Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome back!

Wow! Has it really been almost a month since I posted last?! Shame on me!! 

I was a super busy bee over the break. My first week I volunteered in a friend's classroom since I was out earlier than her. She was my second grade teacher AND my master teacher for student teaching block 2 (which I co-taught 2nd grade with her.) She is one of my biggest supporters and mentors and I just LOVE being able to be in her classroom and seeing how she does different things. Such a learning experience! 

The second week was crazy. Doctors did open heart surgery on my 82 year old grandpa and the whole family was very scared and nervous. He made it through surgery with flying colors and is on his way to a full recovery. (YAY!) After that I host a small Christmas party with  my side of the family on Christmas Eve, then went to Hubby's parents on Christmas day for a big party over there. The following Saturday Hubby was rushed to the ER (by moi) at 5:30 in the morning for kidney stones! I went to the ER the following Tuesday because I got bit breaking up a dog fight (I'm perfectly fine.)  After that it was prep time for our traditional New Years Eve party...and when we finally recovered from that, I was in charge of a last minute (like 2 days to throw everything together) engagement party on this past Saturday! 

I am so glad the holidays are over...no more excitement for me. Thank you very much!

Anyway, today was the first day back with munchkins and we had so much fun!! I introduced the kids to the idea that water comes in different forms. We're going to be spending the next two weeks learning about water as a liquid, water as a solid, and water as a gas. To help the kids understand the concept of water as a solid I brought up the idea of ice (most kids are familiar with ice and that it melt into water) and asked them where they see ice outside. Many kids say that they saw ice in their cups when mom or dad gave them a drink, but a few of them said that they remember it hailing a little while ago and that hail looked like little pieces of ice. This led us into a discussion about hail, sleet, snow and icicles. I told the kids we were going to do an experiment later in the week and they were super excited about it. 

We're going to make a snow man (out of shaved ice from a snow-cone maker my co-worker is letting me borrow) and we're going to see what happens when we leave him out in our classroom vs. what happens when we leave him outside. Now today it was almost 90...I'm hoping it'll be colder outside for this experiment but c'est la vie and I'll work with what I have. Next week I'll toss a bunch of water onto a hot electric griddle or skillet and show them that when water gets really really hot it evaporates and turns into steam. Ta-Da! Introduction into the gas form of water! The whole thing is going to be a lot of fun. 

Anyway, I've kind of focused on snowmen and snowflakes for our "topic" of the week so for math we had to sequence the parts of snowman from biggest to littlest! Aren't they stinking adorable!?

The kids had to draw eyes, a mouth, and arms on their snowmen. 
Some of them got a little...creative with their buttons. 
And some you can't even see!!
Our letter of the week is Mm, and we are REALLY working on identifying beginning sound. So, as a whole group I let the kids come up with ideas of what words started with m. I think they did really well...once I really explained the concept!

Now, don't get me wrong, I still had A TON of responses that were incorrect, but by the end of the lesson/discussion time they were getting the hang of it! I'm really hoping this helps solidify our beginning sound identification. 

OH! Victory moment!! I sent out progress reports the Friday before break, along with a target work packet, and I had one little girl that couldn't identify a single letter (upper or lower case) and could only tell me the sound that x made. I reassessed her today...SHE KNOWS 11 SOUNDS!!! I just about cried when I counted up her stars! (They get stars next to the letter when they master the sounds.) I was very proud of her and all the practice and work she had done over break.

 Look at this beauty that I got for Christmas!!! My sister-in-law bought this baby for me for Christmas and I could not wait to try it out!! Fully loaded it holds 22 regular sized papers, and I only have 19 kids so it's perfect! 

I cannot wait to show you more of what I have planned for the rest of the month! It's going to be an amazing adventure. 

I hope you've enjoyed this first blog post of the new year, and always remember:
Every moment can be a learning moment!

Sincerely from TK,

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