Monday, July 29, 2013

Time Capsules

One highlight each year is burying our time capsules. Our capsules represent ourselves at the beginning of our year in 2nd grade. We eagerly await the last day of school so we can "dig" it up and see how much we have grown as learners. (Shhhh I hide our capsule in our custodian's workroom) In our time capsule we include some basic information about ourselves- a self portrait, hand tracing, favorites at the time and letter about our first week. 
We also include a picture and string that represents our height. Hope your students enjoy this activity as much as we do! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spelling Activities

It is always a challenge for me to fit in extra activities to reinforce sight words HOWEVER- We all know the importance! My kids love any activity with dice and this activity can be used with any word list to fit each individual. Once kids get the hang of it they are able to complete independently. Happy spelling! FREE if you follow my blog! Be sure to leave a comment with your email so I can send it to you! 

Circle Notebook

Each Friday my 2nd graders write a letter to their families in what is called their "circle notebooks." Entries are kept in a black composition book to keep all their entries in. It breaks up our regular Writers' Workshop routine and is a nice way to reflect on our week, giving purpose to the work we do together. We typically brainstorm ideas for our circles, then I type topic choices into the circle for their notebooks. Our circle notebooks are sent home every Friday and return on Monday with a special note back to their second grader. They become a compilation of memories throughout the year. It is fun to see how much their first entry has grown in comparison to the middle and end of the school year. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Beginning of the year goodies

Before my new kiddos come to 2nd grade they receive a welcome letter telling them about their new school year. Inside I include this contact information sheet. Although our school collects information within the first few weeks, it usually takes a bit of time. This contact sheet is returned to me on the first day of school and helpful for avoiding the end of day chaos. I run them off on bold colored cardstock and keep them in a large index card container. On the back I record communications with families for record keeping purposes. Use if helpful! Would love for some feedback, comments or blog followers if you do download it. Your support is appreciated!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Getting Started...

Like most teachers my brain is never fully "off" teaching. I am always thinking of ways to improve, change or recreate things. That is my hope for this next challenge. As I begin to think of next year, the list of all the "little" items to begin the year pile up--- I am reminded of how much energy goes into the start. EEK! We can do it! 
Here is a book log I use in my children's "APE" book (An organizational communication tool between home and school) We all know how important it is to create a connection between home/school. What I like about this book log is that it is quick, simple and reminds families that it is O.K. to read to their kids! While I have to admit, I pick my battles (not everyone consistently fills them up), it is interesting for me to see the types of engagement kids are having with books at home. Hope you can find it helpful. If you would like a copy please follow my blog & leave a comment with your email and I will send it to you! Thanks for your support. There is a lot more to come... I promise!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trying something new

For some time I have been blogging about the learning in my classroom as a way to stay in touch with families. For me, blogging has been a great communication tool. I was always amazed at how so many teachers found time to share their work with others online. Let's face it... we have all had moments when we have hopped on Pinterest or other inspiring teacher blogs and grabbed the perfect filler activity for a rain, long day. I am a huge believer in collaboration and sharing in the best interests of kids. I recently married (June 29th) of this year and have too much spare time on my hands, now that wedding planning is a thing of the past. Would love to connect with some new faces and get into the world of digital sharing more. Hope you will join me in this next journey!