Expanding Sentences

As this the end of the school year is getting closer and closer my kids are still having trouble with writing complete sentences. My group last year really enjoyed writing...this group not so much. They think it's boring and I'm lucky to get a sentence or two out of them. Today I tried to take it back to the basics of expanding sentences and encouraged them to use adjectives and adverbs.

Getting your students to write detailed sentences can be such a difficult task. Come see how my class practices writing expanded sentences with this simple activity.

I gave them a piece of paper and had them fold back and forth until they had 4 rectangles on their page. I gave them a short sentence and they wrote it on the outside of their foldable.

Getting your students to write detailed sentences can be such a difficult task. Come see how my class practices writing expanded sentences with this simple activity.

When we were expanding our sentences I only gave them clues such as lets add an adjective to describe the dog. Lets write an adverb to show how the dog ran, etc....  This was their end result.
Getting your students to write detailed sentences can be such a difficult task. Come see how my class practices writing expanded sentences with this simple activity.

Getting your students to write detailed sentences can be such a difficult task. Come see how my class practices writing expanded sentences with this simple activity.

I will definitely take it! We did one of these every day for a week and they can use them as examples when working on writing independently. 
How do you encourage your kids writing?

Looking for other writing ideas? Check out my Reading and Writing Pinterest board!


Instagram Craze!

I don't know about ya'll but I LOVE instagram! Recently, I have seen more and more teacher bloggers make classroom accounts and share pictures of the fabulous things they are doing in their classrooms. I'm jumping on the bandwagon!
You can now find and follow @saddleupfor2ndgrade on Instagram!

I'm just getting it set up. I post on my personal account all the time. Hopefully I can keep up with this one. If you'd like to follow my personal account you can add me @marcylynn22.
What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABC's are hosting an Instagram LINKY!!! How great is this?!? Each Tuesday called Teacher Talk Tuesday! Linkup your fav pics throughout the day using #teachertalktuesday and see what other fabulous bloggers are doing from all over the world!
This makes me HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!
So once again, if you'd like to follow me on instagram you can find my blog @saddleupfor2ndgrade
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I have tomorrow off! WOHOO!!!
Marcy :)

Five For Friday {April 26th}

Thank goodness its Friday! I'm not sure about anyone else but it has been what seems like the longest week ever! We had state testing this week and even though I don't teach a test grade, this means that we went 2 days with no breaks, no specials, no library, monitored bathroom breaks, lunch with the kids in the cafeteria to keep them quiet...do I really need to go on? Luckily, I have a 3 day weekend!
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share five things from my room this week!
If you live in Texas, you've heard about the accident that happened last week in West, TX. For those of you that might not know there was an explosion at a Fertilizer Plant killing 15 volunteer firemen and injuring hundreds. West is a small town about 45 minutes from where I live. West is also the home of my two very best friends and several other close friends. They are fortunate to be safe and so are their families. There town lost their middle school. I can't image loosing my classroom or even my home. I wanted to help in someway but I just didn't know how. On Monday and Tuesday I spent the afternoon collecting food, water, clothes, medical supplies, school supplies and gift cards in my community. Our VFD did a wonderful job of collecting supplies for the town of West. It felt good to help in some way. While I don't have a pictures of the work that we did. I will ask you to pray for West.
 I don't know if anyone else has an addiction to bright, colored pens BUT I do! I have this weird habit that when I grade papers, I can't grade all the sets using the same pen/marker. I have to change the color after each set. I found these SUPER cute GLITTER markers over the weekend and I am in LOVE!!! even if they are craZart! You can see them here on Amazon.
The past two weeks we have been studying measurement. Here we are playing "Find Someone Who" from my Skating into Measurement unit! I taped a skateboard card onto each students back. They did not know which card they had. I had them go around and measure each others cards on their backs. They did this in inches and centimeters. Once they had measured everyone they had to guess which card they had. It was so much fun! They really enjoyed it!
 (I have a recording sheet include in my Skating into Measurement pack, but our copier was down most of the week so we used our math journals instead!
In other news...I was Teacher of the Week for my district! Yay!
In spite of the rough week, I did manage to get a huge wedding to-do check off my list! We FINALLY booked our honeymoon! Can you guess where we're going?
We battled this decision for months and could not decide. We finally came across a great deal that we just could not pass up. I can't wait to spend a week in Caribbean. I have never been before. Have you been to Jamaica? What did you think?
That's it for now! Have a great weekend ya'll!
Marcy :)


