Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little Dragons

I'm loving second grade. The kids are so eager and loving.

I feel overloaded with new questions and new information. My brain can't STOP processing all of the data. Several things I planned are working like magic, but there are some other things I've got to change. I feel such an urgent desire to set things up well, so that we can have a peaceful and productive nine months together.

Ten specific thoughts after 3 days of teaching second grade:

1. Eating lunch with the kids is a wonderful way to spend 15 minutes a day. I'm getting more little individual bonding moments in the cafeteria than anywhere else so far.

2. The Shrinky Dink self-portrait magnets for our Daily Graph turned out darling. Now I gotta think of 175 more questions to ask for the year. Our first question was, "Which do you like more, cats or dogs?" Suggestions?

3. The book they enjoyed the most so far was an Elephant and Piggie book called "Should I Share My Icecream?"

4. I can't ever go younger than 2nd. They are far more independent than the first graders that we share the hall with, and I'm certain I'm at my lower age limit here.

5. Getting them to write independently has been a struggle. Most of them have a lot to say but they want to spell everything right. I haven't put up a word wall yet. Maybe that will help. I'm not sure how to get them to spell words the best that they can and just keep writing.

6. We've done skip counting by 2's around a circle everyday and I'm surprised how hard it's been for several of them.

7. I'm puzzling over what to use for a paper and pencil math fact memorization tool, and also what to do for math homework.

8. The CAFE and Daily 5 routines and strategy wall is part of what is working super well.

9. There are these K-2 teachers from Georgia and Texas, who were probably beauty queens in college, who make and sell adorable teaching resources on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. I love having cute pictures and stuff in my room, but I'm horrible at making such things. Paying some teacher across the country 3 bucks for an adorable classroom job chart makes me ever so grateful for the miracle of the interwebs.

10. A free download on that Teachers Pay Teachers site was a chart with 16 ways to say goodbye. As we say goodbye each day we do a "hug, high-five or handshake" and say one of these fun animal goodbyes. My favorite ones: Blow a kiss, jellyfish; Out the door, dinosaur; Give a hug, ladybug; and Toodle-loo, kangaroo.