March 30, 2021

Eureka Math: Module 8 + a BUNDLE

 


The final module is here!!!

I have been working on adapting these modules for over 2 years (because, life happens) and I am beyond thrilled to finally be able to offer up the ENTIRE set of modules for second grade.

You see, the inspiration behind this resource stemmed from my time as an assistant teacher for second grade back in 2017. I had just returned from a time away from the classroom to raise my son who, at that time, was about 18 months old and ready to go to school. I didn't realize I was ready, too! So, I connected with a few friends of mine who worked at my previous school as assistants to see if there was an opening and it turned out my friend was looking to start her own business. I was able to take her place in second grade and that's when I was first introduced to Eureka Math.

Eureka Math in Second Grade

Eureka Math is a great curriculum and one that is easy to implement for teachers. It comes with easy-to-follow lessons and really does a good job at exposing students to a variety of ways to solve a problem. I found the scaffolding to be appropriate and I loved how each lesson and module built upon itself. 

My school had only just adopted Eureka Math, so we were all figuring it out as we went. In 2017 there wasn't a lot resources for the modules on TpT and I personally found the lessons to be lengthy and the practice problems cumbersome. My kids were required to go through 15 or so practice problems to demonstrate a single skill...So. Much. Time. Wasted.

So, I decided to take the curriculum and adapt it to smaller bite-sized pieces that is manageable for students and easy on teachers. The birth of the interactive notebook was born and now I'm so pleased to share with all of you the final module and introduce to you the BUNDLE for second grade!

Module 8

This module wraps up the year with lessons that explore three main concepts: 
  • geometry
  • fractions
  • and telling time. 
Each lesson is adapted from the Eureka Math curriculum and can easily be found, for free, online! The beauty of this resource is that my lessons are simplified and get students thinking and moving beyond just pencil and paper. I love using this resource as a means to introduce a skill, complete some guided practice, and move on to either math centers or some other activity. I never want my students glued to their desks with these problem sets!


The concept developments are the meat of the lesson. It's where teachers can really spend the necessary time either introducing or reviewing key math concepts and skills. The lessons provided by Eureka Math are wonderful and easy to follow. In my resource, it just takes that information and makes them visual. That way, as you are teaching your students are following along versus just listening.



And speaking of problem sets...this was where I had the most problems!

I don't know if you've noticed, but those problem set pages went on and on and on! My students would get so tired of them or roll their eyes when they saw them coming. This is not the attitude our kids should have when it comes to math (let alone school work in general) - so, I cut the problems down to the ones that fit with the objective the most.

Independent practice shouldn't take kids 20 problems to demonstrate they understand a concept. It takes engagement in a variety of ways.

I personally use the problem set as an exit ticket to go right into their math centers for the week.

The Bundle



I love bundles because they conveniently allow teachers to have multiple products in one download. And that's exactly what this bundle offers!

Now you can get all 8 resources included in one download with my Eureka Math BUNDLE for 2nd grade! Plus, save 10% off the listing automatically when you bundle. That's modules 1-8 - a year's worth of curricula - for 10% off. 






March 25, 2021

A Study of Snails | Kindergarten Science Unit

 


Last year was the very first year I learned about snails alongside my students. I was excited for this unit - a part of our study of the garden/plants - because I had always taught about butterflies. Although fun, it's been done so many times and to have the opportunity to learn about snails was something new...even for me!

When I taught as a kindergarten English teacher for a French-American school, my French colleagues taught the science and French language aspect of this unit whereas I was responsible for teaching my ELA objectives, but through the theme of snails. You can read all about my lesson ideas and what I did in ELA for snails here.



But now that I'm back to being a SAHM I thought it would be fun to create something that other teachers could use or even parents who may be distance learning still or homeschooling. Although what my French colleagues came up with was so fun to observe, there would be no way I could get everything translated. So, I chose to create a workbook that covers the basics of this unit and the scientific skills that go with it!

Here's what's inside!

An introduction to snails!


Snails, turns out, are such fascinating animals - and the kids absolutely ate this unit up!

The first part of this workbook is a little introduction about snails. It's a quick guide for kinders to highlight their notes (I've bolded important words already) and use that information to fill out the next part: the flipbook style organizer of Snails CAN, HAVE, ARE. I've found that simple cutting and pasting activities keep my students engaged and makes the workbook a little more interactive!

Life Cycles & Anatomy


A big part of this unit is learning all about a snail's life cycle and labeling the important parts (i.e. the anatomy). Students will practice sequencing the order of the life cycle and demonstrate their understanding that living things go through a process called a life cycle. In addition, they will practice labeling using a word bank the parts of a snail.

Recommended Watching

This is a great time to introduce videos and other mediums of which to introduce these concepts. Non-fiction books are great (and a great way to blend ELA with science!!) to use as well as good 'ole YouTube. Here are a couple of videos I've found that are great for this!



