April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Student Engagement

I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday!





I'm doing everything I can to keep my students engaged this close to the end of the year... including writing on tables!

Do you have any suggestions? Any activities or projects that you save for the end of the year?


April 26, 2014

Bookmarks with Purpose




I totally cannot take credit for this bookmark idea. This fabulous strategy was shared with me by a coworker who learned about it at a balanced literacy workshop. Shoutout to whoever started this - you are incredible!


During my conferences with students during our reading block, I have been using neon index cards to make personalized bookmarks for my kiddos. I write down a reading strategy or skill that I want them to work on and draw a quick little sketch to go along with it. On the back, I write "To: [student name]" and "Love, Miss Payne."


These bookmarks are GREAT for so many reasons:

1. The kids adore them. It makes them feel special to be getting a personalized note from me.

2. The bookmarks are empowering because it helps students take charge of their own learning by reminding them what skill they should be working on every time they read.

3. It is an easy way to differentiate.

4. They are functional because they are BOOKMARKS! Duh!



Have a FABULOUS weekend!

xox

Please follow along on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and TPT for more ideas to make your life easier!

April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Writing Woes

I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.


Here goes...



What lengths do you go to to improve your students' writing? 
How do you get your kids to APPLY their knowledge and skills when writing?



April 21, 2014

A Peek at My Week!

I'm linking up with Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for the "A Peek at My Week" linky party!


Well, I was on spring break last week so today was ROUGH.

This is how I started my morning (after 2 cups of coffee):


Here is what we are up to in second grade this week:

  • Earth Day
  • reading and understanding poetry
  • writing stories about spring break
  • introducing genetics
  • landforms
  • Flat Stanley
  • beginning EOY reading testing (sigh)

On Friday, the Chick-Fil-A cow is coming to visit my classroom because my class won the Chick-Fil-A spirit night competition a few weeks ago. (Shh!! They have no idea!)


Only 35 days of school left! THIRTY FIVE! I can't believe it!

I'm about to have survived my first year teaching. I didn't know if I'd live to see the day.

April 18, 2014

Five for Friday: Spring Break Edition

Good morning! It's Good Friday, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, ... and it's only 6:45 on my last real day of spring break so why in the world am I awake right now??

I'm visiting home right now and my younger brother, who is in high school, hasn't even woken up yet to go to school, so there's that. I'm not quite sure what is wrong with me, but for now I'll call it "teacheraisis."

TEACHERAISIS (tee chur eye uh sis) noun: A condition in which a professional, usually a teacher, has so many thoughts running through his or her mind (i.e. testing, crafts, lesson plans, behavior plans, days until summer) that they cannot relax which may inhibit sleeping.

(-aisis means abnormal condition but I'm pretty sure it's not at all abnormal for an educator to come down with a case of teacheraisis.)


Now that I'm awake (and all of the happy birds in Georgia are keeping me awake), I may as well link up to one of my favorite linky parties, Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!


Unlike my typical Five for Friday posts, this one will be more personal since all I week I have been pretending that I actually travel for a living. (Benchmarking? What's that?)


This week I took to the road with my two best friends and headed to the beach. Unfortunately, the odds were not ever in our favor for two main reasons:

First, it was cold. Like, should-have-packed-some-long-pants-and-jackets cold. 

Secondly, on the one day that it was warm enough to shiver on the beach, we got SO sunburnt that we spent the rest of the evening looking for a lobster or crab emotion on our iPhones. 


FYI, the emoticon that can most accurately represent me right now is the tomato. 


I got my first payout from TPT this week. Holla! 



If you want to help make my "paycheck" less embarassing next month, you can check out my TPT store here.

This is my spring break read. I'm into it. I know many of you have read it. What did you think? 


Also - I just learned that they are making a movie and that it's coming out in October. Yay!


Five more days until my birthday! I'm more excited for my birthday than usual because it's finally my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! I'll be 23 on the 23rd.

Shoutout to my favorite boyfriend (I know you're reading this) who thinks that golden birthdays aren't a thing and that I just made it up for my own benefit. Readers, please leave a comment to help me prove him wrong. (You may be my Mister Right but I am Miss Always Right.)


Throwback to my 4th birthday.


Okay, I'll admit it, I miss some of my sweet kiddos. Last week we made headbands to review the life cycle of ladybugs (inspired by Step Into 2nd Grade) and they turned out TOO cute.


Have a good weekend. You deserve it. 

April 15, 2014

At-Home Enrichment

Gooood morning!!

I am currently on spring break (hence the happiness), but the weather is crummy so I begrudgingly decided to think about school for a just a little while. My April has been SO busy. I've missed blogging! I'm excited to share some insight this morning and to do some blog hopping!

