FIVE, WINNERS, and Classroom Pics!

Sorry I'm late to the party... The hubs and I took Sly to a minor league hockey game last night (so fun!!) and then the weather was so beautiful today that we were doing yard work and playing outside all day. I think my excuses are justified :)

Thanks to Doodlebugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness for coordinating these linkies every week.
Here's what we've been up to in the classroom!

1. Poetry Continued
This week we learned about some of the kinds of figurative language. Figurative language is so fun to learn about, but I'm really focusing on why poets use it: to help the reader visualize and use their senses to respond to a poem. We learned about onomatopoeias, alliteration, assonance, idioms, and personification. One activity we did was each student wrote an alliteration using the first letter of their name. They turned out so cute that I hung them up in the hallway :)
That's quite the jungle gym!
"Equivalent"... Yes! Someone's paying attention in math!
This one got a little long, but she was so proud of herself!
Next week we will be focusing on metaphors and similes, as well as using our reading comprehension strategies when we read poetry.

2. MAP Testing... Groan...
We had our first Spring MAP test yesterday. I always petition to do the Math test first because I think it's the least stressful and brain-power-sucking. I spotted this awesome pin (originally from Bulletin Board Ideas) and created my own "iKnow" for my second graders and the MAP test.
Close up
It's supposed to look like an iPad/iPod/iPhone, but the silver Sharpie I was using was on its last leg. It turned out super cute though, and the bunnies really connected to it!
Here we are on Test Day! I was a bundle of NERVES! In my district, teachers are evaluated based on kids meeting their target growth (among other things), and I'm excited (and a bit relieved) to say that all but one student made their target growth! I had one little love beat her goal by 10 RIT points! Yessss!!! 1 test down, 2 to go... :/

3. Leap Frog Learners!
We did this super fun measuring, data collecting, and graphing activity called Leap Frog Learners.
Here we are in action!
 You can read more about it here! I also promised to give a few copies away, and so the winners are...
Watch your emails, ladies! :)

4. Animal Research Reports!
I mentioned a few weeks ago that my Studentreasures kit came in, and my press date is May 14th! YIKES! We started by choosing our animals. The library aides at my school are A-MAZE-ING!!! and they help me run this dog-and-pony show every year. They set up 5 tables: mammals, birds, fish, insects, and reptiles & amphibians on the same table. This year they also pulled some animals that don't fit in these groups (scorpions, crabs, earthworms, kangaroos, etc.) to give the kids even more options. I swear, they pulled 200+ animal books! Then students spend 3-5 minutes at each table to explore their options. Even though it takes a lot of time, I love doing it this way so that I don't end up with a book of all mammals. Some of the animals I got this year: tiger, elephant, hummingbird, mustang, salamander, and a tick. Oh yes, you read that right. Someone's doing a tick. EW.

Someone else is doing a hippo. You'd think I'd be ecstatic about that one, but I'm not. (Said in a whiney voice) I ALWAYS DO THE HIPPO!!! I usually model the process with a hippo since I have a unhealthy obsession with them. We started to prewrite on Friday, and I modeled with a wolf. Lame :( When I modeled with a hippo, I would say, "Oh look. It says right here, 'Hippos can't swim. They actually bounce along the river bottom.'" when it really might not say that in the book. I just know that  little nugget of info. I was bumbling fool when I was modeling the prewriting process with the wolf... :/

5. The Ducks are Back!
This is really a big deal, folks! Every year a mama duck lays her eggs underneath the same platform on the playground. The custodians block it off so the ducks stay safe, and every recess we have to shoo the kiddos away so as to not scare the mama away.

Lastly, here are my three favorite spaces in my classroom, courtesy of Latoya at Flying into First.

This is my calendar and carpet area. I love the "big, brown chair." I got it at Salvation Army for $10 when I first started teaching. I was shopping with my mom, and she actually bargained on the price and got it for $5 off! What I love most about it is how low it is to the ground. I feel like I'm still at the students' level even though I'm sitting in the chair. I also love the black side table. It was one of my "Monday Made It" projects from this summer. I bought it at Walmart for $12 and assembled it, then I put pink and gray argyle duct tape around the edge to spice it up!
This is where I store all my math manipulatives. I love how organized and easily accessible they are for students. In the folder slots, my students keep their writer's workshop folders and cursive handwriting books. On the top shelf are my extra supplies: crayons, markers, colored pencils, scissors, etc.
Lastly, this is where I keep all of the papers my students need: handwriting paper, recycled copy paper, spelling pretest and test papers, graphic organizers for writer's workshop. The paper organizer on the top is where my students turn in their classwork. They organize it for me: Daily 5 work, math, spelling, writing, and then the basket on the top is the "catch all" for things that don't belong in any of the cubbies below. I'm not a very organized person, so if I can get the bunnies to organize for me, it makes my life a lot easier!
Well I'm off to link up and catch up on all the blogs posts I've missed over the last two days! Good night! :)


  1. We also do the NWEA MAPS test (we call it measuring academic progress in Sturgis, thus the word MAPS.) we do the reading part first and I hate it. We are going to fight for the math test first for next year. My kiddos did good on the math portion too. But I had five smart kids who raced (even though I stressed that they need to slow down and read thoroughly.) and didn't make their goal.
    I treated everyone to ice cream for doing well on their tests.....but if they passed or met their goal they could add chocolate syrup or sprinkles to their ice cream. It was a hit for everyone.

  2. We started MAP testing this week, too! Ugh! Congrats on your kids doing so well- that rocks! :) I love the iknow poster! super cute! :)

    Smiles from 2nd Grade

  3. I LOVE the iKnow posters! They are adorable and such a good reminder for the kiddos! Our kiddos are going crazy over baby ducks too! We have three mama ducks that always come back to the courtyard in the middle of our school and lay their eggs... so far two sets have hatched and they are adorable! I'm lucky and have a view of the courtyard from my room so I can see the cuties all day. Unfortunately we also have a crazy robin in our courtyard that has decided our classroom window is an enemy and spends it's day flying into the glass... lol... We had to have a class talk about not letting the crazy robin distract us haha!

    The Price of Teaching

  4. That's pretty cool with the ducks. We have the same thing with a couple in the front of our building. At least it isn't Candian Geese, otherwise they'd be running aorund terrorizing teachers and students. I don't think the kids could win that battle.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  5. I love your animal report project idea - you do have awesome library aides! WOW! I am starting a project like this with my kiddos as well next week - I can't wait to see what animals they choose :)

    Your hippo story made me chuckle - sorry you had to go with the wolf :)

    Joy in the Journey

  6. The iknow is so cute!! I love your alliteration activity too!

    Fashion Craze Learning Days

  7. We have the MAP test next week. Don't you HATE that the math is not read aloud to the babies in second grade??? It SO turns it into a reading test for my one little non-reader. We can opt to take it in the winter, but it doesn't "count", so I bargained with my principal to let our computer lab teacher read the math MAP to her, and rather than her 140ish RIT, she had a 189 RIT. Unfortunately, we can't read it to her in spring. NO FAIR!!!

  8. This chair reminds me of my first classroom. I had an old wingback chair with the legs broken off that someone donated it me. The kids loved it as it was just at their level. Now I use an old wooden rocking chair. It's so important to have a cozy part of your classroom. great room!


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