Crossman Crew

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Art Day

We used paint again this week! Watercolors this time!
I had these leaves, made out of coffee filter material. I used tube watercolors, and added water to them, to make them more fluid. The kids used plastic eye droppers to drop colors onto their leaves.
The drops eventually spread out and touch, and the colors blend.
Pretty huh?

I can't wait to get to school tomorrow so that I can peel their leaves off of the plates, and then I am hanging them up in the classroom. Each leaf is very unique.

Daily 5

I have implemented a new program in my classroom. We are using The Daily 5 for our core reading time. We started it this week, and it went very well. Basically it's time that is chunked, and the kids get to choose what they work on: 5 key jobs. We start with a lesson together, then 20 minutes of work time, then a mini lesson, then another 20 minutes of work time. I hope to be able to work up to three chunks of work time. During the time the kids are working on their jobs, I can pull small groups of students for more individualized instruction.
A listening center is just one job the kids can choose. I gave a mini lesson on how to use the (ancient) tape player (and YES, I had to explain what the tape was, and how it worked). The kids love to listen to the story chosen (Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes), and one person gets to hold the book. They are very engaged and quiet, until one has to say something and forgets they have those big, thick headphones on!
No earbuds for us! We've got those giant headphones! The kids complain that they are very tight, and they really can't hear me at all if I need to stop to talk to them. There's a lot of "HUH?"
The kids can also choose to read on their own, or with a partner (two other jobs).

Next to the listening center, the kids like this job the best: Work on Writing. I have made a bunch of class books, blank writing pages, so that the kids can write the books themselves. They love to grab a book, and fill a page. There are books about losing teeth, weekend fun, presents, friends, Halloween, etc. I even have a book for boys and a book for girls. Ask your child to tell you about them. They have been busy filling them up. I have even asked for suggestions for future books, and the kids have filled Post-it notes with titles for me. They are very creative.

We've only had a choice of 4 jobs this week, but next week we will add in Fun With Words!

Calculators are Cool

The boys at this table wanted you all to see that they all got blue calculators.
The kids learned how to play a game called Broken Calculator.

They pick a number to show (like 12) and then they pick a broken calculator key (like 3). They have to show how they can make 12 without using the number 3. Please note that #2 of this picture has an error, (27+3) that has been fixed. :-) While that does equal 30, the 3 was the broken number, which means it can't be used.

Tons of fun, and the kids realized that they didn't need the calculators, that in fact, the calculators slowed them down!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Library Time!!

Today was the first day of Library! The kids got a tour of the library, and they were able to check out 3 books each! They are free to take those books home, but they are due back to school by next Monday. Monday library times are difficult because it requires the kids to remember their books after the weekend. Don't worry though, you know I am GREAT about reminders! :-) I will help you, I mean THEM, remember.
The kids were so happy with their library books, they buried themselves in their books! What a bunch of eager readers! They sure are awesome!

We have a new friend...

Meet our new penguin. We are calling him/her JiJi, just like the ST Math penguin! Mrs. Parker (another 2nd grade teacher) got a penguin for all of the 2nd grade teachers! Wasn't that sweet? Mini Justin Bieber and Dancing Monkey already love him/her.

The kids went to the computer lab today too! Most took their first Accelerated Reader (AR) test, and are already on their second books. If you would like to know your child's level, write me a note or send me an email and I will let you know. When you are in the Warwick library, you can find books at their level. The levels will change though. The rule is that they read three books at the same level. If they pass all three tests, they move up a level. They can't do AR at home though. It's only for school. As soon as I get Reggie, the computer guy, to come to the classroom to update the software, the kids will be able to take their tests in the classroom, as well as the computer lab.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whoooooo's There?

