Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hi my name is Lorenzo. I Like Pokemon Go! and I like Minecraft too. My Xbox is fun because I Like Call of Duty and I like to watch DAN TDM on YouTube. I also enjoy watching Pat and Jen on Youtube.

I like school. School is fun because we get to read. My favorite thing to do during the week is going on Prodigy during GLAD stations. I also enjoy Fun Friday and my favorite room is the movie room. What is your favorite thing to do at school?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Another great few weeks in 2nd grade! From learning a few crazy double digit strategies (and doing amazingly well on them, I must say :)) to learning where our ancestors came fun, we've had some great times in 2nd grade. And...the fall party put on by our amazing parents was so memorable!! Check out our past few updates as well as some fun pictures to capture our face-paced Star Surfer classroom!

Fall Party Pics

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What a fun, project-filled week ending with Star Surfer Mariah's Disney "Dress For Success Day" (see our Mickey ears picture)! Our 4th annual Market Day was a success! We had so much fun and learned a TON! Check out our awesome pictures of students in action HERE!

 Would you like to see what we are doing this upcoming week? Click on our weekly homework planner and Academic Update 10-24-2016 to see what's cooking in 2nd grade :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016-17 Back To School "Season"

Wow! Can you believe our Fall Break is already over? What a ride into an amazing Back To School "season"! Yes, I feel like the whole Back To School thing should be considered a season; just like a sports season. With highlights, goals, touchdowns, successes, mistakes, redos, and even some setbacks for our "team". But without a doubt, that is what we are becoming...a TEAM in 2nd grade. It has been fun, exhausting, amazing, challenging, incredible...the list goes on and on. 

Oh, and add a BRAND new school on top of that? Holy moly! It's definitely been all of the above. But, things are finally slowing down and we are getting into a routine. The kids (and I) love our new school and everything about it. We are still looking forward to many more new exciting "openings" such as GRASS, and a brand new multi-purpose room (which I haven't even see yet)! We are crossing our fingers that our 2nd Grade Market Day will be the first time our class gets to "break in" that new part of Star Academy! 

Here are some super fun pics dating all the way back to Meet the Teacher in August! Enjoy the smiles :)

Monday, May 23, 2016


My name is Sarah and I love to write and play. Do you like to play and write? Anyway, Do you know where is Ukraine? My aunt lives there too. It’s a good place even if I have never been there before in my life.

Also my whole family was born in Mexico City, even my aunt. 
Also, Do you like ice cream? It is really good. Have you ever tried Lemon Ice cream or cookies and cream? If you don’t like both of them, it’s ok because some people don’t like it either (like my sister Maya). I love the flavor cookies and cream it’s sooooooo good to eat for dessert especially cookies and cream ice cream.

Oo and also my favorite thing to do in school Is read and math and Play also write. 
Oh and what’s your favorite Thing to do in school and in math? Mine is to doodle on my whiteboard. Well that’s all for now!
Love Sarah.   ( :  (:                                                                  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Priya's Blog

 Hi my name is Priya and this is my blog. I like math and reading and Think-O-Grams. I really love our new class pet, Hamzilla. Mrs. Evans had us research facts about 3 different animals and then we had to write an opinion piece about which pet we wanted.
This is Hamzilla, our new class pet.
I really like Mrs. Evans.  I like Mrs. Evans because she is so nice and so funny. For Market Day, I did Rainbow looms with Emily, Riley, Analisa and Courtney.  
This is my Rainbow Loom group from Market Day!
I was Susan B. Anthony for the Wax Museum.
It was hard to memorize all of my Susan B. Anthony facts for the Wax Museum!
What were you for the Wax Museum?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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This is one of my favorite iPads; the iPad Pro

Hi my name is Jay and I was born November 23, 2007. My favorite thing to do is play on the iPad and the laptop. My favorite color is orange! I have a little brother named Ezra. He is cute and can say, "Mommy, Daddy, Jay, and  cookie!" His favorite word is, "Cookie!" My favorite car is the Scion FR-s, Scion Im, and the Scion IA!
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I  also like school! We do Stars In Motion that is dancing. Here's a video of 2nd graders leading Stars In Motion. 
The kind of math we do now is time! I like math! We do math stations like M.A.T.H! Do you like Prodigy? What are you nervous about for 3rd grade next year?
This is me doing my Zoom group work!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Challenge

This next post is quite different than my normal fun kid-friendly blog posts from my favorite little guys. The past month, I was given a challenge by my NCS colleagues. I finally got some time over spring break to dive into writing! It was refreshing. I've been asked to write a “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 challenge”. In this blog, I definitely have to move out of my comfort zone and talk about my amazing students (which is not hard) but also talk about myself as an educator (which isn’t as easy). I’ve finally completed this challenge so here’s my version of the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 challenge.