The Snail Song



Making Observations & Fine Motor Practice


Another great skill to continue practicing - and a unit on snails is perfect for - is fine motor. My French colleagues spent a lot of time developing art projects and fine motor centers based around the spiral. It's a pre-writing skill that lends itself to proper letter formation later on. So, I included a spiral tracing page for a little added practice.

Observations are our next science skill that students practice during this unit. A lot of what students learn is the process of making observations and learning how to use them to make predictions or track progress. In this case, they'll be making daily observations of their classroom snails. So, get your tank, fill it with soil and other garden goodies, and snag a few garden snails from outside and you have something your students will be obsessed with checking out every day.

Choose your observation note style


For my kinders I love providing multiple ways for them to demonstrate their understanding. So, I created two versions of notes. One is a full-page observation sheet whereas I also have the option for a half-page style which is about the size of a printable emergent reader.

A home observation & new class pet


My son investigating the snails in our neighborhood during quarantine last year.

Having a snail habitat in the classroom is a great (and almost free) way for students to observe their snails as well as put to task what they've learned. Snails need specific things in order to be happy and survive, so get your kids involved in creating their new classroom tank habitat.

Last, but not least, is a simple classroom snail tank observation. This is a great way for students to make note of what snails need in order to survive. Like all animals they need: water, shelter, and food (to name a few). This would be a great page for students to use as a way to demonstrate how to create a habitat and review what snails need in order to survive.

Note: snails do reproduce quickly so be on the lookout for eggs buried in the soil!

To make your own snail habitat is easy! You'll just need a few items:
  • large aquarium tank with a ventilated covering
  • dirt from outside
  • collection of sticks, plants, and rocks (places for snails to hide are great!)
  • a spray bottle of water to keep things moist inside
Feeding snails:
  • snails love fruits and veggies (avoid citrus) and leafy green leaves
  • they also love calcium (to keep their shells strong) so items like cuttlefish bones and egg shells are great to include in the tank
That's it! I hope you have fun with this unit and that this workbook proves to be a fun way to engage your students!



March 24, 2021

Summer Break Activity Packet + 1st Grade Prep!

 


Summer break will be here before we know it - ending yet another unforgettable year.

Today I am excited to finally share the final break activity packet as a part of my year-round bundle! Each break from school I always try to send something home with my students as a means to keep kids thinking and engaged with the concepts we've learned in class. Parents also really appreciate this packet because it allows them to see what their child is learning and have something to take on family vacations.

The "summer slump" can definitely impact a child and often us teachers see a little bit of a decline once school starts up again. I definitely think kids should be kids and enjoy their time away from school, but as the new year begins to come around I couldn't encourage parents to kickstart the year with some academic practice and review.



This Summer Break packet includes a variety of kindergarten ELA skill review as well as some first grade prep. My goal is to have my students review the main ELA skills we've spent a lot of time on throughout the year. These skills include:

  • alphabet recognition (reading/writing)
  • name writing practice (using 1 uppercase and the rest lowercase)
  • phonetic spelling
  • syllables
  • rhyming words
  • beginning sounds
  • story sequencing/retelling
  • creative writing
  • sight word spelling (look, say, cover, write, check)
  • writing planning sheet and first draft paper
  • sentence structure review
  • SEL activities
There's so much packed into this one resource and will easily become the simplest packet you could prep for your kids!



Pick up the bundle!

I love a good bundle - they're worth the investment because you're pretty much set all year long and allows you to prep ahead of time. That's why I created this Year-Round Break Activities Bundle where you receive all break activity packets all in one convenient download.

This bundle includes:
  • Fall Break
  • Winter Break
  • Spring Break
  • and Summer Break + 1st Grade Prep


March 19, 2021

Exploring Ancient Egypt

 



When I taught second grade we had an entire Social Studies theme on ancient civilizations. We explored maps and developed map reading skills, geography (continents and oceans), climates, and the other obvious stuff like culture, religion, language, and contributions or inventions. Learning about ancient cultures are always a hit with my students and today I'm excited to share the newest workbook for students!

Ancient Egypt

As a kid I was obsessed with ancient Egypt - I even wanted to become an Egyptologist at one point. I found the entire civilization to be fascinating and couldn't learn enough about it. This workbook is inspired by that feeling and includes all the major topics. Let's take a peek!

To begin, I love incorporating Annie and Moby (i.e. BrainPop Jr) into my lessons to help break up the ways I teach or introduce different concepts. For this unit I mix things up with videos, lecture, hands on activities, and more - this ensures I keep my kids engaged and learning the whole unit!

See if your school has a subscription to BrainPop Jr because mine did when I taught 2nd grade and we used it for almost everything. They're age-appropriate videos that are great for introducing topics across subjects and for this unit I like to begin with the Ancient Egypt video.



