Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snowetry - Writing Cinquain Poems!

I home today with my Grant - he was a little under the weather.   It was a relaxing day.   He actually snuggled with me all day,  which very rarely happens.   It was sweet.

Yesterday, we worked on Snowetry - cinquain poems from my Snow  unit.   They turned out so cute!

They had a great time making these.   We also found a great to help create cinquain poems for beginners. -
We also spent some time organizing our books in the classroom.  ( I have to say that I am totally jealous of all the super organized classroom pictures I see on everyone else's blog.   My desk looks like a bomb hit it 90% of the time and I have obviously not taught my class how to keep our books organized well,  because we have to reorganize OFTEN.)  So we had a classroom discussion about organizing and divided books out by category.   I gave the kids index cards and asked them to label the books.   This was a pile of Steven Kellogg books. I LOVE how they labeled them (and am pretty impressed at their spelling~!).
Hope your week is full of fun and funny moments!


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sort of broken...

I have not blogged all week.   I just couldn't.   I have been in the weirdest mood. I am just sort of broken right now.    First,  my mom had a heart attack.   She had a heart attack last Friday.   She is doing well,  she is already home from the hospital and feeling pretty good but she is in Michigan and I am in Texas and I feel awful and sad about it.   Sometimes living this far away sucks - a lot.   I just want to see for myself that she is doing okay,  but right now I can't get there - so I am stuck in this weird place feeling guilty and sad and just kind of yuck.

And then we got our annual notice for Grant's ARD - Texas acronym for special ed meeting.    Which I expected.   I knew it was coming but still even now,   I HATE it.   In case you have ever wondered what it feels like to sit in your child's IEP meeting... it feels being naked in a room full of people as they list everything that is wrong with you.  And even though you know everything already and were probably even a harsher critic than they are,  it is nauseating.  I have to say,  my child has the MOST AMAZING team of teachers,  administrators, therapists in the world.   They are supportive, loving,  professional,  AMAZING.   I know they work so hard,  I know they love my child.   I know we are blessed.   I know, I know, I know,  but still it freaking hurts.  I know we need to start thinking about "life planning" (even though he is only in first grade),  I hate the idea of it.  I love my child.   I love him exactly how God made him.   But still... somewhere in my irrational little heart,   I am broken thinking about what his future will entail,  what he will not be able to do, or experience.   I still hope that he will "get better".   He has done so many things that the doctors have said he couldn't do,   I just keep hoping.   I have to, right?   I am his mom,  I have to keep believing in him and all he will be able to do.   But once a year,  I have to discuss the reality of it in a big room full of wonderful people, and it is awful.   It takes everything I have to keep it together.  In fact,  I cry at other people's ARD meetings.   And I get why parents don't show up.   It's too much sometimes.   I think being on the other side of the table gives me a completely different perspective for the families of the students we serve.

Here is my little booger delivering popcorn to the teachers and students at his school.   His amazing teachers do this with the kids each Friday to teach them real world skills.   He loves it! Look at his smile!   We are blessed.   I just need to get through the meeting. 
This week in class we started my Snow Unit -  We have had a great time learning about Snowflake Bentley.   My class is incredible and they have had a great time comparing him to people like Amelia Earhart and George Washington Carver - because they all had perseverance.   I love them.   We loved making snowflakes and drawing the other half of snowflakes in the Snowflake Symmetry pages.   We are will be working on Cynthia Rylant's Snow book next week and writing poetry.  I can't wait to see what they come up with.


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Sunday, January 13, 2013

George Washington Carver FREEBIE!

We are talking about inventions and inventors and how they changed the world.   This week we are focusing on George Washington Carver.   I made this little graphic organizer and writing page to go with it,  so I put it up as a freebie - please use it if it will help you out!


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Completely Random....but I hate these!

I do not get how these things prove I am not a robot,  which is not surprising,  there are many things I do not understand about the internet.   I am horrible at reading them,  sometimes I have to click through 5 or 6 of them before I can even read them.  And... I hate that they now use blurry pictures of house numbers.   Does anyone know how this really works?  Or why?   Are there a lot of robots commenting on  blogs?   These just prove to me that I may need a stronger prescription lenses... ughhh!  Can you read these?

Am I the only one?
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Just not feeling it...FREEBIE!

I started making this Valentine's Day packet a long time ago.  I bought a lot of cute clip art from and fully intended to make a big old set of activities... but I just can't get myself to want to.   So my laziness,  is your gain!  So I have what I have started... a few little activities that might give you some bellwork or a little letter writing activity.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

(Hedge)Hog Wild and Alexander Graham Bell and the iPhone 5!

