Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ant and Graduation Art

Yesterday we made these cute graduation kids. I originally got this idea last year from PeaceLoveKindergarten and you can grab the writing paper from my old post HERE. The kids just LOVE the addition of the real tassle!
Cool eye color!

He told me his short hair wouldn't show. TRUE!

Love the curls!

She made braids like her real hair!
We just finished learning about ants and read Hey Little Ant.

 I decided to make a little more detailed version of an idea I saw on  PeaceLoveKindergarten. I emailed them to find out how they would feel about me sharing my templates but I haven't heard back yet.

1.5 more days. Between baseball playoffs and report cards I am seriously behind in my blog reading. 
Is it weird that I am looking forward to summer so I can reconnect with you bloggers??


Monday, May 28, 2012

Metamorphosis Chorus

I hope you all had a terrific 3 day weekend! My son was in a tournament so mine was full of baseball, baseball, and more baseball!

We have been studying insects for 6 weeks. As a culminating activity of our insect unit we put on an event called the Metamorphosis Chorus. We perform 14 songs and poems in front of our parents.

The week before the big day, the students create their own special insect shirt.
1. One of our talented teammates does directed drawings with the kids of Eric Carle inspired insects.
2. The students pick their favorite drawing and parent volunteers trace their pencil lines with black sharpie.
3. Their drawing is taped on a a piece of cardboard and inserted into the shirt. The shirt is pulled tight (so black lines show through) and taped in the back.
4. Students use fabric markers to color in their design and puffy paint to outline, using the black lines as a guide.
Don't they turn out great?

I tried to get a shot of all 120 kids (4 classes) during the performance.
Here is my wild bunch. Don't they look angelic? HA!
 2.5 days to go!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alphabet Songs

I just learned about Have Fun Teaching's alphabet songs and videos from Rowdy in Room 300. How did I not know about these before?

These would be terrific to use as a review in the beginning of first grade. The songs are catchy and I love that the videos include tracing the letter correctly in the air. I can't believe how many students form their letters incorrectly these days!!!! I am envisioning making up some motions to act out as we dance.

They also have counting and sight word videos! I was looking for a way to spice up our counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's practice!

And if you are a fellow blogger you can win a FREE Alphabet Videos download. You can learn about this giveaway by visiting Have Fun Teaching.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I need earplugs and FREEBIES!

Peeps, I have THE L-O-U-D-E-S-T class on the planet.

Since we finished our math series, we are rotating through some of our favorite games to review a variety of skills.

Bowling 10 Frames: A Number Sense Game
Place-Value Go Fish

Sweet Shop: A Coin Game
The Great Shape Race: A Plane and Solid Geometric Shape Game
Time Traveler
Puppy Patterns: A Spatial (Dot) Pattern Game
Prehistoric Place-Value
Counting Cows: 3 Skip Counting Games

Go Fish For Doubles *FREE*

Math Facts to use with Chutes and Ladders *FREE* click on the picture
And the favorite-Pet Shop *FREE*

I am seriously considering bringing in some ear plugs to get me through the remaining math periods but at least the kids are having fun while they learn.  Hope you enjoy the freebies. You can visit my TpT shop if you are interested in the others.

4.5 days and I am blogging instead of completing report cards. Bad teacher.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Border Tip

I have a quick tip for you today. Are you happy with how you store your bulletin board border? Wouldn't you like it to stay straight and be easy to access? Here is what I do:

All you need is a long closet, binder clips and these 3M Command hooks.
What do you think? Works great for me.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Common Core App

My district is getting on board the CCSS train. Are you on the train? Our train is slow moving. A select group of K-1 will explore the standards and make a curriculum map. Then, we will try it out this next year and help train everyone else the following year. I am part of this "Leadership Team" and learned about an app I thought I would share. Maybe you already know about if your train is more of speeding bullet rather than a locomotive?

This is a free CCSS app for smartphones or ipad. Just search your app store for Common Core Mastery Connect to find it. I think it will be helpful to have the new standards at my fingertips.

I also added a widget to my sidebar here on my blog. Do you see it over on the right? If you click on it, it will expand to look like the above picture. Cool, huh?


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Book Thief & Crayfish

One of my gems has a new nickname...The Book Thief. It used to be Plumber Bottom but I finally had a talk with his mother.   That talk went something like:

"Do you know P.B. hasn't worn underwear for weeks? NO? Well, I know this because we've all had many viewings of his bottom lately. I think a belt is in order.

He has been a challenge all year: constantly off-task, his items fill my June Box, his scissors have been confiscated due to inappropriate usage, no sense of remorse, defiant. I think I've mentioned before how rich with gems I am  this year.

But I digress, on to the new nickname...

This week, we took our classes into the Scholastic Book Fair during our library time. The kids can bring money to buy or browse and drag their parents back after school. I've never had a problem before but when the organizer came over and said she had taken a book away from someone she thought was trying to steal it, I just nodded my head and thought, "Of course. With this group why had I not prepared myself for that scenario?"

So she points to good ole P.B. and I watch him for a few minutes. Sure enough, the stinker gets another copy of the book, lays his red sweatshirt down on the carpet, and painstakingly wraps the book up and sticks it under his armpit! I'm not sure if I was more shocked that he had the audacity to try to steal a 2nd time or that he put so much effort into it! If he put half that much precision towards his writing perhaps it would look less like a preschooler's.

Needless to say, he was marched to the office where the principal called his parents and he wrote an apology to the book fair organizer (which I am certain she wasn't able to decipher.)

