Kirsten Wilson.2014. Powered by Blogger.

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Even though I teach 2nd grade, I always encourage my students to think about their future. Every year during the first week of school I ask my students what they want to be when they grow up. I explain to them the importance of school in reaching their future goals and how the work we do in 2nd grade will help them get to where they want to be.

The first week of school I put my students in my college graduation cap and gown. They look so adorable as it is HUGE on their little bodies. I have them hold up a whiteboard so I can type what they want to be when they grow up. I then print them out and send them home and put them on my door with their high school graduation year. I don't want to brag but in the past I have had a Future Tooth Fairy AND Future Santa Clause :)

Here is a picture of my classroom door! Their whiteboard says Future___________

What do you do to encourage kids to be thinking about their future? I would love some more ideas!

I Teach 2nd! Conference

This summer I attended the I Teach 2nd! conference in Las Vegas. I was able to attend this amazing conference through the wonderful, generous donors on Donors Choose. If you ever have an opportunity to attend a conference, I would highly recommend attending this conference hosted by the Staff Development for Educators. Some conferences are ok, and you pick up a tip here or there so you don't count it as a total loss... this conference...A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! Every session was FILLED with amazing ideas to implement in my classroom.

Some of my FAVORITE speakers? I'll go in the order of the sessions since they're all my favorite :)

Janiel Wagstaff
This was the first time I heard of Janiel Wastaff and I am SO glad I did! I LOVED her ideas for teaching writing and spelling. Especially her word chunking wall. Janiel has even wrote a book series called "Stella Writes" to show kids how to do informative, narrative and opinion writing. My friend Melissa won the books & poster set in Vegas at the conference. After checking them out and falling in love with them,  the rest of us 2nd grade teachers bought them to use in our classrooms. Click the link below to get your set! You'll love them!

Danny Brassell
Danny Brassell & I
Oh my word! If you haven't heard Danny Brassell speak you need to! And lucky for you can listen to his TED Talk here. I was only signed up for one of his sessions but decided to camp out all day in his sessions because he was so inspirational and after a hard year I needed some encouragement! One of the things he suggested doing was displaying pictures of the students families in the classroom, and as the parents showed participation they earned stars or points. So far, I have implemented Step 1: getting family photos up. Next, I will ease into having the students earn stickers for parent participation. They will earn stickers for things like, if their paren eats lunch with them at school, volunteers to chaperone for a field trip, or volunteers to read to the class. I'm thinking of other ways parents who work or are in school (and don't have as much availability) can earn stickers. My only regret was not buying his bundle pack of his talks. It came with 4 CDs with his 3 top talks, songs and book of songs. I didn't want to spend the money but I wish I did! I WILL be purchasing this in Vegas next year to listen to after the conference when I need a pick me up :)

My Fantastic Families Board

Hope King
Hope King & I
If you read teacher blogs or shop on Teachers Pay Teachers I'm sure you've heard of Hope King. She writes at Elementary Shenanigans. I attended her sessions on math strategies and setting the stage to engage. Hope always has the most cute and adorable ideas to get students excited about learning. She shared so many amazing tips & tricks to organizing math stations, and how to run and manage them effectively. Please check out her blog! She's been on Periscope lately and usually uploads them to her blog so you'll want to check those out too :)

I will be attending the conference again this summer! I cannot wait and have a countdown in my phone :) I hope that you'll be able to join me! You will not regret it and will definitely walk away with  new ways to enhance your teaching! In case you need more convincing, here's a few snaps of my amazing experience!