Thursday, December 8, 2016

Force and Motion Catapults


What better way to experiment with force and motion than with popsicle stick catapults and pom poms! 

*AND*... why make a single launcher when we can make a DOUBLE launcher to DOUBLE our fun!! This was literally the most fun we have had in science lab so far this year... and we have had some crazy major fun.

We used popsicle sticks, bottle caps, glue, rubber bands, and pom poms. We made our catapults during science lab yesterday, and got to spend all of today's science lab launching pom poms and having an absolute total blast.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I ain't afraid of no ghost!

My second graders had an absolute blast making ghost rockets on Mad Scientist Day!

First... we used black Sharpies to decorated our film canisters to look like ghosts. SPOOKY!

Then... we mixed some water (about 1/3 of the film canister) and cornstarch (about 1/2 tsp) together in the ghost film canisters.

Last... we went outside (very important to do this outside), put a 1/4 piece of an Alka Seltzer tab in the film canister, put the top on the canister, and turned it top side down onto the ground.

... and now let's see all the fun!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What is a Pangram?

This week we will be using the pangram, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", to help improve our handwriting skills. Now that we are working with the Saxon phonics program each day, being able to write and code the words clearly is essential on both the activities and assessments. By using these worksheets in centers over the next couple of weeks, the students will be able to practice their handwriting skills with lowercase and uppercase letters, and become more aware of how to make their letters proper.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Punchcards for Making Good Choices

Punchcards are so much fun in the classroom, and the students absolutely love them... especially the no homework pass! I use the punchcard system in my classroom to reward the student's *good choices*. If at the end of the day a student's name is not on the board, or they have earned their name off the board for turning their day around (we all deserve second chances), then they will get a punch on their punchcard for making good choices. I am constantly amazed at how well my students keep up with their punchcards, and know how many more days until they get to go to treasure chest or pick a classroom coupon. I also think it is so awesome how my students collect all of the punchcards they have completely filled throughout the school year to see who has the most punches... it really shows just how much they want to make good choices to fill their punchcards.

This year I updated my punchcards to match our school theme ~ "Crown Point Elementary... where superheroes reach for the stars".

My SUPERhero themed punchcards...

After getting five punches on the punch card, the students get to go to the treasure box... and once the punch card is filled with all 10 punches, the students can turn it in for a classroom coupon. What is a classroom coupon you ask? Well, here are the classroom coupons I made for the students to choose from (superhero themed, of course)...

Click here to purchase these classroom coupons from my TpT store

Monday, May 30, 2016

How to draw a dog... WOOF!

during CGA testing, we had to miss our music resource. So I decided to let the class have a little fun during our "music" time, and taught them how to draw a dog from the word dog. 

~ Here are some of our way cool and super awesome creations ~

I came across this fun activity on Pinterest, and found the directions on the website

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It Was So Gross, It Was Awesome!

We got to see the most amazing thing happen in our classroom today... our monarch butterfly caterpillar formed a chrysalis... and we got to see the whole thing happen! It was so gross, it was awesome!! Here is the video we made of the whole thing...

Monday, April 25, 2016

14 Eggs? On One Plant??

Just when I thought our butterfly life cycle unit study couldn't get any more awesome... this happens!

I bought a couple more milkweed plants to make sure we would have enough food for our current *very hungry caterpillars*... and I noticed when I picked them out that one of the plants had a few monarch butterfly caterpillar eggs on it... BONUS! When I got home and took a closer look at the milkweed plants, I discovered that one plant already had a caterpillar, and the other plant had 14 EGGS ON IT! CRAZY!! 14 EGGS!!

We are REALLY going to have some fun in the classroom now!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

We Have Caterpillars!

That's right! We have monarch butterfly caterpillars in the classroom... three of them!

What an amazing way to start our butterfly life cycle unit. The class is so excited. We got to watch one of the caterpillars form a chrysalis last week. It truly was simply an AHH-MAZING thing to get to watch firsthand! 

So far we have one caterpillar that has already formed a chrysalis, one caterpillar that is HUGE and about to form a chrysalis, and one little caterpillar that just came out of the egg. 

This is my favorite time of year... and I was super lucky to have found a milkweed plant with so many caterpillar eggs on it. I cannot wait for our first monarch butterfly to emerge from the chrysalis. I know the students are counting the days until we set our beautiful butterfly free in the school courtyard.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Why I love being a teacher...

Teaching is such a labor of love. I have never questioned my decision to become a teacher. All my little ones... past and present... are super awesome, and will always hold a special place in my heart. There is not a day that goes by that one of my ahh-mazing students doesn't either draw me a beautiful work of art, write me the sweetest note, or give me the best squeeze hug ever! The artwork and notes go on the board to be admired all day, and the squeeze hugs make my heart smile bigger than I thought possible. I never have a bad day at "work"... my students won't allow it.

