Monday, October 29, 2012

Motivational Monday

Oh, what a Great Idea - Motivational Monday! So Smiling in Second Grade, The Learning Tree and Classroom Cupcakes had this idea to help us all get started on those Mondays!
(And mine definitely was - started with trying to water my plants at school, dripped water all over the mailboxes and papers to go in the mailboxes - yikes!)

Here's my first one:

Ah, isn't this the truth? And isn't it hard to remember sometimes? Mostly when you need it. I don't remember where - I saw the saying some place and took the words and made it my own. It's hanging behind my desk.
My other motivational thought is:
I found this some place - oh, yeah, in the Bible :) I so much want the law of kindness to be on my tongue. Sometimes, it forgets, but I'm trying. (I actually have been thinking about a whole post on this - maybe later this week.) And Of Course, I want to open my mouth with wisdom! Particularly when one of my little stinkers, I mean, sweeties, destroys something of mine - well, a little something, like an eraser, but still.

Hope your Monday has been a good one. Link up with the ladies!
And have a great Tuesday, Halloween crazy day, Thursday and Friday :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Another Linky Party? Well, I can't resist. This one is
A long time ago, when I actually had time, I did a lot of scrapbooking. I collected fonts like crazy. Now, well, it seems like teaching is my hobby. I haven't bought many graphics because I don't make items to sell on TpT or Teacher's Notebook. But I have bought a few things to jazz up some things I use in class. And (smile) after some ideas I saw this summer, I bought some graphics to pretty up some things I use in my classroom. Like my folder where I put things that need filing. I printed out a cute graphic that included the word filing (like I wouldn't recognize the file with papers spilling out of it as things that needed filed.) Or my folder with things that need laminating. Or my notebook with info about my kids. So it's been a fun, nice little personal thing that makes me smile.

I have gotten some graphics from:

They seem to have a pretty nice collection. AND if you sign up for their newsletter, on Fridays they send out a freebie! Wow, who could beat that?

I mean, isn't this Too Cute?? I just adore them!

So Second Grade Math Maniac wants to know - Where do you get your graphics? Why don't you link up with her and let us know.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tell Me Something Good

Oh, I'm trying SO hard to do this! I've even taken to (when I remember) writing in my school calendar - 3 good things that happened that day. So this is a Linky Party from Rowdy in First Grade.

 She says: "So it's time for another Tell Me Something Good linky party so we can focus on the positive things that are happening! Just tell me at least one good thing that's happening at school and at least one good thing that's happening in your home life."

One Good Thing at School: My sweeties. You know the ones, when I say, "Get your book out," they have it out before I finish the sentence. If I say, "Somebody please help so-and-so clean up," they are over there before I can turn around. And they are just sweet. They like to say something nice to me. They like it when I ask them to help. They want to sit by me during Guided Reading. They try SO hard when something is hard for them. And sometimes, in the midst of some of the not so good behavior things going on, these sweeties are forgotten. At least by me. But they are definitely One Good Thing at School!

One Good Thing at Home: It's happening right now: my hub-bub is grading my math papers for me! How in the world did I get this to happen, you might ask? Well, I got hired to teach 3rd grade for the 2nd semester when I started teaching. I only taught Reading. There was an opening in 2nd grade, and I thought I might like it better, but I would teach everything. I was talking through (whining) about I didn't know what to do. My husband said he'd grade the math papers if I wanted to move down. Now, 4 years later, he still does it for me. (And he's a harder grader than I am - I always tell my kids that. If he can't read it, if they don't follow all the instructions - it's Wrong!) Anyway, this is one thankful wife to have such a wonderful guy!

Now it's your turn. What's going good? What's making you happy? Link Up at Rowdy in First Grade!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Ideas

Yahoo! Pocket Full Of Kinders is having a Linky Party:

I've got a couple ideas I'm adding. The first is one I did a couple years ago - the first year I taught 2nd grade. Was I naive? I don't know, maybe. I had them collect leaves. Then we carefully painted the side that the veins stuck out on. Next we pressed them onto our paper. Most of them just put random leaves on their papers, but I was really pleased that the lines on the leaves showed through.

