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Halloween Spelling Fun

I love incorporating art into our Spelling. This is a fun way that we practiced our spelling words before Halloween!

Veteran's Day for Primary Grades

A great starting point for teaching about Veteran’s Day is to teach about the different branches of the military. My students are always fascinated to learn about the different branches. They love to learn about the role of each branch and what their main duties entail. (FYI, this allows them to ask great questions when he have Veterans visit!) There seem to be very few resources that accomplish this. Since our resources are limited, we always make fact cards that we keep in our interactive notebooks. The cards have the basic facts that my students need to know about each branch.

                To incorporate Veteran’s Day into our Reading and Language Arts, we read short passages about each branch of the military. Each passage is followed by several comprehension questions.

                All of these fact cards and a reading passage about the Air Force can be found in my Branches of the Military FREEBIE. Feel free to download and enjoy!!!

                All of the reading passages and the rest of the COMPLETE Branches of the Military Unit can be found below.

My presentation that accompanies this unit can be found below!

OR, you can buy the BUNDLE and SAVE!!!

The ONE Thing that Revolutionized my Math Class!

Since I started teaching second grade 10 years ago, we have used several different Math curriculums. No matter what curriculum we are using, this daily “Math Meeting” has been the one constant thing that has helped my instruction. Seriously, it has revolutionized my math class. I have simplified this Math Meeting time throughout the years and have adjusted it to fit our changing standards. By using this format, I am able to do a mini lesson on the date, time, place value, money, writing equations, problem solving, and skip counting – every single day (and usually during a span of 10 minutes)!

This simple “Math Meeting” enables me to cover concepts before we even get to those concepts in our curriculum. Throughout the year we will start new concepts with ease because we have already covered them on a daily basis in our Math Meetings!

I simply write all the parts of the Math Meeting on my white board each morning. This following recording sheet (link below) is used for the students to follow along. I also fill in one of the recording sheets on my elmo while they are filling out their recording sheet. There are 5 spaces on the recording sheet that enables students to complete the Math Meeting each day of the week.

The first thing we fill in for the day is the date. We start the year by writing out the date using the month, day, and year. After a few weeks of school, we move to writing our date in numbers.

After the date, we write in the time. This is an excellent way to teach time before we even get to our unit on time!

Next, we fill in our secret number. For the secret number, I draw ten blocks for place value practice.

We start the beginning of the year just counting dimes and pennies. After we’ve mastered that, we add nickels and eventually quarters. Money has to be practiced everyday if students are to master it.

The word problem that I write on the board always varies depending what we’ve been learning. I usually write a word problem that is similar to something that we learned the day before or that they had on their homework. The recording sheet has workspace for the students to show their work and write their answer.

The number of the day is the section that the students seem to like the most. One of my student jobs in my classroom is “Math Meeting.” That person gets to go to the board for the number of the day section. They call on someone to give them the number of the day and they get to record the number on the board. My only rule for the number of the day is that the number cannot be larger than 10. The math meeting person also gets to call on four other students to give them an equation that equals the number of the day. Their job is also to write the equations on the board. You’ll be amazed by the equations that your students will generate by the end of the year. Many of my students will begin to think of multiplication problems as well as two-step problems.

Skip counting is the last thing that we do during our Math Meeting. I usually pick a number to start with and use that same number to start each day during the week. However, what we count by changes every day. We usually count by ones on Monday. On the other days of the week we may count my 2, 5, 10, or count backwards.

When we are done with our Math Meeting the students place the papers in their “Math Meeting” folder so that they can find it the next day.  On Friday, all of the papers are turned in for a daily grade.

This simple Math Meeting has revolutionized my math class!