Give it a try! :)
The human knot is an awesome brain break! It not only gets the kids up and moving, but it also enhances their communication skills! They all gather in a circle and connect hands (they have to hold hands with 2 different people) kind of like in a knot! The key is to untangle themselves without letting go of hands! They win the game when they are untangled and back into a circle. They LOVE it. To challenge them today, I had them untangle themselves WITHOUT talking! They did it, and it was funny, because they almost did it better non-verbally than they did using words!
Give it a try! :)
I like to raise awareness of important holidays in my classroom. This year in honor of Memorial Day, we had Sargent Frazee come in to our classroom to speak about the military and to share some of his experiences and knowledge of the air force to help build our background during Memorial Day weekend! It was so awesome! They loved it! He even showed us how to do a one armed push up and did a brain break with us! :)
We have been working SO hard this year, and it has shown! We improved our EVALUATE Reading scores by 11% and our Math scores went up 8%! Some of my students ROCKED their test and I wanted to reward them with a cookie decorating party for being "one smart cookie". They had so much fun, and they earned it! One student even said "This is the best day in my whole entire life!" I wrapped them up in a clear bag with a tag I created for them letting them know how proud they made me! TEACHING IS SO REWARDING!!!
I have been working really hard to get my students involved in analyzing text, and excited about reading. So, I thought, why not turn a fairy tale like "Jack and the Beanstalk" into a great debate! I presented the question "Is taking a goose and a doughnut from an evil giant stealing?" Students had to read through the text and formulate an opinion as to whether or not this was stealing. Once they had their opinion, they had to create debate posters with answers supported with evidence from the text. Then we invited another 2nd grade class in to see if we could persuade them through our debate. It turned into a pretty heated discussion, and we even had some students who started out with a "yes" turn their ideas to "no" due to hard evidence! This is something we will be doing more of, it was fun!
We have been learning all about weather and the water cycle. So we created this culminating activity to make it "rain" in a cup! You put water in the cup, cover it in shaving cream (representing the cloud) and then drop food coloring on the "cloud" to show how condensation gets heavier and makes the rain come down. It was a nice hands on representation of the water cycle. This also goes well with our song and dance we made up to really sink it in!! I will sing if for you if you ask! ;)
RAVE stands for "Recognizing a Valued Employee". I received this RAVE review from a parent that was recognizing me for making a difference in her son's life. I love what I do, and I think it is so important for teachers to realize the great responsibility we have and the impact we have on students and their lives. No matter how big, or how small, we are always making a difference! I strive to go above and beyond to be the best teacher I can, it's important to me to be able to be the positive influence in a child's life! Teaching is awesome!
Today we used Tableau's... Just another one of Kagan's amazing strategies! We are tying together writing and reading with a persuasive unit. So, we are reading Jack and the Beanstalk, and their argument is going to be "Should Jack have stolen the golden goose?" and they will debate about this question. Anywho, with that being said, they read the story today, and made a storyboard about the characters, setting, and plot. Then to really get them to sink in what was happening in the story, we used tableau! This can be used for anything.!! Students pick an important event and/or concept and come together to create a "frozen in time" still picture of what it is representing. They start by saying "curtains down" and the audience closes their eyes while they form the scene/concept. When they are ready, they say "curtains up" and the students open their eyes to see the concept or scene. In this case, we had to guess what picture from Jack and the Beanstalk they were representing. They LOVED it! I have to say, they did an awesome job and I was impressed! Curtains UP! :)
It's not very often we have clouds in the sky in Las Vegas. We happened to luck out this week as we begin our study of clouds! We made interactive notebooks about different kinds of clouds, complete with hand gestures and actions to really get the clouds names and what they mean for the weather stuck in our brains. Today we made cloud finders and went out as meteorologists to determine what kinds of clouds were in the sky, and what it meant for the weather. Today we were fortunate to see cumulus clouds turn into stratus clouds, which meant it might rain, and it did!! We also go to see those stratus clouds turn into cirrus clouds! Thankfully we had a 3 in one day cloud kind of day, because like I said... clouds don't come around Vegas too often!! I never thought I would say "hip hip hooray for a cloudy day!"
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Kagan strategies and cooperative learning??? ;) Today we did this fun game called "Show me". The kids had to find their partners by using fraction cards. One had a picture of a fraction, and the other card had a written fraction. I handed them each a card, and then they had to find their matching fraction pair and that was their partner. Then, to play this fraction game, one partner had to explain how to make a shape, then how to cut it into fractions, and then write the fraction. At the end, they would say "show me" and turn around to see if they matched. It was so fun, and they were so engaged, and they discussed as closure the difficulties and the exciting parts of this game called "show me". I even heard them say "math is fun!" :)
We are having fun exploring air! Our next science unit is weather! We begin our explorations by discovering air, and then discussing about how air relates to weather. This was a fun day of learning about air, and air pressure! Some of their challenges were to see how air can make objects move, why do bubbles form when you submerge a vial into water, and how can you keep the paper towel dry inside the vial? We then attached the scientific terms to their explorative learning. We are extraordin"air" experts! :)
A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.