Thursday is art day. I try to do projects that are simple and use different mediums. We used paint today, and toilet paper rolls...
While the class was working on their writing this morning, I had one table at a time, come to the back table and quickly paint their TP roll.
When the rolls were painted, we let them dry for the remainder of the day.
Last hour of the day, we turned the painted toilet paper rolls into OWLS! Colorful owls! I got the idea from Pinterest, a site that I really, really find inspirational.
They really turned out sooooo cute! I let the kids take them home today, as I knew there would be NO WAY they would want to leave them on display at school. I bet your kids are looking for empty rolls right now, so that they can make another one!

So adorable. I let them have free range with the decorating of their owls. Some had hats, some had feet, some had wings in flying position. I showed them my owl, and then let them go. They were all very creative.

A few kids told me today that they were able to play with JiJi at home! Yay! Once everyone knows their passwords, I am hoping they all will play at home every once in awhile. The kids love JiJi.

*I would love to have your empty toilet paper rolls, if you care to save them for our classroom.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back to School Night was a BIG success! 93% of you came to the big night! Only 2 families were not represented! Awesome job parents! You ROCK! It was nice to meet you and then talk to you at a break-neck speed. Sorry if I talked too fast. Sometimes (or always) I am a little long-winded, so I was trying to hurry to get it all in, and have you out on time. If you have questions about anything at all, please feel free to write me a note, email me, or call. Notes and email work best. It was great to meet so many of you! Thanks for coming.
This is JiJi. He/she is a penguin and the character in all of the JiJi (ST Math) math games.
The kids have to get JiJi from the left of the screen, to the right of the screen, and they do so by solving Math problems correctly.

So last night at Back to School Night, I was saying how confused we have been in the lab. Well, we are confused no longer! We went in today, and many of the kids already know their passwords!! I was amazed. If your child knows his/her password, you can follow the directions on the letter I sent home today, and your child can play with JiJi at home. The letter has the access code, and you will need that only once-but I would keep it just in case. I do not have the kids passwords-those are stored safely in their brains.

Here's my class, lined up, ready to head back to class. Aren't they cute? That's Zac toward the front, with the untied shoe. He had his own ideas on how he was going to line up for the picture. He's doing his thing! I seriously need to locate that picture permission form, because these guys/girls are so much cuter from the front. I will search for that paper.

Thanks again for a MOST successful Back to School Night! Oh, and thanks for reading the blog too!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's Finally Here!

It's Back to School Night!! I look forward to seeing all of you!! Please come!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 19, 2011

Math and Vocabulary and Spelling

It's our second full week of school, and it's time to get down to business. All programs are now up and going. We are on our way!
Parents, your child should be able to tell you what is going on in this picture. They can tell you why the word "took" is in the middle of our math, why the 1 in that big, HUGE number is underlined (and no, it's NOT because it's supposed to be a capital letter), and why there are scribbles inside the box. Ask your child to fill you in, to give you the 411.
I taught the kids a math game today. It's an easy one that you can play at home. On a piece of paper, make a hundreds chart for place value (like in the picture). Grab a die from a game, and also a pencil. The object is to roll the die and figure out where to put the numbers so that you make the highest number possible or the lowest number possible. Tons of fun. I put my game board into a page protector because the kids can use a Vis-a-vis pen and then wipe it off afterward, and we can use them over and over and over.
We started our first story in our Reading anthology. These are our vocabulary words for the story, Ant and the Three Little Figs. There's a spelling/vocabulary packet that goes along with each of our Reading stories, and they will go home for homework. This week we are doing the packet at school so that the kids know what to expect next week, when they get one for homework. They had fun matching up the words to their definitions.

Our spelling words for the week. Today we put them into ABC order!

We visited the book fair today, and can I just take a moment and brag??? This class was AMAZING in the book fair. Such great listeners, and they were so quiet!! They were truly awesome and were rewarded with a sticker upon our arrival back at class. This group is proving to be rather easy to "train." I love them.

