Tuesday, January 29, 2013

100th Day: Survivor Edition & Landforms

I had the best Monday EVER! Yes, I realize that today it Tuesday, but yesterday was so AMAZING I have to tell you about it.

First,  I walked into my room and noticed that a flat screen TV was installed over the weekend. Do you hear the angel chorus singing?  I certainly did!

(super blurry photo, but you get the idea!)

A few minutes later, I was walking to the bathroom to put on my makeup and noticed my coworker going into her classroom.

Umm, seriously??? There was a coat hanger stuck in her jacket.  She didn't feel it in the car, walking across the parking lot, walking up the steps to her classroom.

We almost died we were laughing so hard! I couldn't even put on any eye makeup yesterday.

Of course we had to reenact it to document the silliness! Every time she saw me today she started laughing.

And this was all before 8am!

Yesterday was the 100th day of school.  I pretty much took every idea I could find on my January Pinterest board and made it a rotation for the morning. I did make it a Survivor (I had to explain the TV show) edition of the 100th day. Students had to pull a bandanna out of a bucket to see which "team" they were on. Somehow the 3 BFF's in the class managed to pull the same color bandanna - peeking much??

I bought the bandannas at Hobby Lobby. They were the ONLY thing that was not on sale at Hobby Lobby. They set me back a dollar a piece, but the students really loved the bandannas.

We finally finished up our landform unit last week. I had big plans to have the students make a landform map, but we just ran out of time.

We did use a lot of items from my Landform Mini Unit.

You already saw a picture of the landforms dictionary (there are 2 versions in the unit for you), but the packet also includes:

  • a memory game (3 versions for use, depending on your class)
  • ABC order center
  • I Have, Who Has? game
  • Printables
I have included a freebie printable for you!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Five for Friday: A Week in Review

YIPEE! I just got back from a lovely Mexican dinner to celebrate the end of the week. I was really hoping for some ice or snow last night, but we didn't get any. There were some counties north of us that didn't have school or were on a delay.  Better luck next time, I guess!

I'm linking up for another Five for Five!

1. I made this Snicker-doodle (literally) recipe in my afterschool cooking class this week. While we were waiting for the cookies to bake, a students made this *funny* joke.

A Snicker and a doodle, get it? 

2.  I made it to Hot Yoga exactly 1 out of six times this week. Major FAIL. Which is really not good since I consumed many Snicker-doodles! Tomorrow morning's class is going to hurt!

3.  We wrapped up our Landform/Map unit.  We made a landform dictionary.

I hoping to post this unit soon.  If you are planning a landform unit, I do have a set of Landform Posters in my TPT store.  (UPDATE 1/28 : I loaded the landform unit to TPT!)

4.  We had a little fun making our spelling words out of Play-doh.

Yes, that's actually a "k" for key.  We teach D'Nealian handwriting.  I miss the block letters!

5. We studied Y as a vowel and made a Benny Bunny craft.

If you are looking for more ideas for Y as a vowel, I just posted my Guy Butterfly and Benny Bunny unit in my store.

Be sure to link up and check out some new blogs!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guy Butterfly and Benny Bunny

Whew! Tonight we had "Step Up Night" where the parents come and learn about the next grade. It makes for a LONG day, but watching Grey's Anatomy while blogging totally makes up for it.

This week we learned about y as a vowel.

Meet Guy Butterfly.

And Benny Bunny.

Each character comes with a craft.  I had the students write their spelling words under each character.

We had a word hunt around the room.

We played I Have, Who Has?

So fun!  In reading groups, one student said "I found a Benny Bunny word!" Doesn't it just make your day when your students make connections like that??

You can check out the unit here on TPT.

I am also offering a freebie from the packet. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Contraction Caterpillars

As I mentioned last week, my class is just beginning our unit on contractions.  Today we made these sweet caterpillars.

The students had to write the contraction on the body and then the two words that made up the contraction on the legs.

Here's a few of the students' caterpillars.

I've been slightly obsessed with scrapbook paper lately.  Any reason I can find it to use it I will!! I like having the students pick which patterns they like the best for the activity. As soon as I bought 2 packs of scrapbook paper, a parent donated a huge stack to me. I think I have enough to last me a lifetime now!

I know it's winter, but the caterpillar theme carried over to our indoor recess.  Last week it was rainy, this week it's too cold (by southern standards) to go out.  I like to alternate different activities so they don't get as bored.

