Saturday, May 25, 2013

Four For uhh.. Saturday?

It's not Friday and I don't have 5 random things, only four.  Therefore, I sub this Four for Saturday!...

Head on over to Doodlebugs if you want to link up. Even if you're like me and are breaking the rules, it's ok. I don't think she'll kick you out. :)  Here we go...
I was so excited when I walked into my room on Monday and one of the flowers I got for teacher appreciation week had bloomed!  How pretty is this?
We were learning about arrays this week.  Students got to practice on Wednesday with their Math partners! Those manipulatives aren't the best but I'm working with what I've got!

I am doing anything and everything to keep these kiddos engaged in our last few weeks.  They are definitely getting tired and are ready for a little break (Hence the little ones head on the table in the bottom picture.. see!)  Another 2nd grade teacher and myself decided to get our classes together to do a study on Countries, their landforms, and how the landforms affect the way people in that country live to end our Geography unit.  The kids are having a blast and are doing a fantastic job! 
Pathetic, I know.  My pup was obviously cuddling with me this morning. 
Gettin' some love from his momma!

 Well, I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!  I plan on spending some time at the pool, going to a little party, and heading to a restaurant near DPAP to watch the ACC baseball Championship.  What are your plans?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How many day left? Sanity..??

12.5 peep! 12.5.  I cannot believe it.  It seems like this year FLEW by, yet it feels like I've known these kids forever.  I am going to be SO sad to give them to the 3rd grade teachers next year.  They will always be my first babies and I am going to miss them tremendously.

Out of the 12 and 1/2 day we have left, 1 is a field trip and 1 is field day (all day).  So that basically leaves 10 instructional days left.  I have SO much to get done in those days and have no idea how I'm going to get it all done.  Guess we'll have to take it day by day.  No planning for the week ahead anymore!  Not only do I have tons of things to finish up but I have what seems like a million assessments to give.
  • High Frequency Word test
  • Running Record
  • Math CFA
  • Unassisted Writing
  • Can't forget about the 3rd grade Math pretest and the Reading test that will probably pop up in the middle of nowhere the last week of school like last year
In 10 days.  Y'all I'm not sure I'm gonna get all that done in 3 short weeks.  Oh.My.Word.

I also need to:
  • Do report cards
  • Go through literacy folders (record what needs to be recorded)
  • Create next years class lists (of course with the help of my team)
  • Finish CUM folders
  • IEP Meeting
  • Clean my room!
I'm getting tired just typing it.  I will probably be MIA from now until the end of the year.  So if you come by expecting to read some updates and don't find me, don't worry- I'm {possibly} still alive.  Don't call the police, don't send the army or file a missing persons.. I'm just busy busy busy!

How do you keep your sanity in these last crazy weeks!? I'm afraid I'm already lost mine just thinking about it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dry Erase Pocket {L.O.V.E.}

A few weeks ago, I received these little beauties in the mail...

Check out those dry erase pockets.  Aren't they lovely?  Now, I know what you're thinking.  "I have these! It's called laminated papers or pocket sleeves!"  But trust me, it is not the same.  I wish I had a picture of all my laminated Math stations that students used this year. They are hideous to say the least.  Many only used for a week or 2 at the most.  The marker never completely erases, it smudges, and then that beautiful activity that I spend countless amount of time laminating and cutting is ruined.  And if you are crazy like me, you'll just throw them out & start again next year because they just don't look pleasant.

Not with these babies... nope!  The marker erases perfectly!  And it is SO easy to just slip in any paper on the drop of a dime.  No going to the workroom or heating up my laminator only to find out that I ran out of lamination sheets & now I have to go the store because I really need this tomorrow but dinners in the oven and the kids are ready for bed... None of that! 

My favorite thing to use them for is my math work stations, of course...

Once we learn an activity as a whole class, I then just slip a copy of the activity into a few of the pockets and viola, a new math station! 

The best thing about these?  I only have 5 and we can use them ALL day for multiple things!  We have been learning all about poetry.  Once they all have written one poem of the type we are learning about, I leave one copy of the planning sheet in our writing section.  If they want to write a poem in that form, they slip out the math sheet, and slip in the planning sheet.  Plan, Copy into writing journal, Erase, Done! No wasted paper.

If you are a tree hugger like me, this is like heaven!

