Thursday, May 31, 2012

Superkids Graduation!

Today was one of my favorite days of the year! Our Second Grade Superkids Graduation!
Each year I host this event for my students and their parents to celebrate their learning throughout the year.

We started the event by watching a DVD I created of photos from our year!

All of our parents came too! We had a packed house :)

We all got a copy of the DVD to take home too. One of my classroom moms made these amazing graduation gift tags for us. If you have ever been in my room you will see that I have a collection of sock monkeys. She combined this with our superkids theme and graduation! Could not have been more perfect!

After we finished watching the video, our graduation ceremony began. Before our parents came this afternoon, we rehearsed! I shared with the kids that that is what they do in highschool, college, etc. on the big graduation day! 

Then we each had a chance to walk across the "stage" and graduate!
Instead of diplomas- we got capes, as we are now official graduates of the second grade super classroom, and every superkid needs a cape!

To make the capes, I used fabric, ribbon, and black puff paint. Super simple!

This is the poster we created as our "stage backdrop". 
It says "Congrats Superkids"!

Each of the students shared their favorite part about second grade on the backdrop and then shared it with their parents after the ceremony as well!

Also post ceremony, we of course needed some refreshments! We had more....but I just couldn't seem to find a moment to snap a photo before it was gone! My students' parents brought grad napkins, cups, and cupcakes!

I also presented some of my fabulous parent volunteers with their gifts! For my moms who come in and read with the kids each week, I created this lil pack with a book, B&N gift card and cute super tag!

Snag the tag here. 

I gave some of my other volunteers these cute mento thank you's that I got from Kids Cog Works. Click on the link to grab a copy!

It was such a wonderful day and super way to commemorate our year! Field day tomorrow as long as it doesn't rain.....fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Multiplication Monsters and Persuasive Paragraphs

This week I was just looking for some activities to do with my class for fun to continue to prep them for multiplication in 3rd grade! They rocked all of our second grade review these past couple weeks- and were so excited to hear that this week we would be focusing on improving our multiplication skills. Since it is the end of the year and our focus is well...nill...I wanted to find something fun to help them practice their facts. I found an adorable activity from Katie @ Third Grade Teacher Files called "Multiplication Monster". 

I translated it for my kiddos and voila:

Click on the image to snag a copy in Spanish. If you would like it in English, click on the link above to go to Katie's blog. So here is the deal: the students roll a die two times to determine their mulitplication problem and then solve it to determine how many eyes, horns, teeth, and so on their monster will have. Then, they roll it one time to determine what their body will look like. Finally, they draw! Here are some examples from my littles:

So much fun!

We also finished up our persuasive writing pieces today. At the end of the year we always finish up with a piece in which the students have to "persuade" me that they are ready to go to third grade! They were quite convincing. I think they are ready ;)!

Here are a few of our finished products:

In English...

...and Spanish

We wrote in both languages- depending on the student's home language. As tomorrow we have our annual "Second Grade Super Graduation" in my classroom and the students read their writing to their parents! Thus, I like to have them do it in their home language so all parents can understand :)

For some reason, I forgot to save the writing paper we used for this activity on my jump drive. I must have saved it at school. If you'd like a copy, let me know and I would be happy to send it to ya!

Stay tuned for some photos from our super "hurrah" tomorrow! It is one of the highlights of my year!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Good Reads Linky

First off, Happy Memorial Day!

Today, I am linking up to... share some good reads as well as some books I am planning on relaxing in the sun with this summer!

Love this one- the sisters are great- going to re-read it this summer!

Since I am currently finishing up my Master's in Educational Leadership, I am on somewhat of a "school leader" book kick. 

I plan to read "The Bee Eater" all about Michelle Rhee and the DC schools this summer.

"Whatever It Takes" is a great read all about Geoffery Canada's great work in Harlem.

And for something a little more lighthearted...

I saw this on "Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten's" list- and I just had to add it to mine. Already purchased, on my kindle, and ready to go! It looks hilarious!

A couple reads that aren't necessarily "education" related...

Max Lucado is a wonderful Christian author. This is my inspirational read for the summer!

I am obsessed with Toms shoes. If you have never bought a pair, they are seriously the most comfortable shoes in the entire world, and for every pair that you buy, the company sends a pair to a child in need. With my last pair, I was sent this book written by Blake Mycoskie, the "Chief Shoe Giver" at the company. I am about half way through it, and there are a lot of great suggestions for anyone who is looking to make a difference!

Looking forward to checking out more of your "Good Reads"! I have a feeling my list for the summer has the potential for growing much larger, and my bank account much smaller. We should really start a book exchange ;)!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spanish Spelling Review

I was trying to think of something fun we could do during our Spanish spelling block to review all that we have learned this year. I also wanted my students to be able to create something meaningful that they could leave with that would serve as a resource/reminder of our learning.

