Saturday, November 22, 2014

Five for Friday

{On a Saturday}
 
 
I'm linking up with Kacey for another round of Five for Friday!
Enjoy!
 
Eco-nom-nom-nom-ics
 
We are learning about Economics in Social Studies, and I just discovered the book Striker Jones
  
 
It's an excellent chapter book that helps teach students basic economic principles.  It has a Teacher's Companion that lays out every lesson for you with objectives, questions, and activities.  We are part way through the book and loving it!  They get so excited to hear the next chapter.  The first chapter/lesson was all about trading.  One of the activities was to give each child one piece of candy, so they each get something different.  Then, they spent a few minutes trading.  At the end, we had a lot of great discussion on the pros and cons of trading.  Some children ended up happy, but there were still a few unhappy with their trades.  It was an awesome activity!
 
 
Jigsaw
 
This week we did a little Jigsaw Activity with our Science Unit.  We are learning all about the states of matter, so each group was assigned a few pages from our science book.  They had questions to answer in order to become experts on their section.  Then, they shared what they learned with the class.  They loved it and learned a lot more about matter!  :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Oobleck
 
To go along with our solids, liquids, and gases unit, we read the book by Dr. Seuss, Bartholomew and the Oobleck and then we made our own Oobleck!  This was such a cool activity for them to discover the properties of solids and liquids.  It was even cooler to find out that Oobleck is actually both a solid AND a liquid.  They couldn't get enough of the stuff! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I used the basic recipe of two parts cornstarch, one part flour.  I ended up putting about 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of water, and one drop of green food coloring in their cups.  They mixed and played for quite a while.  We discussed the properties Oobleck had, filled out a quick observation sheet, and then I passed out a writing activity.  They had to write about what would happen in Oobleck started coming down in our classroom! 
 
 My classroom aide/friend got a little handsy with the corn starch... 


Click here to get this writing freebie.
 
 

Thanksgiving Skit
 
 The Second Grade performed a skit at our Student of the Month Assembly yesterday.  Being so close to Thanksgiving, we decided to stick to that theme.  We had a few children give some history of Thanksgiving, recited a poem, and sang this awesome song. 
 

*Warning:  This song will get stuck in your head until the end of time.  Listen at your own risk.  :)
 
We found awesome little boy pilgrim hats in the Target Dollar Spot and ended up making some bonnets for the girls.  They looked darling!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sweet little pilgrim children...
 
Silly faces!

Gobble, Gobble!
Happy Thanksgiving!
 
 
Mockingjay Part 1
 
On a non-teaching related note...
 
 
On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to go to an early screening of the new Hunger Games movie.  It was awesome!  Definitely worth staying up WAY past my bedtime on a school night...  If you're a fan of the books/movies, go see it and let me know what you think! 
 
Have a great weekend!  :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What the November???

How on earth did it suddenly become November!?  Let alone, the end of November!  But, I'm really glad it's here, because that means December is just around the corner.  Some of my most favorite classroom activities happen during this special month.
 
I've got the calendars copied, the cardstock purchased, and the paint ready to go.  We are starting this adorable Christmas Gift tomorrow!  I can't wait!  I started making these calendars during my first year of teaching.  But I took a break from them the last two years, as I adjusted to the new state, district, grade level, and school.  Now I am ready and raring to go! 
 
Last year was the first year my classroom ever had a little Christmas Elf.  It was more fun than I could have ever imagined!  I really hope we get another one this year.  ;) 
 
In case we do, I prepared a little Christmas Elf in the Classroom packet. 
It is FULL of activities and ideas to use with your classroom Elf. 
 
Included in this packet are:
-Two Calendars to fill in for the daily Elf Activities
-Worksheet for students to decide on the Elf’s Name
-Tally Chart and Bar Graph for choosing the Elf’s Name
-30 Suggested Activities (with original matching poems) for your Elf to do
-Two Versions of A Daily Elf Journal
-A Weekly Elf Reflection Page
-A note to leave if your class is too naughty
-A note to leave on your Elf’s last day
 
Lucky for you, it is ON SALE today and tomorrow. 
Click here to check it out! 
 
Gingerbread Houses
I LOVE the tradition of having parents come make gingerbread houses with their children.  At first I thought it would be too chaotic, but it was definitely a controlled chaos.  :) 
 
Pretty soon we will be sending a note inviting parents/families to this special event.  When we do, I will upload a copy of the note here for you to use. 
 
Have a great week!  :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher

I'm linking up with Stephanie from Falling Into First to help you get to know Ms. Van Orman a little bit better.  :)
 

 I am 29 and living the dream in Arizona!  I love everything about this state - the warmth, cactuses, palm trees, pools, real Mexican food...  :)  This is my TENTH year teaching!  Can you believe it??? 
 
I'd just like to take a minute to tell my junior high and high school teachers - HA!  I did it.  I amounted to something.  You didn't think I would, but I did.  :) 
 
I taught 1st Grade for 7 years in Idaho before moving down to Arizona to my dream job - teaching 2nd Grade! 
 


 
THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...
 
Tumblers. Target.  Thank You Cards.  Manicures.  Pedicures.  Pools.  Tanning.  Sunshine.  Singing.  Ice-skating.  Starbucks.  Netflixing.  Flowers.  Books.  Chocolate.  Pink.  Chevron.  Traveling.  Family.  Friends.
 
IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
 
I'd love to write children's books, or own a cute, little bookstore.  You know, like the one on You've Got Mail?  Adorable.
 
THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
 
Perfectionist.  Compassionate.  Fun.
 
FINISH THE SENTENCE, "__________", SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!!
 
