Saturday, May 7, 2011

Studying the Moon

So I didn't plan it on purpose, but it turned out to be really neat that I planned our space unit in the month of March which was the same time as The Super Full Moon and the Vernal Equinox. You can visit NASA's site for more information on the Super Full Moon. On March 19th, the moon appears bigger and closer. The last Super Full Moon was in 1993. Some people believe it causes the Earth to have natural disasters, but according to NASA that is untrue. However, look at Japan. What do you think? Coincidence?

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Wow! What a fun day! Wild and crazy, too!  On the day before St. Patty's Day, my teacher friend and I decided to create a leprechaun trap to put at the end of the second grade hall. It turned out really well, even if I do say so myself.

We used fake gold coins to try to trick him into the trap by placing them on a plate full of sticky tape.

When we got into the classroom in the morning, he had totally wrecked our classroom!

He had turned over several desks and chairs.

He even knocked stuff off of my desk.

He threw my stuffed animals all over the place.

He dumped out all of my marbles!

He turned all of my computer screens around backwards!

He knocked over my trash cans.

He moved all of the kids clips to red - Automatic one way trip to the principal's office!

He opened all of my drawers, dumped out my glue, and dumped out all of my pens. If I could've gotten my hands on that little man, I would've hurt him!

Guess what else? He turned my water green! Then, when some of the kids went to the restroom, the toilet water was green as well. 
What a stinker!
Mr. Betz also tried to set a trap to catch him and bribed him with cookies, but he didn't fall for that either. Here is a video of what took place:

So we tried to carry on with our normal activities throughout the day. We did an art project using crayon resist and watercolors. 

We did our Lucky Charms graphing activities.

We wrote about what the sneaky little leprechaun did.
We made a mess and left it for me to have to clean up on Monday. Oops! I forgot to wash out my brushes. I guess it was all of the excitement.
 Then at the end of the day, I went to pick up the kids from PE. This is what we found on my door! I dreaded what I might find when I opened our door.

He had strewn the kids' bookbags everywhere and turned over a few chairs. That little booger!

All I can say is, "IT IS ON, MR. LEPRECHAUN!!!!!"....Next year!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Subtraction with Regrouping

Oh boy! It's that time of year when BCPS second graders are learning subtraction with regrouping. Some days it makes me want to...
(That's not really me!)
Sometimes I feel like a successful teacher when I see...
I've even had kids beg to do more of it!

Here we are using our base-10 blocks to regroup.

And here is our addition and subtraction unit bulletin board featuring our essential questions.

To help the kids remember to start in the ones place, I write HTO on our 3 column chart. We always shout "Green means go in the O!" as we make O's with our hands over our heads. 

Then we have to look for more. We circle the number that is more and think about the poem 
We have motions we do with this poem...
More on top...

No need to stop!
More on the floor

Go next door

and get 10 more

Number's the same, zero's my game.

Happy subtracting!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So I have been teaching about the food pyramid and nutrition the past two weeks. It simply amazes me that children cannot tell you whether a food is a fruit or a vegetable. No offense to any lunch ladies out there, but let me tell you about my observations. First of all, we only have one lady on each lunch line. They put the meat (or so-called meat) on the tray. The kids then have to choose their sides from the line. The thought of all of those plastic food containers in the landfill really bothers me. They are definitely not eco-friendly. (Sorry, ADD must've kicked in.) Anyhoo, the kids have to choose. Really? Do you think kids are going to put slaw on their tray? (Probably about 1/4 of them will since it's the only meal they may get in the day.) Their little arms will not reach the choices, and I spend my minuscule lunch period hovering over them like mother hen making sure they put something on their tray. Did I mention that the choices are usually sandwiches made with white bread and hamburgers? One of my kids asked today why we always have to have sandwiches. Who knows. This year, the lunch ladies are offering our dear little darlings (K, 1st, and 2nd) 2 fruits. They wrote a sign that says choose only 1 fruit and taped it above the kids' heads on the glass overhang; which even if they could see it, they probably couldn't read it (at least the kindergartners.) I also use the tongs to put the banana cut in half or half of an apple on their plates so they won't stick their germy little fingers in there. My point is, if I didn't stand there, they would get yelled at for having 2 fruits on their trays, because they have no clue what a fruit is! Also, did you know that Jell-O and a frozen juice bar counts as a fruit? 

I found this website complete with lesson plans and printables on the food pyramid (which I bet you didn't know it has changed!)

I hope you are inspired to fix your child's lunch now! ;) However, that was not my intention. But we have a great idea on what we are going to write our next persuasive essay about!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Meet the Teacher

This is my 6th year teaching 2nd grade at the same school in the same classroom. I love this age, because they are old enough to do for themselves and work independently, yet they are still moldable and huggable. I attended the University of Georgia and was originally a Forestry Environmental Resources Major. Then I switched to Environmental Economics and Management. I wanted to be an environmental lawyer and work for the EPA. Well, after changing my major to Secondary Education with an emphasis in Biology and then to Advertising (not to mention my minors in Sociology and Geography), I decided to take some time off to figure out what it was I truly wanted to do. I said I could never be a teacher, because I am not a morning person. Well, after getting married I began raising my step-son who was in 1st grade. He struggled academically and I watched him grow and learn so much while working with him. He inspired me to help other children. So, after having my daughter, I went back to school at Piedmont College and got a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood. I have recently earned my Master's Degree in Early Childhood as well.

