Saturday, April 23, 2011

Let me tell you about my Baggage!

Let me tell you my baggage!  And by baggage I mean the multiple ways we've used paper bags in the last week!  We don't have a lot of time to celebrate Earth Day in our school :(, but instead we do a very simple but yet very FUN Earth Day community project.  I started this for my school three years ago.  We contact a local grocery store and go and get paper bags from them.  We have the students decorate them, reminding the members of our community to reduce, reuse, and recycle!  Then we take them back the day before Earth Day along with a poster saying, "Central wants YOU to Recycle!".  They lay them out on ED and let the customers use them.  Parents actually will go to the store to try and find their child's bag!  Its so great.  Here are a few good ones I picked out to show you.  




Here are the students who were selected to make the banner to take to the grocery store with the bags!  I forgot to take a picture of the finished product :(  It was sooo cute!


But wait!  There's more!  We have been doing our very last nonfiction study for the year the past few weeks.  So I decided to assign an at home nonfiction project!  I just love doing the paper bag/chip bag book projects for nonfiction.  Its so easy and the kids love them.  Here are a few examples.  






The bag is supposed to represent a bag of chips and then inside are chips with facts on them from the book they chose.  I have added this project to my TPT store here if you want to check it out!


I hope you all have a very Happy Easter tomorrow! :)  Enjoy being with friends and family.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

One of my favorite projects!

One of my favorite things to do in reading is independent projects.  One, because I love seeing the students being able to work on their own and teach themselves.  It's very rewarding.  Also because the students love it!  One of my favorite independent projects is called the U-Pick Project.  It can be used for fiction or nonfiction, but I tend to use it more for nonfiction as that's where most of my kids need more help.  We completed our second one of the year last week so I thought I'd share it with everyone.

Basically - the students get to pick their own book.  The students think this is absolutely amazing.  I make sure of course, that the book is on their level.  Then I pass out the project.  The project is the same for everyone.  It includes a cover sheet where they record their name, title of book, and level of book:


Then it includes a learning contract where students must take a pledge and record each day what they accomplished in the project.


Then the next page is a task sheet that explains all of the steps of the project.  This sheet changes every time we do the project based on what tasks I want them to complete.

Then the last 3-4 pages are their project.  Basically the project is a variety of graphic organizers.  Here are some examples:



Like I said, the project can change every time and can be adapted for low learners or high learners.  It's really a great project!  So I decided to make one and post it on my TPT store!  The kids love it and I hope you do too!


You can find it here!  Have a great Sunday afternoon :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

A bug! A bug!!



So I went to the Dollar Tree this evening to grab a variety of candy bars for our measurement activity tomorrow and I left with those, about $10 in teaching materials and these...  Bug Kits!!  They had a few different colors with different bugs on the covers.  They come with the catcher, a small net, and some tweezers.  So adorable.  

So I thought I would make a center to use with them!!  My kids are working on nouns, verbs, and adjectives so I made a noun, verb, and adjective sorting center.  


I put it on my TPT store for $3.00!!  :)  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!  Have a Happy Tuesday!




Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Donors Choose Project Funded and Much More!


So much has been going on in the past few weeks here in room 129!  A few weeks ago I was the lucky recipient of a Donors Choose grant!!  This is my fourth one - they're so much fun!!  This one was "Testing" themed.  All of the materials were to ready my students for the big and dreadful state standardized test!  Take a look at the box!



 Here are my students working on the tornado experiment observation from The Inspired Apple's Wizard of Oz unit!!  They had so much fun!!







Any time I get a Donors Choose project, I always explain to the students why we got these and what its for.  Then I let them 'explore' our new products while I take pictures for the thank you package.   Here they are exploring!







Ok, so the other day a fellow teacher ran into my room and said "You HAVE to come see Allen!"  (For those of you who haven't read yet - Allen is the service dog our school has who lives with me and is placed out of my room.  He travels to different rooms to work with small groups of kids and individuals. There's a post about him very close to the beginning of my blog)  Anyways, I run back to her room with her and there was Allen all snuggled up in the PURDUE pillows.  First off - I'm NOT a Purdue fan so I'm guessing he's trying to be rebellious ;)  Second, those pillows were pushed together against the wall before he got there.  He decided to separate them and make himself at home!  Too adorable!


So like I said above - I did the Wizard of Oz unit the week before Spring Break.  I added a few cute ideas to support the standards we were reviewing, which were prefixes/suffixes and multiple meaning words.  So I decided to create a 'scene' from the Wizard of Oz by making the poppies and rainbows!  The poppies have a prefix or suffix in the middle with words that include that prefix or suffix around on the petals!  They're so cute!  Then I did multiple meaning words on the rainbows.  The students wrote on word on the left side of the rainbow and another on the right and then used two of the arches to write the definitions.  I wish I had close up pictures of them but I'm silly and forgot to take them!  So here it is! :)  I'm NOT crafty - so this is good for me!  (And at the bottom I picked 5 students to place their writings that we did, which were included in the W.O.O. Unit from The Inspired Apple!!  