By the way, does anybody know what is coming up TOMORROW night? Any guesses? Any at all? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That's right! You guessed it! It's Back to School Night! You should come! I hear it will be full of juicy, valuable information. Plus, you can see our apple trees!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Room 24 does indeed ROCK! The "training" of the students is going really well. The kids love the class money, and it is really shaping their behavior quickly, and I mean REALLY quickly. They loved spending their money in the class store, but not everyone got to shop today. We'll finish on Monday. We need a second store mom or dad, as the job is just too big for one. Brandon's mom came and helped us today, but it was hard work! Those kids have to look at every choice available to them, and they wanted to spend every last cent. All were encouraged to save $.20 for bathroom visits though. If any of you parents want to come and help on Fridays, we are doing store from 11-12. We would love to have you!

For our Morning Meeting activity this morning, we played the old traveling game: I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing...They loved it, and they were good at it too. They had to come up with something that started with the same letter as their first name. I told the kids I would post the list so that they can show you which word was theirs, so here it goes...

I am going on a trip and I am bringing a jellybean, marbles, a noodle, a donut, a mop, an anteater, a nickel, an ax, a jumprope, a jacket, M & M's, an elephant, macaroni and cheese, lollipops, an antibiotic, a cat, taffy, Jordan, a monitor, an eagle, a zebra, nachos, a baby, a raccoon, apples with caramel sauce, a jackhammer, a kayak, yogurt and a tractor. Whew!

*later in the day I did have a student ask if we were really going on a trip with all of those things. So sweet. I love this class.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Apple Quilling

Now that the students have their class money (I will explain at Back to School Night), and we have a full class, we are rapidly learning the classroom routines. Last week was a little bumpy behavior-wise, but this week things have been pretty smooth, working on classroom behavior and procedures-it turns out the students do NOT like to pay fines. They like to have their money. Tomorrow the kids get their first chance to spend their hard earned class money, in our class store! The excitement is immense!
Thursday is our art day. We made apple trees! I taught the students about quilling, which involves wrapping paper strips around a pencil, to make it curly. There is a special quilling tool, but pencils work great for little hands.
We glued the curls onto our trees, and ta-da, instant apple trees with cute, 3-D apples!

Oh, and it was picture day today by the way, and this student (Marcus) wore a suit. We referred to him as the "business man" all day. He wanted his jacket to stay buttoned even when he sat, but I explained to him that business men are forever buttoning and unbuttoning their jackets because they are too tight buttoned, while they sit. He was very professional today, and he did a great job on his apple tree, and he looked pretty spiffy too!
These girls are busy at work! Curling and glueing, curling and glueing.
Here's a tree, up close! Isn't it cute? It's such a simple thing to do, and the kids loved it.

A bunch of completed trees. I will hang them up, just in time for Back to School Night on Sept. 20. Raise your hand if you are sick of me reminding you of that big event! I will make a deal with you, you come to Back to School Night, and I will never mention it again (this school year anyway). Seriously though, I really really want to see you that night!

Student quote of the day: "My mom told me that if I have to finish my work on the bench, then I will lose my computer and TV can you not tell her?" I almost had to leave the room because I thought it was so funny. Now parents if you have any guesses of the student who said that, you just keep them to yourself. He and I made a deal that if he could work quickly for the rest of the day, and get ALL of his work done, then his mother never needs to know. And hey, it worked! All work is complete, including his apple tree. The bonus though is that I got a GREAT laugh out of it. I just love little kids.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All About a Rabbit

If your kids are talking about a rabbit named Edward, this is the book of which they speak. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. She is the author of the Tales of Despereaux, which you may be familiar with. That book was made into a movie. This book is an excellent book, one of my favorites. It's about a toy rabbit named Edward, a very selfish rabbit who goes on a miraculous journey and learns what it means to love and be loved. We started the book today, and the kids were mesmerized. Each chapter ending is like a mini cliff hanger, leaving them wanting more. The chapters are short, and we read 5 of them today! Ask your child to tell you how Edward has fallen overboard. I wish you could have seen their little faces when they realized he fell off the ship. We'll read more tomorrow!

