Monday, September 24, 2012

New Beginnings!

Welcome to my new blog! I'm so excited to get this started!

First, let me tell you a little about me. I taught Pre-K for 4 years, and then moved to Kindergarten. I taught Kindergarten for 13 years, and thought for sure that I was in the right place. I loved teaching Kindergarten, and settled into a routine. As someone who doesn't like change, I thought being in a routine was good. I knew what I was supposed to teach and when, but I just couldn't seem to get the kids to be as independent as I wanted them to be. 

Personally, I was raising an ADHD child as a single mother (I chose to adopt). Chaos at home brought about chaos at school, and soon I seemed to have no patience left. Still, the last thing I wanted was to leave Kindergarten. Sure, I wasn't as happy as I used to be about teaching, but it was familiar and all I had known for years.

Then, my principal came to me and told me she was moving me to 2nd Grade. I couldn't believe it! I knew nothing about teaching such "big kids!" Why couldn't she have changed me to 1st instead?! It took me a while to wrap my mind around it, and I finally accepted the fact that everything was going to change. One really good thing about this was that my son was going into 2nd Grade so I could have more insight as to what he should be learning.

I started browsing websites with ideas for 2nd Grade, read some blogs, and some books, and soon I found myself excited about a new beginning. All summer I made things that I could use in my class, printed tons of stuff from Teachers Pay Teachers, and read all about Daily 5 and Cafe. I worked in my classroom a lot before Pre-planning, and tried to get as much done as I could.

Now that school has started, I found that I love 2nd Grade! The children are more independent, I can do lots of fun activities with them that I couldn't do in Kindergarten, and I actually feel more peaceful and productive. At the time, I didn't realize that I needed this change, but it has been great for me. I still browse blogs and TPT for great ideas, and make some of my own stuff as well. I became inspired to start my own blog, and will hopefully help other teachers too. In these days of testing and "blame the teachers for everything" we need something to help us stay positive and to keep teaching fun. I know I've found that through many blogs, and I hope others will find that here as well. 

As with other blogs, I don't want to leave you without a FREEBIE or two. 

This is a poster I made while teaching K. It is based on Dr. Jean's "Tools of Good Readers" song. Click here to get it.

For Daily 5 fans, I made this "I PICK" bookmark to go with my classroom ocean theme. Click here to get it.

If you've found this interesting, and are as curious as I am to see how this blog thing goes, please "follow" me and share a comment if you'd like!

Bubblegum, Maps, and More!

Second Grade is a whole new world for me! Thanks to "Bubblegum Science," my class enjoyed learning about and using the scientific method.

Thanks to Marie Cote for creating this activity!

She also included a craftivity for the children to report their results. Here is a picture of a few of them:

It was hard to find all pink balloons, so I let the children choose from regular balloon colors. They look so cute hanging in the hallway!

We are also learning about maps, and read the book, Me on the Map, by Joan Sweeney. Soon after, I saw a cute idea on Pinterest that went along with the book. This inspired me to put my own spin on the activity, and make it into a flip book. Here is the result:

You can check out more of this flipbook here. I plan to use it with my class this week!

Please follow my blog if you haven't already, and spread the word! I'd love to see this continue to grow! I'm also open to comments and suggestions if you have any!