Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week of January 23

Last week was a very interesting week to say the least!  Between cheerleading practices and basketball games I was wiped out! 

I took a step in the direction of creating my own worksheets.  I bought a clip art book with a cd to upload them to my computer.  They are just basic Scholastic clip art materials but it is a start.  That way I can see if I can justify paying for clip art in the future.  There are some really cute clip art items out there that I want really bad but I think it's best to just wait and see what I come up with.  I made a Groundhog day packet for Thursday so I will have to see how that goes I can't wait to see what Valentine's Day ideas I come up with!

Time is a big area of struggle for my class right now.  One day they understand it the next they don't.  I found this idea on Pinterest and this seemed to help my Mon-"stars" out quite a bit.  Her face is covered because she didn't want to be seen in the picture. 

I am definitely more than ready to move onto graphing information this week!  During reading we began to discuss sequencing.  While reading A Trip to the Emergency Room in our books I had this idea for a foldable.  I opened up Microsoft Word and drew a cross shape (like the red cross) and printed off a class set of copies.  I let the kids use that for their pattern on the outside folds we wrote First, Next, Then and Last.  On the inside we wrote the order that things happen at the ER.  This is how they turned out:

I am so excited to use my Groundhog Day activity packet I made this week.  I will be sure to also post pictures of the groundhogs that I found on First Grade Parade's blog later in the week!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snow Globes, Snow Paint and Google Docs.

It has been a very strange day starting with our classroom heater breaking and only blowing cold air.. BURRR!

I have been looking for ways to share things with my parents (if kids don't make it home with something) that way they can grab it all in one place.  I tried drop box but for some reason that was too complicated for my mind to handle yesterday and then it hit me. GOOGLE DOCS.!  Parents also ask for ways that they can help their child with extra practice and I decided maybe I could try to start making extra things to share with them.  So after talking to Mrs. Lemons at stepintosecondgrade I set out on my own adventure and made my own time practice sheet.  It is very basic and not that fancy but you can grab it here (this is just a link to that worksheet.) There are still some kinks to work out but over all I would say my first one was a success. 

For access to the whole file folder of second grade information click here

Last Friday as a writing activity with my kids I asked them what they would do if they lived in a snow globe.  Then I asked them to write the ideas in their writing portfolios and to circle their favorite one.  We then created snow globes out of construction paper and drew the picture of what we would do if we lived in a snow globe.  This one was one of my favorites:

We also received our compliment party on Friday (we received five compliments from other people at school on our behavior, manners, etc. they have been working on this since August.) They would get really close to five and then lose them for not behaving for a sub. etc.  We made snow paint from a simple recipe I found on Pinterest these were some of my best pictures:
The kids loved it!  It dried a puffy white and had a cool texture lots of giggles were had during this activity and I LOVED IT! It was a great end to a great day.  I have a few more cool activities for the week that I will post on Friday.  It's very rainy and cold here I'm trying not to complain because we definitely need the rain in Texas! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

MLK Week (January 16, 2012)

Last week was a very busy week! 

Monday was Martin Luther King Day so we accomplished a few MLK activities.  We talked about his life and about how life was for people of color.  We read Happy Birthday Martin Luther King and then talked about our dreams for the world.  Some of the dreams were really sweet and some made me giggle.  The idea came from Pinterest but the link wouldn't take me to anything active that was still working.  Here are our Martin Luther Kings.

These were a few of my favorite ones:

L to R "I have a dream that everyone will respect each other"
           "I have a dream that we can have doughnuts every day for breakfast at school"
           "I have a dream that school would be all about crafts"

We accomplished this along with my earlier post from last week.  I'm hoping to start a drop box for my parents to find information as well (Parent notes, school supply lists etc.)

One last little bright spot of my week a friend built a step up for my Promethean Board.  It was painted lime green and I added hot pink polka dots.  The kids were so excited because they could write on the board whenever things are positioned higher.

We earned our compliment party this week so I will have snow paint pictures to post soon :) I found the recipe on Pinterest so I hope it turns out really cool!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A little Early this week

I was just too excited about how this turned out to wait until Friday to post.  I found this on Pinterest and it was pinned from this blog I have been in love with this for awhile and I couldn't wait to actually get a chance to do it.  Here is my new and improved clock!

I think it is adorable and the kids really seem to love it too! They are very excited about our lessons on time this week and when they are excited about something that makes me twice as motivated!

