Saturday, January 24, 2015

Parts of Speech White Board Challenge {FREEBIE}

I love Scattergories. It's one of the things in life that I can say I'm reeeeeally good at (see also: napping, whining) which is probably why it's a favorite.

This parts of speech game, or as we like to call it in my classroom, White Board Challenge, reminds me a lot of my favorite pastime of total domination = Scattergories. It's essentially a review game. I divided the board into two sides and then (in this case) into four rows because we covered adjectives, adverbs, action verbs, and nouns (both common and proper in one row).

The teams line up in two lines and the marker gets passed to the person behind you. When you're up, you get a part of speech and a letter of the alphabet called to you and your opponent. The team with the most correct responses at the end of the game wins! Like Scattergories, if the teams have the same answer, neither get a point.


How I
keep track of what part of speech/letter combo I called: I lay out my parts of speech cards in a column and stack the correlating letters next to them. When I am reviewing for points at the end, I just look at my stacks and go through them, checking off what the teams have as I go. Take a look at the freebie I created to go with the game to get a better idea!

I can see that my kids need to work on adverbs and adjectives and that we need to cover both topics a few more times. 

I created this freebie to go with the game.
Get the Parts of speech White Board Challenge game for FREE here.

If you like this idea, check out my previous post on how we do our Vocab Challenge in my classroom.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

White Board Vocabulary Challenge

My students love this game.

This timed vocab game gives them the outlet they're looking for all day.

A race against the clock. 
A group activity on their feet!
Use of the teacher's markers.
Allowance to be loud/cheer when their team wins. 
The opportunity to challenge their classmates.

Here, students are thinking of words associated with the skeletal system.
The concept is simple and doesn't require anything you don't already have in your classroom. Students are given a topic and they have 2-6 minutes to write as many words per team that relate to the topic at hand. They can write one word at a time each time it's their turn. 

We've played a couple of different ways:
If BOTH teams have the same word written then it doesn't count as a point for either (think, Scattergories). This alleviates some cheating and it can also be used as a strategy to use against the other team - I don't tell my kids that though! 

I've also rolled my anchor chart stand in between the two teams so they can't copy each other and count every applicable word per team. Whatever works for you and your kids!

This game can be used for any subject to review. It also gives you a good idea of what your students know. It can also be beneficial to do this challenge before you've taught anything about a topic to give yourself some insight on your students background knowledge.  

Divide your board, line up your teams, set the clock, and go! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

100 Days Smarter Banner!

This year I'm going to miss the 100th day of school! I'm a week away from having my second baby (boy!) and I won't be back to school until May.  I guess I'll have to decorate with my "100 Days Smarter" pennant banner next year! It should be a SLIGHT improvement from my off center streamers-and-sign disaster from my first year...


Anyway, if you too need an upgrade, get my colorful banner here

"100 Days Smarter" Pennant Banner in Brights - 100th Day o

Happy almost 100th!!!!!


Why I Have My Students Track Their OWN Data!

My first year teaching, we were required to keep data bins. Each student had a folder... With multiple folders inside that folder, with millions of samples of their work.  I never had enough paper clips to keep up. I never even wanted to even open the lid to my data bin quite honestly. Daunting to manage, organize, and carry, I couldn't wait to bid it adieu! What was worse - the kids never really saw any of their hard work. They'd get feedback but they couldn't SEE their progress.

This summer I decided to change that! Queue my Student Data Binders. 

Over the summer I decided I wanted my students to take ownership of their grades. I created what became their data binders - inside they keep track of their progress with ALL 2nd grade math standards, their reading level, and samples of their graded writing. 

Their math tests have the standards listed on the top and this is where I put their percentage. They've learned to color in the related graphs for each chapter and most can now do it independently! This, of course, took a few practice sessions :)

I love that they can fill in their Reading Growth Chart monthly and I love that they can see what their end of year goal is!  I also created a reteaching log to help keep track of each time we rehashed a standard they were not grasping. This helps a lot with grades later.

These binders have also been super helpful in parent-teacher conferences. I can easily show how a student has progressed with the math standards, if their writing has improved, and present their reading level pattern.

Get your student data binders from my TPT store today!

Friday, January 16, 2015


Hi, I'm Ashley!

I am a career changer teacher in my 2nd year at a title 1.  I worked in video and event production for years but I never felt a passion for it. I LOVE teaching and can't believe I ever even considered a different career.  I love being in the classroom, collaborating with other teachers, making my own resources, and bringing creativity into my lessons.  My students have been some of the most amazing and some of the most challenging little people I've ever met! They've taught me so much.