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Friday, August 29, 2014

Five for Friday!

I back for Five for Friday!  I missed last week due to a super crazy Friday at school and then off to the movies Friday night to see When the Game Stands Tall (great movie, btw).

Our school kicked off our Boosterthon Fundraiser for the first time and we are Rock'n Town Live!  The kids are LOVING Boosterthon and are getting lots of pledges too!  We started on Monday and my class is up to $50 per lap.  So on our pledge-o-meter, they have earned a GoNoodle Party, extra recess, a homework pass, shoes-off day (today), and a music hour (next week).  They don't know they've made it to $50 per lap they will also earn a bubblegum party.
Anyway - our school is doing a door decorating contest and as soon as I saw it - I jumped all over it and got of course at our staff meeting on Monday I got called out for already (being  the only one) having my door decorated.  But it wasn't done...above are pics of the completed door!  My kids and I love it!!

Finished with assessments last week, so that means reading groups got started this week. The kids were so excited to use the googley eye rings to help them track when they are reading!  Thanks Michaels!

Now that we are a 1:1 iPad classroom - I had to come up with an easy way to charge iPads.  I found this cool rack in the office section at Target that is meant to file papers - but it is perfect for holding iPads while they are charging.  The kids have specific days that are their charging days.  I know it is going to take a while for them to get used to charging on specific days - I had to keep reminding them this week, and finally said if their iPad dies before it's their charging day because they didn't plug it in during the day - tuff toodles!  I know (well, I hope) they will get the hang of it soon.

Today marks our 25th day of school!  Last year we started celebrating the 102nd Day of School to be different from K-1 who celebrates the 100th Day of School.
I have a 102nd Day pack in my store, but whipped up this cutie this week to help us keep track of how many days we have been in school.  Add dots until you have to make a 10, and then change out his dog tag to show the next ten and then start all over with the dots.  I'm going to get it added to my 102nd day pack this weekend...and the price might go up too, so if you're interested, get it before it updates!!

Well the day I have been waiting for since last November when the season ended has arrived (well, tomorrow) - the kickoff of Wolfpack football!!  I've been sporting red and white every day since Wednesday and did a new Jamicure last night.  Found the red and white striped dress at Old Navy last Wednesday and new it would be a perfect dress for football season!  I'm absolutely in love with the clear and white chevron over red polish!

Had an early release today (kids released at 11:30) and around 12:50 we were all told to go home!  Sweet!  I've enjoyed a great afternoon at home getting some necessities done - exercising, laundry, cleaning bathroom and to enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Peek at My Week (Week 4)

Oh my goodness - it's hard to believe that tomorrow we will be starting our fourth week of school!  That means that in 6 weeks - I'll be enjoying 2 weeks of no-school bliss :)

I'm linking up with Mrs. Willis's Kindergarten for a Peek At My Week!

This is what my weekly lesson plans look like!  I print them out, cut them out and tape them into my Erin Condren Lesson Planner each week and it looks so neat and organized!  I love it!

We started beginning of the year benchmark assessments last week and I'm hoping to finish this coming week!
We start our day with Excel - which is our intervention/RTI time.  Our interventionists and EC teachers pull kids for services during this time so they are not being pulled out during normal classroom instruction.  During benchmark periods - I just assess during Excel and my kids are quietly working on stuff in our room or are in the library with our media specialist who helps me during our Excel time.  We are trying to finish up our Selfie Snaps books on the iPads and the kids in the classroom are working on their handwriting!

Writing - assessments again!  Students will write about a favorite summer memory from 2nd Grade Stuff's August Writing Pack.  LOVE her writing packs - I have every month and we use them ALL year long!

Snack/Read Aloud - we are reading The Doll People and I am slowly working on putting together a novel study to go with this book.  We read a chapter one day and the next day we eat snack and work on responding to the questions.  Speaking of which - I have to make the chapter 4 and chapter 5 response pages and I left my book at school - dang it!

