Sunday, April 1, 2012

spring fling

I have finished one book, read two more, and started on yet another this weekend alone. 

This may have something to do with the fact that I've done no lesson planning, even though it's 6:30 on Sunday evening. . . because it's Spring Break! Oh my gosh I am so excited!

Anyway, my kiddos have been chugging along. I think we all need a break from each other, though. I'm resolving to come back from Spring Break with a refreshed, positive attitude. I'm also implementing a new literacy rotation (which I'm still not happy with but it will have to hold for now) and a workshop-ish math rotation so that I can work with every kiddo each day individually during math. My four math kiddos are so, so different in strengths/weaknesses. I have one 2nd grader with really variable skills both high and low, one above-level 1st, one on-level 1st, and one below-level 1st. I think this will give me a better chance to challenge my higher guys, but also I think my lowest little dude needs one-on-one work in math to improve. I think that it will be best for all involved.

Here's a run-down on some of the things we've been working on. . . 

I finally got up the nerve to paint with the littles. I'd committed to letting them make a clay bead and paint it to conclude our Earth Materials Unit in science. I had heavy reservations, though, and was hoping they'd just forget. While I was picking up markers at Target, I saw the washable paints and decided I could just suck it up and do it. I set the expectations clearly, reinforced those friends using the materials appropriately, and threatened certain friends with never painting again provided incentive to correct inappropriate behaviors.

And, in the end, the paint all stayed on the table. Not on hair, clothes, carpet, etc. They did amazing. I let them paint pictures after the beads, saying the paint probably wouldn't be out again for a while, but we may paint again soon since it was a success.

We did a kite glyph early last week. I just realized, looking at this picture, that one of them is put together wrong. Anyway, we learned some spring-themed factoids about our classmates (one new friend started Monday,) and we'll graph our data after the break. We got the glyph from Great Glyphs Around the Year. The link goes to Amazon, but I got the ebook (and a bunch of other ones) during the $1 sale that Scholastic did last weekend.

On the last day before break, we wrapped up our 3D shapes unit. We'd been using Angry Bird Anger Management this week to talk about our reactions when angry and how we can have more positive reactions. I tied these together by having them make their own angry birds.  The littles loved this, but I think I overestimated their fine motor skills. M and I did most of the work.

 Lots of glue and tape were involved.

Some of us were better at cutting than others.

Even M had trouble putting together the yellow bird!

But, eventually, all were satisfied and played happily together! Success! (And, everyone could identify each of the shapes!)

We concluded Friday with a party. . . 

With cupcakes. (And cards, as you can see one little writing.)

Umm, messy cupcakes! Because . . . 

One little has a birthday this weekend that we were celebrating and we were wishing farewell to another little who will not be returning to our school after the break. I will miss him so, but with the way he ran out of my room as soon as they called for car-riders while ignoring my attempts to say goodbye gives me the idea that he won't miss me.

Finally, I took a quick picture of my part of our Easter Spring display on the way out. Thank my mentor for the idea (and my boots!) since I provided the March idea. I'm going to take a better picture once we're back, but I was rushing out to beat the traffic near Big City.

(PS - two of my kids dictated to me what I should write for how I'm Egg-stra Special. Blame them.)

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