Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pirate Daily Math Routine

So I made it through another Monday. It is actually one of my favorite days of the week. Every Monday I go into work fresh and prepared and ready to face another week. And each Monday I tell myself that I am going to follow my lesson plans to the letter then by 10:30am I have fallen off the beaten path. I can't ever seem to just follow my plans! Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyway, check out my Pirate Themed Daily Math Routine pages on my Teachers Pay Teachers account. It is ONLY $1.00 for a limited time!!!  I used something similar earlier this year that I modified. It works great for building number sense! My kids got into such a routine with it that I was not needed at all! (Sorry, can't remember where I saw the original). 

The ADORABLE graphics came from KPMDoodles

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Odd/Even Numbers Unit and a FREEBIE!

So . . I have begun my adventure with Teachers Pay Teachers. I received an article from Teachers Pay Teachers that Deanna Jump had made $500,000 in profits from Teachers Pay Teachers. (If you have an account you probably read about it as well) While I don't expect to come anywhere CLOSE to that amount, it is certainly inspirational! 

I got these ADORABLE graphics from KPMDoodles

Anyway, check out my new unit on Teachers Pay Teachers:

Also, check out this FREEBIE that goes with it! 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Take Home Math Kits

I was looking through pics I had taken on my camera at school and realized that I also had some photos of my take home math kits! 

I store them in this pink crate: 

My kids sign them out in a spiral notebook. They write their name and the date and the number of the kit that they have taken. When the bring it back they simply cross it out. I was having them check out on Thursday and bring back on Tuesday but as they have become more responsible I have just let them check them out as they want to. I still have all of them with all pieces intact! 

Here is the Expanded Form Dice Game: 
I couldn't find the original for this game but here is one VERY similar with 6 digits. I would just white out three of the boxes for second grade and make a copy.

Check back in the future for more of these that I made myself! :)

In the meantime here are some links to pre-made math kits to help you get started, I used some of these ideas myself. The hardest part is gathering up all of the materials but they are SO worth it!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Take Home Literacy Bags

I know that this is supposed to be a math blog, and math is where I have all of my good ideas, but I just had to share a project that I am working on right now. I am making Take Home Literacy Bags!!! (I am calling them "Literacy Bags" and not "Book Bags" because I am big on using vocabulary where I can) I already have Take Home Math Kits (my students love these) and I wanted to invest the same amount of enthusiasm into reading. My wow, wonderful, family bought me 30 canvas bags! I immediately wanted to decorate them (of course)! But, my good pal Mrs. Sykes had a stellar idea. She suggested making tags to attach to the bags so that I can change the books out more frequently! 

So, here is my Little Critter by Mercer Mayer bag in progress. (Everything still needs to be laminated, but I am SOOO excited so I had to share!) 

Here is the inside of the journal:

I found the Little Critter Paper Doll at: DLTK! He has several other outfits, but I liked the PJ's. 

More to come later!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Perfecting Place Value

I was on TeachersPayTeachers tonight trying to find something AWESOME for place value that was CHEAP. Boy did I ever hit the jack pot! I found this super cute Valentines place value set. It is 3 different ability levels and includes a pre-assessment to determine which set each student needs to work with. AWESOME! 

Then, I found out that she also has a blog, Sassy in Second. I have come across it before but I am now a follower and a believer. Check out this awesome FREEBIE she has posted! :) 

If anyone else out there in second grade is reading, how do you integrate place value into your math instruction? I feel like I spend so much time adding and subtracting and measuring and problem solving that I just don't have the time that I feel needs to be devoted to it. Number sense is totally the foundation for which all other math skills build, how do I give it the attention it deserves and keep up with the pacing guide??? Does anyone else have this problem?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Adventures in Teaching Giveaway

Yeah, I know. . . two post in one day . . . sorry about that but I REALLY want to win these cards! Please check out Sarah's blog Adventures in Teaching, become a follower and comment to win her adorable cards! Like this one:
Go check her out!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


On Friday night I worked for over 3 hours to perfect my Donor's Choose proposal. (It shouldn't take this long I just wanted it to be PERFECT) Today I received an e-mail that it had been posted!!!  Surprisingly what I am asking for is not math related at all, it is for reading!! I am SUPER excited about this, even though I know that it might not be funded.

If you haven't checked out Donor's Choose here a wee bit of info taken from their website.

"Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class."

There is more to it so you'll just have to click to find out!!

We desperately need some more materials to choose from for word work! I keep going back and forth about just spending my own money but I decided that I have already spent enough this year! (I am sure that you can relate) So this is an attempt to get some outside help for my kiddos.

I know that my audience (ever how small it may be) is made of primarily teachers but I want to get the word out to as many people as I can!

Check out my proposal at: http://www.donorschoose.org/msturnersclass

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Day In My Shoes

Sooo . . . (and yes I do realize that I start most of my sentences this way!) I need some followers. Otherwise, this whole blog-adventure is pointless, so I am linking up with Katie at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher! Check out a day in the life of a scattered second grade teacher!

6:30: My alarm goes off but I stay in bed until at least 6:40 but sometimes as late as 7:00, especially when I don't have to be in early!

8:00: After grabbing my daily Dr. Pepper from McDonalds, I head to school!

