Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Teacher Tip, Report Card Maddness, and a Freebie

So apparently Sunday was just the beginning of my flu symptoms. It has slowly gotten worse. (Ugh) I am on Vit C and Dayquil overload! Thankfully I don’t have a fever. In addition to this, we just started assessing for report cards! So I have been “toughing” it out these past couple of days because I want to put a dent in all of our assessments. Our school district requires us to have 3 data points per standard we are assessing. Which is great when we are filling out the report card because you have a better grasp of where the student is. However, you have to collect the data within a certain time frame. This equates to LOTS of tests in a short amount of time. I feel a little bad for my little guys. I try to spread them out so they are not as overwhelmed.

During the times we are not testing, I have been trying to incorporate some fun, interactive activities. Here is a peek of one of the activities. I got the original from my grade-level team member however I know she got it from Pinterest. (What did we ever do before Pinterest?) If you are the original author, let me know so I can link it to your site.

First let me tell you that my students FIGHT me every time we try to do any kind of writing. I have been racking my brain trying to approach it in a variety of different ways to make it more fun. My coworker tried this activity called a “Squiggle Story” with her kids. I figured I would try it, because at this point I am willing to try anything to get them to write. They A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y loved it! All you do is put some random squiggle in the middle of the box reserved for the picture. The students turn the squiggle into a picture of their choice. Then they write a story about their picture. BEST IDEA EVER. They turned out so creative and all of them are different. I was so impressed with their creativity. Here are a couple of them. (We have actually done two of them already.)

Now for my teacher tip: I usually copy and laminate 3 or 4 sets of each center activity. When I first started centers I would get so frustrated because the center pieces were scattered in the wrong bin and left laying on the ground, etc. Then when they finally made their way back to the bin, it would get put in the wrong envelope and then one set would have a double card. Then who has the time to figure out which set has the extra and which set is missing a card. (AHHH!!!!! I am already getting frustrated just thinking about it. You get the idea.) One day, I had this great idea of color coding the back of each set. SO instead of going through each card, I can just look at the back and match the colors. So much easier and less time consuming on my end!

What are some of your strategies to keep your centers organized?

I am excited for the weekend but I have this pile of papers to grade this weekend. (Ugh) This is only half of the assessments we are giving.

I also created this quick little freebie. It is just a true/ false activity for expanded form that you can download by going to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I also have double digit addition and subtraction true/false activity in my TpT store for free.

Happy Wednesday!



  1. I LOVE the idea of coloring different colors on the back of your center cards. I usually make 6 sets of each center activity and then I do through and label each set A - F - which takes forever! I am SO going to start scribbling the backs. Do you know if it works on colored paper?

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

    1. I haven't tried color paper, but I don't see why not. I think it would depend on the color of the paper and the color you are using to color code the sets. You can also use permanent marker on the sets if you forgot to color code them before you laminated. Oh and something I realized a couple of weeks ago, make sure you use vastly different colors. Sometimes I would use different shades of one color and some of my students had a hard time separating the cards because the colors were too similar. I'm glad that you enjoyed my tip!


  2. GREAT idea on the centers organization.

    I love the true/false activity. That will be great for morning work or math stations.
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

    1. This year my students LOVE doing true and false activities. This was right up their alley. I'm glad you liked it.