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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Government & Hearts in One Week

WOW!  It was a crazy week!  The week before a winter break, count day, Valentine’s Day, and report card rewards…and I made it.  We survived, despite the subzero temperatures outside, and had a little bit of fun in between.  We are behind schedule due to snow days consuming about a week of time and the previously mentioned hustle and bustle.  We continued our work in social studies and I found that they had a great time with it.  They were engaged and excited about government!  They wanted to provide more examples than I had even anticipated. 
 We created flapbooks based on LAWS and why we need them and what they do.  I'm always surprised at how thoughtful and instinctive my students can be.  Teaching at an inner-city school in Detroit has really been a great experience.  
 All of these lovely goodies are a part of my third unit in my second grade social studies series.  Unit 3 is offered by itself, but it's also bundled in units 1-6!
We made our Branches of Government trees – they were REALLY into this activity!  Also, at a point I scrolled to "square" photos on my iPhone.  I didn't notice at the time.  It's always impressive when they can look at an "executive branch" and not only relate that to being our mayor, but also governor and president!  BONUS: our kids even knew the Detroit mayors governors name!  They all know who President Obama is (phew!).
We also started working on prefixes this week.  We were supposed to get started on that last week, but again, snow slowed us down a bit!  I haven't decided if I'm going to do the prefix/suffix trees that I've done in the past.  I usually fill them with yellow and green leaves.  Green leaves are prefix words and yellow leaves are suffix words.  The idea is that leaves are green in the spring/summer (prefix) and turn yellow in the fall (suffix).  Kind of like a first and last idea.
We also had our Valentine's Day celebration on Friday.  I wasn't sure we were going to have school because the temperatures were so low!  I did have lower attendance (about 1/3 of my class was absent), but we pressed on anyway!  We learned about the history of Valentine's Day, did a Valentine's day sentence sort, and decorated our goodie bags before things were handed out.  I didn't get fancy this year, I just bought little treats I knew they liked - teacher fail!  Most of my goodies were from my Valentine's Day no prep pack.  They enjoyed everything that we worked on and that's always a treat for me!  One MAJOR thing I was thankful for was having perfect attendance on Thursday.  I sent my students home with their Valentine's Day gifts for their parents.  We stuffed goodie bags with framed photos of themselves (photography practice for me!), a personal letter, and a couple sweet treats.
This week, I was the bad student in class.  I was working on my next social studies unit while I was in class.  I know, that's terrible and unacceptable!  I was the student that I don't want my own to be.  It's an undergrad/grad combo class and I always struggle with those.  I've had a few so far, and so much of what we're doing, I've already done before.  Still it doesn't excuse it!  I'm really hoping to get the next unit up soon!  It's hard to squeeze it in, but I love it when I can!
As for my winter break, this Michigander is making her way to the south...Atlanta, here I come!  A ladies trip to visit friends and explore Atlanta/Savannah.  The downside?  The cold is coming with us.  I won't let that slow me down!  It will feel like summer compared to the negative temps that are happening in Detroit this weekend.  Until next time, stay warm out there!

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