Weekly Poem Work for 2nd Grade {Week 4 Freebie}

Hi friends!  I just wanted to drop in and make sure you didn't miss this week's FREEBIE!  It's a brand new series and to say I'm excited about it is an understatement. :)

I LOVE poetry.  I've always incorporated poetry into my classroom, but usually I find myself scouring my resources at the last minute to try to find a poem for the week.  No more!  I'm officially writing my own poems for each of the school year for next year!  This will ensure that I have them in place ahead of time, that they're a good level for my kiddos (often they're too easy), and that many of them correlate with my units of study!  I love a good seasonal poem like the next teacher, BUT I want to kill two birds with one stone as much as possible. :)

So....let me introduce you to my Weekly Poem Work {Poetry Stations}.  Each month will have 4 original poems and there will be 7 different activities to go along with each poem. 

The poems will come full-page sized and half-page sized and can be altered to work in a poetry notebook.  But, here's a peek at the various activities that are focused on strengthening reading strategies.

Visualizing:  Using words from the poem to make detailed visualizations.

Expression:  Students learn to mark their poems to help them think about how to read expressively.

Making Connections:  Students write and draw about connections they can make to the poem.

Written Response:  Students respond to the poem in writing with their own ideas or writing prompts (lined and unlined versions included).

Grammar Fun:  Students rewrite the poem "MadLib-Style" for parts of speech practice!

Handwriting Practice:  Students select their favorite line from the poem to write in their neatest printing, cursive, and own original "font."

Word Work:  Students create as many words as they can using the letters from a word in the poem.  More points are awarded for bigger words!

So, what are you waiting for?!  Go grab this week's freebie from our shop and leave us some feedback!


PLUS, we're holding a giveaway on our FACEBOOK page where you can win the GROWING BUNDLE for the entire YEAR!!  It ends on Sunday, so hurry!  If you don't win, the growing bundle is a fantastic deal at 25% off the individual monthly prices.  And, THIS WEEK ONLY we have it set for 50% off!  #winwin



Lesson Plan Series {Organizing Units}

All Posts in This Series:

So, once you have your unit plans written and in a binder.  What now?  How do you organize your units?  As in, the books and supplies...everything that goes with each lesson within that unit.

I used to be old school....as in folders within a file cabinet.  But, things got lost.  Those drawers are just too big for me - they would always end up a mess! :)  I now use my file cabinets for construction paper storage, teacher resource books storage, and center storage.  Here's a peek at my center storage....

So, if I don't use file cabinets, what do I use to store my unit supplies?  See those containers on top of my cabinets?  Bingo!

I have a container for each unit that I teach.  I bought them s-l-o-w-l-y throughout a year.  Each time I would begin a unit, I would buy a few from Big Lots.  By the end of the year I had a wonderful organizational system.  They stack neatly on top of my cabinets and cubbies.

Inside each container is hanging file folders labeled with "Lesson 1", "Lesson 2", etc.  Inside the folders I place anything needed for the lessons - books, master copies, games, etc.  Here's a peek inside of my Reading Strategies container...I use lots of books for this unit, so it's pretty packed!

This makes my life SO easy!  No more looking for the books I need, or scouring through the file cabinet for the masters I need....it's all right there in the unit container.

When I get to a unit, I take that container down and place it on a counter near my desk.  Then, I'll make all of the copies I need for that unit and place them in the folders.  Voila!  I'm set for a few weeks.

So, the containers above are the ones I'm actually teaching from...the ones here will be rotated as I teach.  The containers at the end (with the green lids) are for Word Study.  Since that's the only subject that I plan weekly, those containers are organized by quarters (Quarters 1-4).  Here's a peek inside a Wordy Study container....

You can see that each week's skill has a file folder holding the books, games, etc needed for that week.  I'll also put the weekly spelling tests in here once they're copied.

The best thing about this system is that it is flexible.  If I decide to revamp a unit - no problem!  I can move the materials around easily since the folders are just labeled with "lesson 1", etc.

I hope that gives you some ideas to think about for organizing your unit supplies!  I'll be back soon with a post about my planning calendar!


Lesson Plan Series {Differentiating Unit Plans}

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Oh my!  I bet you thought I totally skipped out on this series.  I didn't.  I promise.  End-of-year craziness just set in.  Times one thousand!  I'm back though.  Double this week to get caught back up with you!

Today is a quickie.  Just a few ideas of how I differentiate my unit plans.  Since I use my plans from year to year, how do I make sure that they're differentiated to meet the needs of my students.

Well, first of all, I update them a bit each year before teaching that unit.  I go back through the plans with a "fine-toothed comb" and add in any new resources, books, or ideas that I've found.  And trust me, there are ALWAYS changes to be made.  It's super important to keep them fresh and updated so that I don't get bored teaching! :)

In the last post, I shared with you one of my unit plans.  Here it is again.
  {Click picture to download PDF, Click HERE to download an editable Word format}

I use this exact same format for all subjects - reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.  At the top, I always include any enrichments, extensions for early finishers, projects, etc.  Administration loves to see this and placing it all in one spot makes it easy to find.

The above snapshot shows you some of the enrichments from my current Fairytale Genre in reading.

Of course my reading groups change often.  Since I do more of a readers' workshop approach in reading (than guided reading) my groups (or reading partners) change often.  Sometimes those will be reflected directly in my plans, such as this snapshot from my Mysteries Unit.

Other times, I will not note specific groups in my plans, I will just have their books and use post-its to assign books/groups based on reading levels.

