Extreme Makeover: Magic School Bus Edition



Okay, you've seen me share about my improvements to the Magic Tree House series and the Horrible Harry series.  Now I'm ready to share about the changes to the Magic School Bus series.  This series is written on a 3rd grade level, but I have had a lot of success using these books with my higher level 2nd grade readers.  You can also easily use them as read alouds and complete the comprehension questions verbally (or together) and monitor listening comprehension.

On the right, you will see the original cover.  It had a very simple, generic border and small text & graphics that didn't really catch your eye.  The new cover is on the left.  All of the books have a similar look to provide some uniformity for the series.

I'm not sure why, but I never included a book summary page with the original packs.  I made sure to include that now with a reminder about connections to Common Core standards. 

Here are some of the new pages that have been added to all of the Magic School Bus packs:

Here's a better look at the variety of "extras" that come with the different Magic School Bus packs.  While some packs have similar pages, each book pack created has pages unique to the topic being studied.
 

Once I finish the remaining 8 books in the set, I will put them all into a larger bundle pack.  These books are currently on sale in my store for the big TpT sale.  Head on over to check them out!



3 Million Strong TpT Sale!!

Sale banner created by: Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs

Teachers Pay Teachers has been an amazing journey and blessing in my life.  I am proud to say that TpT is now 3 million teachers strong!  In honor of this incredible accomplishment, many sellers will be having a sale on Thursday & Friday (2/27 & 2/28).  The products in my store will be marked down 20%.  However, if you use the code TPT3 on the day of the sale, you can save an additional 10% (total of 28% savings).


You can pick up one of my newest math packs for 2nd grade:



Or, grab a great deal on my book bundle packs:


If not, browse through the rest of my store and see what strikes your fancy!  You can bet I'll be stocking up on some clipart and grabbing a few of my wishlisted items.




Celebrating President's Day

What did you do to celebrate President's Day this year?  Keep reading to find out how these were created:


Last week we only had school for 3 days due to President's Day.  We spent that week reading two biographies, completing some graphic organizers, writing a paragraph to summarize our findings, and completing a craft to accompany our writing.  We managed to finish everything except the crafts.


We used two of Scholastic's Easy Reader Biographies.  As we read and discussed, students identified nonfiction text features along the way.  After we finished, students completed these graphic organizers and then glued them into their black & white composition books (get these graphic organizers here).  I forgot to snap photos of their finished Abe Lincoln graphic organizers.




Next, we combined our new learning to write a paragraph together.  One paragraph was about George Washington and the other about Abraham Lincoln.


Throughout the week students traced and cut out the pieces for their crafts.   Here are some close-ups of the final products:
Sources: Abraham Lincoln (created by Amy Lemons), George Washington (created by Carolyn McCleary). 





The kids were so proud of their work.  I'm just glad I had something new to put up on the bulletin board!



Extreme Makeover: Horrible Harry Edition



Not too long ago I shared that I had worked my tail off to update all of my Magic Tree House book packs.  Now I have finished updating my Horrible Harry packs, too.  Here's a quick peek at some before and after shots:

On the left is the newly updated product with some new fonts and graphics.  On the right is the original product.  It had a very distinct border, but was very heavy on the ink cartridge.  You can also see that before I was trying to squeeze the title, book cover, and book summary all onto one page.


 Now, the cover stands all alone and just lists the Common Core by code.  The new version puts the book summary and Common Core description onto one handy page for reference. 


All of the original content for each file is still in tact.  Every book pack has comprehension questions, sequence of events (exception is Horrible Harry in Room 2B which has a character chart instead), word search, and book quiz.  All pages come with answer keys so you can easily monitor comprehension. 






Each file has also been updated with new fonts and graphics.  The updated files include some NEW pages as well:


Now I'm off to finish the updates on my Magic School Bus series, too.  I'll share about those updates soon.



Graphing in 2nd Grade

Our 2nd grade team has been working hard at introducing graphing to our students.  Our district is piloting a new curriculum this year.  Since we got a very late start with using the program, we know we will not finish teaching everything before the school year is over.  We looked ahead and are tacking the measurement strand.  For the past 2-3 weeks, we have focused on graphing.  The majority of our time has been spent on bar graphs and pictographs (the students will be exposed to line plots soon).

Our focus has been on 2.MD.D.10 - Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph.

Today we completed this bar graph activity (source: Super Teacher Worksheets).  It is recommended for grades 2-3.  I liked this one because we had to come up with the title, axis labels, scale, and graph the data.  This one did not have a single-unit scale and actually had more than four categories.  I did not think I was asking too much of my students for all of the work we have been doing so far.

For many of the worksheets we have used, there is usually a follow-up page with questions.  This particular graph did not come with questions.  So, what did I do?  I asked the kids to come up with them.  We went around and around the room.  A student would ask a question and then get to choose a different student to answer their question.  It was one of those lessons where the students were highly engaged...the type where you WISH you were being observed!!

Once I saw the level of engagement, I decided to push my students just a little further.  I gave them sticky notes.  You would have thought it was Christmas morning!  I told them that they all had to write down one question they could ask their peers.  If they finished that, they could have another sticky note.  You can only imagine the excitement building around the room.  In less than 5 minutes, this happened:
Yep, that is one growing pile of sticky notes.  Were they done?  Nope!  A few students wrote down 5 or 6 questions each.  

The following photos will show you a close-up of some of those questions:

 WARNING...Students did not receive any help with spelling, grammar, or punctuation.  These are their first draft questions:








I was pretty proud that they took the time to write thoughtful questions.  They really took to heart the types of questions they had been seeing during our previous graphing experiences.

Next week we are taking measurement to the next level.  I'll try to remember to take some photos and share our measurement journey along the way.  Our entire 2nd grade team will be using this resource I created:

Wish us luck!!



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