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February Writing Fun

Aloha friends!  It's Corinna from Surfin' Through Second.

Can you believe next week is already Valentine's Day?  I am excited that we have the whole week to work on a Valentine theme and that it lands on a Friday!!  Since I do Daily 5 rotations I like to add some fun to our writing area for each holiday.

I store our writing folders, lots of different paper, prompts and message books.  I was digging around in my Valentine folder and only found a few items for this month.

A writing template that came from Carson Dellosa and some heart shaped lined paper.  I guess it's time to update for this year.

One thing my kids love doing during writing time is to write bucket fillers.  They look forward to reading them at the end of each week.  It's fun for them to sneak them into the buckets during the week.

I made some cute "Love Notes" for this coming week.

I also created some writing templates so they could make some Valentine notes for family and friends.

Just click on either of the pictures to grab these freebies in Google Docs.

If you need some more writing ideas check out this post from Leslie over at First Grade and Flip Flops.  She has a cute persuasive writing activity.

Leigh from the Applicious Teacher has a fun activity for writing about "The Sweetest Thing".

Laura from Peace, Love and First Grade has these fantastic Vocabulary Books.

Latoya from Flying Into First has these adorable February Writing Prompts.

Just click on any of the pictures to check out these posts and items.

I hope you are able to use some of these "love"ly ideas to add to your February writing.

Place Value Fun!!!

Hi everyone!!! It's Latoya from Flying into First Grade!!!
So this week we were studying tens and ones in math.  It was so much fun.   This is what we did today.
We love using technology so we played some interactive games whole group and during small group time.  They loved it!!!  The links are below.
Some Interactive Resources to Use
(Click the Pictures to Go to the Game)
1.  Tens and Ones Online Game- We played whole group and they got to play on the computers.
2.  Making Numbers using Tens and Ones - We played this whole group.  I love that when you build the numbers it keeps up with the value you have done so far.
3. Tens and Ones Equations - I love that this game gives you an explanation if you get a problem wrong.
4. Roasting Marshmallows Tens and Ones - This one is hilarious but very good.  The students loved it.  The bear on this game makes learning tens and ones fun.
5. Working on the tens Place - This game helps students identify how many tens are in a 2 digit number.
For individual work, the students took numbers and identified the tens and the ones.  Then they drew models to illustrate.  They used base ten blocks to build the numbers.
I brought my math groups over to work with me in small groups.  Each group got a basket of cubes.   They made tens and had ones leftover.  Everyone had to give their mystery number.

Next, we looked at models on our paper and  counted the tens and ones to make a 2 digit number.

Earlier in the week we started with just counting tens.  I made a paper for them to do as an assessment.  It is a FREEBIE for you!!!  Enjoy!!!  Click on the Picture!!!!
Next week we will be learning all about expanded form with place value.  Let us know some of your ideas for teaching place value!!!

Fun Ideas from PC

Oh, boy!  So, today has been one of those crazy, busy days!  First, I taught… I'm guessing you knew that, but at the same time a lot of my buddies are getting lots of snow days, so I figured I'd share.  Then, I had a meeting after school, Bible study, and a trip to Target.  You know you have loaded up on randomness when the cashier says, "You must be a school teacher!"  Yep!  Friends, I got poster board, bubble wrap, lots of Valentine goodies, cards, and then of course a few random snacks and make up.  That brings me to here - babbling and really needing to get started on my blog post?

So, what am I blogging about?  Well, some of my PC friends and I were just part of an awesome hop.  Since PC wasn't in it, I thought, "Hey!  I should shout out the girls!"  So, here is the DL on each of their posts.  You won't find freebies, but you will definitely find some incredible tips and tricks.  Honestly, these girls rocked it so well, you won't even care that there aren't freebies.

Since I'm visual, I am going to load you up with pictures.  All you have to do is click on pictures that peek your curiosity and it will take you right to that blog.  Hope you guys enjoy!

Faith :)

Informational Mentor Text List (for every 2nd Grade CCSS)

Wanna know what is funny? EVERY grade in our K-5 school is in the middle of an informational text unit RIGHT NOW. Totally by coincidence or teacher think-alike? Not sure. All I know is that our library is cleared out!

Thankfully, I thought ahead! At this time last year I started searching for copies of books that I was certain would be perfect for a mentor text book cart. I stocked up and found about 35 excellent books that are my go-to books for "Everything Informational Reading Related".

I am happy to share my suggestions for awesome texts that go with each Common Core standard. This list is specifically for 2nd grade, but it could also be used with most 1st grade standards as well.

(If you would like to download the list in a neat, easy pdf format, click here.)

Having these books on the ready has saved my butt this year! Here we were today comparing two books presented on the same topic.

I feel like they are learning a ton right now! Now, let me back up and say that we do work with informational texts ALL year long. But this is the time we REALLY delve in! How about you? Do you just mix them in throughout the year or do you have a unit specifically focused like me?


L.O.V.E is in the Air...

Hi Friends.... Anna here from Simply Skilled in Second.  I am so excited to share a little bit of love with you today in anticipation of Valentine's Day that is very quickly approaching.  I am not sure about you...but WHOA...did January FLY by??!!  How in the world did that happen...Christmas feels like it was two days ago...I digress..Onto the LOVE I was telling you about...  I wanted to share one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Books with you today because the main character literally melts my heart.  He is so endearing, kind, and sweet and every time I read this book my heart goes pitter-patter :)  LOL

If you haven't heard of this story....RUN...or quickly get onto Amazon to pick it up..because you will ADORE it!  It is called Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli.  Click the book image below to see it on

And if you have a Smartboard, check out this link below to a video of Hector Elizondo reading this story aloud on Storyline Online.

After I read this story to my little ones, I always to a Character Traits lesson.  This book lends itself very well to this skills.  I usually begin with creating an anchor chart of all different character traits that Mr. Hatch possesses and write them on the chart.  Then I take two of the character traits from the chart and ask my students to "Prove It" that Mr. Hatch possessed these qualities by stating evidence from the book.  I write their ideas on the chart paper and we discuss them.  After we complete this lesson, my student make Mr. Hatch....Isn't he just the cutest!!??

Inside the heart that Mr. Hatch is holding are "chocolate" character traits!  The students write character traits and evidence on the "chocolate-shaped" paper for the inside of the heart.  They LOVE this activity and it makes an adorable bulletin board display. If you are interested in snatching up this Mr. Hatch creativity, head on over to my TPT Shop to pick it up.  Click the image below to get there.

In the afternoon, we spend some time handing out our valentines to each other and we write valentines to our family members.  This year, I am going to give them the option of using my new I Love You flip flap card to give to their parents.   If you would like this flip flap card, just click the image below for your freebie!

And if you want to have your little ones practice showin' a little love for Math...check out these awesome February Word Problems from Alyssa at Teaching and Tapas...

Or this fun Read and Write the Room Activity by Laura Martin...

That's all for now...

Sending lots of love your way for stopping by the Primary Chalkboard!