Second Grade Literacy Centers

Literacy stations in second grade are no problem for Lindsey Spearman.  She is a first year teacher and has a great grasp on how to keep students engaged in learning.  She works to provide stations that meet the goals and objectives of our campus.  Students rotate around the room completing spelling activities, independent reading, vocabulary activities and, each student met with the teacher for a lesson on reading comprehension.

Meet Lindsey Spearman:

Comprehension with the Teacher:
Students met with the teacher to complete Rainbow Comprehension Strategies.  This lesson used the Life of a Duck from the Farm Animal Rainbow Comprehension Packet.

Other Centers:

Every task that students complete in stations/centers is a reinforcement of what was taught in whole group.  Teachers do not put skills in the centers if they have not introduced it.

All materials are organized in tubs on the tables.  All items that the students need are included in these tubs.  This helps with the flow of the center and helps students complete the task in time to rotate to the next station.
Students rotate around the room with the help of the electronic timer that is used in many classrooms on my campus.  If you have been following this blog, you have seen different theme timers.  They can be custom made for you here.

Do you enjoy it when I spotlight teachers on my campus?  If so, leave a comment below or join me on facebook so you can see the next classroom.  I don't want you to miss out on the fun.  Here's a link to my Pinterest page too.


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Math in Music

Incorporating math through music provides students with opportunities to strengthen basic math skills.  Allowing students to use movement and lyrics ensures that the entire mind and body are learning. makes learning fun.  When I was growing up, School House Rock was big.  I can still sing the songs and I bet you know them too.  Below you will see Will Smith using music to learn the periodic table of elements.  

I believe math skills can be taught through music.  Studies have been done to prove that teaching students math skills using music and songs improves math scores by about 50 percent.  I still believe in the traditional math class but we should incorporate chants, songs and raps to allow other styles of learning too.  

 Here are a few resources that we have purchased on our campus.  I purchased a big set of math posters from  The students will learn each of these songs in our music class each week.  Posters are in full color and printed on 11x17 semigloss.  They are great for grades 1-6.
Another big benefit of using music in math class is that music and movement can energize the class and help students focus.  Research shows that the brain is more stimulated and increases the amounts of information that is retained and recalled.  Music also helps by providing students with strategies to increase their memory and improve their math skills.
There are so many posters to choose from at  Here are just a few:
Adding Parts- Tune of Gilligan's Island
Subtraction-Wheels on the Bus
Division-My Bologna Has a First Name
Let's Divide- Skip to My Lou
Fractions- My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean


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Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Having a store on Teachers Pay Teachers and a blog is rewarding.  I love meeting new people and sharing ideas with people all over the world.  Today I looked up my stats and I'm in the Top 200 for Texas.  Now to me that is huge because just a short time ago I stopped looking because I was so far from the Top 100.  I'm celebrating today with a smile!

We are getting ready to begin state testing.  For Texas, we take the STAAR test.  We are decorating the halls for our students with a Rock the Test theme.

Here's a glimpse into a third grade room.  The teacher is Lori Lindley.  Students are working on Main Idea in small groups around the room.  If you know anything about STAAR, main idea is a big tested item.  
If you missed a blog post about the digital timer, you can find more about it here.  

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Huge Giveaway

I'm happy to join up today with my friend Mo.  Mo has a great blog called More Than Math by Mo.  She redesigned her blog and wanted to have a giveaway...A Big Giveaway.  Several friends all joined up today to help her with some fantastic prizes.  All the prizes are in bundles so you can enter the contest for the prizes you are interested winning.

Head over to More than Math by Mo
to win!

You will see my Rainbow Guided Comprehension Packet as one of the prizes!

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The Power of Data and Teambuilding

This Monday was staff development and I had some great trainings.  Our data trainings began when teachers received their data and had to analyze it.  They were asked to locate 5 questions on the benchmark that students struggled with the most.  Each teacher then used the board to explain how they teach that question the classroom.  The Power of Data is so important.  So much can be learned by taking the time to analyze and problem solve.  

In the era of accountability, data has gotten a bad rap.  Many educators see data as a "got you" rather than a "flashlight."  It is about shining the light on what's working and the campus tailoring the instruction so that every child can live up to his or her fullest potential.
 We found that the teachers were teaching all concepts correctly but everyone had different strategies that they used during instruction.  If teachers had a better way of teaching it, then we all made a plan to teach that TEK or skill the same campus wide.  We will begin building a Best Practices for Strategies Guidebook for next school year. 
 Team Building Fun!  I loved it and so did they.  We played Human Skis.  This was so much fun.  Right beside me on the floor are two strips of duct tape.  The sticky side is up.  Each team had to stand on the duct tape and walk to the other side of the room.  The team that made it to the other side won the game. 
 Before they started...they strategized.  Oh yes, we don't play with out a strategy plan. 
 Feet are now sticking to the tape and they are just waiting on the GO from me. 
 I have not laughed so hard in a long time.  This group could not move.  Literally they were at a stand still.  They were holding on for dear life and trying not to fall.

