Sunday, October 8, 2017

Tools for Guided Reading


Let's talk engagement! With technology becoming so prevalent in our students' lives, I think we can all agree that we often struggle to grab our students' interest when it comes to reading. Let's face it, our students want instant gratification and sometimes reading takes patience. Sometimes it takes a few pages, or even a few chapters, to really grab my interest... same for our students! From guided reading instruction to reading for pleasure, I think it's super important to instill a love of reading in our young readers so any way that I can make reading more FUN will *hopefully* lay the foundation for a LOVE of reading if they can just learn to give it a chance. I have gathered some fun tools that I keep at our small group reading table to make our guided reading time more fun for the kiddos. 

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: 2nd Grade Stuff is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If you click on an affiliate link on this blog and purchase, Amazon will toss a few coins my way, at no extra cost to you, to help keep this blog up and running.


These finger puppet eyes are a sure favorite among the kiddos! The googly eyes are movable and the kids crack up when I say to keep your eyes on the words - haha! You can find these particular finger eyes at my affiliate link {HERE}.


These "magic wands" are actually just drink stirrers, but they're super fun and help the kiddos to track their reading. I also use them to help the students identify sight words in the text or to target vocabulary words as well - "Put the STAR around the vocabulary word!" You can find a pack of these at my affiliate link {HERE}.


These crazy fingers are so easy to use and probably the least distracting as the kiddos simply put them on their fingers and they stay there until we are done using them. I call them crazy fingers rather than witch fingers or zombie fingers so that I can use them year-round, rather than just seasonally or around Halloween time. Added bonus: they glow in the dark! EEK! You can find these crazy fingers at my affiliate link {HERE}.



These finger lights....well, they're my favorite! The kiddos absolutely 100% LOVE them! They come in different colors and the students can either strap them around their fingers like shown above or just hold them and track their reading or highlight important words or text. These are so fun in the dark for a Flashlight Friday reading time! I just ordered a set of 100 from this affiliate link {HERE}. Let me add that it is super important to practice the appropriate expectations for using finger lights as reading tools so they do not become a distraction for the students, but once you've set clear expectations the kids will do a great job!

These magnifying glasses I reserve for Close Reading as they signify digging deeper into the text as a detective would! We also use them to find sight words and vocabulary words in the text. They are plastic, but still great quality and much safer than glass! They can be found at my affiliate link {HERE}.

I hope these Guided Reading Tools give you some inspiration for making reading more fun for your students. Please feel free to PIN the image below if you want to save this blog post for later or share with your teacher friends!

Thanks for stopping by!

Click the Amazon Affiliate Links Below to Check Them Out:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Classroom Reveal 2017-2018

Hello everybody! I wanted to welcome you into a virtual tour of my 2017-2018 classroom. I have included LOTS of pictures and links when possible. Welcome to Room 33.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: 2nd Grade Stuff is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If you click on an affiliate link on this blog and purchase, Amazon will toss a few coins my way, at no extra cost to you, to help keep this blog up and running.



The pictures above are the overall look of my classroom, but let's get to some close-ups so that you can see all the pretty details!

This picture shows a closer view of the front corner of my classroom. This is where my teacher desk is located. I have my teacher desk pushed up against the wall to save room. I never sit down at my teacher desk during the school day anyway, so no worries about my back being to the students. I have thought about getting rid of my teacher desk, but I like to have a spot for my ActivBoard computer and document camera, along with an area to house my teacher supplies. My small group table is in the front corner of the classroom where I can work with a small group, but also have my eye on the other students working in centers. The rug is one of my most beloved classroom decor items. It came from Target, but you can find one similar at this affiliate link {HERE}.

Moving to the right a little, you can see that I lined my large whiteboard with border from Creative Teaching Press. The Word Work board is also lined with border from Creative Teaching Press. The bungee chair is from Target for about $30, but you can find one similar at my affiliate link {HERE}. I printed the letters for the Word Work board on Astrobrights paper using the free font MTF Jumpin' Jack. I simply made the letters large enough to fit one to a page in PowerPoint, printed, then laminated - so easy and NO cutting! :)

This is the front of my classroom from a different angle. You can see my beautiful rug even more closely here and also my classroom library. The small book baskets are from The Dollar Tree and the larger book baskets are from Big Lots. My turn-in trays on top of the black shelf are also from The Dollar Tree.

