Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pumpkin Fun

I feel badly that it is already November and I am just now getting around to sharing about our pumpkin math! Last week we had a very short week as we missed school on Monday for parent/teacher conferences.  Then we had a fun filled field trip to the zoo.  So in all we were only in class for 3 days...the week of Halloween!!  So I found myself asking, what can I do to keep these kiddos busy during a very different week.  I went to my tried and true sources for some ideas.

I love using Sunny Day's Pumpkin Science investigation!  You can find it here:
Pumpkin Science Investigation

I also love Abby's Pumpkin Activities from The Inspired Apple. You can get them here:
Inspired Apple's Pumpkin Stuff

The kids have such a great time with all of these activities.  They kept us busy for our 3 days and the kids were engaged and excited!

The other day in my browsing of Facebook, I came across this video posted by Box Tops for easily counting 100 box tops.

I loved the video and immediately shared it with our wonderful PTO who spend so much time counting our box tops for our school.  Then the video got me thinking.  How could I use this for counting other things.  So I made a file folder that looked like this for each of my pumpkin groups:

They were very easily able to line the pumpkin seeds up in the boxes to begin counting by 100's.  I gave each group a large sandwich bag and told them to begin counting by 100's.  When they could no longer fill the grid, I told them to raise their hands and I brought around small snack bags and had them continue to count by 10's.  Then, when they couldn't complete a ten anymore, they set the leftover ones to the side.  Then they were able to easily count by 100's, 10's, and 1's!  It was also much more manageable for both the kids and me!  I highly recommend it!

Now thanks to the election we are now in the throws of teaching government.  So much fun! 

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Anna Adjective

We have been busy reviewing our parts of speech.  It can be so boring can't it?  This week we have moved into adjectives.  In our experience, these are some of the hardest to teach.  They definitely don't know them from first grade either, so we straight up get to teach adjectives.  A few years ago, we came across the Suzie Adjective activity made by one of our favorites Hope King.  Check it out here!!!

Suzie Adjective

We loved this activity so much that we enlisted the help our our K-2 Literacy Lead teacher to come and visit the class.  Her name is Anna, so we renamed the activity Anna Adjective to fit her.

The kids LOVED her visit and we were so happy to have her.  The activities that go along with the visit are wonderful as well and we highly recommend them. Thanks Hope!!

Adjectives rule!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Map Skills

I'm Back!

I sure have missed all of you followers (if we still even have any).  I actually have really missed blogging.  It just has been a little low on my totem poll with all my things going on.  I am setting some personal goals for myself this year and blogging is back on as one of them!  I hope to be blogging regularly and sharing what we are doing in our class.  

Like Heather said, last year was one of the roughest years I have had in a long time.  But one of the best things about teaching is that we get a fresh start every year.  There really aren't very many professions that have that luxury.

We have been in school a little over 2 weeks and things are going so wonderfully! I am absolutely in love with my class!

This week we are studying maps!  One of the first things that I like to teach is Cardinal Directions.  I use the Dr. Jean song about directions.  Then we create a compass rose that they get to cut and paste and then color beautifully!  For being such slackers last year, I am giving this away for free!  Hope you enjoy it and can use it in your classroom!

See you soon!
 compass rose

Monday, July 7, 2014

PTTD:Post Traumatic Teaching Disorder

Have you noticed we haven't blogged in like an entire school year?! We are suffering from PTTD. It was a ROUGH school year. We struggled, taught, and cried but we made it through.  Before this school year, Juli and I were very proactive in our teaching. We surfed blogs, created products for TPT, and brainstormed new ideas constantly.

THEN...this year happened. The group came to us with a reputation for being a tough crew. We are experienced we thought. We have had rowdy classes before we thought. We've got this we thought.

THEN...the first day of school happened. Wow! Okay we thought. We have all sorts of tricks and techniques we thought. It will take a more creative approach we thought.

THEN...survival mode happened. Exhausted, deflated, and at a complete lost, we went into survival mode. Blog surfing ended. TPT shopping ceased. I lost ten pounds and started struggling with massive anxiety. At winter break, I cried and begged my husband not to make me go back  - not that there was really any choice! All teaching desire had been drained from me. I would feel guilty at times and try to muster the energy to get back in the groove, only to face the class and reality they brought with them and retreat back into survival mode.

THEN...the school year ended! We survived! Barely but we survived! Juli has been traveling with her family. I have done the same. Slowly we are recovering. I have gained back almost all my weight in the month we have been out of school. I still fight anxiety, but not the extent I was during the school year. While I am not quite ready to start mentally planning my school year, the thought of classroom prep doesn't make my stomach hurt.

We know that the group we had was a once in a teaching career group - or at least we hope! To go into detail about the group would be fruitless as we are putting it behind us and the group itself doesn't deserve to be analyzed or discussed openly on the web. We are picking ourselves up and brushing ourselves off. We hope to blog, create, and share once again.  To any followers that have stuck around and are reading this, thank you! We hope this coming year will be full of new and creative teaching ideas and products. Hope everyone is having as an enjoyable summer as we are!