I'm totally order a class set for next year.  I can imagine using them for SO many things.  I'm getting excited just thinking of the amount of paper I'm going to save!  Seriously, if you don't have these.. you should head on over to My Binding & consider ordering even just a few.  They are worth it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nat Geo: Adventure Island & Map Skills

Oh my my, y'all.. can I just start by saying! 14 and 1/2 days left (Not that I am counting).  Each day my to-do list gets longer.  I keep adding without crossing anything off.  Anyone else have this problem?  My kids are tired too!  Luckily, we saved some super fun learning for the end of the year.  Poetry & Geography! 


We started geography this week (only 1 week later than planned..whoops) and today we learned about how to read maps.  At the end of S.S. I gave the kids some time to go to National Geographics Adventure Island to practice their Map Key reading skills and they {L.O.V.E.D} it so I thought I'd share!

Students paired up with a buddy and logged onto one of our mini-laptops.  On Adventure Island, Kimo teaches them how to use a Map Key to locate and interpret Symbols.  Then, their mission is to lead a tour around the Island as fast as they ccan to earn the most tips.

One group ended up earning $91! WOW!
It was funny hearing "Good Job" like a gazillion times.  We are in desperate need of new headphones!
Adventure Island isn't the only map/geography activity on the site.  Head on over to National Geographics Maps page to check out the other activites!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Poet's Inspiration

Recently in 2nd grade, we started learning about Poetry.  One of my {favs}!!  The kiddos really get into it!  Today was our first writing workshop on poetry and I knew I was going to hear lots of "I don't know what to write about!" My kids are known for this famous line...

Well, I wanted to nip that in the bud right away and today was a perfect day to do it.  Today we went on an "Inspiration Walk." What is an inspiration walk, you ask?  Well, It's just something I thought of while planning the end of year craziness (16.5 days left!! Yahoo)

First, we talked about how poets are inspired to write by the things that surround them.  Poets write about what they see, smell, taste, touch, and hear.  Then, since we are at school A LOT, we decided that school must be a place to get some great inspiration!  So, we headed on our walk.

We went to the K/1 building where they spent the last 2 years of school.  They were inspired by things like their old classroom, bulletin boards, bathrooms, the quiet buzz of kids working, and the water fountain!

We headed to their old playground, where they were inspired by the freedom and wind on the swings, and bouciness on this little fun thing-a-ma-jig. They were also inspired by the joyfulness of the little ones that were out on the playground (Yes, they said "The Kindergartners are so JOYFUL!")

We headed to the track and outside of the buildings where they were inspired by flowers, bird houses, and a super loud FED ex truck!

And to the nature trail.  Here they were inspired by 5th grade outdoor art, animals, trees, plants, and the smell of honeysuckle.
They were also inspired by this bird nest they found hiding in the podium at our outdoor classroom.
Last, they were inspired by this beautiful rose bush where we took oh-so-fab pictures for mothers day!
I can't lie..I think our inspiration walk was my favorite part of our day (& theirs!)  I need to figure out a way to get them out, up, and moving on Monday's more often so we don't feel so confined to our classroom until lunch.  Monday's are the worst!
After our inspiration walk, we headed back to the classroom to write some Cinquain poems!  Here are 2 of my favorites...
Fed Ex Truck
Loud, Big
Driving, Riding, Steering
The mail is coming now
Fast, Aerodynamic
Speeding, Gripping, Sounding
Cars are really fast
What do you do to inspire your kids to write? :) 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I "Mustache" You.. How do you Like your Pizza?

That was the question Wednesday this week when we we learning about Fractions of a circle, all courtesy of Clutter-Free Classrooms Fractions Bundle. 

First, we started by doing a little practice with our white boards.

Then I asked, "Well, why in the world would we need to know how to break a circle into equal pieces?
"Yes, so now..(Ms G turns around to do some mysterious things).. I "Mustache" you.. How do you like your pizza??"
Then of course comes the laughter and "WHAAT?"s That's how you know you got 'em hooked!
We became chefs and made our own pizzas!  They had a choice between halves, fourths, and eigths. 
How cute are they in their mustaches?
After they created their pizzas, they had a little journal prompt.  They had to write how many equal shares their pizza had and what fraction of the pizza had the toppings they chose.  So much fun!!
Of course, their favorite part was wearing the mustache. "Ima makin' a pizza" they would all say.. *Muah* 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Poetry Alive

Oh.Em.Gee.  Have you ever heard of them? (Poetry Alive that is). 

