Fact Fluency


   Every year I model fact fluency assessments for the students by giving myself a timed test.  I'm not going to fib...it's hard for me.  Like many of my students, I do not have the ability to be timed without freaking out.  Our goal as their teacher is to help them memorize addition and subtraction facts.  So, this year I am trying something new.  Instead of having a fact of the day on the board or on their desk I created watches that will be with them ALL DAY LONG.  My plan is to make this into a morning routine. "Grab your watch, color it with highlighters, cut it out and have a friend glue it on."  For the rest of the day I have a million things I can do with those fancy watches. Here are a few of my ideas...
Shout Out: Throughout the day yell, “FACT CHECK!”.  The students will repeat with the fact found on their watch that day.
Teach It:  Make it a daily routine during morning meeting and/or end of the day meeting to have students turn to a partner and teach the fact of the day.  Encourage them to use manipulatives or visuals.
Math Center: Lay out all of the materials needed for this center (glue sticks, scissors, light colored crays/markers) and have students put them together. Again, explain to students that they should help one another when gluing them on.
Fact Fluency Circling:  After each timed fact fluency assessment have students circle the fact of the day (which ever watch they are wearing that day) with a highlighter.

Exit Slips:  I always have blank exit slips pre-made in a basket by the door.  I included the one I use.  Before they exit for lunch, specials, or the end of the day have them write a story problem for the fact of the day (which ever watch they are wearing that day). 
Yes, I will still have timed assessments (I know....yuck!).  I will also be watching through formative assessments like Exit Slips to see who's got it and who still  needs extra help.

If you are like me, you have a stack of books you haven't read yet this summer. If you're going to read any teaching resource book this summer you HAVE TO read this one! It is amazing!!!!

Daily Writing Practice

    So, 13 years into this whole teaching thing and I have to admit...writing is hard in 2nd grade!  Out of all subjects taught in a day, writing seems to be the one that has changed dramatically within my tenure. We have so many expectations for these little ones.  As their teacher I feel for them. Last year I started a living journal, which is basically a prompt with a picture.  The students have 10 minutes to put their pencil to the paper and JUST WRITE.  It's not an assessed piece of curriculum.  In fact, students can bring it to the carpet to share IF they want. But that is as far as I go.  I wanted them to have some time to just relax and learn how it feels to journal or keep a diary of thoughts and feelings. During the last trimester I created compilation of writing prompts covering 4 different genres.  My students looooooved this! I am super excited to start it again at the beginning of this 2016-17 school year.  I wanted to give some tips...

1. ~ Dim the lights during this special writing time.  I have several lamps in my room so I just leave those on and it makes a nice ambiance.

2, ~ Use this time as a calming tool.  We did it after specials as a writing warm up.

3. ~ Have a share schedule.  By listing 2-3 students who can share their writing IF THEY WANT at the beginning of our mini lesson meeting. I'm sure you know, 2nd graders love to share so you rarely get turned down on this. I keep a grid in my lesson plan binder and simply write the students name on the board at the beginning of the day.

4. ~ Set a visual timer.  Several of my students need this given that I have a special ed inclusion class.  Also, it gives them a feeling of, "this is my time that I can use as I see fit".  My only stipulation is that pencils are up and thoughts are happening.

5. ~ Show the kids your invested in this! If I do stop to read a students writing I always ask, "May I take a look?".  I also have a journal so I will sometimes sit with the kids and write too.

6 ~ If you do use the resource that I created pre-cut prompt squares and have a glue day (Monday worked best for us).  It only takes the kids about 5 minutes to glue that weeks prompts into their journal for the week (5 to glue).  This worked so well because we only had to get glue out once per week and then they were set.

This TpT download is a fast routine resource and CHEAP!  But, you can simply open a blank PowerPoint presentation.  On a daily basis look for interesting photographs on Google copy and paste it with a short prompt. HOPEFULLY you have an ELMO or Smart Board in which you can just display the prompt and kids can go at it in their journal. By the end of the school year you'll have your own resource that you can keep for years to come!

Very Vowel

Last year I tried to get through all of my word families within the first trimester...then we never really went back to them.  I know, I'm a horrible teacher!!!!  We did work on Word Work for about 20 minutes per day but I didn't emphasis the families that we went over from the beginning of the year as much as I should have.  My solution for 2016-2017 school year is to have easy, no prep review lessons.  I haven't used this one in my class yet.  When I do I will upload some pics. $4 bundle!


I'm throwing a summer sale to kick off my new look!  Everthing in my TpT store is 20% off!  Please also take a look at my freebies.  If you like what you see please remember to follow me for more AMAZING creations this summer!

I Look Good!

Blog Launch 2016!  Isn't it beautiful?! School is out....I am ready to make some new friends over the summer.  Stay tuned for all the amazing things that will be happening right here at Crazy for Second Graders!  Sooooooooooo excited!

The Chocolate Touch

I always start March is Reading Month with this gem!  This was the first chapter book that I read all the way through in 3rd grade.  I am now on the 13th year of reading it to my 2nd grade class and they are always hanging on every word.  Mainly because I'm so good at reading it!  I know almost every word by heart so I have each voice inflection down.  I highly recommend reading it (even if it's for the 22nd time).

Happy New Year!

This year is going to be amazing! 16 has always been a lucky number for me.  I have not made any resolutions because I don't like to set myself up for failure.  I believe if it's not broken, don't fix it!

As a special treat for the new year I am giving away one free product from my TpT page!  From Jan. 3-Jan. 4 (8pm) you can email me the product you like best and I'll email you the PDF.  I would be so appreciative f you would also follow my page!  I promise not to sell or do anything crazy with your email!  It's just for this purpose only. My email

Here are my newest creations!  Happy New Year!