Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday {09.13.13}

This week started with a lot of craziness, but was a lot of fun. 

1. Monday was a rainy day, and by rainy I mean it was pouring BUCKETS. Here is Arizona, we don't get much rain, but when we do it POURS. The poor kids had no clue what was coming. Only a few had jackets and even fewer had umbrellas. Let's just say that by the end of lunch, they were soaked from head to toe. Luckily, they went home dry and the sun was shining by the time the bell rang. My kids were so amazing even through out the rain, I was extremely proud of them.

2. That brings me to number 2. My class finally filled up their compliment (gumball jar). 
We earned our last compliment on Monday and by Tuesday it was time to celebrate. I wasn't too sure how I wanted to celebrate. Eventually I would like to create different incentive charts and the reward will match the chart. (ex. gumball chart= bubblegum themed reward) That takes advanced planning and I obviously didn't plan for that. :-) Since I didn't have a reward planned, I "borrowed" an idea from my teaching BFF. I had recently purchased THIS file and wasn't sure when to bring it out. Her class also filled up their compliment jar and she used it as part of their celebration. The kids LOVED it!!! Definitely bringing this craft back next year.

3. We have been learning about American symbols this week. So far we have learned about the American flag, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore and the bald eagle. The students find it all fascinating and have been so excited to learn all about their country.

4. I cannot believe I just completed my 6th week of teaching. I love my class so much this year and they make me laugh every day. If I could have a class like this every year, I would take them again in a heart beat. I couldn't ask for a better group of kids.

5. Even though I LOVE my job and I can't believe that I get paid to educate kids all day, it's still very exciting to know that fall break is in 4 weeks. That means conferences are coming up soon. It also means vacation time!!! My husband and I usually plan a little vacation during fall break and this year we are going to... DISNEYLAND!!!! I have always wanted to go to Disneyland in the fall to see all of the Halloween decorations. It has been one of my dreams ever since I was a little kid. It's also been my dream to stay in a Disneyland Resort and since it will be a shorter vacation than we usually take, it will be nice to stay in a beautiful hotel on the Disney property!!

I hope everyone else has been having a great school year. By now everyone has meet their class and I wish you and your students a great school year!!!


It's a Craft Party!!!

I love crafting and I love teaching. I love the fact that I am able to bring both together into the classroom. I always try to bring crafting into my classroom to add a little extra interest into the content we are learning. This year I decided to create more display areas to showcase my students' work. The first is with these DIY Display Clips.

Video Tutorial

A second display option is by displaying work on the whiteboard. I am able to share amazing pieces of work with other students, just by hanging up these adorable little glitter magnets.

Video Tutorial

Finally, I wanted a nice way to make their work stand out so i created custom borders to go along with my decor.

 Video Tutorial

Here is the final product...
My students love being able to share their work with everyone that visits our classroom. It creates a personal touch to that the students can be proud of.
I hope you enjoyed my most recent classroom crafts. Definitely check back often to see what new things I have to share with you. If you want to get some more great ideas for getting crafty in the classroom, make sure to link up over at A Modern Teacher, A Cupcake for the Teacher, or Miss Kindergarten. Not only is it a lot of fun, but Jo-Ann is sponsoring a giveaway. If you know me, I am at Jo-Ann almost EVERY weekend picking up some more crafting supplies. Make sure to link up and I can't wait to see what you have to share!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Me on the Map

We learned about the seven continents. Here is the video that we used to learn the names of the continents.

After we learned about the continents we read the book Me on the Map.

Afterwards, we created this activity...

 We started out by identifying the planet that we live on. Then we talked about our continent, country, state, and city. They enjoyed seeing how big our planet really is and where they live.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week in Review {08.12.13-08.16.13}

Another week has come and gone. Last week was the second week of school. We started by taking our district benchmark tests for reading and math. All of the students worked very hard and they were excited to see all of the fun and exciting things we will be learning in second grade. 

