Saturday, March 22, 2014

We're Famous!

Ok, we're really not famous, but my students still think they are because our class picture was featured on The Dale Earnhardt Foundation's Facebook page. 
Photo: The Dale Earnhardt Foundation recognizes a Special Teacher:Leah Grasty2nd Grade Teacher - Forest Park Elementary - Kannapolis NC"Students learned that if they work hard, they too can experience the type success Dale had - whether it be with racing or something else."---- L. GrastyEach made their own mustache to resemble Dale's.

Last month we were studying important historical figures at the local and state level.  Since I teach close to where Dale Earnhardt was born and raised, I decided to write a letter to his Foundation.  I told them that we would be studying Dale, gave a brief overview about my students' demographics and asked if they would be able to partner with me in any way.  They were able to send 120 posters (one for each 2nd grader at my school) and other goodies for my students to take home.  

To say thank you, we wore mustaches (that's one of Dale's trademarks) and took a picture. I sent it to the Foundation and they actually posted the picture on their Faceook page.   My students thought it was sooo cool that they received all the goodies, but now that they posted it on their Facebook page, they think they're famous.  Too cute.

If you live in an area with historical figures, I suggest writing their organization a letter informing them that you're studying the figure. Who knows what they'll send you.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Addition Arrays and Cereal

We've been having so much fun AND learning a ton in math lately by using repeated addition to find the total number of objects in an addition array. It's taken us a while to get to this point, but the hard work has paid off. Read on for several FREE activities:

We first learned how to partition rectangles.  
Click on the picture below to get this introduction activity for free! 
{Freebie} Partitioning Rectangles: An Introduction Activity

We practiced partitioning rectangles (and circles) with two centers that are included in this product. Click on the picture and download the preview to get the Rectangular Arrays center for free! 
Math Centers for 2nd Grade (3rd Quarter - Common Core)

After that, we watched a short video on Learn Zillion that introduced using repeated addition to find the total number of objects in an array.

If you're not familiar with the AMAZING website, you need to be -- it will become your BEST FRIEND. Learn Zillion is a FREE website that hires teachers to create short videos and lesson plans for EACH Common Core Standard for ELA and Math,  from grades K-12. In addition to that, they have resources available for parents. I love this website because they have short video clips that I can show my students that teach each standard (plus it helps me learn other ways to teach and explain the standards). Check it out and share it with your teacher friends.  Click here to be taken to Learn Zillion. 

Now it was time to incorporate FOOD! 

I told students to write the following:

Then they drew lines for the rows and columns (this tied directly to the 4-minute video we watched from Learn Zillion)
     First the rows.                        Then the columns. 

Next we drew dots where the row and column lines intersected. This helped the students to visualize where they'd need to place the Cheerios. 

It was finally time to arrange the Cheerios into an array. 

Now I required students to write a number sentence, using repeated addition, to find the sum of the Cheerios used in the addition array.
 This equation matches the rows...

and the second one matches the columns. 

We practiced and reviewed these steps several times. When they were ready to move on, I challenged them to create the array WITHOUT using the line. Surprisingly, they did great! I think all the practice and baby steps leading up to this helped a lot. 

And since it was St. Patrick's Day on Monday, we had to incorporate some Lucky Charms. 

Every time my students correctly made an array with their cereal, I let them eat all the pieces of cereal used. They ended up having a ton of fun, we accidentally went 10 minutes into recess and they were totally fine with it. 

Click here to download the following worksheet using stickers to create addition arrays. I'm going to pass this out for homework in a few days.
worksheet border provided by: Krista Wallden
worksheet font provided by: Wizard of Boz

Create-Abilities has a  FREE assessment on TpT. Check it out!
FREE Addition with Arrays Formative Assessment for 2nd Gra

How do you teach using addition to find the total number of objects in an array? I'd love to hear about the activities you do in your classroom.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Product Giveaway

If you're looking to teach your students about Spring as a season and want to incorporate non-fiction reading skills at the same time, you need to enter this raffle. I'm giving away one of my newest products: Create-a-Book About Spring.  

Create-a-Book About Spring (Holidays, Weather, Animals, Nature)

Students will learn about Spring holidays, the weather and what animals do while creating a non-fiction book about the season. Not only will your students learn a lot about spring, they'll also learn about the structure of non-fiction texts and practice numerous reading skills while creating the book. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shamrock Craftivity with Fractions

Have students decorate a shamrock with different designs.  Then write a descriptive paragraph about their shamrock using fractions!  

 I required my students to write each fraction using words and numbers. 

Here's another sample:
 After writing their paragraph, they had to highlight the fractions. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Enter to Win a $25 TpT Gift Card

Kelly Malloy, from An Apple for the Teacher, is giving away a $25 Teachers pay Teachers gift certificate. The only requirement for entering is to follow her on TpT (she has some really cute products you should check out while you're there).  If you win, the gift certificate can be used on any product in any store on TpT -- it's not only for products in Kelly's store.  Good luck. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Make Math Fun with Math Sticks

Use this simple activity in your classroom and you'll be amazed at how much fun your students can have while practicing different math skills.  I introduced this activity to practice two-digit addition and subtraction with regrouping.  Before math sticks, I would get the typical moaning and groaning when my students found out we'd be practicing this skill; but now that I've introduced this activity, they're the ones asking me to practice their problems. 

 All you need to do is find an empty bottle and craft sticks. Number each stick and write a math problem on each one.

 After your student pulls a stick out of the container, they'll need to write the problem down and record their answer on a piece of paper.

Once a problem has been completed, students can use an answer key to check their work.

If you're interested in using this activity exactly as I did, just copy the problems from each stick.
Click here to download the answer key.

This activity can easily be adapted to numerous math skills -- keep the concept but change it to the skill you're currently teaching or reviewing. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Main Idea: Cut, Mix and Match

If your students are ready to practice identifying main idea, find some informational texts and cut them up!  Scholastic News works great for this activity.  

Make sure it has several different headings and sections of text. 

 Cut it apart. Separate the heading, subheadings, sections of text, and photographs.

 Mix the pieces together and put them in a bag.

 Have your students recreate the text in a new format. I had mine create flip books, but creating a poster would be cute too.  First paste the title/heading.

Find all the subheadings and glue 'em down.  

 Now glue the sections of text that match each heading.

Lastly, add the photographs that match the text! 

If you wanted to extend this activity, have your students write why they made the matches they did.