I have been up at school almost everyday for the past two weeks. I have had some help from former and future students! I am a little OCD (know as CDO at our house -- alphabetize everything!!) So I always ask former kiddos that are fully trained in my library organization to help me out. This is especially useful when you move rooms and things are in boxes. You can see one of my helpers is Watson!! He loves to visit school and run around, checking in on all the teachers.
I managed to get the desks arranged into squares today. You'll notice that there's a hole in the middle of the desk arrangement. As I was strolling through Target on my daily visit I found these little babies. I think they will fit perfectly in the middle of the desks and hold pencils and erasers! Thank you Target Dollar Spot!
You may have also noticed all the boxes on the desks in the middle of the room. Those would be the enVision consumables. We are very fortunate to have a rockin' math curriculum, sadly the downside is that all the consumables come in prepackaged sets of 24. As a grade level we have 3 sets of 24, do the math --- yep, that's 72 consumables. Did I mention we are expecting 80 kids for next year? We are 8 short! I am in a large district and we are budget conscious/responsible. Translation ---- other schools have extra student consumables that they need to send into our district office. Are you following along? The district will then gather extras from all of our elementary schools and send the 8 we need to us. Now, what do you think the chances are that any one at those extra type of schools have sorted anything??? HMMMMMM......... I am betting we won't start the year with the correct amount of consumables!! Oh well, it's too soon to panic!
I am off to take darling child number three to get top braces! She's so excited, God Bless her! Here's a peek at her bottom braces she got about a month ago. Well, they are hard to see but they are there! Here's a shout out to Fry Orthodontics! If you are in the KC area, I strongly encourage you to check them out. We have been thrilled with the results -- and we are on child three now!
Ahhhh, Target how do I love thee, let me count the ways!
Let's begin with the mini magnetic dry erase erasers. They are 2 to a package, so I bought 12 packages! (This is my middle daughter, a future teacher, holding up the goodies.)
On to my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e section of the store, you know where I'm talking about.... the school supplies! I found colored composition notebooks, so I bought 25 blue ones and middle daughter bought 25 green ones. My Target has a limit of 25 on items, oh no! I should have brought daughter three to help too, there's always next time.
I went crazy for dry erase markers. Expo makers were on sale 4 for $2.50. I don't know about you, but my kids NEVER bring dry erase markers. I think it's because they are expensive, and parents don't realize how much we use them. I bought 8 packages. Four packages in traditional colors and four packages in cool, hip colors. I stopped by Michael's on the way home, because I was so excited to try out a Pinterest inspired project. Yep, I hot glued a pom pom onto the top for an instant eraser! (I guess my theme for the day was erasers.)
I debated on buying crayons, but decided I would try to wait until I got my classroom budget. In the past our principal has given us $100 to spend on our classroom. I am praying that we will still get some money. Kansas is having some serious education finance issues, so I would be sad to see the money for our classrooms disappear. I am curious, do other principals give out money for teachers to spend on classrooms? How much?
I was working on a donors choose project a couple of weeks ago when it dawned on me that I hadn't seen the project go live. I tried to get onto my school e-mail, but of course the server was down! Yesterday I logged in to email at school and low and behold, my project was funded!!! YEEEHAAAWWW!
I am getting my HearAll recorder!! Yippee!!
I was so thrilled to see that Starbucks of Kansas was my sponsor.
(I spend some serious $$ there!)
Thank you Starbucks for supporting my class!!
I already have another project under review, and hope it will be live today or tomorrow. I am asking for 30 penguin books for an enormous, all second grade collaborative penguin research project. I am praying that it will be funded by late November, because I want to start the research in December. If you are feeling especially generous feel free to sponsor us.
Corrina over at Surfin' Through Second is having a linky party!! Yipee!
Today's linky is all about Classroom Theme, I am sticking with my ocean theme and adding touches of Pirates!! I made some name tags and printed them out on wavy, water looking paper.