"Oh yes!  Another inside recess!"  said no teacher EVER!!!
 
IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY.  WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
 
My Family. 
I have three older brothers, three sister-in-laws, three nephews, and four nieces.  They all live in Canada and I miss them constantly! 
 
IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
 
Confessions of a Workaholic
 
YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER.  WHAT IS IT?
 
The ability to stop time.  Then maybe I'd get everything done in one day!  :) 
 
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
 
 
IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
 
*And wouldn't you know, this song came on my Lea Michele Pandora station right now!*
 
ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
 
Total morning person!!  I get pretty tired and grumpy from about 4:00 p.m. on...  :/
 
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
 
I can't pick a favorite... I love them all!  But, I especially love my newest products.
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Alphabet-Posters-Turquoise-Blue-and-Green-1343709
 
 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Class-Rules-Posters-Whole-Brain-Teaching-1346928
 
I decided on a new classroom color scheme this year, and needed a new alphabet and classroom rules to match.  Since I couldn't find any I loved, I made my own!  I love them!
 
SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!
 
I may be a good teacher, but I was a poorly behaved student!  I was on a behavior plan starting in the 3rd grade.  I just couldn't keep my mouth shut!  Oh the stories my parents could tell.... but they won't.  :) 
 
On a more positive note, I toured Europe with my High School Girls Choir.  We went to England, Germany, and Scotland.  We had an amazing time and saw more castles than I knew existed!  We even sang in St. Paul's Cathedral! 
 
http://fallingintofirst.blogspot.com/2014/08/meet-teacher-linky.html
Go link up! 
 

 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Week Fun!

We survived our first week in 2nd grade! 
The first three days were a whirlwind, to say the least, but we had a great time! 
 
Meet the Teacher
 On Tuesday, I got to gather supplies and meet most of my kiddos for the first time!  It was wonderful to see all their smiling faces and gear up for the new year. 
I gave them these yummy welcome treats. 
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Treat-Toppers-Goldfish-or-Swedish-Fish-1368463
Click here to grab these treat toppers. 
 
I also gave them their first homework assignment! 
 

I attached this note to a white paper bag.  They brought their bags back on the first day and we shared them throughout the week.  It was so fun to see and hear all about them.  I noticed we have quite a few baseball, hunting, fishing, and gymnastics fans!  :)
 
Day 1
On the first day of 2nd grade, I had them write their numbers to 200 (or as high as they could go) and draw their self portraits while I gathered supplies and paperwork.  
 
Our grade level aide took their first day pictures for their scrapbooks. 
 

 
Then we went on our traditional scavenger hunt and school tour.  In the past I've always done a Gingerbread Hunt Tour, to go along with the Gingerbread Man and gingersnap cookies.  But, with the new healthy foods guidelines, we had to change it up this year.  Our school theme this year is The Pink Panther.  I started to read one of our back to school books.  When I opened the book, a pink paw fell out.  It had a rhyme on the back introducing him and inviting us to find him.  Each clue led to important places and people around the school.  The last clue led back to our classroom.  Unfortunately, we didn't spot the pink panther, but he will show up another day! 
 
 
 
For our math lesson we graphed how we get home from school, and discussed the data. 
 
And we ended the day with my FAVORITE activity - Jitter Juice!  We almost had to skip this one this year, due to that stinkin' healthy foods policy.  But of course, we found a way to make it work!  Instead of the recipe Abby uses in her pack, we used sparkling apple cider.  It was a big, bubbly hit!!
 




 
Day 2
On the second day of 2nd grade I introduced them to Class Dojo.  
I'll do another post about how we use Class Dojo in our classroom another day.   
 
We made our All About Me Snapshots. 
 


 
The kiddos went on a scavenger hunt around the room answering questions about me!
 
 
For math, we made and explored rekenreks. 
To make these rekenreks, I laminated poster board, cut it apart, and punched two holes on each side.  Then I put two black pipe cleaners through the holes and taped one side down.  I had my kiddos count out 5 red and 5 white beads for the top and the same for the bottom.  Once they put their beads on, I taped the other side down.  Then, they chose a sticker and put it on the "starting position" side.  When the rekenreks were all made, I explained how to use them and then introduced the game "Fast Flash".  One person moves some beads over.  The partner has to guess the number as fast as they can.  It was a fun, quick game to become more familiar with the rekenreks.  We'll use these more next week to practice subitizing, adding, and subtracting.   
 

 
Since it was the 2nd Day of 2nd Grade, I made this fun activity for us to do. 
 
 
Day 3
To start out the third day of 2nd grade, I had them write about their favorite thing about 2nd grade so far. 
 
Then, we talked about what will make 2nd grade so special and made a "This Year Will Be Sweet" craft.
 
 


 
In the morning, we FINALLY spotted the Pink Panther!  He snuck into our classroom, waved, danced, and went on his way!  Moments later, our Principal came in, dressed in her detective gear, trying to find him.  Apparently, he snuck into school without signing in at the office.  Our Principal spent the whole day looking for him.   She didn't find him until the assembly at the end of the day.  It was great!  (Sadly, I was too slow to get any pictures of the Pink Panther or our Principal.)
 
Three days down, only 177 to go!!!  ;)
 
I used these amazing resources to get through our first week!
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Activities-136195
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Its-a-New-School-Year-Back-to-School-Memory-Book-and-Craft-769758
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Saved-By-The-Bell-First-Week-Survival-Stash-of-Goodies-282595
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Savvy-Second-Grade-Fun-Fun-for-the-first-week-of-school-142970
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Super-in-Second-Beginning-of-the-Year-Activities-for-2nd-Grade-145341