Friday, December 23, 2011

Goodbyes and Merry Christmas

The good news: I'm finally on winter break!!!

The bad news: My long term sub job in second grade finished today : (

As I mentioned before, this
w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l class
(at a super-fabulous school) had a fantastic teacher that was asked to fill a program coach role that unexpectedly opened in November. So I stepped in while they interviewed for a teacher. They found one that would begin in January, and so I had my glorious 6 weeks with the lovely class.

I really do hate goodbyes, but I've done it so often now with my moves abroad, my long term positions, friends, family, etc. that I have found a way to maneuver around it. I simply try to feel forever GRATEFUL for the experience(s) and reflect on what I learned from the person/situation/class/etc.  Then my heart doesn't seem to hurt so bad.

Now I know my lifestyle is not for everyone. Moving overseas here and there, enduring the schedule of a loved one in the army (although he's out now!!), working at different schools (sometimes completely unknown), finding a place to live in a new city, being away from friends and family.

I enjoy the challenge of meeting new people at all the schools, being a part of all the teams and seeing how they do things, observing efficient schools vs. poorly managed schools, gaining experience in various grade levels, and of course meeting all the children with their shining personalities!

I started to write about my past teaching jobs, but that got too long and so I put it here if you want to read it : )

One of the things I liked about this job was that the teacher had already started journals for everything (as in, everything is documented in journals......and if at all possible, we try to avoid worksheets) which is totally my philosophy for independent practice as well !

So I got to have fun coming up with ideas for their's some pictures.

This was in connection with their basal story that week.

Centers: Sort spelling words by sounds
(this was a review week). I made directions, and gave them
a word bank to look at each week.

The word banks I made each week
for the spelling lists (copied on
cardstock, about 5 in a center)

Centers: Directions, spelling list, whiteboard......
Give your friend a spelling test!

Centers: Build spelling words and record in journal

up close picture of Sort by Sounds center
recorded into journal

math journal

Centers: Directions and worksheet (yes, sometimes you
can't avoid it!) for using spelling words in context.

I don't always use the sticky pads,
but sometimes as a surprise, I put it
in their centers tub. This center has
cards to make various lists

A writing prompt about a rain forest story
we read. I find prompts and sentence starters
especially important for ELL students.

Sentence starter for making your own gingerbread man

Beginning, middle and end of
Gingerbread Baby. We edited and made
a final copy
Final copy of beginning, middle and end of
Gingerbread Baby.

Trying to get some weekend writing going like we did
in Australia at the language school. They did so good!

I gave them weekend word banks and
past tense verb word banks for their tables.

Let me know if you're interested in the word banks. I've been thinking of making my first item in my TPT store an ELL packet.

A few more pictures from today (our day before Christmas break!)

But let me first say that last night we had the annual Second Grade Polar Express night (from 5-8 pm at school).......the kids come in their pjs, enter with their special ticket, have pictures with Santa, make crafts, enter the decorated hallway (train) and have hot chocolate and cookies, and then watch the movie on a big screen in the cafeteria and get bells at the end.

All very sweet, but today I was tired (well my fault because I was at Fed Ex so late).

But I was greeted at school with an amazing staff breakfast (they put one on once a month).

Then it was onto gingerbread houses with our kindergarten buddies.

so many people came to help

I have never seen so much candy!!

OK, here's one more thing as I write this post and continue to unwind from this very long day.

ignore hole punches on bottom of blue, we were playing with it

Our classes rotated to the other second classes this week, for different activities. Our class read The Mitten, brainstormed beg/middle/end and then wrote (in our own words) each section on each of the mittens.  Then they designed/drew on the back. Finally they put yarn through the mittens so they can hang it across a window or wall at home. What do you think?

If you do a Jan Brett or snow unit, this lesson went really well. A word bank of words from the story was helpful for them.

Alright now. Onto some peaceful sleep (now that I've got a handle on my sinus infection and have meds!!) and sleeping in tomorrow!

Enjoy your break ladies!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Currently......December (my first linky party!!)

Yay!! I figured out how to do this linky-party thing!  Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade is having a linky party and it's the first one I've tried!

