Sunday, April 26, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Gift Card Giveaway!

What would you do if you had an extra $25 to spend for your classroom?  Me, I would easily spend it in the "dollar" spot at Target (why even bother calling it the dollar spot... I never just spend a dollar.)

Well, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the collaborative blog that I am a part of, iTeach Second, is hosting a $100 gift card giveaway!

You can win one of the four $25 gift cards to Target, Starbucks, Amazon, or Teachers Pay Teachers! Starting today, you can head over to the blog and enter for your chance to win!  Click on any of the pictures and they will take you over to iTeach Second!  Good luck!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Animal Classification

Hey everyone!  In second grade we have launched our animals and environments unit with a blast!  This 6-week unit is always fun to start right after winter break: the kids are so engaged with this whole unit.

As many of you know our one-way dual language program at our school is made up of thematic units (K-3).  These units can be anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks long.  So this animals and environments unit will look like:

Week 1 - Animal Classifications
Week 2 - Desert
Week 3 - Forest and Rainforest
Week 4 - Arctic
Week 5 - Ocean and Pond
Week 6 - Dioramas

The first week of this unit we concentrated on the seven types of animals (these are the ones that we concentrate on in second grade) so when we went into each environment, we could talk about all of the groups within the habitat.  As you all know I could sit and tell the students that mammals have this and that and fish have this...  but my teammate and I wanted to come up with an exploration for the kiddos to learn about each group.  Enter animal flipbooks...

For the research time I set up bins of books around the room: each bin was a different group of animals.  The students traveled around the room with their supply boxes, learning buddies, and flipbooks.  I used a timer and gave them five minutes at each station - we did this for three days; the majority of the students got their books done in that time, but I had to keep the book bins off to the side for a few days for my stragglers.

Sentence prompts are huge in dual language methods, so of course I gave them a sentence prompt for what they were to write inside of their flipbooks; even with sentence prompts the kids had many different answers... I love it!

I was very proud of their work -- they were, too!  Now that we have ventured into the desert, forest, and rainforest they are experts in the animals in each environment.  Even though these are in Spanish, they got to share these with their second grade buddies from another monolingual class, and it was cool to see their language transfer in the same subject!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Bilingual Blog Hop

It's November... That means my birthday is near (November 7th!), pumpkin pie, and soon... and the 30 days of thankfulness on social media will be starting.

I haven't ever participated in one of those 30 days things, but when I read them they do make me take a second and think about all that I am thankful for.

Well, the theme of this Bilingual Blog Hop is things that we are thankful for, so...

My top 3...

1.  My awesome family...  I couldn't imagine life without them... actually, I could... it would really stink.  So... I am very thankful that I have them.

2.  My awesome students and their families.  I am smack dab in the middle of parent-teacher conference week and I can't rave enough about the group of kids and families that I have... I am already dreading the end of the year!  I love them so much!!

3.  My blogging buddies and the TpT world.  So much has changed and I have learned a lot since I encountered Teachers Pay Teachers a couple of years ago.  I just wanted to stop and think about that for a minute... Being a bilingual teacher can feel like you're on an island, but just through these outlets I have found so many other bilingual, dual language, ESL teachers and it has been so awesome to connect, share resources, and talk to people with the same problems, interests, etc.  It's pretty cool!

Well, quickly before you leave, I wanted to offer a freebie... Not Thanksgiving themed, but definitely something that I am thankful for.  We have working our little bottoms off in Room 109A on 10 less and 10 more... and I am proud to say my students get it!!  I have heard the stress of other teachers trying to teach this concept using a hundreds grid so I hope this freebie can help you out!

Now on to the next blog on the hop...School en casa

Monday, November 3, 2014

Midwest Blogger Meet-Up

Phew!  Finally sitting down at a computer, avoiding the report cards that I need to be working on, and blogging about an awesome blogger meet up I went to a couple of weekends ago!

So October 18th was the first ever Midwest Bloggers Meet-Up hosted by Jameson at Lessons with Coffee and Lindsey at Thriving in Third...  and I have to say, it was by far the best blogger meet up I have ever attended!

I will let the pictures show off the awesome time that we had...

