Summarizing, Snacking, and Shaking into Spring!

Let me tell ya . . . Ms. Winter's second grade has been super busy this spring! I haven't shared any goodies in what seems like ages.  Because of our week of snow days back in February, our school days have been extended an extra 30 minutes for the past three weeks.  Talk about a long day for the kiddos . . . and their teacher! ;) 

Summary Roller Coaster Ride

In reading, we have really been working hard on using all of our previously learned comprehension skills to summarize texts.  We recently went on a Summarizing and Sequencing Roller Coaster!
Using the SWBST summarizing template, we connected sequencing and story structure with a summary.  

After close reading a fictional text as a class, I split the kiddos into groups of five.  They were each responsible for one part of the roller coaster summary.  We also worked in the main theme! They worked so hard on their posters, and they turned out fabulous.  

Click below to pick up the FREE summarizing roller coaster template from my TPT store! 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Summarizing-Story-Structure-Roller-Coaster-1221573


Snackin' On Shapes

In math, we have been working on partitioning shapes into halves, thirds, and fourths.  What better way to fraction than with food?? So we used toothpicks, round peanut butter crackers, and granola bars.  I would call out an equal part (halves, thirds, or fourths), and the students would partition their food items into the correct equal shares. The kiddos loved breaking the toothpicks so they could properly split the shapes!


 For an extension, I gave each student an animal cracker and asked them to fraction it into equal parts.  This helped them to see that it cannot be split into halves, thirds, or fourths if the parts are not equal! Their favorite part of the lesson was at the end when they were able to snack on their shapes :)

Shakin' Up Math Facts

Every single morning, I eat egg whites.  Every. Single. Morning.  And each time I finish an egg carton, I think to myself . . . There has got to be something I can use this for. I just hate to throw all of them away. I'm all about reusing and recycling.  Sooooo the math fact shakers were born!


Believe it or not, some of my kiddos still need to practice their math fact fluency to 20.  All it took was egg cartons, a sharpie, and counters to make my friends obsessed with practicing their math facts.  These can be used in so many ways and adapted for so many levels and math operations. I have them partner up and quiz each other.  They are sticklers about making sure their friends answer the problem in less than 5 seconds!  I have also had them time each other to see how many they can answer in one minute.  It's fun to throw in three counters to make it a little more challenging!

Less than a month until summer break begins . . . not that I'm counting down  ;)

Happy Spring and Happy Teaching!


April Showers Bring . . . Cause and Effect!

SPRING IS HERE!! It has been a beautiful week here in Tennessee. 70's everyday.  We had a fun week practicing the skill of cause and effect in this fabulous weather.  Our school uses the Journey's Common Core Reading Series, and this week our story was Half-Chicken.  We used an activity from my Half-Chicken Cause and Effect Packet.

 Reading seems to be harder to keep my sweet friends engaged because its not as hands-on as math!  I try to include as many engaging reading activities as possible.
 I split the kiddos into groups and they worked together to match the causes with the effects from the story. They were so engaged and loved it!
 For an extra challenge, they were required to sequence the events in the correct order.

Now I must tell you about one of my favorite websites: ReadWorks.org. Y'all, this website is PHENOMENAL.  It has tons of leveled passages that are organized by skill, and soooo many more resources.  Check it out! This week, we close read a passage from ReadWorks titled "We Need Water."  It is all about the water cycle, so it was a great way to integrate science and reading. 
Then I made giant cause and effect dominoes to use with the passage. So fun! 
 To make the dominoes, I just wrapped old cereal and cracker boxes with wrapping paper.  I typed up the stages of the water cycle and taped them to the "dominoes." 
 I partnered the students up and gave them a domino.  Then, we went through the water cycle together using the passage to determine the sequence of events. 
 And our water cycle domino chain was all set! Now here comes the fun part. 
 We discussed the concept of cause and effect, and talked about what would happen when the first event occurred.  It helped the students visualize that each step caused something else to happen. 
 And there goes the water cycle dominoes! The kiddos loved this, and it really helped them enhance their understanding of cause and effect in realistic situations.  Awesome science-reading connection!