Telling Time!

The winner of Taking Care of Ourselves: Part Three was Suzy Q!  My favorite food is chicken fingers (I'm a 5 year old at heart) : )  Although, I do love the other foods you all came up with, even the salmon!  

This week in math we are reviewing/introducing time!  Time is such a hard concept, I find that either my kiddos get it or they just don't.  We broke out the Judy clocks and have been reviewing time to the hour and half hour today and yesterday, this has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated.  I'm a little late finishing this up, since we are already a few days into time but today's lesson made me realize I needed to get busy!  I just posted a big pack of centers, games and activities to practice telling time!  It is aligned to the 2nd grade CCSS which means all activities focus on telling time to 5 minute intervals.  I do have a few hour/half hour things in there but most goes all the way to 5 minutes.  Click on either image to check it out on TPT. 

I loved reading all your food comments, so let's play again!  The first person who can correctly comment with the time I get up for school in the morning will win a FREE copy of Telling Time! Happy Tuesday everyone!

Taking Care of Ourselves: Part Three!

It's done!  I am done with ELA units for the year!!!  I just posted the last ELA unit on health and nutrition.  It focuses on muscles and bones.  You can check it out by clicking on the pictures below!

We have learned so much about food and the human body over the past few weeks!  Tomorrow we are starting our body-cutouts. More on that in a few days! 

Leave a comment below (don't forget your e-mail address) to win a FREE copy.  The first person to guess my favorite food will be the winner! 

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up again with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday!  I think this might be turning out to be my favorite linky, and I have been trying to take more pictures each week so it has really helped!  This week was full and it's not over.  Our school Spring Fling is tomorrow, so I will be spending Saturday at school! : )  Here's a peek at my week!

1. Field Day! We had a beautiful day on Thursday for Field Day (I only got a little sunburned).  I tie-dyed T-shirts for the big day and they came out great!

2. Firehouse Subs!  I don't live in what I would call a small town but Firehouse Subs is one of my favorite places to eat when we are in Myrtle Beach so I was very excited when I heard they were coming to town.  They opened last Saturday and we were there for opening day! 

3. Plants!  We have been studying plants in Science this week, we made these flip books in our Science journals to record the parts of a plant. We have also playing Plant Bingo and worked on a few of the centers from my Plants pack!

4. Organization.  I have accumulated a lot of new centers this year so I bought some new bins to start organizing! 

5. The Great Pencil Challenge!  This idea came from Ladybug's Teacher Files, we have the same problem with pencils that she wrote about in her post so we started the challenge on Wednesday.  During our pencil check today we have 16/18 students still in the challenge.  We'll see how it goes next week! Head over to her blog to read all about it!

Well that's been my busy week!  I still have one final and a handful of assignments standing between me and the end of the semester for grad. school to get through this weekend.  I also am planning on finishing up Taking Care of Ourselves: Part Three!  Have a great weekend!!

Read like a Champion!

UPDATE:  Sorry for not posting a winner last night but the winner is....Jenna!  Congratulations Jenna!!  An e-mail is coming your way!!  Thanks again to everyone who commented, I am so thankful to have such awesome followers!!!

This post is going to be short and sweet, I have some major grad. school finals to study for that I have been neglecting!  One reason is because of my newest pack, Read Like a Champion! I was up late last night finishing up some centers and games all about Suffixes and Prefixes.  This pack is aligned to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade CCSS.  There are three games/activities for each grade level, I added all three grade levels because I have some smarties this year that really need a boost, so I figured a range would offer some great differentiation possibilities!  You can check it out by clicking on either image below.

If you leave a comment below, I'll pick a winner to get a FREE copy by tomorrow night!

In class we have been busy working on our Classroom Biographies in writing this week.  My kiddos LOVED the doodle faces and are so into their booklets.  I plan on putting them out to share on the book holder when we're finished since they all want to read each other's booklets. 

You can still get this fun pack for FREE by becoming a Facebook Fan!  Just click on the Fan Freebie tab at the top of the page! If you'd rather not become a Facebook fan you can also find it on TPT by clicking HERE.  

Facebook Fan Freebie!

I finally figured out how to add a Fan Freebie to my Facebook page!  If you are already fan, you can head over to the Primary Punch Facebook page, click on the Fan Freebie tab at the top (it has a picture of a present) and then download the Fan Freebie!  If you're not already a fan, you can still get it by becoming one!  So, what is the current Fan Freebie?  I just posted it to TPT a few minutes ago, it's a 24 page pack on creating Classroom Biographies with your kiddos!  You can click on either of these images to check it out on TPT.

Now that I know how to do this, I will be changing the Fan Freebie from time to time so be sure to head over and LIKE the Primary Punch Facebook page so you have access to them!

