Sunday, February 19, 2012

snow, penguins, and bees

I am really bad at keeping up with this whole blogging thing.

Really, really bad. It's been over a month.

Anyway, so I got a new assistant. Which was actually amazing. Although spending over half the school year without help has turned me into a bit of a control freak. Like I wasn't bad enough already.

Also, I've taken four days off. Four. In a month. I am trying not to feel guilty about it. One was a mental health/doctor visit day, two days I was sick with the plague, and this past Friday I was at our state Council for Exceptional Children conference.

My littles have done some pretty cool things in January and February. We did our New Year's Resolutions (why had I not already posted this?) using the template from Step Into Second Grade. My littles loved it, especially the glitter and pom-poms. I was really glad to see them seriously consider what they needed to work on.

Then, we got our leveled library from DonorsChoose!

It doesn't look like much, but that's $800 worth of books.

All set up!

We did a lot of winter/snow activities in January, including this one inspired by both The First Grade Parade and Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade. My assistant (who'd only been there two weeks) asked if I was obsessed with snow and snowmen. Um, no. It's January. Snow, snowmen, and MLK are the high points. . . 

Speaking of Martin Luther King, Jr., we made our own MLK posters. I got the link to the activity from The First Grade Parade. Although I think covering MLK is important, I almost wish I had waited until next year to tell my littles much. He died? Someone shot him? Someone shot him. Is someone going to shoot me? Or my mama? I don't want to die. Will I ever die? When I get old? I don't want to get old! It was awful. 

On a lighter note, we did some engineering work. I'm gearing up for Engineering Week to start tomorrow, too. (Our school is an engineering magnet school.) This was the only picture I could find where you couldn't really see the kids. They used a 4th grade engineering kit to build this car independently. The two littles working on this are only six and seven (1st grade.) They impressed a lot of people at my school.

Oh, we made penguins in January, too. Mostly to dispel the notion of my snowman obsession. They were from Erica Bohrer. They were supposed to write about penguins to go with it . . . but that was on my mental health day. It apparently didn't go as I planned.

I saw an activity that Heather from Heather's Heart did with her kids to work on blends. I sometimes have my morning littles work in teams to find/think of words that have certain blends. I made a little chart for them to reference when challenging each other to a friendly game during our learning games time in the morning. The little definitions on them are actually mostly for the adults in the room (my mentor couldn't recall the difference, then I started doubting myself. . .) 

Finally, Valentine's Day. I don't mind the holiday at school with the kids, where we focus on friendship and familial love, but I really hate Valentine's Day as a romantic holiday. Because I'm cold and bitter like that. Anyway.

I needed a hallway display like woah because we were having a bunch of visitors and the new years stuff was getting old. I'd seen some cute ideas on Pinterest, but I wasn't sure what I could do that would be cute + super academically relevant. I loved the bees from A Cupcake for the Teacher, but I was undecided. What to do with them, what to add . . . I finally had an idea. I made a sheet for each little (yes, everyone got to be included in this one!) with their name on it. Everyone had to write why each of their classmates was a good friend. We were bee-ing good friends! (So corny. . .)

You should keep in mind that anything that looks not-too-hot about the bees is my fault, not anything wrong with the craft packet, because I didn't actually buy it since valentine's day was the day before payday and i was broke I decided to do this last-minute. So, all the awesomeness was her, any lopsided bees was me. 

So, tomorrow I'm off to professional development at another school, plus trying to nail down my stuff for Engineering Week. 

P.S. - If I made an Engineering Week unit for elementary and put it on TPT, would anyone even be interested? I don't know how much demand there would be, much less if I could even make it look attractive and engaging . . .

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