Fact Family Trees {A *FREE* Math Craft}

Just popping in REAL quick to share a cute and easy craftivity for math and FALL! Are the leaves changing where you live? On our drive home from the beach last weekend, the foliage was just starting to sport those beautiful colors!

In 2nd grade, we just wrapped up reviewing addition and subtraction strategies and this week it is all about related facts.  No lie, one time I asked my students "What is the relationship between addition and subtraction?" and one student said (in all seriousness) "I think they are cousins because their mom's are sisters."  I will never forget that--ha!

Most of my kiddos had fact families down after we reviewed for all but 10 minutes so it was the perfect opportunity to tie in a fall craft.  I used my school's die cut machine to cut 100 leaves #allbefore8am.  BUT I put together all the pieces you will need to print and be ready for this craft in your class.

What was great was I could simply differentiate by giving students various combinations of numbers. You could even have them come up with their own! And they couldn't copy anyone else (except for the one who did and his didn't make any sense!)

Click here for your copy of the materials.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Things-Autumn-Fall-Themed-Math-Print-and-Go-Worksheets-No-Prep-1403905If you are looking for more fun, fall no prep math, my print and go math packet is ON SALE! It includes 20 pages of printables covering place value, even and odd, skip counting and MORE!

Happy Fall All!


Week 4 Plans

This *technically* is our 5th week of school.  But we missed a week due to a mold problem in the buildings in our district.  So that set us back.   Below are my visual plans.  I have gotten a few questions about them so let me answer those first:

  • I make the plans in PowerPoint. 
  • I do submit these plans to my principal but I also do an additional copy of each page and delete the pictures.  Then I type in a little more detail about what I am teaching.
  • I am trying to think of a way to make a template to share.  Or I might try to do a video about how you can make your own if people are interested.
  • I love sharing what I am doing but these plans also seriously help me.  I print them out and send a copy to myself so everything I need is right there!

      We spent over a week reviewing our addition strategies.  I know my 2nd graders need continued practice with addition.  We do use a weekly math facts program.  I will also include practice and review through our morning work, iPad and computer games, centers, partner and whole group games.  BUT with that said, I am excited to move onto subtraction.  A new topic is a perfect excuse to buy a new book.  I am excited to read Elevator Magic! I have a feeling I will be back for more Stuart J. Murphy math books!! 

My goal is to have personal narrative topics decided by the end of the week.  I made a graphic organizer (which you can snag for FREE in my downloadable plans). It goes along great with the book A Moment in Time.

Thankfully, my class is very engaged in all things writing and drawing which makes my teacher heart so happy.  You can hear a pin drop during writer's workshop--it almost weirds me out because I am NOT used to that kind of silence.

This will be our 2nd week of using Rooted in Reading. #waybehind #stillonaugust I actually have to finish up Edward the Emu on Monday before moving on.  My kids LOVED Edward and they are doing super great with the vocabulary.  I am anxious to see how they will do on their first comprehension test.

My students have been LOVING playing tic-tac-toe with our 'no excuse' words.  I am going to introduce comprehension passage as one of our centers during Daily 5 (I know it is not one of the elements but I added it as a part of Read to Self).  You can read about how I use Symbaloo during Listen to Reading here.

It's not officially fall until you start all things apples!  We discussed what scientists do last week and will continue more intro to science activities with Second Grade Stories resource.  My kids went CRAZY for Saving Fred last week so I am going to try to Stem once a week until our official science unit starts (soils).  And finally, I will have a sub Friday afternoon because we are headed to the beach!! A Scholastic News is always perfect for a sub!

What are you teaching this week?!

You can access these plans with links to all of the resources (free and paid) by clicking on the above pictures or here.

Hope you have a great week : )


My Favorite Tool for Listen to Reading

I am here today to share with you my favorite tool for a successful listen to reading center.  I am fortunate in my classroom to have 6 iPads and about 6 laptops (I can borrow more when needed).  This year, I am setting my students up for Listen to Reading on the laptops because I have plans for the iPads to be used during Read to Self and Word Work.

Last year, another new teacher who is super into technology (thanks, Sarah!!) introduced me to a (FREE) website called Symbaloo.  Symbaloo is essentially a place where you can store all of your links to websites you want your students to go on. Your links are all on one page as small images so it is student friendly and easy to use. You can have custom pages if you have several classes or you want to group websites by subject.  It is FREE to sign up so you will want to make an account first. My page currently looks like this:

  Up in the top left corner I have a our math games.  On the right corner, I added books for students to choose for Listen to Reading (I will change these monthly).  I simply searched YouTube for stories.  We all know the ads and comments on YouTube are sometimes not so safe for our little learners. BUT the amazing thing about Symbaloo is that is now EMBEDS the Youtube video directly into their sight. This means, it does not redirect students to YouTube AND it takes away any ads!!!

Steps for converting YouTube videos:

1. Find video on YouTube.  For example, How I Spent My Summer Vacation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MS1nDeSk6Q

2. Copy and paste link. Simply hover over a tile with your mouse and click "add a tile"

This will open a side bar. Choose "Create a tile".

