Thursday, January 24, 2013

Product Reviews

I am going to try something new for  my blog... Since I am lacking on resources this year as it is my first year in 2nd grade I have been purchasing a lot of materials to use from TPT and I am LOVING them ALL!!! So I thought I'd share with my followers some of the things that I have purchased and what I've thought about them so far!  Bare with me this will be a bit of a long post because I went on a little bit of a TPT crazy shopping spree this Christmas break! YIKES!!! 

I have been using these products in my classroom for a few weeks now and I thought I would "review" what I thought about each one! As a third year teacher I thought I would have a more things down to a T and be able to create more things that I would be using in my room! BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! I have had ZERO extra time to to anything EXTRA to use in my room. So this year I have decided that I will just buy what I can and then when I get more comfortable with things for 2nd grade I can begin to make products to post to my TPT.

Sorry if you are looking for more things from me but right now with everything on my plate I really barely have time to write this post! However I have decided that I will try to post more about things on here! I mean that is the point of having a blog is to get your ideas out there and to find comfort in your community of those around you!

OK! So here we go!!!

The first product that I am going to review is I Have, Who Has Mega Pack. This Mega Pack has several different I have, Who has games for 2nd & 3rd grade students. My kiddos have LOVED playing the Money game! We are still working on telling time so I will try to use this game in the next few weeks. They also really liked the Contraction game. It is funny how they are checking their neighbors card to check to see if they are paying attention and they will be the first one to call out their friends who aren't paying attention. If you are looking for a few whole group activities for time wasters or as a good way to review before a test these are an awesome and FuN way to have kids practice and play!

Next product to I am going to review are the Common Core Math that I have purchased. I have purchased Terms 2, 3, and 4. Since I bought them during the Christmas break I didn't buy term 1. This summer I will buy Term 1 to use with my kiddos next year! So far I have loved using these are a Morning work and I can quickly glance around the room and see where my muffins are having difficulties and then I know which kids to pull during Math interventions. Daily Math Term 2, is what I am currently using for morning work. I have tried to look at a few of the other concepts that are in the later "terms" and some of the concepts that were covered I hadn't really taught yet or focused enough on so that I felt comfortable to require my students to be responsible. I don't know about y'all but our school in Texas uses the TEKS, Not Common Core, so for me with majority of the other states using Common core I honestly feel like some of the material is above where my students are. I will talk about this when I talk about the Math centers in a minute. So for me this is a great way to review some of the Math concepts that were taught during the first semester and will require my students to remember what they learned prior to the Christmas break. On a different note my kids are LOVING doing these as Morning work! I am not kidding you I tell them that they have morning work and they get excited!!! How crazy is that?!?!? They are liking having work!

The next thing I am going to talk about is the Common Core January Math Stations from Lory Evans, I  seriously have EVERY month's math stations on my wish list on TPT and I have decided that the month before I am going to purchase the next months centers to get them ready to go! That way eventually I will have all of the monthly stations and in a year I will have all of the centers! The way I use these are I print out the blackline and put them in page protectors with two months in one binder. Then I copy the pages that I am gong to use onto Card stock then cut and laminate on "Crazy Teacher Weekends" I am currently having a crazy teacher weekend getting everything ready for February! I know I have a few weeks but I am trying to get more organized for my own sanity! My kids are LOVING using the math stations! They are getting more independence and practice on using math everyday! It also gives me a good amount of time to pull kids for Math Intervention! I have some students that I really need to focus on because we move at such a fast pace and they are trying to keep up but need some little help along the way! Anywho I am loving them not asking me a million questions every day about what can I do now I'm finished with this... How about Now?

I am absolutely in love with both of these sets of center. Granted in Texas we don't use Common Core (well again at least not at the school district that I work at). I am currently using the January Math Center and my students are LOVING them! Now, you have to keep in mind that I didn't start using math centers in my classroom until January! So when I introduced them I sort of rushed through them because I wanted them to have as much time with the centers as possible. *Disclaimer* I would have spend a lot longer on introducing each of the centers because I assumed that my students could read the instructions and figure out what to do... not so much in my class!! GEEZE! Is there anyone else who has this problem with their students? If I don't walk them through each step they get lost!* So I had to take a step back and walk my class through each of the centers. I do have to say that the task cards that are included with the stations ARE AMAZING and they do give good instructions, however my students didn't seem to notice that I placed these in their tubs. Again I am loving the January stations! I am currently cutting out the February math stations, I have them laminated and printed out on red and pink cardstock because DUH it's Valentine's Day!!
With that being said... my rambles... since we don't use common core, I feel like my students aren't ready to use all 12 of the stations... I usually use about 10 or the stations and then fill in the extras with other games that I have previously created or taught or played with them. I also have a few at small group with me for math intervention. Again I'm rambling... My class in nowhere near knowing fractions! Let me ask a question for those out there in Common Core land... are your second graders already understanding fractions?? I feel if I were to put those centers out my kiddos would be completly lost and just sit there and do NOTHING!!  

I actually have a few other products that I would like to review but since this post is now on its 4th day of editing and not being published I will just leave you all with the babbling of my crazy stressed out-ness... HAHA! However I hope that you are going to look into getting a few of these products and using them in your classrooms! Let me say that I have reloaded my TPT wish-list and am just waiting for things to be needed or to see where the wind takes me as for what I will be needing in the future!

Thanks for coming along on my crazy ride! I am really hoping that I can keep up with my blog and posting things more often! I am going to work really hard on being better at time management and allotting time for blog stalking, and more posting and eventually creating more things for my classroom... I need some MAJOR help on how you all get everything accomplished and have time to create items for TPT!

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