I am working on examples for the Writer's Cove. I made these labels that I backed with more of the cool scrapbook paper. I am going to display examples for each item.
I got some awesome FEE pirate kids word wall cards from teachers pay teachers, specifically www.frogsinfirst.blogspot.com! Click on the picture to get your free download. Don't forget to leave her some love!
I broke down! I really, really, really wanted one of those HearAll or EasiSpeak recorders. I love Learning Resources products.... So I bought one. I took advantage to a no shipping fees thing I got on my school email. I R-E-A-L-L-Y wanted one to use with a particular student, a selective mute. Here's the background; the student speaks at home, but not at school. Has anyone had any experience?
I have done a ton of research! It turns out this is a severe anxiety disorder. Contrary to popular belief the child has not had an extreme trauma. I am going to do my darnedest to make them feel safe and comfortable.
I have been working since May to reduce the anxiety of coming to school. It started with me talking to the student at the end of the day during dismissal at the end of the school year. We (school counselor and I) told the student that they would be in my room, less summer anxiety. At summer school this student was in ELL - I taught guided reading, but I made a point of going to the bus line to talk to the student daily. Then I invited the student, a cousin and mom to my classroom. This week I was ready for mom and student, but surprise-- the student was cool just hangin' with me!!! HUGE step!! I thought that was at least 2 or 3 weeks away!
The student has been helping me organize my classroom library. We put up bulletin boards, we only got two finished. I promised not to do any more without them. I let this child choose fabric and borders. Do you know how hard that is for me?? I am so OCD -- see below, CDO as I refer to it. I like things alphabetical!
Anyway, I asked the child if I had a microphone that recorded would they read into it? The student said yes! I am praying this will give me an accurate idea of where they read. I am also hoping the student will record some basic things, morning greeting, lunch choice, part of our shared reading. As I understand it, if I can get the other kids to lay off the "____ doesn't talk." It will help reduce the pressure not to talk on the child.
1. I am a third generation teacher. Mom taught a number of elementary grades and finally became a media specialist. Her father was a high school math teacher and the head football and basketball coach.
2. I was a foreign exchange student to Norway. After 20 years I only remember how to ask the dog if he wants to "go out" in Norwegian.
3. I LOVE working with diverse populations in high poverty areas. I feel like I am actually teaching something new everyday.
4. I have been married in Las Vegas in the middle of the night on Leap Year day. No foolin' - February 29, 1992. Too bad it didn't last!
5. My middle daughter and I go out for Burnt Ends every Wednesday night, while her little sister is at youth group. Please don't tell her! (I do take the littlest out for Taco Tuesday while her sister is at Children's Lit. SHHHH!!!!)
6. I would do anything for my fur baby, Watson. Including driving through "snowpocalypse" to get him medical treatment. Of course he got sick when the entire Kansas City area was literally shut down. It took us over an hour to drive 8 miles. He got a doggie IV (Which was administered at home, I couldn't leave him there unattended.)
7. I love to cook and bake. My girls know I will make them a home cooked dinner every night - minus that Tuesday/Wednesday confession. They grade papers for me and I cook! I love it!
I had a terrible time finding 15 new blogs to give this award. I am going to search and award it as I find deserving awardees. (I hope that is ok.)
I love this for Word Work during the Daily 5. My main concern was the actual time spent spelling words rather than digging through the container. I was alos concerned about letting them cut out thier own letters. I don't know about you, but my magazine choices don't always have the most child friendly articles. (Love those gossip mags!)
So... I did the cutting! I cut out letters from all those People, Ok! and In Style magazines. Then I realized that the kids in my room next year were a bit on the lower side, and a bit attention impaired. I decided to go ahead and purchase one of those hardware/tackle boxes from Wal-Mart for $3.96. I labeled each spot. (I am seriously CDO -- alphabetical order for my OCD.)