1. What has been your ONE biggest struggles during this school year?

I think finding my place in my career has been my biggest struggle for me this year. It sounds crazy being in my 12th year of teaching, but I have really been thinking about myself as an educator this entire year. For the past 2 school years I’ve had a student teacher. This current year is my first year that I’m alone in the classroom and there definitely was an adjustment period. I LOVED being a mentor teacher. I felt needed, appreciated, and I learned a tremendous amount about my teaching from my student teachers. It was so awesome to be apart of such a unique experience.
But this year, without a student teacher, I at first found it refreshing to have my classroom back. I was getting work done quicker because I didn’t have stop to explain my thinking or reasoning behind what I doing. But soon I realized that reflection time I had been spending with my student teacher on each planned week, lesson, and unit...was not happening. I was just going through the weeks and I soon found myself thinking about my teaching.
Early this fall, I got an opportunity to co-present at the Fall CUE conference in Napa. My goodness, that love for teaching about my teaching was reignited. I was pretty nervous at first, but I soon realized where my passion is. I LOVE talking. I LOVE teaching. What’s better??? Talking about teaching! I’ve always said my favorite part of the year is back to school night because I’m talking to parents about teaching! We are told here at Star, “find your passion,” and I think I finally did. So, off to my next struggle…, how am I going to foster that passion? How do I share my love of teaching?

2.  Share TWO accomplishments that you are proud of from this school year.

One of the biggest accomplishments from this year is probably checking out the feedback from my parent survey. It is always unnerving to send out questions in the middle of the year to parents wanting their honest feedback. Every year, I do it during conference time and at the end of the year. Generally, it is good news always but this year, the comments were amazing. It really took me back to why I do what I do every single day. It made me realize that the parents do see things, appreciate things, and actually acknowledge how hard teachers work on a daily basis. So many times I go through my day wondering if anybody is even listening, send out emails and wonder if any body even reads them, etc. But reading the comments that parents left me just recently has been mind blowing. Sending out feedback is hard for everyone, but it only makes you stronger!
Another accomplishment this year has been the hours at home that I have been able to spend with my family this school year versus the past four years being a teacher here at Star Academy. I always like to say my “actual work” starts at 3 o'clock and ends when I go to bed. Every teacher knows they can't get any of their “work” done during the school day. After all, my job is to teach the students every minute I have with them and save the grading, emails, lesson planning. etc. to after school hours. Unfortunately, this lifestyle really plays havoc on family life and makes our personal life very difficult at times. But having the partnership that I do with my teammate, and the support I have from my colleagues at Star Academy, help fill in the gaps. This year, for the first time since I moved to California, I've spent less time working at home than I ever have; but it is still a daily struggle. Now, that doesn't mean that I never work, but normally on a nightly basis it's either less than an hour, or when it's a good day, I don't even open my laptop and just send a few emails from my phone and be done...that is a gigantic accomplishment for me!

3. What are THREE things you wish to accomplish before the end of the school year?

  1. Now that school is over in two months, that is an important question. I got an email just recently from one of my old parents from a few years ago that really hit home. I haven't spoken to the mother in quite some time, but she sent me the most amazing message. She spoke about her son being in fifth grade and loving it. But, like all fifth-graders, they grow up and have a mind of their own. She said one day he was helping her out with laundry, chores, etc. and she was wondering what was happening (with him being so helpful). He made a reference to a comment that I said to him on the last day of school way back in 2nd grade. It was something to the effect of~that even if the kids didn't learn a single thing about curriculum; if students leave 2nd grade being a more compassionate person and caring about others, if students leave my room more patient with people than they were when they came into 2nd grade...I’ve done my job! I have always told my students I understand they are not going to remember many of the math lessons, science lessons, or things like that; I just wanted them to learn to be a good person and do good things in their life. That is all I ever ask of my kids; be a good people and learn how to be kind, giving, and I want them to learn how to be truly happy. When the parent told me that he still remembered that comment from three years ago and brought it up any normal conversation, that's when I knew I was doing the right thing and I chose the right career. I want to continue to reiterate these ideas to my kids every day and I know I don't do it enough. There is so much curriculum going on that often times I need to stop and forget about what's in the Common Core for a moment, and really focus on what's important in life; “soft skills” like communication, teamwork, collaboration, adaptability...just to name a few. These are the skills of the future so we need to foster them as much as possible. This is my big thing I want to accomplish this year (and this was a really long one)!
  2. The second thing I want to accomplish is finalizing our 2nd grade year long plan. Our team has amazing lessons, units, and unit planners, but now we have to take all of those individual pieces and merge it all together into one year long plan.
  3. The last thing I’d like to accomplish is strengthening my GLAD lessons and units. I was trained in GLAD almost 13 years ago but I recently got re-trained back in the beginning of the school year. I’ve been working hard at integrating at least one or two GLAD strategies each day because they are amazing and it is the best part of my day...and the students LOVE every strategy we create together!  

