Saturday, September 19, 2015

Five for Friday: Back to School Night!

Yesterday was Back to School Night.  Whew!  I must say, it does get easier as the years go by, but I still feel far too many butterflies while I wait for the parents to walk down the hall. :)

This year, BTSN seemed early to me - or maybe I'm just taking my sweet time getting things going in the classroom?! - and I realized at the beginning of the week that there were still a LOT of things I wanted to introduce to the kids before telling their parents about them Thursday night.  So we squeezed in a few things that might have otherwise waited another week or so . . .

On Tuesday, I introduced the yoga balls.  I had already introduced the bouncy chairs during the first week of school, but I knew the parents would see the yoga balls "hiding" behind my desk on BTSN and ask about them.  So I brought them out on Tuesday, explained the rules, and drew two names.

Lo and behold, they make ominous grinding noises on a tile floor.  Several children, not knowing what was making the noises, were truly alarmed.


Not going to be at all distracting . . . nope.

Didn't even notice the zebra stripe thing going on
 in this row until I downloaded the picture . . . :)

I was so impressed with the two cherubs who got first dibs - they were so responsible and careful with the balls (and themselves!) and even tucked them neatly under their desks when we left the room. :)  So far, so good!

We love the bouncy chairs.  I won't be adding any more of these simply because they take up a lot of space, but we love them.  Every day I draw two names and those lucky children get to sit in a bouncy chair any time we come to the rug as a class (which is often).  Other classmates may sit in them during work times, Read to Self, etc. - but the "bouncy kids" have first dibs.

I asked the parents at Back to School Night: "So, who's heard about the bouncy chairs?" Every hand went up. :)

I started spelling (Words Their Way) Tuesday, too.  Four groups, all new to the concept of sorting words, all new to the procedure in second grade, and - honestly - it went much better than I dared hope.  Lots of room for improvement, of course, but everyone met with me and discussed and sorted their words together; everyone cut out their own words and sorted them; everyone got their words into their spelling baggie and their spelling baggie into its pocket; and only three words were found on the floor five hours later as we cleaned up for dismissal. :)  Success!!

We keep our spelling words in a sandwich-size baggie with a slider tab (second graders tend to open regular ziploc bags so assertively that they rip open both sides as well).  Each baggie is labeled with the student's name and goes into a pocket also labeled with his/her name.  Ah, organization. ;)

I picked the last (read: second) pepper today.  It's redder than I'd like, but I kept hoping it would get bigger.  Maybe next year I'll have more luck with them!

Don't you just love fall?

Ah, those colors. :)


  1. I love your bouncy chairs and yoga balls! What a great idea!

    1. My first comment! :) Thank you! You made my day! :)

      I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on the yoga balls yet, but I've read so much about movement and core strength and how kids aren't getting enough of either these days, so I'm going to give them a good try. Fingers crossed. :)