Five for Friday - February 24

It was a super short week, but a busy one! We had Monday off for President's Day and on Tuesday we had no class, but Student-Led/Parent Teacher Conferences all day! So for a 3 day week it was a busy one! I'm linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday.

My latest Grammar Fix It is now ready!  I just completed Grammar Fix It - Verb Tense Agreements.  My class has been working on verbs a lot and it was time for a formative assessment.  You can use Grammar Fix It as an around the room activity, scoot activity, or throw it in a station.  I decided to use it as a formative assessment.  I put each sentence on the board one at a time and the kids had to re-write the sentences correctly on their recording sheet. Then, I graded it using the little page below.  We use Standards Based Grading for writing so I have a rubric for each area.  Check out my new Grammar Fix

This week we started working on asking questions in reading. We talked about the importance of asking questions while you read and why good readers do it.  I got this lesson from Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller. Love that book!!!

All day Tuesday, I had Student-Led/Parent Teacher Conferences.  Check out  my blog post that I wrote all about

I love incorporating math games into our Morning Meeting activity. Yesterday we played the game I learned from CGI training called Race to Zero.  The goal is to be the first team to get to zero.  I broke the class into two teams.  Each team starts at the number 999 and has three dice they can use. Then, the team decides to roll one, two, or all three.  Whatever number they roll, they can make any number from it. For example, if they roll 612, they could make 612, 621, 216, 126, etc.... Part of this game is strategy and rolling the right number of dice depending on the size of your number and making the right number that will help you get to zero the quickest.  After they roll and create their number, then they subtract from the number they had left.  This game keeps going until someone or some team gets to zero! Great way to practice subtraction, place value, problem solving, and strategic thinking!

This week in math we continued to work on measuring area.  Yesterday I had students create a specific area to show them that there is more than one way to model most areas.  For example, 16 square units - could be 8x2, 2x8, 1x16, 2x16, 4x4....  I loved pulling out the square tiles for them to play around with. I think the concrete item helped some of them understand the concept of area better and how it is measuring the surface space.

Student-Led/Parent-Teacher Conferences

We had our second set of Student-Led/Parent-Teacher Conferences on Tuesday. I know that title seems like a mouthful, but I'm not sure how else to describe it.  It is student-led, but it's also led more like a team - with student, parents, and teacher all giving input on the child's progress.  Since this is our winter conferences, students have more control over the conferences and a larger part in it.

Before I get into the student-led info, I need to explain a few things about my school. At my school, each child gets their own personalized, differentiated, Personal Learning Plan (PLP).  Each teacher comes up with two goals for the child based on academics, data, observation, etc.  The third goal is a goal based around Think Like a Disciplinarian (this is a whole year-long project where the kids learn about different professions and present their findings at the end of the year).  For these goals, each teacher comes up with an action plan of how the child will work on the goal and then creates a specific goal broken down throughout the year. I know this seems like a is. They take a long time to craft, but they are great for the kids.  We make sure they fit the kids needs and this is where we are able to differentiate and really focus on where each child is at. So, while it takes a lot of time - and these progress report updates take a lot of time - it is worth it!

To help the students out, I created this simple sheet.  A few days before the conference they filled it out.  I met with them one-on-one to discuss/review their specific goals and they then wrote how they thought they were doing.  It can be quite tricky to get kids to reflect. I've had a lot of "I'm doing good," in the past, but this year most students had some thoughtful reflections. Then, after I reviewed it they were ready for their conference.  The pre-made sheet is helpful because some kids get a little nervous in conferences so this helps calm their nerves since they can just read off the page.

Then, on the back students reflected on their school year.  Students wrote their strengths, areas where they can improve, and goals for the final trimester of the school year. I was proud to see them really identifying some of their strengths and weaknesses and again coming up thoughtful reflections.

Each student also has their own portfolio. I've been collecting different pieces from reading, writing, and math throughout the year and we've compiled them in their portfolio. Students shared their favorite piece with their parents at the Winter Conference and will then get to take the portfolio home at the end of the year.

In addition to the progress report mentioned at the beginning of the post (which I didn't take pictures of for confidential reasons), I also created this quick reading update page for each child.  While many goals were focused around reading, many student's goals were not.  So, since we have multiple reading assessments and we are past the halfway point of the school year, I thought a little reading update would be a good idea to keep parents in the loop. I included their recent STAR data,  where they are with receiving AR Awards, data from the Quick Phonics Screener, and information from their fluency assessments.

So, that is a sneak peek of what I included in my Student-Led/Parent-Teacher Conferences! We have them three times a year, so one more to go!

Real-Life Measurement Story Problems

We have been working on our measurement unit over the last week or two in second grade.  One of our standards includes real-life story problems involving measurement situations.  So, for our weekly story problems (I love doing story problems every Friday!) we focused on real life problems involving distance.

On Fridays, I will often have two story problems for the kids to solve. The first one, we go over, and a few students share out. The second story problem is a similar type, but different numbers and that one I use for a formative grade.

I have to brag about our story problem from this past Friday! My kids rocked it! It combined measurement and multiplication.  I have four different strategies to show you and every child was able to explain what they did and why they chose that strategy! It was definitely a proud teacher moment...

Here's the problem: Jenny ran 6 miles each day for 14 days. How many miles did she run?