I sorted those little buggers and cameto find out that my magazines rarely use Js, Qs, and Fs in the headings. So I am on the look out for a few more. I broke out the Modge Podge and added the title of this Daily 5 choice on he top of the container.
I am debating on letting the kids actually glue the words onto a paper for accountability. Seriously, my upcoming class needs guidance. I might recruit some of my stay at home moms to cut letters out for me. I could ask my Spanish speaking moms that want to help, but don't know how. I already have one I plan to enlist as my room mom!! (I need to practice/learn more Spanish!)
vThe gals over at Second Grade Smartypants are having a 100 follower give away!! They have several goodies for the lucky winner! Since they are Kansasans like me I wanted to give them a shout out! Go check it out! They have giveaways from the Bubbly Blonde, Ms Elementary, Hooty's Homeroom, and My Second Grade Sense. There's also goodies for back to school and a Target gift card!! Can you say sign me up?
Only two more days of Summer School! Can I get an "AMEN!"? I am ready to sleep in and chill with my coffee. I know the students feel the same way, thus the d-r-a-g of my guided reading lessons today. Our summer school is set up into 2 two hour sessions. Kids can come for two hours or four hours. Most of our kiddos are from Title 1 and ELL buildings (My school has a large number of representatives.) Kids get a scholarship to attend, but they don't get to choose cool classes --- like Pool Party or Art Antics, they get stuck in a two hour (40 minute x 3 rotation) of Word Work, Guided Reading and Shared Reading. Then they are off to math or ELL. I teach six (yep, six) guided reading groups to struggling readers. It is P-A-I-N-F-U-L!!!
I have been trying to choose lots of good non-fiction with cool topics like football, Mexico, Crickets, and Rainforests. As you know I also have to throw in some fiction, but the selections are not nearly as awesome. Tomorrow we are wrapping up instruction and Thursday we are having a "beach" party. I will translate - kids getto read on beach towels in the library due to our predicted 104 degree temps. We eat popsicles too. I wonder if I get 6? or none since I am a teacher, that would be a bummer. I would settle for just one cherry popsicle!
On to my Freebie, I am trying to get my TPT store up and going so here's one of my favorites just for you! It's my scrabble letters from Scrappin Doodles. I ran these for my students so they could take a set home and use them with my Spelling BINGO homework. Enjoy! All I ask is that you look around, if you are a Harcourt Trophies user I have quiz-quiz-trade cards in the works for each story!
My first summer purchase was from Oriental Trading Company. I wanted to add to my Daily 5 Word Work choices. So I got these nearly perfect itty, bitty boggle games. They are officially called "Letter Games". I spent a whopping $2.99 per dozen!
I plan to go over to Really Good Stuff and go crazy, but I have been trying to keep under control until at least July. I am eyeing the letter stones for Word Work, are you noticing a theme??
I am also counting the minutes until Target switches over from outdoor furniture to
SCHOOL SUPPLIES!!! I know I must sound sick, but I just love going to Target and getting new crayons. The students at my school don't typically bring supplies. In order to make sure they have all that they need, I go shopping! I save up all my Target gift cards and my 5% prescription discount reward and SHOP!!! I seriously can't wait!
So I was content to keep my ocean/surfing theme for the fall. My daughters had me convinced, "Mom, the kids love the surfing stuff." I was ever so tempted by the Target dollar spot. They had foam swords, pirate tubs, and swashbuckling thank you notes. The girls persisted, "NO!! Walk away!" Then future little darlin' draws what he is excited about for second grade..... It's me in a pirate hat, with an eye patch!! It's like he is psychic! You know I cannot possibly disappoint this little one! Soooooo..... I have added pirates to my oceany room!
I found some great fabric at Wal-Mart to go on my "Words we Treasure" board. I made name tags, new word wall cards and bought a few items on Teachers Pay Teachers, and of course got some foam swords!! Here are a few of my purchases....