I also finished another 4th grade math pack this morning.  This one has 10 centers, games and activities for the end of the year!  It has a summer theme and you can see the contents by click on either image below. Many of my hubby's 4th graders have been saying that they LOVE playing the games from the Fractions and the Mad Scientist pack so I wanted to give them a few more to play just before testing time!

Now I'm off to finish up tie-dying those T-shirts for field day!

Five for Friday!

I am on time this week to link up for Five for Friday!!  Before we get to my five pictures, the winner of the Folktales pack was Mrs. Giles!  Congratulations, an e-mail is coming your way!

1. We had awards this week in the classroom.  We alternate every other nine weeks in the classroom and in the auditorium.  We had six different awards to give, they are Blue & Gold (honor roll), Perfect Attendance, Terrific Kid (character), Writer's Showcase, Extra Effort and Reading (A.R.).  The dog tags are also an incentive for meeting their AR goals, they get a dog tag for getting half way and one for meeting their goal. 

2. It was inventory week at school, this means that I have to find everything that has a barcode on it in the room, our library clerk comes to scan all my items and I hope that I don't have anything missing.  This pile looks small, but it is over 70 barcoded items that I have to keep track of.  Does anyone else have to go through this? 

3. Habitats!!  We briefly covered habitats this week.  My kiddos will dive into it more next week in Science but they were very intrigued by this sort. They had a ton of questions about animals and their habitats. 

4. Sidewalk Chalk Math!  Whenever it gets warmer I love breaking out the chalk to do some math on the sidewalk.  My kids LOVE it!  We reviewed lots of different math skills with our chalk!

5. I brought home a large amount of white T-shirts to tie-dye for Field Day next week!  I have tie-dyed the last three years, my first year I tried to do it at school but it was hard to get hot water in the classroom, and the kids got dye everywhere.  Plus I still had to take them home to wash them, so now I just bring the whole bunch home and do it at the house.

Well, that's my week!  Only 6 more weeks until summer (but who's counting??)! 

Folktales Update!

About a week ago I updated my Folktales pack, I know sometimes it's hard to get notification of updates so I wanted to make sure those who already purchased knew about the update (it now has over a 100 pages!). I added three new card games (one for each genre) and spruced up the pack in general.  If you already own it, be sure to go back and download the updated pack for FREE!!

If you don't already own it, leave a comment below for a chance to win a FREE copy!!  I hope everyone had a terrific Thursday!! 

Small Group Instruction Survival Kit

It's that time of the year, when teachers are thinking about what they're going to do next year.  Some are staying put and many are switching grade levels or subjects.  Schools are running out of time to spend money and are asking teachers what they want to buy and fast!  I have seen a lot teachers asking these types of questions lately.  I have taught 1st and 2nd grade (3 years in 1st and 3 years in 2nd) for the past 6 years and thought maybe a list of my must-haves would help out those who are looking to spend some money on furniture/materials or are looking to get an idea of what they will want for next year.  This is by no means a comprehensive list but I do use all of these things EVERY day while teaching 2nd  grade (I also used them everyday when I taught 1st too).  I chose small group instruction because honestly, the majority of my day is spent teaching small group instruction.  I teach small groups in literacy everyday for an hour and occasionally in math and writing. 

#1. A horseshoe table: I had a round table when I first started teaching and it got the job done but the horseshoe table is much better at keeping everyone focused and engaged in any small group lesson I am teaching.   Here's where it all goes down in my room!

#2. Word Wall:  I LOVE word walls. I have three in the room, one for each literacy, math and science.  This one is for literacy and has all our sight words.  Since it's the end of the year, it has them ALL.  I don't start the year with them all, I introduce about 5-10 words a week. At the beginning of the year we use it more than at the end.  We find words with different phonetic patterns, put words in ABC order, find different parts of speech, sound out phonemes, count syllables.  We also use my Word Wall Work pack as a literacy center.  I put it under my SmartBoard because honestly, this was the only real estate left on my walls!  It just happened to be a perfect spot for my kids to sit and read it! 

#3. Chair Pockets:  These chair pockets were made by my fabulous Nana.  She is a much better seamstress than I am, she used a yard and a half of fabric for each one and with a little mending each year they have held up pretty well.  I take them home occasionally to wash them, I only had a crayon sneak through the wash one time and leave terrible streaks in my dryer.  I was not happy, now I make sure they are completely empty before washing.  The horseshoe table chairs and each student chair has a chair pocket.  At the horseshoe table they hold whiteboards and markers.  At my student's desks, they use them to hold their library books, and ziploc bag of spelling words for the week. (Plus a few other mystery items, which are NOT supposed to be in there, but end up making their way into their chair pockets)

#4. Sand Timers: We use these in small group, literacy centers and math.  They mainly get used for fluency reads, perfect for timing a minute! I used to have digital timers and the beeping drove me nuts!  Plus my kids can't really read digital time very well (especially when it has seconds) but these one minute timers are the best!  

