Friday, August 31, 2012

We made it 3 weeks!

A pretty good week. Learning to read with stamina has been very successful. We are also talking about reading for information, and using the post-its to record and remember things in both text books and books for enjoyment.

During 1 lesson we discussed the 3 ways to read. I made a poster for the classroom and the kids made 1 for at home. A parent texted me this picture showing the poster on the bedroom wall. I love it!

We had a great day listening to each of the children explain their Family Project. Right now we have 85% of the posters turned in and I know the others will show up Tuesday! Cannot wait for you parents to come and see the way by our door! Its WONDERFUL and all of the posters are unique!

Note to self- NO SCHOOL Monday! I will not wake up at 5:30 (I hope) and the kids will not show up at school. Have a great Labor Day Weekend, remember to thank the people who serve our community and state for their hard work!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some reminders

1st family project due Friday! We will be taking a test on the Georgia geography information used for project, next Tuesday. Including border states, rivers and locations, regions and locations. Most of the kids have been doing well with this info in class.

Spelling test this Friday on "long and short vowel words". New list will be on spelling city beginning Friday night if you want to get a jump start on them this weekend.

No School next Monday in honor of Labor Day! 1st PTA meeting and Open House at HLES is next Thursday at 6:30. I will be handing out the 1st Butterfly Book Report poster at the meeting.

We are working on writing complete sentences in the "narrative writing" genre. The expectations on the kids' is that they:
1. Keep the same idea or topic throughout their writing.
2. Organize their events in order of when they happened in the story or real life.
3. Print legibly with clear letters and spaces, moving left to right and top to bottom across the page. (we should no longer be numbering the sentences unless its spelling or grammar homework)
4. Spell all Dolche words correctly and any previously taught spelling words within the story.
5. Begin to use interesting and different words when writing. "The black cat is fat." is not an interesting sentence, "the cat that is as dark as the night is so big he looks like he ate a football." is much more interesting!
5. The mechanics of each sentence should include appropriate capital letters and punctuation.

In math our focus is Place Value. We are breaking 3 digit numerals into Base Ten form, Word form, and Expanded Notation form. It looks like this: 693
[] [] [] [] [] [] ||||||||| xxx
[] = 100. | = 10 X = 1

Six hundred ninety-three

600+ 90+ 3

Don't forget that WORK on and spelling City can count as nightly reading time!

This post has been re-published 2 times, by mistakes all of my own doing!
I went to read comments made by Mrs McKinney and Mrs Nance but hit wrong tab and deleted them! Ooppps! I did see parts of your comments in an email though, it did work this tome RM.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Random Stuff

Hi y'all! We had a good day! I enjoyed our writing and spelling lessons today. Mr Estell taught the kids about the Cobb Virtual Library during computer lab today, he showed us some cool web sites like world book for kids and started the conversations about AR reading. I am frantically trying to make a reading log but it just won't print right, so please continue to log the 20 minute minimum of reading (book/nook/kindle/internet) each night on the agenda. Hopefully it will work out ok soon!

I am getting questions about the book report due September 15th. While I am not picky about which book your child chooses, it needs to have a plot. Books like "Hop On Pop" and "No David!" are Not really book report material. It can be a good picture book like Pirates Don't Do Diapers or The Giving Tree, or a chapter book like "Junie B Jones" or "Flat Stanley" (just examples don't everyone run out and get them). you'll get the "butterfly" poster next Thursday at pta so get started on the book soon!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Note to self: I think HOMEWORK is an important activity. In my opinion its value lies in the thought that families are to complete together, that so there is parental awareness on the skills being taught. Yes I give packets of work, and have a due date but With that said,  I'll never flip out about homework not being completed. While i appreciate your dedication, the kids will never see me get on students (those who are constantly growing and improving academically anyway) about not finishing something. I never really want them doing homework for 2-3 hours on sundays so they can turn it  in on Mondays. It is too much pressure on all of us, and it fosters a negative feeling of school work for the kids.  