I really thought about doing this again this year. But alas and alack, I have one little sweetie-pie who comes back from Art every week with paint stains covering all his fingers. And I'm not even sure they do painting every week :) So I decided that was just pressing my luck.

I was reluctant to do the following because I teach 2nd grade and a Kindergarten teacher had already done it and they were hanging in the hall outside her room. But my ever encouraging hub-bub said, Just do it! So I did. I gave my kids a baggie and told them to bring back some leaves. Whatever they brought had to fit in the baggie; if they bought sticks they had to be no longer than their pinkie finger and not as big around. No living things (You can't imagine how many times that was asked :)

(I really like the middle one, but don't tell anyone.)  The Kindergarten teacher gave her kiddos goggly eyes. I told my 2nd graders they had to figure something out. Pretty cool - they did. Some of them tore up leaves to make eyes, others used little seeds.

Well, my ideas are all crafty. I sure would like someone to include some Fall Festival party / Halloween party activity ideas. Please??

And don't forget to join up with the Pocketful of Kinders Linky Party.

Oh, Oh - I just thought - maybe I can make a mini- Scavenger Hunt like Pocketful of Kinders has done. I like it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

For the Upcoming Week

Half a day of school, half a day for a workday. I'm now home eating Goobers which have 5 grams of protein (oh, gee, they must be good for me!).
(obviously this is a dated picture because it doesn't mention the 5 grams of protein)
I'm eating Goobers because my hub-bub bought them for me when I asked for chocolate covered peanuts. Well, whatever!

Next week is a short week because we have Parent/Teacher conferences on Thursday and Friday. I have already had 2 conferences, yeah! Usually I try not to schedule many on Friday; then I can do some work in my room. But it just worked out this year that I have 5! So I'll squeeze in work between conferences. (I will NOT EVEN mention how interesting/ strange/ crazy it is that our district has scheduled conferences for the coming Thursday and Friday - when just a week later, Thursday and Friday will be the days after Halloween. And we all know how fun those days are!  Why would I want to miss that??) 

For my reading centers, I'm doing a few different things - a break from the usual - for me and for them :) I've seen several "read around the room" ideas, so I decided to do that. I took a couple of the phonics patterns we had done recently - Vowel Consonant silent e; Consonant Blends with r, s, and l; and Common Ending Blends (I'm not going to type those all out - but like ng and nk.).  I put them on (now it seems rather bright) orange paper. Then this afternoon, after all the kids left, I put them around the room. The kids will get a clipboard and their recording sheet and write the words under the correct phonics pattern (I hope!). I know I'll have to move some of the cards each day to keep those little stinkers guessing, but it's a rather fun activity for them.

I also do an activity that I call "Beat the Teacher." What could be more fun to a 2nd grader than trying to beat the teacher at something? I get a bunch of letter tiles (I usually try to spell out something - this times it's "Halloween is Great.").  I have a recording sheet to go with it - sometimes I just put a piece of notebook paper with it. Then I tell them I made __ words. Like this time, I say that I made 32 words. So if they can make 32 words using only the letter tiles that they have, they Beat the Teacher! (Well, I guess they'd have to make 33 words.) Whoo Hoo, what bragging rights!

New subject: Inquiring minds want to know - what are you doing for your Halloween party? Or does anyone still have those? Our school had a vote whether or not to do costumes and the whole 9 yards, and doing costumes won by 1 vote (those darn kindergarten teachers :)  So the three 2nd grade teachers are each going to do a 10 minute activity and we'll rotate our kids around so they'll go to each room. I was going to do some relay activities, but then I got to thinking I didn't want to get them all excited like that. So I'm looking for some calmer activities. Any help?? Please leave a comment if you have a super idea.

