Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A success and an "urgh"

First up, let me get to the success. I am super proud of my students today. Yes, it's the end of the year but I have to say I've had more difficult times with my class so I'm not really complaining about behaviour. I started introducing my class to multiplication word problems as bell work that we worked through together in January. And then February got crazy busy with our International Week, etc., and we put it aside. I switched to editing paragraphs I'd typed out after that, then moved to the printing books, then another thing, and as you can see, multiplication got left behind. 

Until this week, that is! I put a word problem up and the first day, they struggled with remembering the concept. The second day, a few more light bulbs. The third day, a LOT more light bulbs. Today, the fourth day, even my lowest students were successfully able to write their very own multiplication story! For ESL kids, I am very impressed. I got the template from another blogger {I cannot for the life of me find who, even though she very cleverly put her copyright in the document} and just changed the title. Since our Ontario curriculum really only calls for us to introduce it, I couldn't be happier that they {mostly} understand the basics.
"Hessa has six toys. She shares with Aaliya. How many toys will each person get? Each person get three. 3x2=6"

Majed has tewelve toys he shares with Khaled and Talal. How many Toys will each Person get? 3x4=backward 12 {!}"

"Sheikha has 6 cherries. She shares with loulwah. How many berries will each person get? 2x3=6"

Well done, grade two!

And now, the sad. I really truly definitely loved my stars background from Shabby Blogs. I loved the colours, I loved the style, and I loved the simplicity. This is the second time, though, that they have had a malware threat of some type that has directly affected my blog since I use their code. I am so sad. But, I did find a cute {and free!} template at June Lily. I like but, it's just not...the know?

- Amanda

Sunday, May 27, 2012

If You're a Kid...

My class L.O.V.E.S. this dance video. I've used it all year whenever I felt like they needed a little break to move around. Since it's the end of the year, it may be just the thing to help you get through!
Have a great week.
- Amanda

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Proper Nouns Center

Hooked by that title? ha - didn't think so. But it's the end of the year and the old brain's not so quick at this point, I guess.

Just want to share a quick center I made up for my kids to practice proper nouns and capitalization. I'm not a worksheet person during center time, so there is no corresponding worksheet. I'll just have them write the words under columns {proper and common} in their journals. Easy peasy. Ignore the page in the middle that has words more relevant for my class here in Kuwait if you'd like!

Click the images to download.

I'd love to know if anyone downloads or uses these :)
- Amanda

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Plural Posters take two

I had a request from a reader {awhile ago...sorry, Sarahlou} to add another rule to my plural posters pack, and so I did. The fifth rule now shows "If there's a vowel before the 'y,' just add 's'." It seems a lot of people are getting some good use out of these, so I hope the update is helpful! Again, thanks to Nikki for the great art.
Click the images to download.
Good night :)
- Amanda

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Class Awards

A few weeks ago I made and printed a set of classroom awards for my students. I put them up in my TpT store and they have been downloaded like crazy! Here is the original file I made for my grade 2s:

You can head to my shop to find the sets for kindergarten through grade six. Enjoy! Many many thanks to all of the clip artists I borrowed images and papers from - credits are on the last page :)

Also, I was told today that the art my class made for the Spring concert auction {see this post} sold for 100KD! That's about $360 CAD - pretty amazing! 
- Amanda

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Art Expo and I guess I really am just like my mother...

This has been a Busy week! Today we had a school-wide ice cream picnic complete with games run by our student council. I'm pretty sure my class had a blast and really needed the time to get their crazy out! Afterward we went on an art walk around the school to see displays from every class, Pre-K to grade 9. {Thanks to my wonderful Jeff for organizing this!} It was really great to see all the creativity and my students loved all the compliments they got on their artwork of wax-resist paintings. Here are a few of my favourites from my class:

Last week we finished up a different art project - a collaborative piece to be auctioned off at our Spring concert tomorrow. My class created a warm and cool colours mosaic {they did it all on their own!} that was a really simple project. It was framed by our school to be sold - here's the final product:
So proud!

Also, I have to just get it out there, just say it, so maybe I can start to turn this around: I have a shoe problem. I have bought four pairs of heels since we got to Kuwait! Do I wear heels at school, you Do I wear heels on weekends, you ask So....yeah, I know. I hear it. It's a problem, and I blame my mother for passing this one down. I bought this beige pair to wear to my sister's wedding {the day after we get back to Toronto!} and the black pair only cost 3KD {$15 or so CAD}. So now I ask you: how could I resist? 

Happy hump day from Kuwait :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Story Mapping Posters Idea {and a bunch of other things because I have been slacking...}

Last week my class finally finished up their story mapping posters for The Lorax. 

I made a really simple template that you can adapt for any book to make your own. Click the image to download if you'd like.

Here are a couple photos that pretty much sum up my week in grade two:
{The blinds are closed in the background because we had just watched a video clip for a kid's birthday party in class. Usually, they are wide open because, as I tell my class, "Sunshine makes us happy!" I feel I need the sunshine the most in my room haha.}

I've struggled with my class aaaalllll year - they have trouble listening, they are energetic, they are oh-so-loud. {And that's not to mention the five dominant or defiant personalities I deal with!} But in the end, they are kids and they love to have fun. Now that the year is winding down, they're a bit wackier than usual {surprise!}. Which is, unfortunately, one of the reasons our performance for the Spring Concert is pretty awful. And I don't mean awful in the sense that they'll pull it together for performance day because that's what always happens - I mean awful in the sense that it is ... well, it is just not good. We have Sunday and Monday to practice before game day, so I need to focus and push the stress away that is teaching them this routine so we can get it done! Wish me luck :)

Last weekend Jeff and I went to a student art competition at a hotel near our apartment. Some of the art was so fantastic! We happened to score the best one {I really do think it is the best one - I'm still surprised it didn't win an award} and it only cost us 5KD! {Less than $20 CAD.} It's on a canvas about the size of regular Bristol board. This one is a paint and newspaper collage made by a fifteen year old student. I love to collect some type of art work from every country I visit, and I feel this is very suitable for our time in the Middle East.

And finally, just a quick shot of one of our favourite weekend stops: A marina near our place where we can eat Pinkberry on a patio and people watch like crazy.

Is anyone else having trouble believing we are through a third of May already?!?

- Amanda

Friday, May 4, 2012

Don't mind if I do...!

This is a bit of a great news weekend! First, one of my favourite clip artists, Miss Tiina, is having her birthday celebration throughout the month of May. She has two great options, but I chose to....
Source: Miss Tiina

This is such a great offer and I am all kinds of excited about getting my coupon in my email today! Her work is just oh-so-cute.

Second, one great blogger, A Modern Teacher, is hosting a K-2 Teacher Appreciation Jackpot where a ton of other great bloggers are giving away products from their TpT shops for free on Sunday!
And since my Sunday plans are now set, I figured I should finish up the latest activity...

It's a simple little center to help my class with quotation marks. We wrote short stories last week for our Young Author's afternoon and I noticed that many have forgotten how and why to use these. {I'm thinking, though, that we may not get to this center - behaviours are definitely high with the end of the year looming and I'm not sure I want to inflict the stress upon myself haha.} I do hope to give it a shot this week after I get my hot glue gun back - I will be gluing the speech marks onto popsicle sticks. I'll have my students record the sentences including the proper speech marks in their journals. Click the pics if you're interested.

Happy weekend!