This area is beside my small group table and houses all of my math manipulatives and math centers. The paper baskets on top are a BIG part of how I stay so organized and avoid STACKS of paper. You can find an entire blog post about this system {HERE}. The paper baskets are from Really Good Stuff. The black labels are a free download from Ladybug's Teacher Files {HERE}.

Back to the front of the room for an even closer look. The subject cards are from Ladybug's Teacher Files {HERE} and I will write our target skills for the day beside each of the subject areas. The students write our skills for the day in their daily agenda that goes home each day. The letters for Today's Date are magnetic letters from Teacher Created Resources.

In this picture you can see a close-up of my classroom library baskets from The Dollar Tree and Big Lots. I also took a printable from Lyndsey Kuster at A Year of Many Firsts and put it in an inexpensive picture frame from The Dollar General. The cursive "read" and the bucket with the word "read" came from the Target Dollar Spot. The green bucket has 25 plastic magnifying glasses in it to use during Close Reading, for finding vocabulary words or spelling patterns, or for other reading purposes. The giant clothespin came from Michael's clearance section.

This is another close-up of my Word Work section. Again, I printed the letters for the Word Work board on Astrobrights paper using the free font MTF Jumpin' Jack. I simply made the letters large enough to fit one to a page in PowerPoint, printed, then laminated - so easy and NO cutting! The small dry-erase easel came from the Target Dollar Spot. It has a dry-erase surface on the front, a chalkboard surface on the back side, and also will hold a 12 inch roll of paper that feeds through the top so that you can write, tear, and pull more paper down. It was only $10 - such a steal! I will blog more about what I include in my Word Work station in a later blog post. And yes, I am missing one Sterilite container and it's driving me bonkers - haha! :) Beside my cute polka dot lamp, you can see the BEST classroom pencil sharpener ever. You can find this one at my affiliate link {HERE}. I have had this electric pencil sharpener for probably 5 years and it's still going strong!

This bookshelf is beside my teacher desk and small group table. The drawer labels with subjects are an editable file that I purchased from Learning in Wonderland {HERE}. The Sterilite 3-Drawer containers can be found at my affiliate link {HERE}. The Monday-Friday labels are a FREEBIE from Ladybug Teacher Files {HERE}. The bins are from Big Lots several years ago. The black one at the end is for extras or for the next week and is in desperate need of a label. :)

This is one of my Technology stations. The bigger gray containers are from Dollar General and will house the 10 Chromebooks for our classroom. The 5 drawer container actually holds the 6 Kindles that I purchased for my classroom during the Amazon Prime Day sale. They fit PERFECTLY in these drawers! I need to re-label the drawers to say Kindle 1-5, but haven't had a chance to yet! I have 6 Kindles and simply put 2 of them in the bottom drawer. By the way, Kindle Fire 7 tablets are an EXCELLENT way to add some technology into your classroom on a budget! You can find them at my affiliate link {HERE}. The blank chalkboard poster is from Creative Teaching Press and I will be posting Technology Expectations on this poster.

 This pictures shows my other Technology area where my 4 desktop Macs are in the corner of the room. You can also see my STEM Bin bookshelf here. I will have a closer look at this down below. My classroom jobs are under the header "We Lead" and my classroom data will be displayed under the "Class Data" header. Close-ups below. The alphabet at the very top of this picture can be found in Ladybug Teacher File's store {HERE}.

This is a close-up of my STEM Bin area. You can purchase STEM Bins from Brooke Brown at Teaching Outside the Box {HERE}. I HIGHLY recommend and will be doing a blog post about them soon! The Sterilite container links can be found in a blog post {HERE}. The two pillows are outdoor pillows from Michael's. The smaller rug is from Target. The STEM Bin poster is included in the STEM Bin product I linked to above. I printed and put it into a picture frame from Dollar General. The cursive "create" and the purple bucket saying "create" are from the Target Dollar Section. The giant clothespin is from Michael's clearance section. Underneath the STEM Bins display frame and the clothespin is the book Iggy Peck, Architect which is perfect for introducing STEM in your classroom. This picture book can be found at my affiliate link {HERE}.

