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Monday, May 28, 2012

P is for Pigeon

I'm here! I promise! I've had a few personal changes that I'm trying to blend into my crazily scheduled life. Not to mention the end of the year and all of the stress that comes with that. The silliness in second grade has been less lately.

I promise I'll try to be a better blogger and post more of our End of the Year activities. (Thanks to Miss T for checking in on me!)

My class has been having some issues with understanding Author's Purpose. I mean, it took us practically all year to understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction texts. Sheesh. It's like most of my darlings had a mental block against the persuasive part of the Author's Purpose PIE.

Enter the help of Pigeon! I read "Pigeon Wants a Puppy" and "Don't let the Pigeon Stay Up Late". After my darlings heard them they were nonstop talking about other ideas for stories starring Pigeon. I think Pigeon and Mr. Willems would proud of our versions.

We made a chart of some ideas:

We simply folded a paper in half and my darlings created a book cover. They then drew an example of pigeon being persuasive inside. (Click to see them larger.)

Don't I have some creative girls? A pigeon who is not afraid to express his emotions with a girlfriend. A pigeon with a sweet tooth and an owner who loves cats, not pigeons. A pigeon with a flying walrus that says, "Art, art, art, art." The creativity of second graders always amazes me.

Enjoy your Memorial Day. Thank you to all of the men and women who have given their lives for the good of our country.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

M is for Moms

I just wanted to share our Mother's day cards with you. Better late then never I say! The idea was inspired from Craft-O-Maniac's blog.

My darlings always have fun making the flowers and love the giant bouquet we can make by putting them all together. This year, they insisted we spray them to make them smell pretty.

I take pictures of the darlings holding their hands in the air like the Statue of Liberty. I print the pictures out and glue them to the front of a piece of card stock. I use my knife to cut their fist and we stick the flowers through. Easy peasy.

 I always enjoy the messages they write inside. One little darling wrote this message to her mom. There is so much said and unsaid in this one. Tear jerker!

 I asked how much their mothers loved the cards on Monday.

I got:

"She cried 'cause I'm so cute."

"Dad didn't want me to give it to her because it was better than his card."

"Oh, yeah. That's still in my backpack."

 You should try them out one year. They are a big hit when they actually get delivered to moms.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

S is for Super Sharpener

Once upon a time I had a pre-intern. If you asked her the hardest part of being a student teacher that year, she would have said something about keeping pencils sharpened. Seriously. It wouldn't have been the kid who threw chairs or made her go home crying.

It was pencils. The sound of the pencil sharpener drove her crazy. The times a pencil broke and a student got up in the middle of their work to replace it made her insane. Let's not even talk about what happened with the curlies the kids peeled off the fancy pencils I gave them for special occasions.  It was "The Great Pencil Problem of 2008".

I feel like I should track her down and giving her this pencil sharpener. It was created by a classroom teacher, so he knows how big of a problem pencils can be.

 It would change her life.

The morning I brought mine to school, I made my teammates sharpen pencils. I even inturrupted the first grade teachers' team meeting with a commercial demonstration. They were highly impressed, too.

This is a pencil sharpened with my electric sharpener. The one that you have to hold the shavings cup closed or it won't even work.

The lead is already about to fall out and that curly plastic around it just begs children to peel it instead of actually writing.

Enter the best pencil sharpener in the world to save the day.

Viola! Perfectly sharpened pencils with NO curlies and that lead isn't going anywhere but dull from all of the writing we'll get done.

Here is a side by side comparison. My electric sharpener should be ashamed of itself.

I sharped a whole pack of pencils yesterday morning and held them up for a student to admire with me. She said, "Now those are some really sharp pencils. We could do some serious writing with those things. Or poking."

Not convinced you need this sharpener yet? Watch this video and then head over to Classroom Friendly Supplies and check it out. I'm loving my green one and I'm wanting the car one. So cool!

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