Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back in the Swing

This three day weekend is perfectly timed! We just finished up our third week of school. Routines are starting to flow, but my to do list is a mile long! Yesterday I didn't touch anything related to school for the first time since school started. Now I can tackle my list a little more relaxed. Since I am still relatively new to the iPhone world, I keep forgetting that I always have a camera around. I have managed to snap a few pictures.

Day one and already hard at work! It is amazing how attached I was to last year's class, but this new class is sneaking its way into my heart! Overall they are a very sweet class, though I am already racking my brain for ways to control my little chatterboxes. 

We love Go Noodle! Seriously, I use it just about every day. We have a three hour block of instruction time in the morning to do math and ELAR, which is great, but so hard to keep little minds and bodies focused for so long! Depending on our needs we usually do a Zumba or Airtime break in the morning and a running one in the afternoon slump. They adore it as a reward for good behavior and it always perks them up when we are having a bad day. I usually can't help but join in, it is so much fun! 

My Whole Brain Teaching rules. We say them every day after morning prayers and again after lunch. This is my second year incorporating some of the WBT methods, and I am always impressed with how well the kiddos retain our lessons. 

I have a confession to make: I am not at all artsy. Crafty? Yes. Capable with a marker in hand? Absolutely not. To make anchor charts I find the one I like, project it on my board, and start tracing! I usually trace the basic outline and then add in my own flair. I found this image here, but there is no blog post to it. If it is your anchor chart, please let me know so I can give you credit! I made the punctuation names and people before the lesson, then we described each type and wrote examples together. 

Our tattling vs reporting chart. I got the idea here, but then added some of my own. This one the kiddos directed me in the difference between the two with some gentle guidance. I also have a tattle box for those who can't help but tattle. Whenever they come running up during recess my first questions is always "Is this a tattle or a report?" and for the most part, they have gotten the difference. 

Original chart found here
Between making this chart and doing WBT motions, everyone in the class rocks at identifying nouns! I was so happy to have everyone pass the grammar assessment this week. 

Happy Labor Day! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014-2015 Classroom

School starts in less than 24 hours and I am ready to go! At least, I think I am. Today I am linking with Swimming into Second Grade to show off my classroom this year. As I mentioned before, I am in the same classroom, though with a different set of desks. It was nice to walk in and already have a few things on the wall or at least know where I wanted them to go. Sticking with my polka dots and sock monkeys was an easy choice. I love them both and already had the decorations! 

The outside of my door. Each year my principal picks a theme that we have to incorporate into our doors. This year it is weather. I love that I was still able to use my sock monkeys! This door stays the same all year, but since I usually keep my door open and against the wall, I am the only one that gets to enjoy it. 

The inside of my door. In theory, each time we read a book we will put it on the door. I haven't decided if it will only be for whole class books or not because I am afraid of opening a Pandora's box with a million umbrellas. Since we don't have bulletin boards in the halls, this door changes for the seasons. Hopefully this door will last me until Christmas!

The view when you walk through the door. I only have sixteen kiddos right now, but last year I had twenty-three, so I am holding my breath to see if I get to keep this delightfully small group. On each desk is a new book, their crayon bag, and the Welcome Back Pack from Sunny Days. 

My Conduct, jobs, objectives, and school-wide engagement posters. Across the school we use the same language in behavior so it is consistent from year to year. Most of my students will be used to this system coming in day one. 

My carpet, word wall, and genre posters. I love to read aloud, so we spend a lot of time here. I mostly use my word wall for math and reading concept cards, which I will hopefully finish soon! The genre posters can be found here. We talk a lot about the genre of the books we read in small group and on the carpet so we can check them off of our genre bingo cards. 

View of my room from the carpet. My lovely shower board only looks clean from this far away! I mostly use my document camera that I was able to get last year through Go Fund Me. My projector will hopefully be installed this year, but currently it lives on a cart that I wheel around. In this picture you can also see the Home Depot bags tied to each chair. Students keep their crayons, scissors, glue, dry erase marker, and sock (for an eraser) in a quart size bag in one pocket and a chapter book in the other pocket. 

