Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teacher's Pet: DJ Inkers

I just got a new DJ Inkers CD, Animal Antics, and I love it!  I've already made two books for our science unit and have plans for more.  DJ Inkers has such a wonderful policy allowing teachers to use their images as long as they are credited and not for sale.  How great is a company that creates such cute, versatile clipart that teachers can use for their classrooms?  I use their images for my newsletters, classroom decorations, my classroom website, and much more!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Manic Monday

Thank you to our men and women in the military, both past and present.  Happy Memorial Day!

2010-2011 Classroom Pictures
Our classroom view from the back of the room. 
You can see our schedule, whiteboard, word wall,
student desks, and my group table.

This is our Morning Meeting area and our Cafe board prior to introducing the skills.

You can see our strings hanging from the ceiling, they are actually brightly colored rick-rack with colored clips attached.  I love to hang the kids' art around the room.

Our book boxes prior to the first day of school and our labeled coat/backpack rack. You can also see that our first science unit is "animals!"     

Our Word Wall before school started. Because I love books, have so many, and am always aquiring more, our library is a constant "work in progress!"

My desk...also an organizational work in progress!
This is our Morning Meeting/Calendar area. The star chart holds pictures and information about our Super Kid (star of the week). Because I took these before school started, there are only a few pictures of me from first grade!

When I taught second grade, I saw one of the other teachers use this idea and loved it. I adapted it for my room and have really seen the kids use and benefit from it. Having this visual really helps them learn the concept of counting minutes by fives when telling time.

Here you can see tubs for centers, including Word Work tubs, our Reading Center and area, and our lunch count chart where the students sign up for hot, cold, or alternate lunch. I use this chart for attendance as well.

Manic Monday

This is how I organize my papers/assignments.  I used to use open trays, but I think these look neater!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Telling Time

When we begin our chapter on telling time in math, I always read Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug and we make ladybug clocks.  We write the word hour on the hour hand and minute on the minute hand, emphasizing the the short word, hour, is on the short hand and the longer word, minute, is on the longer hand.  It seems to help them remember the hands.  I also like to have them glue the 12, 3, 6, and 9 dots on first, then filling in the rest of the numbers.  This really helps them keep the numbers of the clock in the correct places.  You can really tell who is following directions!

Spelling/Reading Projects

We created these children holding umbrellas after reading The Puddle.

We write our spelling words in patterns on the sections of the umbrellas.
We make "Spelling Bees" after reading Busy Buzzy Bee.
I hang them on our strings and on the walls, interspersed with our Grouchy Ladybugs.  They made our room look like spring!

My Mother's Day

I received some beautiful flowers from my daughter:

I don't think she'll ever know how much I love her and how much she means to me.

And also from Sam:
He also took me to a movie, "Something Borrowed," and to the bookstore (my favorite place) where I, of course, bought stuff for school!  Then I got my exercise in by mowing the lawn. 
Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

We celebrated by learning about the holiday and why it is important to Mexican-Americans.  I read several books about Cinco de Mayo, we did several Spanish word activities, and made our own Cinco de Mayo books.  We also used Spanish color words to make some beautiful posters and danced the Macarena and the Mexican Hat Dance!  Finally, we made colorful paper sombreros to wear.  Our reading specialist always allows me to borrow her book, The Big, Bushy Mustache, and we make mustaches to wear.  The kids think this is hilarious!  I had them put their mustaches on with their sombreros in order to "disguise" them a little more for our blog!  Ole'!

Happy Mother's Day!

Now that Mother's Day is almost over, I can post our class gifts!  I didn't want to take a chance that any of our moms might view our class blog and find out our secrets!

We put two kisses on a spoon, wrapped them in cellophane and added this poem I found on the Internet years ago.

The students also made fireflies, attached clothespins, and added a magnet to the back.  I made some notepaper with the saying, "Mom... You light up my life!" with a cute DJ Inkers border, and we clipped them to the firefly notepaper holder.  Anything with glitter is always a big hit!

The kids also colored teacups and added green tea bags for Mom.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What a Sweet Class!

Recently I was very ill with the stomach flu and missed two days of school (unheard of for me!).  When I got back, I found notes from both of my guest teachers stating what a nice class I have, as well as two big banners that the kids had made for me.  Our special education para then informed me that not only was it all their idea, they had given up their lunch recess to make the banners.  For the most part, I believe in intrinsic rather than extrinsic rewards.  However, when I heard all of this, I just had to do something nice for them, and we had a popsicle party a few days later.  I really do have a wonderful class, and I will be both sad and proud to see them move on to second grade.  Thank you, B3 friends!  And thank you, Mrs. Decker, for helping them!                               

I dreamed a dream...

Sam took me to Les Miserables tonight, his first time and my third, and it was just as good as I remembered.  I loved it, and it was so much fun to go together.  When we got home, we were both shocked to hear the news about Osama Bin Laden.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by 9/11.