8:30: I run next door to annoy Jen and pick her brain or make her relive whatever shannanigans I have gotten into on my way to school or the night before. (I'm usually very scattered in the morning, well okay I am scattered all the time but some how everything I need to do gets done!)

8:45: My little Sugarlumps start arriving. A little blonde Sweetums always arrives first and gives me an amazing good morning greeting everyday.
My kiddos start to do what we call the "P of the D" or Problem of the Day. Sometimes it is written in the board and sometimes I project it on my SmartBoard. They also log on to their Xtra Math accounts to start practicing those basic facts!

9:00: It is now 15 minutes until the second bell and I am telling myself not to forget to do the attendance. I tell the closest Pudding Pop to help me remember. I am also coming up with an awesome idea to enhance my math lesson at this time and I am scrambling to get it ready before 9:15.

9:15: Math Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love math! My kiddos this year are super math students! We go over the P of the D, I award them with a sticker in their math journals for completing it. I go into a 15 - 20 minute lesson where we use our Math Leader, our Questioning strategies, and our Big Ol' Brains! I then let them practice independently and invite Sweetums who are confused to meet with me at my "back table."

10:15: (Usually more like 10:30 or even 10:40 because I try to milk math for all its worth!) RECESS!! I chat with my Snickernoodles or my teacher pals. (Today for instance one pal and I were discussing a student's unusual winter wear style)

10:50: Planning/Specials: I actually had a lot typed here originally but I realized all I was doing was gripping so I am just not going to say anything about what I actually do during this time. :)

11:35: Writing!! So, math is my favorite but I am loving writing more and more. Most days I follow the Lucy Caulkins model of Writer's Workshop but occasionally we get a little bit casual. Like this week we are working on prompt writing using this super cute printable I found from Scholastic.

12:15: Social Studies! I love to teaching Social Studies! I feel like its an AWESOME opportunity to integrate character education when you don't really feel like you have any other time to squeeze it in. Right now we are about to begin a unit on Natural Resources. I always like to use a mentor text like this one:
It is similar to The Lorax by Dr Suess but it is better, cuter, and was published before The Lorax. (I do think that the last lines of The Lorax are pricless though!)

1:10: Lunch Time! So we are all advised to at all cost STAY OUT OF THE TEACHERS LOUNGE! But I have found that 20 minutes of chatting about second jobs/boyfriends/husbands/The Bachelor is SOO refreshing after being surrounded by munchkins all day.

1:40: Daily CAFE. Our school adopted Daily 5 last year and CAFE this year. I am totally sold on Daily 5 and I am still working to incorporate CAFE into what I already do during reading instruction. But Daily 5 SOO works! On our 100th day of school I made my students read 147 books (our goal was 100 but I made them keep going!). They read steadily for over an hour!!! I was SO proud of them and I have no doubt that they will have the reading stamina they will need next year in third grade.

3:30: Dismissal for Carpool

3:45: Dismissal for Buses (I am putting these down as two seperate times because 3:30 - 3:45 is the longest 15 minutes of my day EVERY day! These kiddos are chomping at the bit and so am I. Sometimes we play a fun game but mostly I make them play the silent game)

4:30 - 7:00: I leave school somewhere between these times. Unless it is Wednesday and then I stay until 9:00. I keep telling myself that I am going to go home at 4:30 but I NEVER do. Argh.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fun with Frogs and Fractions

I am sooo excited about switching to Common Core for math next year!

I am looking forward to teaching a math curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for my students. (Although, my coworkers keep reminding me that our county will probably put their own spin on things) My students and I have struggled through fractions in the past. This is sad because in my class we LOVE math!! Their little brainos just can't handle this abstract concept, especially in the two weeks that I have to teach ALL of this: 
  • Represent fractions (halves, thirds, fourths) concretely and symbolically.
  • Compare fractions (halves, thirds, fourths) using models.
  • Make different representations of the same fraction
  • Combine fractions to describe parts of a whole
  • Create, model, and solve problems that involve addition, subtraction, equal grouping, and division into halves, thirds, and fourths (record in fraction form).
Click on the image below to enjoy a freebie on fractions based on the second grade Common Core Standards! 

Holes and Wholes

This is a cute printable to use when you are teaching students about wholes with fractions.

My kids are always annoyed when words are homonyms, so I made this to be funny. For example this week my Tune Into Interesting Words expert came across the word "plaque" in a Magic Tree House book.  Two of my students got into a discussion about whether or not they were talking about the gunk on your teeth or an award you hang on the wall. I was just a proud mama bear because she could even decode the word plaque!!

Anyway, I will cease my ramblings and without further ado you are welcome to use these small story about Holes and Wholes with your own little sugar lumps. Click on the image to view in google docs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Sooo . . . I am starting this blog because
  1. I LOVE teaching math!
  2. I need to get a head start on all of these common core changes! (My county is converting in the coming school year, which starts in July for me!)
  3. I like to make things. :)
My first post is basic. I was exploring the Common Core Standards in Geometry and decided to make some quick and easy signs for the shapes that second graders are required to know the names of.  I decided to keep it simple and only make signs for the required vocabulary so that I will really focus on those terms.

Click on the image to view in google docs! :)

I also found this cool but very simple online activity for exploring 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional Shapes. I like how it also extends to discuss how a line is a 1-D shape.

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