WHEW!!! We did it! The kids finished writing their four paragraph reports. We spent 3 days taking notes using Alphaboxes. Thank you to Linda Hoyt's book Crafting Non-fiction. Then we organized our information, I listed these questions on a separate paper.
What does your animal look like?
Where does your animal live?
What does your animal eat?
Finally, what are three interesting facts you learned about your animal?
The kids wrote their paragraphs under each question. On day five we took over the computer lab! Our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders were out of the building on a field trip, so we took advantage of the extended typing time. I am proud to say we got all that work finished in an hour and a half!
Day six, we created our animals to complete the display. It was too cute, I told the kids that I had read all the reports and picked out only the colors that they needed for their animals. One student said, "but, I need green. You didn't get green." I responded, "Let me see" and pulled out his report. I then read to him his description of the animal. I said " I didn't read anything about your chameleon being green." He then admitted, "I guess I forgot that part." (FYI -- his chameleon is the red and blue striped thing on the left side of the photo.)
Above: Great Horned Owl, Hawk, Rabbit, Chipmunk and Peregrine Falcon
Last month I purchased Cara Carroll's Camping Capers. It has saved my life! We re down to 8 1/2 school days ad I need some interesting and engaging lessons!
I started with the introduction of camping through Aurthur Goes to Camp. We then graphed our camping experiences. Only 5 of my students have not been camping.
The following day I introduced the woodland animal research project. Each student has chosen a non-fiction book about their animal, and is taking notes using an Alpha box. We are planning how to write our reports. We will definitely need to make some sort of visual to go along with it.
This morning we read all about bears and then wrote a class book "If I saw a Bear". Thank you Courtney, at Swimming in Second.
Today after lunch we divded into four groups to complete three of the stations from Cara Carroll's unit. The kids loved the spinner data collection and graph making.
Then they moved on to Campfire Compound words!
Students alphabetized 24 words and recorded them.
Finally, Dirt and WORMS!!!!
Here's the official recipe; 1 Hunt's chocolate snack cup, 1 teaspoon Oreo pie crust stuff, 1 teaspoon crushed Oreo, and 2 gummy worms. Kids had a great time!
Tomorrow, we are making trail mix and going hiking. Happy Day!
Today was our field day! Our really amazing P.E. teacher organized a great day for our kids. We had 30 stations and spent 10 minutes at each station. I took a few pictures before I safely left my phone inside. (You know how rogue parent volunteers might douse you!)
bean bag toss
There were 6 water stations; water balloon toss, sponge dodge ball, some sort of water ball over a volleyball net game, fill the cup, soggy sweats relay, and picking up marbles with our toes.
water balloon toss
It was 90 degrees in good ole Kansas today! I wasn't sure who would melt first, me or the kids. AsI suspected, I fell apart first. I am super pale and even with spf 50, that I reapplied multiple times, I still got B-U-R-N-E-D. The little darlins' did not. I covered them too. We chilled out inside during our lunch and then during the mini golf, shuffle board, dance party and musical chairs!
I only have 12 1/2 school days left. How many do you have??
Oh My! I have an ear infection that has me wiped out!!! It started innocently as some congestion from allergies, darn cottonwood trees. Within days I was really congested. I broke down and asked the school nurse to look at my ear Wednesday, which she declared "That's the worst looking ear I've ever seen!" So I broke down and ran over to the minute clinic. Thank you to the school secretary for finding me a sub. Needless to say I was given some antibiotics and ear drops. What I wasn't prepared for was the chance that the antibiotics wouldn't be strong enough. I took Thursday off, but came in on Friday since we are having sub shortage.
Fast forward to Friday night when I was still not getting any better. The pain was intense-- I am one of those tough ladies that gave birth to 3 kids without meds- and this ear pain was worse! My lovely daughter convinced me to go to the Emergency Room on a Friday night. Thank goodness!! I got stronger meds and PAIN pills! WOO HOO!
