Friday, October 26, 2012

Prezi Love

We are off to Amsterdam tonight for about a week. I'm so looking forward to leaving progress reports and anecdotal records behind! Before we go I wanted to share a Prezi that I made to introduce our Growth and Changes in Animals unit - it's all about animal habitats. Have you used Prezi before? Let me just say, it's amazing. Seriously. You should know that it's pretty much the most amazing online program. And free! I found it took me a bit to understand how to use it, but I'm pretty excited to use it for so many other topics and get more creative with the features.
Have a look by clicking the image:
I have a great integration project that I'll be putting into lesson plans soon - persuasive writing, Science, and media. Looking forward to the second quarter!
I'll be back with some photos of chilly Amsterdam.
- Amanda

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A few free things and more conflict resolution

Wow - busy week! Those two surprise days off last week have made for a lot of catch-up. We have talked an awful lot in grade two about how to be an effective problem solver...
We started talking about ways to deal with conflicts using the anchor chart. We did some simple writing and a mirror activity for this to help students internalize the steps. We are also helping the little minds understand what to do when by sorting "teacher-sized" and "kid-sized" problems {much like big problems vs. small problems}. We talked about various scenarios where students should Definitely tell the teacher {when someone is hurt or doing something that could get them hurt} and where kids can deal with it on their own {like pushing in the line up}. I got this idea from A Teacher on a Mission; just adapted it for my own room. My class sorted these problems in a T-Chart for a hallway bulletin board. {I realize this is not a fantastic display, but let's all try to focus on the content... I had to very suddenly fill a lesson!}

Now when a kid comes to "tattle" or talk about a small problem, I simply have to ask if it is a teacher-sized or a kid-sized problem. It's working and working so well! Click the picture to grab the T-chart materials I put together if you're interested:
We have moved on to Bucket Fillers and I love love love it. Some of my kids are still trying to wrap their heads around how caring can be shown in intangible ways, but they are doing a great job!

In Math we've been learning about Place Value. Every day we do a simple activity using this place value mat:

Looking to use this in your room? It's on my TpT so feel free to download!

I'll leave you with a cute little shot of Daily 5 Read With Someone {I changed it from "to" to "with" because I think it speaks more to buddy reading...}. It was costume day! Have I mentioned I love the Daily Five in my room? So love it.

Almost holiday time.... :)
- Amanda

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I've been boo-ed!

Thanks to Laura from TIPS: Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students for linking me up in the latest linky party: 
Here are the rules...

1. If you've been boo-ed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.

2. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!

3. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (maybe yours or someone else's) or freebies(s) that you love!

4. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers-make sure you check this link so that you don't repeat the "Boo"

5. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! While you are there check out the other great blogs!

So since I live in a Muslim country, we don't "do" Halloween. I did manage, before I was told that witches and ghouls are considered "haram" {not to be talked about - forbidden or sometimes sacred}, to make one Halloween-esque activity that I can share.{ There is no worksheet or anything, though, since I was mid-create when I found out.}
Another thing I can share is an absolutely delicious recipe that I made for the Canadian Thanksgiving dinner we shared with some fellow teachers here in Kuwait. It's a Martha Stewart find called "Pumpkin Ice Box Pie" and I can't wait to make it again!
These are the ingredients {click the link above for directions to make - you will NOT be disappointed!}:
  • For The Crust

    • 16 cinnamon graham crackers, broken into large pieces - I was shocked after sending Jeff out with a grocery list that he actually found these in Kuwait! I won't mention the outrageous price, but suffice it to say the old "arm and a leg" phrase sprang to mind.
    • 1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • For The Filling And Topping

    • 3 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (from 2 packets)
    • 1 can (29 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
    • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
    • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
    • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
    • Yum yum! And since we have two - yes, TWO!! - surprise days off from school, I'm thinking of making it again. {There is a fairly major conference happening where several Asian dignitaries will be attending to speak about economic development and since our school is very near the airport, all the surrounding roads will be closed for safety! Awesome.}
    And the last activity I have to share is one that I won in a giveaway from Lori Rosenberg: 
    Halloween Scrambled Sentences Preview
    Check it out in her store by clicking above. It's a really cute packet!
    Here are the five bloggers I want to BOO:
    Learning With Susie QMy PhotoSensational Seconds
    Thanks again, Laura!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Place value and a laugh

The other day, I had one of those hand-to-forehead moments that made me shake my head, sigh, and laugh. We have been focusing a lot on writing complete sentences. To help drill this in, we've been using a "cap" (where a capital letter will be) and a "ball" (where a full stop will be). At the bottom of our Language board, you can see it looks something like this:
I thought this was a great idea and that it was going really well! But then, the homework sent in Communication Books the other night read, "Write three sentences using your spelling words. Don't forget your cap and ball!" And wouldn't you know, the next morning I had about eight students bring in a soccer ball. Wearing a baseball hat. So we went over the "ball" and "cap" analogy again... I guess I hadn't taught it as well as I had thought!

In other news, my kids are totally understanding all of my Place Value lessons, which makes me feel like a better teacher haha. I made these calendar cards awhile back to help reinforce tens and ones and give Math a place in the real world. Feel free to download from TpT, TN, or by clicking below.
Happy weekend from Kuwait!
- Amanda

Friday, October 5, 2012

Taking some time to brag

I know, I haven't written a post in so long that I shouldn't be coming back to blogging just to brag. No worries, I'll post the spelling tic-tac-toe my students are using for homework at the end :)

First up, I heart Daily Five. We are just about to dive into learning about our last station, Read to Someone, so we can start the rotation routine in the few days before our Eid holiday. One reason I super-love D5: check out our Work on Writing stamina chart...
What?! 26 minutes on day 4?! You are seeing that correctly. I don't understand it, but I'm pleased as pie. More than anything, I'm super impressed - these are ESL students! They are able to use their individual word walls to help with spelling, but I love their inventive spelling more. **I do have an updated word wall file where I've tried to put in all the first 100 Fry's words that I will post another time.
Next, "MY HERo is Mis. Amanda because he hlps me and hlps to lrn." Awesome. Love love love this student - he is so sweet and so eager. Yes, we need some help with pronouns, but who can care about that right now?!

Next up, Jeff and I booked flights to Amsterdam for the end of this month and I'm pretty excited about this {even though I was called a travel snob because "we have to go" to Europe since Jeff's passport is expiring too soon to get a visa to visit other countries - haha!}. Anyway, moving on... if you also love the idea of Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe worksheets, feel free to use my combination by downloading below (or on my TpT). There are three pages of ideas.
Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!
- Amanda