Monday, September 24, 2012

Expo Feedback

My youngest had a fever this morning, and I didn't realize until 8am, at which point I called into work to tell I wasn't coming in!!! Oh, how that made me feel like a loser. School started at 8.30!! Oh, well, things happen, right? And I'm sure my firsties managed.

While little one was watching Alvin and the Chipmunks, I had a chance to sit on the couch next to her and relax. I took this time to finish up the video presentations from the Back to School Expo, and did some knitting while listening.

From these presentations, I really enjoyed the technology videos by Cara from Teaching...My Calling, reading videos by Annie Moffatt at The Moffatt Girls and classroom decorating videos by Melanie at Schoolgirl Style. The last one was math journals, but I can honestly say I wasn't interested in watching the videos. I only have 3 math lessons a week, and I rather be doing something hands on than journals. I will probably go back and watch them later, just to see what was presented.

I had not previously heard of or seen the website Schoolgirl Style, and enjoyed the tips for the classroom decorating. I would highly recommend going to Melanie's website and seeing all the beautiful ideas out there. I'm not going to rip down my current decorations (not that crazy), but I know from now on in which direction I need to go. One big tip was to keep all your bulletin boards one color, to make it easier on the eyes. Totally makes sense. But oh well, that's for the future.

Melanie also mentioned a bulletin boarder product called Boardette. I'm sooo out of the loop, over here in Finland. They just don't get classroom decoration. I was able to find some (a very limited supply) of these products from Amazon UK. I will ponder the possibilities.

Speaking of bulletin boards, I use flat bed sheets for my bulletin boards, because, again, there are no long rolls of colored paper available. I think this is a very ECO way to decorate your boards. I wash them at the end of the year, and then put them back up in the autumn. Now I need to think of one single color for future decorating.

That's it for now!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blind Folded

I had a two day training this week about visually impaired children, since I have a student this year that is visually impaired. This training was very informative and gave me many things to think about.

The first day we had to try on different safety glasses that had been modified to make our vision difficult. Later we had to go to a dark cafe, which was very intense in my opinion. There was simulated noise and you had to really concentrate on what you were doing when getting your coffee. By the time I got to the table, I was exhausted. Our final task of the day was when we were led to a room blindfolded. We had to first get to know the room by walking next to the walls and feeling our way around. When we were done we were led to a table and tried some activities with children's toys in the same room. At the end we had all assumed we were in a playroom (hence the toys), but when we took off our blindfolds, we were in a room that was used for meetings.

The second day we had to help lead our blind folded partner around the building. I turned out to be a poor guide, since my partner never went through door ways without bumping into the side. Oops! Later we had to go do a obstacle course blindfolded. The teacher led us one by one through the course, and the theme was 'We are going on a lion hunt'. The music had been playing earlier, and the teacher asked us if we remembered what came first, next and so on as we went through the course.

On most of these blindfolded activities, I always had an excellent visual in my mind, how everything looked. Always when I took off my blindfold, I was a bit disappointed it wasn't as great!

Here is a pic of the obstacle course.

After all of this I have thought about doing a blind obstacle course with my students. I think it would be really interesting for students to experience. Also, we could make some modified safety glasses for the classroom, so that students can get an idea how our visually impaired student experiences life.

I am grateful to have had these experiences!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fun Friday link up

Today is technically Tuesday, but I am giving myself some slack, since school has been totally crazy!
I really wanted to share the 2 fun things we did last week. I'm linking up with Teaching Fourth for Fun Friday.

First off, we went on a nature walk to the near by protected forest. Here we are walking, all 34 students, 2 teachers and 2 assistants. We were identify leaves in the forest.

Then we made some apple art using crayon resist. The students had to draw and color two apples with crayon. They also were allowed to add some fairies or goblins into the pictures. Then we used water colors for the background. Oh boy, I forgot what a whole class art lesson is like! I was tired afterwards. 

Just on a side note, I have to do list in my binder. I printed it Sunday night, and it was full in 24hours......really??? I guess I will use the back side to finish up this week :(

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Check out Primary Possibilities

Hey folks!
Over at Primary Possibilities, they are trying to reach 500 followers by tomorrow! They are super close, just 9 more to go. And if that isn't exciting enough, they will be having a huge giveaway when it's all said and done!

