I was over the moon excited when I got paired with Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers for the Trade and Grade Blog Hop.  I mean how AWESOME is she??

Today I will be sharing with you about how I used her Martin Luther King Jr. Activities with my second graders.  I can't even begin to describe how much fun I had grading her product and being her trading partner! 


My kids LOVE making paper bag books, so I was so ready to try Jaime's MLK book with them.  They decided that they wanted to use colors and markers for this book.  They turned out really good!

I had the kids fold their own paper bag book, they just have to fold two paper bags in half, and then I stapled the books together.  When it was time for the kids to assemble their books, I realized I hadn't made an example.  Yikes!  I had to think fast, so I was super happy that Jaime included pictures of the paper bag book in her product.  I just projected them onto my activboard and put them at 125% for all the students to see.  Perfect!!

Another cool feature of these MLK paper bag books is the fun fact tabs!  The kids loved reading them and then putting them in the open flaps of their book.

After the kids made their paper bag books, they really enjoyed reading them!  I loved that the text was just right for my second graders and the font was perfect for them to read it easily.

After reading our paper bag books and reading the included nonfiction text about MLK, I put the True and False Sort in a workstation.  The kids were very good at remembering what they had learned but a few wanted to re-read the text.  That is so great that they remember to check for understanding on their own!  The vocabulary cards really helped my kids too!

There are so many more activities included!  My kids are still working on the writing part of this pack.  Jaime included a writing prompt, graphic organizers, and also a craftivity.  I can't wait to see my kids' finished writing products!

Want to try out part of Jaime's MLK Activities for yourself?  Click on the picture below to download this MLK True and False Flap Book.

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Click the product cover below to check out all of the activities in Jaime's TpT store.


Hi friends!  I can't wait to tell you all about this fantastic writing pack from my friend Hilary from Second Grade is Out of This World.  I recently got to try out her January Pick a Prompt with my second graders.

Writing: January Pick a Prompt!

I loved that there were so many prompt choices for my kiddos to pick from.  They loved some of the silly choices like Mr. Vader at the bank and he meets a giant spider.  I actually haven't heard, "I don't know what to write about?" for a few weeks now!  Isn't that awesome?!?!

My writing station has been so productive since I started using pick a prompt.  I also puffy heart love the writing checklist!  It is written in kid language that is so easy for my second graders to follow.  It has really helped them with editing.

Here is a super funny story that one of my kiddos wrote using one of the prompts.  My favorite part is that everybody needed money because it was Christmas time :).

If you are interested in trying Pick a Prompt for yourself, you can find them here...

Writing: January Pick a Prompt!

She also has a winter bundle that you can get that has 4 different Pick a Prompt sets.  I love buying bundles because you save money!

You can find her winter bundle here...

Writing: Winter Pick a Prompt Bundle

You can also find Hilary on her blog Second Grade is Out of This World...her blog is super awesome!

 Second Grade is out of this World!

Today is my day to post over at The Elementary Entourage blog and I'm excited to share some fresh ideas to help spruce up your classroom and engage your students.

Here is a preview of what I'm sharing.



Don't forget to enter our new laminator giveaway while you are there reading my post.


Click on the blog button below to read my Fresh Ideas for 2015 post.


Today I'm linking up with Great Minds Teach Alike for her monthly Tech Talk blog hop.

Yesterday I shared how I used Edmodo in my classroom during guided reading.  If you would like to read that post first, you can click on the blog button below.


First..."What is Edmodo?"  Well....Edmodo is an online social community where teachers and their students can safely communicate, complete assignments, quizzes, and share links or files.  It's super safe because you are in your own little protected garden.  Only people with your group code or people that you connect with can see and respond to the content that you share.  I do have to teach my kids not to give out their username and password.  We also talk about internet safety and procedures on how to communicate appropriately.

Today I thought I would share more about how I use Edmodo in my classroom for word work practice.

My kids can get super bored with our word work station from time to time, so I wanted to try incorporating technology with word work.

The easiest activity that I love to do using Edmodo and word work, is to post a phonics video from You Tube.  The kids get their netbook or iPad and log into Edmodo.  In their group, I'll have posted a link to the video and a short question for them to answer after the video. 

For this one, the kids watched a silent e video a few times and practiced by writing down the words in their journal.  Then I asked them to share a few of the words that end with a silent e in the comments.  Super easy and engaging!

Another activity that I wanted to share, can be done as a check for understanding after your students complete their word work lesson in guided reading.

For this one, I taught my students about compound words during guided reading and we found them inside the book that we were reading.  Before I finished with this group, I instructed them to log into Edmodo to take a short compound word quiz.

The quiz was just 4 short questions....

This helped me see which students had mastered compound words and which needed more help.  You can also grade quizzes and they are a great way to keep track of data.  The students complete their quiz after guided reading during our workstation time.  I do give them a few days to finish though, but it really depends on the length of the quiz.

Those are a few of the ways that I incorporate technology and Edmodo into my word work station.

I would love to continue this Edmodo series on my blog.  What are some other things about Edmodo that I should blog about?  Let me know in the comments!

Make sure you head back over to Great Minds Teach Alike to read the other Tech Talk blog posts in the blog hop.  Click on her blog button below.