My opinion about reading each night is different than my feelings about homework. I think that reading every evening is crucial for a student's development. Reading logs will be sent home (finally) tomorrow!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Writing Activity for Fridays

Our friday writing activity combines work and play. I brought my puppet theatre and basket full of puppets from kindergarten with the thought that the children can practice writing for an audience and  with "voice, in an immediatly obvious way. "Writing Scripts" was developed. The children were given the choice of finishing a narrative writing piece, a new narrative piece or a script for a puppet show. Well, some kids chose each option, and below you see our first attempts at script writing. I say see because you really cannot hear much! lol! Enjoy our first attempts.
Miss G

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Change in Classroom

We are sad to mention the changes that our class has undergone today. Its actually a bittersweet change that in the longrun will be a blessing, but its tough to see our friends in other classes now. Harmony Leland has qualified for 3 new teachers because of class sizes, 1 in kindergarten, 1 in second, and 1 in third.  YES I said 1 in second!
We have reduced our class size from 28 to 21. Seven of our friends have been transferred into different classes. Each class has had some kids move around, but we will miss those that are no longer in F10.

OH Yeah! Our first spelling test is tomorrow! I hope everyone is ready!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Part 1 of the "Daily 5"

So, today we began learning about our literacy activities. The first one is "Read to Self".  While I know that all the kids know the basics of "how to read", what they are not always doing is staying focused on the book and are being distracted by the slightest sound or movement near them. Today we practiced our "reading stamina".  That is the length of time we could read without stopping.  The kids thought that as a class they could last for "18 minutes", "1 hour", or "the rest of our lives"! Lol, gotta love their enthusiasm. Then a voice of reason said, "How about 5 mins?", and I said, " I hope so!". We made a deal, if they could read silently for 5 mins straight, then we could play outside early for 5 minutes.  The first try we made it 40 seconds. It took a few tries... But eventually we made it to 5 mins. In fact we made it to 10! We'll try to make it to 15 or 20 tomorrow!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

IXL, raz-kids and SpellingCity

I just recieved an email saying that our students have completed over 1300 math problems and have spent 8 hours and 45 minutes working on their website! That news is awesome! I love seeing that Sean, Kaitlyn, Thema, Omari, Cameron D., Marie, Albert, spent almost an hour on the web site last week. I am so happy to see that Kyle, Andrew, Jasmine, Matteo, and Vyrenne visited the site in their spare time. that is 40% of our students playing math on their own!

We have a few friends that have already explored this web site. I have heard from Mia's parents that there is a free app for iPhones and iPads so that your child can access the site at any time, and Kyle's mom shared that once you log-in, they will save your password and you don't have to put it in again.  I love that Cameron B., Kyle, Vyrenne, Kaitlyn,  have played some of the games already and Sedrick and Mia have logged in to see what it is like!

We have had half the class checking out already! I am so excited that you guys are jumping right in!  Cameron B has listened to 19 books and taken 18 quizes. KAitlyn has read 8 books, and taken quizes for all 8 books.  Matteo has read 7 books and taken 6 quizes.  Albert and Jordan have both read 6 books and taken some of the quizes, so cool!  Cameron D. has read 5 of the books. Others that have begun investigating this web site are Sedrick, Stevie, Sean, Omari, Marie, London, Jasmine, Charlotte and Andrew. Please let me know if the level seems to be too easy or too hard. I kind of guessed at the levels when signing the kids up for the web site.

Way to use the technology available to us! Keep up the good work!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Week 1

So, its definitely been a week of learning for us all. :)

I was happy when we actually got 4 subjects taught on Friday. That's a good sign for the week ahead. Next week, I hope to start academic rotations, and really get the routine solidified. In order to do that, we need to remind the children to follow directions, focus on the activity being taught, and be open to learning new things.

Class Rules:
1. I will listen to the Teacher/Speaker.
2. I will focus on my work and will look at the speaker or the teacher.
3. I will talk only when appropiate, and with respect at all times.
4. I will keep my hands and feet to myself.  I will be gentle with my friends.