Primary Possibilities blog is run by 3 primary teaches. They have great ideas and some great freebies!
Go take a look.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Currently September

Yeah, it's Currently time! Which is awesome. It's one of the ways I am able to link up with other teachers and feel connected with others in blogging.

Make sure to link up with Farley over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade.

As you can see, my favorites are about food and my current need for the weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Yeah, the crazy 5 weeks of flexible start is coming to an end! I love that we have been able to split up our students into 6 groups with 6 teachers and teach about 6 kids each time. Totally awesome, but it still has been totally confusing for the kids (and us teachers are tired). Plus now I still have to teach all my classroom routines to them. HELLO!

So it still feels like the first days of school, now that we are in a big group and students still have no idea how to act as first graders. If you didn't know, Finnish kids don't start any formal school until age 7 in first grade. It's cute and sad when they keep saying "I want to go outside and play".

Most importantly we have still been talking very much about rules and cooperation. Last week we had groups of students make posters together. Yesterday we did an activity that is super cute and the kids think is fun.

You need a large space to make a circle with your students (we went outside) and a ball of yarn. Once in your circle, the teachers starts by explaining the activity rules. You ask students to think of one thing about them, give them some ideas first (favorites, hobbies, etc.) and then explain that they will throw the yarn to each other and make a spider web. Did she say spider web? Yep, and the kids think that is SO COOL :P

The teacher then starts. Mine was "My name is Mrs. Pope and my favorite food is tomatoes". Then I threw the yarn skein to another child, while I held tightly to the end of the beginning end of the yarn. Each child then did the same. At the end, I asked them to put down their spider web. You could go then backwards still, if you think the students can handle it. They could then tell one more thing about themselves.

One trick though, is to make sure that the next person always throws all the way across, and keeps the yarn on top of the spider web. It makes going in reverse much easier at the end. 

We have been studying Jolly Phonics, and we're only onto the 6th letter. But regardless we have started 
-at, -an, -it and -ip word families. I have been using word sorting, making words with clay, stamping and writing on the chalkboard for extra practice of word families. And let's not forget Starfall!! Great free online resource for English, which the kids totally love. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to School Expo

Hey folks! I stopped by Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits, and found something really interesting she posted about.

The Back to School Expo has 5 virtual presenters on 5 different topics in education.

I wanted to check it out for myself. Seems like a pretty neat idea. Since I can't attend any conferences in the United States physically, I am totally psyched that I can do this online.

There are only 14 hours left to buy your ticket for just $10. Tomorrow the price goes up to $19.95.

Check out the details and decide for yourself. I'll definitely tell you my opinion afterwards.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First week back

Woo hoo! One more day and the first week is over.

As I have mentioned before, we have started a new system called Flexible Start for first graders. I tell you what, it has sure been hectic this week. But today started to have a feeling of a good routine.

Basically the first 5 weeks of school, we combine all first graders together. Once a week we randomly divide them into two groups, and I get one group and my co-teacher gest the other group. Then we divide the students still into 7 smaller groups, and we have 6-7 teachers teaching each group 3 times a day in centers (rotating through the centers over 2-3 days). The center themes are all academic, for example math, language arts, etc. The idea is that we get to know the students better and the students get to know us and each other in smaller these smaller groups. It's been really great so far!

I have lucked out with a great co-teacher for first grade, and our team work is making the start of school very nice!

I will try to take pictures tomorrow of my classroom, although it still isn't finished by any means.

Happy Friday to you all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

20 followers and a Reading Response Sheets

I have 20 followers! Yippee!
This is a small achievement, but it definitely feels good! Thank you!

I think it is time to start training my body to fall asleep before midnight. I went to bed at 11.30 last night, and I was back up 30 minutes later! I tried again at 12.45am, and fell asleep. Our first school day is in 3 weeks.

I have been reading that many of you have already gone back to organize your classrooms. This totally stresses me out. You wonderful teachers NEED your summer breaks too!  I don't plan on going back to peek in yet, even thought I really would like to. I did see last week the cleaners on my end of the school, as we walked to the park. So I know it's clean, but I don't want to get sucked into work just yet!

Speaking of work, I was doing my best to create this Reading Response Book. I think it turned out pretty good, and I am slowly becoming a whiz at Word. I can see myself soon buying fonts and graphics as this becomes a new hobby.

Click here to view. 

