Tuesday, February 24, 2015

TpT Sale: 2/25

Hey everyone, I'm just popping in to tell you that TpT is having a sitewide sale and I'm giving an additional 20% off for a total of 28%!! I can tell you that my cart is already loaded up! Don't forget promo code HEROES to get your full discount when you check out! Happy shopping!

Don't forget to go back and leave feedback for all your purchases so you can use your TpT credits!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Movie Clip Monday: Dr. Seuss videos

I'm linking up with the Techie Turtle Teacher for Movie Clip Monday!
I just love Dr. Seuss and my kiddos love these videos! Click the pic to watch Green Eggs and Ham and The Sneetches in safeshare. 

I also found the perfect snack on Pinterest to serve with this video:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five For Friday: Short Week, Time Warp, $1 Deal

Hey everyone! I'm linking up with DoodleBugs for FFF. It has been an interesting week, to say the least!

 Sunday, I went to my grandmother's house to help clean it out. She recently moved in with my parents so we are slowly going through her things and deciding what to keep or toss. It brings me back to my childhood when we uncover treasures such as old toys and games I used to play with or random stuff that was in my grandpa's garage. My daughter found a newspaper from the day Nixon resigned, I found some 80's glam sweatshirts with puffy paint and matching earrings, my grandma found some coins from Italy, my mom found some really old records, and my sister found my grandfather's old wallet, complete with his Frontier Airlines ID card.

We had no school Monday! Wooohoooo! It was just in time, too because I was about to go loco! I decided to sit down with my sister/team teaching partner to write report cards in the morning and then invited my other sister and my sweet grandma over to make homemade ravioli. She supervised our rookie efforts and didn't laugh too much at the mess we made (mostly because it was my kitchen).

The best part of the day: my hubby got a new job!!!! So excited and relieved that we won't have to move!
 Tuesday was a professional development day and because I went to the DI conference this summer, I gave a short presentation to the staff. One of the sweet parents that is highly involved in the school got all of the 2nd grade teachers a gift card to our local favorite pizza place for lunch. It is so awesome to have such supportive parents and PTO.

 We are starting to learn about coins this week, so (of course) we used Angie Olsen's Money Interactive Notebook. It just hit me that my kids have become so good at cutting, folding, and pasting due to all the IN pages we've made this year, that I barely have to give directions. That's what's great about this time of the year. All the hard work of enforcing systems at the beginning of the year has FINALLY paid off.

I had a pretty good response to my $1 deals in the past so I think I'm going to try to do one each week. Up this week is a companion to the Spring 2 Digit Addition & Subtraction task cards that I featured last week. A few people asked for a 3 digit version, so here it is:

You can pick up both for $3 and provide some great differentiation for your students. You can also mix and match them to meet your needs (just addition or just subtraction). 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Movie Clip Monday: Presidents Day

I'm linking up with The Techie Turtle Teacher for Movie Clip Monday.

I don't have school today, but if I did, I'd definitely be showing some Presidents Day Brain Pop Jr. movies. I'm fortunate enough to have a school account, but if you don't there are still many FREE movies you can show your students. Here's one perfect for today! It's a biography of George Washington.
I show Brain Pop Jr. movies almost daily! They cover almost every topic you'll teach and in a kid friendly way that helps the information stick. I will sometimes use them to introduce a topic and other times, I'll use them as a review before a quiz. Speaking of quizzes, you can actually print out easy or hard quizzes about the movies or do the quizzes together as a class. Brain Pop Jr. is a great way to use up 5 minutes in an educationally meaningful way. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Five for Friday: $1 Deal, Polar Bears and Multiplication--Oh my!

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for FFF!

It's been rough in the Palmer household lately. My hubs is searching for a job that may or may not take us out of state, I have two hormonal teenage girls, a messy house, and I'm on a diet so I'm HANGRY all the time. This week I saw this on one of my friend's FB pages and it just put everything in perspective for me.

We're working on multiplication in math and the kids L-O-V-E it. They are so excited about it and it makes teaching really fun. We've been adding to our interactive math notebooks and I even made a Kahoot quiz called Multiplication Basics, that covers some of the concepts I want the kids to know.

