Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden Update

I was over at the school watering our garden that we posted about last month.  Everything was looking so good and grown up that I thought I would snap a picture and share with everyone.  Due to growth you can no longer see the array we planted.  However, I know our children are going to be beyond ecstatic when they see how much "their" plant has grown. I strongly encourage anyone considering a garden for their school to go ahead with it. What a wonderful learning opportunity for all grades.  We managed to get arrays and lady bug life cycles out of our garden.  We have all really enjoyed it. Juli and I were discussing going over to an empty bed and planting pumpkin seeds soon. This of course would fit right into all sorts of math activities come October. Juli can post more about that, but carving and counting seeds alone brings in almost every sort of graph imaginable. There is  all sorts of measurement possibilities as well. Hope everyone is having a relaxing summer. Juli is at the beach and I will be headed that way next week. What is everyone else up to?

Ice Cream Centers Part 2

Let me just start off this post with..."Better late than never right!"  Nothing like posting this AFTER everyone gets out of school.  I would say that it is being overwhelmed with 2 small children, but Juli has 3 so that excuse doesn't work. Next I would try saying that I have been swamped with end of year responsibilities but we all have so that doesn't work either.  So I think I will go with - I have been so busy thinking up an excuse for why this has taken so long that it has taken a really long time to get this posted!  ANYWAY...the centers went really well.  I used a combo of the ones Juli has on her TPT store along with mine.  I have created a variety of centers, synonym and antonym matching to parts of speech matching.  I also did some non fiction templates for All About Ice Cream writing. Every center worked beautifully in a folder and has a recording sheet for each student.  The kids had a good time and I managed to get much needed end of year paperwork done.  You can find all the centers HERE.  The picture below is of my students enjoying one of Juli's centers. I placed them all in similar folder formats so you can see how any of the centers will look.  If you have any other ice cream ideas we could use for next year, we would love to hear from you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Invent An Insect

So Juli and I are both completely addicted to Pinterest, esp. for school ideas.  I found the best activity for the kiddos to complete our study of insects. It is originally from Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business.  She gave this activity away as a freebie on her blog and I am so glad she did.  I gave the students the labels from the freebie and told them to create a new insect.  Using everything we had learned, the students knew exactly how to draw an insect correctly and place the labels.  I told them to think about their insect's characteristics as they drew so it would fit what the insect looked like. Some completely got that and made their insect brightly colored because it was going to be a poisonous insect. Others included different types of camouflage based on where they had decided their insect was going to live.   After creating a new insect, they had to write about it. They had to tell what it would eat, where it would live, etc.  They all decided that their insect went through complete metamorphosis.  Apparently no one in my room was all that impressed with the crickets and their incomplete metamorphosis!  The kids really got into designing an insect that reflected them as well which I thought was cute.  One little girl loved our Earth Day/Lorax unit so much that she made the Lorax bug - so cute!  It even sort of looks like him!  I put a few examples below.  While I know that most of us are out of school or on our way out, I wanted to share this great idea from Mrs. Miner so you could file away for next year.

Thank you again Mrs. Miner for the wonderful freebie!  A link to her site is below:
                                                                Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business 


Friday, June 1, 2012

Our First Linky Party

As I was browsing my favorite blogs this evening, I came across a fun Linky Party that Kelley Dolling, over at Teacher Idea Factory, is hosting.  I've never done a linky party before and I don't know if I am even doing this right, but I thought it would be fun to list 5 things I couldn't live without in my classroom.  Make sure to visit Kelley's site and see the great things she has going on.

Have you all tried this stuff?  It is amazing.  It sticks to anything.  Brick, glass, cinder-block, painted walls, and it won't peel the paint off of your walls.  It is so sticky and it is all I use in my classroom!!  You can check it out here at my favorite store Education Express.

2.  The Mini Time Tracker
I LOVE this timer.  It has a light and a warning signal.  It has made the management of my centers so easy this year.  My kids really have responded well to it.  Check it out here!

3.  Book Boxes
Since we have implemented Readers Workshop this year, I was in desperate need of some book boxes for my students to use for all of their books.  I came across these from IKEA and have really liked them mostly for the price.  My students are extremely hard on all of my stuff.  There is little investment in these and if you have to replace any, it's not a big deal.  
4.  Class Dojo
This is a great class management site that we have discovered this year.  It is a real time class management site that you can use on your computer, from your smart phone, and email your class parents.  I first discovered it from Hillary Lewis over at Rockin Teacher Materials

5.  Pinterest
This website has absolutely changed the way that I teach.  I find myself sitting down to write lesson plans and going to pinterest and typing in my topics just to see what comes up.  It has absolutely changed everything when it comes to teaching for me.  I LOVE this website so much and how it has connected me to so many teachers across the world and their amazing ideas.  

Happy Friday!

Ice Cream Centers Part 1

Well hello friends!
It's been a few days since our last post.  We have been up to our ears in end of year activities.  Anyone else out there feel like they're drowning in assessments and paperwork that must be completed before the last day of school?  UGH!  It is a fun time of year but very stressful at the same time.  Heather and I have spent some time putting together some fun Ice Cream Centers that we use in our classes.  We need a lot of time to work with students individually and to get all of our assessments done, but also want the kids to have fun and work while we are working too.  These stations have been life saving for us!  They are fun hands on activities for the kids to do but also keep them busy and quiet while we are tying up all of the lose ends around class.  I snapped  a couple of pictures of my students working this week on two of the activities.

Here two boys are working on the Ice Cream Analogies

Working on the Ice Cream Addition and Subtraction Practice

You can see these and lots more activities at my TPT store.  Check back soon to find all of Heather's ice cream centers.  We also saw that one of our fave's Hope King over at Second Grade Shenanigans created some fabulous ice cream activities too that would go great with all of ours!  Make sure to check it out.  Have a great last few days.  We only have 5 more to go!