Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Break is Here!!!!

Happy Holidays!  Is anyone as excited about Christmas Break as I am?  It has nothing to do with wanting a break from my students, yet everything to do with wanting a break.  Everyone needs a break! It is not a reflection of the people around me.  I love my students, I love my team and I will honestly miss seeing everyone over our break.  But one thing I have learned over my 17 years of teaching, is that those breaks are exactly what make us better teachers.  We become refreshed, have time to actually READ (which is what we are always expecting of our students), we catch up on sleep and we, yes, come into school to work.  It's a different kind of work though.  

Before I go into exciting things coming up in 2015, I want to recap the end of 2014. We ended our "year" with another exciting Golden Ticket Reward.  We had hot cocoa and donuts in the morning while playing several different math games.  We had a wonderful Christmas Party in which we played Christmas charades and enjoyed visiting with each other while having awesome snacks and listening to Christmas Music. I stressed the importance of reading over break! They all set goals to make sure they are reading almost everyday over break.  We have a lot to accomplish before the end of this school year.  I hope my kids enjoy their time off, as will I, and come back ready and refreshed to finish strong!


Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!  May 2015 bring you much happiness, good health, and wonderful memories!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Not Enough Time in the Week!

So my last blog (OVER A MONTH AGO) stated that I was really going to try and make sure to make time to blog. Obviously, that didn't happen!  Epic Fail.  But when I reflect on the last month, I realize there were so many epic successes, that they certainly outweighed this fail! So, I'm going to try and recap the last month for you!
Mrs. Sperle's Second Grade Friendly Frogs's photo.

One awesome experience we had was a visit from former first grade teacher Linda Lucke!  She spent the afternoon teaching the kids how to make nosegay ornaments like kids used to a long time ago.  It was a difficult task, but her patience and expertise reminded me how much we miss her! The kids were very proud of their ornaments that will be on display at the Cunningham Museum this month.
Mrs. Sperle's Second Grade Friendly Frogs's photo.Mrs. Sperle's Second Grade Friendly Frogs's photo.

The kids did an AMAZING job at the Veteran's Day Program.  I have a few boys with veteran dads and they were extremely proud that day!  The kids realize (I think) what it means to be a veteran-I had more than a few kids tell me they think they want to be in the military when they get older.
Mrs. Sperle's Second Grade Friendly Frogs's photo.Mrs. Sperle's Second Grade Friendly Frogs's photo.

Our INCREDIBLE media specialist, Micki Uppena, arranged for a Skype visit with author Sarah Albee.  They got to ask her questions via Skype.  What an amazing experience!!!
Mrs. Sperle's Second Grade Friendly Frogs's photo.

We had a Healthy Halloween Party and actually went to Piggly Wiggly to purchase the food.  It was a great experience and we realized that we could eat healthy food and still have a great party!!
Mrs. Sperle's Second Grade Friendly Frogs's photo.

We had a visit from our local police department to talk about various topics, ask questions, and get to know about what our police officers do.  They had A LOT of questions!!  Police Pals is a great program to connect our kids to our police department.

There are many, many more photos and examples I could post about what's been happening in our second grade classroom.  These are kids are fabulous! They surprise me each and everyday with what they are able to do and how good they are to one another!  I'm not going to lie...we have our days, but we all realize that every day is a new day and we try our hardest to make it a great day!
I'm truly blessed with this new adventure in Second Grade!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Time flies!!!!

Wow! I'm not sure where the time goes.  It's already been more than a week since I've last blogged. The days are getting faster and faster. They did say time flies when you're having fun, right? While I won't pretend I have it all figured out, I am starting to get in a groove and getting more comfortable with my move to second grade.  I discovered another big difference this morning.  My youngest, Seaver, was not feeling well and decided he needed to stay home on our way to school! Without having parents in the area, I was stuck.  My room is ready for me each day and my lesson plans are written for me....not for a sub.  I've been a sub before and I know full well, that good sub plans are worth their weight in gold...not only for the person subbing, but for my kids.  I want them to have the best day possible and I want to set them and my sub up for success.  That's difficult to do when you have 10 minutes notice of needing a sub!!!  Can we say PANIC?!?!? But, because of the amazing staff at Winskill and my INCREDIBLE group of little frogs, we pulled it off this morning...which is why I'm here at home having a spare moment to blog while my little one rests comfortably in the living room.  Second graders are definitely different than upper elementary kids, and I'm beginning to truly the see the magic of teaching younger grades.  They were so concerned about my son and about me being worried and kept wanting to help me get things ready for our sub.  They are so sweet.  They aren't nearly as independent as fourth graders, but they are learning.  And you can't ask for more than that!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's Been a Busy Month!!

