To make a long story short, LOVE my husband of 18 years, LOVE my 2 cool kids, Dylan 14 & Holly 8, LOVE hanging with family and friends, LOVE teaching 2nd grade and most importantly, LOVE my Savior & Lord Jesus Christ!
My secret weapon for teaching Roman numerals...toothpicks! First, I teach the basics. I just use our Saxon curriculum, which does a great job of introducing the concept. I give each student about 10 toothpicks. (I have them already in baggies, and have been using the same set for years.) Then, they practice making the numbers that I call out.
I model the numbers on the overhead projector using kabob type sticks. I let them come up and make the numbers on the overhead with my "big toothpicks" as well.
This week in phonics the concept is "ghost letters" (silent letters in words). However, 7 year olds and ghosts shouldn't mix, so I came up with the idea of "gnome letters/words". With the recent release of Gnomeo & Juliet, this will certainly catch my students' attention!
So I did my best to recreate Gnomeo and Juliet with my cricut using the paper dolls cartridge.
I placed them on a giant mushroom made from bulletin board paper.
The students will be on the hunt for "gnome words" this week in their reading and work. When they find one, they will write it on a round white sticky note and stick it on the mushroom.
I used this same concept for compound words a few weeks ago and it was a huge success. My students were on the hunt for the words all week. They were also exposed to a lot more compound words than our curriculum provided for. I'm expecting the same results this week with the "gnome words"!
Here I am with Orly Owl, our classroom take home buddy, at the movies to see Gnomeo and Juliet this weekend. This is where the idea for "gnome words" hit me!
I was so excited when I got home today to see my long awaited packed of free stuff from Vistaprint. I.Love. Free.Stuff. (As does every other teacher in the free world!) Here's what I got:
I ordered this banner to hang on birthdays. I wrote in the name with a dry erase marker (& I forgot the 's!).
This hat and shirt came just in time for field day tomorrow!!
The only catch to this is that you have to pay shipping. With this order I got a pen, a self inking address stamp, address labels, a banner, a shirt, and a hat. I paid $15 in shipping for all of it. Can't beat that!
I NEVER have enough wall space. So I've had to get creative with ways to hang things on the wall. So, for our "Camper of the Week" display I used a string and clothespins to hang their pictures. I secured the string to the wall with LOTS of blue painters tape (the only adhesive my school allows for the walls). I hid the tape under the paper doll campers. You could use this same display for student work as well.
I'm linking here
I'm always looking for ways to motivate my students to read. I duplicated this idea from a website years ago (sorry, I don't remember where).
I pick 2 books each week to be the Reader's Choice books. I try to pick 2 books that are levels that represent my general classroom popluation. You could even do 3 or more books if your reading levels vary greatly. It's funny that when I forget to post 2 new books the kids are quick to remind me!
After they read the book, they place their picture on their choice. I used my filing cabinet and used magnets.
It's also funny to me that most of the kids pick "yes" for the books. Just another way to get them reading!
My primary tool for teaching cursive handwriting is the public television show "It's the Write Time". I set my dvr to record it (check your local listings). I transfered the episodes in order onto a vcr tape (so primitive, I know). The good news is now that I have them on tape, I don't have to transfer them again next year. The kids absolutely LOVE this series. It corresponds exactly to the Zaner Bloser handwriting series. Here's a clip:
As the video is playing the students use white boards that I got in the dollar section at Target.
After we've practice on the whiteboards, and I've made sure they have mastered the letter, they complete the page in their handwriting book.
The first day I introduce cursive, I issue these adorable cursive license that I purchased at Teacher's Clubhouse for $0.99. (scroll down to "cursive license")
It used to get on my last nerve when I would say a page number and 8 students would call out "What page???" Now I write the page number on the board under this sentence strip, and they have never asked 'what page?' since!
I've been reading about "The Bucket Fillers" around on different blogs. It's such a great idea and it reminded me of a workshop that I went to last year based on the book "The Little Pot" by Dawn Stephens. It's the same idea as the bucket but it's faith-based using the fruits of the spirit. Instead of each child having a bucket they have a little clay pot with googly eyes glued on. It is a precious, precious book. Here's the link to the author's site. She has great activities to go along with the book. There are also ideas to teach faith based values using common picture books. This site and book is a gem! Check it out!
Here's a link to the Fruit song and coloring sheet.
This year for Valentine's Day, my class will be making these boxes.
I've been collecting cereal boxes for the past couple of weeks from my students. I wrapped them using bulletin board paper since it's thinner. (Though this pic is a sample & I used construction paper. The bulletin board paper worked much better!)
I used my cricut to cut out the pieces for the panda bear. I'll give the kids the pieces to glue together themselves. Of course, the googly eyes make everything cuter! I decided to use the panda since we just studied them and the kids are basically obsessed with them now. The panda bear is from the Pagoda cartridge. Of course, you could have the kids make their own cute animals if you don't have a cricut. Maybe precut circles to make a pig. You could teach lines of symmetry as they cut their own hearts.
I like the idea of the cereal boxes because it's sturdier than the boxes we've made in the past. I'm thinking having the students do an acrostic poem to glue on the backside of the box. I would love to see your Valentine's ideas!
Today we performed "surgery" on words to make contractions. It was a blast! I gave each group a latex glove, a surgical mask made of an index card and rubberbands, and a set of 20 index cards labeled with words. Then they "operated" and cut the words apart and taped them back together to make the contraction. The students really connected with what contractions really are through this activity!
(I originally saw this idea on another blog. But for the life of me I could not find whose blog so that I can give the credit where credit is due for this awesome idea! If you know please leave a comment!)