Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spiders

Why do I love teaching about spiders...when I really don't like them?! Today I took out all my folders for the next 3 weeks to start prepping everything.  Right now I am sitting on my bed that has literally been taken over...
Is this normal? 
Anyways, I came across some super cute spider, bat, and pumpkin activities that I cannot wait to do!! I love decorating the classroom in October!  Here is one simple activity that is super easy to prep, and the kids love it! Before we complete the sentences, we sit together and brainstorm different adjectives.  Most of the boys always end up writing scary, spooky, or awesome, while the girls always seems to choose beautiful, pretty, and nice.  It is fun to see what they come up with!
We make the spiders with our hands (except our thumb) and the eyes are hole reinforcements. I am attaching the sheet that is seen in this picture in case you want to try it out this year :)  I am also attaching another one I just whipped up really fast (trying to be creative).  I got the cute orange frame from Kirsten Peters McGrath over at ETSY.


Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday Cafe

Every Friday our class does a cooking project that correlates with the theme.  I usually put the cooking activity at one of their morning rotations.  This year I am sending out an email the Friday prior to let the parents know what donations I will need.  Then they 'reply to all' with the ingredient that they will send in.  You can do it this way or if you don't want so many emails you can send out all your cooking activities for the month (or for a couple of months) and have parents sign up to bring the ingredients for the week.  Right now this is our 'Friday Cafe,' but if you have any other cute ideas please let me know!!! So far we have made:
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Trees




'All About Me' faces
Apple Trees

Coming up soon in our Friday Cafe we have:
-Apple taste testing: Trying red, green, and yellow apples-plain, with peanut butter, and with caramel.  We will also try apple juice and apple pie! Yum!
-Fire trucks for our mini theme on careers and Fire Safety Week
(pictures to come)

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pinspiration!

While I was 'blog stalking' this summer I saw so many posts talking about bucket fillers.  I had never heard this term before and had never read any of the bucket filler books.  I figured it was a behavior plan and since my school already has one that we need to follow, I kind of skipped over the posts.  Well, I WAS MISSING OUT!!  This past Thursday our third grade book buddies were scheduled to come to our classroom and meet my kids for the first time.  They were so excited to meet them, but I wanted to find the perfect project to start off the year.  The third grade teacher suggested that we read:
I actually read the book to my kids before the third graders came down, because I wanted to make sure they were going to understand the book (I totally underestimated them!).  When our book buddies came we read the book again and did a project I found on pinterest (addicted):
The children all loved the book and really seemed to understand the concept.  Later that same day my kids were playing at free choice centers and I was sitting at the reading table.  I overheard one of the boys stand up and say "drip, drip, drip." Right away I looked up and asked him, "What's the matter?"  He said, "He is dripping from my bucket when he knocks the truck into my tower!" I couldn't believe that they were already using the bucket filler lingo!  At the very end of the day one of the kids came over and gave me a hug goodbye and another student said, "Oh, wow! He is really filling your bucket, isn't he?"
I am now in love with Bucket Fillers.  I have already shared the concept with the parents of my students in hopes that we can continue using this in school and at home! LOVE IT!!
While I am talking about my 'pinspiration' I will show you some other pictures of anchor charts that I have gotten from pinterest as well.  Seems like most of these ideas came from a WONDERFUL blog, The Inspired Apple


seen HERE
Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Candy Corn Game

I have had so much fun finding new ideas on pinterest! I think I have spent the majority of my free time this week making new anchor charts and activities for my class.  I saw this idea floating around recently, but couldn't find a link to print out the game...

 

Since I loved the idea so much I decided to re-create it.  I made a couple changes and chose not to make them in color (I have been using so much colored ink lately), but I figured I can print them out on card stock and quickly color them in  before laminating.  Hopefully you can use these in your classroom!

Guess what?! The original creator of this game has been found! The picture that i found on pinterest (above) is from her very own classroom :) CLICK HERE to check out her amazing blog and other center ideas for October!


Enjoy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Columbus Day

I was planning on posting this weekend about all of our upcoming projects in October...spiders, bats, pumpkins and all...but, I forgot everything on my desk at school! Don't you love when that happens? So that post will just have to wait :)  Instead, I will share one of our Columbus Day activities with you.

It is sort of a take on a ship in a bottle.  I let the kids be creative and design their own flags. Then we add our poem onto the back.  The poem is below:


Enjoy! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apples, Apples!

Next week we will start our apple unit.  There are so many great books, cute art activities, and yummy cooking projects to go with apples.  Here is a little taste of what we will be doing:

In science we will use different ingredients to see what keeps an apple from turning brown the best.