And finally this is our door now!  One morning I decided to pass out some of the spring type paper I had, one to each student and I had them write why they were excited for spring!  Nothing formal or fancy, no editing - just pure writing.  The kids loved it and now they're on the door!  


Woo!  Lots of pictures!  One quick question before I go..  There's a grant available through our school's education foundation and I'm stuck on an idea.  It can be anything under $2000..  but the materials CAN'T be something that can be found on Donors Choose.  Any fun grant projects or ideas out there???  Let me know!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Winner, Winner, I just ate dinner!

Ok, I'm done with dinner so now it's time to pick the WINNER of my "I'm in a good mood" giveaway!!  And the winner is....



Congrats!!  Please comment or e-mail me and give me your e-mail and I'll send you your goodies!!  

Oh.. and GO BUTLER!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Need some of your amazing ideas :)

One of my other passions other than teaching is event planning and 'fortunately' my principal has picked up on that :)  For the last three years I've been in charge of planning our school's Fall Book Harvest.  To add onto that I'm now in charge of planning our school's first annual Spring "Book-nic".  It's basically a fun literacy night - but outdoors!  I have to come up with some literacy stations that can all take place outdoors for students, a parent station, and more.  Here's what I've thought up so far:


*summer themed literacy basket giveaway
*book walk (cake walk)
*fishing for inferences - kiddie pool full of magnetic fish and fishing poles
*Jumping rope rhymes - fluency
*red and white picnic table covers for decoration
*sidewalk chalk race w/ sounds? - letters and sounds are written on the ground - teacher gives a word and asks what letter makes the begging sound - students race to find that letter
*Letter Hunt? - kind of like eye spy but with letter
*Campfire w/ guest readers (free s'mores snack while listening?)
*5 senses exploration activity?

I teach at a 2-3 school and some of those activities are pretty simple as far as literacy goes.  I'm wanting more advanced, but still 'easy' types of ideas that can be done with a small group - one teacher (maybe two), outdoors and with somewhat limited resources.  What ideas do you have for me???  

I also have to have a parent station - I want to do something cute for them - while still giving them ideas on how to continue their child's education over the summer.  Any ideas here too?  

Just thought I'd see what you all have to offer me :)  Thanks in advance for any ideas!!  

Last Day for the Giveaway!

Just doing a quick reminder post the my TPT store giveaway ends tonight at midnight!!  I'll announce the winner tomorrow evening :)  Make sure you get entered!  See the details HERE!  :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Celebration Time And a Giveaway!!

So I'm in a good mood!  Why?  Because I had an amazing time on my Spring Break, I have a very nice tan, I have reached 150+ followers, and because I'm glad to be home. :)  So much to be excited and thankful for!  So in celebration for all that I'm happy for, I've decided to do a giveaway.  I've done one before and it went well - so I'm hoping this one goes even better!  What am I giving away you ask?  How does my ENTIRE Teachers Pay Teachers lot sound?  Now I've just gotten started selling a few months ago.  Here's what it includes:


*Behavior BINGO board
*Chocolate Chit-Chat Unit (20 + pages)
*The Chocolate Touch Unit
*Fraction  Unit (3 activities)
*Inference Activity
*Jelly Bean Math Unit
*Measurement (length) unit (20 + pages)
*Prefix/Suffix Flowers
*Quotation Marks Unit (3 activities)
*Teacher Report Card

:)  How does that sound?  Here's what you need to do to enter!


  

1.  Follow my blog (if you don't already) = one entry

2.  Follow my TPT store here (if you don't already) = one entry

3.  Repost this giveaway on your blog - and leave me a comment with the link = one entry

And for a BONUS entry - grab my new adorable button and put in on your blog, with the link = one entry

I'm opening the giveaway tonight and it will close at midnight on Sunday.  I'll post the winner Monday evening.  :)  I hope this puts someone in as good of a mood as I am in right now :)  Just trying to spread the happiness!!  


I'm back!!!

I'm back from Florida!!  I'll tell you what... going from constant 90 degree weather to 30 degree weather is NOT fun!  But I'm glad to be back home with my dogs and cats.  :)  I missed them terribly!  Here are a few pictures from my trip!  

View from our condo




Naples' 5th Ave.

What a great view!







My husband and I before we leave for Key West

On the boat to Key West.  What beautiful water!

Our first glimpse of Key West

The southernmost point in the U.S.!

Mile Marker 0!


The vacation was so much fun!!  But like I said - I'm glad to be home and glad to have only TWO months of school left :)  I'm looking forward to this summer. :)  I'm thinking about having a giveaway soon so lookout for that!!  TTYL!
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