Visible thinking wall. I went to Project Zero last spring and was able to incorporate some strategies last year, but I plan on doing more now. 

Anchor chart wall on my other cabinet. My math curriculum has a lot of graphs we will make throughout the year and I love making charts for reading, so this will stay pretty full! 

Small group table and phonics wall. I use SMILA methods, which is an offshoot of Slingerland, to teach and review phonics daily. Once I get another pocket chart, our weekly spelling patterns and rules will go next to my phonogram chart. 

This is the view from desk in the back corner. You can see all of my calendar math up on the front wall. On the right is my station table with crate seats. 

My classroom library! Between Go Fund Me, Scholastic Book Orders, and several expensive trips to the used book store, I have a pretty large library for a second year teacher. All of the basket colors match the school library coding for the different AR levels, which makes picking books easy in both places. Most of my students take 1-4 AR tests a week. 

Panorama view from the door. If only the room was as big as it looks here! I love walking in every morning and am so excited to meet my new class tomorrow! 

Swimming into Second

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Slowly but Surely

I have been in a flurry of preparation this week! We start school Monday morning. My room is (mostly) ready, just a few quick fixes tomorrow and I am ready to go! Starting my second year of teaching, I am really blessed to be at the same small school again and to already know so many of my students. 2nd grade does lunch and recess with 1st at my school, so I have a good idea of the little (and not so little) personalities in my class this year!

Yesterday I looked at my first week plans from last year. Oh my goodness I was a first year teacher! I had to laugh at how little I understood about second grade and be amazed at what a difference a year makes.

Since I am in the same classroom this year, the last two weeks have been more about refining last year's arrangement and decor to make it work better.  Last summer I was also just getting into designing, so I had to update a lot of my posters as well.

 Here is a quick peak at some of the organization in my room this year:
My new crayon drawers! I am already in love. Each student has one box of crayons at their desk, and the rest of them will be divided up into these drawers. I am putting the drawers around the room on the second day of school and we will explore the classroom as we put away the colors. Now instead of digging through cabinets or buckets, I can easily find a color.  I got the box at Home Depot and the labels can be found here in my TPT store. 

A drawer of blue. I already have over 30 crayons in there and it can hold so much more! 

Another project this summer was updating my weekly drawers. I made labels for them last year, but once I made a copy, grade, file set I knew I needed to redo all of them. I am loving the streamline look. 
My sister painted the tree above the drawers. At the end of the year, I had my kiddos put their fingerprint on the branches. The idea is that each year my class will add their fingerprints in different colors. I got the idea here

Check in tomorrow to see more of my classroom! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Currently August

Where did the summer go? My school started in-service last Monday and we had a meet the teacher day yesterday. This week the K3-K5 have a staggered return and then my kiddos come back the 11th. I'm so glad I still have a week left! Last week was all about meetings and classroom setup, so this week is focused on prepping for the first few weeks of school. I was sad to see my summer cut a little short, but am grateful to have a full week to focus on curriculum.  

Since it is the beginning of the month, it is time to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade

Gilmore Girls is my favorite show of all time. I have watched every season several times, and I still love it!

I spent all of last week setting up my room. I am in the same room again, so I was able to leave a few things up over the summer. Although I am sticking with the same theme, I think the room looks a lot different this year, but I love it! Much more practical and streamline. Look for a classroom reveal soon. 

I have wanted to start Daily 5, but have been apprehensive about starting it this year. Last year the only piece I really did was building reading stamina. Hopefully I can really get it off the ground this year! 

I am so excited for this back to school sale on TPT. I have a full cart and wish I could get more! It is truly amazing all of the wonderful resources teachers have created. 

Although I am in second grade again this year and will be teaching the same core subjects, my school is playing with the idea of rotating our afternoons to teach science, social studies, vocabulary, and religion. I am fine with the way we did it last year or this new way, I just want to know so I can start planning! 

First Day
Teachers started last Monday (7/28) with a full week of meetings and classroom work. Our lower grades come back this week for testing, and then we go with a full schedule on August 11th. 

Have a great week! Don't forget to check with Farley for more currently fun!