Gobstoppers Experiment

We have been making predictions in science.  I have been using a unit from Kristen Smith.  I thought this would be a great addition.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and followed the idea to its source:  Steve Spangler Science and knew it would be a perfect addition to the unit.

Keep reading to find out how to see this:

A couple of days ago I explained the experiment to the students and allowed them time to make predictions.  Many thought the Gobstoppers would rotate around the bowl, switch places with each other, or that the colors would mix randomly inside the bowl.  Today was the day we got to see what would happen.

We started with a white bowl filled with a little bit of water.

Next, we added four Gobstoppers.  The kids were sure to point out that I placed them like a compass rose - North, South, East, West.

Then, it was time to observe.  The kids noticed changes to the Gobstoppers right away.

Soon, the colors began spreading even more.

Finally, the students were able to observe that the colors spread, but stay separate.  One student pointed out that each color looked like a slice of pizza in the bowl. 

The last thing we did was record the outcome of the experiment.  The kids love these quick, simple experiments!  I love that they are learning to make predictions AND accept the fact that they will not always be right, but can find similarities and differences between their predictions and the outcome.

Bold and Italic Print & Groundhog Freebie

We continue to learn about the features of nonfiction text.  Last week we added bold and italic print to our list of features we can identify:

Luckily, students had some idea of what these features were all about.  They wanted to quickly point out that these features can be found in fictional text, too.  So we have also been working on how to read words in fictional text that use bold or italic print.  You should hear the exaggerated voices they use to try to mimic my examples.  For some students it has also become a competition to see who can tell me about the feature first.  You have to love their enthusiasm!

Here's a close-up of their scrapbooks for the features:

This week we have been working on labels and captions.  We've been teaching a lot about graphing, so I think it will be good to add graphs and tables to our booklets.

Last year I made a little Groundhog's Day Word Search.  Just click on the picture below to grab your free  copy.  If you can use it, I'd love it if you'd take the time to leave a little feedback.  Thanks!

If I Lived in a Snow Globe

Winter is one of my favorite seasons to combine literacy and art.  There are so many great books out there that inspire art projects as an extension.  I'm not going to lie - this project is not original.  There are a million pins out there with similar projects.  I'm sure someone even has a snow globe template to make this easier.  This is just how I have interpreted the project in my room.

We read the book, The Snow Globe Family by Jane O'Connor.  I have to say that this book has quickly become one of my favorite winter read alouds.

We brainstormed all of the activities the family did while inside the snow globe.  Then students wrote a sentence telling what they would do if they lived in a snow globe.  I typed the sentences onto labels:

Next, a parent volunteer cut the pieces to make the snow globes (circles on light blue construction paper, trapezoids on black construction paper).  Students drew and colored a scene to match their writing.  Here are a few of the snow globes:

After the snow globes were put together, the sticky label was attached to the base of the student's snow globe and they were put up on a winter-themed bulletin board.  That's it!

No Two Snowflakes & a Winner

You know how they say no two snowflakes are alike?  My students took on that challenge and have created some amazing pieces.  I call it a Rainbow Blizzard.  This project is made using coffee filters, a spray bottle filled with water, food coloring, paper plates, and rubber gloves (to keep the hands dye-free).  

Check out their talented designs:

Here's a close-up of the poem at the bottom.  I type them up onto labels (1"x4", 20/pg) and stick them to the bottom. 

Now....do you remember this pack?  It's my newest creation.  Well, I owe a BIG thank you to everyone who entered.  Congratulations to Jessica for winning the pack (it should be in your inbox).  I have uploaded this one to TpT and it is on sale for the rest of the week.  Click on the picture below or click here to go check it out.

Diving Into Nonfiction Text Features

We dove into our study of nonfiction text features over the last two weeks.  We started with a sorting activity for fiction and nonfiction text features.  The students had a few misconceptions, but we were able to clear those up.

Next up was our first target: explaining the differences between photographs and illustrations.  After showing various pictures from text, students were able to narrow down the difference.  On the chart below you can see two pictures off to the side: orange - a photograph of a frog, green - illustration of a beaver.  We also had an amazing discussion about why an author may choose to use illustrations over photographs in nonfiction text.   

While teaching students about the important work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we also had an opportunity to put our knowledge of photographs and illustrations to work.  We used the two books you see below.  In fact, the cover of the book on the left has a matching illustration in the book on the right.  The kids loved looking at the same picture in two different ways.

 Once students were able to explain the differences, it was time to put the examples into their Nonfiction scrapbooks.  This is from Hope Kings's product, My Road Trip Through Nonfiction Text Features.

As we visit and study various text features, we attach the same pictures from the anchor charts into our scrapbooks for cohesive learning.  The pictures below show the pages students see inside of their scrapbooks.

Next up is learning to identify bold and italic text in our reading and explain why an author uses those text features.

You still have a little time left to enter to win my Monster Measurement Madness pack.  Click the picture below to read more about it.

Win It Before You Can Buy It!

It's Time!
My Monster Measurement Madness pack is finished and edited.  I'm just about ready to post upload this one to TpT.  I wanted to give my blog followers a chance to win this before you can even buy it.

In this pack there is an activity for each 2nd grade Common Core Measurement Standard. Below you can see a preview of (almost) all 78 pages of this file.  Yep, it's a big one!

If a visual representation isn't for you, here's a breakdown of the contents of the measurement pack:

Monsters on the Move
This section of the pack has activities for 2.MD.1, 2.MD.2, 2.MD.3, and 2.MD.4.  Students will measure objects around the classroom, draw line segments, choose appropriate tools in given measurement situations, measure line segments to the nearest inch and centimeter, choose the best estimate for measuring certain objects, and determine how much longer/shorter one object is than another.

Monster Math
This activity is for 2.MD.5.  Students will read measurement story problems.  Students will use addition and subtraction (less than 100) to solve the problems.

Monster Line-Up
This activity is for 2.MD.6.  Students will identify missing numbers on a number line.  Students will also show addition and subtraction on a number line.

Monster Time
This activity is for 2.MD.7.  Students will match digital and analog times.  Each time focuses on the 5-minute interval.

Money Monsters
This activity is for 2.MD.8.  Students will match money amounts written in two different ways.  One set of cards has money written in dollars and cents notation.  The second set of cards shows students the number of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, but not the total amount.  Students must find the total and match the card with the matching dollars and cents notation card.

Measuring Monsters
This activity is for 2.MD.9.  Students will write how tall different monsters are to the nearest centimeter using a ruler provided on each card.  In the follow-up activity, students will record each monster's height onto a line plot.

Monster Mash
This activity is for 2.MD.10.  Students will complete a tally chart and bar graph.  Students will then answer questions using the data recorded.

Now it's time for the fun part.  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win this pack before you can buy it.  This one is only open for a couple of days.  Good luck :)

Color Me Pretty....and Happy!

Did you notice?  My blog has been improved in a very spectacular way and I'm so excited!  When I first started blogging I just chose a generic, pre-made template.  It was a no-fuss approach to dipping my toes in the water.  With all of the changes I have going on in 2014, I figured, "What's one more?"  I knew it was time for a blog makeover.

I looked around at several very talented blog designers until I found a style I really liked.  I contacted Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs.  She was very easy to work with, friendly, and had this design done in no time at all.  If you're on the fence about going for a new blog design, DO IT!

Still unsure?  Click her blog button below.  She has a long list of other blogs she has designed so you can see her work in action!
A Bird in Hand Designs

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