At recess duty on Monday I noticed one of my sweet girls jumping around on the faded hopscotch paths. I asked her if she knew how to play and she shook her head. I started teaching her and soon had several others join in (boys too!). I was blown away that none of them had ever learned to play hopscotch. After my stroll down memory lane, I thought of several "old school" games I used to play like jump rope and jacks. Next time I'm at the $1 store, I'll see if I can find any of these oldies but goodies.

We're learning about polar bears in science class and doing an awesome Polar Bear QR Code Webquest by Emily Gibbons. I love the structured/guided research they do and how easy it is to set up. We're writing a shared PowerPoint presentation so I can teach them PowerPoint basics.

I squeezed in a little time last weekend to make a new Spring Addition and Subtraction task card set. My students continue to need this mixed practice during math stations and I was in the spring mood, so I whipped up these little beauties! Because the weather has been so stinkin' beautiful, I'm putting these task cards on sale for 50% off. That's just $1!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Real Teachers of Blog County: Hoarders

I'm in love with this new linky party hosted by Second Grade is Out of This World, in which we get to fess up to our not-so-pretty sides of teaching. Join in the fun!
This month's topic is HOARDING. I'm super guilty of it, but I know you can relate. I have drawers FULL of stickers, random school supplies, and plenty of junk, but the one supply that I don't want to live without is my Sharpie collection. This is only a small part of my Sharpies:

I also have them at home, in my teacher binder, in my purse, and every other bag I carry. I may not have a pen in my purse, but chances are that I will have a Sharpie or two, or ten. My hubby knows how much I love Sharpies and bought me a big 'ol pack of them from Costco as a back to school gift. He only shook his head at how excited I was. My favorite thing is to match my Sharpie color to my mood or my outfit. If it's a sickness, I don't want to be cured.

What do you hoard???

Monday, February 9, 2015

Movie Clip Monday

It's Movie Clip Monday! I'm linking up with the Techie Turtle Teacher.

I'm sure you've heard of GoNoodle by now but if you haven't tried it, what are you waiting for? It is a collection of ad free videos to either calm kids down, blow off some steam, or get some exercise. There are even indoor recess mixes! My kids get to have some GoNoodle time after we pack & stack at the end of the day. They hustle with the end of the day routines so they can grow their Champ. Right now our champ, Bart Reynolds, looks like this:
Yes, he's quite the stud. His name cracks me up, but I digress....

My favorite video from GoNoodle is "I Get Loose". It seriously gets stuck in your head, but the kids love to sing it and I think it is so cute when they dance around. I'm not sure what it is about the two guys who call themselves Koo Koo Kanga Roo, but their videos are ridiculous and fun. Check it out:

Friday, February 6, 2015

How Important is Skip Counting in 2nd Grade?

We're just starting to learn about multiplication in 2nd grade and I started by reviewing skip counting. One of my students said, "Mrs. Palmer, you said we are going to learn about multiplication, so why are we doing skip counting? We did this in 1st grade."

What a perfect question! Of course, he was right. I work across the hall from a 1st grade teacher and I hear those kiddos skip counting every morning! Students with strong skip counting skills will have a much easier time in many mathematical areas, including multiplication.

One thing I wanted to students to be able do in this unit of study is identify patterns. First, I wanted students to be able to see the patterns when skip counting and to be able to identify what they are skip counting by. We did a little warm up/review and then we started math centers.

One thing I love to give students in their math centers are task cards. They are easy to prep and store and multiple students can use them at once. This week I used Skip Counting Scavenger Hunt by Primary Essentials.

Side Note: You need to check out Francheryl's store! She has tons of these Scavenger Hunts that focus on different skills. This product is normally only $2.50 which is a STEAL because you also get an editable version that you can make endless variations with!

These task cards are meant to be used as a scavenger hunt with the cards taped up around the room. I love giving students opportunities to get moving during math, but since I already had a couple of high energy math games going on at the same time, I decided to use them as a center at one of my tables.

I demonstrated how to use them and because they were a little different than the task cards I usually make for them, they were excited! They thought they were cool and asked me to thank whoever made them. How cute is that? In this set, there are 4 versions of skip counting so you can use them at various times throughout your unit. I also love that the recording sheet is compact (3 to a page) and I used way less paper than my usual full recording sheet. The best part is that this product includes an editable version! This is an awesome and simple way to differentiate for your higher and lower achieving students. I plan to make a set of cards with 3 digit numbers for my high achievers and a set of cards that focus solely on skip counting by 3's because I observed several students struggling a bit with this.

