Tips for Science/Social Studies Vocabulary

Hi everyone! It's Melissa, from Inspire Me, ASAP. Today I am sharing an idea that I use for learning difficult science and social studies vocabulary words. 

We are currently learning about animal adaptations in science and the textbook is a very difficult level for my students to read with full comprehension. Usually, it is a struggle to just decode the words, let alone think of the meaning! Needless to say, I need to use many different approaches for scaffolding my science lessons.

Here's how it works! Fold a sheet of white 8 1/2 by 11 construction paper, card stock, or just plain printer paper, in half vertically. Have the students use their ruler to divide up the sections equally, depending on how many words they will write down. 

The students write the vocabulary word on the front flap. 

On the left hand side, the students write the definition, using the book for text for evidence and support. You can see here that my students are learning how to identify the source of their information and they write the page number for where they found the information. They also put the words they copied from the text inside quotation marks to show that it came from the book and it is not their idea. :) 

On the right hand side, the student write an example of the vocabulary word and draw a picture of that example. 

Do you have any good tips and tricks for teaching tricky science and social studies vocabulary words? If so, I would love to hear them!

Have a great night!

Melissa :)

Hanging Your Anchor Charts for the Year

Hi! Jen from Teacher by the Beach.

One of my favorite things to talk about is organization. I might be a LITTLE obsessed with being neat and organized... some say it's a disease, me? I say it's just common sense. ha!

In my new room this year, I don't have a lot of space... so I've had to get a little creative on some things.  One things I don't have is a place to keep a chart stand, other than my easel. And I really like hanging our poems and anchor charts for the year in one place, so the kids can flip through them every once in a while.  (You can see my post on what I do with our poems HERE)

So, I have a door with a window in my room that goes to my "closet."  So, I've started just hanging my chart paper there! I just use two butterfly clips and some command strips, and voila! I can hang my chart paper up. 

I also use this to hang up my posters for the year... you know the mailbox posters and such? Or the laminated anchor charts you make and reuse each year? I have those hanging on the other side of the door! It makes it really easy to go looking through them really quickly!

Hope this gives you some sort of idea for organzing and using every inch of your space.


Favorite Fall Books and Lesson Ideas

Good morning!

It's Halle from Across the Hall in 2nd Grade and I'm here today to share a few of my favorite fall books. I've even shared a few lesson ideas on a little cheat sheet to go along with them (in case you need a little extra inspiration).

It's a cool fall day here where I am and it's raining. A perfect day to curl up with a good book now that I'm spending some time at home with my new addition.

I read to Ella every day. You can't start too early, right?

Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite books for the fall season:

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara
Bring in a few pumpkins and read this book before carving in! I love this book for math workshop because it encourages a great discussion on counting strategies.

Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel
All of the stories in this collection are sweet, but I especially love the fall one. It teaches a great lesson of the power of performing kind acts for others (even when they go unnoticed). Read the story then have your students perform a *secret* random act of kindness. Have them write about how it made them feel.

Pumpkin Town by Katie McKy
A cute story with whimsical pictures about a family who grows too many pumpkins! Have your students come up with a list of ways to use up all the extra pumpkins...encourage them to be creative. Maybe replace all of their chairs with pumpkin stools?! I would also bring in a sweet pumpkin treat to share!

In November by Cynthia Rylant
Rylant is one of my very favorite authors, so she makes just about every book list I make! I love this book as a mentor text for repeated phrasing. Have your students write a paragraph, story, or book using repeated phrasing (In October, In Fall, In Autumn, During Halloween, etc).

Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant
Another Rylant book! I told you I loved her! This is a sweet story told from there perspective of a scarecrow. Have your students write about a day in the life of an autumn object or animal, told from that object or animal's perspective.

There you have it! A few of my favorite fall books!

I created a cheat sheet of the books and my lesson suggestions to go with each. You can grab yourself a copy to take to the library (or Amazon) by clicking the picture below!

I hope you get to enjoy these books with your students (or your own kiddos) soon!


Classroom Decor Touches On The Cheap

Hey everyone!

What a crazy month! I accepted a position until January and was told the Friday before staff development and then they weren't sure on a few things but I was there the first day of school.

I'm sharing a classroom with another person (it was 2 in the beginning). I felt a little unsure about decorating the class since it's mainly me teaching in there. The other person's desk is there and she only teaches one class in the room.  And the person's job that I took, well, his stuff is all there too for later.

But I figured I could add my own touches to the classroom that can easily be removed too. *UPDATE* I started this post before I got moved to my 3rd grade class! So ignore the beginning part lol. My classroom I moved into is bare bones, but the items below I used in the shared classroom, which I of course brought with me to my classroom.