I found this one that a teacher created for using during distance learning. It's a better quality than most, but having a subscription will definitely be best! You can also try grabbing a login and password via a simple Google search or see if you have any teacher colleagues who'd be willing to share their logins!

Map Skills

I always begin my ancient civilization units with an introduction of their geography and a review of map reading skills. Maps are a topic we learn more towards the beginning of the year, so when we learn about Egypt later in the year it's a familiar skill.

This workbook has three different pages for Egypt's geography: located on the continent of Africa, identify within Africa where the country is located, and label the seas/rivers and cities of note. Students use tools like word banks and keys to complete that section of notes.

Climate & Land


For this section, students learn about the climate and land of Egypt. For a civilization to survive and thrive like the ancient Egyptians did, it's important for students to understand that the Nile played a very important role. Students will learn that Egypt is mostly desert and the Nile provided fertile soil and water for crops. It also allowed for transportation and eventually trade.

In this workbook students practice their reading comprehension skills to pull details from the text to fill in the blanks of their notes. Teachers can reinforce skills using highlighters or circling the important details. The other page students complete the sentence and draw pictures to illustrate their understanding of Egypt's climate and usefulness of the Nile. 

Inventions/Contributions

It's fascinating to learn that people who existed before the major inventions of our time contributed so much to our understanding of the world. The ancient Egyptians invented a number of things we use today and is considered a marvel in the area of science, math, and agriculture.

Students will learn that some of these many great contributions include: the great pyramids, a written language called hieroglyphics, the first documented development of a 365 day calendar (like we use today!), a water clock to track time, and papyrus - the world's first form of paper.

Recommended Watching:

I found this National Geographic video that is helpful in bringing many of these concepts to life during this unit of study.



Language & Culture


Hieroglyphics are always a fun topic during the study of ancient Egypt simply because it's a foreign language and there's a bit of mystery to them. Students always have fun creating their own name plates and using hieroglyphics to write messages, so I included a little cartouche activity within this packet!

Additional Learning Opportunities

This unit covers the basics, because let's be honest...districts only require that much. However, as a lover of all things Social Studies (and having an all around need to dive a little deeper as a teacher) this unit on Ancient Egypt lends itself to so much more! 

Here are a few additional topics you can cover:


March 12, 2021

Spring Break Activity Packet


Many of us have already entered into their winter breaks (yay!) and some of us have a few more days to go...and one thing I always love doing for my students and their families during periods away from the classroom is provide them with activity packets! (You can check out this post in which I share all about my Winter Break Activity Packet).

Today I'm sharing the next addition to my growing bundle of take-home activity packets and it's all ready to go for spring!

Each activity is geared towards reviewing key kindergarten concepts such as letter recognition, uppercase and lowercase practice, name practice, phonics (beginning sounds, syllables, rhyming words, etc.), and writing. This is a complete ELA packet which is easy to prep! Just print and staple and you're ready to go. I love having these on the ready because we all know that last minute rush before breaks to get everything printed.

Let's take a peek at what's inside...

Spring Break Activities

As you can see, I love including a variety of activities for students to practice. Parents always rave about how much they appreciate the packet and I always inform them that it's completely optional. Some families do travel during breaks (even though with Covid many stay home) but regardless it provides them (or their babysitters) the option for some school review during break.
 

Activity Packet Includes:

  • Packet Cover
  • Reading Log
    Students color in a flower for every book they read or have read to them. This can also include books on Epic, Khan Academy Kids, Vooks, or any other reading platform (for those distance learners).

  • ABC Lowercase Review
    Lowercase letters and using them in their names and writing becomes a key focus for us in the second half of the year. My kinders begin making that transition before winter break, so it's always nice to add this little review for them.

  • Bucket Filling Writing
    SEL (social-emotional learning) is always good to review all year long. I always include this page in my activity packets for break in attempts to keep them thinking about ways to fill buckets even away from the classroom. 2021 needs all the kindness it can get!

  • Write It (lowercase name practice)
  • What's Missing? (ABC fill-in-the-blank)
  • Does it Rhyme?
  • Name Rainbow Writing
  • Beginning Sounds
  • Story Sequencing
    Sequencing events in a story is another big kinder reading skill that we work on leading up to winter break and throughout the remainder of the year. 

  • Spring Break Writing
    This is a great way to keep students writing during breaks. They are to write about 1 thing they did during break. You can even have this as something they return back to school with to share with the class.

  • ABC Scavenger Hunt
    Students search around their homes for things that begin with each letter of the alphabet. They can also clip out pictures from magazines for additional practice.

  • Counting Syllables
  • Color by Sight Word
    A fun coloring page for students to use while practicing their sight word recognition.

  • "I see Spring..." Sight Word Reader
    I'm excited to include this reader in this resource because parents and students love them. Easy prep for families and it's a great way for students to show off their reading and inventive spelling to their parents. It's also a great way to reinforce the sight words "I" and "see".