Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandy Hook

I haven't blogged in a while, but had to write and state that my heart and prayers go out to those at Sandy Hook Elementary. As I heard of this news, I looked out at my 2nd grade class, and it took everything within me to hold back the tears. These are babies. I am praying for peace for these families, teachers and children.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Currently November!

Oh my goodness...I cannot believe it is already November. I did a TERRIBLE job posting in October. I looked back, and only two posts ago did I complete the October Currently!! October was crazy, though so I don't feel as guilty.

October and November are my favorite months. This November is even more exciting as Election Day is coming up. No matter your opinions, I always love when this time comes around as it makes me appreciative towards the different opinions, views, and rights of others. I also think it is SO important to introduce my 2nd graders to this voting process. Many of them come from very low SES homes and do not quite understand the structure of the world outside of their "bubble." This is a WONDERFUL time to introduce them to their rights as Americans. If you know of any good units dealing with Election Day, let me know. I'm still in the process of looking! :)

Now on to November Currently from the one and only Farley.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Crazy Life with Some Boo Time!

This month has seriously been CRAZY! My husband and I are currently looking for our very first home to buy together! :) We've been married about a year and a half now, and are definitely ready for our own home vs. renting!

The home buying process is a busy, hectic, nerve-wracking, and frustrating process [as I'm sure many of you know]. We've tried to just be patient...knowing we'll find the right place eventually. However..waiting is not a word that works well with my personality. I'm ready for it now! SO...thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated during this time! cards go out in the next few days. Our district is starting standard based report cards where the students basically get a P (proficient) or a N (needs more time/not proficient) based upon each standard. I am realizing this is hard for teachers. I have to have SO much documentation to back up why a student received a P or a N. Grades don't reflect what they know is definitely solely revolving around formative assessments, etc. It is a love.hate relationship.

Lastly, I have joined in on the network of Boo-ing going on! Amanda at Inspired in Second boo'd me, and I'm finally back to blogging to join in this fun linky.


1. If you've been boo-ed, copy and past the above pic and the "rules into your post. (check)
2. Give a shout out to the blogger who boo-ed you and link back to their site. (check)
3. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (maybe yours or someone else's) or freebies that you love.
4. Share the boo love with 5 bloggers - make sure you check this link to make sure you don't repeat the "boo"
5. Link up [here] so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! While you are there check out the other great blogs!

I'm excited about...

1. I am so excited to be doing the pumpkin book reports from Second Grade Shenanigans. We tweaked it a bit to fit in with Common Core. My students chose a tall tale, fairy tale or fable to read and create the report on. We are then creating our character pumpkin based upon these tall tales, fairy tales and fable characters. Tomorrow we are spending some time creating our pumpkins so we'll see how it goes!

2. This doesn't necessarily relate to activities, etc. for the students or October, but I found a wonderful Common Core resource site! On this site you are able to watch demonstration videos of actual lessons relating to Common Core. You can also download lessons, ideas, formative assessments, etc. for each standard [no matter the grade level]. I explored around the site, and loved it. Go check it out. All you have to do is sign up and it is free! - I'm all about finding resources I can use with Common Core!

I do feel bad because I have joined in on this linky party so late that most of my good blogging friends have already been boo-ed! OH guys get the point! :) It is a fun linky, and I love getting to share ideas and resources!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Currently October

Like I've read so many people state...can you believe it is already October? This year is flying by!

My new favorite monthly tradition is linking up with Farley for her Currently's! They are so much fun to create, and even more fun to read through the different responses!

Listening: I have become obsessed with this new show...Revenge. It was placed on Netflix, and Season 2 has just started on TV. It is definitely a guilty pleasure!

Loving: Whew! I don't know about you, but I am LOVING the weather we have here in Arkansas! It is around 57, and feels amazing! I could have it stay just like this and be completely fine! :) Needless to say, I'm breaking out some leggings and boots in the next few days!

Thinking: Always, always, always...Sunday nights are spent thinking of all the things I need to do this week. My principal is coming to observe me on Wednesday so of course it has to be spot on! :)

Wanting: Don't you just wish we could have a day off every now and then as a "Make It" day. I just have so many things I want to make and create for my class, but where is the time?

