Picture Discussions & Freebie!

I’m sorry it has almost been an entire week since I last blogged!  I have never gone that long since I joined this little corner of the internet.  I got back late last night from a girl’s weekend in NYC!  I was a little too busy to blog because I was shopping and eating out at super cute little restaurants in Little Italy and Soho (my two favorite areas downtown.  I love the little boutiques!) Anyways, can you blame me?!  Let’s just say I have some amazing bridesmaids! 🙂  We had so much fun. By Sunday, however, my feet were sore from walking thousands of blocks around the city and I was definitely missing my puppy, Weston!

Of course, like any true teacher, I took every advantage of making my little trip into a learning experience for my students when I returned today!  You know you’re a teacher when you take pictures of your trip specifically to teach or reinforce a concept to your kiddos when you get back.  Have you ever done this? Or am I just that strange?  You won’t hurt my feelings. I promise.
I took this picture from the airplane on the way home.  As we gathered around the carpet this morning, I showed them the picture and launched a discussion on clouds (“Think back to our weather unit and tell me what kind of cloud you think this is?”) , evaporation, condensation, and of course what it was like to fly on an airplane because most of my little ones have not experienced this before.  
We also had the privilege of visiting the new National September 11 Memorial.  It was beautiful, meaningful, and extremely touching to see and experience.  They did a truly remarkable job at this project.  Here are some pictures I took:

When we remembered 9/11 earlier in the school year, it was very difficult for my students to comprehend or understand what had happened.  Many of them knew the story because their parents told them.  Others had seen pictures on the news and the TV.  We did discuss 9/11 in my room  because the announcements at our school mentioned it and played a video to help the kids understand better.  So, it was nice to be able to show them these pictures and help them understand that our country is remembering 9/11 in a very special way with these memorial pools.  I was surprised by how grown-up some of my students’ chose to talk about the pictures.  One of them told me that “now families can go there to be near them and love them.”  Another one told me the flowers in the picture were “a way of showing respect.”  My students amaze me at times and it was a very powerful and beautiful discussion in our little second grade classroom today! 
Because it has been nearly a week since my last post, I’ve included a freebie for you to grab below.  This comes from my End of the Year Writing Pack.  I was so excited that it made the top 100 list last week!  You can find the entire writing pack in my TPT store by clicking {HERE}.
Click the picture below to download and grab this freebie. It would be a fun morning work activity or it could be used as a planning page for an end-of-year writing prompt. 
Thanks for sticking around while I was MIA!  I am going to go watch The Bachelorette, grade papers, and think about the millions of things I need to start packing in my classroom this week. 
Happy Learning,

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