Please leave feedback on this, and if you have any suggestions, I would gladly accept them! I take this opportunity as a learning experience. Also, I feel like I could have continued it past the 10 sheets, but stopped for now. If you have some ideas what could be added, I could tack on more sheets.

I'm off for a jog, because it's good for my health (I thinks that's the only excuse I can come up with to TRY and keep me motivated). Anyone else out there hate running? Blah...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

YEAH! How fun is this? I am super excited about finding new bloggers out in blogland.
And really, who wouldn't be??

Thanks to Third Grade is the Place for Me for staring this fun linky.

Here are the questions that need to be answered:
    1.  what state you are in
    2.  your current teaching position
    3.  your teaching experience
    4.  when you started blogging
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource

1. I currently live outside the United States, in Finland. 
2. I have been rotating from first to second. This autumn I start with a new group of firsties!!! I'm super excited!
3. This is going to my 6th year teaching at my current school. My first year I taught 6th, and then from there jumped to first and have loved lower elementary ever since!!
4. Last summer, in August, I started my blog to help document my teaching. I had been somewhat active. Mostly stalking than blogging myself. 
5. Please comment on other blogs. When doing a linky, I like to do as Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade said "Rule of Three". Look at the 2 in front of your link and then come back and look at the one behind yours...  and COMMENT on all three.

Join in the fun! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweden Cruise and Reading Log

I've been trying to enjoy summer, so therefore I've been absent from here. We managed a cruise to Sweden for a few days. It was great and relaxing, even with the kids in tow.

Our Cruise Ship

Sweden is a beautiful old city. I could have stayed longer.
Leaving Sweden
Another cruise liner in front of us, leaving Sweden

Now I have been trying to put together some reading sheets for next years use.
I usually have students just use a log in the start of autumn. This helps them focus on the reading together at home for the first time. Students here don't start their school career until age 7. Plus, they are reading in two languages at home for homework, so it can be a bit overwhelming for busy families to find the time. I have first hand experience with this with my eldest! So start easy and build up from there.

Click here to view.

I know I will have some students that will be ready to read and write,  and I want to have some more detailed response sheets for them them. I am thinking of making a packet for them. That way they stay together and there are no floating papers on my desk. I'll be back with more.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reindeer in July!

If your just tuning in, I currently live in Finland.
Today we went to a local reindeer ranch. They had 9 adults and 2 calves. 
FYI: Reindeer live in Lapland in Scandanavia and the native Sami people heard them.
Luckily we didn't have to travel all the way up north (which takes a day by train).
This woman grew up in Lapland and moved south, and brought with her the reindeer. Only two of her current reindeer had been born outside of Lapland.

OMG! If you can't tell by the pictures, they were SUPER cute! Did you know that when you feed them, they only use their lips to grab the food?? I had a hard time NOT feeding them the whole time (and pushing my own kids out of the way), because it was just too CUTE. I can hardly bare it now, thinking back.
Oh and the antlers were fuzzy and warm, because they are growing 2cm (0.78in) A DAY during the summer! WOW!!

I am so excited still about the reindeer that I am thinking about doing a reindeer theme in my classroom. Hmmmm, wonder if it's possible? Anyone seen reindeer clip art that isn't Christmas related? Keep an eye out for me!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reading Records

So I am reading Conferring with Readers, and I just finished up chapter 4.
(By the way, I am taking my sweet time reading this book. Anyone else having 
difficulties reading their books this summer? I will try to improve...)

In this chapter it discusses checking student reading levels. Most of the information in the chapter, I felt I already did in my own style. Running records are normal routines for most classrooms. We all have our own style of keeping them, I'm sure.

Something I did take note of in the book was that don't only check for accuracy during reading records.

1) the first 100-200 words you check for accuracy
2) the next 100 words, check for fluency: just listen and check for punctuation pauses and intonation
(Aren't I already doing this while doing the running record? I suppose stopping 
and just listening for fluency, and not marking accuracy couldn't hurt. I most 
definitely tell students if they don't pause between periods, but I can't 
say I have supported intonation differences between
 narration and dialog. Note to self!)
3) student must then recap what has been read to show reading comprehension

I only have 5 (45min) lessons a week with my kiddos for English. Talk about organizing and figuring out what is essential!! At times it can be daunting to meet with each student, but it really is essential.

