Thursday, October 27, 2016

Medieval Times; 1000 Years Back Project

Donna's 2nd & 3rd grade Medieval Class is messy business...We constructed our version of wattle and daub, peasant homes to begin our replica of a medieval village. This is one of many activities to address our project driving question... "How do we as historians educate our community about what life was like 1000 years ago?" This village will take some time to complete, but with nearly 30 peasant homes we certainly have a good start. Traditional wattle and daub is a composite building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. Our homes were made of popsicle sticks and a mixture of soil, straw, moss, and glue.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Picasso Faces

These Picasso Faces were painted by 2nd and 3rd grade students. We focused on using color and shape in abstract art to convey emotion.








Pop Art Tribute


Our principal retired this year and I decided to create a Pop Art Tribute to Tom!
This wall was created by taking a single photograph and converting it to a black line master.  You can do this here:  http://online.rapidresizer.com/photograph-to-pattern.php

After I had the black line master of the photograph, I taught my students about Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe Pop Art.
I enlarged the black line master and students used watercolor paints to creatively paint their interpretation of Principal Tom.  Finally I put all the paintings together to display in the front hall of the school.  This project is an amazing way to honor a member of your community.

Kandinsky Circles

Second grade students used warm and cool colors to create a Kandinsky Circles Tree! We used pastels so our colors would be bright. This is a wonderful collaborative art activity to start the school year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2nd Grade School Store Project



SCHOOL STORE: REAL WORLD, PROJECT BASED LEARNING EXPERIENCE

During the 2015-2016 school year our second grade class put 21st century skills into practice when we planned, organized, and opened the Camas Ridge Community Store.  We used our creativity and imagination to brainstorm ideas for the store.  We used collaboration and teamwork skills to pull the project together.  After the store was up and running we used our critical thinking and problem solving skills to refine the day-to-day running of the store.  Here you will find a summary of our yearlong project.

Driving Question:
How can we as a entrepreneurs create an inclusive and profitable school store while meeting the needs and wants of our school community?

School Store Process/Timeline
Fall
Students master basic money skills. Students obtain funding. Activities include:
Students work towards proficiency in working with money.  Students must be able to identify coins & currency, count coins & currency, and make change.  In addition students practice with play money in the classroom setting using a ‘pretend school store’.  In our classroom this happens during math centers with an adult volunteer for supervision and guidance.
Students approach an official funding source to obtain a business loan.  Our class asked our school site council to loan us $200.00 to purchase our first inventory.  Students worked as a class to format an official letter. A representative group of 4 students attended an official meeting to present our proposal.  In following years students will present to site council our official financial reports.
Winter
Students begin planning the store. Activities include:
Brainstorming: Students make lists of items they would like to sell at the store. Students can use websites such as Oriental Trading Company to determine inventory choices, actual cost, proposed school store price, and profit on each item. [See Form 1]  The math on this form is very complex. We did much of it in small groups and as a class after students filled in the items and catalog pricing.  Also the concept of ‘profit’ was difficult for the 2nd graders.
Market Research Surveys: Students create and conduct surveys to determine what the school store stock should consist of. Students survey the student body and staff to gain input.  [See Form 2] 
Collaborative Process: Students are divided into purchasing groups. (4-6 Students per group).  Final inventory selections at our school were limited to school supplies, fidgets (small toys), healthy snacks, and arts& crafts items.  Purchasing groups can use store data to determine which items are selling well and which items the group may want to discontinue. 
Scheduling: Decide when your store will be open.  Our class selected recess times at all grade levels twice per week.  We were very busy so we ended up with 4 students working. We had two tills so we could have two lines of customers.  Two students worked each till. One student handled the money and one student retrieved the items for the customer. Parent volunteers helped the 2nd grade students during each shift.
Advertising the Grand Opening:  Name the store! After you have a name and a schedule for the store students create signs to advertise the grand opening. Students write verbal announcements to be read over the school intercom.
Order Inventory: Teacher orders inventory.  I bought the snacks locally. I ordered the school supplies and small toys from Oriental Trading Company.
Product Display: When the inventory arrives create a poster board displaying your merchandise and pricing. [See Photos]  All items in our store are $2.00 or less. Most items are under $1.00. A favorite item is purchasing 5 eraser tops for a quarter (only .05 cents each!).
 SPRING
Open your store!  Our store was open twice per week.  Activities include:
Scheduling: Each week two students work on the schedule for the following week using a class list, making sure each student has equal opportunities to work in the store. We scheduled four storekeepers each morning recess, thus 12 students worked in the store each day we were open. We were open and Wednesday and Thursday each week. [Form 3]
Inventory:  Each week two students count the inventory left in the store. [Form 4] (I selected students who were still working on grouping and counting skills.) The class used this data to analyze sales trends and inventory needs.  More proficient math students helped me input the inventory data into an excel spreadsheet. This is helpful in creating graphs for in class math activities.  [See Photos]
Counting the Till:  Each day students who need the most practice counting money were selected to count the ‘real money’ with an aid or parent volunteer. [Form 5]
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
 EQUITY
To run an inclusive store for all students we created a donation jar for school store scholarship money. Students in need were recommended by their homeroom teacher to receive a $2.00 scholarship each month so they could make purchases at the store.  We also decided as a class to use some of our profit to supplement the scholarship fund.
SPACE
 
