Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One Last Thing...

Willie made it back from the North Pole!

He looks like he's seen things...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays and Welcome 2016

Taking a blogging break to enjoy the time off and plan for an amazing year. 
Enjoy your time with family and friends!

See you in 2016!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

National Boards

So today was score release day for National Boards. Some of you may or may not know that there is a new process for National Boards and it's being rolled out gradually over the course of a few years. New process means no trailblazers, no history, and in my small charter, no NBCT teachers, district support group or mentors. 

Last year I took Components 1 and 2. 

I planned and taught and gathered and collected and regrouped and reflected and... struggled with the "submit" button - never really feeling done - but knowing I'd done my best.

Since then I just tried to put those components out of my mind and plan for Component 3 this year. Score release day snuck up on me, with the holidays, closing out 2015 in my classroom, and just L.I.F.E. 

This morning I got up at 5:45 and went to see the 6:30 showing of Star Wars (OMG, BTW) - picked up kale for Willie and treats for the dogs at Trader Joes, had some pancakes at IHOP... and then, on the way home, remembered - score release! I went straight to the computer, logged on and found my scores.

Toot, toot!

That was my own horn.



Friday, December 18, 2015

Favourite Thing

The winter show was today. I have a class that's a bit more diverse than the others. That is awesome - but it means not everyone wants to participate in traditional holiday songs. 
No worries! 
We found an awesome song that is inclusive and beautiful!
Check out my amazing 2nd graders singing Yuna's Favourite Thing...


Bye Twinky..... And Willie!?

Oh my goodness!!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Campfire Time!

Marshmallow and Twinky looked like they had a really relaxing time - just chilling by the campfire toasting marshmallows! OMG - they look DELICIOUS!

Swingin' in the Rain

Ok - no rain, but it chilly, y'all! Finally some sweater-weather! I think Twinky feels right at home with these cold temps because she looks like she is having fun swinging in our class!

The students have love writing about all Twinky's adventures!

Monday, December 14, 2015


We've done some great research, created some fantastic Thinking Maps, and thought deeply about Animals in Winter. We've learned the Language of the Discipline and - yay - completed our rough drafts for our paper! 

Second grade is amazing when you consider where kids come in and where they are now. We've all grown so much! 

Social Climber

Twinky has some climbing skills! This morning we found she had scaled the little tree and was watching us as we worked! She even decorated it with the paper chain she made last Friday! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tea Party!

If you give a pig some tea....

She'll want to share it with our elf, Twinky!

It looked like we interrupted a fun little tea party!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hour of Code

Our school is participating in an Hour of Code this week! 

Have you done this? 

We're using code.org to get our kids introduced the awesomeness of coding! For most of my kids, this year has been their first taste of programming and I have several who show real promise, and ALL are loving the challenge! I hope this really sparks a love for creating using coding!

Mooseltoe Sequencing

Our focus the last couple days has been Mooseltoe. Such a fun holiday read. The students worked on comprehension yesterday and today the aim was sequence. They did fantastic!

Reading is Fund-ELF-mental

Wow! I was wondering where our Scholastic order was! 

Looks like Twinkie found it and had a great time reading to her friend, Marshmallow!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Winter Show

My precious second graders and I want to include everyone in the winter show and have chosen a 3rd song that is beautiful, inclusive and expresses how we feel about our families. 

I'm so excited to have all my students in on this one - and wouldn't it be great if the artist knew 20 little Southern California 2nd graders were big fans and came to see our show the morning of 12/18?  Was that too subtle?

#dreambig #yuna @yunamusic #yunamusic 

Their teacher is a big fan, too! :)

Hippo-Hurray for 2nd Grade!

Yes. We are ready to ROCK the winter show! Second grade will again be the #ShowStealers of the production. Can you guess our song?

Twinkie is a Narcissist

This girl LOVES to have her picture taken, apparently! Check out Twinky and Marshmallow and the the adorable pink tree she brought!

And yes... she and Marshmallow were rocking matching sweaters!

I wonder how Twinky spent the weekend...

We Love Journals

This week in journals...

Friday, December 4, 2015

Welcome, Liesl Shurtliff!

Today we were so fortunate to welcome the gracious and talented Liesl Shurtliff - author of Jack - to our school. We focused on this book since the beginning of the year and had such a rich experience as we tackled vocabulary, sketched and wrote every day about Jack

That time of reading, sketching and writing gave my students an opportunity to respond to literature and answer questions in such an authentic way. And I know their ability to write at such length now can be attributed to all that daily practice. Plus - their journals? They're works of art.

I hope my students remember this day forever, since Jack sparked a real love of reading in so many of my kids!

The theme of hunger in Jack was tied to a focus of sharing and giving. Remember our field trip packing food at the Children's Hunger Fund? Amazing! I am personally so lucky to have such generous students. My students also gave up their Halloween candy to donate to our troops and they saved their own money to donate to the Children's Hunger Fund. Here they are giving their money boxes to the CHF representative. 

It was really illuminating to hear about Ms. Shurtliff's process as a writer and to hear her encouraging words for our students.

Dream BIG!


For the last two days we've focused on using Olive the Other Reindeer for comprehension, beginning-middle-end and now sequencing. The students put the story in order to compile their own book, complete with cover ;)