Well, at the beginning of my blogging experiment, I said that my goal was to blog at least once a week!!  Well, I have figured out quickly that my original goal was probably not realistic sometimes.  We have had a BUSY BUSY month in second grade! We have been learning the routines, reworking routines that aren't working for us, and working together to meet some goals.  I've included a few pictures to give you a glimpse into our day.  We have a math word wall that is created by the kids.  There is so much new vocabulary with our new math series and the kids working together to create word and picture definitions is definitely helping. They have the word wall to use when they get stuck.  I can't believe how quickly the kids are picking up and using the skills they are learning.  The other day one of my students was able to use a previously learned strategy to defend his answer.  It was AWESOME!!!
We have celebrated our first two TOP TADPOLES! They have enjoyed "introducing" themselves to their classmates and have done an amazing job.  The kids make Acrostic Poems with their names and it's neat to hear what the kids have to say about that person each week.  Every kid should have a chance to shine!
We took our first "real" field trip this past week. I was AMAZED at how much better we did at Stonefield than at our library visit. They have grown up so much since the first couple weeks of school.  They are really trying hard to meet the expectations we have set together.  They are such a wonderful group of kids!
We make sure to have fun while learning math vocabulary.  We modeled the words horizontal and vertical!  I'm sure they won't struggle to remember these words :) 
I was fortunate enough to be a part of a math inservice this past Friday! I can't wait to use what I have learned to tweek our math class and our day.  Second grade may be new to me, but I continually am learning each day and hope that I meeting the expectations of my students as much as they are working to meet mine.  Together we're better!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The First Test.....

As I type this I have a million and one things on my mind.  Tomorrow my kids will have their first substitute teacher.  The first real test of how far they've come in the first two weeks.  My days have become easier and I begin to feel like I'm close to being in the second grade groove.  I have such awesome kids and I know I'm going to learn so much from them-and hopefully they will learn a lot from me too!

So...are they ready for a sub? I'm not sure.  I worked laboriously over plans, making the day run as smoothly as possible for all involved.  I keep thinking over my plans and if I forgot anything and I'm sure tomorrow I'll be wondering all day how they are doing.  I gave them the pep talk to end all pep talks and I'll be hoping to see that note that every teacher wants to read...."You have such a nice class! I hope I get to sub in your class again!"  We'll see.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


We did a lesson on wrinkled hearts and how to show kindness to others.
When thinking of a title for this blog post, I couldn't help but come up with We Are ROCKSTARS!  The kids have been working really hard to meet the expectations of bathroom, hallway, and lunchroom behavior.  They have been doing an amazing job and we have had a plethora of blue tickets come our way and golden tickets as well! We earned our 15th GOLDEN TICKET today!!  Brennen thinks that when we earn our 20 (yes, we strive big!) that we should get to eat lunch in the classroom. I think that sounds perfect, but we will discuss it at morning meeting tomorrow and decide as a team.  I am so impressed with how the kids are catching themselves when they forget to raise their hand or their voice gets a little too loud.  They are figuring it out!
And guess what? SO AM I!! The first week of second grade was really tough. I almost felt like a first year teacher, even though I'm a 17 year veteran.  It was good for me though, because it gave me a little glance as to how our first year teachers are feeling and many of my second graders as they enter a new school year.  I remind myself to be patient with myself and my students and that together we will figure it all out.  We took the STAR reading test today-the first of these computer based tests our second graders have ever taken.  What could have been a miserable experience was actually better than I thought it would be because the kids tried so hard to listen to directions and follow them. I was so proud of them.  Now we have to take that information and grow from it....TOGETHER!
I'm so glad I made this decision to try something new.  It's keeping me excited, it's keeping me motivated and I'm growing from the experience.  It's not easy, but nothing that is worth it is ever truly easy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I made it a week....Almost!!

Well, I am one day away from making it through my first week of second grade.  It's funny.  People ask me, "So Missy, how's first grade?" My first response...."eye opening".  I have always admired the 4K and Kindergarten teachers of the world, because I know I could never do that job.  I love little kids! I love all kids, but I know I could never do what our Winskill 4K/K teachers do-first grade would probably be a stretch too. I can teach basketball skills to fact, it's the littlest group of Little Arrows I enjoy the most.  But this is a different story.  I pretty much left my fourth graders last year as fifth graders and I walked into second graders who are really closer to first graders. 
What have I learned this week? What haven't I learned this week?  I have learned that we MUST leave the house before 7:30am so that I can get to school and breathe before my kids come walking through the door. I've learned that they don't get my humor....yet!!!  I have learned that there is the huge gap in abilities that are present in every learning situation.  I have learned that even though the content of second grade is easier and less detailed as fourth grade, the delivery of the content must be perfected before I teach it. I have learned that second graders (even the boys) love hugs!  I have learned that second graders are AWESOME!!  I have been trying to convince my kids that we are the best class in the school.  Little do my kids know that I tell that to every class.  But today, I think they are starting to really believe it!  They have done a tremendous job with our PBIS-today, all my boys were in the bathroom....ALL 10...and all I heard was water, paper towel rollers and the quiet sound of feet.  It was INCREDIBLE!  We made it 3 minutes and 57 seconds with our reading stamina...which for some may not seem like a great feat, but you weren't in our room the first two days---I was hoping we'd break a the moral of the story? NEVER underestimate your kids.  They will rise to the occasion as long as you expect them to and believe in them.  Once they know you believe in them, you got them!  I know tomorrow won't be flawless.  I know I will still have those frazzled moments...but I'm beginning to think I can really do this!  I got this.  And I'm jacked!