Thursday, August 23, 2012

1st week of school

So ideally I would've posted some pictures from the first week of school at the end of the first week (instead of the end of the second week), but since I'm still getting back into school mode, blogging hasn't been my first priority right now! Anyway here are some pictures of some of the activities we did the first week and I'll recap for what we've started this week as well.


One of the things we really hit the first week of school was how to ask for help and when it is okay to talk.  A book that really goes along with this idea is My Mouth is a Volcano! It's a very cute story about a boy named Louis who can't help but blurt out when an idea comes to his head. After we read the book, we did some brainstorming about what we can do when we think we might "erupt." We used some of the ideas from the book and also had some ideas of our own for dealing with those overwhelming ideas that want to erupt out!

I had all of the volcanos up for Back to School night and I think I'll keep them up for at least another week or so. It works as a nice reminder to just be able to point if someone is having a problem erupting that day :)


We have already done our first writing project. We did a word inventory the first week so that we could see how many words they could think of in 10 minutes and we also did a self-portrait.  I do this three times a year because I think it's very exciting to see the growth happening academically and developmentally. I will be sure to share these with parents at conferences.

Also, we wrote our first story about our summer. Those will be added to a portfolio so that students and parents can see how much they improve throughout the year.

In addition to practice writing, we are working on practicing using the right language when responding to questions.  Right now for our read aloud book, we are reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid (by popular demand!) and we are working on using academic language when responding. I will add to this list throughout the year (I just didn't want to overwhelm anyone right now!)


I don't have any exciting pictures to post yet. Right now in math we're mainly reviewing a lot of concepts like using a number line, hundreds chart, skip counting, and representing numbers.  

I will say that we are notebooking in reading, math, and science this year. What I like about notebooking is that students have a chance to look back at their practice work (like graphic organizers and worksheets) to study for tests. In math, it's a good place for them to see how to work out certain problems and reflect on focus questions.

In reading, our notebooking is more about vocabulary, phonics and comprehension skills (like summarizing, retelling, main idea).

In science, our notebooking is used to organize important vocabulary and ideas to prepare for tests and for reflecting later.  I will post resource links for students to use the National Geographic curriculum on this website as soon as I get access codes! The National Geographic Curriculum is great!

For parents:  This will also explain why you won't be getting a lot of worksheets coming home. Usually we will go over the answers together (so students can make corrections) and then they'll glue it into their notebooks. I will however start sending home some weekly homework on Mondays that should be sent back on Fridays. (My thinking is that it is less likely that the students will lose a stapled packet--individual sheets of homework sent home on random nights can be hard for them to remember). I hope we can work together to keep helping these 2nd graders :)

Upcoming dates:

Tomorrow, August 24- Reading logs due, Spelling test (words should be written in their planner)
Tuesday, August 28- I will be testing students' reading level all day. Please make sure they don't miss!
Friday, August 31-Reading logs due, Reading test (over the unit) and spelling test
Monday, September 3- No School!

Friday, August 10, 2012


This post will mainly be pictures. I got my classroom all set up and I just wanted to show it off because I think it turned out pretty nice!


 <------- After!

Some highlights of the room include:  

A very organized classroom library, sorted either by author or genre. And I was inspired by Ms. Chambers, our reading intervention teacher, to add scrap book paper to the back of the shelves to really make the library look great!

Also reading related, I will be doing the Daily 5 this year! I have signs all around the room also for where they have their listening center, word work, etc., but I also have this posted up on the board so students can choose which station they want to go to next by moving their magnet or clip (haven't decided what I'll use yet) to that card-- and it lets me hold them accountable :) I'm very excited to get that started as soon as possible in my classroom! Just as soon as all of the first days of school routines get finished!

I saw this idea on pinterest (of course!) to use a hanging shoe rack for centers. So I am using the top (that 2nd graders can't reach) for my teaching supplies and then I will put math activities for early finishers below that and then I have a sign that says word work and I've started to label the pockets with different activities that students can choose from for word work in the Daily 5.


I'm very excited about my math and calendar area. I have a rolling calendar (not pictured) that will be in front of this bulletin board during calendar. The colored folders are for my centers for my leveled reading groups. The number chart, days of the week, place value chart and piggy bank chart are all just a part of calendar time! I also have all of the students' math manipulatives in containers that are labeled off to the side--perfect for a "math recess." I have Mrs. Mills to thank for inspiring me with all of her container-ing! It makes the room look so neat! I'm excited to do calendar again!


One thing I am really focusing on this year is procedures. I wanted to make sure I posted more of my expectations so here is one for entering the room that I made.

One hello to your teacher
To your seat direct(ly)
Three sharp pencils in your desk
Forward with your morning work!

I have other posters too, but they're not nearly as cute :)


I hope you've enjoyed taking a look at my 2nd grade classroom! I am hoping for another wonderful year!  

I had such a nice moment today when I had my students out at recess when one of my more challenging students came and gave me a bear hug. It's just nice to know that even though sometimes teachers may butt heads with students, deep down the students know that it's because you care. I hope that I will get to have many more moments like that.