Then we move on to Letterland, our phonics curriculum.  I follow the same routine each week for that week's unit.  On Monday, we will be learning about best friends at the end (like ss in grass), the suffix s, and the singing sound of ng and the suffix ing.  I LOVE Letterland as do my kiddos.  The stories behind the Letterlanders help them understand phonics and why letters make the sounds that they make.
On Tuesday, we will do live spelling - which is where the kids "become" the Letterlanders, we sound out the words and then I have helpers who help me spell the word and the Letterlanders come up and make the word.  They bring their Letterlander card with them and we check the word, sound it out again, and then spell it.
On Wednesday, we do Word Detectives and sort the rest of our word cards on the word chart.  Word Detectives is a Letterland activity where we are coding words by noting the vowels, suffixes/prefixes, consonant digraphs, identifying the number of syllables and the syllable types, and coding the vowels (long/short/magic e/etc).
Since I have recently become a 1:1 classroom, on Thursday we break out the iPads and and take a "practice spelling test" by using the app, Drawing Free, to write our words.
Then on Friday, we take a spelling test.

After Letterland, we move into Daily 5.  My kids are getting into the routine and I'm loving it.  But no work with teacher yet - Daily 5 gives me another hour a day to assess!

Finally at 11:35 - I get a break!  My kiddos are going to PE this week.  After PE we will come back to the classroom for lunch and then after lunch they go to specials.

When I pick them up from specials, we come back and get started right away with math.  We do four rotations that are pretty much math centers.
On my lesson plans I pretty much only note what I am doing with my Work With Teacher group.  This week we are learning about the strategy of making a ten to add and subtract.  We will use tens frames, number lines, and breaking down a number strategy to add and subtract by making a ten.  I always tell my kids that 10 (and multiples of 10) are friendly numbers, so I am liking this strategy.
I have flipped my math classroom, so my kids watch the biggest part of the lesson on Monday night for their homework.  Then the rest of the week, I do more guided instruction and we work on and practice that strategy/concept all week.

As for my other math groups during math workshop...

iMath - the kiddos use their iPads to play or work on math apps that I assign for that day.  We have been using Sushi Monster, Splash Math 2nd Grade, Front Row, and a couple others so far.  Planning to download the new TenMarks app and have the kids use that on a more regular basis.

Math Journal - I use a lot of resources for their math journals.  Math problems of the day from Primary Punch,  and Interactive Math Notebook from Bright Concepts for Teachers have been my go-to's so far this year.  After my kids finish their math journal they use Hot Dots to practice other math skills.

Math Center - During math center, my kids are using my monthly math centers to practice previously learning math skills.  Most are reviewing first grade skills right now, but as we move on throughout the year, we will review 2nd grade concepts so that they don't forget those skills!

After math, we color in behavior, check out our Class Dojo percentage, and line up to head to the gym for carpool.

So there's a peek at my week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five For Friday!'s Friday and it's the weekend!  What a week it has been - meeting with my mentee, IEP meeting, assessments began, not to mention just plain teaching!
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Beginning of the year benchmark assessments began Monday!  So once again, I'm back to hearing parts of stories about picture day, going camping, and the South Pole.  I do wish one day I would have a kiddo read the whole thing just because I would like to hear the whole story!  After I finished Dibels, I moved on to TRC and that will take me through at least this coming week.  Hope to be finished by Friday!

Our football season tickets arrived Tuesday.  Go Pack!  Enough said!
Can't wait till kickoff...only 15 days!

This picture above is what I came to after carpool on Wednesday.  This is how my children left our room - and this describes our day - chaotic!  Chairs were left everywhere, napkins from Chipotle on the floor, and toilet paper outside of the bathroom door.  We had a "Come-To-Jesus" meeting Thursday morning about keeping our classroom clean because it is OUR classroom - not just mine.  They are improving...slowly!

My birthday is August 21st - less than a week away and I'll be a quarter of a century old!  So August 1st, a few birthday freebies rolled in and then Thursday - a week before my birthday - more rolled in!  This is just a few that I had received by 8 AM!  Can't wait to celebrate!

