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 emoción 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.




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Meet the Teacher Linky Party



Hi!  My name is Bobbi and I am the person behind Bitty Bilinguals.  I am a second grade bilingual teacher and I create for Gracieface Learning at Teachers Pay Teachers.


I met my husband, Josh, 9 years ago while we were in college at Northern Illinois University (Go Huskies!).  7 years ago we were married and 3 years ago we had our little girl, Grace.


This girl is so full of spunk!  She is one awesome little three-year-old!  We are trying to raise her bilingual and after this summer I feel like it is finally happening!  She does something every day where I am amazed and I have to stop and think, wow... I am so lucky!


These are a few of my favorite things...
my family ~ my students ~ Target ~ shopping ~ languages ~ reading ~ listening to music (it makes everything better) ~ naps ~ binge watching tv series ~ chevron, wide stripes, and quatrefoils ~ creating things ~ reality tv ~ my laptop ~ my phone ~ lists ~ concerts

If you weren't a teacher what would you be?
I had many majors in college before I finally admitted to myself that I just wanted to be a teacher.  I originally went to school to be a radio producer.  Now?  Hmmm, I love planning parties, I could see myself being a party planner... I go all out for Grace's birthdays; it would be fun!

Three little words that describe you:
creative. sensitive. dorky.

It's your birthday and you can invite anyone {dead or alive} to the party.  Who are you inviting?
The male cast of Freaks and Geeks...  It would be awesome to hang out with James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel!

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would be the title?
The Absolute True Story of a Dorky Teacher

You get to pick one superpower, what is is?
I want to say mind reading because I am so worried about what others think of me, but maybe some thoughts shouldn't be known.  I would die if someone could hear some of my thoughts sometimes...

Your favorite quote or saying?
I have a Pinterest board full of quotes: I love them!  I think my favorite is:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -- Eleanor Roosevelt.

...now if I could just follow her advice.

If you had to sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?
"Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world..."

Hands down the best song ever, Don't Stop Believin' by Journey

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am typing this post out at 3 a.m.  Does that answer your question?

My summer has been filled with super late nights and naps with my three-year old.  I need to get in a better schedule, like now, because school is coming soon...  I can't help it... I am so productive  at night time!

What is your favorite resource that you have created in your TpT shop?
I really like my Finish the Story packs.  I started making these for my students last year and I was amazed at the stories they would come up with.  They would even ask for them if we didn't do one in a week.  So I decided to start the year off with my new second graders and these packs.   I made them in English and Spanish and I am excited to see how the new group of kiddos like them!



Share something that we might not know about you...
My hubby and I just drove across the country to go to the Las Vegas Teachers Pay Teachers conference.  I wanted to see mountains so we drove instead of flying.  I saw more in that trip than I have seen in my whole life.  I want to travel everywhere...maybe one day!  

...after that trip though... I know that I want to retire in Colorado one day...what a beautiful state!

That's about me in a nutshell.  Tell us a little about yourself...  Link up with Stephanie over at Falling into First!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday {Linky Party - April 18th}

Hey everyone!  It has been a super-short school week (read: 2.5 days), but I have been super busy...  Read today's Five for Friday to find out why!


We came back from Spring Break, taught for two weeks and then had our spring conferences.  We only had a 2.5 day work week and then got five days off of school.  Not bad, right?  Silly me thought I had to squish a whole week of learning in those two and a half days though.

My kids were real troopers though and we got through it.  Worked until 7:30 on Wednesday night, but got off at 11:00 on Thursday and don't go back until Tuesday...after report cards and conferences I am happy for the days off. 

Conferences went really well though -- I have really great families and I am ready to stuff as much learning as I can in these last eight weeks!


If you follow me on Instagram (bittybilinguals) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BittyBilinguals) you have probably already seen this pic, but it was how we started the week.   The kids studied different types of rocks and we came up with a list of adjectives that describe rocks.  This was a totally kid created list...  I love, love "cementosa."  The student totally used what he knew of adjectives and tried to turn a noun into an adjective.  Alas it didn't make the final poster.



We use University of Chicago's Everyday Math program and we were finishing up unit 7 this week.  We learned about median and mode by graphing the data of our long jumps.  We went to the hallway for this activity.  After we recorded their jumps, the kids wrote their longest jump on the back of their paper.  They then put themselves in order from shortest jump to longest jump.  To demonstrate median, the kids sat down, one from the beginning of the line and one from the end of the line, at a time.  By the time we took the end of the unit test on Wednesday, the kiddos were pros!