Happy Weekend to you all. I'm hoping to have a No Homework Weekend! I'm painting the living room so maybe it won't be that hard :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Nouns (mostly)


Well, I really mean to blog more than once a week. It just obviously isn't happening. My days haven't even been that full. It's just that about 3 nights (or was it 4, I'm in such a stupor, I don't even know!) of waking up between 2:30 and 3:30 make it hard for me to think about much. So I try to save up all my thinking for school time!
(Ok, I just put that smiley star in 'cuz it's so cute!)
Anyway, my sorta cool thing I did this week. Well, really, it was just a fun thing the kids enjoyed. I sorta borrowed and adapted this from Swimming Into Second.
(When I scrapbook, you call it "scraplifting." What do you call it when you do that with teaching ideas? teach-lifting? idea-appropriating? I don't know - we're teachers - surely we can think of something cute :)
OK, so she had posters or charts that said "A Noun is a Person" and a list of people nouns. Hers are so cute! However, I'm not a cutesy person. Or was it that I just decided to do this 10 minutes before kids came in the room. It could go either way.
Anyway, on mine - I just wrote "A Noun is a Person." Then I gave each kiddo a sticky note - wow, a sticky note. To a kid, these are the best thing since candy! I really think that's true. So they thought of a person noun - wrote it on the sticky and put it on the little poster. We did the same for Animals, Places and Things.
(Little  aside, on places, one of my little sweeties put "jail." What would make a 7-year-old think of that? OK, I really don't want to know.)
And as much as I hate to admit it, we have just moved on from place value for now. My little guys that "just don't get it yet" (I make them add the yet :)  just don't get it yet. So time for a little break. I just can't think of any other way to explain or show or tell or help them. So we'll give it a rest for a bit and come back to it again.
Happy weekend to you. I have gotten things wrapped up pretty good so I won't have to do much school work. That's a big Yahoo!
Would you leave a comment if you have a terrific idea for place value? It would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Money, Money, Money

It's Friday! 
This week went zooming by, I have to say. On Monday, I was feeling pretty good about the week. Still did on Tuesday. But by Wednesday - whoosh! It felt like it was zooming by!
My two 2nd grade co-teachers and I decided that for 30 minutes each day, Monday through Thursday, we would switch classes and do some enrichment type activities. (That way we teach the same thing 3 times, less planning, more expertise!) One co-teacher does some technology things - computer activities. Another teacher does Social Studies - thank heavens or we'd never get it in there :)  And I do some math things. My thought is to try to preview things that we are supposed to teach with Common Core. 

So this week I had one of the other 2nd grade classes. Quite frankly, sometimes it's just a little nice to have that change of scenery - I mean, change of faces looking at you. 

We were doing coins. I took typing paper and cut it in half. My plan was to make little books. With my class, we did coin rubbings. That was a little difficult. Most of my kids rubbed too hard and the image didn't come through. So for the other 2nd grade class, I stamped, for example, a penny on the half sheet of paper. Then we shared ideas about what made a penny special. For example: it has Abraham Lincoln on it; it's brown; etc. We did this for each coin. Even with me stamping the papers, it still went slower than I thought it would. I was hoping we'd get through all the coins and have time to do a different activity, but that didn't happen.

I did find two fun songs that we sang. One is:

Money, Money, Money - the gal that sings this has one of those nice, low, rumbly voices. We all enjoyed singing the Money, Money, Money part.

Here it is on School Tube- if your school is like mine and you can't show anything on YouTube. 

The other one is called Show Me the Money. Right now, I can only find it on YouTube. I can't remember the same site I found it on before.

Anyway, I think the kids enjoy singing. Maybe because they think they are getting by with not working for 2.30 minutes :)

Well, it's a work weekend for me. My reading units have 5 lessons in each one, so I try to plan my lessons for 5 weeks at a time. That's what I'm working on this weekend. There's always something that makes planning a little challenging, and this year it's the Common Core math and the fact that we've added writing. 

Ah, my little sweeties and place value. Who will be bald first from tearing their hair out - me or them? If you have any terrific Place Value ideas or songs or strategies, please leave a note. I can use some help :)

Happy Weekend to you - whether you're doing school work or not!