# inspired in second

## I’ve moved!

Find me here: http://inspiredinsecond.blogspot.com/

{I’ve only changed because it seems most teachers use Blogger…}

## Some fractions stuff I didn’t quite get to…

Awhile ago I made a little printable to use with our fractions unit. I wanted an activity that was hands-on for my kids and that showed them exactly what it means to cut a shape in half to create a fraction by…yep, cutting a shape in half. And in thirds, fourths, fifths and sixths. I didn’t have time to get to it before the unit was over, but here are a couple pages at any rate:

It took me quite awhile to make considering a glitchy text box {that only showed when I saved as PDF, of course} and the fact that I neglected to consider the size of the margins for the fraction parts! Anyway, feel free to Click here to download. The title page border is by From the Pond and the font is His Name is Honey from Kevin and Amanda.

I also wanted to make fraction bookmarks after seeing the teacher wife‘s photo here. {She has such cute units!} But again, didn’t quite get to them. But since reading is not a regular extra-curricular for a lot of my class, I’m not heartbroken. {They have reading strategies bookmarks that we use often in class anyway!}

We did, however, get to the test {haha} – it’s a plain old boring test. It’s really quite simple, but download here in case you’re looking for something…simple?

Hope someone out there can use any of this!

OH! And, I found a great clip art site for educators: ClipArt ETC. It’s where I found the fractions pies and strips. There are all kinds of things that could be useful. Happy creating!

- Amanda

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## Ahhh, weekend!

It’s finally here…

It was a long week. Longer than most. At our school this week we had International Week presentations AND Kuwait National Day assemblies and performances AND a school-wide BBQ AND a ton of stress-filled fun. I am so happy that my class enjoyed this week – SO HAPPY behaviour issues were at a minimum. In fact, one day I actually had EVERY student in my class at “Amazing!” And that’s simply amazing. In retrospect, it really was a great week. Difficult, yes, and I probably complained too much, but in the end it was pretty fun.

One day happened to be so stressful, though, that Jeff and I went straight home from school {early even – gasp!} and booked tickets to Bahrain for our four-day weekend. So looking forward to this!

Anyway, here are just a few photos of the things that happened this week:

We hosted a lot of kids in our classroom this week to present our learning about Peru. My students were so cute and helpful with all of the SK classes {there are five altogether!} and it made me love their crazy antics more.

For our presentation, my students explained the symbols on Peru’s coat of arms and then we had each visiting student complete a personal coat of arms. This is one of my favs.

We read “Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus!” by Mo Willems and created our own “rules” for the pigeon. This one is just the sweetest.

I was inspired by The First Grade Parade‘s fraction caterpillars. Of course, hers are MUCH cuter, but it was still a fun little project.

Today we used our Language Arts time to create our penguin books. They look great! We read a couple non-fiction books together and then recalled some of the new facts. The cutting was not as tedious as I expected! See my post here for the printable. I love that this kid has henna all over her hands – who’s teaching a penguin unit in a desert country? Yep, that’s me.

And today, since I only had 11 of my 21 students, we did “The Blubber Glove” experiment to find our how penguins stay warm in their natural habitat. So fun and the kids Loved it! I found instructions here. Not gonna lie, though – I’m not sure I would do this experiment with a whole class! They were just too excited. I love how this penguin unit is shaping up! I’ll have to combine all of the ideas into a grand unit plan. {Ooops – isn’t that what we’re supposed to do BEFORE we teach? Because we use our text books Sunday through Wednesday I really only have time for fun fillers on Thursdays.}

I’ll be posting a few fractions printables next, but only if I get to post before we fly out. In that case, I think the next post will have to be photos from Bahrain!

Happy almost weekend to all of my western buds and happy long weekend to all of my middle eastern buds. Enjoy!

- Amanda

So excited, in fact, that I thought I’d write a blog post straight away! I just received my follower update from that artist woman and she shared this fantastic acrostic poem book idea:

How cute, right? I LOVE HER BLOG! Gail is also a very kind blogger AND Canadian to boot! She has so many great Language-Art-Social Studies connections that you’re bound to find something you can use on her site.

