We are just starting to get into learning mode.... this group needs LOTS of modeling for behavior expectations and active learning, but we're getting there! Here's a few moments from my week!
1. Pucker up! This was the big excitement for the week. Our students were challenged to read at least 10,000 books this summer, and if they did our principal would kiss a pig! You have to understand that we are a farming community, so I figured finding a pig to kiss wouldn't be all that hard. We went even one better - we found Farmer Minor and Daisy!
This guy was fantastic! He was very engaging and the kids LOVED hearing his stories - and of course the big kiss was the icing on the cake!
Daisy is very famous and travels all over the country celebrating reading. She just happens to be a hometown girl (boy, actually!), living just a little ways away from us in the "off season." Here's the link to their website if you want to find out more.
2. And if that wasn't exciting enough, we also had our Open House this week... on the HOTTEST day in 50 days! Yes people..... in the low 100's for heat index, muggy, stuffy, sweaty... and that was just during the day! Now add a boatload of families visiting the classroom and I'm not even going to tell you which parts of me were sweating! Everyone had a great time, though. Our Open House is very unstructured - just an hour's time where families can come up, visit the room and chat. It's a great non-stressful way to meet parents and have students share what they've been doing in the classroom. I left out a few papers for families to fill out - volunteer forms, etc. Here's my 3-2-1 Information form that I ask parents to fill out about their kiddo. I've seen many of these floating around on Pinterest, but here's my version if you'd like to grab it:
3. My second graders have been in LOVE with Pete the Cat. I know, those books are young for seconds, but these guys really get into the movement and rhythm of the story on CD. They have been obsessed with Pete the Cat - Rockin' in My School Shoes.... so I harnessed that energy and we used it for writing. I took pictures of all their school shoes
and they each of them chose something they "rocked" in school (doing math, reading, listening, etc) and wrote 3 complete sentences about it. Seems simple, but remembering to put those capitals, periods, etc isn't easy. I added their shoe pictures to their writing and we had a "rockin' bulletin board to display. (of course, I didn't take a picture... so stay tuned for that tomorrow!)
4. We've been working hard this week on identifying and writing the 4 types of sentences. We've used Mo Willem's Pigeon books A LOT for this! First we would read the story together, talking about the different sentences, then they would work in partners to sort sentences, go through the book and find specific kinds of sentences, etc. I used this great freebie from Anta Goodwin:
Click the picture to download the packet.
We finished up with some "Sentence Superhero!" headbands from Amy Lemon's sentence unit.
You can click HERE to see more of what's in her packet.
5. Daily 5 is off to a great start! We've been working on building on stamina for Read-to-Self and we're up to 13 minutes! Woo-hoo! Next week we start Read-to-Someone. I'm also planning on starting my version of Daily 5 math next week. I'm going to do Math by Yourself, Math With Someone, Math Technology and Math Writing.... and something else. I'm hoping this will be a great way to not only give my kiddos extra practice with skills and concepts, but also to have the chance to meet with small groups. We have 90 minutes for math (a 60 minute math time and then a 30 minutes intervention time - same for reading.) I'm going to do a whole class lesson for 30-40 minutes, then divide my kiddos into 2 groups and have half of them do Daily5 Math, and half meet with me.... then switch for two 20 minute blocks. The last 10 minutes will be a time to close things up and have a "math meeting." I'll post more about this next week. Do you do some kind of Daily5 Math - any suggestions?