Sunday, January 31, 2016

2nd Grade Lesson Plans

     I was looking back to my last blog post, and sadly realized it was way back in September!  :( This has been quite a BUSY, STRESSFUL, and CRAZY year, at school and at home!  I found out my principal accepted a new position in January and they are interviewing next week for her replacement; I helped my parents move into a new house; and I have been working on creating my own business!  (More information about that will be coming soon as my blog will be merged with my website!) Lots of fun changes are coming though, and I'm super excited!
     As I said, this has been a pretty tough year at school with many unforeseen challenges.  Unfortunately, those challenges took up a lot of my time, and I wasn't able to spend as much time on creating things and blogging about them as I had hoped.  But, that's all about to change... starting today!  I'm happy to announce that I've FINALLY finished the next installment into my collection grade-level lesson plans!  
     I originally blogged about putting together a collection of 36 Kindergarten lessons to use for those unexpected times when you are sick and don't have the energy to type of lesson plans for a substitute. I then created the 1st grade follow-up.   I have received SO much positive feedback about these lessons, and I appreciate all the support and patience that everyone has given me as I tried to finish the 2nd grade plans!  
      Just like the Kinder and 1st Grade plans, the 2nd Grade plans include 36 separate lessons that cover a variety of skills/topics to take you through the school year such as: 
  • Book care
  • Parts of a book
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Parts of Fiction Story
  • Dictionary Skills
  • Reading Strategies: predictions, retelling, sequencing, book walks, connections, visualizing, summaries, questioning, inferring, evaluating
  • Text Features for Non-Fiction stories
  • Author's Purpose
  • Biographies
  • Research skills
  • K-W-L charts & Venn Diagrams
  • Poetry, Rhyming, & Alliteration
  • Folktales: Fairy Tales, Fabels, Tall Tales, Myths, and Legends
     All activities are connected to a Fiction or Non-Fiction books that you most likely have in your class or library or can easily purchase on  I've included an outline that shows the order of lessons and the books that are used for planning purposes.

     Each lesson page shows the week number, the skill/concept, and the book's title and author at the top.  Then there are 3 main sections including step-by-step directions, additional activities that can be used, and possible technology extensions.  Here's a sample of what the 2nd grade plans look like:

    To keep things organized, I put a copy of each lesson page in a 3-ring sheet protector, and copies of any additional activities behind the page.  Then I placed them in a binder.  Depending upon how many of the activities you print, you can use a 1 1/2 or 2 inch binder.  One new feature I added this time was the grade to the top of each of the 36 lesson plan pages in case you have purchased multiple grade levels.  (That way if you use them with substitutes, they will know which lesson goes with which grade level.)   I also updated both the Kinder and 1st grade plans to include this now as well. If you have already purchased them, simply re-download the file and you will have the updated forms.
If you would like the entire collection of 36 lessons, you can 
find them at my TpT store or at Teacher's Notebook.

     Putting these plans together is always fun, but they definitely take a lot of time.  I've decided to try something different with the 3rd grade plans.  Instead of waiting until I have all 36 typed up and ready to go, I'm going to work on 6 week sections.  Once I've completed 6 weeks of lessons, I'll put them up in my store for $5.  After I've finished all 36 lessons, I'll create the bundle.  My hope is that this will help me get the 3rd Grade plans out there to you all sooner!  What do you think of this plan?  I'd love to hear your feedback!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Behavior Reports in the Library??!! they say, "Behavior Happens"!  After having several classes with my kinder and 1st grade students, I realized that I was going to have to come up with a way to encourage several students to make better choices.  I talked to the classroom and other specials teachers, and together we brainstormed different behaviors that were causing problems in all our classes.  
    Armed with that information, I decided to create this easy behavior form to document things that were happening that were distracting other students from learning.  We copied it on NCR paper so that the students could take the top copy home to their parents, and the teacher could keep the bottom portion for their files to go over during Parent Conferences. 
     At my school, library is a part of the Special's rotation along with PE, Art, Music, and Theater Arts.  Except our district has combined Music and Theater Arts and we call it "Performing Arts".  So this is what our form looks like.  Each of us will use this same form to that the students will be familiar with it.
I also went ahead and made a second version that does not combine Music and Theater Arts. 

*I updated this on 9/7/2015 to include just a Library version in case this is something you are using just in the library.
For each form, I included an editable version where you could type your own behaviors that you wanted to monitor.
If you'd like to use these in your class, you can get them here 

     I've used the form with one student already.  When he came to the library, I went over the form.  We checked "library" and then I asked "What kind of day would you like to have?"  He wanted to have a happy day, so we put a check mark by that face.  I then went over the bottom portion and said "These are the things that you need to focus on doing in order to have a great day."  As I taught the lesson for the day, I gave him one reminder and after that I simply put a tally mark next to each behavior that happened.  At the end of library, I showed him the form again and we counted the number of tally marks.  I asked him "Do you think this was a good day?" and he agreed it was not his best day. I had him look at the number of tally marks and set a goal for the next library visit.  (He had 8 tally marks, and set a goal of 6). I wrote that at the bottom of the page, gave him a high five for setting a good goal, and sent him on to class.
     I'm hoping that by making him aware of the frequency of the distractions, he will be able to control his behaviors over time.  I'm also going to talk to him on what he likes to do and use that as another way to encourage him to make good choices during the library lesson.  I'm crossing my fingers that the next time he comes we can lessen the number of tally marks to a manageable number.