Another personal one!  My cat, Maggie is so spoiled - obviously.  During the warmer months here in NC - I keep a window AC unit in this window because our house only has one AC unit and it can get rather warm upstairs.  Maggie HATES it because she can't lay on the bench and look out the window.  The birds are calling her while they are in the tree outside and she can't stand it that she can't see them.  So since I had brought some of my crate seats home from school - I put one on the bench this afternoon so that she could see out the window.  She loved it!  She loves winter for a few reasons - no thunderstorms and she can look out "her" window all day every day - so she's counting down until we take that AC unit out!

Happy Weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher Blogger Linky! #teacherbloggers

I'm linking up with Stephanie at Falling into First for Meet the Teacher Blogger link party!  Blogging during lunch - woohoo (well I started during lunch)!

Quick bio - I'm Allyson at Going Strong in 2nd Grade.  I am 24 (25 in 10 days!) and I'm in my 4th year of teaching 2nd grade - I absolutely LOVE 2nd grade!  I even did my student teaching in 2nd grade so I was so happy when I landed this job!  

Tervis Tumblers, Disney, Coke Zero, Red Robin, Disney Jim Shore, Christmas

An interior designer...I love that I get to do that as a teacher too!

organized, loyal, creative
"I love assessments!"

Julie Andrews, Michael Strahan, and I've got so many more hopping around in my head I can't list them all!
Artsy Artsy (per one of my children)

The ability to be able to be like an octopus and do lots of things at one time like that Octopus on that Swiffer commercial from a few years ago!

Here lately - "Lord, show me the way & I'll do the work" - Deanna Jump 

"Let it Go" 
morning person
Wish I could pick!  I LOVED my first unit - The Polar Express unit I created for Polar Express Day last year, but then I also loved my 2nd unit on the Winter Olympics.  There is something I love about each product I create so it's hard to pick one!

I can't stand butter beans (lima beans)!  So I have a hard time convincing my kids to eat them after reading/watching A Bad Case of Stripes.  When I was in preschool my babysitter forced me to eat butter beans one day for lunch and I couldn't take my nap until I had eaten all of them.  I sat there and cried and cried.  I guess I finally ate them all, but I wouldn't come within 10 miles of them for years.  Now I will eat them in soup or in other dishes, but definitely NOT by themselves!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday!

Week 2 of school is almost done - just have to make it through today!  My kiddos sure have gotten comfortable and now they won't stop talking...oh geez!  Well I'm here to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Last Thursday night I emailed the wonderful Nikki and Melonheadz Illustrating about making me some cupcakes to display my birthdays in my classroom.  Yes, I had a birthday poster that I wrote their birthdays on...but after helping one of my teammates put up her cupcakes and candles for birthdays, I wanted something similar!

She LOVED the idea and said she would work on it soon.  Woke up Monday morning and saw the set on Facebook!  I was so excited at how it turned out and quickly she got it done.  Got my new cupcakes posted in my classroom and candles added by Thursday morning.  I also put together a birthday set that includes the cupcakes to make your own classroom display and tons of other birthday goodies!  Go check it out!

I didn't go to Vegas this summer for the TPT conference, but love this quote from Deanna Jump.  Thanks to Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd for this cute poster with the quote.  Holding on to this quote this week for a few reasons!

Last year I was a BT3 - meaning that I was a third year teacher still in the beginning teacher program at my school.  I was so excited at the end of last year to not have to do all that BT stuff anymore.  My principal busted my bubble real quick when he told me I would be a mentor.  I knew it too, but was hoping for at least a year away...yeah, that didn't happen.  I'm mentoring a BT2 - our new elementary PE/Health teacher.  He seems really great and so far my kids are loving his class!  But I'm like when did this happen that I grew up and am now mentoring new teachers???

Lots of stuff in this picture!  See all my green post-it notes...don't know how I would get by without post-it notes!  I keep coming up with things here and there that I need to make/do and on a post-it note they go.

Just like last year...loving GoNoodle!  My girls begged for Let It Go on Wednesday so we did that one for our brain break.  Some of the boys sat with their ears plugged, but I promised them we would do more of a "boy" brain break later!  I have 14 boys and 9 girls this year so I've got to keep them all happy!