  I just added the markers so you could see how it works. Perfect place for me to grab the markers! I have another bucket with dry erase markers.

If you want the freebie poster, here's the link.


Teaching Types of Sentences

Hi! This is Courtney from Swimming into Second. I'm stopping by today to share a book that I recently found to teach different types of sentences. I ordered this book at the end of last school year and just remembered that I have it. #toomanybooks


I have recently just finished teaching the 4 different types of sentences and I thought this book would be a great review. I love that the characters in each book only say a certain type of sentence and their names are related to this. For example, Declara only says declarative sentences.

For our review, I read my students this book. Then, I pulled sentences from the text and typed them up without punctuation marks. In groups, the students had to add the correct punctuation marks to the sentences and then glue them on a piece of chart paper.

Declarative sentences and Interrogative sentences are on the other side of the paper.

This was a great review of the sentences and I heard some great discussion going on about why the sentences had to have certain marks.

I have these sentences available as a freebie for you. Click here to grab the freebie.

There are a few other books in this language series that you also might be interested in. You can check them out below.


If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you would leave me a comment or come visit me on my blog.  Have a great day!

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Have you heard of Ten Marks?

Hi all! I am Jessica Hursh from The Teacher Talk. I am a new 'owl' here at Owl-ways Be Inspired. I am beyond excited to be joining these bloggers - little do they ALL know... I have been in awe over them ever since I've began my blogger & tpt journey - so, the fact that I am joining them & get to collaborate with them... I am just beside myself. 

Now, have you ever heard of Ten Marks? I hadn't!! When a colleague of mine told me about it and told me that it was totally free... my jaw about hit the floor! "What do you mean I can assign in class work or homework to students that is directly correlated to the standard I'm teaching... &... I don't have to grade it .... & it tracks their progress?" That exists? OH. YES. IT. DOES.! It's called Ten Marks.

I am using this webpage to assign homework to my students once we grasp a skill in the classroom. 

Here is a peek at Ten Marks:

Each time I assign a homework assignment, I send home these little notes:


Gallery Walks

I'll be honest, my day for blogging here at the Owl blog has kinda creeped up on me out of nowhere and I've had a VERY busy day! I literally raced out of school after two meetings at 4 to get to our 4D ultrasound appointment this evening. 

Sweet girl Gracen is a chunker! I'm getting kind of nervous. The tech told me she's looking like 5 pounds already and I'm only 32 weeks! Ah!

Then I had dinner with some friends and just got home! 

I just wanted to share a little something that I do often in my classroom to get kids up, moving, and working. This is nothing life changing and I'm sure you guys probably do something like this all the time. I like to call it Gallery Walking. 

I take practice problems, review questions, etc... and post them around the room with numbers. Studnets use a recording sheet to travel around the room with a partner to solve the problems. This week, we happened to be working on estimating sums so all of the pictures are from the kids walking around and solving the problems (showing their work) on their recording sheets.

I really love this strategy and I use it weekly just to change it up and get kids doing practice problems in a different way. This is especially helpful if you have kiddos who need to get up and move around often! They love it and they are working so hard!! 

I hope to share something more useful next time! 

Til then, this preggers if off to bed!


A Career for Me - A Freebie!

Hi everyone!  I'm Angelia from Extra Special Teaching and so happy to be joining Owl-ways Be Inspired!  I'm a 2nd grade resource teacher in sunny Hawaii.  I'm excited to share some of the things I do in my classroom with all of you.  

I'm always trying to encourage my students to become better writers and improve their writing skills.  However, I've found that writing can be really challenging for many students, especially special education students.  I try to develop writing units that will give my students lots of support in order for them to work independently.  This isn't an easy task!

This year my school is focusing on becoming an AVID school.  Part of AVID's focus is helping close the gap so that students can be college ready upon graduating high school.  Even though I teach 2nd grade, it's never too early to start encouraging our students to think about post-high school goals.

We just started our new writing unit yesterday where we are thinking about careers.  First, we brainstormed different careers and filled out our bubble charts.

This also gave me the opportunity to talk about how we can't become a cat for our career choice, but we can become a vet who takes care of cats.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who has these types of conversations in their class???

We used these two brain storming pages to help us pick our career choice.  If their career choice wasn't on the page below, I had them write their choice on the back or color it yellow on the bubble map page.  

We then talked about different steps or skills the students would need for their careers.  I had students highlight 3 different things they would need for their careers.

Tomorrow, we will begin filling out our first planning page and practice writing in complete sentences.
We'll then begin working on our rough draft using the planning sheet below.
When we're all done, we'll do our final draft and draw a picture.

I can't wait to hang these up in my classroom once they're all done!

If you would like to download this mini-writing unit, you can download it {here}.

I hope this is useful for you!

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