5 for Friday - October 9 | Grade 2 Hullabaloo: 5 for Friday - October 9

Thursday, October 8, 2015

5 for Friday - October 9

I realized, as we were dismissing today, that I hadn't posted pictures of our animal research projects. They're on display in the hallway, and they are coming down tomorrow to make room for scarecrow glyphs and writing next week. I had the children position themselves as their selected animal, and I took pictures of them. Some of the children were so creative in their poses, and their final products turned out so cute! The animal info wheels came from a unit I bought on TPT. It's from Having Fun in First's Desert Unit. The children used my Animal Research and Writing Organizers to organize their notes before creating their poster and animal info wheel. 

Doesn't this child look like he is floating in the ocean?

Look at that pose!

We have chicks! Sadly, only two chicks hatched, and none of our duck eggs hatched. However, the two chicks that we have are entertaining us with their squeaks and hops! We'll be working quietly, and then we'll hear some chirping and squeaking from Salt and Pepper. Yes, that's what the kiddos named them! Below is a picture of them when they were still in the incubator. Salt, the buff colored one, still has a little piece of eggshell on his bottom in this picture! How cute are they?!

How do you assign homework? Do you find that it feels like a chore instead of meaningful review for your students? My teammates and I decided to go the route of open-ended homework this year. There are a couple of non-negotiables -- read for 20 minutes each night and practice math facts --  but for the most part, it is open-ended. I don't require a reading log, because I feel the children see it as something they HAVE to do, not as a way to celebrate what they have read. I encourage them to read, and I explained this to parents at open house. 

My students have an organizational POP (Perfectly Organized Panthers) binder in which they have the typical info -- calendar, class roster, schedule, etc. However, this year, I included a homework journal. It's a spiral notebook in which the students and I have an ongoing conversation with one another. Two to three weeks a month, I'll ask a question, such as, "What do you like to do on the weekend?" Recently, I asked how I am doing as their teacher. I asked what they thought I was doing well, and what they thought I should work on. They were very sweet in their responses. Below is one of the replies I received. I answer each one, and it takes time, but I feel that I am building a stronger relationship with them. Usually, there are about ten students out of my nineteen who respond to my question. I think that's a pretty good response rate for an optional homework assignment!

We have four days of school, next week, and then we're off for fall break. I have my announced observation on Wednesday, so I'll be working on my lesson plan this weekend. We also have the first report cards to send home on Wednesday, and fall parties are Thursday, so next week is going to be busy!

I'm looking forward to having Friday and Monday off to work on a few projects at home and to be a bum! I usually go to the beach, but this year I decided to skip that trip to save for a bigger trip to... CUBA! I'm still researching it, but it looks like there are several good options. One includes volunteering on a sea turtle adventure! I don't know if I'll do that, but it does sound appealing. Do you have a fall break? Are you counting the days until you have a little break to recharge your batteries? I am!
Finally, I want to wish you a happy and restful weekend! You've earned it. Take time to reflect on the positives and let the negatives go. 


  1. The pictures of them posing as the animals are great!

  2. ithappenedin3rd,

    Aren't they hilarious and wonderful? I told to them to "become" their animal. They cracked me up with their poses. They were so serious!

    Thanks for the comment!