Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Keep on swimming! Keep on swimming!

Happy Wednesday friends!! Lindsey here:) Last week I popped on to tell you a little bit about our ocean unit, which you can read about here. Well...the unit continues. I don't mind because the kiddos LOVE learning about the ocean and the independence that is built into this unit allows them to focus as the creeping summer bug inches closer...

This week we have really been focusing on our research reports. Each student gets to pick their own animal, in advance of the unit, and then sets to work researching. I make sure that they pick their animal so that I have time to gather books for their research.

This project takes a TON of books and with 7 second grade teachers doing this same project you can bet their isn't an ocean book available in this whole county!!! know how you tell those sweet kiddos things...and you explain it...and you do it as a class...and then you repeat it just one more time...five minutes later...what do I do again???? Yeah. Insert hair pulling out frustration. Well...this time I smartened up!!

Each kiddo has a booklet with each of these topics. They need to research them and write facts. Guess what???? Now when they tell me "I can't remember what this means..." I can just say "go look at the poster!" Ta-da! Then they go and read the guiding questions and they are good to go!!

Most of my kiddos are knee-deep in research right now...

Since this project allows the students to work at their own pace, as the students finish they can start working on their research paper. Right now I've got about 4 kiddos ready to work on their paper.

This kiddo is on his draft. The draft tells them exactly what to write about and how many sentences are expected. This project is writing heavy for my second graders but because it is broken down they seem to handle it well.

While this project seems to consume most of our time, we are also learning about oceans in other areas. This week in reading groups we worked with two different passages. One focused on the food chain, which connected well to the diet portion of our research projects. The other passage focuses on tide pools which connects well to the hermit crab poems we are working on.

You can find both of these passages in our Under the Sea Passage Set.

We are also learning about the oceans in our poetry unit, which we just started. I will pop on soon to share that with you all. I hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Keep on swimming! Keep on swimming! Summer is almost here!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Five for Friday!!

Happy Friday everyone!!! As the Fridays go by, the summer gets closer, so I definitely look forward to them. We are linking up with Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for some Five for Friday fun:)

You know that the end of the year is coming when you see this mess again....yuck. I feel like I am drowning in DRA papers!! This round is taking forever, BUT it's good because that means these kiddos are flying through these levels. I had one kiddo who started the year at an instructional 4 and made it all the way to an instructional 24! Woohoo!!! We had a huge celebration!!

Do you have a daughter? Is she in ballet? If you answered yes to either of those questions then you may know the stress that comes along with recital time! This was from Em's dress rehearsal. Her costume is WAY to big...Grammy to the rescue on that! I hate having to cake the makeup on her but she looks so stinking cute AND she loves it! I fear I may be in trouble down the road...


We've had a little warm weather streak this week, so today after work we headed to the Dollar Store, which really has nothing to do with being warm BUT it does explain the headband, and to 7/11 to get some Slurpee's!! Now we look cool because of our super-awesome straws!

 Do you Brainpop??? I LOVE it! So many great videos! We are working on learning about the ocean. You can read more about that here. This video is about the oceans. PERFECT!! We watched this before we dove into our ocean zones poster.

Here is one of the kiddos' version of the ocean zones. This was a work in progress but I was pretty impressed with what they were able to draw:)

To go along with our big ocean unit, we also completed our Under the Sea passage set. This is a game from our set. It's called "Catch of the Day" and is a super-fun way for the kiddos to practice vocabulary. This picture shows the vocabulary words that go along with the sharks passage. However, you could put all the vocabulary words, from each passage in the set, in the bucket and have a HUGE vocabulary word game. The kiddos LOVE it! Boy, it's disappointing when you pull out that "STUNG" card and have to put ALL you cards back...If this is something you are interested in you can check it our here or here.

Well I am off to enjoy this Friday AND 3 day weekend!! Woohoo!!! Hope you have a great one too!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All About Oceans!

Hey everyone!!! Lindsey here:)

As we inch closer to the end of the year...although maybe bound would be a better word because it seems to be going so we bound to the end of the year, we are hard at work in our class. We are knee-deep in our ocean unit. I LOVE to teach our ocean unit! It is by far my favorite...I know I've said that before, but this time I really mean it. I feel like it is in this unit that my kiddos really get to show their growth this year. It wraps all our writing and non-fiction book studies into one neat package with a little poetry sprinkled on top:)

I don't want to overwhelm you with our massive unit all in one post, so I am going to post a few times throughout the rest of this year and give you little tidbits.

After we talk about what we know about the oceans, we jump right into the ocean zones. My kiddos know a lot about the first two zones but once we go a little deeper they don't know as much. I will say that thanks to the Octonauts and Finding Nemo, they do have a little bit of knowledge. Part of our big unit requires them to write a report on an ocean animal and they also have to record what zone or level of the ocean their animal lives in, so this poster is a big help.

