Friday, May 31, 2013

Math Journals

   Not teaching math this year, other than calendar, has made me a little nervous for the upcoming year. Will I remember what to do?!?!? Last year, I started Daily 5 Math the second half of the school year with my combo class. I am planning on starting it at the same time I am teaching my new kiddos the Daily 5 process at the beginning of the year. There is not a "set" way of conducting Daily 5 Math yet, from the sisters, but there is a lot of versions floating around the web. I am planning Math with Self, Math with Someone, Listen to Math (computer and Promethean games), Math Work (centers), and Math Writing. For part of my Math Writing rotation, I am going to have my kiddos work in their daily math journal. I have just finished my Back to School themed August Math Journal, Fall September Math Journal,  Halloween October Math Journal, Thanksgiving November Math Journal, Christmas December Math Journal,  Winter January Math Journal, Valentine February Math Journal with all activities aligned to the Second Grade Common Core Standards. I even placed an "I can" statement on each page and the standard being met as well. You can get these journals in my TPT store by clicking on the image below. Keep a lookout in my store for the remainder year journals.

Data Notebooks

   I am so excited that my school just received a scholarship for $75,000 to help become a certified Leader in Me school! Both my boys attend a Charter School that is a Leader in Me school and I love how all the students, staff, and parents are so invested into the school everyday. They also strongly push and teach the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids. Everything from my boys homework, to bulletin boards, to artwork around their school is based on one of the 7 Habits. I am so excited to be attending a 3-day training in July, at my school, to help all staff become more familiar with the habits and how to incorporate them daily into our schedule. My classroom kiddos and I focused on Habit 1: Being Proactive for most of the year. For those of you that would like more information about Leader in Me and the 7 Habits please visit their website by clicking on the image below.
   A large part of The Leader in Me is for kiddos to take ownership and accountability in their learning. This can be accomplished with data notebooks. These notebooks let kiddos track their learning and set goals for their learning. I spent the last months of the school year practicing with behavior notebooks. I was worried that this would take a lot of time out of our day, but I was pleasantly surprised that after one week of practice my kiddos could fill-in their behavior data in seconds at the end of the day. So I am super pumped to implement data notebooks with academic and behaviors this upcoming year. I will place one of my black shelves by the front of my classroom door to house each kiddos 3-ring binder data notebook and place all of my 7 Habit pictures above the shelf on the wall. I will upload pictures as soon as my room is done being painted and I am able to decorate. Below is the link to my TPT store where you can get my data notebook that I will be using!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Summer Finds

You know its summer when your driving on a Saturday and the fluorescent garage sale signs are blinding in all directions. I love spending my Saturday mornings searching garage sales for treasures that I can use in my classroom. Most of my classroom books and furniture have been purchased for very little on my Saturday morning drives. There is even a science to my garage selling! If books are displayed on tables or in nice piles on the driveway, they are usually $1 or more each. But, if they are thrown in boxes JACKPOT!!! I have gotten hundreds of books this way for .10 or .25 each. My newest indulgence is called 2nd & Charles. This is a resale store that looks exactly like a Borders that sells everything, including children's books. My brother is the media manager of the store that is the first here in Colorado. Books range from $1-$3 for brand-new paperback and hardcover. I love shopping at 2nd & Charles for book sets. They even had an awesome sale this last week buy 5 children's books, get 5 free!
 2nd & Charles in Aurora, CO

I also like to use Craigslist to find the garage sales and classroom materials in my area. I was so excited to find this on Friday for less than $100...
Yes, this is a 30 slot cubby with matching plastic bins and rolling wheels. JACKPOT!!! Those of you that have ever looked up the price of one of these you know that it runs $400-$500 without the plastic bins. Now it will sit for a couple weeks in my boys playroom until I head back to the classroom for summer school. I am planning on using this for my kiddos mailboxes and use the plastic bins to hold their flashcards. I have also been wanting to find a mobile shelf that I can use this upcoming year for my Daily 5 Math centers. I have been searching Craigslist and garage sales the last couple of weekends to no prevail. I found the perfect shelf on the Lakeshore Learning website, but was not too thrilled about shelling out a couple hundred dollars for it. In comes my second home away from home...Target. I found this now perfect shelf today...
This black, metal shelf only cost $34 and I purchased the large, locking caster wheels for $12 to attach to the bottom. I place the shelves upside down so the "lip" will hold my plastic bins and games inside when I roll it back and forth in my room. I am also planning on placing a large pocket chart on the backside and two storage holders on the sides with binding rings to hold the response sheets to all of my games. The top shelf will house my Read to Self math books. I will post a picture once it is in my classroom and all set-up for my kiddos. Happy garage selling!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Summer Vacation Already?!?!

