Words of Wisdom


It's almost the weekend!!!!!!


Life Cycles and Research Writing

We have been busy busy busy working on life cycles!!!! Our caterpillars turned into chrysalis, and today they started emerging as beautiful butterflies! :)

I jimmy-rigged one of our iPods (this wasn't easy and involved a plastic bag, scissors (to cut a hole in the net!!!), a clamp, and lots of tape)...

using our time lapse app to record one coming out of the chrysalis. Check it out!!!

(Sorry it's sideways!?!?!)

We are also doing some research writing about life cycles!!!

I found this great new app:

that we are using! The kids had to work with a partner (without screaming or grabbing or crying...we're really working on that stuff this time of year...know what I mean???) 

to explore the app:

and fill out this form: 

(Click it to get it from GoogleDocs... I will cross my fingers that GoogleDocs wants to comply...)

These were some of my favorites: 

"I chose this creature (salmon) because I like to eat this fish."

"I chose this creature (wasp) because I got stung by one and I need to know information."

Then we hit up EdModo to share what we're writing about!

All in all, this lesson (well, the first day of it...) went very smooth!!!

I am so incredibly lucky to have access to some amazing technology to make a lesson like this possible (although it could be done with only one device)! Please let me know if you have any questions about anything!!! I'd be more than happy to share!

And if you have any ideas, I'd LOVE to hear them too!!! 

I hope you had a wonderful Wednesday!!!!!



Happy Memorial Day!!!

Thank you to all of the men and women and their families who have served or are serving our country! We appreciate you!!!!!


We've Got the Wiggles

Did anyone watch So You Think You Can Dance last night???? Did you see Freeman do the Wiggles!?!?! I hate to break it to him, but I'm pretty sure my students invented that dance about two weeks ago when they started getting all excited about summer (we still have 19 school days!!!)

Well, we finally finished testing and we were all ready for some actual LEARNING! Imagine that! Learning in school!!! Rather than just sitting still all day and bubbling, bubbling, and more bubbling. In the lines, of course.  Because that's the most important thing in second grade. And the world.

We have been working on Hope King's Patricia Polacco Author Spotlight Unit. LOVE it!!!!

I hid facts about Patricia Polacco under the kiddo's chairs in the morning...

They had to go find them.

This was a fun way to learn some interesting facts about her. Then we added them to this poster:

To create this: 

Then we watched an interview with Patricia Polacco on Reading Rockets!

We watched a Storyline Online of My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother. 

And we reviewed character traits and created these cuties: 

Now I'm looking forward to a THREE day weekend!!!!!

Hope you had a great week!!!!!



What's In the Box??? & A Quick Question

We're still knee deep in testing... :-/

So we were so excited when THIS arrived!!!!!

What could it be!?!?!?!?

I gave the kiddos three clues:

1. It's small and furry.
2. It's alive.
3. It has to do with life cycles. 

Here's what my brilliant second graders guessed...  ;-)

(Hamster= wishful thinking...)

(A kitten!? This is not the front of the grocery store.)

(Flying squirrel= Award for most creative guess.)

(Really!?!?!?! A skunk???)

We're starting our big old life cycles unit!!! Fun fun fun!!! And this was the PREFECT introduction to the unit!!!! Inside the box is a cup of CATERPILLARS!!!! (I forgot to take a picture!!! Ooops!)

{ This was a big disappointment for many of the kids, especially the ones who thought it was a baby wolf, skunk, or flying squirrel... They were not impressed. The ONE kid that did guess 'caterpillar' was excited, though! }

So my question for you is...

Do you know of any fabulous life cycles/butterflies units or resources out there!?!? I would love it if you would share! :)

Hope you had a wonderful Monday!!! 


Dictionary Skills: Guide Words Part II

I received an email asking for another set of guide word activities. So... here it is!!!

After using the last set with my kiddos, they were much more prepared and actually knew what I was talking about when I said "guide words" (vs. the glazed over confused look I used to get...just saying...) Like the first set, this unit comes with three sets of word cards  to be categorized under the appropriate guide words, or you can use them as a scoot around the room where the kids search for the words and record the word under the correct guide words on their recording sheet. Each set of cards has two recording sheets- one for a literacy work station and one for the scoot- your choice! You can click { HERE } or click the picture to find it on TPT! Let me know what you think!  

I will give this unit to the first two friends who leave a comment and tell me what you are doing on this beautiful Sunday afternoon! :)

I am going outside to get a little sunshine and then have a nice dinner with the fam. :) Hope you're having a great one!!!

Math Fun & Testing

Aaahhh!!! My internet at home has been down for 3+ days!!!! I HATE YOU COX. I forgive you, Cox.

We've been in full-force put-your-serious-face-on test mode for the last 3 days too! So, needless to say, it's been a loooonnnggg three days!!!