#5. Whiteboards and Markers:  These whiteboards came with my classroom and they're old but they get the job done!  I added pom-poms to the ends of all my Expo markers this year (thanks to Pinterest!) which makes an instant eraser.  The only problem with that is they have to keep up with their caps because they can't put them on the ends.  

#6. Leveled Text:  Obviously if you're teaching small group or guided reading you will need sets of leveled text.  I have acquired quite a few sets from discarded books at school and from ordering through Scholastic Book Clubs. Usually if there's a $1 book in the Lucky or See Saw Scholastic Book Club catalogs, I order 6-7 copies to use as a guided reading book.  We are also lucky to have THIS great room we can use as well but since we have moved away from using a basal, I have loved using trade books instead.  I also use Reading A to Z books, which are great if you're looking for books on a certain theme with all the worksheets that could go with them.  The downside is the amount of paper it takes to make the books.

#7. Fluency Materials:  I work on building fluency in so many ways during small group, centers and whole group instruction.  We begin at the word level, then move to phrases and then passages.  Here's a few of the materials I use.  The first is a big bucket o' words.  These cards used to be in my Word Jar but since moving to 2nd grade, we don't do a lot of fluency at the word level, more at the phrase and passage level so they're now in a big bucket. The words are a lot of HFW's from the Houghton Mifflin series plus some sight words.  The second picture are fluency strips which are old, I have new ones available in my Literacy Center Menu pack and the last picture are Fluency Homework from Second Story Window.  I know it's supposed to be homework and I do use it as homework but I also use old pieces in small group too. 

#8. Pointers:  Tracking print is super important in my small group instruction,.  Even in 2nd grade, we stress that tracking print is important and it's surprising at how many still have trouble tracking print (especially my struggling readers).  These pointers are old, I made them in college when I started student teaching and had no money to buy fancy pointers.  I made them from tracing a star shaped post-it note onto two pieces of sticky foam. Then I stuck them to a popsicle stick that I colored with sharpie, real fancy isn't it?  

#9. Chips:  In 2nd grade I still try to get in as much phonological awareness as I can, even though it's not as much of a focus as in Kindergarten and 1st grade. When we are learning our spelling words, we sound them out by counting phonemes (as you saw HERE) with the chips and later counting syllables.  I like the two-sided colored chips because when we're sliding them and saying the phonemes they flip over the chip that has the sound we are working on, so they can see if it's in the beginning, middle or end of a word.  We also use chips during small group if they answer a question right, or when we're playing a game.  They can keep their chips until the end and then see who has the most.  It's a good incentive to get them engaged and participating.  I bought some dollar tree checkers to use before I had two-sided chips.  

#10. Response Journals:  We use these journals for everything writing.  We answer comprehension questions after reading, we write journal entries in writing, we glue in our spelling words to keep as a reference.  As you can see this one is definitely getting full! I know journaling isn't for everyone, but I am a big believer in journals.  We have a journal for math, writing and science.  At the beginning of the year we decorated them by cutting out pictures of magazines and old Scholastic Book Club order forms.  As you can see they are falling apart, I didn't Mod Podge them this year like I did last year.  Obviously I should have Mod Podged. : )

Well, I hope that has given you a few new ideas of what I keep in my small group "survival kit" and what you may need or want if you're switching to a lower level grade next year!  All of these things are behind my horseshoe table in a big bookcase for easy access.  If you have any questions, or want to know more, please let me know! 

Introducing Arrays!

We began learning about arrays in math today!  Arrays are a foreign concept for us, they were added to our math curriculum this year due to switching over to the CCSS.  For my very first lesson ever teaching arrays, I thought it went great!  Here's how our lesson went down. 

1. We started off with a great Brain Pop Jr. Video to gain some knowledge of what exactly an array is and what it is used for. (Gotta love Moby and Annie!)

2. Then we made a colorful anchor chart to put on our math wall which will help us remember arrays for the rest of the week.

3. Next, we had some guided practice using white boards and pattern blocks under the Elmo. They had to make an addition equation but they figured out pretty quickly how to make multiplication equations, so I let them do both.  They thought they were so cool because they could understand multiplication.

4.  Lastly, we had some independent practice using an Array Match-Up center from my End-Of-Year Extravaganza Math pack.

My kiddos did great for our first day with arrays and I had very few who completed their independent work incorrectly.  The ones who did, only made very minor mistakes, overall I was very impressed with today's math lesson! Hope you find these ideas helpful!

Taking Care of Ourselves: Part Two!

I am doing a happy dance over here because I just posted Taking Care of Ourselves: Part Two, which means I only have ONE more ELA unit to make for this school year!! Here's a peek at Taking Care of Ourselves: Part Two!  It focuses on nutrition and the human body, it's a little larger than some of the others, I kinda got carried away. I blame it on the clipart.  In case you missed them, here's Taking Care of Ourselves: Part One and Nutrition!  

As always, leave a comment below for a chance to win a FREE copy!!