The Lovely Cupboard is a mix of design and food ideas, but the blogger is a classroom teacher and has some great photos of her classroom that have given me some inspiration.

I have 4 more days until break, which is great (especially since I've been sick for weeks now), but bittersweet because it ends my long-term position with the most wonderful second grade class ever.

I have submitted more paperwork this week for my visa for England, so hopefully by the end of January I will be blogging from there!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Taking Notes in Guided Rdg???

I forgot I had these Guided Reading Lesson Plans and Observation pages that I made a couple years ago.

I printed them this week, and thought some of you might like it : )

Also, I am dead tired tonight......what a long week! Someday, I will not wait until I am nearly asleep on my feet/zombie/eyes closing time of day to blog, and actually put some personality into this!

But I must quickly post tonight as I am super happy for 3 reasons:

1. A teacher at my school came to me and said she did the polling question with her kindergarten class and they loved it (she got the idea from my blog!!! So people are reading this!!! Hi Cindy!)

2. I have 30 followers now!!!

3. I get to sleep in tomorrow!

More blogging to come!

Click HERE and HERE to download the Guided Reading Plans

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Direction cards for Centers *FREEBIE*

Download HERE
 Thank you to Stacy at 2nd Grade Paradise for my blog award!!! I will nominate some fellow blogs this weekend when I have more time and energy!

As for my week. Is anyone else sick?

I told myself I was going to blog every day in December, but I have not been able to do it. Too sick and grumpy.

I think I have another sinus infection and it is getting SO old.

My students will probably remember me as the teacher that blew her nose all the time. gross.

And to top it all off, it has been rainy the past couple days which means no breaks from students or to just relax for a second!

I also have only 7 days left with this super special class that I am long term subbing for : (

Download HERE

The class is an ELL second grade, and I made directions
for some of the literacy centers. I hope someone else will
find them useful. It has helped my students a lot I think.

Oops! I just noticed it says 6-7-8-9-10!! Will change
that this weekend : (
Download HERE

Download HERE

Download HERE

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

K-1 Polling Question

Believe it or not, I came across this polling question idea in a PRESCHOOL in England!!  They got a clipboard, thought of and wrote a yes/no question, and walked around and asked their classmates the question and recorded the data on the sheet.......................................................................... I liked having lots of extra in a tub for students that finished early because they LOVE it!! And it's only a half sheet of paper, so I didn't feel too bad about the paper.

Get a writeable/editable copy HERE for full page, and HERE for half page (2 columns).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

word family titles for literacy journal/portfolio


Well, as my previous post said: I'm not sure if there's many new people following.....ah well. I will continue to upload things that I make....if only for my teacher friends that I know use daily portfolios and also for myself as a place to keep my ideas!

                          I cleaned up the titles from what is                           
seen in the pictures so please download it if you want.

This is a way of doing word families into a portfolio/journal and will:
-eliminate at least half the paper as used in worksheets
-allows students to cut and shuffle around pictures to determine where to glue them
-get students writing

I showed a slightly differentiated activity above (higher students wrote the whole word, others wrote initial sound)..........there are various ways of doing this activity, and I haven't attached word family clipart as I figured most of have this a million times over. This title could also be used for looking at a word bank and writing words in correct column, etc.

I tried to leave it in in Word so they could be writeable/editable but the border didn't stay..... so it's HERE in PDF with a blank copy too.

Hope you like it : )

HELP! My followers # is not going up!!??

I feel so thick when it comes to all this blog stuff!!!

I want so badly to join this world......but it seems like a clique that I'm excluded from : (

People have told me they've started "following" me, but under my Followers part of my blog, this number has not changed......I do not understand.

Please help......I feel quite defeated..........I will go and read through some more blog tutorials and see if I can join more "linky" parties and make more comments as I've been instructed to do.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Word Wall

This is a picture of my friend's word wall.........I suggested black to her after I used my large, black chalkboard as a word wall several years ago (can't find that picture!!! uggg!).......the sight words look small, but they really are a good size when you're there : ) Maybe it's the angle that I took the picture.

What do you think??