My husband Dave is the love of my life and a wonderful father. He works for Verizon Wireless which has helped provide us with the opportunity to go to St. Moritz, Switzerland 4 times, Whistler, Canada, Aspen, Bahamas, and Rome, Italy. Thank you Verizon!

My daughter is my pride and joy. She is the sweetest young lady, and she brightens up my day everyday.

My newest addition to the family is my handsome little man. He is the biggest monkey I've ever seen. He keeps me busy, but he warms my heart with those cute little dimples when he smiles.

Now for the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?                                              
A:  Who knows? I once wanted to be a flight attendant, but I couldn't imagine doing that now that I have a family. Maybe I would be that advertising executive working in a high rise in New York City I used to dream of being.

Q: What are your hobbies?                                                                                     
    A:   Blogging, shopping, spending time with my kiddos, traveling

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?                      
A:  I always wanted to be a model or actress. Hahahahaha!!!!! That's real funny, huh?

Q: What are your guilty pleasures?                                                                   
 A: Chocolate, chick flicks and chick lit, Young and the Restless, and Tiramisu

Q: What is your biggest fear?!                                                                        
 A: Spiders!!!! Give me a snake any day, but I have refused to return to my classroom one day after finding a black widow. Yuck! They are too small and sneaky for me.

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?                                    
 A: The beach! Bring on the sand and sun!!! I'd love to go back to Hawaii. I was born there and moved at the age of 2 1/2 so I don't remember anything.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?                                                   
A:  It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  

Q: What do you value most in others?                                                                    
A: Honesty and trustworthiness

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?                                                                                                         
A: My compassion. Don't judge others and try to see the good in everyone.

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?                                                                                                                
A:  This is a hard one.
I guess I would have to say my grandfather since I never had the chance to meet him.

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
I made more money as a waitress in college than I do as a teacher. That proves I do not teach for the money!

Friday, February 11, 2011

100th Day Activities

So, it snowed in Georgia. The shelves of the grocery stores were empty. No milk nor bread was to be found. Sugar was also a missing commodity around the state. Schools were in a panic. People were in a panic. The world was going to end! Snowmageddon was amongst us! We had only returned to school for 3 days after Christmas break when Jack Frost decided to rear his ugly face. School was canceled for an entire week since the temperatures never rose above freezing, and snow plows and sand trucks are few and far between. Report cards would be late. Teachers and parents worry about losing spring break in order to make up the days. But most importantly, days like the 100th day were postponed. However, the day finally came. The day when all kindergartners are asked to bring in 100 items. The day when 100's charts jam up the copiers. The day when everyone counts by 5's, 10's, and 20's. The day that is known as the 100th day of school. 

 So the 2nd grade teachers decided it would be cute to dress up like 100 year old grannies. Mrs. W. looked like Strega Nona with the coolest walking cane in town that was adorned with it's own pill bottle, horn, and crossing sign. Humped-back old ladies swarmed the halls (some nicer and some meaner.) Here's some words of advice: baby powder in the hair is enough to drive a woman crazy. I itched all day and when I would scratch my scalp, a cloud of powder encircled my head like a wreath! The best part about it was the fact that I had spilled my coffee on my hideous yellow cardigan coming through the door that morning. It left a nasty old stain. So, I just had to tell everyone I forgot my arthritis medicine and had the shakes real bad. 

 Hideous I know, but the kids had a blast!

We played a partner game that is called Race to 100. The kids roll 2 dice and add the numbers together. They color in their sum on the 100's chart. Whoever reaches 100 wins. 

I have cut apart several hundreds boards copied on cardstock into various shapes and puzzle pieces. They must try to put the hundreds boards back together. This task was a lot harder for them than I expected. 

They also had to work with their "eye" partners and had to write as many ways to show 100 as possible. They were very creative with this assignment. I got several random addition problems, multiplication facts, counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's, tallies, and much more. 

For our 100th Day writing activity, I had made a $100 bill with each of their pictures in the middle at,0. I gave them their $100 and asked them to write what they would spend it on. It was amazing how far some of them could actually stretch their money! I read everything from Lamborghinis to their own business (not to mention the one who would use it to buy a girlfriend.) They sure do make me laugh sometimes!

I forgot to mention the kid that said he would buy me a new car. Wasn't that sweet? Can you say brown-noser? Hehe! I love him. I'm just not sure I want a car that only costs $100.

Welcome to the Wild West Where We Always Try Our Very Best!

Howdy Pardners! Come on in and explore the Wild West. I will take you on a classroom tour and introduce you to a few of my Buckaroos who always brighten up my day and sometimes make me want to pull my hair out! Gotta love 'em!

My door

My Language Arts Bulletin Board (Denim and Bandanna)

The Reading Corral

Some of the Center Storage

Supplies - Don't you love shoe holders?

 Listening Center

My Word Wall and Computers (before any words were added)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the classroom tour!