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Candy Cane Experiment

Holidays, Writing

In Writing Workshop, we’re currently working on our second Lucy Calkin’s book called Lab Reports and Science Books. The kids have loved doing experiments and I thought it would be fun to do one as a class that is more holiday themed.  I found this Candy Cane Experiment on Lemon Lime Adventures and we’ve been having a blast working on it!

We are still following the Writing Workshop model for lab reports and are spreading it out over about a week.

On Day 1, we discussed our question, materials, and kids came up with a hypothesis.

On Day 2, we came up with the procedures and students wrote down the steps we would take to complete the experiment.

On Day 3, we conducted the experiment with cold water. The color quickly came off of the candy cane, but the dissolving of the candy cane took a bit. The kids enjoyed watching it throughout the entire process. (I highly recommend clear cups if you do this so the kids can really see everything happening).

On Day 4, we conducted the experiment with hot water. Same results as Day 2, but super fast. The whole candy cane was dissolved in about a half hour when the day before it took over an hour.

On Day 5, we conducted the experiment using vinegar.  The vinegar smelled, which we all agreed on and worked quicker than the cold water, but slower than the hot water.  

Then, on Day 6, we came up with our final results and conclusions tying together the whole experiment.

The kids had a lot of fun and have done an amazing job writing their lab reports. I love seeing the growth that I’ve seen this year while we’ve used Writing Workshop!   In January, we’ll be starting opinion writing!

Elf Adventures – Week #3


Here’s what our class elf Snowy was up to in our final week before winter break….
To see his adventures in week 1– click here.
To see his adventures in week 2 – click here.

Day #8

Today Snowy was feeling better from his illness on Friday and decided to try his hand at decorating our room – with toilet paper.The kids thought it was so funny, but of course asked the question if it was clean toilet paper or used? Lol.

Day #9

Snowy noticed that students were having a hard time listening so he encouraged everyone to clip up to Outstanding like him! My kids were quite surprised he clipped “up” given his toilet papering incident the day before. But a few of them did work hard to clip up!

Day #10

Since I kept forgetting to give the kids the extra candy canes from our candy cane experiment, Snowy to matters into his own hands.  Snowy gave the kids the candy canes, but hid them. So, they had to hunt for the 17 candy canes around the room! We did eventually find them all!

Day #11

Snowy and my teammate’s elf Jingle worked on this one together. They decided since it was the night before a party day that there should be no math homework.  He even cut up the homework they were supposed to do that night!

Day #12

Snowy’s last day with us since we head to break. We decided Snowy was a little jealous that he didn’t have his picture on one of our ornaments. Each ornament on our tree had a picture of a student on it. So, Snowy decided to add his picture to every child’s ornament. A nice way for them to remember him by…
Hope everyone’s enjoyed our elf adventures! 

Five for Friday – December 16


I know Kacey from Doodle Bug’s Teaching is taking a break…but I’m in such a good habit that I couldn’t let a week go by without doing a Five for Friday.

So our elf this week hid candy canes around the room for the kids to find.  So, two of my girls decided to make a comic about it during Writing Station.  They called it Candy Cane Coincidences.  I love how they connected events in the classroom and used it for their writing.

This is our parent gift. Yes, it is cute.  No, it was not easy to make. Yes, in theory, it was supposed to be easy.  However, problem 1 – the plastic ornaments from Amazon came and many were cracked. And some were so badly cracked we couldn’t use them.  Problem 2 – the whole they snap together easily thing was not true…not true at all.  The frustration that mounted after having them pop open multiple times and brown paper fall on me was too much to handle lol.  So, yes they did turn out cute.  But, not as student friendly for making as I had hoped.  What do you do for your student gifts for parents?

Oh is this true! We start break at noon today…and I’m counting the hours.  And, I’m sorry for those of you that still have to go next week.  I can’t imagine….

