tells us what common core standards they want us to teach, in a 6 week period, with a certain theme.  Every grade level has their own.  We took these and choose a different text for each week to focus on. We had a list of exemplar/recommended texts to pick from that our state and county had developed. 

 Once we chose our books based on the themes, our school bought six copies of each book we picked for the whole year.  (This is stored in an AMAZING common core book room, more on that tomorrow!) This isn't the only text we read but it is usually the one we start our week with and use for most of the activities.  We then took all the standards and broke them into weeks with what we felt would best go with the books we chose.  I posted each "unit at a glance" below to give you an idea of how we broke it up.  Please keep in mind this was our very first year teaching the CCSS and we will probably make some small changes next year for what worked/didn't work this year and to accommodate specialty weeks (ex. halloween, christmas, etc.) Sorry they aren't very colorful but I had to squeeze so much into each page, I didn't have much room left for anything cute. And since this is just a "glance" I have a very short description by each standard to remind myself of what it focuses on.

You can also see all the "main" books we have read or are planning to read for the year at the top of each chart (I think someone had asked about these books, I'm sorry if I never answered!).  If a title is very vague it's because we are reading several books on that topic, usually they are non-fiction. 

Well that's our year in a glance for ELA.  If you have trouble reading it (I know it's a little blurry), you can download a copy of it, HERE.  Let me know what you think or what you'd like to know more about!

Pin it to Win it!

The winner of Taking Care of Ourselves: Part One is Alex!  Congratulations! An e-mail is coming your way!

Just wanted to post real quick to announce yesterdays giveaway winner and share what I have been up to since yesterday. If you follow Primary Punch on Facebook then you know I have had a busy weekend.  I put together a new spring Math Movers and updated my Sentence Types unit! 

 I thought we would try something new to win a free copy.  When you hover over the images, do you see the Pinterest "P" in the bottom corner?  To win a free copy, pin one (or both), comment by pasting the link of the pin and your e-mail so I know where to send it.  : )  I will use the random number generator to pick a winner for each pack by tomorrow night!

Also, someone mentioned that they'd like to know more about how my 2nd grade team plans our ELA units.  I am working on cleaning up our "units at a glance" and will hopefully have them ready to share soon!  Not that I'm counting down or anything but only 3.5 days until spring break!

Taking Care of Ourselves: Part One

Hubby has been watching basketball ALL I've been busy working!  Our last ELA unit is all about nutrition and the human body. I already posted our Nutrition project a few weeks ago which goes  along with this unit but now I have put together the first two weeks of ELA centers, games and activities!  The packet is aligned to the 2nd grade CCSS. You can click on either picture below to check it out.

Leave a comment with your e-mail for a chance to win a FREE copy!! I hope everyone is having a GREAT weekend!

Charts, Icons and a FREEBIE!

The winner of the Out of this World Informational Text pack is Colleen!  Congratulations, an e-mail is coming your way!

Before you check out some of our work this week, I want to say that I took the pictures with my iPhone, so I apologize for the fuzziness! First up is writing, in writing we are kind of in an in-between stage right now.  We are getting ready to enter an informational/expository couple of weeks after spring break so we're trying to wrap up paragraph writing and editing.  We made a few charts this week to review some important writing skills that my little ones needed to review.
This chart is our take on "said is dead",  my kiddos took out their writing folders and went back to edit their "saids" into something fantastic!  

This chart is only halfway done.  This is a list of words that we came up with which are "unforgivable" if they are spelled incorrectly.  We started with kindergarten words (CVC and sight words) and then moved into the 1st grade zone (blends/digraphs and sight words). We ran out of time today, so we'll finish it up tomorrow!

In ELA, we are wrapping up our multicultural six week unit next week and then moving into informational text focusing on nutrition.  I posted my newest pack, Out of this World Informational Text last night because I also wanted to add some information about the solar system into our ELA instruction.  Well, we have been trying out a few of the activities to see how they work over the last few days.  This one was an instant hit!  We reviewed what an icon was by making our own app icons! They came up with such cute ideas and I was surprised at how broad their span was.  They came up with games, educational, music and book apps!  
Here's our finished "iCons".  They keep walking past it and pressing all the apps to see if they work.  I love how some of them even put a "new" banner on their icon.  

Before the finished product they had to design their app.  Here are some examples of their design plans.

And here are some of the icons up close!
This is the "Long Fall" app, it teaches you how to fall out of an airplane without dying : )

This is the "Cleaner" app which lets you take a picture of any room and show you how to clean it up!

My kids really loved this activity and I feel they now have a much better understanding of different icons!  If you'd like to do it with your kiddos the template and design page is included in the Out of this World Informational Text pack!

Now onto the FREEBIE!!  I had a request for a multiplication set of Write Way Math and here it is!  You can download it from my TPT store by clicking on one of the pictures below! Happy Friday Eve friends!

Out of this World Informational Text

I am so sorry I haven't posted much this week, I have been super busy with school and I am SO ready for spring break.  My kiddos are too, but sadly we still have another week.  I have been working on this  pack for too long and I am excited to finally post it!  If you're looking for a way to integrate ELA and Science this pack is perfect!  It focuses on teaching informational text features while learning about the solar system. It is aligned to the 2nd and 3rd grade CCSS. It has a set of my informational text features but these are all with a solar system theme! It also has planet articles, written by me and several centers/independent activities. You can click on either image to see a list of all the contents!

For a chance to win a FREE copy, comment below and I'll pick a lucky winner tomorrow night : )  


UPDATE: The winner of the Arrr-Blends pack was Maria!  Congratulations, an e-mail is on the way!! Thanks for all your kind support and words below!! I really appreciate it!

Some of you may or may not know but I am in my third year of graduate school for speech-language pathology.  Which means that if all goes as planned I will graduate in the summer of 2014 and the 2012-2013 school year will be my last teaching : (  This was an extremely difficult decision for me since I truly love teaching elementary school and I still question if it was the right move.  But, I am committed to finishing school and trying it before I make any quick decisions.   So, this school year I have been teaching 2nd grade and also working two part-time internships in the school setting for my SLP program.  As I continue with my internships I make several games and materials to use with my speech kiddos that can also be used in the general education classroom, particularly in a small group or center setting.  I haven't posted them up until now but since I have been able to see the potential of using them in both settings I feel that they could greatly benefit some kiddos who are struggling in the general education setting. I will post them as they come up but I wanted to clear up an confusion that may arise since several packs are for a wide range of ages and subject matter. 

Now that we're all caught up on the craziness of my life, I wanted to share a new pack with you! One of the goals we are working on is using/reading/saying words with r-blends. Since this is also a 1st grade common core standard, I made a big card game pack full of r-blend games! The bulk of the pack contains 6 different Uno-like cards games, one for each different r-blend (tr, dr, cr, fr, gr, br) and then there are two other card games and a board game.  If your kiddos are practicing reading words with consonant blends this pack would be great for that skill. You can click on either image to check it out on TPT!

As usual, if this is something you could use in your classroom comment below and I will pick a winner to receive a FREE copy by tomorrow night!

Super St. Patrick's Day Sale!

I am so glad St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday this year, I am always cleaning up such a mess when that sneaky leprechaun visits my classroom!  : ) We celebrated today by eating shamrock cookies and shamrock shakes for Fun Friday.  To celebrate on TPT I am throwing a Super St. Patrick's Day Sale! You can save 20% off everything in my store starting right  now until Monday!  I hope you can find a few things that your kiddos will love! 
Fonts: Hello Literacy
Graphics: KPM Doodles, Krista Wallden, The Enlightened Elephant

 Happy St. Patrick's Day!