Easy to Prep Two-Digit Subtraction Activities

After four years of teaching second grade, one thing has stayed the same from year to year: my little munchkins always rock two-digit addition, but two-digit subtraction always seems to bring a struggle! Obviously, the only way to help the struggle is to practice over and over and over again, which can be exhausting for both the students and the teacher.  I'm all about making everything into a game.  Everything! When you call it a game, the kiddos are instantly engaged.  I've snapped some pictures of some of my favorite two-digit subtraction games and activities we've been using the past couple weeks! 

First up, we have an activity from my Second Grade GO Math Centers and Games: Chapter 5.   We used number lines to solve pizza slice equations to make a full pizza.  Everyone loves pizza and the kiddos mastered the number line. All of the games from my GO Math games are so easy to prep and use.  Check them out by clicking on the picture below! 


Next up is just some good ole fashioned practice.  These regrouping houses make this process so much easier for my kids! We also used my Second Grade Math Mini Anchor Charts to help us out.  It includes the following poem that I swear by:  
More on top? No need to stop!
More on the floor? Go next door and get 10 more!
Numbers the same? Zeros the game! 

You can also find these regrouping mats in my

Here is a close up of my mini anchor chart rings.  They take some time to make for each student, but I love that they each have their own resource! The anchor charts are created based on each common core standard, and are numbered on the back for easy access.  Check them out HERE or click the pictures below! 


Also using the regrouping mats from above, we played Race to Zero.  This game is so simple with no prep, but the kiddos really got into it! You simply partner the students up and write several equations on the board.  Each partner picks a different equation to solve. The player who has an answer closest to zero earns a point for that round.  So easy and gives them lots of practice!

This last game was more popular than I expected! I called it Circle Subtraction.  The students were paired up and given a laminated hundreds chart with two different colored dry erase markers.
 Each student would circle a number and then create a subtraction equation to solve together.  Then they would also circle the answer to their equation.  No number can be circled twice!
 I set a fun timer from a cool website called Online Stopwatch (which they always beg for).  They loved trying to fill up the whole board before the timer went off! Once again, SO easy with little prep, yet so effective.


Now I don't know about you, but I can't do anything in December without incorporating something related to Christmas. These Two-Digit Subtraction Ornaments gave plenty of extra practice without the boring worksheet! All you have to do is use your artistic skills to draw a big Christmas tree and you're set :) Get these ornaments FREE by clicking the pictures below!




Now for my favorite activity of the week! This might be the easiest craft I've done all year.  We have been solving two-digit subtraction word problems using part-part-whole maps, so I of course decided that our part-part-whole maps needed to be cute.  All you need to make these adorable reindeer are two hands and a foot! Just have the kiddos trace their foot onto brown paper, and then trace two hands onto white/cream paper.
Add a nose and eyes and voila! Reindeer.  They each chose a word problem from their textbook to solve on their reindeer part-part-whole maps.  The antlers are the two parts and the head is the whole! 


Hands-on beats worksheets every time, y'all.  Comment below to share some of your favorite two-digit subtraction activities and games!

More and More Place Value

Before we talk place value, I have to give a huge shout-out to Jolene at Paisley 'N' Polkadots.  She gave my blog a big makeover and I am in love! Click HERE to go check out her blog if you are interested in a new blog design.

One of my favorite units to teach in second grade math is place value.  It sets the base for all other math skills that we will use this year and there are SO many hands on ways to teach it.  Click HERE for a link to my post on how I introduce three-digit place value using straws!

My most popular anchor chart that has been pinned over and over again on Pinterest is my Perry the Place Value Robot.

He has been such a big hit that we of course had to make our own place value robots. Our AMAZING aide cut out all of the hundreds, tens, and ones for me.  I used the template from my Place Value Activity Packet, and printed them on colored paper.  


I wrote a number on each student's desk with dry erase marker (they love when I write on their desks), and had them come choose the materials to create their number.  


 We even had a MISS Perry the Place Value Robot! On the bodies of the robots, they wrote their number in number form, word form, expanded form, and unit form.

**Happy teacher moment: I had students asking to exchange hundreds for ten tens and tens for ten ones.  Praise the heavens above, I am getting through to them! 





Earlier in the week, we did some more hands on practice! We used my place value number cards, which is also from my Place Value Activity Pack.  My kids were pros at expanded form and identifying the values of digits after using these.  You can also see that each student has their very own Perry the Place Value Robot! I made mini anchor chart rings for each common core math standard.  The kiddos love using them.  You can find them in my TPT store by clicking here!



My sweet littles also love using playing cards in math. They make everything into a game.  We played "Deal Me In" to practice writing numbers in different forms. The hundreds, tens, and ones houses are included in my Place Value Activity Pack.  

Click HERE for the FREE recording sheets!