I have decided to use this book idea in my classroom with my lingering unit on penguins, because I know that my ESL learners struggle with acrostic poetry {flashback to a Social Studies lesson in my room where my students failed miserably in tried creating poems with their first names …sigh}. Anyway, I don’t have a lot of the materials she used, so I’m majorly simplifying her idea to create a fact booklet. I just made this super quick template:

All the kids have to do is try to cut as nicely as possible on the black lines {workin’ on those fine motor skills!} and then we will staple the pages together. Ta da! I’ll post again when I have some finished products! Download my fact book here, if you’d like.

## Clip Chart revisited

This week, I thought I’d focus on the great in my room. I made a bunch of positive phone calls home because I was feeling a little down about some of the really poor behaviour from some students in my class. Sometimes I don’t think I give the wonderful kids enough of my attention…

I try to keep it positive in my room. Try. Sometimes it is draining, but I feel it is SO SO important. I realize that I rely on my clip chart a lot to focus my student’s toward striving for the top. I love love love my clip chart! Often, all I have to do is walk toward or stand beside it to get the full attention of {most} of my little friends. I can tell that my students are working so hard to remember to listen and show respect, as there has been some major improvements in classroom behaviour. Phew! I still have one or two students that have never ended a day on “Amazing,” which makes me very sad, but I just have to keep on trying…

Also, my class is loving the scratch cards, and I was SO pleased that I had to make more {…and maybe a little exhausted at the prospect of mixing and gluing the night I realized I needed more}!!! See my post about that here. I keep the scratched cards in a Ziploc on the white board as a little visual reminder for the class {OR maybe because I always forget which student has won what prize!}. After they have claimed the prize, I glue them into the kid’s communication book so they can share their success with their family.

As teachers, one of the most important things we can do is share our student’s great accomplishments with their family {no major epiphany, I know, but something not to be forgotten – no matter how busy I feel}. When a student ends the day on “Amazing,” the next day I will glue a little happy note into his/her book so parents are consistently involved and can easily reference their child’s behaviour. These are the new cards I made with illustrations from Nikki at MelonHeadz Illustrating and Michelle at Cre8ive Hands. They have the cutest art!

Feel free to grab these PDFs (five pages) here: Clip Chart notes home

I hope you can use them!

- Amanda

## Still crafting!

Today we made our butterfly lollipop holders. They’re pretty darn cute, too. What Valentine’s Day craft is not cute, though? All those hearts and pastel colours…

All that is left to add is the sweet little treat {for the butterfly’s head} and the friendly greeting.

Templates:

On a completely non-teaching related note, a big thanks to Nine West for the great additions to my shoe family:

I took the black pair out for a test drive on Friday night – little too much dancing maybe for four inches. But, come on, how cute?!

Happy almost-Valentine’s Day!

- Amanda

## Valentine’s Day Crafting

I spent way too much of my Saturday morning creating templates and examples for the Valentine’s Day crafts we worked on today! I have to say, though, they turned out pretty great!

One of my team teachers had a cute little idea to make paper bag card holders. I saw these puppets

here and decided to make the giraffe and the bear. I used Word and my good friend HB to make the giraffe template, so that one is not the most professional looking thing…whatever. I printed the templates on coloured paper to make life a whole lot easier! {I love teaching Art but find it stresses me out ha!} Just make sure the kids glue on the words so they don’t show on the finished product.

Giraffe Templates:

Giraffe inner ear, nose and ossicones {Yep, I had to Google “giraffe antlers or horns” to find the actual name – ossicones!}

Giraffe head and ears {Not too pretty, but it works.}

Bear Templates:

Bear ears and nose

Bear inner ear and mouth

The last craft we will create is the cute little butterfly lollipop gift that I’m sure you’ve seen fluttering around the blogosphere lately. We will be exchanging these after randomly drawing names so that each of the grade two classes can participate in a little gift-giving. Fun!