Last week when I gave out drawing paper and markers, the class made their own drawing contest and appointed judges.  Well, one day someone cried because they didn't win, then they got mad, and their drawing accidentally ripped.  Don't worry, the picture went to the hospital and was put back together with love and some tape.

So today I declared I was the judge and everyone was rewarded with a butterfly or flower sticker.

Since they knew I was the judge, they drew caterpillars and wrote "I love Ms. Deal."

I mean, what other job do you have where someone tells you they love you all day long??

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blends Charades

Happy MLK Day! I know many of you have the day off, but I was surprised to read First Grade Blue Skies' post on FB that she doesn't have the day off. I really thought that everybody always had MLK Day off!

I'll be the first to admit that 4 day weeks are a little more hectic but I am going to enjoy today fully! That includes being able to go to a Hot Yoga class at 4pm.  I already can't wait!

I just finished up a Blends Packet and posted it on TPT. You may remember the students' blend posters from December.

The packet focuses on s blends.  The main activity is Blends Charades (although there are a few printables in the packet as well).

I had to throw in a few extra blends (fr, cl, gr, tr) in there to make enough cards for twenty students.

My students absolutely LOVED this game.  They knew that all the words started with blends, so for the most part, they made good guesses.  As soon as we finished the game, they begged to play again!

I'm throwing a FLASH Sale at TPT. 10% off everything for today (1/21) only!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Five for Friday (a day late)

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday Linky.

Here are my 5 random happenings from the week.

1.  We went fishing for syllables!  This was a sample lesson from one of my professors in college.  However, her lesson included a magnetic fishing pole and magnets on the fish. Visualizing a pond works just as well.

2.  In my after school art class, we finished up our snowflake paintings.

3.  Every grade is required to complete a school wide performance.  We started learning a few dance moves to Toby Mac's "Me Without You." My favorite part is when I shout "Freestyle!"Their dance moves are AWESOME!

4.  We learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and made a super fabulous timeline from Falling into First. If you are planning any MLK activities for next week, be sure to check out her MLK mini unit on TPT.

5.  We finished up our graphing unit.  I think graphing the color of Skittles was probably one of their favorites!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grammar Linky Party: Contractions

So glad this week is O-V-E-R!  Indoor recess for 4 days straight was rough on everyone. What's the longest you ever gone with indoor recess?  I feel that I must have gone longer at some point, but I just blocked it from my memory.

If you've hopped over from Teaching With Love and Laughter Grammar Linky Party, we started learning about contractions this week.

We began by reading Alfie Apostrophe.
Leslie Ann from Life in First Grade has a super cute apostrophe activity on TPT. We made our own Alfie's.  The pattern was included in the packet. Leslie Ann also include templates for the hands, legs, hair, etc. but I decided to have my students make those extra part on their own.  I love seeing them add a dash of creativity to a project!

Today we played I Have, Who Has: Contraction Edition.

My students are in LOVE with the I Have, Who Has games. I even caught a student making her own version during recess last week.  Then she asked for it to be laminated so her baby sister wouldn't eat it.  :)

Next week I'm hoping to make a contraction caterpillar and a contraction garden.  Stay tuned for pictures of those activities!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pencil War

I know I'm not alone when I say pencils drive me all kinds of crazy in the classroom. I feel like there should be a course on the different ways to manage pencils when you are getting your education degree!

Last year, for the life of me, I could not figure out what was going on with the pencils.  They were breaking left and right and no one ever seemed to have a shark pencil.  I didn't let the students use the pencil sharpener because I knew it would open the flood gates even more. It got to the point where the students had to check out a pencil.  I was trying to track and see if I could figure it out.  If I could only teach my lessons....

One day, I overheard a student say "I have 5 specks.  How many do you have?"  I asked her what specks were and she looked a little guilty, but she showed me.  They were collecting the lead in their pencil boxes!! On purpose, people.

Whatever you do, don't give them mechanical pencils because you are tired of sharpening pencils and your pencil sharpener overheats. Not my smartest moment.

Then I found this little goody on Pinterest.

It is life changing, I tell you. You can read all the details about how Ms. H uses it in her classroom HERE. It's a free download on TPT!

Here's how I use it in my classroom.

I bought these plastic pencil holders at Target, The Dollar Store, and Walgreens.  In a perfect world, I would have gotten colors that matched my theme. But considering it's mid year and finding enough for my class required me to go to three stores. I'm sure I could have gotten them online somewhere, but I wanted them ASAP.

