Monday, May 21, 2012

Splish Splash Splat Stuff

I haven’t posted in over a week!  I don’t know what has come over me, but I think it’s the end of the year.  It’s been especially tough reading about how so many of you are already done with the school year or finished significantly before me…it’s a downer! 

So, I’ve semi-recovered from my blogging funk and thought I would share something we’ve been working on.  I’m sure your students love the cat Splat as much as mine.  I’ve decided to work on putting together a fun-filled literacy and math activities pack for Splish, Splash, Splat.  I’m working hard to make it bilingual so it will work for most any teacher.

Here is our completed writing craftivity.  I think they turned out pretty cute!
Tomorrow night we have our last bilingual family night of the year, so I won’t be working on completing this unit until later this week.  But I hope to have it up for sale by this weekend…fingers crossed!

Other than that, today made me remember how much I do not like teaching measurement.  I hate the precision and attention to detail required to measure.  I absolutely hate measuring things at home, I’m purposefully lame so that my husband will do it without me.  Fortunately, my kids' enthusiasm for measuring makes up for my complete lack thereof. 

Today was tough because we measured with nontraditional things – lollipops, paperclips and cubes.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a bit easier to handle with traditional inches and feet…

It’s important to keep perspective only 10.5 days left of school!

Hope wonderful things are happening in your classroom.  If you’re already done please don’t tell me so I don’t spiral into a funk again! 

Mrs. Castro Pin It

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time Vocabulary Anchor Chart and Stuff…

WOW!  This past week was exhausting!  We’ve been so busy, as I’m sure you all have too.  I had a meeting with our bilingual department to learn more about our district’s vision for 1/2 bilingual multiage.  There was so much information shared my head was spinning for a few days. 

This week was also our fluency benchmarking week and my students are tested in English and Spanish.  We received our ACCESS scores a couple of weeks ago and I was very pleased with my students’ results.  They are going to be so successful in third grade!

We did our mother's day project which was inspired by a Pinterest find, of course! 

Unfortunately our paint was very runny and the pop bottle was dripping everywhere.  So Plan B was implemented and we used fingerprints instead.  BUT, I forgot to take a picture of them.  Oops!  They did turn out very cute, some were more interpretive than others, but I know the moms will be happy!
AND we’ve finally begun our time unit.  Most of my students have fairly good grasp of how to tell time... all of our morning work has paid off!  A couple are struggling when it comes to keeping the hands straight and how to know when to use the big number or count by fives...I would love suggestions for those students.  I color code their sheets.  Hour hand and answer space one color and minute hand and answer space another color.  I also let them use a mini clock since it’s hard for them to just look at a sheet and find the answer.  My big classroom clock has the 5 minute increments posted on it too.  Any other suggestions?

One thing that can be hard for my students is the vocabulary associated with time.  They LOVE to sound like smart second graders so we made this anchor chart to help them use the Fancy Shmancy Time Vocabulary more easily.  Spelling the word schmancy escapes me...don’t judge if it’s wrong.  I’m caught between English, Spanish and a maiden name that starts with “sch”.
I remembered to take a picture of this at least!  The students only have had one day to use this vocab so far, but they’re getting really good at it!  (Proud teacher alert!)
That’s it for now. 
Mrs. Castro Pin It

Monday, May 7, 2012

“Key Buys” and a blog award nomination!

My mom always called good deals that she was able to take advantage of key buys.  So, I’ve taken part in the TpT sale, and did not forget to use the coupon code!  (I tend to be bad with details, and cry later!)  I’m going to call them all key buys, because by doing so it will counteract the terrible guilt I feel at going so crazy!!! I waited and waited and just lost all control today!  Sigh...
Knowing I’m teaching 1st and 2nd grade next year has me agonizing over every purchase.  I want to get the most bang for my buck. 
Here are some of my key buys that I’ve been drooling over for a while:
The 3 AM Teacher’s lovely graphic sets:
Cara Carroll Creations:

Amy Lemons stuff (super excited!!!)
The Teacher Wife:
And finally one I almost forgot, but then didn’t (sorry bank account!)  But who can resist this author study?  HONESTLY!

