Sunday, September 26, 2010


Every year in my hometown, they have a local festival to celebrate the harvest season of apples from the orchards!  It is a tradition of my families to try to get back there to celebrate.  When we started having children and they entered school, the new tradition was to pick apples and bring them back to their classes.  Well, now that I am a teacher, I am continuing the tradition by bringing back fresh apples picked "special" by me for each of my students.  They get to taste the difference of these fresh apples compared to the apples that are processed and sold in the stores.  They absolutely LOVED them!  I even had one girl eat hers down to the core.  She picked out her seeds and everything!
My last year's class all came back to ask the kids what they thought.  It was a memory for them.  I hope to continue on with the tradition each year!

International Dot Day

On September 15, 2010, my class and I celebrated "International Dot Day."  This day is based off of Peter Reynolds famous book, "The Dot."  This is a day to motivate students to celebrate their own creativity.  My students made Dot art:

They also went on a photography "dot" scavenger hunt around our school.  The goal of the Scavenger hunt was for them to look for "dots" that somehow symbolized how they were making their mark as an Engleman Wildcat!  WOW!!!  They went above and beyond my imagination.  They were so very creative in their quest.  Here are some of the things they took a picture of:
  • Clock-because in order to be a good Engleman Wildcat, you have to be responsible by being on time to school!
  • $500 check from Hy-Vee-because we raise money to help out our school
  • Cameras in the ceiling-because "we walk in the halls even when we are being watched."  LOL-this one made me chuckle!
  • Learning target-in order to learn we have to know what our target is and whether or not we hit the bullseye!
  • Golden Sower sticker on books-we make our mark by learning to love to read good books!
There are even more!  They did such a GOOD job on this project that I am definitely going to repeat it next year.  Not only are they celebrating their creativity, but they are also learning how to "make their mark" as a good citizen at our school!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Math Strategy Posters

I know a lot of you have been asking me to post these strategy posters that I created...well, I FINALLY had the time to sit down and do it!  I created these posters to help my students not only remember the strategies that are presented to them, but also to VISUALIZE those strategies.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Editing Eddy"

My 2nd graders will be starting the editing portion of The Writer's Workshop this week.  To aide them in this process, we created a character known as "Editing Eddy."  Eddy helps my students remember that Editing involves:  punctuation, capitalization, and spelling checks.  The following character helps us remember all the things to look for: 
Add a period=Face and nose of Eddy
Quotation Marks=eyes of Eddy
Add ?=Ears of Eddy
Add !=Neck of Eddy
Capital letters needed=Hair of Eddy
Spelling check=mouth of Eddy

Last year, when my students had this visual to use for editing, they remembered the steps so much more and were FAR more successful in their endeavors as editors!  Try it out with your students!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Classroom and Bucket Filling!

Take a look at my classroom this year.  My co-teachers and I have gone with an ocean/beach theme this year.  I must say that it was a TON of fun creating all the goodies that we have in our room.  2010-2011 Classroom

We are also doing "Bucket-Filling" this year.  This is such a GREAT way to incorporate being nice to one another.  If you haven't read the book, consider checking it out and possibly incorporating some form of it in your classroom (click on the picture below to order from Amazon.) 
Through the use of our bucket-filling, we have created a classroom family.  Each of my students really look out for one another and LOVE filling each others buckets on a daily basis.  It isn't only best friends filling each others buckets, either.  They are filling buckets of students that they normally wouldn't have connected with.  I have seen such positive and endearing moments between the children!

The beginning of my adventure in blogging!

I decided to start this new adventure called blogging to hopefully share with parents, other teachers, and family/friends. I have already taught a year, but my second year of teaching has proven to be easier in some ways and harder in others. I am glad that you are joining me in my adventure to share this passion of mine-teaching!