Thursday, May 22, 2014

Poetry Friday: Local Poets

Check out Poetry Friday at Violet Nesdoly/Poems

This week I am going to feature poems that come from my classroom and house. 


Student Couplet

I hate my carrots
But I love my parents

Student color poem
Green is nice
Green is a marker
Green is pretty
Green is Mike Wazowski
Green tastes like peas
Green smells like morning grass
Green sounds like crickets
Green feels like a toad
Green looks like trees
Green makes me feel good
Green is awesome!

Student biography poem
Fun, friendly, nice
Lover of dogs, cats, hamsters
Who is able to run fast
Who feels happy
Who wonders "why do people dance?"
Who fears bears, wolves
Who would like to work out
Who dreams of being a scientist

Haiku for an early evening (Teacher haiku)
Jeff, kill the snake now
Shovel in hand for my love
For better, for worse

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stretching a Moment with Ivy and Bean

I started reading Ivy and Bean: What's the Big Idea with my second grade class today. As I was reading the first scene with Bean watching an ant hole, I thought "This is a great example of stretching a moment." Our class stopped to talk about how Annie Barrows takes that small piece of time and uses detail to stretch it out and draw you in. Check it out if you work on this writing skill.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

2nd Grade Arcade Photos

This may be one of the best things I have been a part of in over 20 years as an educator. Our students made games and goods to sell at an arcade/market. It was so much fun and a great combination of economics and engineering. I've included pictures of some of the games. 

With an S hook and a box, one student created a claw game where you tried to pick up bracelets. This was a popular stop in the arcade. 

This was a cool variation on the "throw the ball in a hole" game. 

The best of this game was the student standing behind it and holding up signs when you made or missed a throw. 

An attractive front can go a long way in selling a product. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2nd grade arcade

How cool is this? It's a vending machine made from a cardboard box. There is a slot for your money, a tube for making your order, and a slot for receiving your product. Tomorrow is our Arcade/Market Day which is the culmination of our economics unit. One of our students made this as his project. Google Caine's Arcade which was the inspiration for our project. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Excellent Tangram Resource

My second graders have been enjoying trying to solve the tangram puzzles available at the Tangram Channel.  This is a free site that provides several resources related to tangrams. In the mornings, I post a puzzle on the SmartBoard and my students try to solve it. Some of them have gone home with their paper tangrams and tried to solve puzzles from the morning. Can you solve the swan puzzle below?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Balloon Trees

Balloon Trees
written by Danna Smith; illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein
2013 (Sylvan Dell)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Check out Nonfiction Monday for more nonfiction book reviews.

Try this out with a group of kids. Ask them where they think balloons come from. One student will probably tell you the store. Most will shrug their shoulders. Then tell them that balloons come from trees. This will blow their minds. They will ask, "Is there some special tree where you pluck balloons?" You will look smartly at them, pull out a copy of Balloon Trees and proceed to teach your class about rubber. It starts with tappers going out at dawn and tapping rubber trees. They slice the bark, add a spout, and out comes a milky white latex. After going through a machine for cleaning, the latex is shipped via tanker ship to a factory. The latex is dropped into a tank filled with color. Forms in the shapes of balloons are dipped in the color latex mixture quickly to make the color stick. Then these forms are dipped and brushed with water and cooked in an oven. After a dunking in powder, the balloons are filled with air and pop off the forms where they are carried away on a conveyor belt for more washing and testing. Soon after the balloons will be boxed and shipped so you can purchase it from your favorite store.

Balloon Trees would be a good book to share when you work on "how-to" book writing in kindergarten or first grade. This procedural text, with its rhyming steps, will be a popular read because who doesn't like a balloon? It could also be included in a science unit on matter. This book does not include clowns which may be a relief for some of you. As with all Sylvan Dell books, you get a fabulous PDF of teaching activities, so here's the link: