Sunday, February 27, 2011

Seuss Verbs

OK... maybe this will be my last Seuss post. :-)
Seuss Verbs


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seuss Syllable Sort

I am pretty sure this will be my last Seuss post...but you never know. :-)

Seuss Syllable Sort


Friday, February 25, 2011

Horton peek over and writing

I may need a Seuss intervention, I just can't. stop. creating. This came to me during my 7-hour car trip yesterday. It is a Horton peek over.

I scanned the pieces I made in for you so you don't have to waste time trying to recreate it. I know most of you didn't get the whole week off like I did. ;-) 


I am going to use it with Horton Hatches the Egg. First, we will discuss what they think the quote Horton repeats means.

"I meant what I said
And I said what I meant....
An elephant's faifthful
One hundred per cent!"

I have two different ideas for writing prompts:
1. Name one example from the story in which Horton proves that he is faithful. OR
2. How can you show you are faithful? ex. Follow through when you say you will finish a chore, play with a friend, etc.

So, I left the writing paper with the quote but no directions so you can decide.

Horton Hatches the Egg


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Math Fact Chutes and Ladders

When the Candy Land sight word game idea came out it occurred to me that I should do something similar with my old Chutes and Ladders game. Since I am off this week, I finally had the time!

Math Fact Chutes and Ladders

Earlier tonight I saw that my bloggy buddy Heidi posted the same idea! Apparently it is in Debbie Diller's new book! Who knew I was so smart? My cards are a mixture of different facts but lighter on the subtraction since we are just starting that unit.  Hope you can use them!


Snot Stew Book Club Packet

I finally finished my next book club packet. This one is for Snot Stew by Bill Wallace. You can visit my TPT store to get a copy.
Snot Stew

It is a cute book told from a kitten's point of view. It is not gross (snot) but about the kittens misunderstanding what the kids are saying. I got my 6-book set from Scholastic. I use these to keep my high reading groups challenged. I meet with them once a week, discuss the book and review the packet answers. Then I assign the reading and packet questions they need to complete by the following week.  We do Daily 5 so they work on this assignment in place of choices until they are done. My students feel very grown up and take the responsibility on very well. I encourage them to work with other group members if they get stuck. Hope you can use it!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seuss Math Word Problems & Editing

Every morning my students have a math word problem to edit and then solve. I usually insert students' names but this week I used Seuss names and scenarios. I hope you can use it!

Seuss morning work


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seuss Ideas

Here are some printables I have been working on for March 2nd, Dr. Seuss' birthday. Click on the orange and blue down arrow to download.

Seuss Day


Ahhh...a week off!

I am so excited to have this week off! Multiple days of rainy day recess were making us all grumpy. {I know you all in snowy climates have it much worse but Californians are NOT used to being indoors so much. I seriously don't know how you do it.} One of my ADHD kids got in big trouble Thursday and I think it was partly being cooped up all day. His mom and I agreed it was better to have him run laps in the rain at recess. We tried it Friday and he LOVED it.

I did manage to squeeze a few President's Day activities. We made Lincoln and Washington TLC art.

We read this book which also led to a discussion on dental health! Did you know Washington's false teeth were not made of wood but hippo tusk?

We also read this Lincoln book which was good for 1st graders.
I forgot to take pictures of the double bubble we made comparing facts we learned about Lincoln and Washington.

I also forgot to take pictures of the If I Were President writing on the paper I shared the other day. {I told you it was a LONG week!} The students came up with some good ideas...stop pollution, help the poor, get rid of guns, etc.

I need to stop blogging and go work on report cards but I can't.get.motivated.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Animal Adaptations

In science we are learning about animal adaptations. An animal's body parts are adaptations to help them survive in their environment. First, we talked about the fact that teeth are adaptations shaped to allow them to eat their food.

Carnivores or animal (meat) eaters have sharp, pointy teeth.
Herbivores or plant eaters have flat, wide teeth.
Omnivores or plant and animal eaters have both kinds of teeth.

The students then got to explore casts of various animal teeth.
Next, we talked about mimicry. Some animals copy others to help them avoid predators. 
The monarch eats milkweed which is poisonous and therefore is bitter-tasting to predators. The Viceroy looking very similar to the Monarch fools predators into not eating them.
Another mimicry example is the mountain king snake. We learned a little rhyme to help up remember which is poisonous:

Then the students got to see and touch a real mountain king snake.
Last, we discussed camouflage as a means of survival. 
Can you find the walking sticks?
Then each student got to let one crawl on them. :-)
And that my friends, is why I LOVE teaching at an environmental science magnet!


Stylish Blogger Award

Dana from A Place to Share awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award. Why thank you!
Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about myself:

1. I played on a Big Ten golf team in college (University of Illinois).

2. I met my husband at the middle/HS we used to teach at. He taped his proposal and played it over the loudspeaker at the end of announcements. At the right part, he walked in my room and got down on one knee. My 8th graders loved it. When I looked up, my whole wall of windows was pressed with faces. I am told there was a great cheer and whole classes ran to my room. A friend pretended to be fixing my computer but really videotaped the whole thing!

3. I am a huge reader and secretly love the teen genre. The Hunger Games series was awesome!

4. I am a sucker for romance {movies, book, TV} any will do. I never watched the Office but my husband finally got me to come around because of Jim and Pam and now we watch a rerun every night to catch me up.

5. I used to scrapbook every Friday night with a bunch of girlfriends. I have albums for my two boys done until they started school then I started working again and fell of the wagon.

6. I am a bit of a neat freak. The students don't go out to recess until their desks have no papers, crayons away, etc. After school, I don't leave my classroom until everything is in its place and ready for the next day. When I was single, my house was always tidy but now that I have a husband and two boys, they have worn me down and it is not. :-( Sometimes the chaos gets to me and I actually feel unsettled and grumpy. When we get it back under control I physically FEEL relief. Sounds like a diagnosis could be made from that, eh?