I’m looking forward to reading about all of the other great ideas teachers are sharing about their class Valentine’s Day creations! Here’s hoping checking out blogs doesn’t become an unhealthy obsession…

- Amanda

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## Rice Pudding {affectionately known in 2C as Arroz con Leche}

Okay, so it isn’t the “next” post…

At my school we have an “International Week” where each class chooses a country to study and thinks up some activities to bring into the classroom. I chose Peru, because it’s where Jeff and I will go in the summer on our honeymoon! I’ve had to be pretty creative with this unit… I looked up some Peruvian cuisine and found a lot of recipes for Arroz con Leche. I LOVE rice pudding, so I had to do this one {plus it’s cheap to make!}. Initially I wanted it to be something the class could make together, but rice pudding has to be made on the stovetop, so I decided to turn it into graphing and Language extension activities instead.

Photo credit: Today’s Parent

First, we tested the dessert, and I gave each student a cut out graphic of a bowl of rice. Then we graphed it: Love it; Like it; Do not like it. I only had two kids that didn’t like it! Next we will interpret the results. In Language, the students will write the recipe as a list, then do a simple “First, Next, Last” writing activity based on my retell of the procedure and a few photos I took.

I love love love this recipe, and I was rather irritated when I misplaced it and had to put it back together from memory. It’s a mix of different recipes I found online. It’s super easy, but a bit time consuming, so keep that in mind.

• 1/2 cup rice
• 1 1/2 cups water
• Pinch of salt
• 2-3 cinnamon sticks
• 2 cups milk {I used one can of sweetened condensed milk and filled up to the 2 cup mark using regular milk}
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• Some vanilla

Precise, I know. First, boil the rice with water, salt and cinnamon sticks in a pot. Lower and cook, covered, until there is no more liquid. As this works away, use a fork to mix the egg with the milk well. When the rice is ready, pour in the milk mixture and add the sugar. Stir constantly {slowly} on the same low heat. Yep, it takes awhile. {But, only once did I ask Jeff to take over stirring – I was really tired that night! I’ve made this recipe a lotta times in the last few weeks.} When it gets thick, add some vanilla, and stir it in well. Take the pot off the burner and it will continue to thicken as it cools.

Enjoy!

- Amanda

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## The Water Cycle

That is one catchy title up there, if I do say so meself!

This week I introduced the Water Cycle and reinforced some of those tricky-for-language-learners terms (con-den-sa-tion; e-vap-or-a-tion – eek) and we did a super kinesthetic activity to reach the expectations: we made water cycle bracelets! I got this idea a long time ago from someone else, but do you think I could remember from whom? Of course not – so I googled it {Fact: “googled” is considered a transitive verb, is an entry in the OED (since 2006, actually!) and was first used by Larry Page himself. To further its merit, it was deemed the “most useful word” in 2002. Thanks, wikipedia! But I digress…}. As it turns out, this a fairly common activity! Ha – and I thought I was being interesting and thinking outside the box. Not to worry, I still think it’s a great idea.

I separated yellow, green, white, and blue beads for each student in my class. I only separated one of each colour to ensure sanity maintenance during the lesson – any more and I’m sure I would have had my hands full with kids not following in sequence/stringing to slowly/stringing too quickly/eerrrgg. {I should note that ideally, there would be a clear bead in there to more closely represent the evaporation stage, but my big bin of IKEA beads just didn’t have any so – ah, well.}

Yellow represents the sun, which heats up the water on the earth {green – or ideally dark blue, but again, ah, well}, which then evaporates {this would be the clear bead…} and travels up to clouds {white} where the vapour cools and condenses, causing precipitation {light blue}. And, as you know, we start the cycle over again… My students ate it right up! Today during parent-student-teacher conferences I got a few knowing chuckles from parents for still having mine strapped to my wrist. Great success!

I highly recommend using this lesson as a memorable and hands-on activity. Here is the worksheet I made for students to complete.

The cute little border is from Mel at From the Pond.

Happy blogging, all!