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The End of Days and into a Good Time!

I apologize... but don't really mean it for the length and lovely information you are getting in this stellar post. :) 

All year we have been gathering pieces for their writing portfolios.  I didn't have students put in every piece of writing they did, rather they chose what pieces they liked and showed their growth. I had students reflect upon their growth using this form and then put it near the beginning of their portfolio.  It is so powerful for them to reflect and put academic vocabulary to their growth.

We created 3 anchor charts
1.  At the beginning of the year...... I did/did not...
2.  Now at the end of the year I....
3. In the future I would like to....

Writing Portfolio Reflection- FREEBIE

For the cover of their portfolios I cut out 4x6 watercolor paper.  I like using watercolor paper because it does not pill or get misshapen like other thicker papers do.  It also allows the water to not run as much.

I taped around the edges on the desk using my favorite froggie green painters tape to make a frame.  I then gave students masking tape attached to a piece of wax paper with the bottom of the tape hanging off of it.  They chose 1 simple shape that reflected them---sun, heart, star, initials, sport, etc. drew it and cut it off.  Having the tape on the wax paper allowed me to do it whole group and also made it so that they didn't ruin their design because the tape was sticking to their scissors, desks, hair, faces, somebody else, etc. etc. etc. :) 

On my back table I let them use "fancy watercolors" from the tube.  Whole group I showed them different strategies to use--- wet, dry, salt, saran wrap, etc.  It is amazing the textures you can get really easily. 


rubbing alcohol

 plastic wrap

With me we taped their paper down, cut out their shape, and I let them begin to paint.  I thought this was going to be an absolute disaster and chaos... and it couldn't have worked better.  One of the 1st grade teachers is a professional artist and when I told her what I was going to let 7-8 year olds do she thought I was mental (which is partially true).  When I told them that "Mrs. Moore thinks I am crazy for letting 2nd graders use fancy water color and no lines" it fueled them to be that more intentional.  I didn't have a single student need to redo one--- which is nothing short of a diving miracle. After their first coat dried, we peeled back their cut out and painted inside of that. 

I was blown away at what these little artists produced. Start to finish it took about 2 hours to finish everybody with 3 working one the table at a time.

They signed their names in the corners like an artist and then we mounted them on black construction paper.  These became the covers of their portfolios.  I bought clear plastic covers from office depot.  Originally we were going to do binders, but there is something about having it bound together that just finishes it off (though binding them about finished me:)).
On the last day of school they collected them with their parents along with a little goody bag that had a summer review pack, sunglasses, and a sweet treat in them.  I also included all of the book trailers they had made throughout the year into the portfolio as well as a copy of our year end video.

Also, during the last week, I had the students write letters to the upcoming 2nd graders.  These letters will be placed on their desks on the first day of school.  As a class, we made a huge graphic organizer of all they had learned throughout the year- academic, social, technology, fun activities, etc.

From there we brainstormed some sentence starters and I wrote an example in front of them.  They wrote rough drafts, editing with a peer, and then me.  They then taped a pencil to the top of the paper and wrote a little note.

2nd Grade Rocks! Freebie

We even created one last book trailer as a class from our read aloud...The Invention of Hugo Cabret

It is amazing how fast a school year can fly.  I am so fortunate to work with the group of kids, parents, and teachers.  My parents even made me moose cupcakes and painted my new reader's theater a mustard yellow :)

 I miss my kids dearly... but I am glad to be on vacation!!! I am taking the next month to be out West--- hike, bike, chill, and eat.

Here is a video I captured the other day at Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  It is crazy how clear the water is

 Top of the Colorado Rockies--- we got thirsty and would fill up our water bottles straight from water coming out of the mountains.

Arrays of Sunshine

We have been busy bees working away on repeated addition, arrays, and into multiplication.
We have been using Miss Giraffe's Arrays Arrays Arrays!
Arrays Arrays Arrays!

We got a little punny and made Arrays of Sunshine.
I had students roll dice, the first number they rolled was the rows, the second the columns.  They drew an array, wrote both repeated addition problems, and then the multiplication problems.

We watched brainpopjr. earlier in the week on arrays and repeated addition and made notes.  I had students draw and cut out a large cloud on a white sheet of paper.  From that they wrote a paragraph about arrays/multiplication on it.

Students had to do quite a bit of work and they turned out super cute!!!

You can get my outlines for the sun here!  

This weekend we were able to celebrate one of my all time favorite couples and their adoption of 3 children.  It is a true honor to be apart of their lives and see how everything has been positioned to bring home these 3 precious lambs.  Laura and Kyle are ridiculously talented, but my favorite part about them is that their home is always open and you feel so safe in their presence. Watching this process of adoption has really enforced the love Christ has for us and how he truly adopts us and makes us His own.

May Currently

It's that time again for the linky with Oh'Boy 4th Grade.  

I want to give a shout out to my fabulous teammate- Susan Ezzell.  She is such a great mentor, friend, and entertainer! Susan is ridiculously creative and creates awesome projects for her kids.  We are currently in the middle of her Great American Soil Project.  We are collecting soil samples from across the country and doing experiments with them in class.  Check out her blog

I am also challenging the kids to all finish a book trailer by the end of school!  Here is the most recent creation!

Happy, happy, happy Friday!!!