Saturday, April 26, 2014

Super Site Sábado #2

This week I am excited to share with you a site I ran across this school year with a wide variety of resources about "living bilingual". is chalked full of information related to everything from bilingual education, to language development, to promoting the value of linguistic diversity.

Here is the site's mission set forth by author Jeffrey Nelson who is not only bilingual himself but also working with his wife to raise a bilingual child.

The site has a lot of great options for articles, real life stories, and videos to take advantage of and that may also be great for sharing with your students and their families!

Just check out all of the topics on the top navigation bar. Many of them are broken down even further into a variety of subcategories as well.

Here are some of the examples of articles under the "Benefits of Being Bilingual" tab, just to give you a little preview!

I would definitely encourage you to check out the site for yourself. There is such a wealth of information all in one place and I have only just touched the surface.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Facebook Freebie & Upcoming Blog Hop!

So I finally got around to it - there is officially a Facebook Fan Freebie available exclusively to those who visit and follow "The Second Grade Superkids" Facebook page! Yes, yes...I know I am so behind the times here, but (insert lame excuse here -->) this year has been a whirlwind of busy with wedding planning, getting ready to move, and figuring out a new position! I'm enjoying it and somehow it is all getting done - but I apologize to you all- my amazing blog-fam- for being a little neglectful at times. I promise I am here to stay, and I am as ready to put more of my time and effort back in to blogging as I hope you are to read all my ramblings as well!

This being said, I would love it if you would head on over to my lil' ole' Facebook page and become a fan (and even better - grab the new fan freebie)! And for all veteran (felt like old wasn't appropriate ;)) and new fans alike, please take one extra moment to click the "Get notifications" tab as well if you haven't already done so, so that you don't miss a beat! I often share many more little tidbits and ideas on my Facebook page each day than I do here on my blog, so if you want to be sure to see those - please make sure to do this important step!

 So curiousity killin' ya wondering what that freebie may be? I'm sure ;).

To embrace a dash of poetry and hopefully a whole lotta summer, I have made available to you all this "The ABC's of Summer" alphabet poem pictured below to do with your class. Once again, all you have to do is visit my Facebook page and click on the "For You" tab to snag it! It's a great one to get them thinking about summer and using lots of vocabulary. (I would definitely recommend doing some vocab building before hand for my ELL friends and/or have kids work in partners!). The poem template comes in both English and Spanish as always! You can click my Facebook link on my sidebar or click on poem to take you there. 

And finally, I just wanted to share something that I know I am just tickled pink about and I hope/think you all will be too! May I introduce you to the first...

Seriously, all of your favorite bilingual bloggers collaborating in one giant fiesta! 
We are all looking forward to it, and hope you will join in the fun! Mark your calendars!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Super Site Sábado - Take 1

Each week as part of my weekly newsletter to our building Dual Language staff, I share a tidbit related to a great website, app, or other technology tool that may be helpful for them to use with their students and students' families. Along with the assistance of my wonderful colleagues (who are always willing to share a new idea), I have compiled quite the list over the course of the year!

That being said, I have found that my "Spanish Apps that I Love" segment has been quite a popular one with my readers. So I have decided  - why not try to do something like this on a weekly basis (instead of only once in awhile) to continue to share these ideas more regularly. 

And so the idea for "Now that's a Super Site...Sábado" was born. Each week I intend to share a website, app or tech tool for use in your immersion/bilingual/ELL classroom. In fact, even if you aren't currently in one of these teaching environments, they may still be great resources to share with your students and families for use at home!

Thus to kick off this week, I wanted to encourage you to take a look at the wealth of sites and blogs I have already linked up at resources for you here on my lil' ole blog. 

If you haven't done so yet, feel free to head to my top nav bar and give a lil clicksy on where it says "Links". 

Once here, you will find access, as I said, to some of my top used websites...

and favorite dual language/ELL blogs. (Seriously, these friends are constantly sharing a wealth of great ideas!)

Each week as I share a new resource with you all, I will also add it to this ongoing resource list so that you can easily find it via searching my posts or this "Links" page. All posts will also be labeled "Super Sites" so that you go back and find them that way as well!

