Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School Recap...

Phew. These past two weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I can't even keep up with days nonetheless, all the work that has been piling up...Here's a quick peek at what we've been up to these past two weeks. 

Students came in on the first day and began working on these adorable About Me Posters. I believe these were from Target, last summer. I'm hoping I can snag more of these this year..but I haven't seen any yet. 

I also put them right to work with some writing. I always like to see how they are as writers so they were asked to tell me about what a Perfect First Day of School would be like....

The kids have been doing a ton of team building activities, getting to know you, working together type stuff these past few weeks. My goal in the beginning of the year is to really reinforce to them that we are all a family, and that you must look out for one another. 

At the ending of last week, I also got to do some getting to know you. I was so excited to meet these fabulous ladies...we had a fun night out and had lots to gab about!! If you don't know who they are you better go check em out. On the far left is Tonya from Tonya's Treats for Teachers, Me, Angelia from Extra Special Teaching, and Sara from Smiling in Second Grade

The kids spent a lot of time creating these adorable mini me's of themselves. We did a lesson on feelings and saying hurtful things. We passed their Mini Me around a circle and said something mean, laughed at it, teased it, didn't want to play with it, etc and tore it or crumpled it along the way. Every so often a nice friend would come by and make them feel better or someone would apologize. We tried to smooth it out and tape it back together. Of course, it didn't look how it did at the start and the students admitted they were no longer as proud of it as they once were. We talked about how this is what happens to peoples feelings when hurtful things are said, or even when things are not said and how these feelings will be remembered forever. This was a deep and powerful lesson for the students and the good thing is that they have all been so nice, kind, and caring to one another. 

I picked up a beach ball earlier this summer from Target's dollar section. In each section of the ball I wrote some questions. Students tossed the ball around on the first day of school, whichever section their thumbs landed in was the question they had to answer aloud to the rest of the class.

This was a fun activity, and was new for me! I like that each student was required to share different things about them. 

This year I'm really trying to keep my students organized (and their parents). All of their folders are labeled and pre-packed with things that must be returned to school and kept at home. I also attached a checklist for all of the back to school forms to make keeping track of them a bit easier. 

Last year, I was looking at all of the papers I sent home at the beginning of the year and was like Woah!!! This is kind of information overload...and a TON of different loose pieces of paper. I told myself that this year, I would attempt to make a foldable brochure where parents can easily access all the important information. When I decided to make this I kept thinking to in the world am I going to format it?? Good thing for TPT because I decided to check it out. I was so happy to find this already made template by Ashely Reed. Check it out here if you're interested. 

I've also been giving my students tons of assessments. I want to find out where they are academically so that I can spend the first few weeks brushing up on anything they need reviewing on before we really jump into grade 3 curriculum. 

I wrote a post awhile back that you can read here about a Grade 3 Math Assessment I created that was aligned to Grade 2 CCSS. I use this each year to see what my kids need review on before jumping into grade 3 math. This past year we were so lucky that the second grade teachers at my school agreed to administer this at the ending of last school year. We gave it again at the beginning of the school year to compare how accurate the data was in their abilities. It was so helpful to be able to look at how they performed last year as opposed to the beginning of this year. You can find this assessment in my TPT store. 

For any second grade teachers interested, I've also created a Grade 2 Math Pre Assessment. 
And a Grade 4 Assessment for 4th Grade Teachers.

You can pick that up in my TPT Store as well.

I apologize for any major typos and grammar errors, which I'm sure there are many but this girl is 
I envy those of you who are still on summer break. I see pictures on instagram of people going into set up their classrooms...I wish that was me right now! At least tomorrow is a day off, hopefully I can catch up with some of my to-do list. 
I'm off to bed :)


  1. Love, love, love your Mini-Me idea! Did the kids know that they were going to get wrecked?! What a great way to get home the idea that once you do/say hurtful things you can't really go back.

    Classroom Capers

  2. I love that foldable! And so smart to make parents a checklist! There are a lot of papers going home that first day. I'm sure your parents appreciate you making their lives a little easier!
    Teaching With Style