Sunday, June 21, 2015

2nd Grade Sight Word Instruction!!

I recently finished my 2nd Grade Sight Word Unit and am pretty excited to use it next year. The unit contains practice pages for Fry Words 201-300 as well as an assessment check-list and practice games! 

I will incorporate Sight Word Work into my Reader's Workshop Rotations this year and have Word Work using Words Their Way in a separate 20 minute block of time. 

I spend less than 5 minutes a day introducing a new sight word. First I ask students how they think the word should be spelled and write their ideas down. This is GREAT for phonemic awareness and phonics. It's also a great formative assessment :) Then I teach them the correct way to spell the word and we practice it in different ways; body spelling, sky writing, and end with a little chant or song depending on how many letters are in the word. The First Grade Parade gave me some great ideas for songs. I just love her ideas!!

After direct instruction, students get to work practicing with the word during Reader's Workshop rotations. They must first complete the practice pages. Students trace it, color it, read it, find it, fill in the missing letters, and draw/complete the sentence. After they finish their practice page, they play one of the games included in the 2nd Grade Sight Word Unit. I introduce them slowly, one at a time, until they master them. Once a week they also go on a sight word hunt. I laminate a big piece of poster paper and they write sentences containing the sight words of the week on the poster with whiteboard markers. Anything where I can integrate reading, I do!

I assess every few weeks and share that information with students, families, and support staff so we can plan interventions if necessary.

Get it here and  happy teaching!! I'd love to hear about your sight word ideas so please share in comments below :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2D Shapes in 2nd Grade: Practice with "I Have, Who Has" Game and Polygon Riddles

Hello everyone!! January is flying by!! I just can't believe it. Anyhoo, we just finished up a 2d shape unit with is always a hit. "I Have, Who Has?", or loop game, is one of my favorite practice games. I made this little 2d shape game and my kiddos loved it. I made sure they used our 2nd grade math vocabulary, quadilateral instead of diamond, but it's great for ELL kids with colors too. About 25% of my class is ELL so I try to throw in any extra vocabulary practice I can. It's an old file so it is not yet updated with my new store name, etc. . . but over the summer I hope to update all my old files with my new information. Snag this game for $1.50 in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Here is the link I Have, Who Has 2d Shape Game

I also want to share one of my FAVORITE math websites and another fun activity we did within our 2d Shape Unit. The website is It is full of FREE math activities for K-5, all aligned to Common Core. It has literature connections and some paid products, such as their Math Journals which I use and love. This activity though was free and my kiddos loved it. My Polygon Riddle is where students pick a polygon, build it on a Geoboard, and then write clues to help a partner guess their shape. They loved guessing each other's polygons!! This activity is hands-on, incorporates vocabulary, and is a great formative assessment opportunity. I will take some photo of my students work later this week, but please check out this activity as well as all the other great things this website has to offer.

Happy Day!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five for Friday: January 9th


Yay!! Five for Friday Linky party is back!! I love reading about everyone's lives and get a few great ideas every week so thank you Doodle Bugs for hosting!!

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First week back from break and we wrote about resolutions!! Grab my New Year Resolution Writing FREEBIE!! I think you can write about resolutions all month long! Here is the link New Year Resolution Writing FREEBIE

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This snowflake cookie. I sarcastically told my husband I wanted a snowflake cookie because I love seasonal things. Then we went to my favorite local bakery and they actually had one. Perfect!!

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The Seattle Seahawks, my team, are going to the playoffs!! The big game is tomorrow and is here in Seattle so I'm super stoked about that. Go Hawks!

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After being gone for a vacation for a week, I'm so glad to be home because I missed this little guy. Our chihuahua Winston!

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Happy hour with old coworkers!! That is where I'm headed right now, yay! I hope you all have some relaxing fun this weekend too. 

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year's Resolution Writing FREEBIE and Firework Craft

The first few weeks back from Winter Vacation can always be . . .  interesting. I love the idea of goal setting during January and how better to do that than with resolution writing! I've attached a link to the writing paper FREEBIE if you are interested in doing this with your class sometime this month. Look for it at the bottom of this post. 

