Friday, April 29, 2016

What Memories Were Made in Your Class This Year?

Can you believe it's almost the end of the school year again? I sure can't! Time flies when you're having fun really is true! I have had a wonderful year with my little cuties and I hope you have had one too. 

At the end of the year, I always like to let the kids reflect on their year in 2nd grade. It helps them remember how much fun we all had together and also answers the question of: What did you do in school today? (this year) 

To help organize these memories, I created these memory books to use with my students. (in color and black and white) I hope it might help you wrap up your year with fond memories as well. 

Have a Wonderful End of the School Year and gear up for SUMMER!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Earth Day Hats by Monica~Link up Your Earth Day Products

Monica is a wonderful friend of mine and always has such awesome ideas. Check out her Earth Day hats!  She makes these super simple hats with recycled materials! If you would like to see how and see a video to boot, just click here!

You can check out more Earth Day fun over on her blog by clicking HERE!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Give Your Students a Little Swagger!

In the past, I've used behavior beads as an incentive for my kids. Then, I saw brag tags and really wanted to get them. . . but they are a tad expensive. So, what do you think I did? Of course, I made my own Swag Tags. 
I decided to make them dog tag shaped and bought some ball and chain necklaces to hang the tags on. I searched all around and finally found a good deal for them on Amazon. I bought the 100 pack so I will have enough for the next few years. . . That should get me to retirement age!  Here are the ones I bought:

I store my tags in a divider box and use Post-it Flags (680-EG-ALT) to divide them by topic. I also put them in ABC order so they are easy to find. (I put everything in ABC order!)
Before I hang a tag on a child's necklace, I put their name on it with Sharpie Retractable Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers, 3 Colored Markers(1735794)
I also put a bead in between the tags so people can admire the accomplishments of my little rock stars.  

I have a spot where the kids hang their swag tags. That way, they have a place to store them at the end of the day, or when they don't want to wear them. Some kids like to leave them hanging and just stop to look at them once in awhile. Others, wear them for awhile, then take them off for lunch, P.E., etc. It's interesting to watch!

My munchkins are absolutely loving these tags. They earn them for working their way up our 'Super Improver' Chart and for all sorts of other accomplishments as well. 
Just click the pic to check out the freebie if you would like to get started with swag tags in your classroom! I've got more, but I need to get the covers done. . . Never enough time in a day!

Happy Easter!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Whole Brain Teaching Love and Linky

Happy February! I hope you are having a 'love'ly school year! 
I am linking up with fellow bloggers in an 'I Teach 2nd' monthly linkup. We will be sharing timely tips, teaching strategies, resources, and some freebies with you. If you like what you see in this blog post, be sure to follow me (or any of the participating bloggers) and check back at the beginning of each month for a new linkup.
Since it is February, I thought I would share what I LOVE most about teaching. I recently started watching videos and reading up about Whole Brain Teaching. I have to say, it has changed my life for so many reasons. Here are a few:
  1. I am having fun teaching. I mean, I can't wait to teach each day. I've always loved it, but it had become a bit of a chore. Not anymore!
  2. My kids are having fun learning. I like to think I always made it fun, but I can really feel the shift in the energy of our room. Kids are actively engaged and busy helping me 'teach' with their partners. So cool!
  3. The kids are really retaining what they've learned.
  4. And the list goes on and on. You HAVE to go to the Whole Brain Teaching website and watch some of the videos for yourself. 
  5. The bad behaviors have dramatically decreased since I've begun using the Scoreboard and class Rules. There's no time for that monkey business! Watch this little clip to see what my favorite class rule is! 
One of my favorite ways to help my kids comprehend what they are reading is called The Crazy Professor Reading Game and the kids LOVE it! This first video is a little guy reading his journal entry about The Kissing Hand. He asked me if it was okay if he used hand gestures (like he does when playing The Crazy Professor Reading Game). This is precious. Check it out!
Here is my whole class reading a story with exaggerated expression and hand gestures. You should hear them answer questions after reading in this way. AMAZING, FUN, and ENGAGING! See for yourself!

Spread the LOVE and SHARE these posts with your friends! 


Monday, January 18, 2016

Simple Technology for Engaged Learning

You know it is sometimes overwhelming with all the apps out there, but sometimes all you need is a camera on a device. 

In math, we are learning about lines, line segments, parallel, intersecting...the whole bit. Our Everyday Math workbook wanted the kids to look around the room for examples of those terms. So, instead, we grabbed our devices and started snapping pictures. The kids then gathered back together to share the real-life items they found that had parallel line segments. Even if we had stopped there, it would've been a good learning experience.

However, we went further with the Seesaw Learning Journal app. 

  1. Kids choose a picture to use.
  2. They upload it to Seesaw.
  3. Then, use a writing/recording tool to explain their learning.
Check this video out:

Find out more about Seesaw by clicking the pic. I know you are going to LOVE it! I sure do...and so do my munchkins!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

We Need to Let Them Play!

Last week, it was actually cold enough for us to get some snow. Of course, the temperature dropped to about 5 degrees and we couldn't go out for recess. Two days later, it was about 34 degrees and we were able to go out. Even though the kids only get 15 minutes for recess, they were still able to create this awesome snowman. It was so fun to watch them and come up with the ideas for their creation. It made me giggle when they were trying to figure out the arms for the snowman...scoopy cups. It's so fun to actually just watch and listen to our kids. They really are neat little people. Have you watched your kids lately? I'd love to hear your stories! Just leave a comment to share!

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