27 September 2015

Creating and Learning

Fall is officially here, and guess what?  We are still sweating and burning up in Louisiana.  Are you feeling cooler temperatures?  I hope so! Hopefully the cooler temperatures are not to far behind with the season change.  Even though I am still kickin' it in shorts and flip flops,  I am getting ready for the season.  I just uploaded my newest Fall Fluency Set for Advanced Readers.  It has 8 nonfiction fall related text.  If you follow my blog, you know I started using my regular fluency set in the middle of last year and I absolutely loved it.   So, I decided to bring in some seasonal nonfiction.  This year my kids are right on track with reading and comprehension, so this advanced set fits our needs perfectly.  Be sure to check it out.  

This past week was Unit 1 Benchmark testing week for us!  I don't know about you, but I actually like benchmark testing week.  Of course, I don't like giving the long reading benchmark test, but I do like that it breaks the monotony of our regular routine.  We also have time to do a few other fun things that sometimes get put on the back burner.  This past week, we were all about art.  We learned about the artist Ted Harrison.  Then we painted our own version of a Ted Harrison Landscape.  They turned out pretty awesome I think {thanks Whimsy Workshop for the great idea}!

Next, we back tracked and did a directed drawing of Mudge {thanks Amy Lemons for the easy to follow directions}.  In Unit 1 we read "Henry and Mudge, The Starry Night".  These drawings turned out pretty awesome too!  

Friday has officially became math review day for me.  I have several students that are not in class all day, due to being out for AIM.  I hate to start a new math lesson when a lot of kids are out, so I have made Friday a day that we usually play some sort of math game.   This week we reviewed over our basic facts by playing Connect Four and Cover Up.  Although in math we are on 2-digit with regrouping, it never hurts to review over basic facts for fluency.  

Also, something exciting that has happened for our class - We got our first project funded through Donor's Choose!  The kids were so excited.  This is a pic of a group listening to a story on the app EPIC.  The iPad could not have come at a better time.   Some of our student computers have been out, so it has worked out having an extra piece of technology in our class.   

Have you heard of the app Epic?   If not be sure to check it out.  It is a book app.  There are so many books on the site and many of them are AR.  Plus, what I like is that a lot of the titles have the option to read aloud.  The best part is it free!  Be sure to check it out.

Have any of you signed up for Limeades for Learning?  Did you list a project too?  I now have listed a second iPad on Donor's Choose through Limeades for Learning.  If any of you could spare about 2-3 minutes, tomorrow or any time next week, I would so appreciate if you would stop by and give me a vote.  Just visit Limeades for Learning, log in with an email, and vote for a project.  The projects with the most votes will be funded by Sonic's Limeades for Learning.  The name of my project is iPad for Interactive Learning, Part Two.

Well that is what we have been up to in Room 202.  Thanks for stopping by and taking peek.  Have a great week.


10 September 2015

All about Space

The past couple of weeks we have been knee deep in our space unit.  If you follow my blog you know how much I love to teach science and social studies.   I wanted to share with you some the awesome activities we have been doing/making!

We have learned all about the sun and how it is the center of our universe!  We made this cute but informational sun flip flap book from Danielle Knight!

Of course who doesn't love to learn with food.  We learned all about the moon phases with Oreo cookies.  Talk about a yummy lesson!

We just finished up our space unit with this STEM activity from Teachers are Terrific.  This was the class favorite by far, but then again who doesn't love shooting canisters.   They had to shoot a film canister {aka - rockets} with different amounts of Alka Seltzer.

Then, they came back inside the class and had to modify their canister and see if adding wings/tails would make the rocket launch even further!  This was a fun activity.  I was able to easily adapt it to fit my second graders.

On a different note - guess what?  We were funded!!!!  We received our project by Donors Choose. My class will be the proud owners of a mini iPad 3 {64 GB}, Belkin Rockstar Splitter, and case.   We can't wait for our goodies to arrive.   I am going to put in for another iPad.   I wrote two grants at the end of last year, but didn't have any luck.  I am so glad I gave Donors Choose a shot.  This was my first time and it paid off.   I would love to have 4-5 iPads in my class, enough for a small group setting!  Do you have any suggestion for awesome Apps, podcast, or ideas???  If so please share, I will be needing all the ideas I can get!  

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek.  I {heart} comments and followers.


