Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop!  Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love.  You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TpT products and/or TpT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine's Day!
I am actually not a native Texan.  My husband and I moved to Houston about five years ago for her job from Massachusetts/Connecticut.  I do miss the way of life in the northeast, but I definitely have adapted to the Texas weather and am thankful to be missing out on all the snow and cold that is present in the rest of the country right now!
This past summer, we bought a house about 45 minutes north of Houston in Conroe.  My husband's job relocated and we had a baby in October, so it was perfect timing.  I left my job at the end of the school year before moving and am spending this year at home with my baby!

One of the best things about Conroe is that it is close enough to drive down to Houston to visit the zoo, museums, go to a baseball game, etc. but we aren't actually IN the city.  I actually haven't gone back since the baby was born but my niece and nephew are visiting this week so we'll be heading to the city.
We live right on the border of a master planned community called The Woodlands, which is comprised of several cities/towns in the area...it's confusing to me but part of Conroe is in The Woodlands and it's where we spend most of our time.  With the baby, I do everything in 2-3 hour increments and we spend most of our time outside in the stroller.
One of our favorite places to go is to the waterway/Market Street.  The waterway is like a man made river with sidewalks and lots of green space so it's pretty just to walk along.  Then Market Street has outdoor shops and restaurants so we usually have lunch outside.  There's an outdoor theater for concerts too.
There's also a really pretty lake and tons of parks.  Granted, my baby can't "play" yet but she likes to look around and just hang out on the grass.  Plus there are nice sidewalks everywhere for using the stroller.
Enjoying the sun!

Since we just moved out here and I've been busy being pregnant and caring for a newborn, that's all I've got.  But I look forward to reading about the rest of the state! 
We do A LOT of work with making inferences in second grade...but it takes a long time for the kids to really get it.  So I like to practice the skill in a bunch of ways, especially in practical, real life scenarios that don't necessarily even involve reading.  

One thing I did last year that the kids LOVED was use commercials!  I would just show one a day as a warm up to our reading lesson when I was really trying to kill the skill of making inferences.  Seeing as though the Super Bowl was just on (and commercials are just as big as the game), I thought this would be a fun activity to share.

Here are some examples:

Why is the dog trying to lose weight?

What do the boy's parents need to tell him?

Why are the people acting like dogs?

What happened to the bird?

Why is the boy up so late?

What is the boy planning to do?

Just show the commercial, stop it when appropriate, and ask students to make an inference about what is happening.  Have them support their answers with evidence and then show the rest!
My freebie is also on the skill of making inferences.  Another way I like to expose my students to real life situations is by using photographs.  I made a Making Inferences with Winter Photographs product a couple of months ago and love it so much that I wanted to make a spring one.  I haven't gotten very far (the winter product has 28 photos, the spring one only has 8) so I decided to let you all have what I've done so far for free until I complete it.
Click on the cover page to download from Google docs! (You might get an error that says it can't preview...just click download.)

Everything is in color and black/white.  Enjoy!

Enter the Rafflecopters below to win TpT gift certificates and/or some great products.  
You can win my St. Patrick's Day literacy centers in the grades 2-3 pack.
Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!