Thus, I thought why not create a spelling reference book. We have spelling notebooks in my classroom in which my students write down the patterns we study throughout the year, complete activities, etc. But I wanted to create something that would bring it all together nicely- and look a little neater.

Here she is! We spent all week on this baby, and are finishing it up tomorrow. Each day we start with a brief mini-lesson/review of the letter pattern as well as define it on our activity sheet. Then, for most of the activity pages, I sent my students out to read the room to find the patterns in all of the anchor charts, etc. we have created this year. Anything in the room was fair game- except the word wall (as that was too easy!).

We have been having a lot of fun, and the kids are excited to be able to keep their books at the end of the week. If you are interested, I am currently selling the packet in my TpT store. Click here to check it out.

Stay tuned for the English version next week friends :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poetry Cafe

To conclude our Poetry unit and celebrate our publications we hosted a Poetry Cafe today in our classroom! 

Of course to get an authentic feel we had to have some "coffee".

I borrowed an amp and microphone from our music teacher so that we could be sure to hear every word!

And away we went...

We had so much fun! 

Here are a few of my students published pieces in English and Spanish :)
I love the diversity in their writing. They created such a variety of types of poems and used such a great variety of tools! So proud of my poets!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Tri-Lingual Classroom!

We landed in Africa on our adventures around the world this week! We took some time to study the continent as a whole and then stayed for awhile in Kenya and Tanzania to explore! Yesterday morning, I presented my students with some photos from my trip to Meru, Kenya. I had the opportunity to work at a school, teach a few English lessons, stay with a wonderful family, and go on the most amazing safari while I was there! During the presentation the students completed the following phrases in their "Thinking While Reading" notebooks.

1. One thing I learned about Kenya is...
2. One that surprised me is...
3. A question I have is...

Here are some of the photos I shared :)

A little culture...

Some natural resources...

Some animals...

And some fun!

To continue our adventure, this afternoon we went on a "counting journey through Tanzania". 
The best part is this text comes in English and Spanish! (and shares numbers in Swahili of course!)

I cannot tell you how fast my kiddos picked up the numbers in Swahili. They had them down pat before we finished reading the book! I'm tellin ya- they love language- and language learning is there thing! They were just eatin it up. They begged me to let them copy down the numbers to share with their families. Luckily, I already had a plan in mind! Enter our "Swahili Counting Books".

To make these I used pieces of the larger construction paper and folded it in half. Then traced lines ahead of time for my students to cut to create their flip book. They wrote their title on the bigger space at the top and them the numbers in Swahili (1-10) on each little page.

Then underneath they had to write the number and then draw pictures of animals that live in Africa (based on what they saw in my photos and the book) to correspond with the number.

One of my kids even insisted upon writing the names of the animals in Swahili. He found some in the book, others he challenged me to search for a Swahili/English dictionary online! I didn't want to stifle his desire to learn the language, so I went with it!

By the end of the activity the students were using their newfound number vocabulary for everything. I would share "class you have five more minutes" and you would not believe how many responses back I had- Srta. Carlson- that's "tano minutos". haha. Say adios to Spanglish- we've got "Spanili" goin on!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Arrays, Leaves, and a Special Card!

This popped up in my mailbox yesterday!

A thank you card from our dear friends in West Liberty, KY! My kids were serious jumpin' in their jeans. They were so excited to see that the books they had donated had found their new home and that we have some newfound friends! Such a wonderful surprise, and I am so happy we could be a part of this opportunity to extend a hand!

In other news, we are in review mode in math! And I am trying to make this reviewing thing as exciting as possible! I downloaded this great multiplication array activity from Amy Lemons awhile back, and thought this was just the perfect time to use it!

So while my students were at lunch, I taped these fun little arrays in different places all around our room.

Now I am going to preface this by saying don't judge my awful white out job- but it was a quick fix and I wanted the activity in Spanish for my kiddos. But here is the activity sheet the kiddos were presented with to record their responses. They had to share how many rows of squares there are, and then write the number model and solve to match. (Amy's original looks way better, I promise!)

After explaining the activity- they were off. Seriously- for a lovely sunny day right after lunch- they have never been so engaged! Such a hit!

I will say it took awhile since the cards go from A-R and they had to hunt for them- but it was totally worth it, and it was great repeated practice with arrays. To snag a copy of "I Spy Arrays" for yourself, click here. And thank Amy Lemons for the great idea!

During the afternoon we also did a little leaf investigation as we continue through our plant unit. I asked all of my students to bring a leaf from home. To start our lesson they did an "open" leaf sort. Classifying them as they saw fit. Then we took some time to learn about the two types of leaves "simple"(hoja sencilla) and "compound" (hoja compuesta). After this, the students reclassified their leaves into these two groups. 

Finally, they each had to select a leaf from each group to complete a rubbing as a resource for them to remember the two types of leaves! Here are some examples of our rubbings:

(This one decided to use the most humongous leaf on the planet on her little paper :))

Happy Hump Day!