02 September 2015

Classroom Reveal 2015-2016

We are back for another month of #2getherwearebetter with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans and Angie from Lucky Little Learners.  Plus it just so happens that the same exact day Blog Hoppin is hosting classroom reveals.  It looks like this month is all about CLASSROOM REVEALS!  I am super pumped about these link ups and I can't wait to look at all the fab classrooms.  It is always so much fun to take a peak into other teacher's rooms!

This year I decided to change my classroom theme up.  I loved my black and white polka dot with yellow and daises, but after about five years of the same theme I was ready for a much needed change.  I have gotten a few, "Oh no, where are your daises"! But for the most part my teal with black and white polka dots has been a big hit.  I decided to keep a lot of my black and white polka dots because I have a lot of tubs and storage bins that are black.  It is one of my favorite things that has lasted over the years and through several themes.  It is true, black goes with anything!  Anytime I decide to change my room up, I usually pick a color scheme that can tie in with black.  This way I only have to change out labels, tags, and minor things.  I can still use my buckets over again.  This year I am using teal, black and white polka dots, with gray.  So, I hope you enjoy peeking into my room!  Be sure to check out the discount code that Sparkled Whimsy gave to my followers to use if they are interested in ordering a custom door sign for their classroom!

Speaking of cute door signs, I just love this one so much!  I ordered it from Sparkled Whimsy.  I simply just told her my colors and she came up with exactly what I needed.  I have received so many compliments on my classroom door.   If you would like to order your customized sign,  Sparkled Whimsy has offered a 15% DISCOUNT to all my followers.  Just enter the code: SPARKLEME2015 when checking out to grab this awesome deal!  They will customize your sign to fit your classroom and they have many sizes to choose from!

This is my board I use to keep up with our timed drill test.  The kiddos will eventually place their names on the board and watch it move down as they work their way toward a fudge sundae.

 This is my behavior and bathroom stick board.  The kids can pull sticks for restroom breaks during class instructional time.  This system really works for me, because it helps me keep track of who is in the bathroom and who is playing.   They get a chance to go to the restroom during free times throughout the day.  We only use these during instructional time.   Yes, I still use a clip chart.  I know many people do not, but everyone uses the exact same clip chart at my school.  We also all follow the same whole brain classroom rules, and use the Super Improver Chart as well!

This is some of my baskets that are stored under my cabinets.  Every basket or tub gets a label and of course they have to match my theme.   Anytime you want to dress up a label tie it up with cute coordinating ribbon and you will instantly have a spruced up look.

I even label my cabinets that house my manuals and resources.  This way I will know exactly which spot to look in.

This is my student's boxes to store their extra school supplies.  I made matching editable labels to coordinate.  All of the labels used in my classroom are from my Teal, Gray, and Black Classroom Editable Set.

 This is a picture of my AR library book bins.  I used the editable labels, typed the colors of each book level, and tied on with coordinating ribbon.  The black baskets are from Big Lots.  The black cubbies are from Target.   I have had the cubbies for so long (try like seven years kind of long), I don't even think Target carries them anymore.   

This is my computer area.  I ordered my coordinating tissue pom-poms, calendar, and border from School Girl Style.

I use this small area on my white board to keep track of AR open check out.  The kids can clip their class numbers and rotate them as needed.  The system works well for me and after a few days of practicing the students have it down.  Then they are able to take over the system all on their own, and let's face it,  who doesn't love a little independence.  They know who needs to test or who needs to check out, and it makes life much easier for me.  I like that after a few days I am not stuck monitoring this during AR time.

This is a super cute "Welcome" banner that hangs above my white board.  All I did was just punched holes in each corner and tied it up with coordinating ribbon.

And last but not least, I have cute little Mason Jars that I painted this summer placed all around my room.  I placed flowers in them to help spruce up my room and then glued a coordinating ribbon on each jar.

So, there you have it, a peek into my classroom.  It is the place where I spend a good chunk of my day.  I tried to make it a place that I look forward to coming and spending time with kids.  I also wanted it to be an environment that the kids would love too.  So far I think it has been a hit this year!

If you love any of the labels or tags you saw in this post, most of them can be found in my editable set:  Teal, Gray, and Black Editable Classroom Decor Set, and right now it is on sale for 1/2 off!

Do you have any classroom decorating secrets?  I can't wait to see all the classroom reveals.  Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a peek.  I {heart} comments and followers!
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