Then paste the link into the space for the website. 

It will autmatically change to "Embed in Symbaloo" so no new window will open up. When students are done listening, they click the white "x" in the corner and it takes them back to the main page with all of the tile options.

What is great about Symbaloo is that you can add, edit, and delete the sites you add.  I plan to change up my Listen to Reading stories once every two weeks a month. And that is how I will use Symbaloo for Listen to Reading!

If you have any questions, let me know!

Happy Teaching!


A Peek at My Week: Week 2

Happy Labor Day, Teacher Friends! If I didn't write three passages about the history of Labor Day, I would truly believe it was created to give teachers a break after the crazy back to school season! Due to air quality and mold in our school district, we did not have a typical first week of school.  We had a first day.  Then we left early on the second and didn't come back for a week! Last week, we had 3 full days. 

So now that we are a week behind already, it is hard to balance the feelings of wanting to catch up but also knowing that continuing to go slow and steady with routines and procedures will be the best for my students.

In math, it will be all about addition strategies.  I cannot wait to get started with our interactive notebooks (the students are pumped, too!)  I will probably throw a game in there like Domino War or Connect Four.

We will be starting Writer's Workshop this week! This is one of the aspects of the year I am most excited about.  I took a writing grad class this summer.  It was extremely helpful in developing strategies for instruction and assessment. 

With the help of The Brown Bag Teacher's awesome blog post on scaffolding young writers, we will learn the basics of independent writing and practice building stamina. I also included a mini lesson on spelling strategies.  I heard "Mrs. Stahl, how do you spell ______?" one too many times last week!

I am starting shared reading this week with a classic--Henry and Mudge.  I actually have a class set of the first book so I am looking forward to each student having a book in their hand as we read about the boy and his dog.  We will use Henry and Mudge to work on retelling using Beginning, Middle and End. With Henry and Mudge, we will also be taking a look at sentence basics.  Each student will write their own "bare bones" sentence. 

We will just start working on building stamina for read to self.  I will also try to start word work but that is a lofty goal considering we will be Dibeling, starting DRAs and completing iReady assessments next week!!

I didn't have time for Mrs. Spitzer's Garden so I am going to tie that into Social Studies and use it to talk about growth mindset.  We will end the week with Save Fred!! : )

Finally, I included three of the anchor charts I plan to make this week. I used the addition strategies one FOUR years ago!! I LOVE how the writer's workshop pie chart provides a great visual for the time of each element.  Lastly, the rate our writing will be a great reference tool for me when students say their finished and their work looks like 1 or 2 stars.  I can just point to the examples and hopefully they will get the hint ; )

Click on the pictures or on this link to download my plans.  Each picture/link will take you to the original resource.

What are you most excited to teach this week?


4 Tips for Starting Close Reading

Beginning close reading in an elementary classroom can seem daunting. When I first heard of close reading, it seemed like just another thing to add to your day.  However, when you break down the parts of close reading, you realize how it can be effectively incorporated into both shared and guided reading. Here are some tips for getting started:

Start close reading in small groups so you can model and guide more directly.  You can pick the same topic for each group but choose differentiated passages.  More advanced readers could read the text independently or with a partner before working with you to work on close reading skills.

Break close reading down into small chunks. Choose one skill to focus on at a time and explicitly communicate the purpose for reading. "Today when we reread our passage, we will focus on the words the author uses.  I want you to find one word that is new to you and be able to define it in your own words."

Pick engaging texts. Sounds easy, right? (ha!)
First, you need to find out your students' interests. 
I have used this free interest survey by Bitten By the Teaching Bug.

Student Interest Survey: Getting to Know Your Students
Next, look for close reading topics that you think your students will enjoy.  TeachersPayTeachers is always a great source.  Another site I have found useful is Newslea.com  You can find real articles in several levels of texts.  A third option would be Scholastic Readers if you are fortunate to have a subscription.
  Incorporate other subjects that there may not always be time for. (aka Science and Social Studies) It is a great way to tie in information about what you might be working on in these subjects. I use passages about each holiday to help students develop a deeper understanding of the meaning behind our three day weekends. 

Kid love highlighters.  Have you ever given a kid a highlighter? They will highlight everything.

Close reading is the perfect opportunity to incorporate highlighters while teaching the intent and purpose behind their use.  The ultimate goal is to turn our students into readers that will sit down with a text, stopping to think, question, and recognize significant and surprising information. The motivation of using a highlighter helps those young readers want to do this.  Most will learn to monitor their reading use highlighting to help filter the most important information. Some will continue to highlight everything.

Close reading is not to be rushed.  It is not about getting everything done in one sitting.  It is a thorough examination of the text through several reads.  You want students to be authentically interacting with the text.  This might mean that you ask them to find the most interesting part and highlight it. Then you all talk about this.  And that's all you get done that day.  But it is okay because the rich discussion which emerged from the simple task is more meaningful than defining 8 vocabulary words.

What is your best close reading tip? 
Thanks for reading!