Post It notes
Don't you just love them?
This book also has some really good ideas on how to keep students engaged in their independent reading time in class. One idea I really love is using Post It notes. Students use Post Its to write down any ideas that come to their mind as they are reading. They then stick them into the book and can share them at the appropriate time given. Great! What kid wouldn't love to use Post It notes???

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Handing out Awards!

Okay, I have taken this role very seriously, and have been working hard to find some great blogs that deserve these awards.
Before I can hand them out, I have to give you the info about the rules and tell about myself. Yeah!

Thank you again for nominating me Linda and Lilian for the following awards:

Rules for "The Versatile Blogger" Award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

Rules for "The One Lovely Blog" Award:
1. Follow the person who gave you the award.
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
3. Share the love! Pass the award onto 15 new bloggers!

And now for the 7 random facts about me:

1. I love romance novels (swoon here).
2. I don't want to get a pet, even though the rest of my lovely family asks me weekly (including the hubby). 
3. I love to eat all sorts of food, but celery is down right the WORST vegetable ever. Blah!
4. I love book stores and libraries! I am saddened by the fact that this world is moving towards electronic reading devices and some libraries are closing. 
5. I have a very sensitive sniffer, and my hubby finds me sniffing all sorts of things and laughs at me. 
6. I love to play games with my family. Cards and board games are great! Currently we have been playing Skipbo, Rumikub and Canasta this summer.
7. I love to collect scarfs, and wear them too!


1. Tales of a Teacherista 
2. Teacher Bits and Bobs
3. Enjoy Teaching English
4. A Series of First Grade Events
5. Dandelions and Dragonflies
6. Fun in K/1
7. Sarah's First Grade Snipits
8. Made for First Grade
9. Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade
10. Mrs. Minton's Kindergarten
11. A Year of Many "Firsts"
12. Rowdy in First Grade
13. First Grade with Miss Snowden
14. That's So Second Grade!
15. Mrs. Dwyer's A+ Firsties

Thanks for being such lovely blogs! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Awards and 4 on 4th

HOLY MOLY.... I have been given another award! Oh, how sweet is this???? (VERY!)

This big puffy heart "Thank You" goes out to Linda at Kinder Doodles for the Versatile Blogger award and again the One Lovely Blog award . I have got some serious homework, looking for more lovely blogs! Someone out in blog land will be receiving awards in the near future.

Today I got together with some other American's to celebrate our 4th of July today. No fireworks here, but good food and conversation is always a win!

And speaking of the 4th, I stumbled onto 4 on the Fourth from Ms. M's Blog. The idea behind this linky it to share 4 things your going to try for the first time in your class this coming school year. This inspired me right away, and I quickly knew of 4 new things I am going to try. You still have 3 days to join in the fun!

1) Flexible start for first grade: We have an new city initiative called Flexible Start. The basic idea is that you and your coworker/s must teach ALL of the new first graders coming to school for the first 5 weeks together.
The idea is that we must cooperate together and we get to work in smaller groups getting to know all the first graders, before we split them into their own class groups after the 5 week period.
This will be my first year trying it out, and it really sounds neat! 

2) Jolly Phonics: I have ordered the Jolly Phonics materials to teach in first grade this year. I had a chance in the spring to visit another English school which was using these materials. I am excited to get started and teaching the alphabet!

3) Core Statements: Well I don't have to do this, but I want to touch on it this year for sure. I will post for the students the standards for some lessons this year. I think often we don't give the students enough information about what their role it at school. I hope this gives the first graders some concrete ideas about their daily learning.

4) Character development: I have ordered from Scholastic the Build a Caring Classroom kit. It comes with 6 books, poster and teacher book. I think those first graders need some guidance in the early years to help them grow and deal with life situations in a positive way.

I will surely blog about these in the autumn.

One last note for today:

I like Farley's rule of 3. I am going to apply this rule to other linky parties. I just think it is super nice to write comments to others!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Award and working with nails

Wow! I woke up this morning, and there was a message from Lilian at Me Teach Good. She has given me the One Lovely Blog Award. How awesome is that?? Thanks Lilian!

I now need to find 15 bloggers to give the award to as well. I'll be on the look out for some Lovely Blogs.

Today I picked up the book Life of Pi. I am half way through another novel, that just isn't keeping me interested. I might start Life of Pi tomorrow. Hmmm....

 I took some courses this June for technical work, art and PE for the lower grades. Remember? I have to teach PE as well.

