Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Giveaway!

I'm so excited to have reached 100 followers on my blog. It's time to do some celebrating! :)

I am sincerely surprised that one-hundred people are actually interested in what I have to say and share. Thank you so much for following my blog and also for sharing all of YOUR wonderful ideas with me through your own blogs or through your comments. I am a better teacher because of it.

In honor of this "bloggy" milestone I've decided to host a fun little giveaway..."zoo-style". One lucky winner will get their very own hardcover copies of Put Me in the Zoo and If I Ran the Zoo, which celebrate differences and imagination - two things I am all about with my little learners.


Here's how to enter:

You can have up to two chances to win.
Simply follow the steps below and leave a comment about each entry.

1. Become a follower of my blog: The Grade Two Zoo

2. Spread the word about my blog and the giveaway!
(Just include a quick note about this giveaway with a link to my blog in one of your posts.
Feel free to use my brand-spankin-new blog button to create the link.)

The giveaway will end on Sunday, April 3rd.

The winner will be posted here on Monday, April 4th.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monster Exchange

My class is getting ready to participate in a fun writing project...the MoNsTeR eXcHaNgE!!

We will draw our very own monsters and write a descriptive paragraph about them. Then, we will send a digital copy of only our description to another second grade class.  We will recieve their descriptions and create a drawing that "matches" the writing. Then, we'll all get to take a look at the original illustrations and see how close they match! :)

I'm SUPER excited to try this with my kiddos!

I'll post more about the process once we get underway. I heard about this project from another teacher and we plan to share through our school websites, but there is also a "Monster Exchange" website which will walk you through the process. Click on the picture below to check it out! (Don't you just love the cute clipart Kristen from First Grade Teaching created - stinkin' adorable!)

Blog Button

I made a button for my blog! :) 

Now to work on adding everyone else's buttons to my sidebar - I'll get there eventually!

Blog Design Giveaway!

I've never posted about a giveaway on my blog, but I really really really want to win this one!

Ladybug is giving away a SUPER cute Dr. Seuss blog design and I would LOVE to use it to make a classroom blog if I win. :)

Ladybug's Teacher Files

Click on the above graphic to check out Ladybug's blog and "follow" if you don't already!  She has some AWESOME resources and ideas.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Classroom Library Organization

I'm STILL working on my classroom library. It's beginning to feel like a never-ending project. I've stickered most of my fiction and everybody fiction books with level and a sticker to tell the first letter of the authors last name. Those stickers also note which category of fiction the book falls in. I haven't even touched my non-fiction besides leveling them.

This weekend I got to thinking about how to re-shelve my hoards of books, so they'd be accessible without taking over ALL of my shelf space. I don't like the bins I'm currently using for my chapter books, so I came up with an idea. Why not build shelves just the way I want them? 

Thankfully, Brian is good with measuring, building, etc. so he agreed to make them. Picture four shoeboxes the perfect width to fit a chapter book, glued together side-by-side... he's going to make something very similar (but much nicer looking!) out of wood for me. I think I will probably need 4 or 5 to fit all of my chapter books. Some letters will be combined if they don't have as many books. They will sit on top of my back counter. The kids will be able to leaf through each row easily without removing each book to look at it, so it should stay very neat.  I'm SUPER excited about it. Just thought I'd share, since it wasn't something I considered right away!  I was "stuck" on using bins of some sort, but I think this will work much better for me and my class.

Here's what I came up with for how I'd like him to build it:

Comment and share YOUR best ideas for organizing your classroom library!  I'd love to hear what is working for everyone else.

Organization of my picture books is up next...the book bins I am using just aren't making the cut there either!  They are the magazine-style holders that many use for kid's book bins, but I've found for browsing they are very "tippy" and hard to look through without taking them off the shelf...suggestions??

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Measurement Activity

We had a SNOW DAY today in Wisconsin. Yucky and gross weather for March, but it did give me some time to catch up on things. I had a little time to make a quick measurement activity to help reinforce measuring with inches as the unit and comparing measurements. Our math program uses the metric system almost exclusively, so I try to supplement by using inches/feet measuring within my centers. I'll have my students use rulers to measure the line segments, record their measurements in the data table, and use the information to answer the questions.

I'm also working on some math problem solving pages involving measurement, which I'll post soon!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Classroom Library: Where's My Favorite Book?

I'm working on re-organizing my classroom library.  I've leveled all my books with a small sticker inside the front cover. Now I am in the process of sorting the books into piles....fiction, everybody fiction, and non-fiction. After they are sorted I plan on making separate color-coded A-Z bins for fiction and everybody fiction. For the non-fiction I will use a third color of bin and sort them loosely by the dewey decimal system.

I think this organization will help my students understand how to find books in the public library and our school library. I made these posters to help my students find their favorite books in the fiction and everybody fiction sections by reminding them of the authors. I underlined the first letter of the author's last name to remind them where to look. I'll hang these next to each section. These just happen to be the books my kids go for and that I have available, but it would be easy to recreate something similar.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Grammar Center

Click the image above to check out this fun little grammar center practicing word order in my TpT store! : )

Math Center

I spent WAY too long making this, but it was fun & I can't wait to use it with my class. I uploaded this file to my brand-new Teachers Pay Teachers Store as a $1 download. Click the image above to go and get it! Please follow me on TpT if you like this center. I will be uploading more things there as I create them for my class.