Second Grade Nest: March 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#TBT- Making Homemade Bird Feeders


In honor of our new technological era, I've decided Thursday blogs can now be Throwback Thursdays! This week's #TBT is a project that 4H came in and did with my second graders 2 years ago!

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Today, we were supposed to go to our 4H outdoor field trip, but it rained all day and thundered a bit, so they came to us! One of the activities they did with us was creating a cheap and easy bird house for Earth Day! 

Hands on craft for Earth Day- homemade bird feeder

Hands on craft for Earth Day- homemade bird feeder

Hands on craft for Earth Day- homemade bird feeder

Hands on craft for Earth Day- homemade bird feeder


And for last minute ideas for Earth Day:
Earth Day CentersEarth Day Craft

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

6 Ways to Make Vowels Fun


Using Pinterest and some of the things that I've used in the classroom, here is a short and fun list of ways to teach vowels in the classroom! 

Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels


Make Them Work as a Team
Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels  Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels

(Source: Fun in First)
Jodi's blog post about a quick and easy 5 minute game is great for teaching the medial sound. Put a post-it on a kiddo's back. Then the other students have to give words that have the medial sound in it. The student with the post-it on their back have to guess the vowel that they have. They can do long or short vowel versions!




Make It Fun
Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels
This game involves play with learning. Student 1 hides the marble under one of the cups. Student 2 must guess which cup it is under after given clues about which cup it is hidden under. Student 1 could give the sound it makes OR words that it has the medial sound. 
This would also be fun to differentiated between short and long vowels, such as having a short a cup and a long a cup. 




Make It Interactive
Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels  Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels

Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels         Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels
(Source: Phonics Post)
My students went nuts over their phonics interactive notebooks. After they got the hang of how to do each page, I would put it in a daily center and they would take their interactive binders to that center with them and complete the page for the day on their own. 




Make It Techy
Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels
When I taught K, I had the "More Starfall" paid version of the site. We followed the Starfall curriculum, which was absolutely amazing. This portion of the site, though, is FREE! There are two interactive games for each vowel sound, then a short reader for each vowel sound. 




Make Them Apply It
Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels  Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels
Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels   Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels
These differentiated leveled readers are great for students to apply the vowel sounds within words. There are three levels of reading for each vowel sound.
Each book also comes with differentiated comprehension questions AND a word list that asks students to find all the vowel words from their story, then come up with a list of their own words. 




Make Them Sing It
Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels     Teaching vowels in the classroom- activities that are hands-on to help teach long vowels and short vowels
These FREE songs and poems are available for you to teach your kiddos how to sing about their vowels. Making it into a chant, poem, or song always solidifies a student's learning. 



Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring is Here!

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts


I don't know about you, but teaching in the spring is one of my favorites. It is likely because I am SO tired of all things snow. I'm ready to teach all things sun! 

Here are a few Spring Crafts to kick off your spring seasons! 
I found these spring crafts on Pinterest. Click the link below each picture for the source! 

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts
(Sources: Mama Jenn and storytimeKatie)

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts


Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts
You will need to translate the first website- it is in French. 

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts
(Source: Storytime Katie)


Here are a few Spring Resources to kick off your spring season!

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts
Three spring topics are covered: weather, earth, and plants.


Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts
Kids will cut and glue the order of their stories. 
Then, they will write their own stories based off of the order of the pictures. 


Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts


Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts



 Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts


Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts
Fiction VS Nonfiction stories. Reading Comprehension w/ higher order thinking questions.
CAN BE Interactive Notebooks or Traditional Format.


Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts
(Above and Below)

Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts



And don't forget about Easter coming up!
Spring Crafts and Activities- hands on activities for spring teaching activities- reading, math, arts and crafts

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Close Reading Post w/ NEW Freebie

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample

Check out how I incorporate Close Reading into the classroom! 

Anchor Charts:
Pinterest has led me to some absolutely amazing anchor charts. I can't wait to get these started next year when introducing close reading. 
Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample
Credit: Comprehension Connections

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample
Credit: Rowdy in Room 300 

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample
This is what my kids did to prove they knew the process of close reading.
We did this for an open house to show parents how great we got at close reading! 



Close Reading in a Nutshell: 
Close reading for my first graders was great fun. Using one text for the entire week really helped them understand the text.

Day 1: Annotating the text and reading as a whole group
Day 2: Partner reading and vocabulary focus
Day 3: Text-dependent questions
Day 4: Culminating writing day

I aim to spend between 15-30 minutes on this activity.
Here is a breakdown of how I do this in my classroom... not necessarily how you will do it. You have to find your own groove.

Monday- We read the text together. I put it on the overhead and touch each word as we read it slowly.
[I know that second grade and above like to give the passage
to the students and let them annotate before we read it together.]
As first graders, I know that reading it together will help them a bit better. After we read it together as a group, we annotate the text. August through January, we do the annotation TOGETHER. We go through each sentence and they tell me what they think is important enough to annotate.

Tuesday- We read the passage together as a group, then I split the students into pairs.
Read 1: Partners share the text- Long hair reads the first sentence. Short hair reads the next sentence, etc.
Read 2: Short hair reads the entire passage, long hair reads the entire passage.
Then we sit back at our tables and we find the vocabulary words we annotated yesterday, and work on the vocabulary page together. We brainstorm the word meanings together, then make sentences or pictures together.

Wednesday: Reread together.
For the first few months of school, we work on finding the questions in the passage together, restating the question together, and answering the question together. I let go of that control around January when the first graders seem ready to read the text alone for the purpose of finding an answer.
My school was very focused on restating and answering, so this was a great opportunity to teach restating.

Thursday: Kids read the passage independently, then during one of their Daily 5 groups, they work through the culminating writing activity on their own.



In Action:
Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample
Annotating our text needed the most training. My first graders really wanted to underline and star everything on the paper. It took a bit of training for them to realize what was truly key details and interesting details.

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample
Vocabulary Day!! 

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample

Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample




Products I Use:
Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample



Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample



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And now, I'm adding a freebie to the mix! A few months ago, I posted a 'Take a Closer Look' blog post about my Close Reading pack. It gave a TWO page freebie. 
I'm posting that again for those of you who could use a dinosaur passage! 

Click HERE to grab it! 
Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample Close Reading- freebie included- all about digging deeper into reading comprehension with close reading- and a free sample