We are very limited on extra space in our building.  To solve the space issue I purchased a rolling cabinet from Craigslist. The cabinet is rolled out to the breezeway before recess and all of our inventory fits nicely inside the cabinet.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN STARTING YOUR OWN SCHOOL STORE, CLICK HERE TO GET THE FORMS MENTIONED IN THIS POST.  GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SCHOOL STORE ADVENTURE!!! 


Our Merchandise Board

First Day Crowd
Mental Math Figuring Change


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Back to School... Start the Year off Right!

I know it is only mid July, but I can't help thinking about the first week of school.  This will be my 19th year welcoming eager students to another school year.  I have some favorites I do every year with my students during the first week of school.  I have students complete surveys about themselves so I can gather specific information about each student. Another activity is creating a class scrapbook.  Each child completes a page of the book. Then we bind it together using book rings. The children enjoy looking at it all year long.  Below is a sample page of a scrapbook we put together.  Another favorite of mine is  If you would like all to view all ten of my first week activities please visit DVD's Creations!  I'd love to see comments below of how you start your first week of school.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Activities-Writing-Surveys-Art-Community-Building-and-more-2636030 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Activities-Writing-Surveys-Art-Community-Building-and-more-2636030
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Activities-Writing-Surveys-Art-Community-Building-and-more-2636030 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Activities-Writing-Surveys-Art-Community-Building-and-more-2636030

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pointillism + Georges Seurat + Q-Tips = Art!

Second Grade Art at it's best!  This year we learned about Georges Seurat and Pointillism. After learning some art history about Georges Seurat, students created their own original art.  If you would like to teach some art history this year and wrap it up with a very simple art activity you can download the unit at DVD's Creations

FREE Science Journal Pages for Elementary Scientists

I've posted a new freebie in my store... These are great pages for keeping elementary science journals organized.  At the beginning of each school year I purchase a composition book for each of my 2nd grade scientists.  I explain this is their very own science journal. This is where we take notes and complete interactive journal activities. At the end of the year the journal is about half full. I encourage students to take there journals home and continue to be scientists over the summer break. Here are a few pages I created as FREEBIES to get you started. I have the cover page, a  vocabulary page, and an observation page.  These can be used for any science investigation.  Get yours today and help your students get organized this fall and as always have FUN with science!

Click Here to Download from DVD's Creations
OR
Click Here to Download from Dropbox
 
Download from DVD's Creations Now

Happy Students DO Science!



video


Students get so excited about Science! The above video illustrates how excited students get when they get to do the science rather than read about it, watch a video, or just watch the teacher!  However, much of the learning comes as students complete science journal entries along with the hands on lab demonstrations.  My next unit is based on the three states of matter and includes this simple experiment using a film canister, Alka-Seltzer, and water. It also includes guided lab journal entries for our 'Lil' Scientists'!  I'm calling the new unit "Up, Up, and Away". I'll let you know when it is complete. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Project Based Learning Give Students a Voice in the Community!



I was so excited to see this article written about our final Project Based Learning experience in 2nd grade this year.  Thank you Heather for documenting the awesome things our students are doing in the community!  If you are interested in learning more about project based learning feel free to comment below.

Camas Ridge Community School Explores Amazon Park Playground Renovations

When Donna Van Durzen, a second grade teacher at Camas Ridge Community Elementary, heard about the playground renovations scheduled to take place this summer at Amazon Park, she saw a perfect, project based learning opportunity. She developed an exercise where her second graders could learn about park design, submit designs and have their designs evaluated.
Kids took a walking field trip to the park and learned about the renovations with Katie Blair-Terrazas, Eugene Outdoors, Park Development Volunteer Coordinator. She told them that later this summer they would see construction equipment and workers move in to the site to remove old and well-used play equipment and the decommissioned wading pool. In their place will arrive new playground structures, improved play area drainage and surfacing, new lawns, walks, trees and park furniture. Happily, our friend the dinosaur will remain to continue marking years of fun at this wonderful playground. Overall, the intent with this playground is to make it as universally accessible and inclusive as possible.






Thinking about Interactive Sciene Notebooks...

So, my 2nd grade students LOVE anything to do with science!  I am making it easier for them by creating guided lab journal pages.  Sure, they can write on a blank lab page, but with just a bit more structure their notes and ideas become crystal clear.  Here is a sample of what I am talking about.
If you are interested in seeing more, you can visit DVD's Creations and download some free pages to get started.  If you like what you see you can try my Seed to Sprout unit this fall in your elementary classroom.  :)