The purpose of Human Skis- We are all on the same team at our campus.  We are trying to make it to the same location at the end of the school year.  If we all want to make it, we have to work together.  Everyone going in different directions will cause the team to fall.  So let's stick together.  If you know you are strong in a skill, help the teacher that needs strengthening.  If you are weak in teaching a concept, ask another teacher to help.  We are all on the same team. 
Here is a look back at teachers teaching the questions.  I love watching my teachers teach.  They all have different characteristics and personalities.  Their teaching styles are all different but their expectations are all the same.  We are preparing like warriors and will perform like champions.  Bring on state tests!

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Reading Comprehension Strategies in First Grade- It Works!

Teaching students how to read for meaning is definitely the number one key to improving comprehension skills.  However, starting this process in first grade will definitely have students excelling in all academic areas.  This is a glimpse into a first grade classroom with LeaAnn Brown. Mrs. Brown teaches in my hometown but not on my campus. She sent me pictures of her students using Rainbow Comprehension during small group.  I asked her how she liked it and she said, "I love it!"

Rainbow Comprehension

 Mrs. Brown is using the All American Theme in her classroom this week.  My All American Theme is non-fiction and it uses real life pictures.  I feel clipart is good but real images will help students gain a better understanding of the information.
Rainbow Comprehension
Check out the vocabulary found in the set.  This set is great for building vocabulary skills with your students.  Every story has at least one vocabulary word and 4 to 5 comprehension questions.

 If unsure about your first graders, this goes to show you that it can be done.  I have had so many teachers tell me they love it and can't wait for my next theme.  On my campus, I have had several come to my door and say do you have another set yet.  I love it!  Once your students get the hang of the strategy, they will feel more comfortable trying it for themselves and being more independent.
 This is all designed to be guided practice with your students.  This is especially true in first and second grade.  Teaching students this type of reading strategy will definitely boost comprehension scores but will also teach students to refer back in the text to locate the answers.  It takes practice and more practice to build this strategy.

If you are interested in starting this strategy with your students, check out my other themes here.
Directions are included in each set.  Just print and go!

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Rock the Test Pencil Toppers-Free

State testing is about to begin in the next few weeks for many schools.  I created Rock the Test Pencil Toppers today and thought you might want a set for your classroom too.  They are free on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Just click the link below and download.  

Our campus theme is Rock the Test and Rock the STAAR Test so these were created with that theme in mind.  I always buy new pencils for all my students.  These are perfect for boosting student confidence during state testing.  


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Rainbow Comprehension Strategies for Young Students

Rainbow comprehension strategies are designed to help students look for specific answers in the passage.  This is known as using textual evidence to find the answers.  We have been using this strategy for several years.  Adding specific colors to locate the answers helps students comprehend the text and makes it a bit more fun.  They now had a purpose for reading.

What I love so much about the Rainbow Comprehension Strategy is that it works with the young students.  Students as young as First and Second grade can be taught to locate answers in the text and read for meaning.

Since the text is non-fiction and it lends itself as more difficult to read, we spend our time reading the passage with the students that struggle with fluency.  We are trying to build comprehension during this time.  Fluency is something that can be covered with a text that is on the student's reading level at a different time.

Students not only find the answers with my Rainbow Comprehension sets but they also have to write their answers.

Locating the Answer & Color Coding the Text

Purposeful Reading

Your comprehension scores will definitely increase if you develop to "ATTACK" a reading passage.

A glimpse at all my themes:


 If you are interested in learning more about this strategy, let me know by leaving a comment below.  What strategies do you have at your school that are successful in raising comprehension skills in your students.  To download the resources, head over to Teachers Pay Teachers.  If you are just in love with the packets, I do have a bundle set that will get you started.  It will save you money and give you 92 pages of comprehension passages.


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Spring Kindergarten Math and Literacy Centers Giveaway

As I'm celebrating Spring break this week, I wanted a way to spread the spring fever with all my wonderful followers and friends!  And so I bring to you...

My Spring Fling Kindergarten Math and Literacy Centers Giveaway Packet!  This packet is perfect for PreKindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade Students.
It's a Spring Fling Math & Literacy Centers
This packet has six centers for math and reading.
All you need to do is head on down to the bottom of this page and enter to win this Spring Fling Centers Packet.  

Enter to Win Today...Winner will be selected Monday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It's a $1derful Day!

To celebrate my first day of spring break I'm having a dollar sale.  Select items are listed only for $1 dollar for today only.  This is a great way to stock up on items that you have been wanting.  Who couldn't use some great resources for $1.  I have dubbed today as It's a $1derful Day!  Come join me on the fun.

My Teachers Pay Teacher Store is packed full of math, reading and writing items ranging from Kindergarten - Fourth grade.
Here are a few items on sale today!
 Reading Strategies Posters
Regular Price $3
Today's Price: $1

Punctuation Posters
Regular Price $3
Today's Price: $1

 Character Posters
Regular Price $3
Today's Price $1

 I'm a 
Good Student
Regular Price $2
Today's Price $1

 Reading Subway Six Syllables Posters
Regular Price $3
Today's Price $1

Regular Price $3
Today's Price $1

If you are downloading, please leave comments for other customers to read.  I appreciate your feedback.
Ready to shop?  Here's the link.  If you want to join up with me today and throw a dollar sale, grab the image above and add your link below.


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