Friday, January 4, 2013

Welcome Back Class - New Year 2013

I just can't start the new year off without talking a little about one of my new year's resolutions - getting myself more organized at school and home.  Yesterday was our teacher work day at school.  I spend every minute, besides a 1 hour faculty meeting, cleaning and organizing my room.  I will have to say I made a huge dent.  One of my favorite things was getting a 3 week set of files - 3 different colors to help me visually with the weeks.  I now can plan up to 3 weeks at a time.  This can really help a teacher when getting things copied and ready for the coming weeks.  I am still thinking I may add 1 more week.  I put these in a handy tub that I can grab and go with if I need to around the classroom.  I also tried to help myself out at the end of the day today by filing and putting things back that I used today.  The paper trail is so hard to maintain!  One day can get you behind!

Another exciting project that my wonderful hubby did for me is paint an old no-back book shelf.  I will post pictures this weekend!  I'm so excited!!!  He put a back on it and painted it black.  I'm thinking of transitioning into a black and white color scheme for my classroom and adding some curtains and quotes around the room: Resolution #2!!  I'll keep you updated!

Well, we hit the door running this morning.  It was a short Christmas break this time - less than 2 weeks.  I was a little sad about not getting the customary full 2 weeks off, but then again I was glad that we were starting back with only 2 school days as opposed to a full week.  It has given me time to step away from the normal reading routine that takes up the morning and get more creative with my teaching. 

Arctic Anchor Chart

Students really enjoyed our lesson this morning about the Arctic.  We will have 5 days of in depth study.  Today we mostly talked about the climate, location, and what they already know about this region of our earth.  We created our anchor chart for day 1.  Then I read the fictional book The Little Polar Bear to wrap up the lesson.  Students started making real connections even though it was a fictional Arctic story. 

7 Habits 7 Goals for the New Year
My second graders absolutely love, love, loved getting to chew gum in class today to go along with their 7 habits display they created today.  I made sure they spit it out prior to leaving the room for lunch this morning - trying to avoid any kind of trouble.  They had such good responses to each of the 7 habits.  I guided the students step by step as they reflected and wrote a resolution with each of the 7 habits.  They had a blast!!  This is definitely a craftivity I will use again next year. 

Blowing Bubbles to ring in the New Year 7 Habits Style!

After lunch, my read aloud was The Snowy Day.  Prior to reading, I introduced students to onomatopoeia words.  They quickly caught on to this new language concept and enjoyed listening for them when I read The Snowy Day.  I had students hold their hands to their face Home Alone style each time they heard and onomatopoeia.  Following the story, students wrote connections they made with the story to themselves, another book, and the world.  I was amazed at the discussions that took place as students shared their thinking.  A lot of students made connections with The Little Polar Bear that I read this morning, even thought that was not something I even thought of when I planned today's lessons.

Our wintry day started and ended great and I can't wait to get on with more fun tomorrow!  It sure is fun celebrating in second grade! :)


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