Five for Friday

Halloween is definitely on the brain in our house this week.  Here's what's been happening in our little corner of the world:

My daughter originally wanted to be a monster for Halloween, but the costumes were not what she had in mind.  So, we made an attempt at painting monster pumpkins this year.  She found the perfect one-eyed pink monster online and wanted to copy it. When she realized she painted her eye super big, she asked me to help her with the mouth so it would still look like the picture. Didn't her monster turn out cute?

My husband took a night off from working on our new house to carve some pumpkins with these two munchkins.  My daughter had a very specific request for her pumpkin this year (circle eyes, an M-shaped nose, and a smile with teeth).  Her brother got a Mickey pumpkin to match his costume.  He was also given some Teddy Grahams to keep him busy so pumpkin seeds & guts wouldn't end up all over the house! 

On Thursday, it was costume day at preschool.  Here's my little Minnie:

I love reading.  My favorite genre is what I like to refer to as tragic fiction.  Needless to say the books I read can get a little heavy at times.  A friend knew I needed a break and recommended this little trio of light reading:
Let's just say they are quick little reads and it feels like watching a very staged reality show!

Even though we haven't really celebrated Halloween yet, I started looking ahead to November.  My goal was to finish this book pack by November 1st and I managed to get it done a few days early.  I've never written a book pack for Ready, Freddy before, but he is definitely a character 1st and 2nd graders can relate to and I can't wait to tackle another of the books in the series soon.

If you're interested, you can find this pack here.

I hope you have a safe Halloween and an even better weekend!

Text Evidence Bookmarks (FREEBIE)

I'm popping in really quickly today to share a little freebie with you. Students always need reminders to use evidence from the text, so I thought I'd create some bookmarks that will help them.  I hope you can use them, too!

Click here to grab them!

Word Work and Spelling Practice in Second Grade, Part 2

Recently I shared all about what spelling looks like in my classroom from day to day.  If you missed that post, click here to read all about it.  Today I'm back to share more about what you might see for Word Work during my Daily 5 time.

Students are allowed to choose their own Daily 5 tasks.  However, I can remember a year that I had my kids on assigned rotations because it was just one of those groups (you know what I'm talking about).  So one of my choices is Word Work.  I should start by explaining that all spelling tasks must be completed before going to a Daily 5 choice and yes, I do have students who think they can fool me.  They do learn quickly (most of them, anyways).

I have a lot of open-ended Word Work activities.  Some are tailored to practice our spelling words, but most of them are simply activities that get my students working with a variety of words and language.  Here are some of the activities I have for my students:

You know I love low-prep games that can be used over and over again.  These Roll & Cover games for word work are no exception!  They can be used for 1 or 2 students during word work, but I can use them with up to 6 students during small group time.  The games cover 5 skills (bossy r, l-blends, r-blends, short vowels, and long vowels).  I keep two boards in one sheet protector so the kids have more than one game to choose from. The kids love them because they get to "play".  I love them because they are constantly practicing.
Roll & Cover Gameboards

Our district provided us with sight word lists several years ago.  I'm not sure why we didn't just go with lists that already exist, but I digress...I decided to turn the lists into quick and easy fluency practice.  I used these lists every day for months with my lowest readers and saw great results! For word work, kids grab the list they are practicing.  They roll one die and practice reading the list as quickly as possible.  Having a partner keeps students accountable for accuracy.

 Another thing I did was invest some money into word work games that would last and could be used throughout the year.  Most of these games I purchased from Really Good Stuff, but I don't know if they still sell them. These are great for review!
Compound Word Match-Up

Letter Tiles

Dig for Rhyming Words 

Another popular word work station is creating silly sentences.  This is a TpT product created by Morgan Berard.  I'm not going to lie, it was a lot of prep work, but the kids love it!

Sometimes I know we will either spend 2-3 weeks on a skill, or review it throughout the year.  I tend to make games, worksheets, and other supplemental resources to help keep my students engaged and learning.  I have put two of these resources on TpT for other teachers:

You can read more about how another teacher used Take Two: Contractions in her classroom here.

I also LOVE using word sorts for different spelling rules/patterns.  Here are two sorts I have for free on TpT:

I will also pull word sort activities from these resource books:

I hope that gives you a better glimpse into some of the things I use for Word Work in my 2nd grade classroom.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Five for Friday

It seems like it took FOREVER for Friday to get here, but now that it's here, my son decided to celebrate by waking up an hour earlier than normal.  Ugh!  I guess I'll celebrate with another peek at five random things from my week.
October lends itself to studying the mystery genre so Cam and I are slowly becoming friends.  I managed to get book packs written for three books this week.

My daughter has been battling a fever and sore throat and had to miss a day of school this week.  She was disappointed.  Luckily her new Highlights magazine arrived in the mail with a brand new game to play!

When my daughter returned to school, she was greeted with this note from a friend at school who noticed she had been absent and missed her.  It melted my little heart!

I snuck in a little preview on my FB page about a project I've been working on for The Little books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  Thanks to a friend for testing out some of the writing pages with her kids, I was able to pair up the writing pieces with the crafts and now I can put the finishing touches on the pack and share it soon.

This one had me giggling.  Leave it to Junie B. to speak the truth about teachers.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Word Work & Spelling Practice in Second Grade, Part 1

I'm back to share more information about how I do spelling practice and word work in my second grade classroom.  Since this is a long post, I'm going to break it into two posts.  Today's focus will be on spelling.

In our classroom we usually have a spelling pattern or phonics skill we focus on each week.  This weekly list is what I use as our focus for our spelling tasks each day.  I'm going to walk you through one week of spelling activities (activities vary each week):

I start with an informal assessment.  I will say a word and have students turn and spell to a partner.  Then I ask a volunteer to help me spell it.  After that we record the word into our literacy notebooks.  We repeat until we have our list complete (bonus or challenge words are optional).  Then we go back and look at the list, looking for a pattern.  Once the pattern is identified, we use colored pencils or crayons to lightly highlight the pattern in our books so they can still see the word underneath.  Sometimes this means students have to go over certain letters with a black crayon or colored pencil.

Once the list is recorded, I assign their spelling task for the day before we move into Reading Groups & Daily 5.  On this particular day I had them complete Pyramid Words:

We pull out our notebooks and I choose a spelling practice activity.  This week we did a sorting activity by pattern and then the students had to try to come up with other words that fit the pattern.  The kids recorded their spelling words plus one additional word.

Once that was finished, I had them do Roll-a-Word before starting Reading Groups & Daily 5:

Today we play a little game of Hangman under the document camera.  Sometimes I'll use the same word twice while playing, especially if kids have been struggling on their spelling task sheets Monday or Tuesday.

Once that was finished, I had my students complete Dollar Words before starting Reading Groups & Daily 5:

Since this is the last day before the spelling test, today my students give each other quizzes.  They turn to work with their table partners and alternate being the word caller and the speller.  The students have been trained to mix up the words on their lists and put a little check mark or dot next to a word after they have used it.

Students put away their notebooks when they finished and then started Vowels & Consonants before starting Reading Groups & Daily 5:

Today is the spelling test.  Students put up offices (sometimes called privacy shields) and I circulate the room while giving the test.  I collect papers to grade and students immediately move into Reading Groups & Daily 5 choices.

All of the spelling tasks mentioned above (and more) can be found in this Spelling Worksheet Bundle.  This pack works with any list of 10 words and many of the pages are editable so you can add your own lists each week!

I hope that gives you a better idea of what spelling practice looks like in my classroom.  I'll be back soon to share more about the Word Work portion of my Daily 5.  Until then, Happy Teaching!

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