Each year the second grade team gets together and the kids make pointillism pictures.  We split all of the second graders into four groups (rainbows, flowers, suns, and kites) and they work with one of the teachers to create a painting using pointillism.  I was in charge of rainbows.  I am so proud of how these came out.  We just used Q-Tips and paint to fill in a shape (the kids traced from a template ahead of time).  I told my group that they picked the coolest of all the designs, but the hardest too.  After a couple of rows their hands are going to hurt and they are going to want to start 'brushing,' but it only looks cool if they keep on making dots...  haha, they just rocked them.


The kids then paired their paintings with an acrostic poem using 'spring.'  In a bilingual classroom we have all levels of English, so the poems ranged from single words to full sentences, but I think the whole class brainstorming really helped support all of the kiddos.

I have been trying to revamp my Teachers Pay Teachers Store (graciefacelearning) and a lot of my older products.  Last weekend I tackled all of my Gira y haga una gráfica (Spin and Make a Graph) packs.  They went from this to this...

I am so proud of these little packs.  I am planning to put them at our math stations this week to help with graphing skills.  I would think that a lot of my students would have how to make a graph down at this point of second grade, but there were a few that surprised me at this last test, so I think these are needed.

There are a variety of topics to choose from:





I am so excited!  I also decided to bundle all of these for 20% off!

My plan is to work on revamping the English versions this weekend, so stay tuned!

Phew that is it for my "short" week!  Go on over to Doodle Bugs to see others' Five for Friday!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Our week on the moon and Earth

We teach thematically in our K-2 bilingual classrooms at our school.  I used to think thematic units were for pre-kinder and kindergarten, but with the success of last year I am sold!  That being said we are smack dab in the middle of our solar system unit.  The week before spring break we studied the sun, stars, and constellations in Spanish (we are continuing our studies of those topics in English this week).  The following week in Spanish we studied the moon and Earth.

Last week we started off Monday with an anticipatory sort with las fases de la luna (the phases of the moon) to see where the students were at in their knowledge of the moon phases.
Listening to the students work with their learning buddies was quite interesting.  The students all had a reason behind what they thought the moon phases should look like (putting like shapes together; starting off with a full moon and then it 'melts' away to nothing...), but none of them quite got it.


The point of the days activity wasn't to actually teach the moon phases, but an introduction to the idea.  Also, I wanted them to problem solve and figure out the pattern.  We had a lot of good discussions and I think from that point forward, I had them hooked!

 We continued with many more activities throughout our different subjects. Our dictado for the week included a bunch of our vocabulary words (along with our phonics skill - suffixes).  In writing we watched a video on Brainpop Español about la luna and we started writing our textos informativos (informative texts) with the information they we learned.




We did our texto informativo about the moon whole group, but next week they will be writing about the Earth on their own. We started adding their background knowledge for the writing by reading this book from Reading A-Z during Reading Workshop:

 (if you have an account, you can download for free!)

It was a really good, "funny," factual book.  The kids were so amazed by what they had learned and were spouting off facts to me all day:  "Teacher did you know that..."  {Um, yes, I was there.  I read the book.} Haha, no...  I was very enthusiastic with every fact they brought me.  Their excitement was contagious!  


Like I mentioned before we have a set of vocabulary that we learn with each week.  My poster isn't pretty, but it gets the job done.  The kids have their own versions in their notebooks. Next week we will bridge the vocabulary into English on the same page (different color).

I really like seeing the kids use the new vocabulary in their writing, so I had them write about what they learned about the moon and the Earth at the end of the week.  I was so surprised at the writing I got!  I challenged them to use as many vocabulary words that they got.   Probably one of my best pieces of the day came from one of my struggling readers...  I was such a proud teacher mama!

I will be honest though, it wasn't all Pulitzer Prize writing -- I had a couple who showed me, La luna es un planeta (The moon is a planet).  And that is fine -- they were showing me what they 'knew.'  It was a great time to have some mini-discussions and redirect their thoughts.  I really like teaching moments like those!


So that was our week in a shell.  This week we are moving on to the planets and astronauts, but we had a field trip on Monday and a half day on Friday - so this is going to be a tight squeeze!

What are you learning about this week!?