My kids love Eve the Hedgehog.   They love her WAY more than she loves them at this point,   but she is coming around.   She is getting used to having her bowel movements reported across the classroom, and each bite of food she eats monitored and applauded.   Today she took a trip in my teammate Jill's hamster ball.   She pooped 4 times in there.  Each time was VERY exciting for my class.   She seemed to like the ball okay,  but we took her out after the pooping,  didn't want her to get poop in the prickles (crap in the quills?).

We watched a couple of videos about how to draw a hedgehog by Jan Brett - .   If you have never been to - you are missing out.   My class BEGS to go to the site when they have free time.   My kids followed along and drew some VERY cute hedgehogs.   They were proud as little peacocks about them and they were all shouting out about what they would name their hedgie.  A couple kids chose Sonic,  Mr. Prickles,  Spike, Makayla, etc.   Then one of my babies shouts out that her hedgehog is named Prick.   She even wrote it across her paper.  So innocent and sweet. None of my kids thought this was funny at all.   This is why I LOVE second grade.   Of course,  my immature butt was over in Jill's room giggling about it as soon as the day was over...

Here are some of their cutie patootie drawings.

In other news,  we are talking about inventors and their inventions and how those change and evolve over time to fit our current needs.   We have been learning about Alexander Graham Bell and his contributions to our society.   We did the phones through time sort that I posted yesterday.   Today I asked them to write on Edmodo about what they thought Alexander would have thought of the iPhone.   They started talking,  a lot,  the way they do.   But OH MY GOODNESS.  They came up with things like he would have been jealous because it is better than his own invention,  and he would be "fansinated" by it,  and... (insert drumroll)... he would have been so proud that someone else had perseverance like him to keep making it better and he would buy one. HELLO!   I.LOVE.MY.JOB. 
Happy Friday Friends!
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Heebie Jeebies and a FREEBIE!

So today, our second day back after break, and THREE kids in my class went home with LICE.   L-I-C-E. 

I have a serious issue with lice.   I know people get it,  I know it is not a huge deal, but OMG! I don't deal with it well, I always think I have it,  I feel them biting my head,  I know they are there.  Our poor school nurse doesn't even question me anymore,  she just starts seperating my hair and checking my roots.  I have trouble sleeping, I end up dying my hair even when I don't need it, I scratch my head until it bleeds.  I HAVE NEVER HAD IT.  But this happens to me everytime.  It is crazy, and I own that.  It one of my issues.  

But right now,  I am not that crazy.  I bought this spray right before Christmas, and it is bringing me a little peace of mind.   It is all natural,  mint spray that is supposed to repel lice.  Even if it doesn't - I still believe it might, so it is keeping me off the ceiling.  I have a little bottle in my purse and the big one in my classroom.  I used it a LOT today.   Like, I smelled like a pack of gum, lot... but I feel like I am going to sleep tonight - so SCORE!  I found this brand of spray at Great Clips when my boys were getting their hair cut.  The little bottle was $5 and the large one was $14...but really a bargain at any price if you ask me!

In other news,  we did a really fun little activity today, so I wanted to share.   In social studies, we are talking about inventors, inventions, timelines, and how things change over time.  We introduced the topic today,  so I looked up a bunch of pictures of phones through the decades, and blew them up and printed them off.  We sat down in a circle and scattered the pictures in the middle.   I didn't give the kids a lot of directions,  I just told them to put the pictures in order from oldest to newest.   After they finished telling each other how much they all wanted an iPhone 5 and everyone they knew who has one, they got to it.   It was Ah-mazing y'all.   They made some mistakes to start out but they talked it out.   Things like - "these two don't have numbers on them so they were probably first", and "first they dialed, then pushed buttons, now we tap".  They LOVED the big ol' "car phone".   It was great.  Then I asked them what they would have used the first phones for.   They REALLY had to think about it.   They couldn't use them to text, to check out facebook... it looked difficult  to use, and they figured they would have to sit still to use them, so they decided they probably didn't use them for much except emergencies.  After they finished,  I gave groups of kids topics like cars, washing machines, airplanes, stereos, computers, sewing machines etc. and had them go look up photos of them through the years.  It was so loud in my room - they were all shouting, "Come look at this" and "You have to see this!".   I loved it.   They are working on Powerpoints or Prezis to show the progression over time.  After we get through the pictures,  I am going to have them try to explain why they would have changed. It was such a fun way to start this unit.  I have put up the phone pictures if you would like to use them go get 'em here... .