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I want to share a little bit about how I encourage my students to extend and enhance their learning at home.

My second graders are absolutely bursting with curiosity! Whenever I introduce a new topic, especially in science or social studies, we get way off track because my kiddos have so many questions they are dying to get answered! I do make them wait until after my lesson, but afterwards I spend a good chunk of time answering their questions. I love that they love to learn!

To give my students extra opportunities to research and deepen their knowledge of academic concepts at home, I offer optional enrichment projects about once a month.

I like to assign projects on Mondays and have them due that Friday. I give homework passes to students who complete the projects. Many of my kids do the projects simply because they want to, but some of them do it for the homework passes. It cracks me up that they put so much work into a project to earn 1 measly homework pass, but I'm not complaining!

My absolute favorite enrichment project that I assigned was a math scavenger hunt. Towards the beginning of the year, we talked about how we use math every day and how important it is to our daily lives. Students had to find and bring in an example of how we use math every day. Then I placed the items on my designated math bulletin board, and it has stayed up ALL YEAR LONG.

Lazy or genius? You decide.





Here are some examples of other enrichment projects I have offered:

Use recycled materials to make a musical instrument. (Sound unit)



Research an animal and make a poster about it. (Animals unit)


The products are amazing and I am constantly impressed with my students' desire to learn and succeed. I always allow the students who do complete the enrichment projects to present to the class because they are so proud of their work and they deserve the recognition. 


Have a good week!

Please follow along on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and TPT for more ideas to make your life easier!

April 4, 2014

Working for the Weekend

I have Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend" on my mind...



...aren't we always, though?


 1
 Our week went from FUN (April Fools' Day) to BLAH (testing) and will soon turn to CRAZY as next week is our last week until spring break.

 I had so much fun on April Fools' day playing super mean funny pranks on my kiddos! I'm already thinking up new pranks for next year. Check out my repertoire here.

  2
 We finished up our unit on fables this week, and the kids were just totally eating it up.

 I uploaded a new product on my TPT store - a lesson plan and corresponding handouts comparing Aesop's The Ant and the Grasshopper fable to Disney's A Bug's Life. The kids LOVED this lesson because we watched a 2 minute clip of A Bug's Life - ha!


Yesterday at recess some of my girls acted out The Tortoise and the Hare for thirty whole minutes. It was TOO CUTE! 


3
 We are working hard to finish up our poetry books complete with free forms, haikus, acrostics, diamantes, and shape poems. Next Friday, once all of the books are finished, we are going to have a class poetry slam.


I'll need to teach them how to snap.

 On second thought, I'll probably regret that.

  4

 Okay - so I know this comes with the territory of being a primary teacher BUT kids losing teeth TOTALLY GROSSES ME OUT! 'Tis the season for loose teeth, fingers in mouths, and bloody tissues. Yuck... just yuck.


This tooth came out before the day ended.  The deed was done in music class - so thank goodness unfortunately I didn't get to see it.

5

Super sweet, generous blogger friends who would allow me to be a guest blogger on their site!

 As a new blogger, I am trying to grow my readership. I've been told that the best way to do so is by being a guest blogger. Help me out!

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 I'm pretty sure that my Google friend connect is broken (and I do NOT know how to fix it), so you may as well just follow on Bloglovin. XOXO

April 1, 2014

I'm Currently an April Fool

Happy April - It's officially my birthday month! 

We had fun celebrating April Fools' Day in second grade today. One of my kiddos got me before I could play any tricks of my own! Before the bell even rang, I found this guy on my chair at my kidney table. EEEEK!


Don't worry, I got to play some tricks of my own.

First, I put sad faces in all of my students' agendas instead of happy faces. I got halfway around the room before anyone said anything! Afterwards, I changed them all to happy faces except for one; She asked me to leave her sad face so she could fool her mom - Ha!!

Then, I told my kids that we were going to do word searches for fun word work today! I told them that the first one to find all of their spelling words would win a piece of candy. Little did they know, NONE of their spelling words were actually hidden in the word search. I had them going for a good 5 minutes... by then some kids were getting too frustrated and a few students had figured out it was a prank. They were SO mad! 


Lastly, I tried to fool them into looking for the lirpaloof. Thank you Sunny Days in Second!


They are too smart - They quickly realized that lirpaloof is "april fool" backwards.

* * *

Now I'm linking up with Farley for April Currently!


I cannot believe it is already APRIL! We are in the home stretch!

Thanks for coming by.


P.S. I'm pretty sure my Google Friend Connect is broken. Does anyone know how to fix it? Regardless, you can follow me on Bloglovin! :)