Thursday, August 3, 2017

Beat the Heat ~ August Challenge

School starts in just over 20 days!  I love summer but I am recharged and so excited to see my class again!  I love the start of school.  I have the best job!  My little family has been playing hard this summer.  I have to admit, my own children went pretty light on the reading in July.  However, we are getting back on schedule here in August. 

This brings me to our August "Beat the Heat" Reading Challenge!!! The first day of August we went kayaking on Lake Elmo.  When I went back to my car it was 100 degrees!  So, I came up with the 100 degree reading challenge.  I am challenging each student to read 100 minutes between now and August 24 on RAZ kids.  Now, that is not much to do in 20 days.  I hope all the children are doing much more than 100 minutes of reading....but this challenge is just on RAZ.   If your child logs more than 100 minutes on RAZ, I have a a special prize for them at school.  They will eat lunch with me in the classroom and I will bring a dessert treat!

You can get on our RAZ kids account on a computer or device. Click here to go to the web based version.  If you have an iPad or iPhone, there is a free app.  Our class name is ConnectedOnes.  Your child should know their password.  If not...please email, text, or call.  I'm always here for their learning. 

I know there are some children that seem not to like reading on RAZ.  In fact, just this summer, my second grader will say she doesn't like it, then she stalls, and then (gah) she even WHINES....but when I talk to her about it, she doesn't really have a great answer about why.  I've really studied her dislike for RAZ, I've interviewed her, I've observed, and I have even eavesdropped when she speaks with her brother.  In our case, RAZ definitely isn't making her dislike reading (which was my main concern)....but it is making her work .  Here is what I have concluded; RAZ is hard for her.  It's not that the books aren't interesting, it is that reading and taking comprehension quizzes is challenging.  However, I really feel with my own daughter, the benefits outweigh the whine.  I'm going to push through the whine so that she can shine.  As with all things, RAZ is effective with developing readers if used in a balance.  So, back to the challenge, the 100 minutes on RAZ is a small piece.  I hope your child is balancing some RAZ reading with choice reading, balancing reading fiction and nonfiction, and balancing play and school work! 

On a similar note, please continue with the reading bingo, reading list for those wonderful books not on RAZ, and homework pages.  I can't wait to see what the children get done.  And thank you for the great pictures of students reading.  You really know how to make this teacher smile!

School Supplies

Teaching a combo is special in so many ways.  Our class is unique in so many ways...including our school supply list.  Last year, I had trouble using the supplies that were on one grade level's list but not the other.  Additionally, I was able to save several things, like watercolor paints, from last year.  For the 2017-2018 school year, I created a supply list for just our 2nd/3rd combo.  This list is shorter than the list sent home in the report card.  The only thing I have added is composition notebooks, the other items I have either reduced or taken off the list.  Don't forget, you can absolutely use items from last year like school boxes and scissors.  Please feel free to contact me through email, remind, or a phone call if you have any questions.  Thank you for your tremendous support!
2 boxes of 24 crayons
1 box of colored pencils
1 hand held pencil sharpener
1 box of markers (classic colors)
1 pair of scissors
2 highlighters (please have one be yellow)
6-8 gluesticks (one package)
4 Expo dry erase markers
1 basic plastic school box
2 composition notebooks
1 pocket folder (no brads) any design
1 box of snacks quarterly
1 pair of headphones, no earbuds please (Headphones are tricky.  I haven't found the perfect pair.  We used them ALL the time. Headphones need to have a strong jack. We had a couple pieces get stuck inside the iPad which is an expensive repair.  I have had decent luck with this pair from Amazon, click here.
Optional items for the classroom to share- box of quart size baggies, box of snack size baggies, Lysol or Clorox Wipes, black Sharpies, post-it notes
Optional items for your child's desk- mechanical pencils (the bigger ones work best at this age 1.3 mm lead) see photo below, large pink or white eraser
Inline image 1

Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Slide

This is the only summer slide I want our children experiencing this summer!  The students have made such wonderful progress.  We don't want them to lose any of the learning they have worked so hard to achieve.  If children don't read over the summer months, they can lose up to three months of progress.  Please don't let this happen.  In the children's last day bags, there was a summer learning packet.  The review packet is filled with reading, writing, spelling, and math activities to help the students sharpen and maintain their skills.  Also, don't forget the blog!  The top button bar for the blog has tons of FUN and ENGAGING ways to keep those little minds sharp.  RazKids is available all summer and so is Reading Rainbow.  Get involved with a summer reading program through the public library or Barnes and Noble.  Use our school district's free e-library to check out books on your devices.  There are so many great ways to keep reading.  Also, the Learning Links tab at the top of the blog will take students to interactive web games.  Last, don't forget about the app suggestions.  There are some great apps for developing math fact fluency.  Keep learning and growing all summer!  It is not too late to complete the summer reading bingo or build stamina and fluency in reading, writing, and math.  It is the perfect time to ease back into the school schedule by starting August days with 30 minutes of school work.  Text or email if I can help in anyway!

Oh the Memories

This is our end of the year slideshow.  So many wonderful memories!  Good thing I get to say, "See you next year" instead of "Good-bye" to this amazing group of children.  Otherwise, I might be in tears watching this!  Enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own slideshow

Beach Day

Shark week done, the day before summer break, no desks....perfect day for a beach day!  Instead of working at a desk, we laid out beach towels.  We blew up and signed beach balls for each other.  We also had a fabulous picnic lunch together!  We are all looking forward to summer break but we will sure miss each other.