Monday, September 24, 2012

Fossils!


We are working on animal life cycles in Science now.  We have been discovering all different kind of animals and how their life cycle work.  We even explored more and found that some animals have been preserved over time and they became a fossil.  We even acted out animal life cycles and they had a lot of fun acting out the pupa stages!

In our reading story, If You Find a Rock, there are all different types of rocks.  We all decided that fossils were our favorite.  We read stories about fossils and all kinds of rocks.  We learned that a paleontologist is a person who searches for fossils.  We all wanted to be a paleontologist, so we got to dig to find our own bones (chocolate chip cookies make great artifacts). We learned that we had to be so patient to dig out the bones.  They had a great time doing this activity and they liked it so much they didn't even ask to eat the cookie!  They wanted to break it apart to see how many bones they could find!  I love their determination!  These are pictures from the different types of rocks and fossils I had and ones of them breaking apart the rocks!  Now at recess, instead of playing, we are all searching for rocks and seeing the many different types we have around us!  Their love of learning is so awesome! 






Fossil

I love the focus on his face!!!




Sunday, September 23, 2012

Classroom Bronco Buck Party

Have I mentioned how much I love my sweet class?  They have been working so hard trying to save up our class Bronco Buck to have a classroom party.  We are a PBIS school and I also incorporate Whole Brain Teaching and that works so great with my class.  We get points every day for making the right choices and we are saving them to get a classroom party.  Well, guess what?  We earned our $50 Bronco Bucks to have our party! They decided that they wanted to have a donut and dance party.  They had a great time and enjoyed themselves.  It is so easy to do to take a few minutes to reward good behavior.  They work so hard the rest of the day, taking a few minutes out each day to reward their good behavior has such a positive outcome that they want to do well for our classroom!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching

Can I tell you how much I love Whole Brain Teaching?  It helps my day go so much smoother when I don't have to stop and redirect that negative behavior...  Well, I love to sing to get my kids to follow along or repeat what I sing.  What 7-8 year old doesn't love to sing?  Well, this class does a fantastic job of getting it together when they hear a few words of me singing.  I love singing too, so this works perfectly for me.   Let me say that WBT does not tell you to sing, that is something that I like to do to get my students to listen without having to raise my voice.  WBT is all about routine and incorporating in your daily schedule throughout the day, not just once.  We repeat our directions before each learning activity at the beginning of the year.  As the year goes on, you only do it in the morning and as needed.  I love the fact that they can be the teacher as well.  When they work in groups, they don't just play around, they really restate facts and teach each other.  It is an awesome "AH HA" moment when they are really teaching each other and they are learning from each other!  I LOVE IT!!!

Every morning I start out singing "Good Morning to You" and they sing back to me.  Then we do our daily rules.  A student comes up and leads the class.  They love to come up and be the teacher.  When they do a great job or are staying on task, I say, "Cha-Ching" and they repeat and they get a point towards their classroom party.  They already earned one party, because they are so awesome!

Here is a video of them doing our daily expectations.  It takes about a week for them to know it without looking, but when someone isn't following them, all I have to do is point to #2 and say, "Did you raise your hand?"  They automatically remember and raise their hands.  It is such a great tool!  If you haven't looked into it, you should! 
video

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Welcome Back!!!

Welcome back to second to second grade!  I have been away for awhile, but now I am back and looking forward to a wonderful new year!  We have been in school for 4 weeks now and this time has flown by!  First of all... let me just saw that my class is awesome!  I only have 19 kids this year and they are all Super Stars!  We have been doing so many things and learning new things everyday!  We started off the year with Common Core and it is going great!  We have been working on our first unit in math extending base tens and I do believe my rock stars can break down a number in any way I want them to.  We worked on expanded form and we make a neighborhood by breaking down the numbers by using hundreds, tens and ones.  Then we broke it down and wrote it in expanded form and then we put them on the wall by even and odd numbers.  They did a great job!







We did so many fun activities in math, but they really enjoyed playing our hundreds chart game.  I gave each group a hundreds chart and they got some money to cover over numbers around the board.  They had to then guess the covered number by guessing 10 less, 10 more, or 1 less and 1 more.  They really enjoyed it and they worked so well together.  No, they weren't sleeping, but they had to cover their eyes so they didn't see what their partner was covering up!