I love using manipulatives to allow the students to be hands-on during math time. Last week we worked with pattern blocks. We talked about the names and attributes of the shapes (how many sides, colors, etc.) Then the students got to discover the pattern blocks on their own.
Here the students are working together to create designs.

Here are some of the designs that they came up with on their own. I was very happy with how creative the students got. One student even gave his pattern block person a mustache.
On Friday we talked about repeating patterns. Students then worked together again to create as many repeating patterns as they could think of.

I need to get in the routine of taking pictures again. I love my class this year and I can't wait to share all the amazing things we do.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

First Week

I successfully completed the first week of school. I have 28 second graders. This is the largest class I have ever had in my whole six years of teaching. It's definitely more management at the beginning then normal, but I know it will be worth it. I have a pretty good class and I am looking forward to a new exciting year. 

Week in Review

This week we have been working on nouns. The class has been pretty successful with knowing what a noun is and being able to sort them into a person, place, or thing. The first activity that we did was a noun search. After teaching and reviewing nouns on Monday and Tuesday, by Wednesday we were then able to work with a partner and find different nouns around the room. The students had to then decide whether the noun they found was a person, place, or thing and then put it in the correct column. On Thursday they got to complete a noun sort. The students had a lot of fun. At first they we using the picture sides of the cards to sort and then got brave and started challenging themselves with the word side.

Every month we will be reading books by different authors. This month we are reading books by Kevin Henkes. All week we have been reading Chrysanthemum. It's a perfect book for the first week of school because it teaches the students that everyone is different and that is what makes you special.After reading Chrysanthemum a few times the students were able to make their own Chrysanthemums to display in the classroom.

I am linking up over at...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chalkboard Name Plate

Today is the first day of school and I am surprisingly pretty calm. Normally I can't sleep the night before and I get super nervous. I feel prepared this year and even though I am already at 28 students, and probably will hit 30 by the end of the day, I feel like it's going to be a good year. I wanted to get more done this weekend for Monday Made It, but my new motto is, "It can get done tomorrow". Normally I would have just stayed up all night making things and then go in super early to set it all up. Then I realized, it can all be done tomorrow. So I will show you what I made today and show you the rest... tomorrow. ;-)

1. Chalkboard Name Plate
I bought these supplies earlier on in the summer because I wanted to get a head start on these name plates. Unfortunately for me, I waited until the last second. I filmed a quick tutorial, but I will be editing it late. Make sure to check back later to see how I made this name plate.

2. Teacher Binder
I also put together my teacher binder. You can find the file that I used HERE. I plan on making this my binder for lesson plans as well as a data binder. Normally I would always keep them both separate, but this way is easier. Next year I will definitely be buying the Erin Condren Lesson Planner. So much easier to have something that is already done for you.

3. New Shoes

I didn't make shoes this weekend, but wouldn't that be cool if I did!? I went searching for a good pair of shoes and I found some at my first store and in my size! That never happens to me!!! They are Clarks and I've hear really great things about them. Even the cashier commented on how comfortable the shoes are. I guess I will let you know after today.

4. Classroom Tour
I consider this my biggest Monday Made it of the whole summer and that is redoing my room. If you want to see more detail pictures. Please visit the blog post HERE.

5. Custom Borders
I also created my own borders to help in the decorating process. I have a whole post on this process as well as a video. You can view that post HERE.

Thank you for checking out my Monday Made Its and I hope everyone that is going back to school today or ones that have been there for a few weeks are having a great new year. And to all of you who are still on summer vacation... I hate you. Haha, JUST KIDDING!!! Enjoy your summers because they go by fast (like I'm sure you already know). ;-)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Classroom Tour

Tomorrow is the first day of school and after a week and a half of redoing my room, I am ready to share what it looks like.

