Sunday, April 29, 2012

 Lost Weekend=Random Post + Linky Party

Where oh where did the weekend go?  Let's recap:
Two volleyball games...and we made posters for some team spirit.

4th/5th Team
6th/7th/8th Team

Now that it is finally Saltwater (sandal) Weather, toenails needed to be painted.

I HeArT Polka-dots!

imagine these tan and you have my staple summer shoe!
Lots of time planning more exciting bird activities.  Having completed examples for my chickadees helps them see the big plan (and me too).  So I spent some time's therapeutic! 

We are going to explore beaks and feet this week.  I am planning out a foldable to be added to our lapbooks.

The bottom six spaces will be for beaks and the top will be for feet
This part folds open

We are also going to start building our bird book pages.  Last week, after choosing a bird to research, we gathered facts from the internet.  This week we are going to put it into a non-fiction book page.
The cover will have a drawn picture of the bird, the bird's name, and a border made of words describing the bird.

Inside of the bird book page
The inside will have all kinds of information and drawings.  I am going to have my chickadees used shape templates for their information.  They can use them to trace their own paper and then write the information on it.  Once they have all their information they can arrange to where the want it on the book page.  

The book page will also have a border going around the page, but I am not sure we have decided what the border should have in it.
Shape templates
And I had to join up with A Class Act's Favorite Travel Cup Linky.  Mine is a Tervis Tumbler.  I LoVe these things!  They don't condensate and ruin papers or the desk, and can be used for hot or cold beverages. They even fit different lids; snap on lids with straws for cold beverages or lids with sliders for warm drinks.  I gave my aunt a Duke one for Christmas and my brother a Tampa Bay Rays one for his birthday.  Of is Dodger labeled, as well.  I switch back and forth between iced tea and hot cocoa.
Happy Sunday,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

 Owl Art

Owls are a special kind of bird.  The third grade classes made some adorable owls.  So I borrowed some of the third grade expert artists to teach us 2nd graders how to do it.
Step by step instructions.
3rd Grade experts, helping out.

Rip Paper
Fill in pencil lines with paper.
Finished Product
Happy Thursday,

Friday, April 27, 2012

 Repeat Read Alouds

"Here are the ones who know magic:
The young
The old
The brave
The honest
The joyful."
We just finished reading aloud Waiting for the Magic, by Patricia MacLachlan.  Oh my goodness, this book is amazingly sweet, but addresses some relevant issues.  Willian, the older brother is narrating the story.  His dad walks out on the family, so William's mom decides they need a dog (the dad never liked animals) they end up with four dogs...and a cat!  Throughout the story, the animals start to talk, but only the ones ready for the magic can hear them.  As a class we guessed which character was the young, the old, the brave, the honest, and the joyful.  And I wish I had pictures of their faces when they realized one of the characters was finally "hearing" the magic.  Precious!

Do you have "must read" chapter book read alouds.  When I first started teaching, I was intrigued by teachers who could read the same chapter book read alouds every year.  Especially with books I just thought were, okay.  Now that I have been teaching for a while I have realized I have started a shelf of chapter books that previous classes have loved so so so much, that I have to read the next year's class and the class after that, and the class after that.....

My two repeat offenders are The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo and Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins.  Both about toys/dolls....hmmm....

And now Waiting for the Magic will be added to the list.

Happy Friday,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

 Bird Research

Have you heard of the book, Significant Studies for Second Grade?  It is on my top ten professional book list!  The first half of the book is reading investigations and the second half is writing.  The non-fiction reading and writing work are fantastic and so practical!  We have been studying non-fiction text features and how to read non-fiction, so today we started collecting information about our bird, using books and the internet.  

Last week, I had every student pick a bird they were interested in learning more about.   Everyone needed to choose a different bird, so when we put all the work together, we will have a book of 27 different birds.  

I checked out one of our mobile lab carts and students went to to find information about their bird.  Once we found information we needed we recorded it on our data sheet.  Click here for a link to the page we used to record data.  

Carrying our laptops like lunch trays!