One thing I have learned is that behaviorally, we have some work to do. I will be making a few changes... I am going back to the color system until the majority of the kids learn which behaviors are appropriate and acceptable. I hope to take the color system away by October, but only time will tell. Here is how the color system works.

1. GREEN- All kids start out each day on green. Green means they have had a good day. It is acceptable if a student never leaves green. All of us have good days, but we never begin the day on purple.

2. PURPLE- Purple will only be given when your child demonstrates compassion, caring, above and beyond the norm in behavior expectations. For example the other day, when the kids were talking at the tables and the volume was getting out of control one boy left the table with his book and sat at the front of the room so that he wasn't part of his table's rowdiness. That would have moved him to PURPLE.

3. YELLOW- Yellow means that I have given multiple warnings about behavior to the child. Warnings may be in regards to hallway behavior, talking without permission during lessons or table work, interruptions while I am conversing with any adult staff member who comes to the door for school business.

4. RED- Red is the final step before I include the school administrators in conversations about a student's behaviors. If a child is on yellow for any of the above offenses, and continues those offenses, he/she will be asked to move their clip to red. If a student laughs at or is caught making fun of one of our class mates, he or she will be asked to move their clip to red. Kicking, hitting, pushing or rough play is automatically a red offense.

HOMEWORK-Homework will begin on Monday. I will not collect it until the following Monday. This will be our first week for spelling homework and spelling tests. The test will be on Friday and everyone has the same words and everyone has the opportunity to earn extra credit by learning the bonus words that are taken from math and social studies or science.  The Spelling City web site will be updated with the correct spelling list, labeled as WEEK 1: August 20-24. Homework consists of 1 Reading A-Z book, worksheets and a quiz that are related to the A-Z book, spelling activities for each evening on the Spelling TIC-TAC-TOE and some math sheets from the math text.


SPECIALS- Our schedule for specials is at 1:10 every day. Mondays we meet Mrs. Marsico for Music. On Tuesdays we get Art instruction from Mrs. Spann. Dr. Gholston is the violin teacher and we get to spend the afternoon with her on Wednesdays. For P.E. on Thursdays and Fridays, the children need to wear sneakers or gym shoes (no boots or dress shoes please.)

This week we will be learning about Georgia Geography, and begin talking about the historic people that influenced change in our state before it joined the Union. In Math we will begin addition and subtraction, and discuss Measurement. We will finish the unit in Social Studies before beginning Science. We are going to be learning how to read with Stamina and how to read with understanding during our reading lessons.

Monday, August 13, 2012

FIRST DAY OF 2nd Grade!

We made it! Almost all of the kids showed up, they all ate lunch and they all made it home! Yeah!!!

 But seriously, it was a successful day. We began learning our behavior expectations, classroom procedures and some basic routines. We also had Music and went to the Computer Lab. Tomorrow I hope to get some pictures and begin to focus on some academics.

Our communication folder this year is light blue, and very pretty.  Please be sure that it comes back to school everyday, so I can send it back.  I put a few important things in the folder today:
      1.  Welcome Letter, Important Information sheet, Class Schedule, and Behavior Plan that I am slowly introducing to the kids. (All on Monster Paper)
      2.  Blue/Magnet Homework and Family Project sheet. I will send a rubric for first family project next week, after I have begun instruction on Georgia, its landforms, regions and rivers.  I don't want you trying to start it without some prior knowledge for the kids. :)
      3. Website information and individual student logins for and  Raz-Kids login information on back of Blue/Magnet sheet.

I hope your kids have a peaceful night!
Love, G

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Almost Ready!

I have been spending the past few days working in the room and becoming more intimately knowledgable about the new common core standards. WOW! 2nd grade is going to be busy! Thanks again to Bishop, Kylie, Karen Munoz, her boys Marc and Jonathan, Lee Harris and her girls Kiara and Kharisma, Jeff, and Mr Duke for all of the help. I have to say it is weird not to be next door to my pal, Ms. Polinsky, but "Change is Good!" I hear. 8 more days until I get to meet my new students and see my "old babies" from kindergarten. Here are some pictures from Monday. I consider these pictures good representation of "Chaos DURING the move"