Also, if you have a blog that you would like to see added to my list and/or a site/app that you think would be useful for my readers, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email so that I can check it out! I love, love, love finding new resources!

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend and Happy Easter. God bless.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Take a Hard Look at that Book Nook!

Do you spend countless hours at the beginning of each school year organizing your classroom library with your students and ensuring they understand how books should be returned and kept organized, only to find yourself endlessly finding these same books carelessly tossed back into whatever bin seemed to be the easiest to reach in that moment? If this sounds like your room, as it once was mine as well, I am hoping that this system may help you as much as it has helped my students and I keep this area as user friendly as possible!

First things first, you need to decide how to best organize the library for student use. I have always had my students assist me in organizing ours by genre, coupled with a few books in a series baskets mixed in. I also separate the shelves by "Fiction" and "Non-Fiction" texts bins.

Each of the books in the classroom library is also labeled to appropriately match its corresponding basket. Note: The first year I decided to label the books this way, I had the kids help me to put the stickers on the back of the books and we got it done in no time! Use your resources :)! I would also recommend putting the labels on the back as it doesn't interfere with the title, appearance of the front cover.

Now, when doing their "book shopping" my students were allowed to select up to 3 of these texts at a time, but had to return the same amount of texts that they selected. This way it worked to keep their book boxes from overflowing as well as the library stocked with a diverse collection of books for all students to utilize.

When students returned books, instead of placing them back into the corresponding genre bins, there was one central "Book Return" basket where all books went. Now, I realize, that with the stickers on the back corresponding exactly to the bin in which the text should be returned, this may seem silly. But I will tell you this is probably single-handedly the best thing I have done to maintain library organization. For some reason, no matter how well the troops are trained to put the books back in the bin they belong - they will not always end up there. However, asking them to toss them all into one bin and have another sort for them - totally doable! To ensure all books were sorted properly, it was the responsibility of 2 students each week when they arrived in the morning as part of their routine to take the books out of the return bin and place them in their proper location! With two of them working on this, it took a matter of a minute or two, and they were much more meticulous in putting them back in their proper place as it was their responsibility in that job.

(I apologize I do not have a picture of my book return basket! As I am not in the classroom this year - I pulled from old photos and that wasn't one I had taken....however, I have confidence you can use your imagination!)

Now, while nearly all of the books the students read and returned followed the above expectations, there were a few I kept in designated spaces around the library that the students had to return to their proper place right after reading. These books were those that I, myself, checked out from our school library based on concepts we were studying, holiday texts, and other anchor texts that we had read as a class that I wanted students to be able to have more frequent access to and that also, I did not want or could not add a label to!

These types of "special" texts were placed on wall shelves or display stands around the library.

My students knew that they were able to pick these up at any time during "Read to Self" or free reading time, but they must be returned immediately at the conclusion of this time so that I was able to keep track of them and other students had access that same day as well!

Overall, I think the key to maintaining that "Book Nook" of yours is to make it a system that is user friendly and easy to keep up for both you and your students! I have found this to work for me, but I always love learning and incorporating new ideas from others as well! Do you have any other tips and tricks that have worked well for you in maintaining library organization? 

If you enjoyed this bright idea, I'd love for you to join me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest for more great ideas!

And for more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you! Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Egg"cellent Math Activities

I am "egg"cited (insert nerd alert here) to share with you my recent egg-themed math freebie I whipped up for the month of April. 

This activity is a festive way for your students to review basic addition or multiplication facts. 
Students will role two dice to fill in the numbers to complete the 5 problems. They will then solve the problems to determine how they will need to decorate their eggs.

Grab your free copy for addition or multiplication in English or Spanish by clicking the activity image.

If you are brave enough to use real eggs, you may want to check out my "Egg Measurements" freebie that I have shared in the past as well! This activity was an authentic way for my students to put the measurement skills we had been learning about into practice and includes everything from measuring the length of the egg to its weight and its area! Click here to read more about how we did the activity in my classroom or click on the image to grab a copy for yourself.