Over spring break, one of my adorable second graders, (the pretty young lady pictured here sitting with me on the playground), wrote me the most incredibly heart-melting letter imaginable... simply titled, "I Love You". I'll admit, as I was reading it, I got teary-eyed just thinking about how this beautiful little girl standing before me could have so much love and admiration for me. In that moment, I knew without hesitation that my cup truly does runneth over... and I absolutely la-la-love being this little girl's second grade teacher more than words can say.

Here is her letter...

I Love You
Mrs. Kearson you are so kind and
beatuful. I love you so much
I like your smile I am so glad
that i am in Your
classroom. You make my Day
special and you make my
Day shine. I like what
You Do to me you make me
very very kind. I will always
Do my Best for you and
for me. I like evry
thing you do for me and
the class. You help me
and the class. love Nevaeh A. i Love You.

(the most heart-melting letter ever written from a second grade student to her second grade teacher)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Happy Teacher Challenge: Day 2

30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge: Day 2

"Organize an area in your classroom that has become a bit chaotic (drawer, bookcase, your desk, etc.)."

Today's challenge was fun... I love to organize stuff! While my classroom is usually spotless at any one point in the day, and I had already cleaned out my storage closet last teacher planning day, I did have one area that needed attention... "that" drawer... a/k/a My Dirty Little Secret. That's right! I'm talkin' about the junk drawer in my desk. To say it needed attention is a bit of an understatement... it needed BUNCHES of love!!

So, during my planning period I got busy. I put together my super awesome new drawer organizer and started the purge and organizing. I think it turned out pretty snazzy. The challenging part of today's challenge will be sharing the embarrassing "before" picture... haha!

Please do not judge me too harshly... 

Rest In Peace
My Dirty Little Secret
August 2015 - March 2016

The loss of My Dirty Little Secret most definitely made me a HAPPY TEACHER.

Tomorrow... Day 3.

If you would like some more information on the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge, please visit Presto Plans blog. :)

Kevin Richardson: The Lion Whisperer

We watched an amazing video in the classroom today as a special follow up treat to our Jacksonville Zoo field trip. I was so excited to be able to share and show the class one of the most amazing videos on lions and hyenas that I have had the joy to watch. 

The children loved it!! We talked about the habitat of lions, conservation, what kind of environment the African Plains are made up of, what it means for an animal to be endangered, and how we can make a difference. It was an inspiring classroom moment, and captured the minds and hearts of all of my amazing second graders. Not only did they applaud at the end of the video, but they talked about how learning that there may not be any lions living in the wild within the next 20 years made them sad and want to do something to ensure that the lions and their habitat are protected.

Here is the 15 minute video we watched in class today...

Kevin Richardson is truly an awe-inspiring individual... you can see more of his videos, read about his conservations efforts, and learn more about the plight of lions at

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happy Teacher Challenge: Day 1

30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge : Day 1

"Pull a student aside to tell them how much they have improved or how proud you are of them."

Well, I blew today's challenge.......... RIGHT OUT OF THE WATER! 

Giving my students praise and compliments is something I already do daily, so I did not feel that today would be any different. I had three students in particular that I wanted to celebrate today for their hard work and amazing behavior, but before I even had the chance to pull these students aside, my whole class received a compliment from our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Hairston, that just had to be celebrated BIG time!

Over the past couple of weeks, my students have been working SUPER hard on their insect research papers... researching, filling out the graphic organizer, rough draft, editing, final draft... the whole sha-bang. Anyhow, today during our group planning we had to bring in our class research papers to share and grade according to the unit rubric. Well, Mrs. Hairston was so impressed with all the swonderfully~smarvelous work that my students had done on their research papers, that she said she thought she was looking at... drum roll, please... THIRD GRADE work!! My second graders were over the moon when they heard this!! They felt as though they had achieved so much... and rightfully so!!

Needless to say, I was able to celebrate the pride I have in my students in a major way today. And even with our whole class celebration, it still felt just as good to pull my three awesome students aside to let them know that I was a extra proud of the recent outstanding choices they had made both academically, and with their behavior.

Overall, today I was most definitely a HAPPY TEACHER.

Tomorrow... Day 2.

If you would like some more information on the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge, please visit Presto Plans blog. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Challenge Accepted!

While searching around Pinterest for classroom management tools, I came across this PIN from another blogger, Presto Plans Blog, about her 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge. Immediately intrigued, I read the post from tip to tail. I fell in love with not only this challenge, but the whole idea of it! 


Although I try to be a "positive Polly", and I am most definitely a social butterfly, sometimes I get lost in my day and cannot see the smiles right before me... that whole, "forest for the trees" thing. As I find myself now halfway through the third quarter, with the end of the school year sneaking up on me, "overwhelmed" seems to be the word of the day. This challenge comes at the perfect time.

With that said, I'm going to blog my hopefully (positive Polly) amazing stories from each day as I journey through this 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge. I cannot wait to share my happy teacher moments with you!

Tomorrow... DAY 1 :)

Teacher of the Year

Thank you so much to the Rotary Club of Mandarin for the amazing breakfast and recognition. It was absolutely wonderful to hear all the positive and supportive speeches from Rotary members and Principals about teachers and education. 

I'm feeling truly blessed and humbled.