Friday, May 31, 2013

Last Day but Not Blue

There is this book called "Last Day Blues" by Julie Danneburg.  In this book it is the last week of school.  The teacher, Mrs. Hartwell and her students all feel the same way about summer vacation, they are all excited but the kids see it as they will miss school and so will the teacher.  It's quite funny to see this perspective and the illustrations in the book are comical.  I read it to my class and we did some activities with it.  Once of the activities was a venn diagram to compare this book to another one of her books called. "First Day Jitters".  In this book, it is Mrs. Hartwell being nervous about the first day of school.  The kids picked up on this and they had a good laugh this morning when we did our venn.  Just by doing this one venn diagram we used ALL of our knowledge we gained from the year... setting of the two stories and even INFERENCING about what season the stories could have taken place.  I found this gem of a packet over on
2nd Grade Snickerdoodles.  

Then after we did some actual learning on the Friday that is the last day of school, we played our games.  It was hard to make teams and I wanted it to be fair, so we picked numbers one through four.  All the ones were a team, two's the same and so on.  Here are some pictures of the games I posted yesterday.  

I had to alter the bean game.  It was WAY too hard to carry a bean with two straws... I tried and tried!  LOL  SO  I added some little counters {I guess that is what they are called} and they had a hole in the middle this time.  

Also, on this last day of school I had a raffle.  I took some things we have made as a whole class {like books and anchor charts} that just pertain to this year and I came up with a number in my head to thirty.  The kids each had a guess my number and the one who guessed my number {or close enough to my number without going over}, won the item.  GREAT way to purge at the end of a school year!  They loved it.  They all wanted the stuff.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Procrastination at it's finest!  Report cards are finally done but there is packing to be done.  Is it happening?  Nope... I'm planning for next school year and making last day of school to-do lists for this year still.

Tomorrow is our last day of school and we have a few fun things planned.  We have t-shirts we made, games to be played, special treats to eat, and of course good-byes to be said.  I might just shed a tear over these little ones.

A couple weeks ago we made class tie-dye t-shirts.  They turned out SUPER cute.  I tried to stick with school colors.  Parents came in to help us twist up the shirts and dip into the colors.  A parent volunteered to wash them out and another parent volunteered to iron on our crayola sand paper designs.  I tell you what, THAT was the best decision EVER!  I remember the first year I tie-dyed... myself and my 82 year old grandmother were in my backyard IN the kiddie pool, washing the coloring out of the shirts.  HAHA!!  I have learned so much from trial and error.

Then I planned some games for our last day of school.  Each kiddo made a goodie bag to give away and we will play a "musical chairs" type of game.  They will pass around the goodie bags they made and after a few rounds and the music stops, the bag you get, is the one you can take home.  I made sure they put their names on the bottom so they do not get their own bag.  If you want the send home letter click {here}.  It's an idea a co-worker passed along and our grade level changed it to meet our needs.  The original idea had sweets, etc in it and we decided against it because we had so many food allergies and you just never know.  Better safe than sorry I always say.

Since the classroom is pretty much packed up because of moving grade levels and it IS the last day of school and all, my Daily 5 rounds are OVER!  So to take place of the Daily 5 rounds, we are playing games.  I planned four different games and four to five students will be in teams.  It is almost like my 100th Day of School Survivor Style.    Each team will have a task to complete within a certain amount of time.  What is the  amount of time you ask?  I have not planned that far yet.  I think I'll just wing-it tomorrow.  But I do have the games prepared and ready.  We have Go Fishing, Bean There Done That, Scrambled Breakfast, and There They Blow.  Again, I put this together on the fly after seeing a similar idea.  It's not as cute as others I have seen and I did change the games to meet the needs of my class.  One thing I changed was trying to limit the germs.  We will keep our straws to ourselves and NOT blow in any of the straws.  I am a HUGE germaphobe if I haven't told you yet.  One game I saw had the kids picking up a bean in a straw to get it to the other plate.  I changed that right quick to using straws as chop sticks to lift the bean and get it to the other plate.  There will be no blowing in or out of a straw in this classroom.  OK, I take that back, one of the games is blowing a cup across the floor, but they will do that and then put the straw into the garbage, PRONTO!

Since the germaphobe thing gets in the way, I am trying to figure out what to do if they want a hug tomorrow on the last day.  I have changed over the years about the hugging thing.  I am more of a high-five... with plastic gloves on kinda person now.  :)  I

Saturday, May 18, 2013


That's the big word this year for EOG's.  I am not even in a testing grade and I am feeling the anxiety.  Anxiety for these kids, anxiety for their teachers, anxiety for their parents, and anxiety all around.  I am not sure what it has become like in other states but here in NC, I do believe things are backwards.  VERY backwards. 

As I have heard from friends who teach in testing grades... and from the e-mails that go out to the WHOLE school, you basically cannot breathe this year or there will be a misadministration and the whole class must take the test over.  EOG's this year have been made harder and longer.  You can't even bend down and pick up a paper clip this year or it's test administration! *head desk*

The rest of the school is basically on lock down until testing is over.  Non-testers must eat lunch in our classrooms... no recess... no specials... until testing is over!  The school must be quiet, very quiet. 

I'm also very anxious for my children when they get to that age.  I have SUCH respect for the hard working people in our school having to train everyone, organize and prepare everyone for these exams, AND the teachers in these grade levels.  I'd be a MESS... MESS I tell ya! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

QR Codes

If you don't know what they are by now... well, you are just like me I guess.  I have seen them around at stores and even my dr office.  I had NO idea what in the world they were for.  Then I found out they could be used in the classroom along with ipads or smart phones.  SO VERY COOL!!!

The other day we had a small workshop all about QR Codes at school.  So on Monday, I came into school right away and created some QR Codes to go along with out high frequency words of the week.  I placed them around the room and the kids had to hunt for them with the ipads.  There were nine altogether and the they had to find all nine words to put them alphabetical order.

Cool, right??  I am in the middle of creating math story problems on QR Codes and then the kiddos will have to solve the math problems they find.  I am way excited about this.  You can also encode youtube videos into the QR Codes.

Too bad it's the end of the school year.  There is so much I want to do with this group now.  But alas, I will have to save the fun for next school year now... once I teach the Kinder babies how to use them.

I created my very own QR Code... so grab your smart phone/ipad/whatever with a scanner and get the Scan app.  Then scan my code and click FOLLOW. *big smiles*

I used to make my code.