Thursday, February 27, 2014

Huge TpT Sale!!

Hi friends!
It's posted everywhere so I am sure that you've heard that tpt is having their BIG sale of the quarter!  It's to celebrate 3, 000, 000 users!  Say what?!  How awesome is that?!

Everything in my store will be 20% off and if you use the code TPT3 at the check out you'll get another 10% that!  So go fill your cart and shop without guilt!  You can't pass up a discount like that!



Happy shopping!  I'm getting ready to go back for round 2...lol!

Natalie

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five for Friday ~ Love Style!

Happy Valentine's Day friends!  I love today!  Not because of the mushy gushy kind of love but because it makes 6 and 7 year olds just so happy!  They are simple blissful as they watch their friends drop little cards into their Valentine's bag!  It is friendship love pure and simple!

Now that being said this week was LLLLOOONNNNGGGGG!   More snow, a horrible cold, report cards, and Valentine's Day all in the same week!  Really?!
Like I said ~ it's been a long week!

I managed to get some pictures so I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

This cute craft is from Doodle Bugs herself!
They are adorable and they brighten up my room so
much that you can't help but smile!


This is the magical pile of love that I found on my desk today!
Gotta love them:)

My husband and daughter had this sent to the school today!
It is an edible fruit arrangement!
My kiddos were delighted to share it with me:)
Who can resist chocolate covered strawberries?!

One of my kids brought this yummy treat in today:)
I thought this was such a neat treat that I just had to share!
I don't know what it's called but it's 2 strawberries, 2 marshmallows,
and a 2-bite brownie all drizzled with chocolate.

This one obviously isn't school related but I thought I would
share it anyways:)
My daughter and I love going to our local paint your own
pottery store every once in awhile.
I was so excited when I picked this up yesterday!
The colours help me believe that we really will see
summer again!

That's all there is!  There isn't anymore!

Have a great weekend!   Yippee we get Monday off for Family Day!

~Natalie

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Love Teaching Regrouping!

What's really weird about that is that I hated math when I was in school.  In grade four I had nightmares about being locked in a room with numbers.  Seriously, I woke up screaming for nights on end! I think that's why I try and take the confusion out of math for my kiddos.  It can be terrifying (I know from experience!).  The one good this about being an old experienced teacher is that you have a few tricks up your sleeves.  I have worked hard to break down the steps to teach regrouping so every child can be successful.  It works like a charm:)

So this week we worked on the final 2 steps that we needed to master before actually regrouping.
We've worked with Base 10 blocks but now we're into the nitty gritty of just working with the numbers...dun, dun, dun.

We started by just practicing finding another ten.  You know - just practicing regrouping the numbers.

From there we moved onto regrouping in a place value chart.  This gets the kids ready for how the set up of an actually addition question will look like.  Same thing just a different format.

And finally the day had arrived!  We were actually going to do a regrouping question!  My word the kids love this!  They finally feel like big kids!
I always have them highlight the ones column so that they remember that's where they have to start.
In the beginning, when they add the 2 numbers in the ones column I have them write the answer to the right of the question.  They circle the "1" and carry it over to the attic of the tens house.  They underline the other number and take it to the basement of the ones house.  Now they are ready to add the numbers in tens column.  The steps are very sequential and a bit slow at the beginning but it works:)

Here's a picture of one of my kid's weekly math tracking sheet.  I love this because I can record how the child is doing every day.  This week I have an example of what we are working on so that the parents can use it as a reference.
Tomorrow we are moving on to 2-digit addition with regrouping math centers.  I know they will need a lot of support for the first couple of days but so far they are doing really well.  I am just so proud of them!  What's more important ~ they are feeling really proud of themselves!

Tomorrow's Friday my friends!  The end is near!

Bye for now!
Natalie

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five for Friday

What a crazy week!  My kids were nuts!  And now a weekend filled with writing report cards - ugh!
I managed to get some pics so I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.
In the spirit of the Olympics each class in our school was given a country and we were asked to decorate our door.  I was given Russia!  Sorry the picture isn't better:(  Since we are the "host" country I wanted it to look good!  My kids really love the "athletes to watch for" pictures.  I'm still not sure they really get it ~ one little boy keeps telling me that the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the Olympics!

We started our letter writing unit this week.  Since we are using "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" as the mentor text I made this cute little anchor chart to help the kids remember the parts of a letter.


When I saw this on Pinterest I just knew I had to do it with my kids!  I was so impressed with how well they did!  Some kids used chalk and some used pastels ~ both worked really well:)
If you are looking for the easier classroom Valentine's Day party then you have to try this!
Party in a Bag!  This is the best idea ever and makes classroom parties a breeze!
Click HERE for a copy of the letter and the instructions.  
 More SNOW!
This is what we woke up to Wednesday morning ~ another 20 cm!
What a winter!

That's all for me!
Thanks for stopping by!  Now I'm off to see what you've been up to!

Bye for now,
Natalie

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Aar You Ready to Learn Addition with Regrouping?

So we've started to learn about 2-digit addition with regrouping.  Yippee!  The kids love this because it really feels like "big kid" math.  The multi-steps required to actually complete addition questions like this can be really tricky but I have figured out a way to teach it a little at a time.  I introduce one step at a time and then at the end of the week we have learned all the steps needed to regroup!  I get 100% success every year!

Last week we started with 2-digit addition without regrouping.  I want the kids to get into the habit of starting in the ones column so we always highlight that column.  I made this cute anchor chart to help the kids remember the steps and then we practiced a bit.




