Always shine by using all your talents and skills!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Magnetic Foods

Are you a Cornflakes eater? If so, you are eating a cereal that is magnetic!
I did this last year...the students and I were amazed!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goods and Services Poem

Goods or Services Poem

Teacher (occupation)
Busy, happy (2 adjectives)
Writing, modeling, reading (3 verbs)
Teachers help other people (4 words to tell say what occupation does)
Service (good or service)

Just found this!

Cute video on You Tube for 3 states of matter :)


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting Caught Up

So break started Dec. 23rd, and I have been to school twice. Unfortunately, it is so cold in my classroom that I could not work long. I did not want to check the thermostat; did not want to see how low the liquid was! I thought about bringing my plants home, but I am hoping that being on the window ledge allows them to get enough west sunlight. (must admit, it is akward hearing the recess/lunch bell ring, and no one is running in the hall or trying to transition the fastest!)
Oh..when I was at school and on a few blogs, I saw the above...perhaps that can be a tatoo on all of us!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Band Aid or Lasso

Band aid or Lasso?
Do you have students who use apostrophes for everything that ends in s?I remind my kids to think if the apostrophe works as a band aid or a lasso. If it doesn't, it's not needed. I don't claim the band aid story. My students gave it to me, but it sure is clever! They told me the apostrophe is like a band aid in contractions. Since the two words were squashed into one, some of the letters popped out, and the band aid is needed to heal the spot where the letters popped out. I do claim the lasso story. When teaching possessives, I make sure the kids know the word "possess" means to own or have something. I'll get into stories of rodeos, telling them how cowboys throw their lasso and claim their cattle. I show them pictures I've googled of cowboys and lassos. In a possessive, the noun with the 's owns the following item. I even get into turning the apostrophe into a lasso and circling the next word. They practice this on their whiteboards and love to draw the lassos. Naturally, if the word they're thinking about doesn't need a band aid or a lasso, they shouldn't be using an apostrophe.
We know how these little stories help the children remember. After 34
years of teaching, I have lots of little stories and "tricks up my sleeve".
Recent brain research shows us these little stories help make the connections in
the brain so the children can build their knowledge. Plus, it's fun! (copied from another teacher)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Owl pellets

We learned about food chains, animal diets, predator/prey relationships and then had the wonderful opportunity to break open an owl pellet and hunt for bones! What a learning experience! One student found a mouse skull. All but one, wanted to take their bones home!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elf Glyph

I absolutely adore and crave glyphs...and so do my students! Today we created an Elf Glyph! Over and over I heard students asking each other what color they had to color a section and then they try to persuade the others to color that section as they were! The responses to each others comments and suggestions to change how they were coloring a section were interesting! This is the first class I have had who have tried to influence others to change how they were giong to color a section. Next we analyzed our gyphs and talked about the results!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

MAKING Landforms

We created landforms with our bodies. Here are pictures of a river, plain, and an island.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Topic, Main Ideas, Details, etc.

I found a beautiful season graphic organizer to help us organize our thoughts and ideas about a topic, the main idea and the details to support the main idea. Additionally the graphic organizer had a space for the conclusion or summary sentence. Here is an example:

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Technology Games Added

WOW...we now have more strategic, academic, and fun games to choose from. I keep finding valuable websites that offer students the opportunity to practice their math facts and strategies.
Three sites in particular:

Friday, December 9, 2011


Creativity + Endless Possibilities= Wordle

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Starting a Christmas Tree Ornament

LET the decorations begin! We have started to get the ornament juices flowing and the crafts are beginning to spread across the back counter! My students are so eager and precious when they are delicately sprinkling on the glitter, adding the sticks, and painting the bulbs!

BUT...we still patiently wait to celebrate the true meaning of the season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

84 blogs

WOW...I'm now following 84 blogs! It is hard to believe last year I didn't even understand blogs or have one, now I two and can't keep up with the many phenomenal educator bloggers! I'm inspired to add videos, pictures, etc. but time has been my biggest hurdle...and of course...teaching :-) I continue to be encouraged by other educator bloggers to challenge myself to add more gadgets and gizmos to my blog! :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thank You Firefighters!