First a quick story on my room. My first year of teaching I had a huge red wall and it drove me crazy by the end of the year. After that I ripped it all down and wallpapered my room in black. It stayed like that for 4 years. This summer I decided to redo one wall with purple fabric after talking to my teaching buddy/BFF. Once that wall was done everything else just seemed out of place. That's when I slowly created a purple theme. I didn't think anything was going to match, but somehow it all came together.

 View from the door

 My desk is to the right as soon as you walk into the classroom

 Right side of the classroom

 Front of the classroom

 Where I display student work

 Back of the classroom

 Left side of the classroom

 Word Wall

 Anchor Chart Wall
 Writing Wall


I love my classroom this year and I can't wait to spend time in there with my students. It took a lot of work, time, dedication, and sore legs and feet, but it was definitely worth it!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

DIY Border

Tomorrow is the first day back for teachers. Student come next week so I guess I still have a little bit of "vacation" left. Today I want to share with you something that I came up with a couple weeks ago and that is DIY Borders!!

I was at home one day I just decided to run a strip of cardstock through my crimper and the rest is history. You can make any color imaginable (as long as you can find the paper. You could also print out a pattern and use the same technique).

I also wanted to share one more thing with you. I created these amazing stamps over at Vista Print. I caved and made a 2nd Grade Quality one. Maria from Kinder Craze had such a great tutorial on it that I decided to make one of my own.
I have a few more things coming in the mail from Vista Print today including a signature stamp and some magnets. I'm very excited!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back to School Goals

I go back to work in exactly one week. Next week is just for teachers and I don't actually see kids until two weeks from now, but the time is approaching very quickly. I wanted to start thinking of the goals I want to set for myself, both professionally as well as personally. It's very easy to get caught up in "teacher  mode". You all know how it goes, come in to work early and stay late. Take work home and stay up until midnight getting ready for the next day. My main goal is to STAY BALANCED. This will be my reminder every day to balance out everything that goes on in my daily life. Of course I have broken my larger goal into smaller, more manageable goals.

Goal #1: Make a schedule and stick to it.
This goal can be used for everything. Mainly, it's for my time that I spend at school. I start at 7:00 and end at 3:00. That's it!! If I don't finish something, there's always tomorrow. I can always spend 5 more minutes on cleaning my room or make one more extra copy. Do you know how many times those 5 minutes have turned into a couple hours? Do you know how many times that extra copy ends up in a drawer that never gets used? I was so much happier when I came to school on time and left on time. I used my time that I did have at school more wisely and I was a happier teacher. Not to mention a happier person!!

Goal #2: Finish four masters classes this year.
I am currently getting my masters. I have been pursuing it for over a year now and I must say that at times it can be very stressful. My program is completely self paced so it allows me to focus on what is most important... teaching. Self paced has its pros and cons. The pros are that there are no due dates. The cons... no due dates. I often put all of my masters work off until the last minute and then rush to get it done on a "timeline" that I created. I like to set myself due dates to finish a class and when I don't finish it by then, I feel stressed. This school year I want to devote 30 minutes a day to school work. That way it's doable, but still not overwhelming.

Goal #3: Stay crafty.
I have had many hobbies in the past, but none have really stuck with me the way crafting has. I love being creative and learning new crafts. This year I plan on incorporating crafting more into my teaching. I have already done so in the past with craftivities for my kids, but I want to take it to the next level. I have always wanted to create a scrapbook of my teaching, but never knew what I wanted to do. I didn't want years and years worth of scrapbooks that would just sit on a shelf and never be looked at. I love documenting lessons or activities that I enjoy doing with my class. I think I'm going to try to make a scrapbook that reflects lessons I want to remember as well as special memories we had throughout the year. I think would also be nice to have a special area for completed scrapbooks that I can share with future students.

Those are just a few of my goals this school year. Of course there are many more, but these are just a few of my top three goals. I would love to hear what your goals for the school year are. Feel free to link up and share with all your bloggy readers as well. Maybe your goal will help someone else!!