Today we started the beginnings of regrouping by practicing "finding another ten".  The kids need to understand that we are just "regrouping" the cubes.  

Slow and steady wins the race!

Stop in tomorrow and I'll show you the next steps:)

Bye for now,
Natalie

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

You Know You're Old When...

I am so old!  I have been fooling myself if I think otherwise!

You know you're old when...you watch the Bachelor and all you can think of is "Do those girls have gum?" and "Where is their chapstick?"

As my daughter and I snuggled down to watch Juan Pablo whoooo his girlfriends last night I couldn't help but wonder if he chews gum before moving on to his next smooch of the night?   Does he choose who to kiss by the flavour of her lipgloss?

It was so sweet when he wanted Renee to have a dress made while they are in Vietnam but honestly he watched them measure her chest on TV!  I told my daughter that I would suck as a contestant because there is no way I would do that!  They talk about how romantic Juan Pablo is and how he remembers the small gestures - seriously women - you know the network is the one to thank?!

Ya I'm old!

But this old lady is sure to tune in again next week!

Happy Tuesday!
Natalie

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Sunday Sale!!

Happy Sunday friends!
Even though TpT decided not to have it's big sale today most sellers thought it was time for a sale anyways! If there is anything in your shopping cart that you've been itching to buy this is the time!  Everything in my store will be 20% for Sunday and Monday!

If you are still looking for a unit for Valentine's Day I wanted to let you know in my "Love is in the Air" unit  ~ I not only included 10 Valentine's Day literacy centers (in both colour and black and white) but I also included 5 interactive notebook activities!!  My kids love these!!  I have already done two of them with my kids and they turned out super cute!
Subject-Verb Agreement: is or are

Syllables

Here's the rest of the unit:)

Have a great Sunday!
~Natalie

Friday, January 31, 2014

Changing Family and Community Traditions

My grade 2 social studies curriculum is somewhat "tricky".  We are supposed to examine families and learn about traditions and celebrations.  Easy enough?  Not really considering our classrooms are made up of a variety of family dynamics.  So a racked my brain trying to figure out how to cover the curriculum, allow each of my children to feel that their family is special and unique and not add more to their stress level because they have step-parents and step-siblings.  Then it hit me like a strike of lightning!  Patricia Polacco!!!  Her books are fantastic and they are full of traditions and celebrations.  Finally I had a springboard for my unit!  Yippee!!

First and foremost I do NOT claim to be an expert on families. While we all have them – they are complex at best. In many of our classrooms, discussions about family have to be done “carefully.” It is often no longer just about having a mom and a dad. Celebrations, such as Christmas can be stressful for our students has they struggle with spending some time with mom and some time with dad. Step-siblings are a reality for many and this can get very confusing as you talk about family trees. I have attempted to create images of families that capture those similar to our students. I have chosen Patricia Polacco books as mentor texts because I feel her stories can enable us to have many rich conversations about family.

This is a list of the books I used:
*When Lightning Comes In A Jar
*Thunder Cake
*In Our Mothers' House
*Some Birthday
*An Orange For Frankie
*Trees of the Dancing Goats
*Rechenka's Eggs
*The Keeping Quilt

Other Books: (not by Patricia Polacco) ~ These three books are fantastic!!
*The Matchbox Diary
*The Family Book
*Throw Your Tooth on the Roof

In the unit I have included a booklet/project for students to complete at home with their family.

I have included many "interactive notebook" style pages, covering topics, such as different families, traditions and heritage, origins of traditions, and celebrations past and present.

We are not finished the unit yet but I wanted to share so pictures with you:)  The kids have learned so much about how traditions and celebrations are passed down to future generations.



We started out by looking at lots of pictures of different types of families, including same sex families.  This sparked a lot of discussion about their own families, too:)  Then we did a little follow-up about how their family is similar and different.  At the bottom of the page they wrote what they thought was the most important thing about a family.

The next day I read the book "In Our Mothers' House".  The book is about a female couple that adopt three children so it was a great story to help the children to see that families are not always made up of a mom and a dad.  But the story focuses on how they are just like every other family - full of love!  The kids completed a Venn diagram flapbook that focused on how their family and the family in the book were different and similar. 

I read the book "The Keeping Quilt" because it is a wonderful story about how a family quilt is passed down through the generations.  It also talks about how celebrations change over time.  It's like it was written for my curriculum.  After we did a little sorting activity I had the kids colour code each generation.

"Thunder Cake" is another wonderful story about how Patricia's Babushka helps her to overcome her fear of thunderstorm.  We talked about how our families make us feel safe and secure and we recorded our stories in this little flapbook activity.

We also did a timeline activity as a group.

The next book up was "Lightning Comes In A Jar".  This story was about a wonderful tradition in Patricia's family ~ a family reunion!  After the story we made a chart of all the traditions that were talked about in the book.  Each child picked two to record under the firefly flaps and then they wrote about two of their own family traditions under the other two flaps. 

"Some Birthday" is a funny story about one of Patricia's unforgettable birthdays!  They kids loved this book!  Then we made a flap book to record two of our favourite birthday traditions.

I needed to talk about how traditions and celebrations change over time so I thought that Thanksgiving Past and Present would be a good activity to cover that expectation.

That's as far as we've gotten so far.  We still have two activities about Christmas (traditions in our own family and what countries some of our traditions come from), and we will finish with a fun activity about tooth traditions around the world.

Okay I'm done!

If you stuck with me to the end ~bravo to you!  If you are interested in taking a closer peek at this unit you can click HERE and it's still 20% off until tonight at midnight!


Enjoy your weekend!
~Natalie