One of my students is moving to Sweden over break so we had a little good-bye party for her. Each student wrote her a note and we made her a little book of them.  I thought the one above was especially cute. I love how he said “I will always keep you in my head.”  Kids are too sweet…
Last weekend my parents came to visit! It was great catching up and hanging out with them.  We checked out the beautiful Bellagio Christmas display and went to the Michael Jackson One show – which is amazing! It was my second time seeing it and I could already go again!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Elf Adventures – Week #2


Snowy, our class elf, was back for week 2 and he had some more adventures in our classroom. To see our first week with Snowy, click here.

Day #3
Snowy decided to help us out today because he felt bad for eating the candy canes on Friday. He wrote our class schedule for us! Looked a little different than a regular Monday in 2nd grade.

Day #4
Snowy was a little offended that some of the kids thought he had misspelled a word or two on his schedule from Monday. So, he decided to work on his spelling with our spelling list. He also decided to add an important word to it – Snowy.

Day #5
Snowy had a great seat today in the back of the room with Santa and friends.
He also decided to show us his decorations he created for our room.  He loves his name a lot and wanted the kids to get lots of practice with the spelling word he added the day before – his name – Snowy.
In Snowy’s letter, he asked us to focus on being kind and do good deeds. He wanted everyone to do one or more nice things and write him a little note letting them know what they had done.
Day #6
Well unfortunately, no one wrote Snowy a note about a good deed that had been done. So, Snowy decided to try again. Today he sat over by the bucket filling area as a way to remind everyone to be kind. Again, he asked the kids to each do at least one kind thing or more and write him about it.
Snowy had much better results! Here are the notes of kindness and some questions for Snowy at the end of the day!

The kids were all impressed with how Snowy sat in the bucket. We decided he must be very flexible lol.

Day #7
Poor Snowy the elf got sick. He picked up the cold that many of us in class had. He decided to spend the day resting and was all cuddled up with a tissue blanket and many… (hopefully not used) tissues around him.
Check back next weekend to see what Snowy was up to during the final week in our classroom!

Elf Adventures – Week #1


The elf is back! This year we decided to start our elf adventures on December 1! I’ll write each Saturday and give you a little update on what our guy has been up to.

Day #1
Our elf made quite the entrance zip lining in our classroom. He apparently is a bit of a daredevil.
Our elf brought us the book The Elf on the Shelf to read as a class and left us a note from Santa.
After reading the book, we needed to name our elf.  After a few different rounds of voting we settled on Snowy the Elf.

Each day we fill out our Elf Watch Journal. I got this from Sunny Days in Second Grade’s store on her blog.

Day #2

On Day 2, Snowy got into a little trouble. We’ve been using candy canes for a science experiment and I and the class specifically told him yesterday to leave the candy canes alone.  Well….apparently…Snowy isn’t the best listener.  The kids couldn’t believe he got into the candy canes and started eating them.
Snowy also left us a note.  Some of the kids left him notes the previous day and he responded to a few of their questions.
Love the ending to this kiddo’s journal – We need those candy canes for our experiment Snowy.  Too cute!
Do you have an elf in your classroom? What did your class name your elf? Reply in the comments…

Five for Friday – December 2

Holidays, Reading, Writing

How is it December??? November seemed to fly by and that Thanksgiving break definitely flew by! 10 days went by in a second! I’m linking back up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to show you what we’ve been up to this week for Five for Friday.

In Writing Workshop, we are working our informational unit and writing like scientists. I love the lab report format WW uses and wanted to add in a holiday-ish themed experiment. I found the Candy Cane Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures.  It is awesome! Fun, easy, and not too messy! This week we tried out the candy cane in cold water and hot water. Next week, we’ll do the final experiment and try it in vinegar. I’ll follow up with a blog post next week with some of the lab report results.  The kids are loving it and their reflections and observations are getting better each time. 
Love, love, love my room moms. They always outdo themselves with cute decorations!  

He’s baaaaccckkkkk.  Yesterday I started Elf on the Shelf in the classroom. Stay tuned for my blog post tomorrow discussing his first two days of adventures! 

