Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid!

Halloween on a Wednesday is not a teacher's dream come true.   I almost wish it was still the 80's and we were able to dress up and have a parade and eat candy all day like when I was a kid.   At least then WILD and CRAZY would be acceptable.  But alas,  it is not the 80's... and we will be working the curriculum hard core tomorrow despite the giggles and planning about what everyone will be wearing and where everyone will be going.  So I am going in well prepared...

Tomorrow we will be writing up a storm but it will be fun!  First we will be blogging about why kids should or should not be allowed to wear costumes to school on Halloween.  We use Kidblog.org and my kids are blog-o-maniacs.   I love that they can read and respond to each other in real time and I think this activity will be perfect for that.

We are reading Stellaluna because it is about bats and because it ties in perfectly with our unit on sound in science, and oh yeah, because it is the cutest book ever.   We have talked about the differences between birds and bats, and sequenced the story, and looked up vocabulary words in the dictionary.   So tomorrow we are going to be doing a little writing.  We are going to write from Mother Bird and Mother Bat's point of view.   Students will write a letter to Mother Bird thanking her for taking care of Stellaluna and explaining her behavior and Mother Bird will write her back.    I am super excited to see what they come up with.  I made a really simple template that is free on TpT.  Go grab it if you LOVE Stellaluna like I do!

In the afternoon,  we will be up and moving with this great activity from Amy Lemons...


She has them up FREE right now - so go get them!  stepintosecondgrade.blogspot.com/ .

I am going to be brave and face tomorrow prepared!  Let's hope I have some energy left to take my four very favorite children trick or treating tomorrow night!  I hope you have a Happy Halloween!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

I am IN LOVE....

with this teacher's great  blog.  If you are ever in need of tech tips this is the place to go.   She does an amazing job of explaining how to do everything~!


Go check it out if you get a chance! 

That's all for today - full moon,  two days before Halloween, clown show first thing in the morning.... I got nothing left!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Writing FREEBIE

"I am so happy that Halloween is on a Wednesday this year!", said NO teacher ever.  

True story!   But really,  Wednesday is likely to be crazy.  I made a few cute writing prompts to use in centers or in activity packets or however they fit in.   Go and get 'em!


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Who says there is no prayer in public school?

Without a doubt,  the theme of my day was, "Pray for Them".  I can't tell you how many times people have mentioned this today. First, my amazing principal mentioned it when another teacher was asking about what else we could do to help our students (on top of EVERY intervention ever thought of) and she responded, "PRAY".  We giggled about it,  but we all knew that there was more truth in it than giggle. It got me thinking, and kind of weepy (which is no surprise to anyone who knows me) about our days as teachers.  People who claim there is no prayer in school are dead wrong.  There is an incredible amount of prayer that floats up from schools,  from the teachers, administrators and I am sure,  kids. 

I don't think most people understand how difficult teaching can be at times.  Yes,  there are a million papers to grade, and lesson plans to write and notes and emails to read and respond to, and data to desegregate, and kids to corral.... but then there is the really hard stuff.   The reports we sometimes have to make,  the stories we hear,  the reality of just how unfair life can be at times.   The stuff that we can't make better with all the cute clip art in the world.  But we try, and we PRAY.  For strength. For guidance. For peace.  For the complete annihilation of lice.   We pray.

I am so blessed to work with and for people who I know have my back.  I am extra blessed that I know my own children are loved and taken care of by some of the best people I know.   I pray that they know how much they mean to me. 

This year our school is doing a book study on the book The Energy Bus, which is great, super quick read.   I highly recommend it.   One of the suggestions in the book is to have a rock with a message that keeps you grounded.   At a staff development meeting we each were given a rock (our incredible secretary found them all on her summer vacation) to write ourselves a message on.  This is my rock, and I very honestly look back at it all the time.  What would your rock say?

I hope that you all have a blessed and peaceful weekend!
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fifty Shades of CRA-ZY!

Today was a half day.... which in theory seems nice.   But that is theory.   The kids were WILD!  The schedule was wonky,  a few of my friends do not do well with wonky.   It was a crazy day.  The rest of the day was spent on conferences,  which was, well... not completely unpleasant.

But tomorrow is a new day.  On Wednesday, we worked on the super fun cute witch legs adjective activity that circulates around Pinterest this time of year.   Tomorrow we are going to do some writing to go with it, so I made these up tonight to put together with their pictures.  I posted them free on TpT - so grab 'em if you can use 'em!

Tomorrow is Friday y'all!  Have a great one!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Finally Finished!

I just finished working on my Thanksgiving Activities Packet and posted it on TpT!  Go check it out! 

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Is it time to go home yet???

Oh my stars in Heaven... teaching time  to the minute can wear me out and have me asking, "Is it time to go home yet??". Of all the units I teach,  I think this one is the most divisive.   It seems that kids get it immediately or it takes for-evvvvaaa! I am not sure why this seems so difficult to grasp, but I have a suspicion that it is because no one really uses an analog clock anymore.   We have one in each classroom,  but my kids also have their own computers,  so each of them have a digital clock on their computer,  we have digital clocks in the hallways,  on our phones,  at their homes.  When I ask my kiddos to look at the clock,  they just look through the window into the hall and read the digital one.  Ughhhhh!!!  It really does seem like a skill that is going to go by the wayside sometime, but not today, so today I taught it!