Earth Day & Idioms {Flash Giveaway}

I may be a day or two late but I'm going to share with you our Earth Day project. Better late than never right. We used this freebie I found on TPT from the Lesson Plan Diva. I used this last year too. Then I read this great idea from Erica Bohrer on teaching kids to recycle paper and decided to put two and two together!
We talked about the 3 R's. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
I first showed the kids how to reduce paper. We talked about how different ways we waste paper and how we can change it. I have always had a scrap paper drawer so this was the perfect time to use this as an example.
Here we are "reducing" our paper. I showed them by cutting the page in half.
Then to "reuse" the paper. They tore it into tiny strips to complete the globe of the craft rather than coloring. I will say that this took FOR-E-VER, but luckily we've had crummy weather and had to stay inside for recess.

We then took our left over scraps that we did not use and "recycled" them by adding them to our scrap paper drawer!
(Sorry, no picture of our drawer!)
After we made our cute crafts, we talked about other ways that we can follow the 3 R's. Each student filled out the recording sheet and attached it to the bottom of their craft.
They were then hung in the hallway for display! I love how they turned out!
Over the past few weeks we have been talking about idioms and my kids have really come to enjoy using them! Thank you Amelia Bedelia! They'll say "I'm just pulling your leg Ms. Fambro!" They inspired me to create my latest ELA center, Idiom Puzzles! This unit contains 24 idiom puzzles where your little ones will have to match the idiom with its literal meaning. There is also a blank puzzle to have your students create their own and a recording sheet. You can click on the picture below to check it out on TPT. They can be used as a center or for small group instruction.

I'll giveaway my Idioms Puzzles to the first two people to comment below using an idiom! Don't forget to leave me your e-mail address!

Happy! Happy! Happy! Wednesday everyone!

Marcy :)


Let's Get Acquainted~My Classroom

I'm linking up once again with Flyin into First Grade's Let's Get Acquainted Linky! Have I mentioned how much I love this linky?!?
This weeks theme was to share your 3 favorite areas of our classroom!
I am in LOVE with my word wall this year! My first two years of teaching, I wasn't very good at actually putting the words up there. I know, I know, shame on me. This year I have done a much better job! My sweeties use it as a reference all the time. I love when a kid asks to spell a word and another one will respond with "look at the word wall"!
I'm actually out of room on several letters. I definitely need a bigger space next year. My walls are cinder block so I have to climb on top of the cubbies to reach the very top letters now. Lots of hot glue. Does anyone else hate having to hot glue EVERYTHING?!?
When you walk into my classroom, you see the back wall which is one giant bulletin board that I have split up into 4 sections. I could easily talk about each section but for now I'll share my 2 favorite!
First up is our "math board"! This space is now overflowing with cute anchor charts and I love it! The kids also use this for a reference everyday. I plan the math for our grade level and it is my favorite subject to teach. As you can see, it is overflowing!
If you look closely you can see a sneak peak at our measurement gardens (an Amy Lemons activity)...but more on that later this week!
Last year I created this simple, easy, post it story map chart. I bet you'll never guess where I got that idea! coughPINTERESTcough Each week when we review our story elements, I'll write them on a post it and stick it on the wall, while the kids write in their journal. I love using the post its because you just peel and stick! My story element chart I made last year (very quickly). Its colored with chalk and laminated. Its not the cutest but I like it and serves its purpose.
(If you have never colored with chalk I highly recommend it for bigger projects. Just make a few lines, then use a tissue to smear it around. Its fast and easy.) 
What are you favorite areas in your classroom? Head on over to Flying into First to link up and share!
Marcy :)
Oh and good luck to all my Texas teachers out there. Today was day of one STAAR testing (state testing).


The Magical Prodcut Swap!

I am so excited to participate in Jessica over at Mrs. Standford's Class spring edition of Product Swap! This fabulous blog hop pairs 2 bloggers/TPTers to swap each others products to review.


