Thursday, August 11, 2011

Simple and Pretty Darn Cute!

I have received many questions about the purpose of these balloons other than the obvious- they make the classroom look really cute! Our school has a Meet the Teacher night before school starts. This is an informal hour of time that parents bring their students to school to find their spot, meet the teacher, pick up materials, and get familiar with the room before school officially begins. If you look closely at the balloons, you will see that each one has a student's name written on it. I use them so that the students can quickly locate their seat when they come in the room. They also serve as little welcome gifts that the students take with them when they leave for the night. I order the balloons from Fry's (our Kroger grocery store) the morning of Meet the Teacher Night and then pick them up a few hours before students arrive. Simple, fun, and a great way to welcome kids to second grade!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"I need to go to the bathroom!"

How many times have you heard that phrase right in the middle of a lesson? Or worse yet, you're rockin' a lesson, the kids are into it, participation is high and they're on a roll. You call on an eager hand raiser thinking they have a great comment to add to the discussion and instead, you get the dreaded question that brings everything to a halt. "Can I go to the bathroom?"  Ugh.

In my early years of teaching I didn't have a system for letting kids use the bathroom. I just assumed that they would be honest and go when they needed to. Instead, I had kids trying to go to meet up with friends, to get out of working, and every other imaginable reason. Now, I spend a significant amount of time training my kids to go only during work times, recess, or lunch. Plus, I use the magical bathroom tokens.
These are poker chips that I spray painted to match the colors of my room. If you aren't obsessed with having everything matchy-matchy like me, you can use unpainted chips. Each child gets 4 tokens a week. They may use these tokens during working times to use the bathroom. The catch is that they only get 4 so they have to use them wisely. Kids who have 3 or 4 left on Friday get 2 punches on their punch card.  If they have 1 or 2 left, they get one punch. I encourage my kids to use the bathroom for "free" during recess and lunch so that they don't have to use their tokens. Every token has the child's number on it so that I can return them on Monday. It has been the BEST bathroom system and has eliminated unnecessary trips to the BR which means more time for learning!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School Giveaway!

Today was my first day BTS and I'm still ALIVE!!! Actually, it was a very successful and rewarding day. At the beginning of every year I'm always thankful for the Whole Brain Teaching management approach. If you're not familiar, you will have to check it out here and I will post more about it another day!

On to the point of THIS blog......

In honor of my first day back, I will be hosting my very first blog GIVEAWAY!!! That's right! You can win a $20 gift card to Target!!!

You know you've been eyeing items in the dollar section. Just think of how many you can buy with 20 big ones! (okay, I know, that's an obvious one!) Here's how to enter........

  • Become a new follower of my blog (if you became a follower today before this post, it still counts! Just make sure you leave a comment!)
  • Grab my button and put it on your blog
  • Add me to your blogroll
  • Blog about this giveaway!
  • Pin something of mine from this blog onto your Pinterest boards
Leave one comment for each entry to let me know how you entered and I will announce the big winner on August 15th. Good Luck!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's Finished!!!

We had Meet the Teacher night Friday and it was a huge success! I always love having time before the first day of school to meet my new kiddos and parents. Everyone was thrilled with the classroom and very eager to start school on Monday. I managed to snap some pictures of my room before the first students walked in. I love how the room came together!

This is the view of the tables with the balloons, notebooks, and other items the kids pick up at meet the teacher night. The balloons have the student's names written on them.

These are pictures of my classroom library. I have a very large library! The bulletin board will be used for our monthly author study.

My butterfly garden and seating in front of the garden.

Calendar and meeting area with new crate seats!

Monarch of the Week Bulletin Board

CAFE and Daily 5 Board

Another nook in my library that I'll use for my music learning lab

Birthday board, book box shelves and learning lab chart.

Reading table and teacher area. Interesting word boardis in the background.

Homeworkopoly and shelf for homework binders.

Word wall and sink area. The colors are really washed out!

School starts tomorrow. I have no idea where the summer went; but I'm ready to start another fantastic year in second grade!