I was nervous when I showed up at Lakeshore Learning Store in Palentine, IL... because through out all of this blogging/TpT journey I have found out that I am more of an introvert and meeting new people at the beginning freaks me out.  Well, that being said, I ended up sitting  at a table with the most awesome group of women!  I got to meet Cretia, Nicole (Beginnings with Baer), Tasia (Great Minds Teach Alike), Michelle (Teaching Ideas for Those Who Love Teaching) and Kristin (Teaching in a Nutshell).  A special shout out to Cretia for the selfie... she teaches in the same district as I do... how cool is that?!

We got to make a name plate for our classrooms using a cute little glyph that Jameson and Lindsey came up with.  It was so nice having an ice breaker... and how cute is my pencil!  Love!

Thank you Jessica (from Mrs. Plemon's Kindergarten) for helping me out with some of the pics that I didn't get!  The picture above shows how much swag we got... I am in awe of the generosity of Lakeshore Learning and Creative Teaching Press; they gave us so many things for our classrooms.  My students definitely loved the new games for our English centers!

This was such an awesome afternoon. I made some new bloggy friends and had a great time! Even though we are semi-local, hubby and I ended up making it a night away and had an awesome night afterwards!  Next year the meet-up is going to be in St. Paul, MN and I cannot wait!  Hubby and I have already decided to make it a family vacation and we are finally going to visit Mall of America, too!  


Friday, September 5, 2014

Backpack Night 2014

So we officially did day 6 today in second grade, but I wanted to do a little throwback to last week when we did Backpack Night at our School.

Two days before school starts the parents and students are invited to meet their teachers and drop off their supplies.  I was so excited to meet all of my families... out of 25 families I have 13 repeat families and that is so awesome to me!  I try to build close relationships with all of my families so when I get to have them again, I get so excited!

So the students started off with a treat on their desks.  The bubbles had a tag attached that said, "¡Hola!  !He estado burbujeando con emociĆ³n para conocerte!  I totally borrowed this idea from Krista from Second Grade Super Kids...  but once I read about it on her blog, I knew I had to have it for my nautical themed classroom!  ** Thank you Krista! **

I made sure I had extra bubbles on hand for the little siblings...  That was a must!

At the end of the night this was the scene... 23 out of 25 families showed up and my classroom was packed with crayons, pencils, tissues, and plastic bags.

Overall I would say it was a success...  I love Backpack Night: it always gets me excited for school.  It is the sign that the first day of school is just around the corner!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bilingual Back-to-School Blog Hop

T-Minus 8 days until my students come back and I have been working like crazy to get my new classroom ready for them!  I thought I would take a moment to join this awesome Bilingual Blog Hop with 19 other Bilingual Bloggers for Back-to-School.

Can I just take a minute and reflect on how awesome this is?  When I first started teaching I remember having to cut and glue Spanish text over English worksheets to make resources for my students...  I love how because of Teachers Pay Teachers and blogs we are now able to collaborate and share resources that we use in our bilingual/dual language/ESL classrooms with teachers around the world.  It has made my planning so much easier and taken my teaching to a whole new level!

Speaking of which, I am so happy to share one of my new products with you... Completa el cuento (Finish the Story in English).  I started making these packs for my students last year and the students loved them!  They started being a staple at my writing center and I loved seeing the stories that they came up with!

 I plan on using some of this pack on the first day of school with my second grade kiddos.  Not only does this activity let them use their supplies and jump into 'real' school work, it allows me to assess their writing and drawing skills.

I thought that I would share a sample that isn't included in the pack for this Bilingual Bloggers hop. Follow the links below for the pack in English and Spanish.  After you download, I would appreciate if you could take a moment to leave some feedback.  It would mean so much!

Now for the super fun part of this blog hop!  We are offering $100 worth of Teachers Pay Teachers products to two people after the blog hop!  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Organizing Flash Cards

Hi guys!  Today I thought I would share a little organizational idea that I had for my classroom. My students love to play with flash cards during math rotations. One of my biggest problems is how my students put the flash cards back in the basket:

It isn't that they are being careless; these boxes are already packed full of cards and when they try to put them back all at once, they rip the packs.  I could be mad about it, but I would rather find a solution that helps them be responsible enough to put their cards back nicely.

I found these index card boxes at Target for 97 cents.  I picked up 3 blue for subtraction and 3 green for addition.  I recycled the ripped boxes and now each set has their own box that the kids can easily put their cards back in.

A pretty simple solution and I am happy how organized the basket looks!  This really allows the kids to take charge of their own materials.