This was one of the projects we made in the technical workshop:

 Here is another idea made by another teacher at the course:

Here are the details of this project:

Materials needed -
- 2x4 wood pieces
- finishing nails
- hammer
- color pencils
- tempura paint (watered down)
- string or wire
- glue
- saw (optional)

1) Using 2x4 pieces of wood (mine was about 8in. long), come up with a design that you can  draw right onto the wood piece. Here are two ideas shown. Another idea is a sail boat, and using the nails for either the base of the boat or the sail. In the course, we had to saw our own piece of wood. If you have a shop room, maybe you could do this.

2) Color with colored pencils and paint. When painting, we watered down the tempura paint. On my windmill, the blue background is watered down blue paint. The rest was colored with color pencils.

3) When the drawing part is complete, then decide how many nails you will need for the section of your project. Hammer away! Don't hammer all the way down, or you won't be able to wrap your string/wire properly around them.

4) Weave your string or wire around the nails. On the windmill, I first weaved the string only on the outline of the blades. Unfortunately, I felt that it didn't give the 3D effect I wanted. So then I undid it and weaved so that the string intersected through the blades. This made it pop out more. I changed the color from red to orange and then back to red. When adding more string just tie on a new piece of string, and then glue down the ends that might be flying away.

5) Done!

This is an excellent project to allow little one to try out working with wood, hammer and nails.  The animal cage idea would maybe be the easiest and fun for lower grade children.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Day in my Shoes Linky Party

Today I am linking up with Ingles 360 to celebrate A Day in My Shoes. Click below to join in the fun! *Update* This is brought to you by TBA. Go check it out to find more ways to share your ideas!
Happy International Blog Hopping Day!

Ruby Red Slippers

These summer days sure are lazy and finally starting to warm up. I don't need to wear wool socks every morning/evening (I'm always cold). Tomorrow I am suppose to pick up from the library 3 more novels to read. But I haven't found time to finish the one I am reading now (and the blogging doesn't help :P).

Here is a snip it of                         A Day in My Shoes

In the autumn, I am feeling fresh and get up at 6.00. By spring, I'm barely up before 7.00. Between getting myself ready, I have to get our children ready too.

7.30-8.00 - Walk to school, about 5 minutes walk. Drop off kids and go to class. Get a few things ready for the day. Or if hubby takes the kids, then I leave by 7.00 to get some things done at school.

8.30 - 13.30 or 14.30 - So basically the school system is different over here. There is no 8.00 to 15.00 schedule for the students. It is more like a high school schedule with different number of lessons each day.
Over here students are only allowed to attend school for 24 lessons a week in lower elementary (each lesson is 45 minutes), plus lunch and two recess breaks. Some days they start at 9.20, and some days end at 12.00 for them. They might only go to school for 3 lessons and lunch (8.30-12.00).
My days are then broken down depending on which lessons we have that day. And by the way, I am required to teach everything including PE and music. Luckily they hired another lower grade teacher that had music as a major and I have never had to teach music! Phew....that could have been a disaster!!
Craziest thing I can't get use to is that WE ONLY HAVE 3 LESSONS OF MATH A WEEK. That is 3 - 45minute lessons as week. Jeez...
Now since I don't only teach my own class, I have more lessons to fill up my week and I teach later into the day. I teach English to the other first grade class and usually still a few more hours of something else. Last year I had to teach 3rd grade science. Next year I am teaching 3rd grade handcraft.

After 14.30 - I am then organizing for the next day or meeting with other teachers, just like the rest of you.
16.00 - I used to leave at 17.00, but I try to leave by 16.00 so that I can spend time with my fab family. So then pick up the kids, walk home, and do dinner/homework/hobbies/chores/etc. This autumn I am going to sign up for Zumba!!! Mommy needs a hobby too, right? Or is cleaning the home a hobby????

Speaking of shoes....we wear inside shoes at school. Basically, take off your outside shoes and switch when inside. This isn't a must for teachers, but it is for kids. Anyways, I need to find myself a new pair of inside shoes this autumn. I will be shopping for a pair of plain, black, comfortable flats.

For the time being, these are my fav summer shoes!! Aren't they summery and cute??

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Happy 4th of July!! I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe day with family and friends.
We won't be doing anything too special, just another regular day for us here. We will barbeque though!!

This summer my 11 year old niece is visiting us. I had been asked that I help her with her reading comprehension. No problem!

