Monday, September 7, 2015

Classroom Revealed & The First Week is DONE!


Whew! What a long week! We started Monday, August 31 with our new kiddos and went a full week! It was exhausting, but I am excited to see this class learn and grow! We accomplished a lot this week! We created our hopes and dreams, a classroom promise and started Reading Workshop! I cannot wait to use an amazing brand new program that is focused on the Common Core and allows students to learn on their level! We did some Stop and Jots too! 


We also will be starting Words Their Way this week as well! I enjoyed assessing my students this week to determine their needs as spellers!
We also added our own writing on our beginning of the year "Guess Who's in Room 162" bulletin board! You can purchase the set at my TPT Store.  It's on sale for Labor Day! :)


Below are some pictures of my classroom! I really like where I decided to put the kiddos book boxes this year! My classroom includes a lot of new things! My colors ended up being teal, yellow and green. I put in a full green screen to make it easier to record movies. I made table flowers because we are no longer able to hang things from the ceiling. The labels in the middle of the flowers are for free from Amy Lemons. We also made a student generated alphabet and hopes and dreams pennants. 












Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Get Organized like a Champ!

So.... I love using binders in my classroom instead of take-home folders! Each year I have changed it up from a FROG binder to a PAW binder which are just some cute ways to help my students get organized. I ask them to bring a binder in on the first day of school. If their binder has a clear pocket in the front, the cover of the binder goes in that pocket. If not, I just use a sheet protector to put the cover in.

I usually use two sheet protectors per binder, but they last all year! In one sheet protector goes the communication log for parents front and back (if you need to put the cover in the sheet protector, just use one side for the communication log, you can always add more behind it!) In the other sheet protector, our classroom rules goes on one side and their monthly behavior calendar on the other side.
Then, I collect two folders to put into their binders. One folder gets the take home/homework labels and the other folder gets the important papers/important money labels. Then in the back folder on the binder gets the spelling words label.

How do I get them ready?

I like my class to have their binders ready to go home on the first day. When collecting supplies, I put their binders and two folders aside but make sure you write their names on them first!

I already have all the labels precut and sheet protectors stuffed with papers before the first day of school. During snack, I grab their binder, tape in the labels in both folders, tape in their spelling label and then insert everything inside. Sometimes I may have to punch holes in their folders with my big whole punch. I get about half done during snack time and then I do the rest while they are at special. I do this because there are just so many papers that need to go home the first day I want to teach them how to be organized right away!

So....I decided to make a GoNoodle Binder this year which is free at my TpT store.

Below is a preview! Please leave a comment and let me know if you like it, share it and pin it!!
Included are 16 different covers you can choose from, all the labels you need, the communication log, monthly calendar template and rules template. 



Thank you!!! Good luck to Y'all heading back this week!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TpT Makeover!


Thanks to the awesome videos from great teachers on Periscope and resources from.........


&

I learned how to do fancy-up my TpT page by adding banners and my blog button and name to my profile picture! 

Check it out below! 


Email me with any questions you may have!! :) 
Thanks!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Skype Tracker


It's finally ready!!!!! I am so excited to have finished "My Skype Tracker!"

Do you want to get started with Mystery Skype in your classroom? 

or

have you already started and want a tool to help your students keep track of their learning?

Check it out here!




Please contact me with any questions you may have!!! 



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

End of the Year and Summer Lovin

Wow! I cannot believe that summer is finally here. I love what I do, but actually having time to relax is always what I look forward to the most!

The end of the year was great! As I look back and reflect on my 6th year in the education field, I am proud of many of the things I have done and am looking forward to planning my 7th year!

1.) I cannot begin to express the opportunities that participating in Skype sessions did for my students this year. We mystery skyped with 25 states, participated in a mystery skype video calling exchange with Ireland, did 1 place value math skype, met Jillian from Sharks4Kids, participated in World Read Aloud Day with Beverly Ladd and played Kahoot through Skype with Heidi Samuelson from Swamp Frog Kids. All of these amazing opportunities shaped my students into independent and creative thinkers. 


2.) The more the year went on, the more creative and willing my class became! My absolute favorite thing was that they would love to write the morning message! We soon became a family through working together. 


3.) Finally, because of my absolutely amazing students, I earned staff member of the year! :) What a great feeling! And...of course you can't end the year without a class selfie!