We started working on fact and opinion this week in class to go along with our Journey’s story. In small groups, we discussed it and I had students write three of each. Love this little ones first opinion! 🙂

It’s my favorite time of the year…the holiday season. These are two pictures from Thanksgiving break and since I took a little break from blogging last week, I wanted to share them with you today.  This was my first time ever making Thanksgiving dinner and I have to say it turned out pretty well! No major kitchen mishaps and my husband had a very full plate so he was a happy camper!  I also decorated our Christmas tree! Love having all of the holiday decor up in the house.
Have a wonderful weekend!

2016 Resolutions


Today was our first day back and during Morning Meeting we came up with resolutions for 2016. We first read the cute story Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution. I like this story because it explains what a resolution is in kid friendly language and gives some good examples.

Then, we discussed resolutions as a class and kids shared some ideas for their resolution. We talked about sentence starters like – “My goal is….” and “I resolve to…” After they wrote their resolution, they put it up on the chart that will be displayed in our classroom.
Here are a few examples…
Read at least one chapter book a week. I’m so proud of her coming up with this one since she tends to stick with picture books, but she’s definitely very capable of reading chapter books.
My goal is to get as many AR awards – this kids on a roll with them already!
I resolve to make friends everywhere. Love this one!
Do you use resolutions in the classroom? What are some your students have come up with?

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Polar Express Party


We had our holiday party at school on Friday. Each year we read the Polar Express, complete some activities with it, and then watch the movie at our party. Here are some pictures from our half day full of fun holiday activities!

Santa came to our assembly and read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” He also greeted each child and gave them a candy cane. They loved it!
My room mom got everyone a pillow with their name on it. Kids wore their PJs to school, brought a blanket, and use the pillow also to snuggle with during the movie.  
This mom is so creative! Love the Christmas tree of fruit!
Can’t resist some yummy Christmas Krispy Kremes!
My class was very generous and presented me with a class gift – a wreath full of gift cards. I’m very grateful to work at a school with very generous families!
Love the Polar Express!

They loved it! They were so excited to hang out and watch the movie together!

Hope everyone else had a great last day and if you have a few more left…you’re almost there!

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Elf on the Shelf – Week #3


We had our final week with Buddy our Elf.  We’re all sad to see him go. The kids wished he could stay with us for 20 years.  See what he’s been up to below…

Buddy decided he also wanted a chance to be Star Student, so he made his own poster.  He even positioned himself in front of a star which my students thought was pretty awesome.

Buddy reminded us today that helping and being kind is a big part of the holiday season.  He focused on us filling others buckets.

Buddy helped “decorate” again today.  The kids thought the toilet paper was hilarious. They especially liked that he was wearing the roll on his head.

Since the previous day had been rough with listening, Buddy spelled out a few reminders for them to help them throughout the last full day of school.  Semi-helped lol.

On our last day with Buddy, he helped decorate again. My room mom had put penguin decorations with each child’s picture in the penguin head. Buddy decided he wanted to join in!

Hope you enjoyed checking out what our elf has been up to!

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Elf in the Classroom – Week #2



Here’s what our classroom elf, Buddy has been up during Week #2 in our classroom.  He’s quite the crazy elf!

The kids were happy to see that Buddy’s leg had healed from last week. Today he was taking it easy and reading a holiday book.  Note to Buddy- don’t sit yourself near our small group table.  Buddy’s chair got bumped a few times and while Buddy kinda fell to the side he picked himself back up when we were out of the room.

Since Buddy was too close to kids and tables he decided to be up high on Day #7 and out of the way – hanging out in one of our snowflake decorations.

The class has been rather loud – especially at transitions, unpacking in the morning, and packing up at the end of the day. Buddy decided to leave them a little visual reminder to be quiet.

Our classroom has been beautifully decorated by our room moms, but Buddy wanted to join in on the fun. He decided to add a post-it note tree to our decor!

Unfortunately since I was out some of this week, I didn’t get a picture of Buddy in action. On Day #10, Buddy got a little hungry after his journey to the North Pole. He helped himself to some of our snacks in the room.

Do you do Elf on the Shelf or Elf in the Classroom?  Would love to hear what other elves have been up to!

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