We will be visiting the computer lab tomorrow to begin our assessment test for the Accelerated Reader program. If we finish early, the kids will start to learn their passwords for JiJi math. I will talk about JiJi math at Back to School Night. Please come! You know you want to!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

We have LOTS of folders!
Wednesday Folders (yellow), Homework Folders (orange), AR Folders (blue), Friday Folders (Red), and our Morning Work/Writing Folders (Purple). The Justin Bieber folders are my Loaner Folders.
Now that we have a full class (we got two new students, but not new to Warwick), we organized our purple Morning Work/Writing Folders. The kids were psyched (and the teacher was too as organization is my thing-imagine me clapping in excitement).
It's fancy because it has 4 pockets (Oooooh!). We labeled each pocket. The green part of the folder is for our class writing. Perhaps the best part though is this...

The Miscellaneous (Whatever!) pocket. The kids were having trouble with the meaning of miscellaneous, so we added the "Whatever!" to clarify. They can't WAIT to put something into that pocket.

Today the kids were all assigned their class numbers. We read a poem "Hug O'War" by Shel Sivlerstein and Down the Hill, a Frog and Toad story by Arnold Lobel. We wrote about the Frog and Toad story, and did a little Math. We also went to the computer lab! Mondays and Wednesdays are our Computer Lab days. Thanks to Katrina's mom, Michelle, for her help. It was a little bit crazy getting the kids loaded into the system, for our JiJi Math program, but we got it done! I will talk about what we are doing in the lab at Back to School Night, Sept. 20. Look for a small yellow note about BTSN Friday, as it is being done differently this year. I will be speaking about our classroom program from 7-7:30 that night. Please come! I've promised the kids a prize if they could get at least one person from their family to attend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Color Us Yellow

These three boys all wore yellow tee shirts today. What a coincidence! When I pointed it out to them, all three looked down at their shirts, to double check. So funny. Later I heard them plotting to wear red tomorrow. We shall see. Maybe I should wear red.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just Ducky

Would you like to buy a duck?

Does it quack? Yes, it quacks.

Ask your child about our activity during our Morning Meeting today. Hysterical.

I got the activity from THIS BOOK.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We Made Apples!

The kids made apples today!
Each student got a tagboard apple, which they had to cut out first. They covered the apple in glue and fabric squares, making sure none of the tagboard showed through.
The kids were very careful (and REALLY quiet) as they glued and made sure their fabric laid flat on the apple, and all tagboard was covered.

Not everyone finished today, so they will finish them tomorrow. These are three that are finished. Aren't they cute? The fun part was trimming the pieces that stuck over the edge of the apple. We called it "giving the apple a haircut."

We also started our Reading program today. Have your child tell you about the story we read today, "Little Green Riding Hood." In addition we started Math and the kids got to have Science with the specialist teacher! We were very busy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gearing Up for Tuesday

I have big plans for this week, even if it is a short week.

I made a trip to Staples on Friday, after school, and purchased these little boxes. A couple of the other 2nd grade teachers got them, and I decided that Room 24 needed them-no HAD to HAVE them too. You can't tell, but they are tiny. They are the cutest little boxes ever. They are going to be storage for the students class money. I will pass them out Tuesday morning, give them all their weekly "allowance," and begin the Training! :-) The kids were told on Friday, about the Training. If you are a parent in my class, and confused about the money, then please come to Back to School Night on Sept. 20. I will have all of the answers then. I am going for 100% attendance!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Second Day of School

Day two is in the books! The kids were busy busy today, mostly finishing up an activity from yesterday.
We started this late yesterday, and finished them today. Paper clipboards all about 2nd grade! The kids took them home today, in their take-home folders.
These are from yesterday. Our first writing of the year. They all turned out to be super cute.

I hung the writing on our bulletin board, closest to the door so that everyone coming in, can see them!

Today was another great day! I can already tell that this class is going to be great! We have some great listeners, and everyone is so excited to be at school. It's a teacher's dream! Good job Moms and Dads!!!

Oh, the kids went to Music today, with Mrs. Chang. They loved it, and said they sang a song about respect. See if your child will sing it for you.