We made a human clock on our classroom floor.  We simply made a chalk circle on the carpet (it wears off in a few minutes) and the kids took turns being the hands and the minutes.  I think they are starting to get it.

Tomorrow we are going to start using Amy Lemons' amazing time unit - check it out at http://stepintosecondgrade.blogspot.com/.  I will let you know how it is coming along.

We also started working on our dictionary skills today.  We received an amazing Donors Choose grant last year for a set of dictionaries.   They are so much better than what we had for the primary grades at our school. They actually have most of their vocabulary words inside (imagine that!).

I made up a little set of worksheets to go with it that I put up as a freebie on TpT.  Go pick it up if you could use one.  It is very simple,  nothing fancy,  but something already made,  so that is something, right?  Just click the picture below!

I hope you had an excellent day...

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

RIP Sneaky Snail, Our Cities and a Writing Freebie!

Well,  our sneaky little snail finally stayed out too long.  Rest in Peace little buddy. 

In other news, we have pretty much completed our milk carton communities.   We have built them up from a few farm houses to a thriving metroplexes.   The kids added some really fantastic things their cities - my favorite was Cavenders Boot City.   Seriously!  Can you tell we live in Texas?  My teammates had some incredible little cities in their classrooms as well. In fact, they put their community to shame. But we had a great time.  The very best part of this?  They GET IT!  I mean really get it.   They explain the progression of our city  to everyone who comes into the room.  It has been a great point of discussion during conferences.

Today we did a little writing activity that we had SO MUCH FUN with!  We wrote about what we would do in the city and what we would do in the country.  We combined our study of communities with our study of adjectives.   I took their pictures and printed them in black and white.   The kiddos cut out a cowboy hat and a beret and dressed themselves up for a day in each.  The kids did an excellent job writing and it was clear that they understood what they could do in each community.  I included the sheets we used.  It is not fancy,  not all cute and put together but it was fun!  I included the writing rubric we used to go with it.  Go pick it up!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Conferences, Sorts and a Suicidal Snail!

click here
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Is there any job crazier than being a teacher?  I just don't believe that there are a lot of other professions out there that require you to utter phrases like, "The snail is not trying to commit suicide,  he just doesn't know how to get back in the tank."  The truth is... I kind of think the snail is suicidal.  I understand him getting out a couple of times... but he is now making a habit of it.   He gets out in the one little open part of the tank where the filter sticks out.  I don't know how to stop him.   It might be the weirdest thing I have ever worried about. And I do worry about it - a lot!

This morning I wanted to get to school a little early.  It is conference week so I wanted to get a little ahead of things and one of my teamies was out,  so I wanted to help her sub.  I walked into my room, and was immediately thrilled not to smell our sneaky snail dead.  I walked over to the tank to feed our fishy friends and realized we had a big problem.  Our tank was about 1/4 full, and the rest of the water was in a trash can the custodian had set below the tank to catch it. FREAKING FANTASIC!  My boxes had been moved,  but one entire box of books was soaked with nasty fish water.  It seemed the seal at the bottom of the tank gave and left me this early morning gift. Thankfully, the fish (and suicidal snail) were all still in there swimming (or attaching themself to a wall).  I had to search the school frantically looking for something to put them in.  I found a tank in the science lab and spent a great deal of the morning telling my kids to get back to work as I transferred our friends to the new tank.  There was one casualty. I did not get ahead of things.  I did not help my teammate's sub.

Conferences are going pretty well.  I have 4 done.  Out of 22.  It is going to be a long week, but I will be happy to have them over.

Today we reviewed past, present and future.  We are using C-Scope this year for social studies for the first time.  Our test is Friday and looking over I realized that we had not really talked about the word "historical" and it was in the first 4 questions on the test.  Whoops!  So I whipped up a little sort to use with the book, Now and Ben.   The kids LOVED the story and did a really great job on the sort.   They even used the word historical a few times throughout the day (TEACHER SCORE!).  I put the sort up as a FREEBIE on TpT  - so go grab it if you can use it!


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I hope you had a fabulous Monday!

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

FREE ELECTION MINI-UNIT for the first 10 people who subscribe to this webpage!

I will send the first 10 people who subscribe to my page and leave me a comment (and their e-mail address) a free copy of my TpT Election mini-unit! 
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Election Day

My team and I were talking the other day and realized our curriculum does not include election day AT ALL.   And while not having to know about election day this year might be a blessing... it felt wrong. We don't have much time to spend on the election - we are doing C-Scope and every minute of every day seems to be filled up to the tippy tippy top... but I want to include something.  So I created this little mini-unit to get in some vocabulary and some voting!

Please go check it out.

Election Day Mini Unit
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Long Vowel Sorts

I am finding that my little peeps are having some trouble with long vowel sounds.  So I created this little packet of sorts for them and decided to share it on TpT.  Check it out.  Long Vowel Sorts Including Y!

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