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September 2, 2017
It's a Safari Kinda Year!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love giraffes.  This year, I wanted to incorporate them in my classroom, but include the rest of the safari gang.  All summer long I have worked on flexible seating, a new reading center, and finding ways to change up my room for a more inviting atmosphere.  I think I accomplished my mission!  

October 5, 2016

Hello Fourth Grade!

After 13 years of second grade, I am now in 4th and I have to say... I love it! The most rewarding thing so far is being able to see how much my former students have progressed in two years and getting to know the other students I wasn't lucky enough to teach in 2nd. We are off to a good start and I can't wait to see what each season brings with my "fourthies!"

We are off to a successful year in 4th grade!

April 10, 2016

Signs of Spring 

We have exciting news!  Our butterflies have hatched and the students are so excited.  Out of 15 - we had 14 butterflies hatch from their cocoons.  We kept them for a week and then on a nice sunny day, we let them go. The children enjoyed them so much that we might order more larvae to experience the life cycle all over again!

December 27, 2015: 

Christmas Crafts

December has been a fun filled month in the classroom!  My students and I tapped into our creative sides and creative many Christmas decorations for the classroom and their homes.  Not only did the students enjoy themselves, but they also learned all about painting...and the challenges sometimes presented when creating things. 

Our first classroom project involved cutting toilet paper rolls and painting them brown. The students had to learn how to hold the rolls just right in order to paint every inch. Yes, it was messy, but fun and well worth the smiles and giggles!

Once everything dried, we glued our eyes, nose, and drew our mouths.  The next challenge presented was forming the antlers. The students had to push the pipe cleaners through the rolls - which was harder than they thought, but with some assistance, the reindeer grew them just fine!

What would Christmas be without a tree? After painting three popsicle sticks, we glued them on top of each other and added a foam square for the base. Once the glue dried, we added adhesive sparkle squares to make our trees "shine" bright and of course a star at the top.

Here, a student has been cutting the adhesive squares and applying them however desired.

More bling!

Almost done!

And here's the final masterpiece! 


Even though it's been an unseasonably warm Christmas, we still created snowmen! The students applied two coats of white paint to the glued popsicle sticks and added a foam hat to the top. They drew on the eyes and nose with a sharpie.

A few little dots to add a mouth and our snowmen were coming together nicely.

 The students were excited about being able to choose their color scarf to wrap around the snowman. We used looming bands for this part.
 The children did well with tying the knots, but some requested my assistance and I was happy to help with how they wanted it tied.
 Mr. Snowman seems to be missing something here.... Can you guess what it is?
 BUTTONS!  We used small pony beads and dropped glue inside to secure them to the sticks.
Once the glue dried, we had perfect little snowmen!

I love to display students' work in my classroom so we had the chance to create Torn Paper Santas! The students absolutely loved this because they could make a mess of the paper. Everything about Santa (except for his eyes and nose) was created by tearing, ripping, and rolling paper.

We did this project together; step by step and then displayed it for all to see!

October 27, 2015
Kindle Kinds: A DonorsChoose Project

At the beginning of the year, I posted a project requesting to have five kindles funded for a Listen to Reading literacy center in my classroom. Being a person who LOVES technology, I wanted to bring more of it to my classroom and expose my students to QR codes (because they are everywhere these days).  I was lucky enough to have all five kindles funded... and in addition to that, our class received a wonderful surprise! A donor from DC (who has adopted second grade at our school) graciously donated TEN more kindles and their covers to our classroom. So now we have fifteen kindles!!!  Everyday the students are using them to read, listen to books, work on apps that increase comprehension and phonics skills, and/or are learning how to use QR codes in their learning.  This project has definitely made learning exciting and 3-dimensional for my super smart second graders. It has been a wonderful experience for them and I am beginning to see improvement in their reading skills!  I couldn't be happier!

April 28, 2015
Earth Day, Everyday!

Last week, we learned just how to keep our Earth healthy and clean.  Together, the students and I decided that Earth Day should be celebrated everyday...Not just one day in April! We read articles, went on a nature walk around the school, and made many arts and crafts to help promote recycling! Take a look at our Earth Day Craftivity projects! You can find this activity by Karen Jones on TpT here!
The fun of this activity was tearing up small pieces of blue and green construction paper. We were picking up pieces off the floor for the remainder of the day!  :)

And the Earth is complete!

Moving on, we created kid faces and hands that would help show our love towards Earth.

The final touch to our project included a small writing prompt. The students had to think of something they could do to help keep Earth clean and healthy.

In our classroom, we always show off the work that we are proud of. The students asked to hang these in the hallway for everyone to see...and we did just that!

April 13, 2015
Spring has Sprung!

It's such a wonderful time of year...trees are budding, flowers blooming, and in Ms. Cutrell's class, life cycles are in their beginning stages!!! This is my favorite time of year to teach. I have always loved teaching science, but in the spring, our classroom comes ALIVE.... literally!  

Just this week, we set up our incubators and placed 27 eggs inside. We are hopeful that all of the eggs will hatch! The students are learning daily what occurs inside the eggs. We are also learning how to say "embryology" which proves to be a difficult, but funny task!  

Some resources we use in the classroom include:
(click on the picture to be directed to the TpT stores)

Also this week, we started learning about mealworms. Just like I do every year, I had the students predict what they thought the mealworm would turn into. Some of the predictions were pretty close and one was right on the money! Typically, I do not reveal that a mealworm is the larva state of a beetle. It's a surprise! But this year I slipped and EVERY one of the students called me on it!  There was no hiding my mistake.. especially for my little fella that already knew!

Surprisingly, most of the students were not afraid to hold the mealworms and dove right in to pick them up!  We will continue to learn about their life cycle each day until they have become adult beetles and then we'll let them free!