Sunday, November 3, 2013

When the Leaf Blew In!

As I wandered aimlessly through Pinterest I came upon a cute leaf styled anchor chart done by Cara Carroll at First Grade Parade.  I also have "When the Leaf Blew In" on my own Grade 2 shelf and happen to be doing some verbs work this week in Lesson 8 of Journeys, so....I tweaked it into a bit of an interactive notebook page.

I hope I do Cara's idea justice and I am thrilled to fit some seasonal literature into the Journeys program.  Please feel free to download your own free copy at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another year done!...Almost

Here I am at the end of another school year, finding that I didn't post nearly as much as I intended to.  Due to Hurricane Sandy, we had our regular one hour last day with the students, BUT we have to come back on Monday and Tuesday to make up for teacher days lost.  I had a productive last school day once the Sunshine brunch was done, and I left a to do list on my desk for the last two days we have to be there.  The district is using some of each day for training with the new Journeys reading program to start in the fall and we also have about 3 hours of time for ourselves each day.

I started off fully gung-ho for Daily 5, but found that I didn't follow through with the mini-lessons long enough.  The stamina really stuck for the kids and I am sending them to third grade with an enjoyment for sitting and reading, so I am really happy for that.  Mini-lessons have never been my strong point since I can't do anything for just a few minutes.  Something to continue to work on...  I also have to focus on the new Journeys program and see how the two can work together.

My decorative game plan stayed strong with the zebra last year, but I've tweaked it with a lot of visual cues from Pinterest during the year.  I loved the coordinated classrooms that I have seen there.  I took the zebra backed board from last year and ran with the black and white with pops of red for next year.  Hoping to post photos.

Keep checking back.  I promise to try to do better with posting :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Daily 5!

Very happy with the mini lessons done so far.  We are up to 15 minutes of stamina (2nd grade 21 kids).  Had to share a link to this site with some great handouts/printables!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

A WILD Year!

Uh-Oh!  This Adventure theme is taking a very WILD turn!  Some errands today turned into a zebra themed shopping bonanza.  Check out some of the great finds.

The cube storage/seating (from TJ Maxx) is for by my chart stand and carpet for whole class lessons.

The pink zebra bag (for carrying stuff), pink zebra frames (for beautifully posting required signs by the door), and sheet of zebra duct tape (for creating two starting marks for line up) are from Staples.

The zebra trim and multicolored zebra cardstock are from Michael's.

All these match my clip chart and binders I have made over the summer.  Who knew I liked zebra so much? I was going to have different adventures in different areas of the classroom....hmmmm, now what to do about my Fairy Tale Adventure Word Wall?  It may need a redo mid-year.  For the time being, I'll leave it be.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Working On My Checklist

I have been working hard on my summer checklist. As you'll see, I've added a bunch of other side projects - as always! 

First, I have read both books by "the Sisters" - The Daily 5 and CAFE.  I have been following all those fellow bloggers with their book discussions.  Reading the books and blogs really set off many of the side projects.  I have also been working on that CAFE & Daily 5 board.  I have all the pieces made.  Now I just have to put it all together.  

After reading the Sisters, I was inspired by Ladybug's Teacher Files wonderful organization  and thought "Why, yes, I would like to start the year organized."  So I made my own binder cover, spine label, and dividers in a WILD pattern to match my stylish adventure theme.  

My binders also tie in with the Adventure Clip Chart  that I made for this new year.  The Clip Chart promotes positive behavior choices and also considers those kids who already make good choices.  Everyone starts at the green level and can move up or down through the entire day.  The link takes you to my Clip Chart at TeachersPayTeachers where I have shared it as a freebie with an explanation note.

Then, These are my Whole Class Journals that are available for the kids to use during the "Work On Writing" section of our Daily 5.  I had started creating my own, but found these from Teach-A-Roo and loved them.  Inside the cover there are also word banks for vocabulary for each topic.  I loved that addition!  We all know how often kids come up to ask for spelling help!  I may make more topics later, but these are great for starting the year.  Who can resist all those brand new composition books at 50 cents each??

Don't worry friends!  I am not done yet!  I am still working on the Whole Brain thing and also making a display with the Beanie Baby Reading strategies.  Luckily there is still time!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Daily 5 Party

I have joined the party full-force!  I am reading the Daily 5 book and scouring the vast WWW to find anything Daily 5 and CAFE.  I managed to stumble and land face first in this Wonderful group of bloggers working their way through the Daily 5 book.  I am so happy to read the words of these bloggers and find that it echoes my own thoughts starting the book.  I hope I can catch up to them!  Here is the link to Lory's Page when she began this book talk.  At the bottom are a number of other bloggers, each contributing their thoughts.  All of these sites have great ideas of their own.

I am still building that black, white, and red all over bulletin board.  I plan to stop by school tomorrow to do some measuring of the board in question so that I can move forward with the whole display and not find out I made it too big when I get there in August.  Here is what I have so far...Still a work in progress.
I am reading one of the links at Fourcornerslife blog and she has some interesting points about the importance of choice and building stamina.  Returning to 2nd grade, I am excited about the improved maturity (potential?) of slightly older students.  I am hoping to build on their desire to be "big kids" and that intrinsic motivation.  I am also really crossing my fingers to build that stamina.  I find it hard to button my own  lip and let them work without praising the ones who are doing well, so I hope to build my own stamina, too.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

CAFE and Daily 5 What's black, white, and red all over?

My newest bulletin board!

Following the uber-responsible example of Mrs. B, I am trying to organize my summer home time.  I am so proud of myself today - I went to the gym and spent two hours working on my teaching goals.  Yay me!  I downloaded The Daily 5  book to my iPad and I am reading, highlighting, searching online, printing notes, and working on a plan for the bulletin board I will use for the Daily 5 and CAFE.  I have an adventure theme for my second graders in September and I got a bit carried away on the last day of school and put up a WILD zebra print wrapping paper as backing for this particular board.  Now, looking at the layout of my classroom I realize that board will be a huge focus up on the front wall and the perfect place for my ambitious Daily 5 and CAFE displays.  I have to get some measurements on the exact size of the board so I can continue to create the pieces I want to make for the display.  In the next couple of days, I'll keep reading The Daily 5 and making a "sketch" of the bulletin board I want to have.  My main focus is to keep the fun zebra background in a way that doesn't make any of my students queasy come September.  Check back soon to see how I am doing.

.......A few hours later I'm baaaaaack.  I just wanted to add that Mrs. Durning's site at Second Grade Is Splendid has a great series of posts for the Daily 5 as it is in her classroom.  I find myself going back to her again and again.  Thanks Mrs. Durning!