   I cannot believe that it is finally summer vacation! Before I let my kiddos go on Thursday I gave them just a little treat to start their "cool break"!
 Inside of clear goody bags are small water bottles, a colorful silly straw, and lemonade mix.
 Each tag reads, "Water" you waiting for? Get your creative juices flowing for a cool summer!
   I have lasted two days, well really a day and a half, without doing anything classroom related. Usually at this time on Sunday's I'm prepping anchor charts or typing my classroom newsletter. It is so hard for me to not think about my classroom or new kiddos I am getting in the fall. Thank goodness I am volunteering to do summer school in June and July to keep me sane. I know most teachers countdown the seconds until summer break. Me on the other hand, I think there is something lose in my brain, I countdown the days until I get to go back into my classroom! I have been keeping myself occupied by relaxing on the deck watching my boys play...
and working in the garden...

we are going to have so many strawberries!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

End of the Year Read Aloud

Tomorrow is going to be such a bittersweet day. The LAST DAY of school. I have had most of my kiddos for two or three years so it will be sad to let them go tomorrow. To get them excited for 3rd grade we used the story A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle today. We paused every couple of pages to retell what we heard and then the main idea and theme at the end of the book. As I love to integrate arts and crafts into everything we made our own little hermit crab shells. The kiddos decorated a large shell that I printed on construction paper and glued eyes onto two red rectangles. They then traced their hand onto red construction paper, cut it out, and then glued onto the backside of the shell. We then wrote on the back of the shell, "I hope my 3rd grade home is..." Here are a couple of my kiddos creations.

 This little crab says, "I hope my 3rd grade home is nice."
 It is almost time for my little hermit crabs to move onto the next shell of their school journey. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

End of the Year Countdown

I cannot believe that we only have 7 days left of the school year! WHAT?!?!? Many of my kiddos are getting a little anxious for the summer to begin. The weather here in Colorado has added the summer feeling with highs in the 80s too. My kiddos began our Balloon Countdown last week. I just placed little activities into each balloon and hung 12 up on our Focus Wall. Then each morning, before our Walk to Read literacy block, each one of my kiddos gets a turn to try and pop one of the balloons. It has been so entertaining to watch my boys use so much power to try and pop the balloons with a dart, but it has been my girls who have popped most of them! Here is what our countdown looked like our first day. I know some of the balloons look a little wimpy, but I am always afraid that they are going to pop in my face when blowing them up!

Our final days will also be spent remembering the activities and memories of the past year. My kiddos will create a memory book to record these moments. I have put it as a FREEBIE in my TPT store! Click on the picture below to download. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Walking Museum

All of our second graders three weeks of research culminated today with our Walking Museum of Science. Each one of the second grade classrooms were divided into dinosaurs, space, animals, and insects and bugs. Here is a look at the outside of our classroom door as you walk into Prehistoric Journey...
My kiddos made it look like you were walking into the mouth of a T-Rex dinosaur! There were even little steaks with my kiddos faces on them. The inside of our classroom was transformed into a dinosaur paradise. We had rain forest storm and bird music playing and various learning stations.
Our kiddos got to sort dinosaurs by carnivore or herbivore based on their physical characteristics.
My kiddos paleontologist  folder and research book.
Our trace imprint fossils
Our amber pieces
After setting up our room we got to walk to the other classrooms to see all of their hard work. Here is a look at two of the other classroom doors as we walked inside.
 The Space Room
The Animal Room
Our kiddos had so much fun getting to see what their friends ended up researching. Our first grade buddies even came to show their support. I think they are a little more excited to come to second grade now!


Context Clues

As much as I love seeing all my kiddos growth with end of the year testing, I hate taking time out of my literacy block to test. We skipped comprehension drills on Wednesday to work on DIBELS, but I am excited to use my new pirate context clues game next week. My kiddos spent all this week preparing to be pirates for the spring music concert so I think the pirate songs and ARRR's inspired the game. I had some decorative marbles in my craft box and a left over pirate chest goodie box that I let my kiddos use to cover their treasure map mats. You can get the game in my TPT store by clicking on the picture below.