Give FOUR reasons why you remain in education in today's rough culture.

  1. My kids...I mean my students-During every conversation I have outside of school, they are “my kids”. People tend to look at me when I say this and even stranger when I say “my parents,” I am so used to calling my students this that often, I have to take a step back and tell the group of people that I’m talking to that I really mean, “my students”. My husband normally steps in the conversation and explains this before I even remember that they don’t know I’m a teacher. I love every student and I really feel like I treat them as they are my own my children. Having my own “real” children now has truly changed my teaching. I used to say, “I have 26 kids every day; why do I need more?” And I also would say that having kids of my own wouldn’t change my teaching…, but it did! Every interaction and conversation I have with my students, I’m constantly thinking, “How would I want my own children to be treated, spoken to, and of course, taught?”
  1. My drive to succeed in everything keeps me reaching for new lessons, units and inspirations each day. I always say this is the best job ever but also the HARDEST job ever in the same sentence. I get so defensive when people say things about teachers having the summers off, 2 week breaks, etc. because working 11 hour days definitely make up for that time “off.” And funny that we speak of time “off” as I sit here on my couch during my “spring break” and what am I doing? Working! But I wouldn’t have it any other way, because a wise person once said, “ Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same.” Which is how I feel about teaching. It’s so easy after 12 years to continue doing what I’ve been doing but that would be taking the easy way out. Thank goodness I work with the most amazing and inspiring staff @ncsstaracademy which leads me to #3…
  1. My NCS colleagues. What an amazing group of educators. I have always been blessed with great colleagues but this group has pushed me to be better than I’ve ever been before. The very first day I was challenged to create a curriculum from scratch. Wow. If that wasn’t a challenge enough. Add no textbooks, new Common Core standards and new GLAD strategies; it was my first year of teaching all over again. But it’s been the best 4 years of my career and I am so excited what the next few bring.
  1. My family. I saved the best for last. Without my husband and babies, I wouldn’t be where I am today (I know, such a cliche) :) But honestly, I have the most patient husband in the WORLD. For the first 3 years here in California, I completely (well almost completely), ignored my husband sitting 2 feet away from me on the couch every night after the kiddos when to bed, because I was in a trance~doing what? WORKING. Until 10:00, 11:00, sometimes even midnight just trying to get “one more thing done” (as my hubby always says I do). It was exhausting, and not fair to my family. This year I finally learned how to draw the line between work and home and I began to prioritize my life. Those lessons will always be waiting to be discovered, the papers will always there for me to grade, but I’ll never get that time back with my family; and that’s what is most important in life.

5. Which FIVE people do you hope will take the challenge by answering these questions?

  1. Sabrina Mandujano @smandujanoluna
  2. Susie Steinlein @SusieSteinlein
  3. TJ Fassler @TJFassler
  4. Sarah Hausman @misshkinder
  5. Brooke McAvoy @MrsMcAvoysClass

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Emma's Blog

My name is Emma and I love math. I love to read in class and I also have Mrs. Evans as a teacher so I am very lucky! My sister is named Hannah and she is very funny, nice, and smart. I love to play with her all the time! The people I play with a lot are Priya, Emily, Abby and Hailey. The people who sit with me in my team table are Priya, Yasalde, and Reiver. Who do you sit with in your table? I love Star Wars SO MUCH! My dad is super nice funny and he always is kind to me and my sister. 
My dad and me on Meet the Teacher day!
The people who live in my house  always have up to 2 fast food nights a week. Me and my sister love to go shopping at Amazon or Target. My Aunt Megan is so nice and funny! She is almost married to my soon to be Uncle Pong. They are getting married on April 2nd and they live together already. They are getting married at Santa Cruz and on the 3rd, we are all going to the boardwalk and we are going to ride roller coasters like the Big Dipper! I have a cat named Ace and he is super active and he is almost three years old! I did clay designs for Market Day and it was super fun and I did it with Abby and Hailey. 
My friends and me at Market Day!
I love the game Animal Jam and there is this thing with buddies and Abby, Hailey, and I are all buddies! I also love math and the math game Prodigy! I am going to be Rosa Parks for the Wax Museum. 
Me as Rosa Parks during our dress rehearsal for the Wax Museum!
Who are you going to be? The end!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Noah's Blog

