Thursday, August 22, 2013

First full week of school

We are wrapping up our first full week of school. We've spent a lot of time on placement tests and getting things organized and routines in place, but I'm also happy to share some of the fun things we've gotten to do!

Reading Centers

We've practiced the Daily 5 rotations which are: Silent reading, Reading to someone (partner reading), Listening to reading, Writing (which is actually done in our writer's workshop after centers) and word work.

The students have gotten very good at moving through the centers and had a lot of fun today working on the different word work stations.  The word work stations put a focus on phonics, sight words, and sentence construction AND they're always very hands-on so they are always a crowd pleaser. I'm hoping to create more this year too!


We started math with a math about me project to display for meet the teacher night. This was my first time doing this project, but I was very pleased with how they turned out.

We also started the new Math Envision curriculum. I've been very pleased with it so far and the students love the workmats that come with each lesson, interactive videos, and center activities.


We studied nutrition and the food pyramid as well as building well-balanced meals. We put this into our science journals-- we also saw a very good explanation of the new food pyramid, but it was through United Streaming so I can't share that link.

Very soon we will kick off our research unit on insects!

Social Studies

We just started looking at communities and will start looking at urban, suburban, and rural communities and then we will move into leaders.

As shown in the previous post, I am using a clip up system for individual monitoring. I like that it's more positively focused and it gives students the chance to turn their days around (not "stuck"on red). I don't have a picture of the exact same calendar I've been using as a recording sheet, but here is an example one.
Many students got the chance to "cash in" their 5 good days today (green or better). Some of the things they can earn are: a hat day, no shoes, positive note home, prize box, bring in a stuffed animal, show and tell and if they save up for 10 days they can do lunch with me-- I usually go outside if the weather is nice :) They seemed very excited about "cashing in" today!

I hope this has been an insightful update!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to School Night

I had a wonderful time meeting all of my new students and parents last night at Back to School night. If any of them are checking out my blog for the first time, I'd like you to know that my blog primarily shows projects we're done in the classroom, but also will have teaching resources sometimes. I use it as a professional and reflection tool. I do not post pictures of students on my website. I may start an album on my school website which is here when I get any pictures of students.


For the first day's homework, all of the 2nd grade team set out these bags with the details about
what they need to bring for the first day of school (waterbottle, snack) and the bag is for the students to bring three things that tell about themselves that will fit in the bag. I hope students are thinking hard on that today!

Wish List

I also set out a wish list with several items that parents could bring for the classroom if they are able to.  I will set this out again on Meet the Teacher Night (on Tuesday) along with some fall conference and guest reader sign up pages.

By request I will post some finished product pictures of my classroom with some things I set out for Back to School night for any teachers looking for ideas for next year.

I'm off to school now to go organize all my the classroom supplies! I'm very excited for our first day of school tomorrow! My next post will be about some changes I'll be doing to my Daily 5 program to cut down on some of the paperwork. Go green!