Tuesday, September 9, 2014

School's Back in Session

Hope everyone started off their new school year with a BANG!! There is just so much to be grateful for as this year takes off. Here are just few:
  • I work with a great group of people!
  • I already fell in love with the original 18 little souls I was blessed with (now 17 since one already moved away)!
  • I have a very supportive team and administrators!
  • Students have a year experience of 1:1 (making technology integration a lot easier)!
  • I LOVE my classroom!
I could probably go on and on, but I want share some of the activities we have been doing. We are into our 3rd week and I'm already amazed to see all my students still recall from 2nd grade. That's because we have some FABULOUS 2nd grade teachers who busted their butts!


Students Exploring Scientific Tools
For this activity, I set up 5 different stations which the students rotated while jotting down the name of the tool, making a sketch, and writing a brief description about how they used the tool in their science journal. It's always a joy to see the students get back into the groove of practicing science!







Making Personal Observations
This is another science activity where the students had to make observations about themselves. They got to trace their silhouette and draw in their clothes while paying close attention to details. They had lots of fun while learning to be good observers!





 Increasing our stamina during Daily 5
Lastly, I'm proud to say that into our 3rd week these VORACIOUS readers have built 15 minutes reading stamina. I cannot recall any other group of students who could read this long right after summer vacation. Again, KUDOS to the 2nd grade teachers who implemented Daily 5 in their classroom last school year.





 I can't wait to share more of what goes on in this learning classroom! 

-Araceli

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back-to-School 2014

Hello friends!

I hope everyone of you is having a FABULOUS start of the new school year! From my part I can say it has been AAAAAAMAZING (even if today was just the first day)! I think it has to do with having a new attitude and vision for this school year.

Let me start by saying that our district was honor to have Jon Gordon give us a super energizing talk!

Jon Gordon "energizing" teachers! (Sorry for the poor quality)

A couple of days after, my principal had all the school staff go on a SUPER fun ride. We went and drove by the community in which our FANTASTIC students live. Talk about an eye opening experience!
My super awesome teammate and I attempting to take selfie!

We sure did enjoy the ride, even in the Texas heat!

Trying it again!
Then came meet-the-teacher and supply drop off night and had an AWESOME turn out!

Supplies everywhere!



I also wanted to share the changes my classroom has embraced for the beginning of the new school year. All that was accomplished in my classroom would not have been possible if it weren't for the help of my LOVING family (hubby Jorge, big sissy Claudia, and brother-in-law Gilbert) and a set of STUPENDOUS girls (Melanie and Christina Hernandez). So as it is said that pictures speak louder than words, here are pics of my classroom!





Mom's plant is even part of my classroom now!





Loving my very simple door!

Hubby Jorge busy painting wall!









It was like Christmas in August! Thanks to my principal for getting us some Hoki stools!






I can only say I am BLESSED to be part of a ONE-OF-KIND school with a TERRIFIC group of people.

Until next time!

-Araceli

Friday, August 8, 2014

Guided reading with Evernote

Hello again friends!

Wishing those teacher friends who have started the school year a very fruitful one! For those that have not started yet but continue to prep, we're in the same boat!

One of the things that I like to do to prep to receive my students is to review their academic data. I usually use a spreadsheet to include information from their reading levels (in English and Spanish) and TELPAS (English language assessment) scores. I use this information to group my students and create tentative guided reading groups.

In the past I have kept a guided reading folder where I record my information. This year I am trying something new and using my technology (of course!). Enter Evernote! If you have not learned about Evernote, you are missing a very useful tool.



Here's an image if what it looks like on my computer. (FYI Evernote is available for iOS, Android, and via internet browser. Please note not all features are available on the internet browser.)


Once I open my notebook, you will see that I created a note for each of my tentative guided reading groups.  

 
Now you will see what each note looks like. I created a table in which I will be putting the date, the title of the book(s) we will be working with, the lesson, and student/teacher observations. You will notice that one of the SUPER AWESOME features provided by Evernote is the capability to add audio to the notes. This audio feature will come in really handy when I want to record my students during a reading record, conversation, student collaboration, etc.



I haven't yet, but you can also create individual student notes (especially for those in RtI process) and share these during parent-teacher conferences. This is just one way of using Evernote! If you want to learn more, check out this webcast!


I'm very excited to get started and see the outcome! I will keep y'all posted as we get into the school year!

Until next time.

-Araceli 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lessons From A PIRATE

Ahoy Mateys!


I finally finished reading Teach Like A PIRATE by Dave Burgess. I would have finished reading faster but taking care of 5 kiddos comes first! I loved every single bit of it and now I feel GREAT about starting a new school year. If you haven't given yourself the opportunity to read it, don't wait too long!

One of the things that is part of the PIRATE system is rapport. I feel I built awesome rapport with my students this past school year. I loved the way they felt comfortable coming to me for just about anything. I shared stories (and yummy pictures) of my the cupcakes I bake and I loved to hear about my kids celebrating their sacraments. So with that being said, and just like I ask parents to complete information sheets for me, I created a "get to know you" sheet for my students. I created both in English and Spanish. Grab and use them!

I'm planning on having these available for when they come to "Meet the Teacher/Suppy Drop-off" day and on the first day of school as well. I want to make sure I get them completed!

English                                                                                            Spanish
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx1RIr9A4PCrTGRqSWJUU2ZoRlE/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx1RIr9A4PCrLXVoT3NwWjJsSXc/edit?usp=sharing

I hope y'all are getting as hyped about the new school year as I am! 

-Araceli