7. My husband had been out of work for almost a year and a half. It is very stressful but we are trying really hard to not let it effect our marriage or the kids. My boys (8 & 10) have learned the realities of not having money and don't ask for things anymore. Kinda sad but they won't grow up spoiled! :-)

Now to pass this award on to 5 recently discovered blogs...
1.  Babbling Abby at The Inspired Apple
3.  Mrs. Ibarra at Always First Grade
4.  Michelle Oakes at Fabulous in First
5.  Kristen at First Grade Teachers


Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I Were President

I can't wait to see some of the creative ideas I get on this one. The preview below is misleading because I made the seal pretty transparent so you will be able to read the writing. Click on the orange and blue down arrow below to download.

If I Were President


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Michelle Oakes at Fabulous in First is having a terrific giveaway of her creations. Go on over and check it out!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's Teaching Tip

Do you ever have students upset that their drawing (or other art) did not come out as well as they wanted?  Here is a tip for you. Read this book to your class.
Ish is a terrific book about being okay with your attempt and not needing it to be perfect. I model noticing my drawing {let's say a pig} doesn't look so good but saying, "Oh well, it looks pigISH." The kids really catch on to this and it seems to allow them to let go. I often hear them repeating the ISH remark to themselves.

Give it a try and let me know if it works as well for you as it does for me!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines and Vomit

Wow, what a busy day! I have to say, my kids were GREAT!  One of the cutest things we made was a valentine mouse.
It would go well with Happy Valentine's Mouse
I made a packet out of Rachelle's awesome candy heart math activities for the kids to work on while others took their turn stuffing bags with their valentines.

Here are a few pics from our party:
Math bingo with Hershey kisses. Thanks Brooke!

Hot Potato with an adorable, heart-covered frog. {I thought of you, Heidi!}

We celebrated Chinese New Year, too!

And since I have a ladybug theme in my room, my cute room moms made this ladybug craft.
The day would have been perfect except I had one girl out sick (her mom said she was SO sad to stay home) and a boy vomit all over himself the hour BEFORE the party. He kept apologizing to me, poor thing. I felt SO bad for him. 

I can't believe it is only Monday. I still have benchmark exams and a field trip this week!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gas Explosion

Nothing like starting science lab off with an gas explosion! Don't worry, it was only the soda and mentos experiment but it sure got the kids excited to learn about gasses today!

Of course the raisins in 7-up experiment is always a big hit.
We also let the kids put dry ice in water to see the CO2 being released.
Last, but not least, we talked about bubbles being gas surrounded by a thin layer of liquid so the kids went outside and blew bubbles with non-standard objects. Way cooler than regular bubble wands.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Me on the Map

We are in the middle of our map unit. The kids have a really hard time remembering which is the city, state, country, etc. Here is a visual project that might help from my awesome team member, Robi. First, I found our school on Google Earth and slowly zoomed out. Then we made this project.
Our School
 Our Street
 Our City
 Our State {I gave them pictures of the state flower and bird so they could draw one}
 Our Country
 Our Continent
 Our Planet {The templates were copied so the kids just cut and pasted.}
***Edited to add that I didn't share the templates because this idea was my friend Robi's not mine. However, after a zillion requests, we teamed up to put the directions for this project and the rest of our map unit into a 40 page packet. You can check it out {here.}


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's Teaching Tip

Do you make the most of your parent volunteers?
I have a sign by the door reminding them of possible tasks that often need doing.
I also have a bin by the door with projects to copy, laminate, etc. They have a sticky note with directions so they don't have to bother me. Yes, it takes a second to write down what you want but I barely ever make copies anymore and it saves SO much of my time not cutting and laminating!
There are many times a parent comes in, works for an hour silently, then waves  good-bye on the way out the door. I don't schedule parents at the same time. Have you ever shushed someone's talking and find out it was the parents?

Now I sound pretty mean but I also have parents scheduled at times to help with computer lab, art projects, science lab, etc where they can interact more with the kids.

On the other hand, I did have a parent washing my windows yesterday, so maybe I am mean. ;-)
{That sounds terrible but they were so dirty and we were putting artwork in them. Luckily it was a super cheery mom.}


Monday, February 7, 2011

Groundhogs have bathrooms?

I forgot to post about our groundhog activities! It was a little overshadowed {get it?  HA HA. oh my, I am turning into my mother} by being the same as 100th day for us.

We read a great book by Gail Gibbons and made this chart of our learning. I had a mom tell me she couldn't believe how many facts her son came home talking about. The kids favorite was the fact that groundhogs make bathrooms in their burrows. Gotta love potty talk.
 I love that some of the kids are using the word schema on their own!! :-)

Then we made our TLC groundhogs. I see a big improvement in my kids cutting skills and I know it is from these projects. You are welcome upper grade teachers.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

If you liked my book club packets...

OK...I'm taking the plunge and putting the two book club packets I have made on TPT. Chalk Box is free and Snowboarding Superstar is $2. I really had no idea what to price it. If anyone has a rule of thumb on that I'd love to hear it. If you have downloaded it for free here I would REALLY{ {REALLY}} appreciate if you would go to TPT and leave me positive feedback. I am planning on making more of these packets soon. Here is my link at TPT.


Presidents' Day Making Words

You can download Presidents' Day Making Words here. I am hoping I see some contractions!
I use these as enrichment for early finishers. To encourage them I made a Word Wizards bulletin board where I put up their hard work. I record the total number of words they correctly made but I fold the paper so others can't copy their words. They love it when I announce, "Ooo...Sam has 12 already." Keeps the others motivated to try to fill their page. Notice 18 lines is not enough for Sam!