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Back at it...

Tomorrow my kids come back.   We had a very relaxed workday today,  which was a great way to ease back in.  I am not going to lie,  I would much prefer another fews days of jammies and couch time,  but since that is not in the cards,  I am really excited to show my kids Eve!   I took her to work today to get her used to the classroom.   She is so cute.   Just look at this face.
I finished my Snow unit last night - but was too tired to post it.   I love it because it revolves around four seperate snow books - 1 biography,  one science, one poetic and one fun - Snowflake Bentley, The Snowflake- A Water Cycle Story, Snow, and Snow Day.  It can be used as a whole,  or can be broken up into parts.   It can be used as reading, social studies, writing and science grades.   In fact,  there is a symmetry activity that could be graded for math.   I love when curriculum crosses subject areas.  Go check it out!


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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Look who is coming to work with me this week!!!

Tomorrow I head back to work.   Thankfully, the district I work for seems to understand that I have been sitting around in my pajamas or sweats the whole break and am not going to be able to handle jumping back in,  so we have a work day tomorrow.   I really have done so little this break, it is alarming.  I promised friends I would hang out,  maybe even have a party at my house... I did nothing of the sort.  I just sat here, cuddled under my favorite blanket,  watching episode after episode of Duck Dynasty. If my four offspring had not forced me to get up and feed them on a regular basis,   I might have slept for two weeks straight.   I guess I needed the break.  

That said,  I am pretty excited about heading back tomorrow.   I love my team,  I love my school,  and frankly,  it is time for me to get dressed. AND... we are starting The Mitten this week.   I love The Mitten.   I mean,  I really, really love it.  I have been a Jan Brett stalker fan, for years and The Mitten is my favorite, favorite.   We will be using my The Mitten unit - and comparing Jan Brett's version to Alvin Tresselt's version.   I love comparing folktales and these two are just different enough to be really fun.  If you get a chance,  go check it out.

And... if you love Jan Brett like I do, you know she loves HEDGEHOGS.   She puts them in every book somewhere.  And lucky me,  it just so happens that my friend Susie had has a hedgehog that she is letting me keep forever and ever borrow for the week (Susie and I have had some odd conversations over the years,  so, "can I borrow your hedgehog", wasn't really that far of a stretch)! She is so cute.   She is pretty shy today,  so I didn't want to pick her up,  but oh my word!   I am so excited for my class to see her on Tuesday.   I am going to give them an assignment on Edmodo to Google hedgehogs and have them write down three interesting things about hedgehogs,  and when they are done I am going to surprise them with her!  I know,  I am a total geek.   But I don't care!  Is it weird I have an urge to dress her up in little Scandinavian clothes and a hat?   Don't answer that...I promise I won't really do it.

Happy Week Peeps!
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Friday, January 4, 2013

Freckle Juice!

I am a kid of the 70's.  I love Judy Blume.  The only books I even really remember from childhood are Judy Blume books.   Every girl of my generation read Are You There God, It's Me Margaret over and over.   Iggy's House,  Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge,  Deenie (I seriously worried about having scoliosis for years after reading that book).... the list goes on and on.   I can't imagine my childhood without Judy Blume books and I have made sure they are part of my own children's library as well. 

I love to share these books with my class as well,  on an age appropriate level - and my very favorite for second grade is Freckle Juice. It makes a PERFECT first novel.  Poor Andrew,  so jealous of all of Nicky's freckles,  so easily taken advantage of by that little biotch  stinker Sharon.  Jealousy is something we all deal with from the time we are old enough to say, "mine",  so this little tale is a natural for making text to self connections. 

I break out Freckle Juice after Christmas break.  I usually spend about two weeks on this story.   I have 11 or 12 copies, so enough to work in partners.   I love to listen to all the discussions that go with this story.   I have created what I think is a really great packet to go along with this story.   It includes ideas for text to self connections, making inferences,   chapter quizzes, a craftivity, a website author study activity and much more.  I found six different versions of cover art that have been used on this book over the last 35 years and made a voting and graphing activity to go with them.   One of my favorite activities is the Sign of the Times page.   It is obvious this book was written in the 70's, there are many clues... like the way the kids are dressed, the .10 allowance,  mom's hair style etc.   This activity has the kids searching the book to look for clues.  I hope that you will give this beginner novel study a look!
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