Goals for Next Year:

1.) Build a green screen in my classroom to use on a weekly basis.
2.) Use my iPad to make a document camera station.
3.) Make a whole mystery skype corner with maps and resources from different states. Brochures maybe? hmm...
4.) Make a tweet wall for exit slips and to practice tweeting!
5.) Use Technology more for the right reasons!!!!



Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ahh! Its the end of the year!


10 more days!! It cannot come soon enough. As much as I absolutely love my kiddos this year, I am ready for some sun, rest and fun of summer. Bring on the beach! 

The past month has been full of a lot of amazing things! I cannot express enough how much I have grown as an educator by using both a personal and classroom twitter account. I have been able to communicate and collaborate with some awesome teachers and learn from them as well! 

Through twitter, I was introduced to #Sharks4kids which is a non-profit organization that teaches kids all over the world about how sharks are our friends, not enemies as well as other cool facts. This year, I had the privilege of being able to set up a Skype with Jillian who is part of the #Sharks4kids team! For two weeks, the whole 2nd grade learned about sharks using books, iPads and resources that were provided by #Sharks4kids. Then, we were able to wrap up our unit with the Skype. If you have not had a chance to Skype with #Sharks4kids I highly recommend it! I would love to make this a part of our 2nd grade curriculum each year! Just follow @Sharks4kids on Twitter to get started!



The next two weeks are going to be super busy with all the end of the year testing, report cards, paperwork, and meetings. However, I know that many other teachers are in the same boat right now! 
Let's do this!!! Summer 2015 cannot come soon enough!

Happy Summer! 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Educreations, Green Screen and Mother's Day!

So, I have finally figured our how to use Do Inks Green Screen and Animation App! 
Thanks to Heidi from Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frog Kids for helping me out!
Swamp Frogs
To celebrate our third Unit of writing which was Opinion, I decided to have my students get one of their nomination pieces and bring it to life! In their writing, they had to tell why a certain book should win first place and 3 reasons why. I have only finished a few but they turned out great! I was also able to put a real life picture in the background like Barnes and Noble! Then, I used the Animation app to make the book that they were nominating fly into the movie. 
Below is one of the finished videos! Email me if you would like step by step instructions on how to use the app! 
Once you get started, you'll never want to stop! The first step is to get green bulletin board paper or fabric and stick it on a blank wall!
Also, I used Educreations for the first time as well and loved it!

This app can be used to create a lesson that students can watch at home to remind them how to do a lesson you taught, such as addition with regrouping.

Or....you can have your students teach a lesson!

Here is link below of my students teaching you about different types of shapes and how many sides and vertices they have! This was my first try and I think it turned out great! I am definitely looking forward to using this app in many other ways!



Finally, we finally finished our Mother's Day Projects! We used our talent at writing Free Verse Poems and wrote one for our moms! Then we made a flower out of the paper you put at the bottom of a cupcake and our pictures in the middle! Here are few below! :) 



See ya later!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Skip the workbook...make your math lessons more engaging with QR code hunts!

Hey ya'll! The countdown has started until the end of the school year! 40 days!!
*40 days to continue to push my students towards independence
*40 days to teach many more concepts
*40 more days to enhance my instruction using technology
*40 more days to show my students my creativity
After attending the Pete & C Technology Workshop in Hershey back in February and also talking to my principal, I have decided that I am ditching the math workbook (well most of it) and using technology and my own activities to increase student engagement!
It's the end of the year and I am loosing their energy, and motivation! They also think that since it has reached 80 degrees this past week that they can open their pools! LOL!
Last week, I was observed by my principal during a math lesson on Comparing and Contrasting Lengths of two objects in centimeters. So, I decided to create a QR Code Scavenger Hunt!


Yes! Have you ever seen these types of codes? You can scan them for information anywhere and pretty much about anything! To create my QR code hunt I used the website QR Code Monkey
This site is awesome because you can use text, a link to a website, and more to create a code! You can also insert a picture in the middle of your code. ((The kiddos love this!)) When the kiddos scan the code, it goes to the text you wrote or it can go to a website. 
So, I have done a QR code hunt two different ways. I have printed the codes large and taped them around the classroom. The students then go around with a recording sheet and scan the codes.  I did this on Dr. Seuss' birthday. When they scanned the codes, a different Dr. Seuss book popped up and they had to record it on their index card. 
For my math observation, I create a worksheet with QR Codes on it that the students can scan. After they scan the code, text comes up that tells the students what to measure. Then they have to explain which object is larger, by how many centimeters, and then complete the subtraction problem. I had my students complete this activity in partners so they each had an equal amount of codes to scan.