I was thrilled when I found out that I was paired with Janet from Making Waves in Second Grade! You may know her as fishyrobb! She is a 2nd grade teacher in Florida who makes some great resources for guided reading, language arts, and math! I should know, I own several of her products!
I joined the blogging world back in November and Janet was one of the first people I became "friends" with in the blogging world. We then discovered that her niece use to be in my classroom! What are the odds of that?!? Over the past few months we have shared advice and stories and I am thrilled to review her Money Mania Pack.

Money Mania has some great activities to help reinforce counting money. My classrooms personal favorite is Money Traders. Money Traders is a game that can be used as a center, small group, whole group, individually or with partners. Students roll the dice and collect coins until they can trade for a larger coin (Trade 5 pennies for a nickel, trade 2 nickels for a dime, etc). If playing with partners, the first person to trade for a dollar wins. The first time we played introduced this activity whole group. I printed off and laminated enough copies for each student to have their own game board. I explained the rules and they caught one quickly! They LOVED it! I heard "woohoo I got a dime", "I got 4 quarters, awesome!". They were so engaged that I just let them play about 30 minutes. They ask to play it just about everyday during centers or when we have free time.  
Here they are fully engaged.
Since I decided to make this activity whole group, I spiced it up to see who could make the most dollars! Here is our winner!!!
Of course we are all winners!
Money Mania also features one of my favorite activities to use for various subjects...I Have, Who Has Money Edition! It contains 24 coin counting cards for this fun activity! We played this while I had my student observer and she was in awe! She had never seen the game before and thought it was the neatest thing! I referred her to Making Waves in Second Grade as well as TPT!
Here we are playing!
This unit also contains 26 coin task cards that can be used for an ispy game, scoot or math center! These are in our lesson plans for our money review at the end of the year (which is really SOON!) Also included is money match up puzzles perfect for concentration to match money pictures with the corresponding amount and name. The dollar bill is included. Money Mania also offers a color page reference sheet showing money equivalencies, a money poem and a cut and paste money poem worksheet!
To check out Making Waves in Second Grades FANTASTIC Money Mania unit, click here to check it out on TPT.
Don't forget to check out Making Waves in Seconds blog too! She has some great ideas! Click on her button below to pay her a visit, say hello, check out more great products AND see which product of mine she is reviewing! You can also check out her store on TPT. Don't forget to click follow!!

Don't forget to head on over to Mrs. Standford's Class blog to check out other amazing product swaps!

 Have a good weekend everyone!

Marcy :)


What if Amelia Bedelia had Instagram?

This week we have dove head first into the wonderful, crazy world that is Amelia Bedelia! She is one of my favorite characters! I can remember reading her stories as a child and laughing at her silliness! A few weeks ago I found this AWESOME, FREE, source on TPT...If Our Characters Had Instagram! I don't plan the reading and ELA for my grade level so once I found this I immediately sent it to my partner teacher and said we have to do this! Luckily she agreed!
All of my kids know what facebook and twitter are but I was surprised that many of them hadn't heard of instagram yet. I personally love instagaram but that's besides the point! I showed them my personal account and explained that its like facebook except you share pictures of what's going on in your life and that you can like or comment on other peoples photos.
I then had them create their own username! Most chose a family nickname or their initials. One of my personal favs was maddog32! LOL Once they created a user name I told them to pick their favorite idiom from the original Amelia Bedelia story. (We've been talking about idioms too of course!) They then had to illustrate their favorite idiom and give it a caption.
Then I had them switch desks and they had to comment on another students picture. They had to write a sentence using an adjective to describe Amelia Bedelia. Then write at least one nice comment about the picture. I then had them switch 2 more times and they had to write their user name and "like" the photo!
I think they turned out pretty great! We will definitely be using this idea more often in 2F!
Marcy :)


Let's Get Acquainted: Skittles Game {4-15-13 }

I know I'm a few days late on the Let's Get Acquainted Linky hosted by Flying into First Grade.
Better late than never right?!? This week's "get acquainted" theme is the SKITTLES game! (I love skittles!)

