Friday, August 17, 2012

A Work in Progress!

Well, still no AC at school, but that hasn't stopped me from sweating it out in my room for the past week! I'm not totally done, so no pictures of the room yet, but I will share one of the projects I've tackled this week: notebook ribbon bookmarks! I'm pretty sure that I got this idea off of Pinterest...my school pin boards are getting so out of control, I don't even know what I've got!

You will come to know that I am in love with notebooking! I'm also in love with notebooking in composition notebooks. The kiddos seem to love to tear paper out of spiral notebooks but they don't tear paper out of their composition notebooks. I was so excited to find them in fun colors for $0.50 this year! Worth it, for sure!

In the past, we've used paperclips to mark our page in our math and science notebooks, but they were always getting lost and - let's face it - they're not all that cute or fun. This year, I got some fun ribbon, cut 6 inch pieces and hot glued them to the back inside cover of the notebooks. Now, every notebook will have a fun, permanent bookmark! (P.S. It took me forever! I'll be glad I did it when I don't have to hear "AHH! Where's my paperclip?! I need a paperclip!" in the middle of modeling a notebooking activity!)

We do a WHOLE lot more to our notebooks to get them ready for all the great stuff that goes in them, but that will come when the kids get here!
Whoooo loves notebooking? ME! :)

One completed set done!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Not a fan! (The "Before")

School's on its way, so it's back to blogging for me! Hopefully, from here until May I'll be a faithful teacher blogger. Time will tell! Anyway, I was able to get my key today...YAY! However, my entire school is without air conditioning...BOO! I can't complain too much - I mean, our school is getting brand new ACs (which is very important in Texas where it is summer until November). The timing, however, isn't the best for all the hardworking teachers in my building. Since I'm an avid blog-stalker, I feel like I need to join in on the fun and post before and after pictures of my classroom. I don't know about anyone else, but at my school we have to pack up all the stuff in our classrooms so that the building can be thoroughly cleaned over the summer. That's why my classroom looks so empty sad at the moment. It will be a totally different place in the course of a week or so! Please note my plethora of fans (can you find all 4?!) that were begged and borrowed from my family so that I wouldn't die of a heat stroke.

The view from the door

The view from the opposite wall

Monday, June 18, 2012

The only time I don't mind throw up...

Lovely, right? I know, it's gross, but what if I told you that the little guy above could help you out in a mini-lesson about the 3 sounds of -ed that your kids would never forget? We keep things classy in Mrs. Becton's class, but I go ahead and let my hair down for this lesson and it's worth it. The kids are crazy engaged!

It has been decided that all teachers on our campus will team teach in the upcoming year and I have been chosen to teach math and science. I'm super excited about teaching those subjects exclusively since I really feel that they are my area of expertise, but I will miss teaching ELAR! That's what prompted this post. This is one of those fun Language Arts lessons that I will miss terribly next year, but I know my partner will rock it out and with any luck, my kids will still get the barfing pumpkin lesson from her! :)

So how does this all work? Well, I'd love to post a picture of the anchor chart we create, but of course, it's locked up in my classroom until August so you'll just have to use your imagination. For preparation, all I do is glue the picture above - nice and big - onto the middle of some chart paper. Once I show the kids, they usually have a nice long laugh/gross out session! When that is out of their systems, I write 3 words on the chart paper:

barfed
vomited
hurled

Again, lots of laughing ensues because they can't believe that Mrs. Becton has dared to write such words! (I'll have to admit that "hurled" isn't one of my favorites...if you can think of a better throw up word with the "d" sound, please let me know!) Once that has died down, we really get into some great discussion about how even though all the words end in -ed, they each have different sounds (barfed (t), vomited (ed), hurled (d)). After that, we have lots of fun listing all the different -ed words we can think of and writing them on our barfing pumpkin anchor chart. It may not be your average lesson, but at the end of each year, I can always say with certainty that my kiddos know the 3 sounds of -ed very well!  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Parkour!

One of the best parts of the year is our annual Faculty Follies celebrations on the very last day of school. At this program, it's the teachers' turn to be crazy and make the kids laugh. Some of my second grade friends and I decided to make a silly movie and this is what we came up with. We had lots of fun and I think the kiddos had fun watching! Hopefully, this will give you a laugh or two as well. Happy summer!
video

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One of my favorite parts

As I was taking things off my classroom walls today in preparation for the end of the year, I found myself removing one of my class' most prized possessions - our letter from Mickey Mouse himself.
Chances are, you've seen this on Pinterest. From the moment I pinned this idea, I knew we had to try it! When we were learning about/practicing friendly letters this year, we each wrote to one of our favorite Disney characters. (I even wrote one to my favorite princess, Jasmine. I made sure to let her know that I still have - and sometimes use - my Princess Jasmine beach towel!) The kids were BEYOND excited when we got a response...and I have to admit, so was I! Our class received a letter from Mickey and each student got a postcard with their name written on the back "signed" by various characters. It was so neat! Here are the examples of the cards we received. I apologize for their blurriness. I am a little too tired to try and take better ones. Maybe I should say lazy...either way it's pretty sad!
This is the card all the girls got.

This is the card all the boys got. Again, sorry for the blur!
If you're interested in writing letters to Disney, here is what I did. Each child made a final draft of their letter using the ReadWriteThink Letter Generator. Once that was finished, I put all of the letters in a big envelope and sent them to this address:


Walt Disney World Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040


I made sure to request that any responses be sent to my school address, care of me. Disney did not disappoint! I sent off the letters on the Friday before our spring break and recieved the response package the Monday that we came back. It was such a great surprise to have waiting for us on our first day back from break! A word of advice: I think these are the only cards that Disney sends out, so it would be wise to have your students only write to one of the characters pictured above. Most of mine did, but I had a few who wrote to Woody, Buzz, etc. and they were a bit bummed when they didn't get an autograph from them. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why would you start a teaching blog? The school year's over!

Right you are, husband! Technically, anyway! For me, however, the new school year will begin in exactly 2.5 days when these not-so-little-anymore second graders head out my door on Thursday for the final time. Over the summer, my mind will be reeling with ideas and inspiration for next year. Don't gt me wrong, I plan to relax, veg, and totally forget about school on some days, but I really take joy and find so much excitement in getting ready for my new bunch of kiddos to come in August. It's just in my DNA, I guess. Summer just gets me relaxed, refreshed and pumped for the upcoming school year! I don't know what I'd do without this break. It definiltey helps me be a better teacher! I've deliberated about starting a blog for a while now. I stalk...er, follow so many awesome teacher blogs I wasn't sure if I could be as great as any of them. I probably won't be, but that won't stop me from trying! :) Join me on my new blog adventure...I hope you made room for seconds!