If you haven't, I'm happy to tell you about them now! 
Poetry Alive!® empowers educators to prepare 21st Century learners with critical thinking activities, in-depth analysis, and communication skills. It partners with educators to prepare students to thrive in the interconnected and diverse world community. The high-energy performances and interactive workshops provide students with a more in-depth exploration of literary analysis, and writing and speaking skills. This helps our school integrate the new Common Core curriculum standards in an entertaining and inspiring way.
Second grade was SO excited to welcome Valerie and Josh to our school yesterday to perform for us, and then teach us the secrets to performing!
We started with all four classes in the gym for an OUTSTANDING performance.  The kids were engaged, laughing, and enjoyed EVERY minute of the show.  Valerie and Josh were fantastic too!  It was a wonderful introduction to our poetry unit.  One of the poems has zombies walking around eating Brains (Oh & doing the Thriller Dance!)  My kids were walking back to class with their hands out like Zombies saying "Braaaainss!"  All I heard all day was "And the Gob-a-lins a GETCHA if you don't WATCH OUT!"  Talk about it sticking with them!

Following the performance, Valerie and Josh came to our classrooms to teach us how to perform. 

They taught us the 4 rules of performance:
1.) Confidence Stance
2.) Face your audience
3.) Fill your space
4.) Project your Voice
Then we memorized, rehearsed, and performed The Termite by Ogden Nash.  Each classroom created their own moves based on the story they imagine the poem was telling. SO FUN!   The kids did fantastic!
Valerie and Josh even got to see our chicks (which the kids were so excited to tell them all about)
Poetry Alive travels all over.  It's a program I highly recommend for any grade.  I believe they do just performances too (Which would be nice for a whole school assembly).  For us, the program was sponsored by our PTA who we are SO grateful for!)  Our principal even said it was his FAVORITE program from the ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR! We can't wait to welcome Poetry Alive back next year!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Chickies!

I am proud to announce that we have 18 new little babies in our room...

How cute are they?!
I totally did not expect to walk in this morning to an incubator FULL of chicks, but that's what happened.  Unfortunately, we didn't actually get to watch the hatching in action, but the kiddos were super excited anyway.  Actually, one of my boys walked in, heard chirps, and fell on the floor because it scared him.. too funny!  Surprisingly, the kids handled the distraction pretty darn well today! I was impressed. 
Well, since we welcome our babies into the world today, we did some fun chick activities.  I think my favorite is their writing through the eyes of their chick.  They each chose a chick, named him/her, then wrote about their journey into the world.  They are turning out so cute.  My kiddos are so creative and I can't wait to share them with you!
For now, enjoy the super cuteness of our 18 little hatchlings!

 Reading to them!  They enjoyed some poems by Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein!
The one with the black spots was named "Spotty" of course.  How clever.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five for Friday, Friday!

Happy Freakin' Friday Y'all!  I don't know about you, but this week was just exhausting.  I fell asleep before 9 last night.  Yup.  #Teacherlife.  I have so much to blog about, but since it's Friday, I must link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!  So here goes...

We've been working on some animal research projects.  For publishing, I taught my kids how to put together and present a PowerPoint...

We only got through about half of their presentations today but they were SO DARN CUTE! They did a fantastic job.  So proud of them!!
We also started studying fractions this week.  These are a few of the activites we did...

We sorted M&M's and found what fraction we had of each color.  Of course their favorite part was EATING them!

We did this activity from Clutter Free Classrooms Fraction Bundle.  An amazing resource for anyone who is teaching fractions! We made a fraction rainbow by splitting the bars into equal parts of 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8.

And we created this fraction flip book.  They showed equal parts of a whole and a group for halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and eighths.  They loved this!
And to end our week, we started our gifts for our moms for Mothers Day!...

I got the candle holders from Michaels for 99cents a piece.  I'm sure I could have found them cheaper somewhere else if I looked hard.  You could also use glass baby food jars, or any other type of jar.  I bought a pack of different colored tissue paper and cut it into squares. We used paint brushes and liquid glue to decorate using any colors we wanted!  Hopefully all their momma's will enjoy something that's a little different than construction paper coupons or flowers! :)
Head on over to Doodle Bugs to share some pics from the week!