Math "Gallery Walks"

SCOOT seems to be a popular game - I see posts all over Instagram, Facebook, and listings on Teachers Pay Teachers.  If you love SCOOT, you will love GALLERY WALKS.  Same idea, different name.  :)
I have been using Gallery Walks in my classroom for about 4 years now - long before SCOOT was so popular!  In my classroom, we use it to review our math chapter - usually a day or two before a test.  You really could use it for any subject area - but I really like it for a review since the students are so independent by the time we've reached the end of a chapter. .
A few years ago our district gave us some summer curriculum work to develop these for our (then) new Math series - Go Math.  We chose concepts/skills from each math chapter and typed them up on 8.5 x 11" paper.  I then laminated mine for durability (they are going on their 3rd year now!).  On the day that we are doing a "Gallery Walk," I post the problems around the perimeter classroom - on walls, tables, doors, windows, etc.  The students each have a clipboard with an answer sheet clipped to it on which they record the answers to the problems.  The students understand that a "gallery" is where you go to look at things - and that the volume is very QUIET.  Therefore, during the Gallery Walk in the classroom, they move around very quietly from problem to problem, solving the problems and recording their answers.  There is no running - and only 2-3 students can be at each problem at any given moment.  It's AMAZING how much they respect these guidelines!
At the end of their Gallery Walk, the students return to their seats with their recording sheets and we go over the answers together.
I have to say - the students get so excited on the mornings when they enter the classroom and see the Gallery Walk set up around the classroom!   They love this activity - and don't even realize that it is a review activity!
Have you tried something like this in your classroom?


Feeling Thankful.

It's hard not to feel "guilty" about neglecting my blog.  I started this because I LOVE sharing ideas with teachers from across the country.  I've had some great feedback and some loyal followers (nearly 400 on Instagram!) - and it's a great way to chronicle a school year.  I am doing my best to put it into my "schedule" and post at least once a week, but I have just been so busy!!

I recently got to thinking and I realized that I am neglecting it not because I am busy, but because I am  blessed.  Blessed with a great husband and  two BUSY (busy, busy…) boys who keep me on my toes with homework and sports.  Blessed with a full time job that I love (and that consumes most of my day).  Blessed with a side business (hobby?) with Jamberry Nail Wraps - and my team of nearly 50 girls who I try to encourage and motivate.  Blessed with a home that I *try* to keep organized. Blessed with an extended family, friends, and coworkers.

So - if I don't have time to post or update, it's because I am busy with my blessings.  And for all of those things, I am extremely thankful.

SO thankful, that I was inspired to create a lil' TpT project tonight.  I want my students to list something that they are thankful for each day for the 12 school days leading up to Thanksgiving. I threw in some fun printables, as well - and if you catch it tonight or early tomorrow, you will snag it for FREE.

While you're visiting, FOLLOW ME on TpT.  I am planning a giveaway when I hit 100 followers on that site!  :)


Nearly Two Months….

I cannot believe it's been two months since I blogged.
If you are a fellow teacher, you know that the first eight weeks of school are busy with routines, assessments, and behavior management.  For a mom of two school-age children, that is "triple" true.  We are finally settling into a routine at home and school, so it's time for me to work this back in!

My new(ish) class is one of my most challenging by far, but they are coming along.  They boys far outweigh the girls - which is a challenge in itself at times - but they are super chatty and super "busy."  I am considering trying out Class Dojo (have you tried it?  Thoughts?  Comment below!) as a way to help parents at home understand how their child behaves and performs during the day.

One thing I've started to do for Classroom Management - as a way to spread out a bit and maintain some organization and a classroom environment conducive for an effective Daily5 block - is to send a small group to the library with some parent volunteers.  Because of our new schedule, there is usually one day per week that each small reading group has "off" from guided reading and I want them to still interact with text, but have it tied into their small group texts with me.  Enter…PEBBLE GO!  Pebble Go is an AMAZING online database just for kids at the primary level.  Besides animals, they cover Earth and Space, Biographies, and Social Studies. The text is simple, around a level J/K (Fountas & Pinnell level) but there is also an audio component that will read to the kids.  There are videos as well as the option to print the text and a diagram that the students can label for some topics.