Our place value unit is coming to an end, but my kiddos are rocking it. Check out my Place Value Activity Pack to snatch these activities, along with lots more! 


Comment below and let me know some of your favorite ways to teach place value! 




Communities and Run On Sentences

We have wrapped up our third full week of school and we have been busy bees! I don't know about your schedules, but in second grade it can be tough to squeeze in things like science and social studies.  Because of our tight schedules, I try to pack as many science and social studies standards into my reading curriculum.  The past couple weeks, we have been studying types of communities.  We started off with a close read.  I call it a "treasure read" and we act like pirates searching for important treasure in the text.  Sounds silly but I promise it gets the kiddos engaged!

The favorite activity was TRASHKETBALL! You just need three different sized baskets (small, medium, and large).  I cut up strips of sentences from my Types of Communities Packet that described a community. Each student got a strip and took turns reading theirs aloud.  The class worked together to decide which community it described, and then the student crumpled the paper into a ball.  Then they shot their ball into the correct basket.  Small=Rural, Medium=Suburban, Large=Urban.  







Some of the strips of paper described more than one community, so they had to tear it into two or three pieces to place in the correct baskets.  This is where we covered our reading standard of comparing and contrasting in a text.  They LOVED it and definitely knew the difference between the communities by the end of the game.  The students finished by completing a compare and contrast graphic organizer from my Types of Communities Packet.  

Later in the week, we used our close read to complete the Communities Booklet.  Their covers turned out cute!  I love how some added chimneys.  




You can find all of these activities in my Types of Communities Packet. Click below to check it out! 


We have also been working hard on strengthening our sentences! My kiddos always struggle with writing run on sentences.  After introducing the concept, they worked with a partner to complete "The Longest Sentence Ever" activity.  I used one of our decodable readers to write sentences without punctuation or capitals on pieces of butcher paper.  The students then worked together to edit the run on sentences.  



Its been a fun past three weeks with these kiddos and I can't wait to see what the year holds for us! 




David and Goliath Lesson

Last year, I made the move from a huge public school to a small private catholic school.  It is actually the school I went to as a kid, which is such a rewarding feeling! I have absolutely loved incorporating religion into my curriculum.

During the first week of school, we did a fun David and Goliath lesson.  I started off by putting some yarn in a brown paper bag and asking the students if anyone was brave enough to reach inside.  I really wanted to do cooked spaghetti but didn't have time! After I had a student reach into the bag, we discussed the word BRAVERY.  We talked about how when we feel scared or upset, God is always there to help us feel brave even though we can't see him.

Then we read the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).   I displayed a piece of butcher paper that was 9 feet long.   I had some students lay next to it to show how much bigger Goliath was than David.  We then discussed some things in our lives that might be our "giants."  We wrote these on the butcher paper.

After writing our "giants," we talked about how God is way bigger than these giants and how he can help us overcome them.  Then we all used black markers to write GOD over our giants.

 I wrote one of my giants on the paper too :) 

I loved some of the ideas the kiddos wrote! 

The following day, we watched the story on YouTube.  Click HERE to see the video.  After this activity, David and Goliath became a favorite story in our room.  Comment below to share your favorite bible stories to use at the beginning of the year! 





Organizational Tips That Keep Ms. Winter Sane

I am so excited to be apart of this Back to School Blog Hop!  I have teamed up with 50+ other teachers to share some amazing organizational and behavior management tips with you.  Check out my organizational tips below and enter the giveaway at the end of my post for lots of goodies :) 



 First, let's talk about student desks.  Now if your sweet babes are like mine, they may sometimes lack organizational skills for their desk.  And by lack organizational skills, I mean some days I peek in their desk and it looks like its the home of the Tasmanian Devil.

My kiddos always bring their own pencil box, but it is always overloaded with stuff.  I add these little baskets from the Dollar Tree to their desks.  I also use the clear sticky label pouches from the Target Dollar Spot to add a little reminder label for my kiddos.  The ONLY things I allow them to keep in these baskets are the items found on the labels.  This makes it so easy when we are doing a craft for them to just grab the whole basket! Pick up a FREE copy of the labels HERE!


Speaking of desks, I have always had an ongoing battle with keeping name tags on my desk all year long.  I've used contact paper. I tried velcro.  Nothing has proved to be a great solution.  This year I added magnets and keep them on the front of their desks. The kiddos can just glance down when they need to use their name tags as a resource, or they can take it off and easily put it back on.  
Get my Text Evidence and Purposeful Talk Name Tags HERE! 



