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Sunday, April 22, 2012

And we're...MOVIN ON!

 Next Year!

Well it finally happened, I always knew it was going to happen because it was too good to be true!  I have been relocated out of my HUGE wonderful classroom.  The first day I was hired my principal showed me my classroom and I couldn't believe it, I had the best room in the school.  It has it's own bathroom since it used to be a kindergarten room.  Lot's of sunshine and did I mention HUGE. It's also in the perfect location, far from the office, close to the teacher's room (bathroom!)and right down the hall from the copy machine.  Oh, yeah and down the hall from my reading buddies!

  So now I am being relocated to the other side of the building which no one wants to be on and I got kicked out of first grade.  I said kicked out of first grade because I am not ready to move on and I didn't have a choice.  We do not have any seniority in what grade we want to teach. We are all hired by the board of ed and can be moved at anytime according to the principal.  Well, I kind of kicked myself out of my room because I was told I was going to teach 3rd grade next year and I wouldn't have to move my room.  I really didn't want to teach 3rd so I thought fast and suggested I would be great in 2nd.  My principal actually said OK but then I would have to move my room and she knows how I feel about my room.  So I will be packing up and throwing out lots of stuff because it won't fit in the tiny room I am moving in to. 

Good news is that I have a smart board in my new room and I got to teach the grade I want.  So I have been stalking second grade blogs now.  I also am going to keep my same theme of the ocean and I will share my class pictures.

Just found this great website  you must go on her classrooms are amazing and so are her decorating tips.

Assertive discipline chart starts with a warning from the dolphin and you work your way to the shark!

Under the sea job helpers.  I made fish bowl and covered with blue cellophane.

Kids work from September covers the back walls.  I take their work down at the end of the year and place in their scrapbooks.

Word wall and number line.

Starfish of the week brings in four pictures and places on fish.  Next they answer questions on starfish paper and place on bowls with the questions.

Treat chart which is my long range positive discipline program, works like a charm.  School of fish move up to net to earn a letter.  Each letter gets class extra recess and the whole word gets you a party!  Working on our 2nd party.

Windows are covered with blue cellophane and fish from party store.  Kids fish and hermit crabs stay up all year.  I only decorate the hall for all other holiday crafts.  Sometimes I will hang crafts from bottom of blinds.

I just found this great site to help me decorate for next year. It is  she is fabulous she has the best decorating and organizational tips ever!!!  Everyone can learn a thing or two from this site. 
Anyone else out there changing rooms or grade levels?  
I would love to hear someone elses story.


Monday, April 9, 2012

A Digital Class Meeting

If you haven't visited ...

I found out about in a Scholastic Magazine years ago and it changed the way I communicate with my kids, especially during movie viewing. allows you to create digital chat rooms that your students can join without any password, sign-up, or e-mail address.  All they need is a link to the chat room you have created.  One of the best parts is you determine how long the chat room is accessible a day, a week, a month... you decide.

We most recently used the day before Spring Break when watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 

Watching and "chatting" about the movie while
Hagrid shows Harry the magic entrance to Diagon Alley.

Here's what I LOVE about 

#1- My students LOVE it.  They have never been more engaged in watching a video whether it is Harry Potter or a Science video.
#2- It allows us to chat about the film without chatting about the film. 
#3- When watching a longer video, like the Harry Potter film, it allows us to discuss the film in real-time, as opposed to taking notes and waiting  until 3 hours later to chat. 
#4- They log on and sign in independently (cue the gospel choir) because all they need is the link and their names.
#5- Internet based and FREE!
#6- Mini-lesson on appropriate use of social media (slang, abbreviations, spelling, content, etc.)
#7- Administrators don't think you are "just watching a movie".

Funny story about this year's viewing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  We had spent 3 months reading the novel, more than EVER before, to make sure that they were understanding the novel while mastering the literacy skills.  This darling blond in the picture above, who I ADORE, taps me on the shoulder to point out that one of my gems just posted a comment about who they think stole the sorcerer's stone.  You know, from the novel we already read, and discussed, and BEAT TO DEATH!  The most frustrating part, her theory was WRONG!  My little blond friend and I had a good chuckle at that, then I thanked the "teaching gods" that Spring Break started the next day. 

Pleasantly relaxed...for now, 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Junie B. Jones

                                                             Junie B. Jones

Finally finished reading Junie B. Jones Dumb Bunny  by Barbara Park on the last day of school before Spring break!  Better late then never.  To celebrate my favorite book character, Junie B., and all of her adventures my class imitates the activities from each book.  In this story there is a jelly bean game in order to win what's in the pretty box.  All the children have to stick their hand in a bag and whoever picks the one purple jelly bean wins what's in the box. So we played the same game, I have the pretty box all set up.  My class is sitting in a circle and we start to review what happened in the story and all the scenarios that could happen while playing. For example, there will only be one winner and if the purple jelly bean is picked before it's your turn the game is over, just like in the book.  Also in our school it is frowned upon to eat foods of minimal nutrition so jelly bean eating is a no, no!  I just got finished explaining that we couldn't eat the jelly bean after they picked one from the bag because I would get in trouble.  Then one of my smarty pants student says, who will know, what, are there cameras in the classroom and the police will show up if we eat a jelly bean!  Like magic my principal walks in the room, couldn't have been better timing.  My response was we are going to be "Bucket Fillers" and do the right thing and here is the police now!  That smarty learned a lesson and the game began. It was great my student observer tally graphed the jelly bean colors that came out of the bag and half way through one lucky duck picked the purple one!  My principal was so surprised at the student's reactions who never got a turn, they were all bucket fillers.  I am sure you are wondering what was in the box. I asked my students what I should buy to put in the box for our game because they always have the best ideas.  In the book, the prize is a bunny costume, so  in our box were bunny ears and a chocolate bunny.  The winner left the ears on all day! 

The day before we had a golden egg hunt, just like the book!  We also include our reading buddies in on the fun. We hide the eggs on the playground, each child gets 2 colored eggs filled with chocolate but the best prize is the golden egg. The reading buddies both get the prize no matter which one of them find the golden egg. The winners get a Barnes N Noble gift card and a no homework pass.

 Besides all the fun activities we made a character trait of Junie B as we read each chapter. At the end of the story we listed setting, characters, problem and solution on a bunny of course!  All the kiddos made a miniature bunny and wrote text to self connections. OOPS forgot to take pictures of the mini bunnies.

When we come back from break my question of the day will be which activity did you like better the jelly bean game or the golden egg hunt?

             Junie B. Jones Dumb Bunny

Can't wait to get started reading the next Junie B book!


Friday, April 6, 2012

You like me, you really like me!

The Reading Buddies have been awarded 2 blogging awards. YAH!!!!

The first is the Calculating Heart Award presented to us by: Go Figure

We are on the lookout for blogs to pass this award on to. 

The second is The One Lovely Blog Award presented to us by: Kute Kinder Kids Classroom

We are passing this on to some other "lovely" blogs.  These blogs inspire us to raise the caliber of our teaching, provide us with wonderful ideas, and make us proud to be teachers and bloggers:

Congrats to everyone!
Damien and Kelly