Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pysanky Eggs

I love Patricia Polacco books.  The family stories are so sweet (I always get choked up when the kids want to buy Miss Eula an Easter bonnet so badly) and love her artwork. It is also fun for the kids to notice when she puts real black and white photos in her illustrations.) This week we read
In both books the main characters make Pysanky (or Ukrainian) Eggs.  We admired how intricate (this word is now on our vocab board thanks to one smartie) and beautiful they were.

I copied some coloring pages of Pysanky designs for the kids to enjoy as early finish work from HERE. We noted the geometric shapes, animals, and patterns.

I then let the kids design their own Pysanky-inspired egg. They drew the design with sharpie on white construction paper. I showed them that they could use crayon-resist if they wanted to. Then I let them loose with watercolor paints.

Sure brightens up the room! :-)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Daily Editing Word Problems for the week of 4/4

Here is the Daily Editing for next week. Wow, that elapsed time one today was a doozie, huh?
I'd love to know how many of you are using these.
4-4 Daily Editing Word Problems


Monday, March 28, 2011

Compound Words

Today was a much better day!
1. It was not raining. WooHoo!!
2. 6 students were absent (2 that take a lot of work) and 24 kids seemed like heaven.
3. My normal patient, cheery self was back.
Thank you all for the awesome support!!

Today we made compound word flip-books. A very easy activity that the students loved and really helped cement the idea for them.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pet Shop Coin Game

Here is a game I made that I am hoping will become a class favorite so they get lots of practice with counting coins. The object of the game is to be the first to buy enough animals to fill your pet shop.
I forgot to take a pic of the die darn it but it is in the download, too.
 I used a divided fruit tray for the bank. {Note to Mr. B~see I do use those containers I save!}

Pet Shop

If you like it please let me know because this one took me forever to create!


Friday, March 25, 2011


I should have made a t-shirt out of this to warn people today.
 It wasn't just one thing, but a bunch that just has me in a funk this week.
1. This week marked a year and a half my husband has been out of work. Not a happy anniversary.

2. I get to add dishwasher to the list of things that have broken this year that we don't have the money to fix {garage door (ever had to have your kids wheel their bikes through the house?), sprinklers, diamond came out of my wedding ring (thank goodness I found it but it now sits in a baggie.)

3. Extremely frustrated at sitting through two 2-hour IEPs just to have the district tell me they finally agree that my student is ADHD and Autistic but then they only offer 20 minutes a week of speech to practice saying hello after the teacher initiates. WHAT???? This kid cannot complete ANY task without constant prodding, he needs an 1-1!  Oh, and they recommend a behavior plan. Don't you think I have done that?! Have you even asked what I have done before making your inane recommendations?  Grrrr....

4. The district passed out anonymous surveys to the parents to rate us, the school, etc. One day I was collecting from the kids and I noticed one didn't have very good marks. Now I know I shouldn't get upset because you can't please everyone, and the other marks I saw were really good, but man, when you put your heart and soul in, that hurts. And it is not like they came and talked to me about their concerns... So for the rest of the week I made sure not to look at them..

5. And the kicker...short story...I had a parent not to happy this week. I DO NOT have unhappy parents-EVER-so this was again a blow to my self-esteem. It turns out it really was more or an issue between two families and I got put in the middle, but still..

Maybe it is the rain...hasn't stopped all week! I clearly should never move to Seattle! Anyway, thanks for joining my pity-party. I hope to be back to my cheerful, blogging self soon.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Springtime Making Words

I have one student in particular who goes crazy for these making words sheets. He came up with 45 words from LEPRECHAUN! I've got to keep his smartie brain challenged so here is another one:

Springtime Making Words


Sunday, March 20, 2011

-ed and -ing

I am teaching the rules for adding -ed and -ing to base words this week. I made this poster:
ed or –ing

My plan is to teach the rules and then guide the class through many examples. Then students will practice using whiteboards and I will have them hold them up for a quick assessment.

I often do not like the worksheet that come with my basal so I made my own so I could really assess who understood how to apply the rules.
Ed Ing Assess

Not too exciting of a post but maybe you can use the downloads?


Friday, March 18, 2011


Here are some bookmarks to help my students remember their new reading level. I also have some bins in my library labeled by level so I also included that information as well. I made them black and white and ran them on different colors of cardstock. I figured the kids could color them if they want and I'd save on ink.
Bookmarks DJ


Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty's Day!

Did the leprechauns visit your room? We had some wee visitors who left quite a mess!

They got into our games and word work activities!

The students were a little disappointed they didn't catch a leprechaun (one girl even brought a clear container to keep her leprechaun in) but a treat and a note left by Lucky O'Brien seemed to help.
I had this saved in my files. Wish I knew who to give credit to.
Leprechaun Letter

 It just wouldn't be a holiday in my room without a hat, so thanks  Miss Mernagh.

We used these cute game boards from Michelle to practice our sight words.

Shamrock Toss was a great math game, thanks Anna!
I didn't get a picture but the kids loved the Pot of Gold game I shared the other day.

We graphed Lucky Charms.

Our leprechauns and writing are up.
How thoughtful to only steal half of the leprechaun's gold! :-)

Less humane but I did laugh at the bite the brother part.
 How sweet!

For PE we had a Shamrock Race. 3 students stood back-to-back and linked arms. The winners were the first team over the finish line. My teammate Elissa shared that idea with me.
I hope you had an equally enjoyable day.


3/21 Daily Editing and Word Problems

As promised I have made the morning work for next week. I'd love to know how many of you are using them.  I also added labels to my posts so now you can find a previous week (or other ideas)  a little easier.

3-21 Daily Editing Word Problems


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Giveaways Galore!!!

  Can you believe the number of giveaways?? I never win anything but I am crossing my fingers that the sheer number may improve my chances.
Primary Graffiti is having a Doodle Bugs giveaway. Click the button below.

Primary Graffiti

Doodle Bugs Paper
Mrs. Thiessen at the First Grade Sweet Life is giving away a $20 gift certificate to Scrappin' Doodles. 

And.... if $20 isn't enough, you can enter another great giveaway for a$25 to Scrappin' Doodles. 
This one is being hosted by the ladies at Burst of First and Fantastic First.  
enter their FABULOUS Giveaway!

Made for First is doing a Give Away where you can enter to win this unit.
Heidi is  giving away a power point she made for this book

Thirst for First and The Inspired Apple have teamed up to give away Abby's new adjective activity and an air popper!  

The amazing Cara Carrol at The First Grade Parade is giving away a $25 promotional code to use at any of the MANY CSN stores!! 
is celebrating a milestone...with a gift certificate from Amazon! Click here to enter.


Leprechaun Traps!

Wow, I have some future engineers on my hands! Last night's homework was to design a leprechaun trap and be ready to explain how it worked. Check these out!
7 traps in one!

The gold is magnetized, when it is picked up the basket will fall. Really works! All I can say is ...WOW! {book reference,  anyone? anyone?}
Mom clearly surfed the net for this one. It was a family project...
 Love this one! 

This one spent more time on the design rather than decoration. It has amazing moving parts that I think could indeed catch a leprechaun!
 Love the goldfish cracker and fishing pole on the pond. Bushes made of broccoli.

 Here are some from my friend's room who I always rope into my crazy ideas.

She had one student who was opposed to this assignment because he didn't think leprechauns should be treated this way. His mom told him he had to do it since it was homework so what did he do...built in an escape hole! LOL!!!!!!

OK, off to mess up my room and leave green footprints!