Cole decided to draw out the miles for each day. I love how he labeled each day first and then put 6 dots under each day to represent the six miles. He then counted the dots to get the answer of 84 miles.

Keegan used skip counting to solve the problem. She skip counted by 6, 14 times to end up with 84. She was also able to write the multiplication equation to match!

Carter used repeated addition strategy to solve the problem.  He added 6, 14 times.  As you can see he kept adding down, until he reached the final answer of 84 miles.

I love what Drake did to solve it! He explained it perfectly, but didn't write down each step which is why you can tell I did for him with the green marker. He used a combination of break apart and repeated addition! He first added 6, 5 times for the five days and got 30 miles.  He knew that five more days would also be 30 more miles - which is where the 30+30 came from and that would get him to 10 days. Then, he did something that I was so proud of! He knew that if he added another 30 miles that would be another 5 days, but that would mean she ran for 15 days and she was only supposed to run for 14 days. So, Drake knew that 5 days would be 30 and if you took a day off, that would be 24 miles, which is where he got the final number in the 30+30+24.  I love how he broke it down and compensated to make the numbers work for him! Amazing!!!

Do you use story problems a lot in your math class? Comment below with how often and any ideas you have! 

Five for Friday - February 17

Yay for a 3 day weekend!! These weeks have been crazy and Spring Break is still far away, but a 3 day weekend will help for now! I'm linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another week of Five for Friday...

I'm loving how hard my kids are working on their book study for the book - I Survived The Great Chicago Fire.  The partnership working on this book are really into it and have had some great insightful answers.  This book study can be found in my TPT

Oh...editing...such a tough skill for second graders. This week to help reinforce the editing skills we've been working on (spelling, complete sentences, end marks, capitals, etc) I had my small groups work on editing a story. It's funny how it's so much easier for them to edit someone else's work than catch mistakes in their own...but I guess that's how it is for everyone!  So...we'll keep at it...keep practicing and hopefully it'll start to stick and they'll be able to apply it soon!

We had a great time at our Valentine's Party on Tuesday. Check out what we did in my blog post - Valentine's Day Recap.

Oh conferences.... This coming Tuesday we have our next round of student-led/ parent-teacher conferences! At this conference, we go over each student's three goals on their Personal Learning Plan (PLP) that are tailored to that child's specific needs.  I also decided to whip up this little Reading Update sheet as another way to give more info at the conferences.  Some of the kids goals are reading-focused, but some aren't, so I thought this would be a great way to quickly update parents on all reading areas.

I had a wonderful Valentine's Day! Got some fun and yummy goodies from my students and beautiful flowers from my husband! Hope everyone else had a great Valentine's Day too!

Enjoy the 3 day weekend!!

Valentine's Party Recap

I wanted to share our Valentine's Party with the blogging world. I've done the same Minute to Win It Games the last few years and it's gone amazing! The kids always have fun!

Here are my super cute Valentine's for the kiddos. I got the tag from Glitter and Glue K-2 on TPT.  They turned out super cute!

My students did the traditional Valentine's passing of the cards. Here are two of the cutest boxes.  How cute is that mailbox!! So creative!

I found the Minute to Win It Games on Makoodle.  You can find more

I split my students up into 4 teams.  The winning team gets to pick our brain breaks on GoNoodle for the next week. They were very excited to hear the prize! They also came up with some very interesting team names which you'll see below...

Heart Stack - the students had to create the tallest stack of hearts in one minute.

Candy Corn Stick Up - see who could stand up the most candy corns in one minute

Marshmallow Toss - Who can toss the most marshmallows into the bowl in one minute - this one gets quite messy!

Candy Pick Up - using the chopsticks - kids had to move as much candy as they could from one plate to the other...

Heart Relay - Relay race with conversation hearts

As I mentioned above, the kids were quite creative in coming up with their team names.  Fluffy Pickles ended up winning and will get to pick brain breaks for the next week!

What activities do you do at your Valentine's Party? Comment below....

Five for Friday - February 10

Our school celebrated Reading Week super early due to scheduling issues on the typical reading week so this week was another whirlwind. I'm linking up again with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. See what we've been up to below...
We started our measurement unit this week. I love these flap books for Amy Lemon's Measurement pack. It is such great practice to help kids decide what unit to use when measuring.

I also love Hope King's Measurement Play Book packet. The kids had fun measuring these football items to the nearest inch and half inch.

Etc.  I have never seen a child use that word in my 10 years of teaching. Especially a second grader. And even better - she used it correctly. We were working on conversions from feet to yards and I love how she explained it - We know that 10, 20, 30 etc.  

We are still working on our Opinion unit in our Units of Study by Lucy Calkins.  Students this week worked with their partner and came up with goals for their writing. They used the checklist to see what they were doing well, needed work on, etc and then decided on a goal.  

This is a very measurement heavy post! Again - we were working on measurement conversion. I posed the above problem and I love how this friend (same friend as my etc friend) used her prior knowledge. We had just had the problem 2 ft = how many inches. I love that she took what we know from the prior problem and then applied it to make it easier to solve the next problem.  A great aha moment for her!

So I'm very late to this party, but I just watched all of Gilmore Girls. Somehow when it was on, back in the day, I never really got into it.  However, with the revival I decided to start it on Netflix.  I just finished all 7 seasons and the revival and have to say it is an amazing show! However,  I prefer the older seasons. Now I need a new Netflix show - any suggestions??

Happy weekend!