Needing: Nothing else needs to be said about this, but that I hate cleaning my house and something needs to happen for it to be clean!

Favorite [Halloween] Book: I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book

It is definitely a YA book as the beginning can be somewhat intense. The content is also something that I feel would need to be read in middle/high school, but I love it! Great Halloween read for young adults/adults! AND...It won the Newbery Medal!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fractured Fairy Tales

One of my favorite things to teach in second grade truly has been fractured fairy tales. My students love comparing/contrasting the traditional fairy tale to the fractured fairy tale. We've had a lot of fun reading and analyzing these text to identify some of the similarities and differences as it relates to the characters, setting, problem and solution.

In writing, I wanted my students to write a fairy tale, but instead of just writing a plain 'ol "boring" fairy tale, we decided to change things up in a fun way!

Thus came about my new writing mini-unit on fractured fairy tale writing!

My students have LOVED this so far, and we are continuing to work through it! Basically, my students get to draw (out of a hat) a strip of paper that has a traditional fairy tale character (Cinderella, etc.) and a setting; however, the setting is not a traditional setting. You might see Sleeping Beauty at the pool or Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs in Hollywood. We had a blast laughing at all the different possibilities.

The students are given the characters and setting; however, they must create their own problem and solution. They also knew to include at least 3 elements of fairy tales that we have been learning (magic, good vs. evil characters, special words, etc.)

Needless to say, this has been a hit, and my students' stories are already taking off. I know they'll need some fine-tuning as we take them through the writing process, but anything to get my students motivated about writing works for me!

Come check out this unit on mine (and my great friend Little Miss Whimsical's) TN store! In it includes the character and setting choices for students, a brainstorming graphic organizer, published writing paper, and a rubric for grading. I want to add in some sort of cute craftivity with the students creating/drawing/coloring their character to hold up their story, but I'm not sure how to do that! I'll play around with it and see!

*BTW - I am trying to upload it to TPT, but for some reason it is taking FOREVER! I can't figure out what to do! It isn't THAT large of a file...*

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Organizational Tip [Math Library]

One of my favorite parts of my classroom is the math area. My kids love it as well.

On those bookshelves are levelized math games. These games coordinate with what we are learning, and as I stated, are levelized based upon their math groups.

These are where I place the students' names for their groups. As I stated, I levelize my groups based upon the students' knowledge of the concept we are teaching. The color of the ribbon holding up the tray matches the buckets in the math games' library so the students are playing games that are appropriate for their level.

I found the idea from Kristen over at Ladybug's Teacher Files. Each bucket color is levelized according to ability level...AND each bucket is labeled according to the concepts as well as bucket number. The games in each bucket will have a tag that is colored the same as the bucket AND has the same number. Needless to say...the kids will HAVE to keep it organized! :)

This has really helped my math small groups work efficiently. The students are playing games that are on their level. They have a variety of choices, and they are learning! :) I also love how organized it is!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Giveaway Winner and A Behavior Plan

Woo Hoo! We have a winner for the AMAZING Laminator Giveaway from MyBinding.Com....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats!! I will be emailing you tonight with more information!!! :)

I have one student in my class (as many of you do) that has been causing me trouble. I love this sweet girl, but she has no support or structure at home nor does she really care how her behavior is at school.

We use the clip-chart system in our class, and my students get to choose certificates as their rewards each time they reach "Outstanding." She LOVES getting these certificates, but it is SO hard for her to even get on outstanding. It seems every time I turn around, she is bothering someone else.

Enter my new behavior plan. I searched for a specific plan online that I could tweak for my little girl. I found one that Angela uses over at Cornerstone for Teachers. I love how the plan centers on specific goals that my girl has to meet, and if she continues it over time that day, she is allowed to get a reward. We even sat down to make the rewards together. She is totally sold. I'm starting it tomorrow so I'll let you know how it goes!!

We'll start off with self-reflecting on her behavior every 30 minutes. Slowly we will build over time to make it 1 hour, 2 hour, once in the morning and afternoon, etc. It will gradually build over time.

You can download this customizable behavior plan here.

Do you have a specific behavior plan set out for students who might not be motivated towards your whole class plan?