My Truth Monday {Creepy Edition}

I'm linking up with Denise again this week.  Click the image above to join in the fun!

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MATH Rotations {& Winners Announced}

CONGRATULATIONS to Brandi (#34) for winning my STAMP giveway...and...

CONGRATULATIONS to Kelly (#2) for winning our Friendly Letter Unit!!!

You girls will be receiving emails soon!

Today, let's talk math.  I rarely talk math.  I'm a reading and writing girl.  I could read and write with the kiddos ALL.DAY.LONG!  But, standards say I have to teach them some math, too. :)

I like math.  I really do.  I just LOVE reading and writing.  Second-graders LOVE math, though.

I've always implemented some type of math centers or choices - be it "math baskets" or "math menus."  A couple of years ago I began doing math rotations and this year I really feel like I've found something that works...for me.

Whenever we start a new unit, I give students a pretest.  This gives a big picture of what students understand about the concepts in the unit.  Throughout the unit, concepts are introduced whole-group.  After they're taught, I give a little benchmark to see if students grasped the concept.  Based on this benchmark, I group my students.

Of course, some students master it right away - teach it once and they take it and run with it!  Those students are in a group together for enrichment.

Others, grasp the concept but not at mastery - they still need some practice to get there.  These students are in a group for practice.

Others have a "loose grasp" of the concept, but much practice and reinforcement is needed.  These students will make up a group.

While others need several lessons and small-group sessions before they really begin to understand the skill or concept - these students will be in a group together for lots of small group reinforcement.

This is where my rotations come in.  I have 4 rotations to use with these groups...they're easy to remember because they spell MATH. :)

M - Meet with the Teacher
A - Assessments
T - Technology
H - Hands-On Learning

I use PowerPoint to show my rotations for the day.  A day might look something like this...

You can see on this day, Group 1 would start out working with me and then move through the other 3 rotations.  This schedule would allow me to meet with each group during math that day.

Here's a little about what students would be doing in each rotation -

Meet with the Teacher:  Obviously, students would meet with the teacher during this one! ;) This is when I would teach (or reteach) in small groups and provide enrichment, as well.

Assessments:  In this rotation, students would be doing some type of assessment (something for me to collect to see how they're progressing).  It could be a test, quiz, benchmark - but it could also be a center or game with a recording sheet.

Technology:  As this rotation, students are working on the computers or iPad to practice concepts and skills.

Hands-On Learning:  This rotation usually consists of games and/or craftivities.

Stations are usually only 10-15 minutes each.  It just depends on if I started the math block with a whole-group mini-lesson or not. 

Sometimes, I may want to meet with a particular group for a longer period.  If this is the case, I'll use a little different rotation schedule.
Notice the additional STAR.  The star lets me choose an additional activity for groups - you'll notice on the schedule above that I met with Groups 1 and 2 for two back-to-back rotations on this day, giving me more time to work with them.  I did not meet with Groups 3 and 4 at all on this day.  Instead, they had 5 rotations during the math block.

It's not perfect, but this has been working well in my classroom.  Do you do small group instruction in math?  If so, how does it work??

** UPDATE: I've had a lot of requests for the PowerPoint, so you can download it HERE. **

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It's WINSday!! {Friendly Letters}

We have jumped into our Friendly Letter unit.  I absolutely L-O-V-E teaching friendly letters!  Click HERE to see my past posts about this unit for pictures, freebies, and even a video!  My kiddos are writing letters to friends, authors, the President, grandmas and grandpas, athletes, the name it! :)

Today we made our Friendly Letter Flipbooks to keep in our writing folders as a resource to use during this unit.  I PUFFY HEART these flipbooks.

This unit is one of our best-sellers on TpT....take a look at everything included -
Here's a look at some of the feedback love left about this unit...

Do you want to get your students excited about writing friendly letters?  You can win this unit TOMORROW!  Simply, PIN IT to WIN IT!  That's right, just pin the flipbook pic above and then leave a comment with your name and email.  I'll pull a winner TOMORROW!

Come back tomorrow to see if you won....and to read a bit about my MATH rotations.
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A Motivational Giveaway!

You know why I LOVE second-graders?  They get excited about the little things.

Seriously.  I love that!

This is the first year that they receive actual grades at our school.  You know, they can get an "A."

One little girl asked me at the beginning of the year if a 100 was an A+ and when I told her it was, she asked, "If I get that will you write A+ on the paper?"  I assured her I would. :)

When she got one this week, I made sure to write it AND stamp it on her paper. She was beaming from ear to ear!

It's the little things, I tell ya.  I'm pretty sure that stamp made it even more OFFICIAL.

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by wanting to know if I would be interested in reviewing some of their stamps.  Of course! 

They let me choose a few for my own classroom.  These were my choices...
I thought the "missing name" stamp was adorable and let's face's *sigh*  Meanwhile, the "clock stamp" will come in very useful for creating centers and practice pages for our time unit.  I love that I can use it to stamp clocks for students to practice drawing hands to show the time - a great way to save copies!
There it is!  The A+ stamp....I knew I had to have that one just for my little sweetie pie!  I am constantly trying to reinforce "complete sentences" with my second-graders, so I plan to use the "incomplete sentences" stamp when needed and if a student sees that, they will know to rewrite the sentence to make it complete!!

