There should be one rule for certain when it comes to weather: No rain on a Monday. Seriously.
The worst way to start off a school week is with rain. A sleepy, should-have-been-easy review Monday turned into the beginning of the most awful week in a long time. Multiple times I had to go back to the beginning of the school year procedure discussions and it just did not work at all.
We went through days of this. One day of rain, one day of recovery from the rain, then the wind kicked in. There is electricity in the air when the Santa Anas kick in...and the kids are the best conductors of that electricity.
In short, it was nearly impossible to do much teaching last week....even before the projectile vomiting started.
However, I did do some nifty things when I set up for next week on Friday evening. Traditionally, I have been totally unable to keep myself organized throughout the week, so I stay late on Friday nights trying to find my desk and counters as well as setting up my Monday necessities (spelling and vocabulary boards, morning work, copies, etc....). After all of that was done, I sat down and began cutting out circles (since I like cutting things out so much).
2nd grade is beginning the unit on telling time, and after my pre-assessment this week, I decided that I needed a little something extra to help the kiddos remember that when the hand is pointing at the 6, the time is not an ":06".
Having spent a lot of time perusing Ladybug's Teacher Files, I developed a love for circular labels. This love will have to be explored more during the summertime, but for now, I took that thought and made an extra visual aid for my clock.
Since the final portfolio I have to do for BTSA revolves around my ELLs, I thought that it couldn't hurt to include every little visual aid that I possibly could in this unit. I cut out all of the circles and just used painter's tape to attach them to the outer edge of the clock. It looks nice and pretty from that angle, but once I get to the stage where I laminate them, I will have to find another way to attach the pieces so that I don't drive myself crazy looking at blue tape all around the clock.
(In an effort to not drive 20 minutes to laminate, I got lazy and just put together the clock....lamination to come later).
I also borrowed an idea from one of my fellow 2nd grade team members in order to eliminate some of those over-used words from the kids' writing. Many upper elementary teachers "kill" words and the kids create tombstones with synonyms and what not on them; but when I heard Co-worker talking about how her class sends words to Florida to retire, I loved it! Genius idea! So I made a little sign to get our retirement home started.
On Monday, when we write to this week's Star Student, we will brainstorm other words to replace those in our letters. They had a great time with dictionary scavenger hunts last week, so the thesaurus should be equally (if not more) exciting. I'm going to evolve this side bar to my white board into a bulletin board, but for now, this should work just fine.
Finally, I realize that I talked excessively about my focus wall, but did not put up a finished-product picture. (You wouldn't believe how many times I think about blogging but then choose to enjoy some couch time instead) I still have not organized the large ziplock bag of pieces, so the weekly work takes a bit of time in order to get everything set up, but eventually everything will be organized. I also realized that I would like to include the spelling skill for the week too (in order to incorporate the kids into their daily word study), but, again, that is something for the summertime.
It's bright and sunny today....here's to hoping tomorrow is bright, sunny, and not windy!