Then I started to think about how, and I started to panic. Could I barrow materials from the school? Where was I going to find grade level material for her? Then I started to search online for teacher materials and found a downloadable eBook that was just right. Yeah!

I tell you, I am thankful for eBooks!! Not all companies ship internationally, and even if they do, the shipping cost can be ridiculous. Here are my go to sites: Carson Dellosa, Creative Teaching Press, and Scholastic Teacher Express.

If you have any more that you could share with me, I would be GRATEFUL. Please leave a comment and tell what eBooks companies you have found :).

Again............HAPPY 4th of JULY!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

I can statements

Well thankfully it's finally starting to be sunny and warming up here. June has not been a great month for weather. Today the high should be 69F and by this weekend warm up to 75F, and mostly sunny all week. This is excellent! Kids playing at the lake and me reading/taking sun by the lake is all I want to do this week.

I have been checking out these "I CAN" statements. I think these are pretty awesome. I am seriously thinking about making up my own for next year. I think it's really empowering for the students to know exactly what we expect them to learn in their daily lessons.

Speaking of learning, I still vividly remember 2 students from my last bunch of first graders. They were both insistent that they couldn't read!! They would flat out tell me "but I can't read", and this was after a month or two after school had started. We had already started learning sight words too, so they had all the basic skills to get going. So then we would look at their workbook and sound out the words together, for example "bat". They could too read, but they just had their mind set that it wasn't possible to read English. Today they are good readers. Just makes me laugh! I wonder how many will tell me next year that they can't read?

Currently July

Today I am linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for my first Currently post! Yeah!

So this year I finished up with 2nd grade, and will be returning to first grade next year with a new lot of kids. I'm pretty excited! I could TOTALLY be a first grade teacher every year!! I even confessed it to my principal this spring in our spring review. I don't think she will allow that, but at least she now knows.
I have been blog stalking first grade blogs, since my current collection of blogs are mostly second grade ones. Don't worry 2nd grade bloggers, I still think you are excellent and full of useful wisdom! I already have lots of ideas for next year. It will be my 3rd year teaching first grade. So I am happy to feel like I have a clue how I want to teach those cuties!!! And when I think about next year, I mostly have been thinking about English. What types of author units I want to do, if I want to subscribe to A-Z reading (and I'm leaning towards it more everyday), how to organize writing and reading in the classroom, and so forth.

Here is my currently July!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Art - Ryijys and Castles

In Finland, the ryijy is a traditional craft made from yarn. Basically it's a shag carpet!! These have been made in Finland for hundreds of years, and they use to be used in homes as textiles. Nowadays they are merily for decoration on the walls. They can be also quite expensive, hundreds of euros, because of the amount of time that it takes to do a large piece of art.
I had my class just try it out and practice the technique. I only required them to make a few lines with the yarn. 

Then for our castles. We collected cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls for this project. It took us many weeks to accomplish. We also made a base for the castle from cardboard boxes (which I diligently cut in advance for the students). When it was all done, students then created characters for their castles. They enjoyed this project very much!

Non-fiction books and Shape poems

It's officially been one month since summer vacation started.
The summer weather here is not that great, cloudy and rainy. So I'm a bit bummed about that.
Some of our English projects for the end of the year:
- writing poems
- writing own non-fiction book
The non-fiction books was total fun for the 2nd graders. We had a few mini-lessons how to take the facts read in the book and rewrite them to be our own sentences for our own books. They got really excited about writing on sticky notes and collecting their notes. And wouldn't you know it, there was a handful of students that of course were not paying attention during those mini lessons, and did their notes all wrong. They had copied directly from the book. Well I decided they would then start again. I'm so mean!

Here are a few finished book pictures. Enjoy!

Here then are two shape poems:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Possessives, puppets and books

Yep, it's almost been a month since my last post (and honestly it doesn't feel like it). Life has been a bit hectic.
I have some students that are able to use possessives in their writing, and some that don't have a clue. I found some 20 cute pictures in PPT, printed them and laminated them. I passed them out to each child. They had to then find 5 different students in the class, mixing girls and boys. When they found a student, they wrote about that student's item (ex: Jake's puppy is very cute.) The sentences were not the best quality, but the focus was on using that apostrophe in the student's name.

Then we have finished up our last hand craft project, hand made puppets:

Then finally they wrote their own stories, here are a few covers they made:

That's it folks!