First we read a Shared Reading book from Reading A-Z ( I LOVE that website!!) about New Year celebrations around the world. We typically do a workshop model, but the first week back we do a whole group book all week. 

The last page was about resolutions, a great transition! After we read the book, I modeled for students how I would write a resolution. Their learning target was "I can write a resolution using the writing process and the capitalization and punctuation rules I know." The first step in the writing process is pre-writing so we made a large class list of some resolution ideas. 

The second step is writing your first draft. I saw this great idea on someone's blog (I forgot who, but if you know who, let me know so I can credit them please!) about writing first drafts on whiteboards so because this was a small, one or two sentence writing project, the whiteboards worked great for first drafts!

Then they had their partner peer edit. Finally I looked it over and gave them their final draft paper once they had fixed any capitalization or punctuation errors. They wrote their resolutions and they turned out so well!

To make it more fun and to incorporate art, we also finger painted fireworks and then glued our writing onto the fireworks. Fireworks are a custom in many culture's New Year Celebration so we watched some videos of fireworks and then they were able to finger paint their own. I taught pre-k for 4 years and did this finger painting firework craft with them, but my 2nd graders loved it too! I pulled small groups of 5 kids over to the table to paint while everyone one else was working through the writing process. This was efficient and made managing 23 kids finger painting much more doable. 

I also like reading "The Night Before New Year's" Natasha Wing because it is so cute and follows a similar pattern to the Night Before Christmas. I'd love to hear about your New Year ideas!!

Anyhoo, here is the link to the FREEBIE and I hope you had a great New Year's!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mrs. Grisham's Christmas Vacation and the best Student Gifts Ever!

Hello everyone!!

This first week back from break sure has flow by. I have 3 meetings this week, yes THREE!! Who does that the first week back from break?! Thankfully I work for an amazing school district that pays us extra for all those extra, after-school meetings so I don't mind too much :)

I have a great New Year Resolution Writing/Craft FREEBIE that I will share tomorrow because of course I left my flash-drive at school, bummer. My plan was to share that today, but seeing as I don't have the file, I will share about the adorable gifts I got my from kiddos and my vacation instead!! I also have a fun gingerbread unit I'm working on with my kiddos that I hope to share soon but back to the gifts and vacation!

We rarely see my husband's family (they almost all live out of state), but once every few years everyone flies in from various parts of the country to gather at grandma's house and spend a week together. We spent 12 hours driving to grandma's house and the trip was great! It was BEAUTIFUL!! While it was weird to experience Christmas without cold weather, a little vacay in the sun was nice! My body loved that vitamin D! We were able to have lots of family time, go hiking, explore the beach, wine tasting, and we even saw the magical musical "Into the Woods". Such a great trip! After 5 days we were ready to go home, but of course we missed everyone the second we left.

Before we left for vacation, I had a Christmas party with my class where we watched Frosty the Snowman and ate candy canes, yum!! My sweet class brought me the best gifts ever! I worked at a private school for 5 years and while we didn't get many student gifts, they were often expensive, nice gifts their mother had picked out. While I sure loved those Philosophy gift bags, the students often had no clue about the gift and there wasn't a ton of love behind them. 

These public school kiddos are so different and I love it!! While the gifts are not extravagant at all, I can tell that the students actually took the time and thought about me. I love that they care about me as a person just like I care about them. I wanted to share a few of my favorites this year because they are just so adorable. I sure felt loved when I received these gifts!!

This was a Thanksgiving gift but I still love the heart behind it! Granola bars with a note about how awesome I am in addition to all the "teaching and learning" ( This inspires some new writing mini-lessons)

Half used gel pens, some colored paper, and a candle tin with the candle already melted away (I'm actually going to put paper clips in this tin, I love the pattern!)

A "teacher" pen that was being sold in the student store for $0.50 with a lovely hand drawing of an ornament.

Here is some others from mostly students and a few co-worker gifts. Just love it!!

I of course gave all my kiddos a little something too. Candy canes, a fun Christmas pencil, and a free book certificate to Scholastic!! Usually I actually order books for them, but I was a bit behind this year with that schedule so coupons it was!

I'd love to hear about your vacation or your favorite student gifts; comment below! Happy Holidays!!