When we were discussing addition and subtraction at the beginning of the year I made the kids these "cheat sheets" as they love to call them. These little helpers tell them when they should add and when they should subtract.  I had been looking for a way to make them bigger and due to limited wall & board space in my classroom I couldn't think of anything (when it was actually staring me right in the face) I found these Keywords of Addition and Subtraction from here, and the idea for the poster (which was already like the cheat sheet I made and you can find them here

Here is my version of the posters:

They aren't very clear but I believe you get the general idea.

I also wanted to take a second to talk about my behavior management system.  Someone had pinned this site on Pinterest and I thought I would give it a try.  It is called Class Dojo it is where you award your students points for positive behavior but it also gives you the opportunity to take away points as well.  I use the points for the students to earn certain rewards that I have pictured below.  I make sure to announce to the whole class when a student earns a reward and we clap and cheer for that student which I love seeing the support they give each other.  I also do a Positive "write up" whenever I see a kid go the extra mile just to do something nice.  That is when in addition to the rewards they have the choice to eat lunch with me or our principal.  We go and buy them what they want for lunch and sit and eat with them it  makes the kids feel extra special which I love!

I believe the kids are most excited about no shoes in the classroom which blows my mind!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Monday and continues to have a fabulous week!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Week of January 9, 2012

What a busy week it has been!  It was a short week for us due to our County Show.  I feel like I was going non-stop all week.

I found these penguins from this blog.  We didn't paint the snowflakes in the background due to not having the time to complete it.  We did these at the end of math and since we are currently discussing fractions I gave them step by step instructions involving fractions (ex. fold your sheet into thirds and tear off one third).  They really enjoyed making them and were disappointed when they did not stay in the hallway long.  Here is one of the ones that we did:

We discussed cause and effect this week during reading I have seen a far greater version of this on Pinterest (the source was not named.)  It was one of those last minute ideas and the kids LOVED it!  They loved coming up with funny and silly effects of what would happen if they brought a mouse to school.  I had a hard time finding anything free for this idea but luckily I stumbled onto this.  You could elaborate on this and even come up with cuter images I'm sure but this was one of our finished products:

I also wanted to share this picture of one of my Mon-"stars" and her Christmas gift that we made the parents this year.  They are ornaments shaped like gingerbread people for each family member.  I did bow-ties for the males and hair bows for the females.  I strung them together with Jute.  The ornaments are made out of craft glue, cinnamon, and applesauce they smell great!  I found the recipe on Martha Stewart's website.  They were a lot of work but it was definitely worth it!

I'm really excited about this next week in my classroom I have found lots of neat things and I look forward to sharing them with you next week!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Week of January 2, 2011

I was definitely not ready to come back but so far in the new year I have been a more organized teacher.  I did a blog whenever I taught computer applications at a different school, and I thought to share ideas from Pinterest with some of my co-teachers and friends from other schools I would start blogging again. 

Most of the activities I do with my students are 100% free. Unless I have to buy a little bit of extra materials for other projects here and there.
Someday I would love to have some of the programs that I see other teachers have that they can make cute worksheets to go with any unit they have.  I think that this is awesome and I would love to have the resources and opportunity to do that someday.  This is my first year teaching second grade and since I am the only second grade teacher here I find these blogs with extra resources very valuable! 

My template for my blog was 100% free and I got it here they have tons of blog templates and backgrounds as well as other freebies.  I love the free desktop calendars they have they are always very cute!

As far as this weeks activities went I decided for a writing activity I would have the kids write resolutions for the new year.  We discussed what a resolution was and began to ask them what some of their goals were.  After that I discussed with them what some goals might be for 2012.  I had everything from opening the door for old people to eating less donuts.  All in all they were very entertaining.  I found this idea on Pinterest and it was from this blog.

Another Activity that we did was comparing and contrasting this week.  We've done comparisons with Venn Diagrams before but I saw this idea on this blog I LOVE THIS BLOG her ideas and things she creates are awesome!   My lovely co-worker and third grade teacher at this school was nice enough to let me use her picture and I had the kids do comparisons of us!  The electricity went out this day at school so I unfortunately couldn't borrow my first grade friends ELMO to demonstrate so I turned it into a I listening activity.  Some were awesome and others well... lets just say we need to work on following directions a little bit :)

This is the one I did as a demo so you get the idea:

Despite the power outage and the exhaustion I am experiencing I would say our first week back was an overall success!   Happy Friday!