You can take a look at all of their "motivational stamps" HERE.

I also selected this "Please Redo" stamp...
When I have work that I want the students to redo and turn back in, I can stamp away!  Take a look at the self-inking stamps HERE.

I've loved the stamps so much, that I just placed an order for a new one TODAY!  We started letter writing and I thought, "Hey, it would be great to have one of these with our classroom "address" on it (our school has an in-school mail delivering system) for students to use for our return address on envelopes."  So, I went to and ordered one!  Can't wait until it arrives...the kiddos will eat that up. :)

Could you use some new motivational stamps in your classroom?  It's your lucky day!  I'm going to pick one winner on Thursday and that person will get to choose 5 stamps of their choice that they would like for their classroom!

To enter, just comment below with one stamp that you know you would love to have for your classroom.

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My Truth Monday {Week 1}

I'm joining in with my friend, Denise, over at Sunny Days in Second Grade for her new My Truth Monday Linky series.  Each Monday, bloggers will unite to spill some of their "truths."  What a great way to get to know a little more about the great teachers behind the blogs!  Click the button below to join in the linky fun!

This week's truth is all about fitness....

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What Are You Waiting For?

We've decided to join in and celebrate along with TpT on their milestone of reaching 100,000 fans on Facebook.  Have you been waiting on a sale to stock up?  Now is your chance!  Why not swing by and pick up one {or two} of our newest units below?

Happy Shopping, friends!
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Five for Friday & Winners

I am BARELY squeezing this one in, bloggy friends....let me type quickly or it may turn into Five for Fraturday!!  First off...the winner of the new Addition Strategies Unit:
An email will be sent your way shortly!!

Now, for a peek at our week...

1) We started the week off by finishing up our "A Time I Was Hurt" Memoirs from my Memoirs Unit.  

2) Then we moved on to writing about "A Time I was Scared."  All of our memoirs tie-in with Patricia Polacco - LOVE HER!  Since this one tied-in with Thunder Cake, we baked our own thunder cake - in the crockpot, of course!  It's delicious...they begged me to send the recipe home to their parents.  You don't have to beg though, you can visit this post where I previously shared it to snatch it up. ;)

It's like a super-moist brownie!  I just scoop it out for them - add strawberries to the top for authenticity. :)

3) Speaking of all this writing going on, students got their own individual revising and editing checklists this week to start using to take their writing through the writing process on their own.  I heart when they learn to do this!  We're publishing now and I've got some new publishing resources in the works!
If you're interested in these checklists (which are perfect for differentiation), they're a part of our A Writer's Notebook Unit.

4) However it may look, we did not spend the entire week writing in our classroom.  We're still plugging away with fact fluency and reviewed fact families with our fact family butterflies.

5) This didn't really happen THIS week, but I forgot to post about it...and I was so excited about it!!  I have NEVER.  No NEVER.  Won a blog giveaway.  NEVER.  But, I kind of...sort of won one.  Well, I wasn't the winner, but the giveaway was so popular that I was a "backup" winner. 

I'll take it!  And, the best was a CLIP ART giveaway.  Hate me now.  Go ahead.  

I just discovered this clip artist because of her giveaway and I instantly fell in LOVE with her style.  So, when I won, I was over-the-moon-excited!!  I got to pick TEN - count them, TEN - of her clipart sets!!!! 

Heaven!  Who you ask?  Whimsy Workshop!  If you haven't visited Whimsy Workshop, go check her out now! :)

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It's WINSday {Double Dose of a Brand New Unit}

Hi friends!  It's Wednesday.  I love Wednesdays for so many reasons.  It's hump day....headed toward the weekend now.  It's my hubby's day off...I love just running errands and having an early {meaning "normal" dinner time} dinner with him.  It's shopping day....usually our errands lead to this {and the fact that my hubs loves to shop as much as I do}!  Today, I got some new camel-colored boots, but don't get me off topic! haha...I've been needing those for years.

And, it's the day when I get to give a little something away here on my blog.
Today, I'm going to give away our brand new Addition Strategies Unit.  When I say new...I mean brand-spankin' new!!  As I type this post, it hasn't even been uploaded to our sites yet!!  But, I am sooooo excited about it.  This unit came about as I was teaching my addition unit this year.

The unit has resources for teaching the following addition strategies:
* Adding Zero
* Counting On
* Flip Flop Facts
* Making 10
* Doubles
* Neighbor Facts {Doubles Plus One}
* Missing Addends
* Balancing Equations
* Problem Solving with Addition

For most strategies, there is a sign to display, practice pages, a quiz, and a craftivity or activity.  There's even a little problem-solving rap that my kiddos LOVE to help them remember the steps to problem-solving.  There are 88-pages of addition awesomeness here! ;)

To enter to win, just take a closer look at the craftivities included for each strategy and PIN your favorite one!  Then, comment below to tell me which pic you pinned.  Don't forget to leave your email address, too, so I can contact you if you're the WINNER!

You can enter again {yes, there will be TWO winners this week} on Instagram if you follow me there!


I'll announce the winner in my next post!  Good luck, friends!

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