Such a BUSY Week!

Remember last week when I thought I had a busy week... well, I guess that was just to prepare me for this week.  Our DC trip did get cancelled, so I actually got to enjoy Easter weekend.  We've been packing, moving, unpacking at home all while the school days have been just as hectic!  It was a testing week here in Texas, so our big kiddos were focused on that while we were focused on keeping the little ones quiet.  Such an easy task ;)  But, it's over *for now* so we shall all move on :)

My kiddos have been learning all about multiplication!  We do just the very basics in 2nd grade- understanding the process and why we need to multiply.  We don't memorize facts or drill perfection, but we do want to expose them to many different multiplication situations.  So, we make LOTS of multiplication models.  

It's a great, EASY way to differentiate because you can pass out more circles and stickers to those who "get it" and less to those who need a little more help!
We have also done a lot of practicing on white boards.  I found this super quick multiplication PP online... gave my kiddos their whiteboards and we drew pictures to find the answers.
This activity is also in my unit, but I did it a little different this year.  I had these cute little hand cut-outs, so we used those with colored sticker dots to do the "In My Hands" activity.  We just did everything on notecards and voila!  

And, of course, we made our Multiplication Mushrooms!  This year I allowed my students to choose their multiplication problem.  They used paint dotters to make equal groups :)
Like I said before, models, models, and more models!
 We even tied multiplication into our study about whales (which I'll talk about below).  Today we made these cute little orcas from my "I Can Measure" unit to go with multiplication word problems.

You can get the multiplication word problems HERE (please don't judge if there are errors... I literally thought of this activity 2 seconds before math and had to make them in a hot minute!)
 Next week we will dive into learning different multiplication strategies and using arrays!

Now onto whales...

Last year Abby wrote a VERY inspirational post about using the study of whales while teaching informational writing.  I fell in love immediately and decided from here until eternity I will be teaching about whales.  I did all of this stuff last year and my kids just fell in love with these *not so little* guys.  So, from now until forever I will carve out at least a week to research and write about whales!

We learned LOTS of new vocabulary LOTS!
We made 3D Baleen whales that I found for FREE HERE!  This project served so many purposes.  My kids had to figure out how to assemble their 3D whale AND they had to write as if they were the whale itself.  So fun!
Love how this one used the vocabulary words:  fluke, blowhole, predators!  And, the name is Bubble... how fitting is that?!
We also sorted information about whales into True/False.  Some of those were tricky, so reading carefully was crucial!
And we read TONS of books and looked at an equal amount of pictures and videos that I found.  National Geographic has some great, quick videos that are really intriguing!
To sum up our learning today, each student wrote an informational writing piece and drew a diagram of a whale's body.  My students were so engaged while doing this because they wanted everything to be just perfect.  My classroom was *almost* quiet for the first time ever ;)

You can get all of my whale printables HERE for free :)  Pretty much everything above and then some is in the file :)

Now, I'm off to finish decorating my house and hopefully catch a few naps before a new week!  Happy Weekend, friends!


Kelly Pulham said...

I seriously love your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas. I know my students will love learning about whales.

Courtney B said...

Thanks so much for sharing the whale freebies! We will be learning about ocean life the week after our big test and this is just perfect. Thanks!

Ms. P said...

Thank you so much - I am so excited to try these activities!

Lori Flaglor said...

I love these ideas! I want to be in your room!

Bethany Louise said...

I sincerely love everything you post! Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic ideas! I love trying to adapt them for my first graders. Thanks!

Ship Shape First Grade

My Carolina Classroom said...

I can't wait to use your whale freebies! Thank you!!

Dayna Swearengin said...

I absolutely love your whale unit! How cute! I do have a question for you...When your kiddos sorted information about whales into true/false, how much support do you give for this? Are they completely on their own? Partner? Whole class?

Thanks! I love all the fun things you do in your classroom!

Jen said...

Um...I'm teaching a writing class during the summer 3 days a week and I think I just found the first week's theme:'s summer time! Thanks for the inspiration dearie!

Carrie Jones said...

Thank you, Amy! So cute. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us and for taking the time to post your activities and thoughts. I am always inspired! sounds like you are super busy, so that means even more that you would take the time to post about your school days. I hope you enjoy your new house!

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Mrs. Massey said...

Thanks so much for sharing!! I love the whale ideas!!

kteede said...

Hi! Last year I used your "I-spy" summer edition. I posted the 16 questions around the room and the kids answered each question on their own papers. Do you have any more of those? I have searched your website and I can't find any more. My kiddos absolutely LOVED this activity, so I was hoping to find more.

Thank you,
Katie Root