Do you have any other ideas on managing behaviors in your library? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Digital Citizenship Update

     The beginning of the year is a great time to teach or review how to be safe at school.  When my students come back for their second trip to the library, I spend a few minutes talking to them about the types of emergency situations that may come up or that we practice at school so that we are prepared.  I talk about our procedures for a fire alarm, bad weather alarm, and a lockdown alarm.  They usually already know what to do from their classroom's point of view, but often when it happens in the library, they get flustered so I find it helps them if we talk about it early on so they know what to expect.  
     Then next thing I do is ask the kids "Is it important to be safe when we use technology as well?"  I let them share and then confirm that Digital safety is another priority we have at school.  
     I've taught Digital Citizenship for a few years now.  You can see my original post about that lesson here.   The more I taught it, the more I began to notice that some parts had too much information for the students to remember.  So this summer, I wanted to find a way to fix this so that it was easier for the students to remember.  After some suggestions from friends, I included 6 different body parts to help the kids visualize what to remember.  Here's what the updated poster looks like now:
Before I share this poster, I show them a series of fabulous videos from  They have a set of videos designated for K-3 (I use these with my kinder, 1st, and 2nd graders).  I usually start with Episode #1 which explains what the Internet is.  
Then we watch Episode #2, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Head. 
Then we watch Episode #4, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Heart, Your Feet, and Your Voice.

Then we watch Episode #3, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Eyes and Using Your Hands. also has a set of videos designated for 4-6 that I use with my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  With them, I usually start with Episode #6 and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Head.
Then we watch Episode #5, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Heart, Your Feet, and Your Voice.
Then we watch Episode #7 & #8, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Eyes and Using Your Hands.
     I love these videos, and they really help explain everything I want to talk about with the kids regarding Digital Citizenship.  (Just so you know I am in NO WAY affiliated with!)  I just really love their videos and the kids really enjoy them as well!
     I went ahead and updated the bookmarks as well so that you can give them to your students as a reminder. 
If you would like to use these posters with your own class,
you can find them here at my TpT Store or at Teacher's Notebook.
If you have already purchased this, you can just re-download the file and you will have the updated posters as well.

I hope you find this useful!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Shelf Elf for Book Care

     I've posted a lot about teaching book care with the younger grades, and while I like to use the same poster board set to introduce the idea of book care ( you can read about that activity here), I wanted to use different books with each grade level. 
     This year for 2nd grade, I introduced them to the great book The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins.  
     In the book, the students meet Skoob, the Shelf Elf.  He explains that his job is to take care of the books on the library shelves, and to hopefully win the "Golden Shelf Elf Award" at the end of the year.  The book starts off by showing students how to use a shelf marker (we call them Book Buddies) and how to recognize books that have not been placed on the bookshelf correctly.  Then, with each new page, Skoob shows examples of things that COULD happen to a library book and then gives a rhyming reminder for the students. 
     I wanted to find a way for the students to review how to take care of their library books to go along with this book once they got back to their own classroom.  So I created this Book Care booklet.  I copied the front cover in color and laminated it.
     Then I copied the other 10 pages in black and white and cut them in half.  This gives you a total of 20 examples.  But I also made a blank example in case you have more than 20 students. 
     Library is part of the Special's rotation at my school, so I have a mix of classes instead of just one homeroom class.  I knew I would have to find a system that would allow me to easily hand out and collect their pages.  So I made a file folder for each teacher.  I attached the laminated front cover to the file folder with a binder clip and paper-clipped all the half pages. 
     After we read the book, I took the students on a quick tour of the library.  Then I told them that Skoob made a book for each of their classes to help them remember how to treat a library book.  Unfortunately, he ran out of time and wasn't able to illustrate it.  He was counting on their help.  I called each teacher's name, and those students came up one at a time.  I took the half pages from that teacher's folder and read the statement at the top.  They had to tell me if Stacks would be happy or sad. (This was a quick way to see if they knew how to keep their library books safe.)  If they were correct, I handed them the sheet and they went to draw their pictures.  Then I called the next teacher's name and those students came up.  I continued until I had called all the teachers. 
     When they were finished, they brought their pages back up to me and told me their teacher's name.  I added their illustrated page on top of the laminated cover using the binder clip.  Once I've met with all library groups, I will take all the illustrated pages and staple them into the front cover to create a book.  I will then deliver the books to the classes for their classroom library.   
     The kids had such a good time drawing the pictures, and they turned out sooo cute!  Here are a few examples!   This activity turned out even better that I had hoped for!

If you would like to try this with your students,
you can get it here at my TpT store or at Teacher's Notebook.

I hope your student enjoy it as much as mine did!