Sunday, August 26, 2012

Made it through the first week!

Virginia and I started back to school this past week.  Monday and Tuesday we had Teacher Institute Days.  The students came on Wed.  We both enjoyed meeting our new group of students, but the first week is always an exhausting one.  Of course it didn't help that our playground is not ready yet for the students to play on.  On Friday afternoon one of our blacktops was free of construction material so the students could finally get out and play.  Even though it was hot and humid out it nice to finally get some fresh air. 
We are ready to start our first week now and get into the weekly routine of a weekly story, starting writer's workshop, math, science, and social studies. 

This week we also have our Curriculum Night.  Virginia found a site with reading tips for parents at different grade levels and comes in both English and Spanish.  Just click on the either one of the images below to take you to the website.  Just scroll down for your grade level.
In Spanish

In English
We will be back with more ideas to share at Curriculum Night.
Have a good week.
Virginia and Sandy

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Before Classroom Pictures

Last month I mentioned that my friend from school was going to be joining my blog.  Virginia is our first grade bilingual teacher at our school.  Virginia was one of the lucky or maybe unlucky ones that had to pack up and move classrooms this summer.  (Depending on how you see it. I personally don't mind moving.  It forces me to get rid of some stuff that I have been hanging on too.)

The reason for moving classrooms and our construction theme is that Kindergarten is going all day starting this year.  So this summer two classrooms needed to be built and the now four kindergarten rooms need to be renovated to meet the needs of kindergarten students. 

The construction is yet to be finished (keeping our fingers crossed that is for the first day of school), but most of us are now able to get into our classrooms.

I'm always bad about remembering to take pictures. However Virginia did take some before pictures. 

It also looks like when they cleaned they put some Smartboard boxes in her room.  I'm sure there are some anxious teachers that will want those in their classrooms. 

Looks like Virginia's Smartboard has been installed already.  I have to same I'm a little jealous that she gets her projector mounted to the wall.  Mine has to go on the cart, and I have to worry about students (and me) tripping over cords all the time.

I love the bright colored backgrounds on the bulletin boards. 

A view of the back of the room. Yes, that's a green chalkboard back there.  Our school is slowly turning all of the chalkboards to white boards.

Now for some bulletin boards in the hallway.  Virginia's classroom is the main hallway so all the classes in our school go up and down her hallway for most of our specials.  So the bulletin boards have to be great. No pressure.

Miss Duran' Class Sign is from Vistaprint.

Welcome to First Grade Bulletin Board

So Welcome to my blog Virginia. I'm sure you will have lots of great ideas to share with all of us.

So if you know someone that teaches a bilingual class (Spanish) please tell them about our blog.  It's not just second grade stuff in English.

Here is one of Virginia's documents that she has translated into Spanish.

My Great Ideas to Write About

Virginia also has another item in the blog post below so if you haven't seen it check it out.

Stayed tuned for the makeover pictures and much more.

Don't forget about our sales at TPT and TN.

Click on the image below to visit our shop.

All my items are 20% off on TN.  Click the image below to check out this shop.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back To School Product Premiere

A bunch of awesome teachers/bloggers have joined together to share their favorite personal item form their TPT store. 
When I first started teaching persusaive writing wasn't one of my favorite writing genres.   Over the last couple of years I have worked on some great ideas to help teach persuasive writing to my second graders.  That's how this unit came about. 
 Persuasive Writing Unit- Includes 8 lesson plan ideas with book suggestions, graphic organizer, writing center idea, and writing prompts. (Regular price $4)

Mini-lesson ideas to help you get started some with book suggestions.
Printables to go with some of the lesson ideas.
Graphic Organizer

A simple rubric is included along with a end of  unit writing prompt.

Writing Center Activity

Click on the image below to check out this unit on TPT.

If you were ever hesistant to try persusasive writing with your students when this might be just for you. I have gotten some postitive feedback about how this was a helpful resource to use with persuasive writing.

I hope you enjoy the persuasive writing unit as much as I have with my students.

Also this will be a great time to pick up my Getting to Know Your students Survey in Spanish.  (Translated by my new blogging partner Virginia Duran)  This is available in both English and Spanish so with the 28% sale this is a great time to get both. 

So be sure to check out my store on Aug. 12-13 and stock up on some items for the school year.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Got Mail!

I love it when I get packages.  I feel like a little kid at Christmas. I know what it's inside, but it's always fun to open them and see the items you purchased in person.

From Oriental Trading I received this on Wednesday.

Construction hats and matching vests.  I'm going to have the students put these on and I'm going to take a picture.  I'm really liking the pink construction hat/vest.  I wanted something that was more "girly" for the girls.

Last night I ordered some other construction items for a welcome gift.  I can't wait for that to be delivered.

I've been working on some more construction theme items.

Here's a sneak peek.  Click on the picture to purchase from TPT.