This weekend our village had a massive fire. 5 downtown business were effected by the fire. Slowly they are coming down right before our eyes-literally-we can see it happening out of my 2nd level classroom windows! Our village will be forever changed, on part of our history is now lost (except for photos, memories, etc.).
Today we honored the firefighters by writing them a thank you letter! My 2nd graders composed letters that made me tear. "Thank you for your service and your bravery." "What would we do with out you?" There letters were compelling!!!
Now, we move on! Now, we move forward! Now, we assist in redeveloping our village!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa needs a new suit

After dsguising a turkey so it would not be hunted for Thanksgiving, my students were eager to decorate or complete another activity where they get to "hide" someone or something. After reading a few blogs and searching for an activity, I came upon, the book Santa Needs A New Suit and then found a teacher that completed an activity with her students based on the book. They needed to give Santa a new suit. Well, we now have read the book and my students are happily designing a new suit for Santa (some clever ideas are in the works).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Journals

This year I have implemented Family Journals. Each Thursday 2nd Graders journal to their parents/relatives. They tell their parents about their week-highlights/star events of the past 5 days. They take their journals home and their parents correspond back to them!
It is an amazing and educational communication log between student/parent!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SOAP Landforms

IVORY galore! Today we used Ivory soap bars to create landforms. Students need to carve 3-4 landforms in their soap bars and then write about their creations! Many loved carving a valley and doing mountains! Definitely, a smelly lesson :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Animal Unit

It is hard to believe our animal unit is almost completed. I think this year has proven to be the most adventurous, meaningful, and insightful! The experiments that we did, discussed, and questioned and the discussions we shared about animal characteristics, adaptations, survival strategies, and how we impact the lives of animals have been educational, led to deeper understandings, and have also spurred students to do research about animals by themselves! BRAVO 2nd graders!

Friday, November 25, 2011


In my 11th year of teaching, I am so thankful for my health, energy, creativity, passion, my students and their families, supporitive staff and coworkers, and most importantly, GOD's never ending support!

Friday, November 18, 2011

10 year award I was honored to be presented with a Golden Apple and a letter from a School Board Member to testify of my teaching skills and impact I have made on her children. It is hard to believe and wrap my fingers around the fact that it has been a decade. The time has flown by, but there have been many changes over the past decade. Technology and parents' views/beliefs about education are the two major areas that I feel have seen tremendous changes. Technology updates, changes and possibilities seem to be endless and at times I feel like I cannot keep abreast of all the cyber world paths. Parents' roles and views about education seem to have swung to being more liberal than in the past. It seems many more parents shine through their children's sports, lives, and activities. They are more active in extracurricular activities and family time at night seems to be minimalized. Additionally, in days past many parents backed their children's teachers on discpline issues/behavior modifications, but today it seems that a wrong choice was not made or an excuse is given for a inappropriate choice. Obviously, this is not the case for all parents, in fact, I'm GRATEFUL TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF MANY LOVING, CARING, and GIVING FAMILIES!!!! Now, I ponder, what will the next decade bring? What trends will sweep the teaching floor?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Well...I think I found a site that has me captured...hook, line, and sinker-or should I say pin! many creative and helpful boards, pins, posts, and resources! It is amazing how many people are on Pinterest and what their favorites in life are! Furthermore, it is so enriching and valuable to see the boards/pins of other 2nd grade teachers! It allows me to spin ideas of off their pins and to check to make sure my students are being taught with the best resources, tools, techniques, and methods!!! Now...I just need to monitor my time on that site!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today we had the opportunity to examine two eggs. We discussed what might be the reasons they are were they different? Students suggested the following: temperature, size, weight, different breeds of chickens laid the eggs, one had a baby inside, etc. Then I had them spin the eggs. One spun slowly, the other quickly. We then discussed what might be causing the different speeds. Finally I told them one was boiled and one was not. But which one? At last we revealed whihc one was and discussed how a hard boiled eggs spins faster because the liquid is now a solid.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Great Postcard Exchange

This year we have joined a 2nd Grade Great Postcard Exchange. We purchases Wisconsin postcards to send out to each state that has signed up. On our postcards, we put a caption about our school, community, and our state. We identified a few interesting state facts and what we are famous for! We have already recieved around 8 postcards from other states. Students' extended family members have also been sending us postcards from all over the United States. When we get a postcard, we read it, find where the state is in our Social Studies book (using the map in the book), and then put the postcard on a huge wall map that our janitor placed on the wall for us. What a learning experience in geography, communities, culture, and respecting differences. Furthermore, the whole school is able to take part of our exchange because we put the map in the hallway.