I do the same thing for math - list enrichments, projects, etc at the top.  Insert math groups or rotations when those are being used (since I don't use them daily).  

I've had to learn that it's OKAY to write all over my plans, add sticky notes....they SHOULD be a working document!

I've had several questions about if all of my unit plans follow this same format and they DO!  Keep in mind that I teach reading and writing through genre units (as noted on my long range plans in a previous post), so this format works perfectly!  The only subject that is a tad different is word study.  This is when I teach spelling patterns and grammar skills.  I don't like to teach grammar during writing as it take away from the writing process.  I DO emphasize it and revisit it during that time, but not specific hard-core teaching of it then.  That happens during word study.  So, my word study plans are weekly, but in this same format.  Here's a glance at how they look.

I'll be back later THIS WEEK to talk about my favorite topic - organizing my units. :)


Week 3 FREEBIE {Fun Facts Task Cards}

Oh, bloggy friends!  I hope that you follow my TpT shop, Instagram, or Facebook....We've started our Birthday Bash Celebration and you know how we like to do it up BIG!  But, I've been too swamped to blog lately (you wouldn't know anything about that right??)!

Our Week 3 Freebie was posted today and I'm super excited about it! 


I'm working on several series with these new self-checking FUN FACTS task cards!  I plan to have them to go along with all of my units next year, as well as some seasonal ones.  I think these will be JUST THE THING to keep my students' brains engaged during those few spare moments when they finish something a tad early, or when we have a break in our schedule.  So, I'm letting you guys sample them first - you're getting THREE sets (72 task cards in all)!  Go grab them and let me know if you love them!


Win 200 TpT Dollars

The girls from our collaborative blog, Owlways Be Inspired, are hosting the first ever TpT Shop Hop!  It's such a fun, creative and EASY giveaway! 

In each of our shops will be a letter for you to collect!  Collect them all to figure out the secret code to enter into the rafflecopter.  How easy and fun is that!!??  Go grab your share of the $200 in TpT gift cards NOW!

Click on this image to head to the blog post with the rafflecopter and full details.  Good luck!



What Works for Teachers {Teacher Appreciation Giveaway}

I'm happy to be linking up with Lisa and joining her giveaway for Teacher Appreciation Week.  She has gathered lots of teachers to share some of the things that work best in their classrooms!  There's no way we could ever THANK YOU enough for what you do on a daily basis, but we can try! ;) 

Here are a few secrets I want to share with you that have worked well in my classroom.  I hope they'll work well in yours, also!


Work smarter - not harder!  I used to HATE homework.  Finding it, passing it out, collecting it, checking it.  Then, I discovered that homework didn't have to be dreadful...for the students or ME!

If you missed my initial {detailed} post about my math homework, you can visit it here.  Basically, I scrapped all math homework pages and now use playing cards as homework.  You know every child would rather play a game than do a worksheet, right?  My thought is that it still has the child practicing the math concept, but it also lets them squeeze in the quality family time!  No more homework battles!

It took a while to figure out how to meet all of the standards with playing cards...I mean, geometry and graphing?  Check!  All of the work is done and ready to go before the year event starts!  I just copy the games on bright cardstock and place them, along with a deck of playing cards (with face cards removed) into a pencil pouch that students keep in their daily folders.  Homework for the year is complete...students enjoy it, families rave about it, and I don't have to collect or check it!  #winwin

Would you like to win a set?  We have them for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade!  You can win these and SO much more at the end of this post!!

Remember those families that we just involved in homework?  Secret #2 - Involve families in your classroom!!  We hold learning "celebrations" at the end of each of our genre studies.  These are definitely the highlight of 2nd grade!  They give families a glimpse into our classrooms and they give students an audience for an authentic learning experience.  They are so meaningful and memorable.  I challenge you to invite families into the classroom to celebrate your students' learning... you won't regret it!

We invite families to a Living Museum at the end of our biography study!

Families are invited to tour our classroom zoo at the end of our informational study.

We invite everyone to a tall tall tea where we put on plays, sing songs, read our own tall tale stories, and show our region scrapbooks!

At the end of our poetry unit, families are invited to a poetry picnic to hear us read our favorite poems and show off our fun work with literary devices!

These learning celebrations are definitely something that students and parents will always remember!

Now, are you ready to hear more about that amazing giveaway??  There are TWO prize bundles - both valued at over $475!!!!  Take a look....then pick you jaw up off the ground and ENTER!  Remember the more entries you have on the Rafflecopter, the better your chances are of winning!  Good luck!

Just take a look at everything you could win...One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
We aren't finished yet....take a look at everything a second lucky winner will win!!!
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.


Let's Celebrate!! {Freebies, Giveaways, and Sales...Oh My!}

Have you heard yet??  It's our birthday month!  You know we like to celebrate in a BIG way, so we're starting a little early to offer you 8 weeks of surprises (freebies, giveaways, and sales) at our TpT shop!!  Be sure to follow our shop, Facebook page, and Instagram so you don't miss a thing!

Our first Flash Freebie is up and ready for you to grab!  It's our first resource in our new "No-Cut" Interactive Notebook series!  That's right!  No more hours of CUTTING, and FOLDING, and GLUING, but still fun, interactive activities with responses that are perfect for keeping a record of learning in a notebook!!


Grab it and leave us feedback to let us know your thoughts on this new series!  We sure hope you'll love it as much as we do!  We also hope you'll spread the word about our birthday celebration so that all of your teacher friends can join us for the FUN!

We LOVE teachers!!! <3

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