And like some other bloggers I’ve noticed today, I received an email that informed me I’ve been nominated for the “Most Fascinating Blog of 2012 Award”.  I’m really excited that my blog was noticed outside of my blog circle.  The post that warranted the attention is, my clutter linky x2, which is a bit ironic considering I’ve pretty much failed to live up to my plan.  PLEASE keep in mind that I’m moving classrooms and have just put off the organization until my stuff is moved to the next classroom, PERFECTLY REASONABLE! 
Accelerated Degree<br />
AT some point there is voting for the blogs nominated – I’m not entirely sure.  I will keep you posted!
Mrs. Castro Pin It

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May Currently and Teacher Appreciation Sale

It’s the beginning of May and that means that Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade has the currently linky party up and running.  Head over to her blog to participate:
Here is my addition to this fun linky:
May Currently
Also, for those of you who have just been waiting for the right opportunity to buy one of my two fancy schmancy products on TpT store, you need wait no longer.  I’m going to be putting both of my items on sale starting tomorrow.  They’ll both be 20% offAND you can get an additional 10% off if you use the code: TAD12.  So just in case you really wanted one of these:
They will be on sale along with many other amazing products on TpT.  The sale lasts from May 6-8th so get ready!

Happy shopping!
Mrs. Castro Pin It

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Landform Dinosaur - Pinterest strikes again!

First, Open House was great!  I had 16 of 20 families come!  I love seeing how excited the kids are to show off all their work!  They were so proud of themselves, and rightfully so!
Second, a few months ago I found a great landform dinosaur on Pinterest.  Have you seen it?  The original comes from Ms. Jennifer’s Second Grade Class.  I thought the idea was brilliant.  My kiddos love anything visual.
We did this little landform review in time to hang up the cute dinos for open house.  The kids had a good time, and they looked great.  Check it out:

Cute, right?  The only problem, is Ms. Jennifer didn’t share a file to download so we wouldn’t have to make our own dinosaur.  I do not like drawing in general, and it took me MANY tries before my dinosaur was presentable.  I’ve since made a freebie for you so you don’t have to draw your own dinosaur.  I’ve also made a checklist for students to refer to so they know exactly what landforms to look for on the dinosaur sheet. This is in English or Spanish for all the dual and bilingual classrooms out there.

PLEASE NOTE, I am not trying to take any credit for this great idea, it’s all Ms. Jennifer’s!  She’s the creative one who deserves all the credit.  I just wanted to help you out so you don’t have to waste time drawing the dinosaur, since I’ve already made one. 

You can download the freebie at my TPT store by clicking the image below.  Make sure to give Ms. Jennifer a shout out if you use this so she knows how great her idea really was!

Landform Dinosaur Preview
Mrs. Castro Pin It

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cause & Effect, More Money and Open House–Oh My!

So earlier this year I pinned a wonderful activity from one of my all time favorite blogs EVER – Step Into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemmons – by Amy Lemmons!  Her class used A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon to study cause and effect.  You can download her materials by clicking the link above – where you can read more about how to do it.  I just wanted to share how ours turned out – they look GREAT!

Have you noticed that in the Common Core there is no 1st grade standard that deals with money?  THEN, have you noticed that the ONLY 2nd grade standard that deals with money states:

2.MD.8 – Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies, using $ and ₵  symbols appropriately.

When I first saw that standard and realized there were no 1st grade standards that dealt with $ – I thought something was wrong…since then I heard someone call the Common Core standards –outcome statements – which is obvious when I think about it – by the end of second grade students need to be able to do x,y, and z.

BUT, in order to be able to successfully solve word problems involving $ there are so many skills and strategies that the students need to learn – and the common core doesn’t help with Task Analysis. 

So I’ve been working on doing a task analysis of what skills and strategies the kiddos need to have to be able to succeed with this standard…which is good practice for all the other standards. 

Currently we are working on making money and using the part/part/whole (fact family) strategies to do this.  Click here to see the post on that.  Right now we’re doing some whole group and independent practice, but I hope to start in the next lesson or two pulling groups of students to practice making change for real, the trick is counting up…so we’re practicing.  Blue is where they add up (start at cost and add up until you reach $ paid).  Pink is where they add up what the change equals...they rock if there is a color code at the beginning!

Tomorrow night is our open house.  We’re pretty close to finishing up our projects and making our classroom look presentable.  I am so impressed with my kids – they are hard workers and becoming so independent!  I’m going to miss them next year while I figure out 1/2.

Mrs. Castro Pin It