I have spent the past two days sleeping. My daughter insisted that I wake up and eat today. (She's ruining my new diet plan!) I still can't hear, but I think the antibiotics are starting to kick in. I went to school to set up for a sub tomorrow. I need at least another day off to get it together! Sadly, we begin End of Year testing Tuesday, I will be back regardless of my condition on Tuesday!
So, how is everyone holding up? Any other end of the year crisis?
I have been spending money left and right-- GRANT money! Today the wonderful new listening center arrived. The kids were thrilled to open the boxes! The CD player is very simple. It has play and stop. What more do little ones need?
We also had a big box arrive from Scholastic!!! We have 40+ new books/CDs to use in our listening center. The kids are dying to listen to all of them, but I am limiting them to 3 new stories a week.
We have had trouble staying on task recently so I am limiting the listening center to 2 students at a time. Sadly, the fantastic weather has given some of my little darlins SPRING FEVER!
I got my Olathe Public Schools Foundation grant last Friday! The prize patrol came to my classroom and gave meone of those HUGE checks! My little darlin's were so excited. We decided to take a picture to say thanks!
I wrote my grant to purchase more supplies for our Daliy 5. I already ordered $403 worth of books from Scholastic. I am getting a listening center from Lakeshore. I am planning to get more manipulatives for Work on Words. I am so lucky to have the support of my district and the school district foundation.
I am posting my Daily 5 labels. I use these photo labels to identify where the materials are stored. I have a wall of cabinets in my room, and our Daily 5 items are stored inside.
I have a question about copyright and I am hoping someone can answer this for me. We use the Harcourt reading series. I have created Quiz-Quiz-Trade cards for each story (utilizing the end of selection test questions, this a copyright question.) I do not wish to make money from the cards, but I'd like to share the super cute cards that I made. Is this allowed? I will definitely identify that the questions are from Harcourt. Thoughts?
I also have vocabulary cards that I made for our word wall and cute spelling lists. These are free on my TPT store. (Which has only two items!)
I am curious, has anyone ever used Skype in the classroom? I use it at home to check in on the oldest in LA. I like to see how she's doing and make her little Yorkie go crazy!
My fabulous student teacher is leaving to have an international student teaching experience in Costa Rica. My little darlin's just adore him, as you can imagine, a male in primary! Mr. Johnson is well loved and they are already distressed about him leaving. I am trying to get the school district's permission to Skype, this involves getting a web cam, so no easy feat around here.
Has anyone ever Skyped? Was it a lesson? A student that was home bound? A pen pal class? Tell me more!
Wow!! A great giveaway of Erica's new book! I am dying to spice up my spelling centers, and my budget is killing me. Darn those daughters thinking they need a college education!!! Guess I will have to win myself a copy! Boogie on over and check it out!
Today was d-e-e-e-l-i-g-h-t-f-u-l! Weather was warm and sunny, teenagers were very sweet and Hunger Games stayed true to the book. Nothing to complain about here!
I wore my really awesome OluKai sandals that I bought at Nordstrom rack. I am a a flip flop fanatic, but recently my "old lady" feet have been demanding real shoes. I have a wicked heel spur, which I wish I could say was due to being a fine athlete, but it's not. The heel spur is 100% due to standing on my feet, on a hard concrete floor in poor shoes aka flip flops. Imagine my surprise when I found these stylish little babies on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. The look of cute flip flops, but arch support and a padded heel!!!! I wore them all day and my feet feel awesome!!!
Another great reason to love these sandals is that they are Hawaiian, like my new friend, Corinna over at Surfin' Through Second. She gave me an award. I was simply shocked. I haven't been bloggin for more than a minute when she gave me a cool award. All the more motivation to get posting.
Here's my award
I am going in to school tomorrow to get everything ready for our State Testing. I have motivational smart cookies for our buddy class. I used mini oreos and created a label that says "you're one smart cookie". I used a shipping label that was 3"x4", it covered the whole front of the baggie. Get your labels here.