Before competing the QR code hunt, I did use the first two problems in the students workbooks to model and practice.

You can purchase this product here at my TpT Store.

Overall, my students really seemed to enjoy a change during our math block!!! 
I believe that sometimes teachers need to change to engage their students. Sometimes it may require more work...but that is why we teach right? To make every child that walks through our door succeed? 

See ya next time!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Classroom Champions Ambassador Program

This year my grade group has been very fortunate to be able to participate in the Classroom Champions Ambassador program. In this program, we were paired with an Olympic Athlete Anna Ringsred. She presented us with an introductory video lesson about herself and then two other lessons. The first lesson was on Stress Reduction and the second was on Keeping Motivated. During the videos, Anna gave my students tips and goals to accomplish both of these strategies. Then, our goal as a class was to show her how we worked on each topic area by doing a project.




During the project time, we receive guidance from 5th grade mentors from Miss. Cappuccino's classroom. Her classroom is in the Classroom Champions program as well. She is a great leader who brought this program to our school! 

For the first lesson, we created individual skits to show Anna each of her 4 strategies for reducing stress. 

You can view this video here!

 For our second lesson, Anna taught my class to think of something they are getting bored of that they do everyday. Next, she wanted them to create a purpose statement, a short term and long term goal based on the activity. We then took our thinking and used the book creator app on the iPads to display our projects. Here are some pictures below of my class and their 5th grade mentors!









After creating our pages using the book creator app, I created a video of all of the students stating their purpose statements and goals. We even recorded our CEO and Miss. Cappuccino!

You can check our this video here!

We are so excited because in April we are going to participate in a Google Hangout and meet Anna! We will also get to meet the other second grade mentor athlete too!

Overall, I am so pleased with the knowledge, thinking, and independence this program has given my second graders. It is amazing to see seven and eight year olds accomplish so many tasks with little to no scaffolding! I cannot wait to see what these kiddos are capable of in their future!

Enjoy! 



Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Blog Design, iFunFace and more!


First off, I love, love, love my new blog design by

 
Gabby's Classrooms
 
Check out her site and awesome designs!

and.........

Guess what....??? 

We have Mystery Skyped with 10 states! 



California, Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, New York, 
New Jersey and Illinois! Above is our recent Skype with New Jersey! Did you know that we are only 10 minutes away from their school?! So cool!

My 2nd graders love it and it makes me so proud when they are able to talk about states, where they are located, cardinal directions as well as identify oceans, the great lakes, and which states are landlocked! I am so proud of my kiddos!

My goal by the end of the school year is to Mystery Skype every Friday with a different state and visit half of the USA!

You can also use Google Earth to zoom in on the area you skyped with and check it out. Use questioning like what is the area like? Is it rural, urban or suburban? Compare and Contrast our school and neighborhood with theirs. So many options for great teachable moments! 

Last Thursday night was Literacy Night with a "Nonfiction" Theme. Teachers prepared their rooms based on a theme with books, technology, and resources to do an activity. Students were able to rotate in and out of different themed classrooms for an hour and a half. My room was Outer Space. I had students use the iPads to research constellations and make it out of Q-tips! What a great night to get parents involved in their child's learning!



Last week we began working on time! The kids loved doing time checks! They had to write what time it was on the clock when I yelled "Time Check!" We did it ten times before the end of the day! 
The engagement was out of this world!


You can download a free template I made at my TpT Store
Lastly, I had the opportunity to attend the 2015 Pete & C Technology Conference in Hershey, PA. It was absolutely amazing. I was introduced to awesome new technology tools and programs I can use in my classroom. One of them is called iFunFace. You can purchase it through the Apple Store or Google Play.


This app allows you to take a picture of anything, put a mouth on it to allow it to talk and put a voice to it. Last week we were working on Money so we used iFunFace to make Money Problems that talked! Check them out to below, then download the app! It is very easy to use! Then you can post your videos on Twitter or upload them to YouTube.

Check them out here and here.

Enjoy! 

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