I've missed blogging...

Sunday, February 14, 2016
It has been way too long since I have shared on my blog. So many things have happened. Many good things, as well as some trying experiences, which I am learning to grow from. 

I am reflecting on the purpose of why I started my blog, and how to improve and change it. I feel I have changed in the last 6 months, and I want my blog to reflect this change too. I am excited to begin to share, and blog about the fun experiences we have in our classroom. I am grateful for memories I can look back on, and love that blogging allows me to relive some of those moments. 

Looking forward to new blog posts, and sharing. =)




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"Salutations..."

Friday, April 10, 2015

I am very excited about my "Salutations" Project through Donors Choose! My 2nd graders are going to be thrilled to read E.B. White's beloved novel, Charlotte's Web.


I have purchased books for small groups, but I have never had a complete class set of books. This will be fun for my students to have their own copy of the book to actually hold in their hands as we read.

I am looking forward to our Charlotte's Web Unit! I have a lot planned from writing activities, art projects, and even some STEM experiments. I can hardly wait. 

If you would like to help my students experience this unit, please make a donation to my "Salutations" Project and help us get a class set of books. Also, using the promo code [SPARK] when you donate will allow your donation to be matched by Donors Choose

Thank you for helping my 2nd graders and future students, to be able to experience all of the life lessons in this novel and to strengthen their love of reading, writing, and STEM skills!


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Digital Learning Day...

Sunday, April 5, 2015
Digital Learning Day!

We had a great week celebrating Digital Learning Day, on March 13, 2015.

First, we worked on a new program, called Storybird, and wrote some wonderful stories and books. If you haven't checked out Storybird, I suggest you do. Your kids will LOVE it! 


Then, we listened to our superintendent read an inspiring book called "What Do You Do With an Idea?" by Kobi Yamada.

We brainstormed ideas for things that we could do as a class and also individually to make the world a better place. My 2nd graders decorated an Egg, and then wrote their personal "Big Idea" on a slip of paper and put it inside. 

Decorating...
Adorable "Big Ideas..."

The "Big Idea" we came up with as a class, was to collect travel sized items and put them in our "Bags of Love." We will give our bags to an organization that will give them out to the homeless in our community. We set a goal of 50 items in the week, and by the end of that week we had over 100. 

The next week we set a goal of 500 and opened it up for our entire school to donate, and we collected 400+ before we left on Spring Break. When we get back from break, we will do a final count and see if we reached our goal. The kids are so excited about our "Big Idea." 

If you would like to donate to our "Bags of Love," leave me a message with your email, and I will be in touch. Thank you, enjoy your Spring Break. 

I have been relaxing and working on fun things to do in the last few months of our school year. 




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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Dr. Seuss Day

I am looking forward to the activities I have planned for my 2nd graders tomorrow to celebrate Dr. Seuss, and for them to search around on the Seussville website.

Little treat bags for their desks with some red fish and an eraser.


I saw this picture on Pinterest, and sketched it out on paper, then colored in with may favorite Mr. Sketch markers! =)I can't wait to hang it up on my door. 


Amazon Prime is such a life saver too! I ordered a few things for Monday, and it all came today! Adorable "Thing 1 and Thing 2" headbands for my kiddos to wear, Seuss pennant, stuffed Lorax, character finger puppets, books, etc...


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, we are going to Read, Read, and Read!



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Monday Made It...

Monday, August 11, 2014
My Monday Made It, Week # 4

I am linking up this Monday with Tara's Monday Made It.


Next Monday we head back to work for Staff meetings and getting ready for the First Day of School on Wednesday, August 20th! I am soooo excited to meet my new 2nd grade kiddos! =)



This Monday I worked on adding my labels to the Save Folders that my kids will put any LA or Math work that needs to be finished. 






I also added labels to their Take Home Folders. They put their homework, school calendar, and any flyers/notes that need to go home in this folder that comes back every day.























My second Made It, were these cute goodie bags to give to each of my students on their First Day. I changed the little poem that I found on tpt by Miss Kindergarten's store for free. Click here for the link for her complete welcome back poem for free. 


Here are some pictures of my "Welcome Back" goodie bags:

Treats to go inside...eraser, bookmark, Smarties, pencil....

My shortened poem...

Welcome Back Goodie Bag...

26 Bags ready for the first day...=)



I added a little, black and white polka dot bow to my "Bucket Filling" Praise bucket, and made a new sign to hang up.
My kids can fill out a Praise Note, place it in the yellow bucket, and then we read them on Friday. Kids keep their Bucket Filling Praise Notes in their little envelope.



This week I have two Professional Development Days that I am attending. The one today was on Core Technologies to use with our 1:1 devices. It was AMAZING! I'm looking forward to receiving our Chrome books, and having my 2nd graders try some of the things I have been researching and learning about. 

On Thursday I'm attending a Math training day. I'm such a life long learner! =) I LOVE learning new things and trying them out. 
It's going to be a fun adventure this year. Enjoy the rest of your summer, or have a wonderful First Day if you are beginning soon. 



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Monday Made It...

Monday, August 4, 2014
My Monday Made It, Week #3

I am linking up with Tara this week for another Monday Made It!



I found this cute lamp, and added white buttons to the shade.  

And a cute, black and white polka dot bow...I LOVE how it looks. 