And returning them carefully to the cart.

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

 Poetry Pocket

Students bring poems and add them to the pocket.
It case you haven't is National Poetry Month.  When I was a 4th grader...(many many years ago) I checked out Jack Prelutsky's New Kid on the Block regularly, from the library.  My mom eventually bought me my own copy from a book order.  I would read and reread those poems, and I would copy my favorite ones into my writing journal.  I can still recite, "Homework, Oh Homework!"

To celebrate Poetry month the student of the day picks a number between 7 and 152 (that is the range of pages in The New Kid on the Block).  Whatever number they pick is the poem we read to start the day.  We also love Poem in Your Pocket Day.   Students have been challenged to find and print a poem from the internet, write their own poem, or copy one from a book, and stuff it in the poetry pocket.  On April 26th, we will read the poems we have been collecting in our large pocket.

What are you all doing to celebrate?
Happy Tuesday,


Monday, April 23, 2012

 Bird Life Cycles

Today was Bird Life Cycle Day.  Once we finish these, we will add them to our lap book.  We read An Egg is Quiet (an amazingly cool book!) and discussed the lifecycle of a bird.  I had the pieces to make a life cylcle wheel already cut out and students worked on adding labels and illustrations to them.  I challenged them to be specific and find a bird they really liked; then find the type of egg it lays and if they chick had a specific name (like gosling), instead of being generic with their pictures.  Here is what some of them came up with:
Parakeets...I am loving that she is doing art on the table, with her "art folder" just above her:-)
Red Winged Black Bird

American Robin

Weather finally cooperating, for working outside.
Tomorrow, I will have a parent add a brad to the middle, so the wheels can move around the different pictures of the life cycle. 

Happy Monday,

Friday, April 20, 2012

 How To...Putt Putt

Finally Friday!  We have been working on writing how-to papers without using "and then" for every sentence.  First we made a list of substitutes for the words, "and then."   Then we made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Finally, we wrote about it, using our new words.

Tonight is our school beach party.  We have all sorts of fun things going on.  Raffle baskets, games, pizza, face painting...and Putt-Putt!  Over the summer I found this post over at The Sharpened Pencil and knew it was something we could add to our annual Beach Party.  Here are the three putt-putt holes we made for tonight's excitement.   The second grade made one hole for something to do with what we learned so far this year.
Toys Go Out...we LOVED this book!

Solar System Putt-Putt Hole

American Symbols Putt-Putt Hole

Thursday, April 19, 2012

 Birds and Puppies

More Bird excitement!  Students have been challenged to make a bird feeder out of recycled materials, so we can attract birds the trees outside our classroom.  Our first feeder came today and we added the bird we wait for the birds to arrive.

Then we drew sketches and added them to our "bird/not a bird" chart.

And one of my students shared her brand new puppy for a bit today...So CuTe!  

Short post today...I am off to volleyball practice 1 of 2!
Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

 Lap Books 101

Lap introduction.  Yesterday I shared about our Bird Lap books, and some of you wanted to know about lap books.  I am learning myself, but here is what I have gleaned so far.  
A Lap Book is...
-combines mini-books, graphic organizers, and foldables
-a scrapbook
-hands on replacement of worksheets
-a unit study
-a portfolio
-easily adjusted for a variety of ability levels
It kind of makes me thing of a pop-up book, where you can pull, twist, and manipulate things on the pages.

I am loving the material list....a file folder, tape, glue, paper, stapler...all things I have readily accessible.  I have been using Google image search for different foldable ideas.  Oh my are their tons!  Walking by the Way is a blog that has been great for more ideas, and they are sorted by grade.  Right now I am figuring out the information about birds that we really want to include and where to arrange all the pieces.  Here are a few pics of "rough draft thinking". 

The blank page is for information about beaks and feet.

Fun facts and a life cycle wheel.  Sorry it is sideways.
From all my searching, most people using this process are homeschoolers, so I again, I am intrigued by how it will go in the much larger sized group of kiddos. 
Any of you using lapbooks?  Thoughts?