Sunday, August 30, 2015

Teacher Balance...

Sometimes you just have to get away from papers (already graded anyway - BOOM!) and planning and cell phones and internet and tv and just relax. A much needed and much appreciated weekend away to charge me up for tomorrow! What did you do this weekend?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mr. Roboto...

So last night I had a dream about robots taking over the world. See. I told you it's not easy being me.  Anyway, this week most of us were motivated to get though our work so could do a fun Semi-Directed-But-Pretty-Open Draw. We reviewed shapes and line-- and whipping out the oil pastels is always so much fun!

Get a load of some of our robots! 

Don't worry - these robots are not about to take over the world - but my students might!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Heart Maps

I love doing these every year. They reveal so much about my students and it's such a great way to get to know each of them.  We create heart maps during the launch of Writer's Workshop to help my students get ideas for writing. Some are still in process, but I can't wait to put them up on our wall - they really are works of he-art!

One Book, One School

We are fortunate to have a fantastic librarian who has literally transformed our library!
For the fourth year, we are participating in One Book, One School and tomorrow is the big reveal! My students are so excited. 

I gave them these clues today...

And read some of these books...

But they're still not sure. Tomorrow - all will be revealed! 

They are so excited!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What Does Mrs. Dixon Do At Night?

Covering 44 journals in clear contact paper. I know. Don't be jealous...

Mean Jean, The Recess Queen

Today my kids listened intently to the great word choice in The Recess Queen.  I just love this book and for 2nd graders - it really hits home. Spurred lots of conversation! 

After hearing and talking about Mean Jean, my students brainstormed all the adjectives they could think of to describe Jean and made a Thinking Map. They already know - if we're describing we use a Bubble Map! 

Check out their drawings of and adjectives about Mean Jean!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Reader's and Writer's Workshop

I promise myself every year that I am never doing this again.
Never pulling out the mass amounts of construction paper.
Never cutting huge quantities of scrapbooking paper in half.
Never taking the time to cut and peel contact paper to cover SO.MANY.JOURNALS!
But the students LOOOOOVE it so much! 
Each year my students take the time to create amazing covers for their journals and they become really treasured by the kids (and me).  This year, despite by promise, my students are doing it again. We already created our math journals last week, but today we created our Phonics and Reading Journal and our Grammar and Writing Journal. With their limited time, the kids did great!
Now - on to that contact paper...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Organic Gardening Highs and Lows

OMG! So excited about growing corn. I'm so stressed about this though. I know - leisurely organic gardening has me stressed. I worry about everything - including non-forming kernels on yet-to-be-developed ears of corn. I might have had a nightmare about this. It's not easy being me.
This happened...
Tassles!!!!!!! This is a definite High. One step closer to developing kernels. Winning!

Now for the Low. 
Overnight my arugula was eaten by I.Don't.Know.What.
Look at this sad arugula leaf.

What's that?
Look closer.  

His name was Legion. There were many. They met a watery grave. Then were stomped by an aggressive sandal - just to be sure.

First Week...

So we are three days in and my students are already convinced that tests are FUN! Yeah - I'm a Svengali that way. 

We made a classroom agreement and we STUCK to it! We reviewed procedures, over and over and we were accountable. The kids are learning fast and the room is running (mostly) smoothly! 

This week we took lots of beginning of the year assessments and did some fun reading and writing - focusing on Kevin Henkes. It was such whirlwind, I only got a couple pics...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mentor Texts for Writer's Workshop

So school starts this Wednesday. It don't know about y'all - but we take about a day to get to know each other and establish a class agreement for behavior, learn procedures and learn procedures. Yep. I said that twice - you know why!
But, on day 2... we hit the ground RUNNING! Capital R U N N I N G! I'm planning my Writer's Workshop and found this helpful resource for linking instruction to mentor texts.
Click here to get a list of mentor texts to help you with Writer's Workshop!
I love that there are so many of my old favorites and some yet-to-be-discovered favorites on the list!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

So excited...

And - so exhausted. Setting up a classroom is no joke. There's no tired like setting up your room, beginning of the year, teacher tired.
That being said - 
I got my class list and I am very excited about meeting my 21 new friends a WEEK.FROM.TOMORROW!!!!


Ok. I'm going to rest these bones tonight so I can tackle my classroom after hours and hours of pd tomorrow.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Update on the organic garden...

So this summer we started an organic garden, after completing a sustainable gardening class at our local community college. It's been amazing - starting from seeds and watching seedlings take hold and grow. We are growing all kinds of tomatoes, corn, potatoes, squash... We're just now starting to battle pests. Grrrr! Stay away from our veggies!

How does your garden grow?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015