Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Groundhog's Day, Here We Come!

So, we started our Groundhog's activities today! So fun! We made pictures like these from Highlights Magazine (minus the groundhogs-- we're going to add the groundhogs on Thursday when we know which side to put him on):

At the top of the burrows, we added crushed Oreos to really look like dirt. Can't wait to post pics! They're so cute! We also made a graph of yes/no votes for whether we think Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not. The outcome? 10 votes for yes, 8 votes for no. It was close, but I have some optomistic kiddos!! They know we need some more winter weather here in Tennessee-- after all, it's been 60 degrees so far this week... IN JANUARY!!! It's just not right...

Tomorrow we are going to read "Substitute Groundhog" by Pat Miller. Since we're working on revising our endings in Writer's Workshop, I'm going to stop reading right before the end of the story and the kids are going to write their own endings. I can't wait to see what they come up with. I'm sure it will be entertaining knowing my bunch! I'll post pics soon!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

100 Wonderful Days!!

Last Tuesday was our 100th day of school and boy, did we have fun! The kids came in to balloons, cupcakes, and lots of fun 100th day games, crafts, and activities. We made the cutest "this is me now and this is me in 100 years" project (see pics below). The kids also LOVED having their very own $100 bill with their face on it (thanks for the idea, Mrs. Bainbridge!). We made glasses and crowns-- I think I lived up to their previous 1st grade expectations! LOL It was such a great day to celebrate 100 day of learning and them (and me) being 100 days smarter!

So much fun! Looking forward to our Groundhog's Day activities!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wow!! How time has flown by!

I can't believe my last post was in August! Half of the school year is gone already! I guess that's what happens when you're busy. So much has happened this year. I've witnessed kids come in reading at a level E (guided reading level) who just tested at level H only half-way through the year! Yay!! Our second grade team made a goal to have 95% of our students at or above second grade level in phonics before the December break. That's 136 out of 143 kids. We were able to meet and even exceed that goal through working together during our daily intervention time. So proud!!

Before the break, we read lots of gingerbread man stories and made text-to-text connections. On the last day, the kids decorated their own gingerbread people. So much fun! And I kick myself for not having my camera that day! There was icing everywhere! We made the cutest glass ball ornaments with "floating" snowmen inside. The kids said they looked like snowglobes. I've so got to get better at taking pictures. I wish I could hire a permanent photographer to follow us around on special days!

Over the break, I was able to finish the one project I've been waiting forever to work on. My reading bathtub! It's been a dream of mine since I've been a teacher. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Hartsfield (if you're out there-- I love you, Mrs. Hartsfield!!), had a reading bathtub. It was filled with comfy pillows, and we took turns sitting in it to read books. Recently, my mom purchased a home that had one sitting unused in the garage. She was able to include it in the contract and so I now have a reading bathtub. I refiinished it over the break (painting the outside red to match my classroom decor of course!!). My husband waxed the inside to make it look new and shiny. I made cute pillows for it and we brought it to my classroom the day before school began. The kids were so excited!! The first words of the day-- "A BATHTUB IN THE CLASSROOM??? WITH PILLOWS???" I just love kids!!! They get so excited over the simplest things!! I'll post pictures soon! Again, I forgot my camera...