The Classroom Jobs are from Lindsay Flood at Primary Polka Dots {HERE}. I still need to put the velcro numbers on the jobs, but we haven't filled out our job applications yet. You can find job application in my Creating Superstars in the Classroom product found {HERE}. My clipchart is also located in that pack. From this angle, you can also see my Makerspace Quote Posters (with the lightbulbs) above my STEM shelf. They are from Teaching Outside the Box found {HERE}. I just printed them on Astrobrights paper to make them colorful.

This is where I will display our Classroom Data board. I will be writing a blog post about this soon, but until then you can find the incentive posters from Creative Teaching Press {HERE}.

This area will house my Math Fact Fluency resources. The baskets are from Really Good Stuff. Inside the baskets I have my favorite tools for the students to practice math fact fluency. I will have a blog post about this later, but for now I have Hot Dot pens {affiliate link HERE} and Hot Dot cards {affiliate links} for Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication. These are a classroom favorite! I also have flash cards purchased from The Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Section for $1 each. Additionally, I have some dry-erase workbooks that I found in the Target Dollar Section that you can read more about in an upcoming blog post. The pillows to the right are from Walmart several years ago and are still going somewhat strong. :)

So there you have it! This picture is a view from my teacher corner of the room looking towards the classroom door. Thank you for visiting Room 33. Feel free to PIN anything you might find useful. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below or visit my Facebook Page or Instagram account where you can see more pictures of my classroom in action! Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, July 16, 2017

2nd Grade Math Centers for the Entire Year!

Are you tired of spending time and money prepping math centers? If so, then THIS is the resource for YOU! All you need to implement these centers are dice, playing cards, OR spinners - YOU CHOOSE! No more printing, laminating, and cutting for hours! This is a complete set of math centers for the ENTIRE YEAR with very little prep work.


You can find "2nd Grade Math Centers for the Entire Year - 36 Centers" in my TPT Store {HERE} or by clicking the picture above. 

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: 2nd Grade Stuff is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If you click on an affiliate link on this blog and purchase, Amazon will toss a few coins my way, at no extra cost to you, to help keep this blog up and running.

This resource was designed with the busy teacher in mind! These math centers are EASY PREP, LOW COST, and TIME SAVING! The centers in this file can all be used with items you probably already have in your classroom or at home. If not, the materials are super cheap and easy to prep. All task cards and recording sheets are available to print in black and white to save paper, lamination, and printer ink. The centers can also be used year-round, rather than seasonal. Switch them out as needed! The design of the centers allows for easy differentiation to meet all your learners’ diverse needs.

This file includes:
+ Detailed Instructions for How to Implement in Your Classroom (includes pictures)
+ Detailed Instructions for How to Differentiate in Your Classroom (includes pictures)
+ Detailed Ideas for Saving Time, Money, and Effort with Math Centers (includes pictures) 
+ 36 Center Tasks with Visual Cues that Correlate to Every 2nd Grade Common Core Standard
+ 36 Response Sheets with Differentiation to Copy or Put in Sheet Protectors for Dry-Erase
+ 17 Different Spinners for Differentiation
+ 1 Full Set of Ten Frame Playing Cards

Download the Preview File in my TPT Store {HERE} for a sneak peak into this resource.

Detailed Instructions for How to Implement: 

All you need for these centers are playing cards, dice, OR spinners! You can see a closer look at the three options in the pictures below.

This resource comes with a full set of 10 frame cards as shown above OR you can simply use regular playing cards. You can purchase regular playing cards through my affiliate link {HERE}. 


You can purchase the differentiated dice shown in the pictures above by clicking on my affiliate link {HERE}. 


You can save money by using the paperclip/pencil method shown above or you can purchase the clear spinner overlays at my affiliate link {HERE}. 

For an easy way to differentiate, you can purchase colored paper through my affiliate link {HERE}.

If you prefer to re-use your recording sheets to save paper and copying time, you can purchase dry-erase pockets at my affiliate link {HERE} or simple sheet protectors will also work available {HERE}. You will want to use Fine Point dry-erase markers that can be found at my affiliate link {HERE}.

