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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.

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