Monday, October 31, 2011

A Treat for You

Happy Halloween! Since we had all of our festivities on Friday, I tried to keep today as normal a day as possible. I have to admit, my kids did pretty well considering.
We read this cute book which went perfectly with the start of our geometry unit. In fact, I couldn't even get through the book without students interrupting to correct the book. "Mrs. Bates, the author called Spookley a square, but isn't he really a cube? " Another student adds, "Yeah, he isn't a plane shape." I swear I heard the Hallelujah chorus blasting in my ears. Apparently a few of these monsters DO listen to me occasionally.

At the end of the book,  the next season of pumpkins are all different shapes and colors. I LOVE art and writing projects based on picture books so...

Each student made their own Spookley pumpkin and wrote a sentence or two describing the shape and color. Some students even named their pumpkins.

I didn't get them up on the bulletin board yet but wanted to take a quick pic so you could see how cute they are. The writing paper is nothing special but you can download it {here.}

I'm off to take my boys Trick-or-Treating. Unfortunately, I broke the cardinal rule and bought candy I like. Stupid, stupid. Will I be able to resist? Doubtful. Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Costume Parade Antics

Our school  decided to have our Halloween parties and costume parade on Friday. The whole school brings out chairs and sits in a giant circle, 3 chairs deep. Each grade takes a turn parading around the inside of the circle, starting with kinder. The big kids always lean over and try to get the little kids to give them 5 which then gets my little guys excited to stand up and do the same back when the other grades come around. The control freak in me hates this because they are out of their seats (because the back two rows are left out otherwise) but I try to let it go since the other teachers let their classes do it as long as they stay in our chair area. Of course, this class pushes everything PAST the limit and started going out too far in the circle. I tell them to sit back down. This is to be expected with this class.

What was NOT expected was what happened in the last parade round when ALL the teachers do a lap. I had told some of the teachers at lunch on Thursday that I was worried about leaving my class unattended. They looked at me like, "Really? No one has ever had any issues. It is only a few minutes." I start to think that maybe I am blowing it out of proportion. But, just to be safe, I announce to my parents at the end of our party that there will be a teacher walk at the end and I would very much appreciate it if they would keep an eye on the class for me while I am gone. I even make eye contact with a parent who volunteers enough to KNOW they need watching. And yet....

I am strolling around the circle, waving to my former students, when one of the teachers comes over to me and says, "Do you know you have an entourage?" I must have had a look of confusion on my face because she smirks, "Look behind you."

I turn around and 4 of my students (you know which 4, the ones that are making my year OH SO SPECIAL) are parading behind me. They even grabbed our class sign so there is no doubt which teacher has no control over her students. SIGH. REALLY? Thanks a lot parents for helping me out. Is it too early to start a Days to Summer countdown?

Due to extreme exhaustion (or perhaps depression) from constant behavior issues, I have not been doing much creating of my own. So I thought I would share (with permission) some cute things my teammate Toni does.

Remember I posted about the Mystery Bag last time? This is the follow-up activity.  Students guess how many mini marshmallows it will take fill the ghost. 10 are glued on as a benchmark. Toni has the kids use unifix cubes to count 10 with one-to-one correspondence. Then they take turns coming up to glue theirs one. I use double ten-frames.

Aren't these cute?

And look at these tear art cats. She said there are supposed to be polka dots on the cat too but the parent helper forgot. They are still adorable.

Alright friends, Super Mom has to go to 2 baseball games, deal with a car that won't start, host dinner for family tonight, write progress reports, do 7 loads of laundry, etc. so I will try to check back when I can to read all YOUR wonderful blogs. I hope you got a chuckle out of my parade story and you have no similar stories of your own!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween freebies and an opportunity to win

Last week we read Where's My Mummy, a cute book about a baby mummy who is not afraid of  the usual Halloween scariness but IS afraid of a mouse.

We made our own baby mummy and wrote about what our "mummy" does to help us when we are scared. You can download the writing paper here. I got this idea from Cara over at the First Grade Parade and tweaked slightly. I cut strips of manila paper 9 x1 inch and then the kid trimmed them to the size they wanted. For the black eyes I cut 1 x 2 inch rectangles and then told them to fold in half, cut off the corners and round. This is called the circle cut in TLC art and my kids are pros.

I also wanted to share a fun idea I got from my teammate, Toni. You put an item in the mystery bag and then have the kids take turns asking questions to try to narrow down the possibilities. It is great to develop deductive reasoning skills.
I do guide them a little, "If it is not black, what other color might it be?" Or, if it is not an animal or a toy, what else could it be?"  The class LOVES this so of course I hold it over them and tell them we may not have time if they are not being cooperative. Have I mentioned this class is one of my all-time hardest?? Okay, I know I have, too many times, but seriously, you'd have to see it to believe it. My blood pressure must be through the roof.

