Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Night of Reading Centers

Hey everyone!!!

It's been a while but we have been busy as bees here lately so let's fly right in. This semester we hosted our first Parent Night. Students worked together to decide what parents should get to know and see from our Reading Centers. We discussed how these centers are a part of our every day and families should see how we spend such a big part of our day. I then sent out a survey using the wonderful Google Forms to find which day worked best for families. After that, well, it was time to get some invitations made and get them in the hands of students and families. Thanks RedStamp for the beautiful and easy design process!

Since we do centers daily, there was no extra prep (which we can all appreciate) AND the students are the pros at doing this so they were the teachers the entire night. We had a great turnout! Check out my students in action!

We had a blast! The students are already excited about hosting a Math Center Night soon. Be on the lookout for our next event!

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year Celebration: School Style!

The new year is here! Hello 2017! While many of us celebrated NYE and the beginning of our new year with family, friends, and loved ones.....well I didn't get to celebrate it with my kiddos and who doesn't want to throw a celebration again? (nobody, that's who!)

So Wednesday night I went and raided the Wal-Mart clearance section for tons of cheap celebration goodies. You can't pass up $0.75 for a pack of glasses! Then on Thursday, we discussed as a class what students did, what the new year means for some, and what it means for our class: This is a continuance of our learning but a new year to start off however we decide.  Then we got down to celebration mode! Cue the decorations and countdown. (and no celebration is complete without confetti.....)
 Wait for it......

 Even Mrs. Payne from across the hall wanted to join in the fun!

Of course, what happens after every good celebration? The cleanup, of course. There is NO WAY we could leave that mess for our wonderful custodians (let alone continue to function in the room that afternoon) so we set to cleanup duty!
 Afterwards we jotted down our goals for the year using an updated 2017 New Year Celebration sheet that you can grab from TpT!
Some goals we had:
- Read: science, more, Junie B., less
- Learn: to read better, talk less, math, facts, more, better
- Try: to stay calm, apples, be nice, my best, harder, to listen
- Do more: have fun, learn, read, write
- Do less: be mean, talk, sit

Looking at these goals, we've got a great year ahead!

Here's to trying new things, stopping bad habits, and making memories!

What's with the box?

It's here! It's here! The excitement is like waking up on Christmas morning or your birthday! We have successfully made it to 2017! That means we are half way through the school year. We have used half of our learning time. We only have half our learning time left! Oh no! That turned downhill quickly! As I race to fit as much learning, fun, teamwork, and happiness into the rest of the year I wanted to pop in and give you a quick glance at our first day back. We crammed a ton in our day today and I can't wait to show you the awesome-sauce that resulted!

Backstory: Over break I worked on updating 7/8 of our school's iPad carts as well as working on getting 2 new carts setup. In setting up these new carts I got to inbox 60 new iPads. Can we say Christmas and birthday all wrapped into one! Well, let's just say my enthusiasm quickly fled when I realized the cardboard jungle I had then created.
So what was I to do with all of those boxes? Of course, I could just put them in the recycling but why not get some use out of them? Bring on the morning of challenges.

We started by challenging each table to try and create the tallest structure using the materials provided (each group received the same materials: 1 big box, 2 trays, 10 individual boxes). It was amazing to see them trying to figure out how to stack and stand without using tape.
Our Round 1 results are as followed:
So I walked around and measure these amazing structures. They were so excited thinking it was a competition against the other groups. Ha! Little did they know my plan was for them to compete against themselves. We discussed how different groups had tried different techniques and what they had noticed during the process. Then I challenged them to build another structure that was taller than the one they had in front of them. Their task: to beat themselves! Boy did they deliver!
 Each group was able to beat the height of their first structures! How cool is that!

For our 3rd and final challenge teams were tasked with creating the strongest structure. This would be tested with classroom textbooks. Let the building begin!
 In the end, we had two structures that tied at 24 books and counting. We simply ran out of time.
This was one of the best challenges that simply came out of nowhere. Students were challenged, resourceful, and had to work together. Who knew a box could be so fun?

Here's to imagination, creation, and collaboration!