During PE the next hour he took his shoes off and ran around the track in socks which is a known NO NO. {I had to crack down on an "Oops, my shoe fell off" contagion that infected my class recently.} So, I benched him from participating. He kept getting off the bench, trying to play. I finally got really firm and said, "KEEP YOUR BOTTOM ON THE BENCH AND DO NOT TOUCH A JUMP ROPE!"

And do you know what he did?

 He looked right at me, stuck his foot out, and touched the jump rope! OH NO HE DIDN'T! The old me would have calmly said, "Well, that was a bad choice" but I am pretty sure that after this LLLOOONNNGGG year I looked more like this.

 I sent him right back to the principal and she wisely had him remain there until his mother came.

Every morning I give myself a pep talk. "Smile. Take deep breaths. Remember the sweeties."
One of those cuties wrote this book about teachers .

Are you reading between the lines?  

That is supposed to be me on the cover. I dyed my hair with a box for the first time ever. It was labeled light brown with blonde but there is a red hue, especially in the sun. I'm calling it strawberry brown. Did I just make up a new hair color?  I have had two former parents refer to me as a redhead and now this young lady chose her orange crayon. Perhaps it was a little more red than I thought?
Do I look exhausted or what? I am also a stress eater so I put weight back on, darn it!

On a more positive note, I did have fun crayfishing during Science Lab with my class on Friday. 

Of course, my class was the only one to have someone fall in the pond!
It was his birthday, too! He looked like he wasn't sure if he should be upset or not so I quickly whispered a secret to him, "Both my boys fell in the pond, too!" True fact. He grinned from ear to ear.

I leave you with this adorable video of this darling singing the crayfish song in hopes of catching one.

8 more days!!!!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Little Bear Freebie

First, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who bought from my TpT store during the big sale. I really appreciate it and I hope you found something useful. As a small thank you, I put together some activities I did with my class this week while we read Little Bear.

You can download them {here.}We have a class set of books so we read one story a day and then I picked out a skill I wanted to review.
Here is an example of a flow map my students completed for Birthday Soup.

 My students were SOOO excited to give their moms the If You Give A Mom a Muffin booklets that I doubt many will be able to wait until tomorrow. I already had one sweet mom email me a thank you.
I forgot to take more pictures of their precious drawings in the booklets but I did grab a few of their bags.

This cutie said her mom was just waking up so she only has one eye open. How adorable is that?
 And a few knew just what their mom's pillowcase looked like so they HAD to match it..

 I hope you had a lovely Teacher Appreciation Week. Our PTA is wonderful! Look what they did:
Monday: Breakfast provided
Tuesday: Students each bring a flower to school. Vase provided by the PTA. I forgot to take pictures but I had so many incredible, unique flowers I had to get a second vase out and they still barely fit.
Wednesday: Student bring a homemade card or other creation. One of my sweeties wrote a cute poem all by herself!
Thursday: Raffle prizes like Starbucks gift cards, dinner certificates, etc.
Friday: Lunch provided by the PTA: Taco salad and desserts!

A bunch of 5th graders that I had taught as 3rd graders popped into my room this week to deliver thank you letters they did as a computer assignment. This one says..

Thank you for being an awesome teacher for me! You rock! Hope you never leave this school. If you do, I will be sad. And other kids will not be able to meet you and see how great a teacher you are. You taught me to listen and be strong. Thank you!

The others were just as sweet, remembering fun things we had done together or saying that I always have a smile on my face. Those images are from this blog so it looks like my secret blogging life may be outed to more than just the teachers at my school now....

Alrighty, I need to run to baseball games but I haven't had many comments lately so I'd love to hear from you! Did you feel appreciated this week? Do you read Little Bear? Give me something to read as I watch warm-up please! :-)


Monday, May 7, 2012

Lining up is easy to do

I got a comment yesterday on TpT saying that when she printed my Mother's Day booklet and cut it in half, the pages didn't line up. This happened to my teammate too so I thought I'd better put a tip out there in case anyone else was having trouble.

****Make sure in your printing preferences the box "fit" is not checked. The box "actual size" should be checked.

I will have to go add this tip to TpT when I'm allowed back in to edit!

Thank you SOOO much to all of you who have already purchased this from my store.  This Mother's Day packet is now my best-seller over my Sight Word Superstars!

My 20% off sale is still going on today and tomorrow. Don't forget to use the promo code to get your extra 10% off!

We have grouping today after school. Is this a long process for you? Our meetings usually go about 2 hours and I can just imagine how long it might take with this group! Like I have mentioned before, we have an unusually high number of  behavior issues to try to separate so it should be super fun (insert eye roll here!)


Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Grouchy Ladybug

It is insect insanity around here! Last week we learned all about ladybugs. We read non-fiction books and took notes from a powerpoint made my teamie onto a circle map. Then we wrote about what we learned. This book is kid-friendly and has some great facts in the back.

My students loved making this lifecycle wheel from Lapbook Lessons.
We also read the Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. We made these fingerprint ladybugs and then wrote about what makes us grouchy.
Check out these grouchy faces!

"I am grouchy when Ray (her brother) calls me the s word."
I casually asked her about the s word and she whispered it was "stupid."
Phew. Mom and I had a good laugh.

Our Mother's Day booklets are done, now we just need to make the gift bag! Remember how I mentioned that the kids come up with great drawing ideas?  I think this is better than the one I did! They are SO excited and having a really hard time not telling their mom about our secret.
Don't forget my TpT sale starts tomorrow!