I was going to tell you what was in the bag but how about you play along instead? You can ask questions like the kids and I'll answer. I'll even give the FOLLOWER who gets the right answer an item from my TPT store.

P.S. I was right about the broken bones. Poor girl broke her wrist in 2 places. I also had to pass out a LICE notice today. The fun keeps coming...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bones~ possibly broken and otherwise

Wow, I'm honored. My blog was nominated to the Top 25 Teacher Mom Blogs list on Circle of Moms.

I'd love it if you would click here and vote for me. You can vote once a day until November 8th!

We started studying vertebrates and invertebrates this week. We made circle maps with scientific observation drawings of live, model, or skeletal examples of each.

Can you guess? Yep, a cat!
Our terrific science teacher holding a great white shark jaw.
Mr. Bones is always a hit!
 This bat skeleton went perfectly with the nonfiction reading we did in the classroom. Going to a science school, my kiddos already knew quite a bit.

Pretty cool, huh! LOVE teaching at a school with an awesome science lab!

Alright friends, I am off to bed. My class this year is the most challenging I've had in quite a while and I am seriously spent every day. One of sweet girls went to the hospital with a possible broken arm after falling off the play structure at lunch today. I have been wondering how she is doing all night. The health aide sent her back to me with ice and I took one look at her and sent her right back!  I already have a boy with a broken leg on crutches that the kids fall over themselves to help so tomorrow could be interesting!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Glue Got You Gloomy?

What is this I am reading? Some of you had days off this week?? What is fall break and how do I get one?? 

Since we were in school for Columbus Day, we watched this BrainPOP Jr. video that I thought was  good and made these TLC art projects.

Today we read Skeleton Hiccups which the kids enjoyed. They couldn't wait to tell me that they thought it was a fantasy story. LOVE when that learning transfers!!

Then we made q-tip skeletons and this year we added a writing idea I first saw over at the First Grade Parade. My writing paper is nothing fancy but you can get it  here. I have a terrific parent who pre-cut the fingers and feet.

This project requires white glue. You just shuttered didn't you?  Thinking about the pools that take days to dry or drips when the darlings want to show their friend their art? Whining that they can't open that orange lid or that nothing is coming out? Here is the solution....
I bought these Tap N Glue caps and I am in LOVE! No clogging, no opening or closing, just press down and squeeze and a little bit of glue comes out! They fit on any size of glue bottle.  No, I don't get a commission, I just thought you might be a big geek like me and get excited about these. Not as excited as I would have been about a fall break....


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Food Chain and Freebies

We learned about the food chain in science this week.  Every student got to make an interactive model (based on nesting dolls) which illustrated the concept perfectly!
The students LOVED making the animals "eat" the next animal (or grass) in the chain. It comes with lids to keep all the pieces together once it is nested. You can order your own set from Nature Watch.

My freebie today is more seasonal making words sheets. I haven't introduced these yet but I have some smarties than I know are capable. 

Jack o' Lantern Making Words

Scarecrow Making Words


Monday, October 3, 2011

I need more time!

First off I want to say thank you to Kim from Starbucks, Standards, and Sharpies, Amanda from the First Grade Garden, Claire from Miss Toffee's Class, and  Barbara from Grade ONEderful for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award and Jennifer at Herding Cats in Kindergarten (I LOVE that name) for the I Heart Your Blog award!  I'd love to share 7 things about me and 15 new blogs but the truth is my life is CRAZY and I am barely making time to post at all! I wish I could stop time, everyone would be frozen so I could scurry around and catch up on things while not getting anything NEW on my list!! So, I am making the executive decision that you'd rather see teaching ideas than random facts about me....

Any HM users out there? We read The Rope Tug last week and worked on story structure. The Rope Tug shows students acting out a play. In lieu of costumes I made name tags for each of the characters to wear as they performed the reader's theater.

The narrator was not happy he didn't have a name tag, I should have known...
We made a story structure tree map together.

For the problem and solution I asked a student to explain it verbally and then draw a picture for our chart. They did a great job! I love the the solution picture of the rope wound between the trees. :-)
I shared the story structure and Rope Tug files if you can use them.

I  am trying a new Daily 5 Choice Chart this year.
 As they make their choice the card is turned over. That way they can not repeat a choice until they have done them all. I have a young group with attention problems this year so they seem to really need this visual. I also shared these Daily 5 choice cards if you'd like them.

Since I have 30 students I have to use both sides of the pocket chart stand. :-( I also have my reading groups and their book shopping day (1st rotation and then they read to self) displayed for easy reference.

Okay friends, I have to get to bed so I have patience with my darlings tomorrow. I need every ounce of patience I can get this year!!