Upcoming Sales- everything in my stores will be on sale.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 2 of classroom set up

 Next week I will be at a math training all week so I have been going in to work on my classroom.  I was getting worried with all the construction at our building that I wouldn't be able to get in my class room before my training.  But I lucked out and today was Day 2 of setting up my classroom. 

I actually got a lot accomplished today during my 3 hour visit.  I was the only one on my floor so I didn't get stopped talking with anybody. 

Our school theme is construction, but I'm going with a black/white theme with bright accent colors.  We had a lot of changes last year and I think a bright room is just what the doctor ordered.

My Guided Reading Bulletin Board. This is an old rolling coat stand which I use for storage on one side and a bulletin board on the othere.  Eventually it will have the daily shedule of groups on this. The background paper looks yellow in this picture, but it is really greenish/yellow that picks up a light green in the border.  It looks much better in person.

Reading  Comprehension Board- very similiar to the CAFE board, but I using the 6 reading strategies.  (I know I left one of the cards at home.) i.e. Ask questions and as I do a mini-lesson I will add that skill under the strategy. i.e. Skill- asking fat questions.
Also in the picture is Gina who was helping me with the bulletin boards today.

6 Traits Board which is set up like the Reading Comprehension board above.  Both signs are going to bigger. I thought I was going to put them on a smaller board, but those were too small.

My Zebra Word Wall- it's my favorite. 

Genres- Need a title for this one still.

For our school construction theme. It's still a work in progress I'm having trouble finding construction theme items for a the welcome board.  However I found yellow and pink construction hats and vests to match at Oriental Trading.  I'm going to take the students picture dressed up as a construction worker on the 1st day. 

Well that's it on the pictures for now.

For those of you who are not members of the 2nd Grade Teachers Club or just didn't see it.  Jessica Winston posted a document that was Currently Inspired.  (You know the Currenty linky.  I know I like reading those to learn more about bloggers.)  Well anyway I needed to add lines and graphics to it so I reposted it on the 2nd Grade Teachers Club and on TPT. 

It has primary and intermediate lines.  I can't wait to see what my students write.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Star Binder Hollywood/Western Style

As many of you already know the last few years I had a Hollywood classroom theme.  Last year our school had a Western theme.  So I tried to incorporate a little bit of both.

That's how I came about with the Hollywood/Western Theme STAR Binder.  I know it's weird, but I wasn't quite ready to give up all of my Hollywood decorations yet.

The top part got cut off.  It says A STAR on the Ranch.  I like the use the 1/2 inch view binders so I can insert the cover sheets on top.

Here's the cover of the one I had 2 years ago when our school theme was rock-n-roll.

If you are looking to purchase Binder Covers both Christina Bainbridge and Teachers Clubhouse sell them.  So check out their sites.

When you open the binder on the left is the "Very Important Papers".  This is where I have students put important notes that parents need to see right away.  Also parents leave notes there as well for the students to find easily.

The zippered pouch is where student put money and pencils.  So there is no reason to complete their  homework with crayons or markers.  I used to get the cheap plastic pencils pouches when they went on sale for 50 cents, but my students used to rip them or the zipper wouldn't last long.  So I purchased the material ones at out of one of teaching catalogs and used them two years in a row now.  So it was worth the extra expense.

In the plastic sleeve are the STAR Binder Rules

Next are the plastic folders with the 3 hole punch.  These are a little more expensive, but they hold up all year long.  On the left side is where students put their homework.

Completed classwork goes here.

The back of the binder sleeve I have students put their spelling list so it doesn't get lost.

Need labels for your STAR Binders?  Here are some that I have that can be downloaded from Google Docs.  Just click on the image below.

STAR Binder Rules (slightly different than the one in the picture above.) but it's the one that I have had on my website for many years in case you missed it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Classroom Pictures Finally!

I am finally getting around to posting some classroom pictures.  I did go into school today to drop off some print shop and took a look at my classroom.  I started moving some of the furniture around.  Half-way through I remembered I wanted to show some before pictures.  So I only took a few, but you are going to have to wait on seeing the before shots.  Because as I was looking at my pictures I found some of my classroom pictures from last year that I never posted. 

The last few years I have had a Hollywood theme in my classroom.  .

My Hollywood Word Wall - I had the Word Wall Words on yellow and white popcorn pieces.

My Author of the Month Spotlight Board.  Some of the author studies I do are: Kevin Henkes, Robert Munsch, Jan Brett, and Gail Gibbons. 

Poppin' Through Our Math Facts. This might look very familiar to many that's because I purchased this item from Teachers Clubhouse.

Sorry that this picture is sideways.  This is my CAFE Board.  I got the Hollywood signs free on Proteacher.

Tomorrow I will be back to blog about my STAR binder.  I have gotten a couple of questions asking about that.