Whoever was brilliant enough to think 20+ seven year olds can sit still, and silent, and calm, and focused for 2 hours each morning is CraZy!!!!! We try to be nice and bribe the kids to do their best make it a little less painful by giving the kids snacks throughout the test. I put the snacks on a plate in the morning, and then pass them out once testing has begun. 

Well, when they kiddies are finished, they have to sit there and be silent so their friends who are staring aimlessly off into space doing their best thinking can finish The Test. This can get interesting because kids can only stay quiet and still for so long, no matter how many "looks" you give 'em. 

Take, for example, this friend. He got creative and used his plate to do this:

To, I guess, show me how he really feels about testing. (I feel the same way.) Which he then used to distract/stare down/and make me all of his friends around him laugh. Who then decided to made their own masks. Good times. 

We don't start math testing until Friday, so I've been trying to cram as much math math math as I can into their little brains.

We are doing multiplication!!! Fun!!! We made "Stars and Circles" books using dice and smelly markers! It doesn't get any better than that in 2nd grade!!!

We used Amy Lemon's adorable multiplication craftivity: 

And we've been measuring!!! Measuring with cubes and rulers.

(Yes, I let the kids lay on the floor. No, I did not think about the possibility of lice. Until someone pointed it out to me. :-/ Only time will tell now...)

This was fun. Although I did find myself saying "I'm sorry??? Are rulers used as swords!?!?! I didn't think so!" quite a few times. 

Now I'm off to catch up on your blogs!!! I'm 3 days behind!!! Yikes!!! I'm sorry!!!


My Summer Bucket List

Summer is exactly 29 (school) days away for me. It seems like a long time, but I know it'll fly by!!! I am so excited just thinking about it!!! The anticipation and excitement of not having to wake up early and run around all day like a chicken with my head cut off makes this last month a little more bearable! :)

I am so happy to join Hadar, Teri, and April for their Summer Bucket List Linky!

Here are my big plans for Summer, 2012 :-)

See Wicked with my mom!!! I can't wait!!!!

Get some sun and spend time with my furry friends outside (playing ball and going to the beach of course!)

Read!!! (Any good book suggestions!?!?!?!)

Go to this tech conference that I am SO EXCITED for!!!! I've heard it's amazing and I can't wait to get new ideas for using technology in the classroom!!!

Go to the happiest place on earth! Fun! (Did anybody see Modern Family last week... hill-arious!!!)

Buy and prep lots of fun stuff I've found on TPT and get it ALL ready for next year!!! I may need to invest in my own laminator soon! (Any suggestions for a laminator???)

Pull the carpet out of this room and finish painting the bookshelves. (You can't see in this picture but they're only half painted...I ran out of time last summer!!! Oooops!) I want to turn this room into one of those beautiful Pinterest rooms!!! I have a vision!!! This summer I'll make it happen!!!

And of course, keep creating and sharing new stuff for next school year! I have a feeling me and my Mac will spend a lot of time together this summer. :) 

I plan on doing all of this in between sleeping in and catching up with family and friends I haven't seen since Spring break! 

I've had so much looking at everyone else's summer bucket lists!!! I've pretty much pinned everyone's projects and fun stuff to do too! Thanks Hadar, Teri, and April!!!


                                                                                  Source: weheartit.com via Sandy on Pinterest

Tater Tot Jack & Cool App

Well, the stinkin' hermit crab survived his/her first week in our classroom. On Monday, I had him set out for the kids, all ready to go!!! You can read posts about how this whole pet thing started { here} and { here }. 

I set the video camera right behind him to get their first impressions. This was funny. Here are some of the things they said:

"Mrs. Patterson, is that all he does???"

"Oh maaaaaannnnn, we should've gotten a hamster."

"This is it!?!?!?!"

So, first order of business was to vote on a name.

And I am proud to say, our little hermit crab's name is...


That's right. You can't make stuff like that up.

Apparently, hermit crabs don't do anything. Nothing. It's similar to having a pet rock, probably...

They kids kept asking, "Is he dead???" since he does nothing during the day. So, we used Google to find out if hermit crabs are noctural. And yes, they are. So, we brainstormed ideas about ways to see him in action. Here were some brilliant ideas from my seven year olds:
  • Turn off all the lights all day and everybody be really quiet so we can trick him. (Yeah right!!!)
  • Mrs. Patterson can stay up all night and watch him. (I don't think so!!!)
We finally settled on recording him over night. We used a time lapse app on one of our iPods. This one:

And we jimmy-rigged a stand for the iPod, turned a little light on, and left it running overnight.

Here's what we found in the morning...

This would be GREAT to do with a science project, like watching a seed turn into a plant, or watching ice turn into a liquid!! And you can do it with just one device!!! I think it would also be neat to do it on the classroom and kids for a day!

Also, Tater Tot Jack has been a great behavior controller (this time of year!)!!! He loves to sit at quiet, calm tables that are doing their work. That's what he loves. ;-) 

Happy weekend everyone!!!! Yipeeee!!!!!