Friday, September 16, 2011


We have definitely embraced technology and have infused it throughout they day. In the Technology Lab we have created Wordles, began a typing program-Dancemat Typing, and learned many strategy and logic games on Coolmath. We have also used the Smartboard. Today we created a word search and found our names, (I had a hard time finding mine), did our penmanship, and then played Tic Tac Toe. We concluded by looking at pictures of Kapok Trees for our Reader's Theatre presentation.
We have also become photographers. Second graders have used the camera to take pictures of Respect for our Respect Presentation! They are so handy with electronics.
They have definitely fallen in love with the overhead...they love when the color bleeds when water is sprayed on the ink :)
MORE TO COME!!! (Ereaders, powerpoint presentations, etc.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Week-2 days

2 days and the first week of school is over! WOW, one can never prepare enough for how busy and overwhelmed one feels during the first week, even if it is only 2 days! Filling out and collecting paperwork, going over instructions/procedures, constant modeling, forming rules, and setting expectations collectively make the first 2 days exhausting but at the same time rewarding. What is accomplished and set as a firm foundation the first two days paves the rest of the year-176 days! We are off and chartering a course for learning, growing, teaching, and becoming independent 2nd graders!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Changes from original arrangements

I made a few minor changes. Hopefully, for now all is set. The environment is set; now, it needs 2nd graders to add life to it, explore in it, and make it thrive!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Captivating You Tube Video about Inspirational Teacher Quotes

I just watched this presentation. What a motivator and way to lit my teaching fire before school starts on Thursday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Drop Off Supplies

My classroom now awaits for 21 eager, energetic, and curious 2nd grade students to drop off their supplies-pencils, paper, folders, glue, and anything else that was required on the supply list. What was required on the list, which I know for sure they will bring-smiles, adventure, and joy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Training Opportunities Begin!

On August 24th training starts with one training on Bloodboorne Pathogens and another on Diabetic care. We get to review proper handling on blood soiled items, how to take off gloves, how to count carbs, what are general symptoms of high/low blood sugars, etc. It is amazing how being a teacher entails much more than teaching students. But, for one to be an effective teacher, one also has to be a learner at the same time!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My philosophy of literacy

Although reporting for instruction and attending class is over, I still have the most challenging assignment yet to complete; I still have my 200 point final project to compose- my philosophy of lliteracy. I have started my document, but my thoughts seem to be dancing on the page and I have a modge podge of many components that I have yet to synthesize to form a a basic outline of my paper. 8 days remain till I need to submit my document; I hope I am to take my thoughts and constructively and effectively get them down so my document will speak to what heart feels and mind thinks about literacy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

3 credit graduate class in 5 days

The start of a new Month and the first day of my first 3 credit graduate class. The class-Balanced Literacy is the first one I am a taking in a series of classes to earn my reading license. Atypical of most graduate classes this one is only 5 days long. Thus, it is rigorous, has high expectations, and requires one to be disciplined. Today, I was able to connect prior years of being a college student as I read through 2 articles, wrote a reflection paper and diving into the book: Classrooms that Work. I look forward to reflecting on my readings with my peers, learning how to make my classroom one that promotes balanced literacy, and eagerly await more ways to allow my students to become active and reflective readers/writers!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beginning Stages

Wow-entering my 10th year of teaching 2nd grade! A great year to begin with a remake/change of scenery in my classroom! I have hung tablecloths on the walls, moved around centers/rearranged furniture, and have added a fresh feel to the layout! I am eager to see what my 21 students add to the environment and cannot wait to compliment the classroom with their creative and excting works/ideas!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Day of Summer School!

Today wrapped up the last day of 6 weeks of summer school! In my Fuse Bead class we had a showcase! Everyone displayed beautiful and creative creations! I hope they continue to be expressive and color the world with their talents!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tomorrow is the last day!!

6 weeks of summer school will be ending tomorrow! I have met and worked with over 100 diverse, intriguing, and creative 6-9 year olds in the past 30 days. Both my classes, Fuse Beads and Game On went well and I have met the goals that I set when I decided why I would teach these two out of all the endless opitions. First, to promote creative expression. Using one's imagination and developing strategic thinking skills both come in a close second. Third, to work cooperatively with different aged peers with a wide range of abilities and skills. But, the fourth goal was not the least in any sense, but was the most important-to stir a passion to take what the learned and continue to develop and enhance in their daily lives! I am eager to teach next summer and have had requests to teach both classes again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Getting Ready For the First Day

WOW! It is hard to believe Sept. 1st is just about a month away! I will be beginning my 10th year of teaching 2nd grade; yes, another year in 2nd grade-I don't think I will ever "graduate" 2nd grade. I find the students in this grade to be motivated, excited, dedicated, passionate, but most of all strive to be all they can be!!!