Five for Friday: Saturday Special Edition

 I actually wore fall colors on the first day of autumn! Very proud of my maturity here! Does anyone else struggle with dressing warm in the morning to battle the morning chill only to have it heat up by midday? That's totally me right now! I dream of boots and cords in the morning then by the afternoon all I want are tank tops and flip flops! 

Second graders are starting to learn about book reviews! This week they read book reviews written by other students their age highlighting what parts they thought were most important to come up with a final class list of attributes that they'll use next week when writing their own book reviews about Nutmeg Nominee books. 

Last week kindergarten celebrated International Dot Day by making their mark using the Sketchpad website. This week we read the animal centered book called Q is for Duck then students went on ABCYa's Typing Zoo to discover the animals in the zoo (while practicing typing the letters A-Z). 

 Last week first graders began to choose topics and write wonders. With second graders this takes one class period. When I was looking at first graders work though I realized that most of them had written their topic then written only one or two wonders. I extended the lesson to this week, elaborating and creating class examples of different wonders. Students finished writing their wonders and made sure they were GREAT wonders: questions they could find the answer to, questions they didn't already know the answer to, and questions about their topic.

T-minus 5 weeks until marathon time! It's a little crazy as it gets closer...can I do this??? Very nerve wracking. The workouts are longer, more intense and just plain take more out of you. I've had some weekday 4:30am wake-ups to sneak in pre-work runs and some late night runs. I just can't wait for the taper, then to be done and be able to say "Yes! I did it and I rocked it!" The training is truly the hardest part of running a marathon. 
Until then though here is my training from the last couple weeks in pictures:


Five For Friday

I finally finished my Calm Kit and students started to use it this week! Inside is an I Choose board which students have to do first. Then they have a couple options of the squeeze balls, coloring freehand, and coloring pages (plus a ladybug puppet in case they need someone to talk to!). I thought the coloring pages would be the most popular but it was actually the squeeze balls. 


For each class, I had them all sign one contract after we had finished brainstorming class rules last week. I put them all in a binder to make them easily accessible as needed. 

The students have assigned computer numbers to save time each week when they transition to the computers. Last year, I always had a couple students in each class ask me "Ms. K, what's my computer number?". To help make the students become more independent, I created a binder with a class list for each class. This week (week 3) is when I start expecting the students to remember their numbers and it made it so much easier when they asked me, because all I had to say was "I'm not sure. Why don't you check the binder?" The students would check the binder and I could continue helping students. The more small tasks I make independent, the more time I have to talk to students and help them learn. I love it! I also love having the student work baskets and labeled clipboard and pencil containers. When it's time to clean up, I ring my bell, remind students where their supplies go, and the students handle it all themselves so I can focus on helping those last few students finish their work. Complete sanity saver. 

 I desperately need a carpet! I have my runner on the side that I bought from Target and LOVE. I looked to see if they have the same print in a larger size but they don't. I don't want to spend too much money on it, but I'm also willing to view it as an investment. I'm also nervous about buying a color that easily stains or buying a print that I'll dislike in a couple years. I guess I'm looking for a durable, classic print/color, preferably darker or primary colors. Any advice?

And I'll wrap with a quick summary of my lessons for each grade:

In kindergarten this week, we read Louise Loves Art (a great book!) then students drew their own masterpieces on They loved it! And I'm loving them! The kindergarteners are so, so sweet! 

In first grade, the students took a pre-assessment (which I described as "Questions about information I haven't even taught you yet!") for my SLO. My focus this year is on writing great wonders, understanding what makes their wonder great, then having the ability to use a keyword to find information in a book or on a website. This ties in nicely with the first grade focus on text features and the focus on wonders was something I wanted to make sure I did this year. After they finished the students went on Brain Pop Jr and watched the Movie of the Week about Community Helpers.
With second graders, we started by reading On A Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein. Then we discussed what made a great wonder using some silly and some serious examples about insects. Students partnered up to write wonders about a topic of their choosing using the provided sentence starters: "I wonder what...", "I wonder how...", "I wonder where...", etc.
Third week done and a lot of exciting year left ahead!


Five for Friday with My Favorite Subject

I somehow never linked up to the rest of the Teacher Week link up at Blog Hoppin'. 
I had great intentions to take TONS of pictures of my classroom because I was so excited about how it all turned out. Well Wednesday I got to work at 6:40 and left at 5. It was a looonnnggg day! I think I sat down for literally ten minutes during the day and couldn't wait for the staff meeting because it meant I got to sit down and someone else was in charge! 
Then Thursday was our Open House. Which was awesome sauce.
(Pre-open house selfie checking to make sure I looked presentable). 