Once your desks are nice and organized, your kiddos are ready to learn! I am a huge fan of anchor charts and my students love them too.  I had a long chalkboard in my room, so I covered it with butcher paper.  Then, I added binder clips on top of the board and hooked on binder rings to hold my anchor charts.  I love it because I keep my charts organized my subject on one set of rings, and it makes for an easy chart change! I of course had to add some burlap ribbon :) 



I also utilized some space above my anchor chart display! I bought 8x10 picture frames from the Dollar Tree and added a plain piece of white paper.  Viola! It becomes a whiteboard for me to write my daily targets for each subject.  


This last tip helps with classroom organization and behavior management! I have a "Reading Spots" board.  When the kiddos are completing their "Read to Self" or reading as an earlier finisher activity, they go to their spot in the room.  I change their names every couple days.  This way I don't have anyone fighting over my pillows or thinking they own a certain spot :)



I hope you've enjoyed some of my favorite organizational tips.  Enter below for this amazing Back to School Blog Hop GIVEAWAY!! Then hop on over to Ashley's Brainy Centers for some more great ideas :) 


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Classroom Reveal 2016-2017

My room is finally done, y'all.  My first two years of teaching, I was in Clarksville, TN.  Last year I moved back home to sweet ole Southern Illinois and I've been teaching at the school I went to as a kid.  How sweet it is! I didn't post classroom pictures last year because things just got crazy busy.  Here is my new and improved room, ready for my second graders on Monday! 

 I kept my door simple this year! The kiddos' names are on the stars.  


Super easy DIY calendar! Buy poster board from Dollar Tree, add the month, days, laminated numbers, and sticky clips. 


I'll be adding a bug for each student when I get a list of their birthdays.


Thank you to Teaching In High Heels for the free "Amazing Work Coming Soon" printables! Get your free copy from her store HERE.  

I teach in a private Catholic school, so we are fired up about Jesus! 


This is one of my favorite parts of my room. . . the library!


I used the back of the shelf to add a little resource bulletin board for my library! It includes the expectations for Read By Myself and Read With A Buddy, questions to ask while reading, and a 5 Finger Book Test poster.  Get the FREE library posters HERE!

I organize my anchor charts into subject and them place them all on a pair of binder rings.  

Above the anchor charts are where I display my daily targets.  These are just 8x10 picture frames from the Dollar Tree.  Add a white piece of paper inside the frame and it becomes a dry erase board!

This is where I keep all of my extra supplies.  If my kiddos need more throughout the year, they know where to find it! 

Instead of having student jobs, I have two students as my Camp Champs each week.  I have these two students take care of all my classroom jobs, so I don't have to worry about changing job roles.  This is a plastic plate from the Dollar Tree that I hung right by our door. 


Here are my math centers.  They include Math by Myself, Math with a Buddy, and GO Math Games.  If you use GO Math, check out my GO Math Center Games for each chapter HERE. 

To organize my math centers, I use a cooking sheet from the Dollar Tree and add magnets! I got this cute ribbon at Dollar General :) 



You can't tell from the picture, but this s'more is HUGE! 




My desk! This hanging folder organizer is where I put the students' weekly work for them to take home.  I added it to the back of my ugly file cabinet so it saves space! I ordered it from HERE.





I love using my Campground Coins for behavior management! They can earn or lose coins, and we shop at the end of the week in my coupon store.  

Each time a student earns or loses a coin, they track it on this laminated sheet.  If they earn a coin they put a + by their name.  If they lose one, they put a -.  At the end of the day, the students record how many coins they earned/lost that day.  We erase it and start over the next day! Very easy management.  


Here is our word wall and alphabet.  Pick up my D'Nealian Alphabet HERE!

We have a writing word wall (pictured above).  I laminated construction paper with commonly used words at the top (small, big, said, nice, happy, sad, etc).  Throughout the year, we come up with strong words to write underneath the overused words. This word wall really transferred to their writing last year!

This is a shower caddy you can find at Wal-Mart. 


 I had these for each kiddo at open house.  Golden Grahams, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips make for yummy fake s'mores! Pick up these tags from my Beginning of the Year Camping Packet.  


I loved this reading spots board last year! My students would find their spot during independent reading time and there was no fuss.  

My new Noggle and Boggle boards! Check out my blogpost to learn more about the games and snatch a FREEBIE! Click HERE to read more.  


I'm excited about my small group goals board! I laminated poster board and assigned each student two squares, one for reading and one for math.  During small group time, we will use dry erase markers to jot down short term goals for each student.  


I found some belt and scarf hangers at Dollar General and knew I would find a use for them! They are perfect storage for all of my reading fluency rings.  Grab the rings HERE! 


Last but not least, we have my reading centers wheel! This wheel does wonders for your centers organization.  You don't have to stop your small group instruction to signal your students to change centers.  They are each in an animal group, and complete their two centers for the day at their own pace.  When they finish, they complete the four finisher activities at the bottom of the board.  


Welp, that's it folks! This is my fourth year with a camping theme and I still have fun with it.  Maybe next year I'll switch it up . . . :)