Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday

Thank goodness this was a short week (PD day today). I managed to catch a cold on Sunday so this week, you can imagine was pretty under the weather. Even took a half day on Tuesday to go see the doctor's (which rarely happens). That's how bad it was. Not fully recovered yet, but at least the fever is gone. :)

We finished our "Be An Expert" presentations this week (students had to become an expert on a topic relating to the pre-historic era and present it to their class). I was very very impressed with some of the presentations! I could definitely tell who were really experts and who weren't. I especially loved the presentations that included some audience participation (asking the audience questions to answer) and/or examples to share with the class.

Thursday was our school's Lunar New Year celebration. I started my Lunar New Year activities on Wednesday, starting with my newest product, learning how to write 3-digit numbers in Chinese!

Another fun activity also relating to math. This time, the students had 2 minutes to use chopsticks to transfer as many candy pieces from the plate to their paper towel as they could. Then they had to fill out a math worksheet using what they were able to pick up as their data.

Most of the kids weren't able to use the chopsticks correctly to pick the candy up. It was interesting to see the strategies they used to get the candies over to the paper towels.


Lovely candy art

Thursday was our all school Lunar New Year Parade. I was able to get a professional lion dance group to come and perform too! :)

Today was a PD day. No students, but still had to work. Our district decided to suddenly implement some Common Core curriculum units that they created and want us to use it starting NEXT WEEK! 

Yea I'm not sure how that is going to happen since I still have two units from our old pacing guide that I still have to teach before teaching these new units. @@ 

It will work out somehow...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lunar New Year Fun, Freebie, and New Product!

Can this be true? Am I really writing a post that's not Five for Friday??? @@

Lunar New Year is right around the corner (this Friday)! I love that my school celebrates it with an all school Lunar New Year parade. It gives me a chance to share some of my own culture with my students. :)

To read about the things I've done with my class in the past, click here. I also made a yummy treat to share with my kids, red bean sticky cake! I shared the recipe for this in an old post.

Since I'm teaching second grade AND looped with some students, I needed to come up with something a little different this year. We are still going to do the chopstick math (read about it here) because my kids had a lot of fun with it last year. However, I did change the worksheet so that it's more relevant to second grade. We are learning about fractions right now so it only made sense to stick some fractions in there! I also changed the licorice bites to gummy worms. I noticed that the kids were purposely avoiding the licorice bites since they didn't want to eat them.

Click on the image to download for free!
I also typically teach my kids how to write and say the numbers one to ten in Chinese. Since I did that last year in first grade and have some of the same students this year in second, I felt like I couldn't just repeat the lesson. So I decided to up it up a bit, which led to the creation of my new product!

Click to buy on TpT!
Second grade is all about place value with lessons on 2-digit and 3-digit computation. So I thought it would be fun to learn how to write 3-digit numbers in Chinese. It will also show the students that math concepts are universal because Chinese numbers also written by following a place value rule too!

I don't have any student examples yet since I'm doing this lesson with my students tomorrow. Here is a computerized example of what the book looks like:

Hope that's enough to interest you so go check it out! The product includes a cover for the book, page templates, a Chinese number guide, and Chinese place value guide. (Hint: If you download the preview, you might get a guide for free!) I also included 4-digit numbers for upper grades. :)

I know I haven't created any new products in a while so the first person to comment will get this product for free! Don't forget to leave your email! :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five for Friday

TGIF! Also means it's time for Five for Friday!

Even though Monday was off I guess it still counts as part of the week! What did you do on your extra day off? Well, I drove down to LA with the boyfriend on Saturday, spent the day at Disneyland on Sunday, and spent Monday driving back up. 

Of course, we couldn't leave SoCal without me meeting up with a friend for lunch, first!

and getting one of my favorite drinks from one of my go-to tea places when I was in LA for my Masters!

House fruit tea!
Once we started the 6 hour drive, there was nothing else to do but stare out the window and look at fields or...

image from Instagram. Follow me!
...lesson plan!

Dorky teacher alert?

Our "Be An Expert" projects were due this week. The students had to become an expert on a topic of their choosing that is related to the pre-historic era and then share what they know with the class. There were no restrictions on how the presentation should go so we've had quite a variety so far including powerpoints and other displays! It was pretty amazing to hear all the information each expert had to share. The audience was also required to ask thoughtful and relevant questions and most of the time, the experts were able to answer them! Only halfway done with them...

powerpoint on triceratops

presentation on baby dinosaurs

powerpoint on Ammonites

fake amber = aka gum

Science time was spent looking at river rocks and sorting them based on their characteristics.

No pictures for this, but my class is partnering up with the San Francisco Opera and participating in their ARIA program. Basically, a teaching artist comes to the class once a week and leads the kids through learning about opera and creating their own 10-15min opera to perform. Some of my colleagues who are also participating in the program have already attended some PDs and met with the teaching artist. Today was the teaching artist's first session with the students. The students in my class had done the ARIA program once when they were in kindergarten and some were excited to do it again while others weren't. This is my first year doing it. I like the concept of it all, but it does seem like a lot of work involved including "giving up" a 50 minute instructional period a week. But we shall see... We have already decided to adapt the book, Bullies Never Win, for our opera.

Our school Lunar New Year parade is happening next Thursday. The new year doesn't actually start until next Friday but we have that day off for PD. It will be the year of the horse so my art parent had our kids make a horse craft. they turned out cute!

 Sorta can't wait to see the kids parading around the track with these paper bag horses next week. We will also have lion dancers come and perform. Can't wait!