I loved getting to meet all the parents and see older siblings and getting to have the students introduce me to their families. 
But it meant I got home at around 7 and STILL had to do a 6.5 mile run. So yep. No Sanity Savers either. Even though I had a really awesome one with how I prep my clothes for the week. Oh well.
Let's just skip to TODAY! And our favorite subject!

When I first saw this link up I thought it meant your favorite subject in general, to which I said: Favorite subject is by far history. I love a lot of other topics like creative writing and biology and philosophy but history I love all of it, not just bits and pieces of the discipline. Which is why I have my B.A. in History! It's a VERY helpful degree to have as a Pre-K to grade 2 technology teacher...okay not at all. But I still am glad I have the degree. Like yes - I am a certified teacher with my M.S. in Educational Technology! But I also have a history degree! It's almost like a secret power or something. Okay I'm officially rambling now. 
But then I realized it's your favorite subject to TEACH (I'm telling you, I am TIRED!). So that would be technology. For evidence, see number quatro. Although I'd love to teach history. Someday.

Got this delivered to my house after work (even though I SWEAR I put in my work address when I ordered it - sigh. Apparently I'm overtired). This will become a part of my Calm Kit which I'll hopefully have implemented starting next week! 

This week I really loved my lessons for my classes. They all achieved the same objective (Creating class rules and choosing one to look at more closely) but each grade did it in a slightly different way.

They all began by brainstorming ways they can follow our three school rules during media: Take care of ourselves, Take care of others, Take care of our school.

Then I introduced them to how they would earn points on Class Dojo (based on these three rules) and asked them if they wanted to join the 500 Points Club. Which is something I made up in the Eleventh Hour right before my first class came on Wednesday.
But they loved it. They all wanted to join the club. I like it because it's collective and not a competition between students or between classes. There are only three spots because I have three AM classes and three PM classes each day.

Then Kindergarten kiddos chose one idea and drew it on Lucas' Whiteboard, a Google extension that is super basic coloring website and great for kindergartners.

First Graders also chose one idea and used the same website they did last week, A Web Whiteboard(AWW), but this time the focus was on typing the idea first then drawing a picture to demonstrate it. 

Second graders did something different though. After much thought, I just didn't feel right with having the second graders using the AWW site. For the first graders, I want them to practice typing but for second graders, I decided instead I wanted them to have a chance to move. I decided to have them create tableau's in small groups then they would have a group photographer take a picture to share with the rest of the class. 
This site helped me figure out the details when I thought of the idea the morning of my new lesson cycle. I had four students per group and each group got one planning sheet, and one iPad, which they used to take the picture.

I was a little nervous to have the students do a collaborative project like this only two weeks into the year but it went pretty well! The kiddos loved it, were really focused on creating the tableau, and were super excited to use the iPads. 

 I know I have a five. Really. Oh! I know! A teacher saw my posters and signs and asked me to create a Weekly Wrap Up sheet for her. I created 8 versions and ultimately she chose this one. 

Happy Friday and Happy Labor Day Weekend!!


Currently September with Make Ahead Meal!

Linking up to both Currently and Blog Hoppin' Make Ahead Meal (see Loving!).

Listening:  It's hot out! It's in the high 80s and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 90s!


This is also my Make Ahead Meal for the Blog Hoppin' link up! I only have one make ahead meal and it's my lunch! Sunday night I pre-chop all my cucumbers and red peppers, toss a whole head of lettuce and some tomatoes into baggies, cook five veggie burgers, put them in buns, put everything into plastic containers and voila! Lunch is ready for the next week!
 I bring the whole thing into school Monday and it only takes about five minutes to make the salad and microwave the burger (after putting ketchup and vegan mayonnaise on it). Saves a ton of time (about 20 minutes each morning) AND I still feel like I'm being healthy and getting my veggies every day.

Must make sure lessons are ready for tomorrow! But...I bet my bed would be pretty comfy right now... 

Wanting: Magic energy like my kiddos have. I'm in my second week of school and loving it. But the kiddos definitely have more energy then I do!

Needing: Sleep...zzz

1. I really, really, really want to have an engaging, differentiated classroom this year. Last year I feel like I set the framework and I LOVED being able to create most of my lessons from scratch but this year I am super excited to be fine tuning them and really making sure that they are reaching all students.
2. Build relationships with my kiddos, especially those little nuggets who need the extra love. I feel like right now I can barely breathe during the day, let alone find extra time to meet with kiddos and build those relationships but I'm determined I will! Before school isn't as great of a time this year, but since I don't have a duty during dismissal I think I might be able to use that time.
3. Organization! I currently have one big pile next to my desk and a bunch of papers in my filing cabinet that I desperately need to organize. But I can't find any time! Everyday organizing them gets pushed to the bottom of my To Do List. I will find the time! (and if I don't, I think I'll still be okay). 


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