Some Art Activities they can do independently:
For the apple tree I cut sponges into circles and squares to make it easier for them to paint.  Then they use their fingers to make the apples.

Math: We read One Little, Two Little, Three Little Apples by Matt Ringler then the children put the apples in order 0-10.  After they are done they mix them up and put them in order counting down from 10-0.
 Our Apple Glyph:

...and a fun game to play at reading groups or at one of their literacy centers to practice their letters and sounds.  When you click on the link the directions will be at the bottom. (some of the graphics are courtesy of  Scrappin Doodles:


Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Like most people on 9/11 in 2001 I remember exactly where I was when the World Trade Center was hit.  I was in 11th grade and was switching to my second period class, psychology.  I walked into the portable and my friend Danny, who was already sitting down watching the TV, turned to me and said a plane hit the World Trade Center.  I of course couldn't believe it, but I along with some others thought this was some kind of freak accident.  Then moments later, the second plane hit the tower and we knew something was not right.  We were all glued to the TV, sitting in silence.  A lot of people in the class became worried about their family in NYC and immediately started calling home.  The school was unsure whether to let us continue watching the news coverage, but I am very thankful they allowed us to watch the, now historic, day unfold.  
Reflecting back today and watching the news coverage all morning, I am still deeply saddened for what our country, the people working in the WTC, their families, and all the people in the city that day had to go through.  They will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as well as the men and women that are fighting today for our freedom.  
This past Thursday I told my students that we would be participating in Patriot Day, and all of the teachers and students would wear red, white, and blue on Friday.  They are only in kindergarten so I was unsure if anybody actually knew what event we were remembering.  When I asked, one of the boys said, "the fourth of july" and I knew I needed to explain a little more.  So without going into details because I knew this was something their parents would want to share when the time was right, we talked about the men and women that fight for our country.  We talked about how brave they are and what heroes are. I shared some examples with the class and then everyone made their own American flag to take home. 
 On the back of the flag we added a poem and we practiced singing it together.
  The children really enjoyed the project and they continued it throughout the day.  Some drawing pictures of heroes in their writing journals and others making flags using their sidewalk chalk during playground time.


9/11 is a day we will Never Forget.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Halloween

Before you know it Halloween will be here! October always seems to have some of the cutest activities.  There are spiders, scare crows, pumpkins and so much more!! One of my favorite bulletin boards in October is the student's pumpkin glyphs.  I don't give them any patterns so they have to cut everything out on their own, which makes it even that much cuter! I don't have a picture of the bulletin board, but here is the glyph we do:

Another fun activity that I am looking forward to is our Monster Symmetry.  It is very simple to do with the kids and they absolutely love to see how their monster turns out.  All you need to do is fold a white piece of paper in half and open it up.  Let the students squirt some paint onto one side of the paper.  Then help them fold it again and press down (squishing the paint to both sides).  Open it up and wa la, you have a monster!


Enjoy!

Our Words

These file folders were time consuming to make, but now that I have them finished I love them! I have 3 file folders for each theme/unit.  Most of the covers were copied out of a book by Scholastic- Portable File Folder Word Walls by Mary Beth Spann. That book also has suggestions for words to put inside; however, I knew our little ones would enjoy some colorful pictures above the words instead.  So for the inside I chose words that I knew we would be using and put a picture to go with each one.  Now the children use these folders during literacy centers and to help them write stories in their writing notebooks.  They are awesome!! I love to watch the children looking through them to see how to write a word or even get ideas for writing topics.





A student example:

I will be creating my own covers and adding them and the words to TPT soon.  If there are any other units you may need let me know so I can create some more! :)  I am attaching two examples of what the insides looks like right now.  But, since joining the blogging world, I have also found many new wonderful graphics online! All of my folders will be getting makeovers with the new and improved pictures!! :) Enjoy!!


Our Transportation Words

The new file folders are finally here!! Click on over to check them out! You can download an updated freebie in the preview!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Apple Graph

When do you have the time to fit in all the extra FUN activities? With our literacy centers and reading groups and poetry, math books, and science textbooks to do while still trying to give the kids some free choice time, which they desperately need, I haven't been able to find the time to focus on much of anything else. 
To make the time for graphing I have decided to use the children's pictures.  I took the pictures during the first week of school and put velcro on the back and ta-da graphing seems to be going a lot quicker! The pictures also make it a lot easier to see what everyone 'voted' for as the children say :)