My name is Noah and my birthday is the 23rd of February! 
I like Market Day. My group made rocks. One rock was The Flash and I got it! Logan loves my Flash rock! It was so much fun! I had no more rocks because everyone loved our station. Me, Cedric, and Sebastian loved Market Day because it was  cool and fun.
My group ROCKS!
In second grade, we play Minecraft to create urban, suburban, and rural communities. My community is Hidden Valley which is a urban community.
Me building my urban community in Minecraft
I like Legoland I  got a Lego jacket it was a cool jacket. It is fun at Legoland.

I also like pandas because they are funny and fuzzy. I have a stuffed panda that can turn into a pillow and it is fuzzy too. I am going to move in 3rd grade to a new city. I am sad because I do not want to move. What is your favorite stuffed animal?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ayden's Blog

Hi!  I’m Ayden and I like basketball, Minecraft, Legos, Prodigy and I’m the best basketball player in the school!
This is mom and me before the first day of school.
This is my first day of 2nd grade!
I live in Sacramento and my friend lives next door to me. I play with him in the backyard and he is from my school and he is awesome. I have a dog, 3 sisters, and 2 brothers, and my mom and dad. My friends are Mack, Sebastian, and Noah. Those are my friends at Star Academy.
In school, I like to math, math workshop, and Fun Friday! We also won an electronic party for our teacher/student point game we play! What do you like about electronics?
This is during our Electronic Party this year!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What better way to learn about rocks than to bring in an EXPERT GEOLOGIST? It was an amazing day and the kids will always remember it! We saw some really cool rocks, minerals...and even fossilized dinosaur poop! What was your favorite part of the presentation?


Or see it in a slide show!!  Rocks, Rock, and More Rocks!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hi! My name is Abby and this is my blog. 
I love to bake lots of stuff with my dad. My favorite foods are chocolate chip cookie dough and fruit...well, some fruit.  I also love to play with Shopkins. My two favorite things to do are art and play on my Chromebook.

My class loves to play Prodigy. Mostly every single day we do this thing called teacher student points. If the students are good the students get a point, but if the students are making poor choices, the teacher gets a point. When we get 20 points, we get a class party! We also earn Evans Earnings. In December, we got to choose if we wanted to save our money or spend it at our school store. I chose to save my money because I want to go out to lunch with Mrs. Evans on a weekend at the end of the year!
I am a checker-outer for the school store because I wanted to save my money! Watch my video!
We do chair days in our classroom and it is so fun. We get to choose what type of chair to sit in when we work. Mostly every day we do Think-O-Grams. We learned about what collaboration in class means a couple of weeks ago.
This is my team collaborating on an Immigration project.
My favorite subject in class is math and science. I love to go to fun Friday. My favorite room in Fun Friday is the technology room. My class is studying about rocks and minerals, but the unit is almost over. My class is switching table groups I am so excited to see who is in my new group. My favorite thing to do in school is Stars In Motion. My Aunt Tia Cecy came to be our Mystery Reader on Friday!
Here are me and my friends after a crazy day at Star In Motion!
Me and my Aunt Tia Cecy!
What's your favorite thing to do at school?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

All About Riley!

Hi my name is Riley. I love being the Star Surfer. I like the Prodigy Room and the art room at Fun Friday! I also like to read and do Walking Wednesday because i love running!

I love my mom and DaD and I also like TV. I like to walk my dog and I also love art because I like coloring at my house. I like Mrs. Evans books because they are 100% cool. I love to read in school. What do you like about second grade?   

All About Ashlynn!

Hi my name is Ashlynn and this is my blog. 
This is me on the first day of school with Mrs. Evans' surf board!
I like to  help people and read. My favorite place to go to is Canada. My favorite thing to do at school is Think-O-Gram. My favorite computer game is Prodigy. 
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This is me on Electronic Day where we got to bring in a device from home because we won a Teacher/Student point game!
I also like to help cook and play. I have 1 pet. My pet is a gold fish. My pet’s name is Goldy. I like to go to my friends house and play games. I like to play soccer. Do you like to go to school and why or why not?