Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm a Hard, Hard Worker Every Day!

I am always amazed at how awesome second graders are and this year's group is no exception.  13 of the most thoughtful, hard working, funny little people have embarked on a new learning adventure with me and words can't describe how excited I am to be traveling along with them.

We spent the week getting to know each other and learning the routines of the classroom.  We made monster glyphs, reviewed 3 reading strategies: Check for Understanding, Read "Good-Fit" Books and Re-read Favorite Books.  We jumped right into building our reading stamina too and are already at 7 minutes for the whole group!  

In science we began our study of insects.  This week we focused on asking questions and reading pictures to find information (another helpful reading strategy!).

Here are some photos of us working hard this week!  Please comment and tell us what you think.
Building our reading stamina!!!

Why monster glyphs?  Glyphs are a mathematical tool that teaches students to glean information from a picture.  These glyphs tell what our favorite season is, how many siblings we have, favorite school subject and whether we are boys or girls.
We created "scribble art" this week and then looked for pictures in our scribbles.  It isn't always easy to find a picture in those scribbles!  We connected this idea to writing...sometimes it looks like scribbles, but if we examine it closely we will find that small treasure we want to write about! This students found a snail in his scribbles and painted a background for it.

In math we learned two new vocabulary words: alike and different.  We spent the week sorting frogs, bugs, unifix cubes and people into groups that were "alike" and "different."

Question of the day: What can you learn about insects from reading this picture?  Reinforces the idea that there are 3 ways to read a book: read the pictures, read the words and retell the story.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School!

The 2012-2013 school year has officially begun!  Our first day of school flew by.  My feet are a little sore from transitioning from flip-flops to "real" shoes and standing for a solid 8 hours, but my heart is singing!  We had a great day getting to know each other and tweaking our schedule.   I had the best intentions plan was to take a gazillion "first day of school photos" and post them on this blog.  I am sad to say that I only managed to snap these four photos of our shared writing project this morning.  I spent the rest of the day getting to know these sweet little people who landed in our classroom this year and completely forgot about the camera.  I will give it the "ole college try" again tomorrow though.  What I really need to do is divvy up those classroom jobs and get myself a classroom photographer!  One day at a time right...

After touring the school this morning we headed out to the playground to brush up on our schools playground rules. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Celebrate Yourself!

GUESS WHAT!  Yesterday a book fairy dropped off a big box of books on my front doorstep!  Okay, fine.  It was the mailman and it was a box of books I ordered from Amazon (but just between you and felt like a book fairy had actually come to my house!).  You probably remember how excited I get about books so it should be easy for you to imagine me sitting down in the middle of my living room and ripping open the box.  As soon as I had wrestled all that paper tape off out poured a river of books right into my lap!  I gently picked up each book, examined its front cover, read the title and displayed each of them, one by one, around me.  The hard part was deciding which one to read first!  I chose to read this one first:

I chose to read this book first because the cover was a SHOW STOPPER and inside the book jacket it said, "This jumping, jazzy, joyful picture book by the award-winning team of Walter Dean and Christopher Myers celebrates every child and every thing that child can be."  Well, celebrating children and every thing they can be is what I live for (personal connection!) so I dove right in and read it.

And guess what!  It was awesome...jazzy and joyful to say the least!  The book is about celebrating you and all the unique things that make you the person you are.  The authors suggest you "Think of all the things you do and all the things they say" about who you are.  I decided to try it and here is what I saw...

I looked in the mirror and what did I see?

I saw a...


What do you see when you look in the mirror?  I would love to know.  Stop by the classroom this Fall and read Looking Like me.  I know you will love it too!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Do you have and ipad or iphone?

This summer I have been exploring the virtual world via my new ipad.  Did you know there is an "App"" for just about everything?  "App" is an abbreviation for "application."  An application is a virtual tool that can help you do all kinds of things.  I read in the paper last week that in San Francisco there is an app you can purchase that allows you to schedule a time to have your car washed. Yes, your car washed!  You just type in your address and the people who created this app come to you to wash your car!  In this particular article the man using the app was having coffee in a coffee shop and the car washing company came there and washed his car right on the street.  To me the whole thing sounded a little bit silly, but I don't live in a major metropolitan area with heavy traffic either...

What does this have to do with second graders (soon to be third graders!) you ask?  Well, this summer I discovered the world of educational "apps" and there are tons of them that make learning fun and exciting.  So, if you have an ipad or your parents have an iphone you should think about installing some of these applications.  If you like video games, you will love these apps!

Free ipad/iphone Apps

Phonics Tic-Tac-Toe Interactive
iWriteWords Lite
Stack the States Lite
Stack the Countries Lite 
Count Money
Virtuoso (learn to play the piano!)
Doodle Buddy 
Everyday Mathematics Monster Math
Sight Words by Little Spellers
Grammar Jammers
Learn Time Lite
Computer Carl
Apples in an Hour

Can't wait to hear what you think about these apps!