Here's an even better part! If you leave a comment on this post (with your email) by Sunday at midnight, I will pick TWO winners to get this product for FREE! If you don't feel lucky, you can still grab them up for 50% off through Sunday! That is just $1.25!!!!
We all know that kids learn in different ways. I strive to meet the needs of all my kiddos by providing information visually, through songs and videos, orally and kinesthetically. I showed a couple of these skip counting videos, had the kids skip count orally while using hand motions, and of course we wrote our numbers in our notebooks.

For some of my struggling students, we'll physically count groups of objects. We also search for patterns within each skip counting series and color those patterns on hundreds charts. All this is in preparation for learning the conceptual understanding of multiplication.

Come back soon for another post about teaching arrays.

If you'd like to check out some other products that real teachers have reviewed, click the links below!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things Linky

Ok, a midweek linky party that I can actually get done? Yes, please! I'm linking up with the Teaching Trio for their new(ish) monthly linky called:

I'm sharing three of my favorite apps to use with students! I have many more, but I'll just talk about the three that I use most.
#1 Is a freebie and I literally use it everyday! It has replaced my dry erase boards for my guided math groups. I love that I can have the students take screenshots of their work to add to their digital portfolios. The kids love all the chalk colors! They enjoy using this app with a stylus to help with their handwriting. Another plus: no messy dry erase markers that dry up!

#2 Isn't free but it is a must have app in my book. The kids actually beg me about the next time they get to use Explain Everything to demonstrate their math thinking. My school asked one of our Senators for some extra money for technology and my principal brought him into my classroom when we were using this app and it knocked his socks off! This is a simple screen casting app that records students' voices and annotations. I write a few problems on the board, students take a picture with the iPad and then import it into the app and start recording as they write and explain their thinking. Talk about powerful assessment!

#3 Has a limited free version that you can upgrade. My kiddos love to play all the Slide games (Slide 100 and Slide + & -) but this one is their favorite. When they are especially good or have been working super hard, we'll have Slide tournaments. This game is awesome because it can be played with 2-4 players. When we get down to the "final four" players, we'll jump on AirPlay and watch the kiddos play on the big screen! I'm sure you can hear them cheering for their friends all the way to the principal's office. Sometimes an especially confident student will challenge me to a round. It is way too much fun to resist.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Movie Clip Monday: Polar Bears

I love this weekly linky called Movie Clip Monday hosted by the Techie Turtle Teacher! I show TONS of videos in my class and I'm always on the lookout for more.
This week, we're starting our Polar Bear unit. The kids love studying animals and had a blast studying penguins last month. There are so many polar bear videos on YouTube that I could watch them all day. However, I may only be able to squeeze in one or two a day for my students. I came across this one as I was planning my unit and you know it will be great because it is from National Geographic and it is meant for kids! The kids will love the humor and cuteness and you'll love the great facts it covers! Check it out:
To get the SafeShare version, click here. It has no ads or other questionable graphics that will pop up.
If you'd like to link up with us, just write a post with one of your favorite videos (don't forget the Movie Clip Monday graphic) and link up below!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Currently

I'm linking up with Farley for her February Currently...

It's 3 AM so it's pretty quiet around here, except for my stupid cough, which is why I'm still awake. We actually got snow here in New Mexico and my 14 year old couldn't resist making the cutest snowman.
She did this while my sis and I wrangled my oldest daughter's hair for her Winter Ball. She is so pretty it kills me!

Sorry, I got sidetracked...anywhooo, we have big changes happening around here. Besides the fact that I have a SENIOR in high school, 2015 is going to be the year of change. I'm not sure exactly what, but I'm hoping answers will come soon. I'm a planner and not knowing what is coming my way makes me feel like a worm dangling on a hook.

I kinda love this last category! I would never be the pageant type, but if I was, my pageant title would most definitely be Miss Knowitall, at least that's what the hubs would say. I can't help it if my brain remembers a ridiculous amount of useless information. 

Happy February everyone! We're one month closer to summer break!