The second thing I have been working on is finishing all of my bulletin boards. I will post more of them when I show my classroom reveal. This board is my "Mrs. Finch's" board, where I share personal pictures and hang up some teacher gifts I have received throughout my teaching years.





Finally, I have been working on changing my white board into my "Writer's Workshop" board.

I created these "Writing Process" Posters using clipart from Creative Clips and Poppydreamz Digital Art

Here is my white board before...

And here it is after...

I love that my 2nd grade kiddos can move their numbered magnet underneath the "Writing Process" posters I made, so I know where they are in their writing.



My husband and I also went to Comic Con. It was my first time there, and it was so much fun!

I was able to get a picture of this creepy, little guy who kept following us... =)


This picture was when we came out of the Convention Center, so many people came to our beautiful city of San Diego!


Enjoy the rest of your summer! 






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Monday Made It...

Monday, July 21, 2014
My Monday Made It, Week #2.

Last week I had the opportunity to teach during our blended learning summer academy. It was the best week ever! I learned so many things to use in my classroom with my 2nd graders once we have our 1:1 devices. =)

"Kidblog" was a fun way to turn paper/pencil comprehension questions about a specific text that was read, into a living document where students can interact and comment back and forth with their peers. 

I also plan on using "Google Docs" as a resource for students to journal write to me, for creating writing projects, and much much more! 

During this week, we also used Edmodo for a lot of activities. Edmodo is a great resource for students to access in a blended learning environment. We posted videos, assigned questions for students to answer, created a quiz, and even had the whole class take a poll on their favorite "Rural" animal. It was amazing to see these kiddos and their enthusiasm to watch the video, pause it, take notes, and even rewind to go back to hear something again. =)

There were programs like ST Math and Imagine Learning that were excellent for them to access during the week too. The week went by so quickly, and I am thrilled that I had the chance to participate in this experience. I am excited to try out certain apps and programs with our 1:1 devices!

Technology Rules!!! =)

Anyway, on to my "Monday Made It" for today, since last Monday I was so busy with our summer academy.

I am linking up with Tara again...



I was finally able to get into my classroom, and really start unpacking things, organizing, and cleaning...but all I really wanted to do was to decorate it! =)


Here is the first thing I put together.




A cute little anchor chart that I found on tpt, made by Natalie's Nook.




I also found these baskets from Big Lots for $1.30 for 2.



I added little chalkboard tags with their student number. They will make great "Reading Book Baskets" to keep books, mini flash lights, and bookmarks inside. 



I LOVE how they make their cubbies colorful! 



From blah...

...to colorful! =)

And finally I worked on taping up the laminated pieces of card stock paper, that I hang a large paperclip on to display student work. Lots of taping! =)


Before...
After...
I printed and laminated the student numbers from Tara's Homework Club, but I used them for my cupboard doors instead! Thanks Tara! =) I am going to use some magnets that are smaller to make the Homework Club display that Tara made.  

Wow, that was a really long post, but I wanted to share a little of my wonderful experience in our blended learning summer academy. I am very excited to get our devices, and to begin this learning process with my 2nd grade kiddos. =)





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Monday Made It...

Monday, July 7, 2014
My Monday Made It, Week #1!

I am finally linking up to Tara's Monday Made It!  I am always so inspired by her and all of the incredible teachers who are sharing creative ideas with others. :) 


Life has been so busy, but I am thrilled to be back sharing ideas and blogging again. Here are two of the things I have made.





I made Birthday Balloons with crazy straws last year, but this year I am letting my sweet second grade kiddos choose a Doodle Scent Marker. 

"Doodle Scents"
I bought these markers from Michaels, which are made by Crayola. You can buy them from other places too, like Office Depot. I decorated a clear can, also purchased from Michaels, and added little "Happy Birthday" tags to each one. 


When a student has a birthday in my classroom, I place our stuffed Birthday Turtle on their desk, along with a musical "Happy Birthday" card that they can play a few times throughout the day, a birthday "Brag Tag" they get to add to their collection, and now they can choose a "Birthday Marker" as their fun gift!  


My 2nd graders love scented things, and these markers are going to be a BIG hit! The cute, little faces on each marker are so adorable. :)




This summer I have gone to a few Professional Development days, and one of them was a Positive Behavior workshop. I went to the first module last summer, and LOVED it, so I had to sign up for modules 2 and 3 this summer. :)

I had purchased these tiny little composition books from the Dollar Tree, in a pack of three, but never used them last year. So I transformed them from this (blah)...

Before...




...to this! (adorable) :) 

After...

I already had some 'beachy' duct tape, and these cute felt border stickers, and felt cupcake stickers. I printed up a title for the cover, and put clear tape over those, along with the cupcake sticker.

This was just one of the many ideas I received from the Positive Behavior workshop; having students write to their teacher in a journal. 

I have used teacher/student journals before, but I am excited to use these "Sweet Tiny Journals" as another way to build a relationship with each one of my kiddos. I plan on letting them write to me in their special journal on Monday mornings, so I have some time to read and write back to them. :)
  

My second graders LOVE tiny things, and these are going to go perfectly with the little mechanical pencils I bought for them.

Blogging and sharing today was energizing! I am ready to start working on my ideas for next week's Monday Made it, and to gather some more fabulous ideas from all of you that linked up!!! :)





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