I'm also giving my students six pencils a week, instead of eight. Honestly it was because my hand was so tired of sharpening! Their reward for having all six pencils intact on Friday is a Star Dollar (this is based off of my management system.) They store the pencil boxes in their table basket.

I started this system after Christmas break on January 3rd.  I have had ABSOLUTELY no problems with pencils. I don't have to stop a lesson to sharpen someone's pencil and there is no more "I don't have a pencil!" I only sharpen pencils one time a week instead of every. single. day.

Has anyone else tried this system out?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snow Globes & Hot Chocolate

Happy weekend!  I felt that Monday through Wednesday flew by, but Thursday and Friday just dragged on for me!

On Monday I stayed late to hang up pictures of our melting snowmen. I guess I was in a rush and ended up stapling my finger instead of the paper!!  Ouch!  The staple went all the way into my finger!! I ran into another teacher's room (ironically her last name is Staples) and she helped me get it out. I was scared to use the stapler for half of Tuesday, but eventually I got over it! I'm extremely careful now! Please tell me I'm not the only one who has stapled her finger!

This week my class really focused on descriptive writing.  We wrote about what it would be like to live in a snow globe. I think one of my favorites was when one student described how he would bust of the snow globe! Another student wrote from the perspective of his mom. His mom saw him trapped in the snow globe and gave it a little shake to make all of the glitter fall all over him.

After the students finished writing, they had to create a picture of what they were doing in the snow globe.  Then they added snowflakes with some with paint and q-tips.  Here are a few of the finished products!

Check out Amanda's snow globes at Teaching Maddness.  I love the way she had her students make their snow globes.  Why do you always find the cutest ideas after you've just done something similar??

We also wrote how to make hot chocolate using A Cupcake for the Teacher's unit. We made hot chocolate in class to help the students figure out the directions. We also graphed what our favorite topping were for hot chocolate.

I'm linking up with Teaching Maddness: Flashback Friday. Check out what everyone else did this week too!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Snowing Rainbows

We've been making snowmen left and right since school started back up last Thursday! I mentioned my room was bare, but it's quickly becoming more colorful.

Today we visualized what it would be like if it snowed in colors instead of just white and created colorful snowmen.

Love the sticks for hair!

Another student added a bow.  

We also read Snowmen at Night and created a tear art picture.

I had the students write what they would do if they were a snowman at night. I read over their writing as I was hanging the pictures in the hall.

Ha! It's hard to read, but it says "If I was a snowman at night, I would go to Ms. Deal's backyard and have a party.

Another student said she would come party on my street.  So glad they love me (and want to wake me up in the middle of the night!)

Are you doing any snowmen activities in your class?

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New Ideas, New Possibilities Linky Party

I'm excited to join the New Year, New Ideas, New Possibilities Linky Party hosted to Primary Possibilities! Hopefully everyone will be able to find some new blogs and teaching ideas!

Hi Everyone! This is Karen from Little Second-Grade Somebodies, and I'm really excited to be a guest blogger! I teach second grade math and science in a large urban school district in North Texas. Up until two years ago, I had taught primarily 5th and 6th grade (and I'm talking a good number of years). Then out of the blue our new administrator changed many assignments, and I was moved to second grade. I was NOT happy. But, once I got through that first year, I realized I really like the little people. I still have a lot to learn, but I think that I have been "re-mojofied."

 It's funny how everything comes full circle. Let me explain. When I first started teaching, I remember a professor leading a room full of teachers through an exercise on building schema through various activities like KWL charts, etc... Once schema is built then learners can make connections. Well the reason I'm stating this is that for the longest time after that I never heard another thing about schema and connections. But, now what do we hear about? You guessed it! Schema and connections. But haven't we been doing this all along? Sure we have.

So, I want to share with you a couple of activities from one of my TpT products that I use with my kiddos in conjunction with science instruction.  I love the idea of keeping science journals, but in second grade journals can sometimes be a mess. So I started creating journaling pages the kids can use that: 1. are organized and set up in such a way that little ones won't cram all of their writing into one square inch of paper; and 2. are designed to facilitate making connections and reflecting on learning. Initially this is a whole class activity, but after two or three times, and with some gradual release, the kids can complete them by themselves. When you read them, you will be amazed what they can tell you! Enjoy these freebies!

Thanks for having me as a guest blogger!
Happy Teaching!

Be sure to check out my guest post at Second Grade is Out of This World!