Water Safety

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Do you need some tips for being safe around water? Well look no further. Mrs. O’Brien’s class has you covered! After reading some informational text about water safety and having a comprehensive discussion about the book, my class begin to record the safety tips that they found to be most helpful or interesting. This was done in an independent small group. They did an amazing job as usual.

  Alex and Mareon did a fantastic job coming up with safety tips. They made sure to include the page number so they could go back and prove their answers if they needed to.

I like to let my class use markers sometimes when they are recording facts. It’s fun for them, and makes for a colorful and educational wall display!

xo
Mrs. O’Brien

Busy as a Bee!

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Mondays are always so busy in my classroom! There is always so much to get done to start our week.

I try to get out a weekly newsletter (copy machine permitting) to inform my parents about what their students will be learning in our classroom. This week we are focusing on fact & opinion, addition, subtraction, and measurement, narrative writing, and colonial times.
Our reading focus changes each week, as does our style of writing. I find it helps to keep my students engaged and excited about learning by focusing on a new topic each week, and then revisiting these topics throughout the year.

 Using a guided reading weekly story plan is so helpful for my small groups. Taking the extra time to pre-read a book and carefully select questions and vocabulary words for my students has made a huge difference in my small group instruction. I make sure to stop at critical points in the story that will be great for making predictions and responding to the reading with writing.
 I encourage my students to make sure they support their answers with the text we read. 
 We use “magic wands” as trackers and the students love them! It adds an element of fun, that I feel is important in any learning environment.
While I’m meeting with small groups for guided reading lessons, my other students are busy on the computers reading stories, at the Smart board playing games that reinforce a reading skill, having a book club, playing Reading Jeopardy, or working on writing. Today they were playing Reading Jeopardy.
 I’m using a pocket chart mounted on a wall and some old cards from an old reading program (Imagine It!) to make a Reading Jeopardy game.

 My students choose a category and then read the cards to each other. (Each category is review of a reading skill from previous weeks.)

The power of adding a board game to any reading center is incredible! While my students are reviewing their reading skills they feel like they are playing a game. When they get their answer right, they get to roll the die and move forward. This can work in a lot of centers! Try it out! I add these board games to math centers too. The students have fun learning and I’m happy that they are engaged in their work.

xo
Mrs. O’Brien
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Guided-Reading-Sheets-and-Center-for-1st-3rd-626577

Then and Now

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For social studies, we have been comparing and contrasting how we live now compared to how people lived 200 years ago. We have been working in a little booklet, reading, talking, and sharing stories about how different life was in the past. Some of my students can’t get over the fact that the early settlers didn’t have cell phones, air conditioning, or T.V.’s! 
I’m planning on tying this unit into a Thanksgiving unit by the end of the week.
xo
Mrs. O’Brien

What Do You Think About 2nd Grade?

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“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” -Dr. Seuss
xo
Mrs. O’Brien

Book Clubs

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An interactive reading Power Point Game
Much like any other club, our book clubs have membership cards. I allowed my students to work together and come up with group names. They decided on the Broncos (Go Denver!) and the Kids Book Club. They get their cards, review the meeting rules, and say the book club promise to each other. Then it’s time to get reading!

 

I love seeing how independent they are. They have come such a long way and really make an effort to focus, stay on task, and have amazing discussions about the books they read together. They help, teach, and learn from one another every day.


I preselect discussion cards that will allow my students to engage in a language-rich discussion about the book they have read. I change the cards depending on the genre of the book. They discuss the author’s purpose, the main idea, their favorite parts, their least favorite parts, how they would change the ending, what they learned, and so many other wonderful elements. Whoever has the microphone gets to speak while the others listen, and everyone is required to share their opinion. Sometimes they respond to the reading with writing. I created interactive reading journals that allow them to jot down any thoughts, questions, unknown words, and things they found interesting, so that they can discuss these matters with their group members. Other times they have an interactive book club meeting at the Smart Board and they discuss, write, and illustrate what they read about. Love, love, love, seeing their little minds hard at work! 
xo
Mrs. O’Brien
P.S. If you would like me to e-mail you a copy of the interactive reading journal, just e-mail me at naomi.obrien42@gmail.com


Discussion Sheets & Cards