Each center task can be printed on a half-sheet of paper in black and white. There are full color visual cues on the center task cards as well to help remind your little learners of the directions.

The response sheets can be printed on regular paper and copied for students to complete or placed in dry-erase sleeves for repeated use. Many response sheets allow for differentiation through the materials you provide with the spinners, dice, or cards.

Just add dice, spinners, or cards! It's that easy!

I have included 17 different spinners if you wish to use them for differentiation purposes and also a full set of 10-frame playing cards to help support your struggling learners. These are optional as regular playing cards will work just as well.

I hope this resource can help save you time, money, and effort. I created this resource because I needed something that was easy, yet efficient, that I could implement all year long. Hope you find it useful! Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 19, 2017

Classroom Library Organization

Today I'm linking up with my friend, Jen, from Teacher by the Beach for a little look into our Classroom Library! Head on over to her blog to check out some other Classroom Libraries!


I'm going to take you on a picture walk back in time to let you check out my various classroom library systems and then I will reveal what my plan is for this school year.

First, for beauty's sake, let's take a look at my most recent classroom library. It was my library last year and the year before. See it below. One thing you will notice is that it is NOT labeled and/or organized in any certain way {GASP!}. I know, I know. Let me explain. For the past two years I have only taught MATH, so while my students visited our classroom library on occasion, they were primarily using their reading teacher's classroom library, which was organized and labeled nicely. For this reason, I chose to *not stress* over labeling and organizing - crazy right?! Hey, you pick your battles and organizing all those books was not one of them at the time. :)


Next, we have my classroom library from a few years back. I really loved how this classroom library was in the corner of the room and it was such a cozy little nook. The lamp light in the corner, the R.E.A.D. letters, the rug and the beach chairs made this such a happy little place. This classroom library was organized by A.R. level, because our school had a heavy emphasis on Accelerated Reader at the time. In fact, I organized by A.R. level for several years because of this emphasis. Now that I know better, I refuse to level my books in this way. From now on my classroom library will be organized by author or genre, never again by level. You live, you learn, you do better.

Every year I have my display book case with my monthly themed books or books we are using in science/social studies content. This is a pic of several of my Back to School books that we love reading at the beginning of the year. These books are a hands-off section of our classroom library until we have already read the book, then the students can re-read if they wish. But they always go back where they came from! I store these away when it's time to start a new month with fresh books.

Taking it WAY back, this is a picture of one of my first classroom libraries. Y'all, the picture quality on that old iPhone was so bad that I can't even make it bigger for you because it's too blurry {I'M FEELING OLD!}. You can see this library is organized and labeled by A.R. level. Read my opinion on that above. But you can also see that a recurrent theme in my classroom library are those Dollar Tree baskets! They are simply THE BEST - in ALL the colors! Ha!

Now for this year...
I can't really show you a picture of my classroom library for this year, because it's in a pile in the middle of my current classroom's floor. I haven't touched it yet - LOL! BUT, I have made a decision on how I will organize my classroom library for next year. I actually wrote an entire blog post about it {HERE}. This blog post also stresses the importance of having STURDY book baskets! You can see which ones I recommend at the link above.

In an effort to streamline my classroom decor and to tone down the brights, I *think* (subject to change) that I am going to switch out my brightly colored baskets for these Sterilite baskets. First, they fit chapter books perfectly and will actually hold MORE than the Dollar Tree ones above. Second, I'm thinking of going with WHITE baskets on my black shelves to tone down the color explosion in my classroom. Let me know your thoughts... I still can't make up my mind.


One thing I do know is how my classroom library will be organized! This year I will be teaching reading along with math, so I will need to have my classroom library nicely labeled and organized. I can't think of a better way than exactly how a library or bookstore is organized - by author. It will be easy for me, easy for the kids, and will help them to practice that real life skill of using alphabetical order. After I have made my mind up about which color Sterilite containers, I will decide on a labeling system. I'm thinking I will go with a plain, simple black and white label. This is completely the opposite of how my classroom has ever been, so I'm still debating on the color options. What do you guys think?

Don't forget to head over to Jen's blog where several others will be linking up to share their classroom libraries! Join me next week for a blog post on Managing Centers in my classroom. Thanks for stopping by! See you next week!