Once a week, each group works in the library on a topic that ties into our curriculum or the text we are reading together.  For example, one small group read "Bat Loves the Night" by Nicola Davies.  When they went to work on PebbleGo on the computers and iPads in the library, they researched Bats. They loved it and I loved that those five students were on-task and working independently on a meaningful topic.  It's a win-win! :)

(We also used it as part of our Nocturnal Animal Mini-unit…the possibilities are endless!)

Here is an open-ended Pebble Go Research FREEBIE - meaning you can use it with any topic your students are researching!   I have also linked you to my TpT shop and the Nocturnal Animal packet that you can also use with Pebble Go!

 Pebble Go FREEBIE!


Back to School!

Once Labor Day comes and Starbucks starts serving Pumpkin Spice Lattes, there's no denying it - summer is over.  As I look back at this blog, I can't believe that I didn't blog AT ALL this summer!  It was nice to take a break from teaching and school, but my creative mind is anxiously awaiting the chance to start developing activities to use in my classroom.
Summer was wonderful - a chance to connect with my own kiddos, time to focus on a fun hobby-turned job with Jamberry Nail Wraps, and time to just live a more relaxed life - sleeping in a bit, sipping coffee on the couch in the morning with my hubby, taking walks….you know the deal.  We had a great family vacation to Baltimore to take in a few Yankees games, as well as many Minor League baseball games, baseball camps, travel baseball with our Little League….do ya' see a theme here?  I loved every.second.
I posted a few new products in my TpT store this summer - not many, but a few.  I hope to keep up with this blog as I navigate through another second grade year!
I will leave you with a favorite picture from the summer….


It's been a while...

So, it's been a while.  A long, long while.  Life has been crazy - school with end-of-the-year activities, assessments (ugh), and organizing, and home with baseball, baseball, and ---baseball.  If we're not at the field, we are watching the Yankees at home, or playing baseball in the yard.
My class is wrapping up our final 14 days together.  June is always bittersweet for me. I am so ready for the summer, but by this point, the class is functioning so well together - they know the routines, are aware of the expectations, and have become a true "family." I will miss so many of them and their funny personalities.
We are working through our plant unit in science, our fables & tall tales unit in reading, and are finally illustrating our realistic fiction pieces.  The class worked so hard on their drafts, editing, and revising.  I didn't want to make them re-write everything (some of them well over 10 pages), so I asked my students' families to do some typing.  They were happy to do so (and quick!) so I am really excited about their published pieces.
Check back next week as we move into CAMP LEARN-A-LOT1


Busy, Busy, Busy

It is always so amazing to me how FAST the end of the year goes!  All of a sudden I find myself in the "thick" of it all - review activities, assessments, filing, sweaty kids (23 to be exact!)---and field day and report cards are on the horizon.  We teachers deserve the summer off since our final weeks are as jam-packed as they possibly can be!
I've been polishing up a few end-of-the-year activities and wrapped up a great SNAPSHOTS Drawing/Writing activity that can easily cover 3-4 days of Writing Workshop in your classroom.  It's a great way to reflect on your year together as a class, too!  The link is below---grab it, copy it, and go!  :)
Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!  Thank you to everyone who fights for our country.  


28 Days…..Crazy.

Today, my class and I counted how many actual days of school left there are.  28.  Can you believe it!? I don't know how the end-of-the-year snuck up on us, but it did! For all of you teachers who are done in the coming days/weeks, just know that we didn't start until AFTER Labor Day!  (I am still jealous of you all….or y'all!)
Within these last 28 days, of course - are the activities that make the end of the year so memorable - field day, a walking trip to our local farm/ice cream stand, Kindergarten Celebration (we get to watch the rehearsal---I dare you not to cry when those kiddos sing!), 3rd grade play (again…we get to watch!), and of course, CAMP-LEARN-A-LOT - my annual weeklong celebration when I transform my classroom into a campground.
There are also the not-so-memorable (for the students, anyway) End of the Year Assessments.  Ugh.
What do you look forward to in your school?  When is your last day??