We are a huge GLAD school. I know we have posted some of the strategies we use in older posts and I have told you how awesome our district is when it comes to GLAD. AMAZING!!! We are so lucky to have amazing GLAD trainers and they are full of resources. At our school we have an absolutely amazing GLAD teacher who comes into classrooms and does lessons for our students.

This HUGE work of art is a two day lesson. Our GLAD teacher came in and did the first part and then I did day two. She makes it so easy because everything is penciled in on the poster and all the pictures are numbered and the information is on the back. This poster is built with the kiddos and focuses on the classification of ocean animals. This is another part of the research project. It really helps the students to start feeling comfortable with the academic language surrounding the topic.

The ocean is such a massive topic and the kiddos are consumed with information that I try to bleed it into each subject. This week, we focused on the levels of the ocean in small group, as well as invertebrates. We read two passages from our new Under the Sea passage set. Of course, we were so busy reading and discussing that I forgot to take pictures! Here is a look at the two passages we worked on...

If you are interested in these passages you can get them here or here:) I will be on again to share with you a look into our actual research projects and the presentations that will come from them.

I hope that you are all having a wonderful time soaking up your kiddos before they leave:)

Have a good week!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Five For Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope your week has been wonderful!  And for all of you that are only days away from the end.....pffft!  I'm jealous!  We're linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching again for another Five For Friday!  Can't wait to see what you all have been up to.  Here's a peek into my week. The theme?  It's all about family! 

This week started off with a big woohoo for the hubs!  He one his first race of the season!  Yay!  We are adding to the dusty pile lovely collection of trophies!  (I know, I know...I try to be's just that they don't really match our d├ęcor, you see?) 

Next up, I got to enjoy this lovely look on my grandbaby as her mom "just straightened up her hair a little" in the middle of the restaurant!  Ha, ha, ha!  Her mom, my awesome daughter (Lindsey - the other half of 2 Literacy Teachers) gave me many of those same looks about that age!  What goes around, comes around Linds!  :-)

Then, joy oh joy!  The Farmer's Market finally opened for the year!  I LOVE going to the Farmer's Market.  It is along the marina in Everett and always provides the most beautiful views!  Plus...they have the most gorgeous flower bouquets!  They are a must-get every week. Flowers and a view?  Can't beat that!

This week brought another delightful treat!  There was a little glitch in the daycare situation for Lindsey's kiddos, so I got to spend time taking care of them!  I thought I'd died and went to heaven!  And you know....when Grammy babysits, it's donuts for breakfast! Shhhh....don't tell Lindsey.  What happens with Grammy, stays with Grammy! 

And finally my week ended with another wonderful treat!  Math, sweet math!!!!   Most of you know that Lindsey and I are blessed to work at the same school.  We also happen to have a huge sub shortage, which means when a teacher is out and no sub is available, the support staff fill in.  And every once in awhile, I get to sub for my daughter!  What fun is that?  Especially because I really miss math...and writing...and science...and...well just all those great things you get to do in the classroom.  So I got my fix this week when I was blessed to sub in Lindsey's second grade classroom!  So much fun!

That's it for this week!  Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Five for Friday!!!

Happy Friday everyone!!! As the school year begins to wind down...25 days people....I am starting to feel that panic. You know...they aren't ready...I feel I have so much left to teach. Good thing I've got Five for Friday to take my mind off all that!! Head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to join the fun!!

We wrap our year up with an ocean unit. The kiddos will each do a report on different ocean animals. We are doing a class example with sharks right now. I might have mentioned before that I am fascinated by sharks and I think I am starting to get my kids fascinated too... I love it when they find new facts and their favorite thing to do is find facts that I don't already know:)

We just went on our field trip to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. My kiddos were SO EXCITED!!! Many of them have never traveled to Seattle or the science center. As soon as they saw the Space Needle they just lost it! It was so great! We had so much fun!!! Let me tell you... I am E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D!

Apparently I was not the only one exhausted... This boy is passed out at his sister's t-ball game! All these parents yelling and cheering and he is out. I wish I could sleep like that! I love watching him peaceful:)

This beautiful girl turned FIVE!! I can't believe it. They get old so fast:( She had a Frozen birthday party at our local cupcake place. This was her first party with friends only. She had a blast! I enjoyed the fact it was SO easy and was done in an hour. That's my kind of party!!

Finally, my daughter's school had a Mom's Day celebration. It was so much fun! They sang songs and we got to make a craft. Em always gets SO excited when we can visit her school. I just LOVE these moments! I also love to read her projects! She always comes up with the funniest things...a pretend dance party...I said "honey it's not pretend...we are dancing for real!" LOVE!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! We're almost to the end my friends:)