Loving my twist speaker I got from BJ's last month.  My school laptop is soooooo sloowww so I use my personal Mac at school.  Well thanks to my Apple TV and this awesome speaker, we are able to do our Brain Breaks on my laptop rather than waiting for our ancient laptop to decide to work!

I was very blessed last year with a parent who anonymously donated money to my classroom for iPad minis.  My principal was able to purchase 20 minis and cases with the money.  These were added to the 2 iPad 2's I already had - so I had 22 iPads.  I have 23 kids this year, so I am almost 1:1.  Once again, I've been blessed and have a family who is going to purchase one last iPad mini and the case so that every child will have an iPad to use.  My jaw about hit the floor when I saw her email!

Thursday we used our iPads to take a practice spelling test and write our spelling words on the app - Drawing Free.  The kids loved it and are already looking forward to doing it again next week.

Have a  great Friday and a wonderful weekend!  Looking rather soggy for us here in NC! 

A Triple Scoop of 2nd Grade Linky

Hello hello my friends!

Whether you follow my blog or are hopping through the Triple Scoop of 2nd Grade link party - Welcome!

I've been back in school for 2 weeks already but I know some of you are gearing up to head back before too long so I'm going to share 3 products with you that will can get you started on the right note!

The first product is one of my products!

This is my new and updated behavior clip chart, behavior hall of fame, and monthly behavior reports.  I use Class Dojo to help me, my students, and their parents track behavior, but I also use a clip chart in conjunction with Class Dojo.  Everyone starts out on green each day and as they earn Dojo points, they move up the clip chart.  If they lose points (oh no!) they move down the clip chart.  Where they are on the chart depends on their total points earned/lost.

But don't worry if you don't use Class Dojo - there are 2 behavior charts included in this set.  One with Class Dojo points noted, and one without.

The way I use the behavior hall of fame is each time a student gets on pink, I add a star to their clip.  Once they get 5 stars on their clip, they get to join the Behavior Hall of Fame.  I use the circles included in the set to write their name and add around the behavior hall of fame sign I post with the clip chart.  From then on, each time they get on pink, I add a star to their circle.

The behavior reports included are done by months July 2014-June 2015 to accommodate all schedules.  I have not included holidays or days that you might have off of school since everyone's schedule is different.  At the end of the day, student color in the circle with what color they are on and their parent initials underneath.

Here are a few pictures of my clip chart in my classroom:

I have so many things I added to my TPT store this summer, I was hard to pick one more to share with you, but since our sweet little children come to school to learn...I have to share with you my August math centers!!

 The inspiration for these centers came at Disney World of all places!  We went to Disney back in June and were able to ride the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride twice!  I came back home and started to get my mind in B2S mode since I had so many products I wanted to make for my classroom and for TPT so I started thinking "Hi Ho, Hi Ho it's back to school we go!" 

This is the first set (for the school year) of monthly math centers that I plan to make and implement in my classroom.  I have completed May (baseball) and now August and September.

This set of math centers for the month of August are pretty much a review of concepts learned in 1st grade, so for the most part, they are aligned with 1st grade Common Core State Standards.  It is my hope that my students can complete these very easily without much adult assistance. 

Now for a product from a fellow 2nd grade teacher!  There are way to many to choose from...but...I have to share one from one of my favorite teacher bloggers - Amy Lemons!

This year, instead of kicking off the first week of school with instruction and blowing their minds completely - we started with some activities to get them thinking about math again and learning how math will work in our classroom.

This set of activities was perfect!  We used it for the first week of school and laid the activities out as follows:

Monday: Let's Talk about Math and the Mathematician Craftivity
Tuesday: Math Tool Exploration and Making Numbers Flapbook
Wednesday: Silent Puzzles (LOVED THIS!)
Thursday: Draw and Solve word problems

On Friday we dove more into how math works in our classroom since we are flipping our math instruction and doing math centers/rotations during our math block.

Thanks for hopping over!  Make sure to check out the products listed above to help you get the school year started off right!