Red: Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
In my favorites post I mentioned that I LOVE ice cream...not just any kind of ice cream. BLUE BELL ice cream and I was SHOCKED when I received comments saying they had never heard of it before! I didn't realize that it must be only a Texas thing. I love all kinds of ice cream....chocolate chip cookie dough, banana pudding, cookies and cream, good 'ol fashioned vanilla. I will admit though that homemade ice cream is probably my favorite! Come on summer!
Orange: Favorite College Memory
My favorite memory and sports go together. I went to Texas Tech University in Lubbock. I am a die hard RED RAIDER and very proud of my Alma Mater. Just some other info about me I am a HUGE college football fan! I can tell you the exact day...it was November 1st, 2008. Texas Tech v. The University of Texas. (Now for all you longhorn fans, don't hate on me for this!) Tech was having the best season in school history. We went into the game against the number 1 team in the nation. The Texas Longhorns. While we were ranked 7th. The leader board changed throughout the entire game including 2 interceptions within the last minute of the game. We won in the LAST second of the game with the most amazing catch thrown by Graham Harrell (GB Packers) to Michael Crabtree (SF 49ers) to bring the final score to 38-33! It was UNBELIEVABLE! It was a huge moment for our school and a huge upset to UT. I can still remember everything about the game, the atmosphere, it was incredible. I still get chills watching that play.
If you'd like to watch a video of our amazing play click here. 
Here I am at the game. Oh and I waited in line for 9 HOURS to get into the stadium!
Final Score
An areal view of the field after the game after everyone rushed the field.
Yellow: Favorite Sports Team
I think you can probably guess that my favorite team is my Texas Tech Red Raiders after my little rant of excitement I just talked about! I am also a huge baseball fan and will always stay true to my Texas Rangers!
Here I am at a game with my best!
Green: Favorite Fast Food
I also mentioned in my favorites post that I LOVE Sonic! Since I've shared that with you, you may also like to know that I love Subway! A disadvantage of teaching in a small town is that we don't have many fast food places. We have only one (chicken express). Its a treat when I get to eat fast food. I guess that's a good thing!
Purple: Wild Card
I have this weird obsession of tearing a piece of paper or folding it into fourths before I throw it away. I always tear it in a half, put those pieces together then do it again before I toss it. I have no idea why its just something I've always done.
If you'd like to link up and get acquainted with tons of other fabulous bloggers then click here.
Marcy :)


Saying a Prayer and Color Choices (Classroom Management)

First off, I just have to say that my heart goes out to everyone involved with the Boston Marathon bombing today. It makes me sick to think that we cannot go anywhere and be safe. Bless everyone and the families of the horrible tragedy. To all my blogger and TPT friends in the area I am definitely praying for ya'll.
2 years ago I went to the C.A.M.P.T (the state math conference) here in Texas. Have any of my other Texas friends been to the conference? I just love it! The idea I'm about to talk about came from this conference. I do not remember whose original idea this or what its called so if anyone knows, please let me know. I call this idea "color choices."
How many of you have the one kid who ALWAYS blurts out the answer to a question before anyone can respond or you have some that never answer. Go ahead everyone, raise your hands! Color choices is an idea that I saw at this conference that can help with that problem.
These color choice markers have 4 colors.
Red is choice A
Blue is choice B
Yellow is choice C
Green is choice D
Here's an example of how we use them. Today I introduced idioms and showed a PowerPoint where and idiom was given with 4 answer choices and they had to pick what they thought the idiom meant. I passed these out and instead of only a few kids shouting out answers, they simply hold the color mark by the color that represents the answer. I always tell put the red end at the top. If they thought the answer was C then they hold the color mark on the yellow square. This works great for comprehension and gives the kids who normally don't like to talk a chance to shine.
They can also be used for true/false questions. The possibilities are endless. So when my kids are getting a little rowdy and lets face it, the school year is coming to an end and we are all feeling that way....I pull these out to calm things down for a few minutes and it works great.
When I originally saw these at the conference I remember you could purchase a set of 4 for like $10. No thanks, I'll just make my own. No offense to the person who came up with this idea. If you would like a copy of my "color choice" markers click here  or the picture below to get them for FREE! Simply print onto cardstock and laminate! I've been using this set for 2 years and they are still going strong.
 Have a good week!
Marcy :)

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