I know that I've been promising to post about how I incorporate technology into my guided reading groups for a while now....so I thought that Buzzing With Mrs. McClain's You Oughta Know blog hop was the perfect time to share one trick that I use.

I think that you oughta know how to use edmodo during your small group reading time.

First..."What is edmodo?"  Well....edmodo is an online social community where teachers and their students can safely communicate, complete assignments, quizzes, and share links or files.  It's super safe because you are in your own little protected garden.  Only people with your group code or people that you connect with can see and respond to the content that you share.  I do have to teach my kids not to give out their username and password.  We also talk about internet safety and procedures on how to communicate appropriately.

I teach second grade and one thing that I love to do with my kiddos is to start book clubs as we begin to read more chapter books.  They get so excited to share and I love hearing them discuss and respond to the chapter book.

One thing that I struggle with is keeping a schedule of each date that they need to finish certain chapters.  It's even harder when you have multiple book clubs going at the same time.  I end up forgetting to remind them to finish their chapters and then it's already time to meet with them in small group again.

I use edmodo to help me keep track of their book clubs and I can even send messages to certain kids to remind them to finish reading.

When I create a group in edmodo, I will name the group after the title of the chapter book that we will be reading.  I like to do that because sometimes I will have another guided reading group read the same book later in the year.  I just add the new kids to the group, and it's easier for me to send them the assignments.

Since my students have been using edmodo all year, I just send them a message on edmodo with the code and they join the group on their own.  I still have a few students that I have to help join the group.  If you are just starting to use edmodo, you will probably need to guide your students to show they how to join a group.

Once the book club group starts, I will hold guided reading group as normal and then I'll release the students to respond to an assignment on edmodo.  I will give them 2 to 3 days to complete the assignment and normally they are very short responses for them to complete.  The students have during our station time to complete the assignment and some like to do it at home for reading homework.  Either way, I always give them time during workstations to complete their book club assignments.

Here is an example of one of the assignments that I recently gave one of my book clubs.

I use the students' responses to help me see what my students understood and also to see what I need to teach next in our guided reading group.  I noticed with this assignment that I needed to reteach how to put the question in my answer when I'm responding.  I also give feedback to each individual student and it's super fast and easy to grade if needed.

I would love to share more about how I use edmodo in both reading and math class.  What are some things that you would like me to share with you guys?  Leave me a comment or question below and I would love to share more in another post.


Today is my day to share some organizational ideas on the Elementary Entourage Blog.  Here is a sneak peek of what I'm sharing.


Trust me, you don't want to miss it.  Click on the blog button below to read my post.


Today I'm linking up with PAWSitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner for their January Pick 3 Pinterest Linky.  I can't wait to share my top 3 pins with some easy activities that you guys can do in your classroom as well.

I'm always looking for interesting activities to engage my kiddos with extra spelling practice.  I found this pin from Katherine Marie.  You take your spelling word and then hide the letters in a snowball (crumpled up piece of paper).  The students have to race to see who can figure out the spelling word first.  She recommended to use letter tiles, but I will just write or type in the letters and then they can be used with each different group.  Super easy and not a lot of prep!

Click picture above to view original Pinterest link.

This year, I would love to have my students reflect and write their own goals for the end of second grade.  I found this pin from Tracee Orman and she shares this awesome 2015 goal flapbook freebie.  I can't wait to use it with my students.

Click picture above to view original Pinterest link.

I'll be starting to teach multiplication soon and I always love visiting Amy Lemons' blog for math ideas.  I found this awesome craftivity of hers that uses mugs and marshmallows to write a multiplication story.  PERFECT!

Click picture above to view original Pinterest link.

I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest and I would love to follow you back!  Click my blog button below to follow me on Pinterest. 


I just created a new board for January ideas and I'll be adding to it very soon!

Happy New Year!  I'm linking up with the wonderful ladies from Primary Possibilities to share some ideas for the new year.


Before I left school for winter break, my teaching partner and I discussed that we both wanted to work on our kids written comprehension responses after reading.  I feel like they write down enough to answer the questions but often can't really explain with evidence from the text.  Anyone else feel the same?

This year my kids are LOVING informational animal texts.  I decided to start writing some animal texts for them to respond to and to respond using evidence.

I love how she labeled her picture "arctic fox in the summer" and was even able to point out in the text where it explains that arctic foxes have brown fur in the summer.  She highlighted the evidence in the text on her own.

The skills that I'm focusing on in this Arctic Informational Text Unit is fact writing, answering questions with evidence from the text (I have my students highlight in the text where they found the answer), and main idea/supporting details.  There are 7 animals for them to read about and I'll be putting them in a reading station for the new year.

Click on the product cover below to check it out in my store.


You can also check out the Arctic Fox Informational Text freebie by clicking HERE.

My goal is to model for my students how to find the facts in the text and then how to record our thinking.  I think slowing down the process will really help them respond with evidence from the text.  I will also be using these graphic organizers to help model for my students a way to record our thinking by taking notes.

Click on the product cover below to check it out in my store.


My plan is to create more of these informational animal text units for my kiddos.  I know it will help improve not only their comprehension but their written responses too.  I can't wait to share more units with you guys in the new year.

Make sure you click on the blog button below to head over to Primary Possibilities to check out more new ideas for the new year.

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