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Monday, April 21, 2014

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Okay, I admit I've had a BIG case of the blogger blahs lately.  Yes, my last post was March 16th.  That was over a month ago.  Whoops!  Well, I'm back because I finally have something I'm excited about to share.  We started one of my favorite units after spring break - Air & Weather.  We have been busy filling our science notebooks with new learning and scientific vocabulary.  I've also been trying to incorporate our studies into reading and art.  Here is an art project the kids managed to complete today with the help of some parent volunteers.

Materials: white cardstock paper, chalk in shades of blue, purple, and green, cotton balls, glue, scrapbook paper, sharpie
 






Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Freebie & Mystery Box Giveaway



Are you looking for some last minute additions to your St. Patrick's Day plans?  I created this word search last year.  No worries - it's free.  Just click the picture below and enjoy :)


It's a new month which means some fabulous bloggers are back with the Mystery Box Giveaway.
Here are the wonderful ladies behind this month's mystery box:
  
  
I'll be looking for a lucky 4-leaf clover for sure!



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Walking Water

We have been working on making predictions in science.  Last week my students had a great opportunity to make a prediction, make observations, and practice measurement skills. The students watched water walk.  Here's how it works.  

You will need the following materials:
2 clear cups
water
food coloring
paper towel
something to prop one cup up higher than the other (we used dictionaries)

Put a few drops of food coloring in the bottom of one cup.  Add water until it is close to the top.  Place the water filled cup on the higher surface.  Put the empty cup on the lower surface.  Fold a paper towel into a long strip (you could probably cut it, too).  Dip one end of the paper towel into the water cup (the water will move, so make sure it is in there well).  Place the other end of the paper towel over the edge and just inside of the empty cup.  

We were completely focused on this for 20 minutes before moving on to our literacy block.  However, I made measurement marks at 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes, and 90 minutes.  I just ran my reading groups as scheduled and ran around making marks on the cups between groups.
This student is pointing out that the water is close to dripping on the backside of the paper towel.


This group is waiting patiently for their first water drop.


The water is almost there!


At last - the first drops arrive.  We all started at 12:30.  All six groups had water droplets within 8 minutes of starting.


Here the students are talking about whether or not the water would leak onto their desks (FYI - only one group had a few drops leak and it was because their paper towel was too close to the edge of the cup and not resting inside).


Here the water is really starting to drop.  This group was the first to point out that they could see where the water level had started.


This was after 40 minutes.


The best thing about this experiment is that students have most of the supplies at home.  If we had more time in class we could have experimented with some changes (water temperature, food coloring, elevations, water amount, etc.).  I encouraged the students to try these changes at home.  


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Photos of Our Measurement Mania!

We have been elbows deep into our measurement study for almost 2 weeks and we still have a week to go.  I've mentioned in several previous posts that we have had to start introducing some Common Core Standards now for fear we will not get to them in our new curriculum.

I created this pack to help my grade level team with our measurement unit.  Below I will show you several of the activities in action with 2nd grade students.  



First up was introducing measurement tools and how to use them (this is not included in the pack):
You can probably tell that this display was thrown together in about 5 min. on a Monday morning.  The good news is the tools are easily accessible and visible for students.  We are able to refer back to the tools frequently.


First, we used the tools to discuss the basics of measuring:
- where to find zero on each measuring tool
- how to line up an object on a ruler
- how to read a ruler (to the nearest whole unit)
- how to choose a measuring tool based on the object you are measuring


Then it was time to practice measuring objects.  We used the activity Monsters on the Move #1.  We did this activity together so I could monitor their measuring skills.  This activity asks students to measure 4 objects found in the classroom and to practice drawing line segments.

The next day it was time to review the basics.  I gave some instructions and helpful reminders before placing the Monsters on the Move #2 cards around the room.  Then students were given a partner, one ruler to share, their measurement packets, and a pencil.   They were so careful taking turns and making sure their partner was measuring carefully:






A few days later we worked on comparing the lengths of different school supplies.  The first six cards were fairly easy because all of the supplies are lined up with the zero.  The second set of cards had school supplies randomly placed on a ruler.  The students had some interesting conversations about how to solve them.





On another day we worked on the Measuring Monsters activity.  In this case, students looked at different monsters standing next to a centimeter ruler.  They had to record how tall each monster was.



Afterwards, we used the data to create a line plot.  Finally, I reviewed our graphing unit by asking questions that the students had to answer using the data on the line plot.


Here are some close-ups of the pages from the pack that were used above:



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently, March

Turning the page for March means celebrating my little girl's birthday every year!  Here she is with her cake (yes, that's her BFF, Dora the Explorer).  She was a pro with blowing out her candles.  Opening presents took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. because she still peels off wrapping paper one square inch at a time.  For the gift bags that had tissue paper, she laid each sheet out on the ground and smoothed them out flat.  Gotta love her independent spirit!

Since she's taking a little break to come down from her sugar rush, I hopped on the computer to link up with Farley!

Listening - My daughter is watching Cinderella on TV.  Earlier today we celebrated her birthday with cake, ice cream, and presents (most of which apparently were delivered by Santa).  

Loving - We have had many rainy days.  This past week we have seen some sunshine rays.  Even though it's still cold, it's nice to get a little natural vitamin D therapy!

Thinking - What should I read next?  I finished Divergent.  It's between Sycamore Row, The Storyteller, and Insurgent.
 


 Wanting - I really want to thank each and every person who has supported me on my TpT journey.  When I started I had no idea I would ever get one tiny little sale.  Slowly I have built my store and tried to make improvements.  I am truly blessed to have so many people believe in the products I make.  If you're one of my supporters, THANK YOU!!!

Needing - What's for dinner?  This mama is hungry!  Yes, I just had cake and ice cream a few hours ago, but my tummy is grumbling.  We don't usually plan for meals on Saturday, but the leftovers in the fridge are not sounding so appealing right now.  Hmm....round two of cake?

? ? ? ? ? ? -  I am thinking of a question in my head.  The answer is quilting, Australia, and swim with dolphins.  Can you think of my question?

Head on over to Farley's newly updated blog to see what everyone else is currently up to:


Friday, February 28, 2014

Extreme Makeover: Magic School Bus Edition



Okay, you've seen me share about my improvements to the Magic Tree House series and the Horrible Harry series.  Now I'm ready to share about the changes to the Magic School Bus series.  This series is written on a 3rd grade level, but I have had a lot of success using these books with my higher level 2nd grade readers.  You can also easily use them as read alouds and complete the comprehension questions verbally (or together) and monitor listening comprehension.

On the right, you will see the original cover.  It had a very simple, generic border and small text & graphics that didn't really catch your eye.  The new cover is on the left.  All of the books have a similar look to provide some uniformity for the series.

I'm not sure why, but I never included a book summary page with the original packs.  I made sure to include that now with a reminder about connections to Common Core standards. 

Here are some of the new pages that have been added to all of the Magic School Bus packs:

Here's a better look at the variety of "extras" that come with the different Magic School Bus packs.  While some packs have similar pages, each book pack created has pages unique to the topic being studied.
 

Once I finish the remaining 8 books in the set, I will put them all into a larger bundle pack.  These books are currently on sale in my store for the big TpT sale.  Head on over to check them out!