Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Birthday Sale!

Today is a special day for me!  I'm celebrating with a sale!
Click the picture to grab some goodies!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

End of Year Freebies

I know your weekends are not really weekends at this point.  There's so many loose ends to tie up!  It's so consuming.  I was able to tackle one thing on my list over Friday and Saturday.  Our end of year movies.  Every year I do this a little differently.  Last year I did one long slideshow.  This year I took my monthly smilebox slideshows and put them into iDVD as chapters. 

My handwriting is atrocious.  I mean I can turn it on when writing on the board, but normally it's not cute and I was not happy seeing it through the peek-a-boo CD window of the sleeve.
 I got this package of 100 sleeves at Walmart for around 6 dollars. 

To fix my handwriting problem, I printed each student a sleeve cover and glued them over the front of the sleeves.  Now I am excited to have them sitting on their desks for our Young Authors Celebration.  You can get these sleeve covers too!  They are free in my tpt store.

We have a young authors celebration this week so we are working on making portfolios of all our writing from the year.  (I'll share more about this soon)   The students have also just completed an animal research project and will be presenting an ebook for the parents.  That ebook is on their CD too.
 My teamie asked for a sign to use for the end of her slideshow that says ready for second grade.  I went ahead and made a few signs for kinder through 3rd because I am hoping to use this picture for our writing portfolio in some way.  You can grab these signs in my freebie file on facebook.  

This week on my facebook page, I asked how many days everyone had left of school found out that most of us have from just a couple days left, up to 30.  I imagine some of that has to do with the snow during winter.  We had 0 snow days. (central Texas) I have 11 days left which is spread over the next three weeks. 

This week will be business as usual, but the week after, I will be working from my last week of school packet.  I updated to cover, but the activities are the same.  We have countdown morning work, easy and fun writing activities, and a word search for each day.  During that last week, we will have so many mix ups and celebrations that it will require some easy and fun activities that I can grab when needed!

I am also currently printing out my favorite awards for the end of the year!  Free Candy Awards!
 Grab these fun candy awards for your class too! 

Although all this end of year fun stuff is happening behind the scenes, we are still working normally in class.  My students have no idea that I am going to change things up the last few days.  I learned the hard way to keep it business up front as long as humanly possible!  Have a terrific week!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

10 End of the Year Ideas

 It's the end of the year as we know it.  Not only is motivation at an all time low for students, teachers feel like we don't have much left to cover! 

We have covered all the required information for the year, now what!?!
Here's 10 tips to help close out the year #likeaboss.

10.  Remember those fun props and manipulatives that went away after their designated week/month?  Bring them back out and incorporate them into what you are capable of doing now!

9.  Try a themed unit that you wanted to try earlier in the year, but were too under pressure by other pressing objectives to try!  Give your whole day a focus and bring the what are we going to do today happiness back into your schedule! I am about to launch into a big camping theme in my room!  We will be using my Camp Number Sense unit and Cara's Camping Capers!

Another complete theme with LOTS of free ideas!
6 free farm crafts here
Free Farm math games here
Farm math and literacy unit

8.  Take time to play fun classroom games!  For six free and easy games to play with your students,click the picture! Can you guess what these girls had in common?
look at their shirts....  Both have hashtags!  It was #hashtags

 7.  Let's take this outside!  Outside Learning Hunt 

 Grab your whiteboards and pencils and head outside!  Plant 10 learning activities around the school grounds and then take some time to hunt for learning! I placed 10 activities in plastic sleeves.   Upon discovery, either hand each student a little half sheet to complete or have students write in their own notebooks at each station!  I will post my 10 questions for my class once I get them uploaded! ;) I am also thinking this would be a terrific monthly activity for next year! 

6.  Plant and plant again! Have you planted seeds yet this year?  Try some experimenting this time around!  Plant one in cotton balls, dip a potato half way into a clear jar with water.  watch what happens.   Try comparing two different types of seeds and record differences and similarities!  It's great for inspiring writing and for critical thinking! 

5.  Dive into book studies!  Find an author that you can explore!  Create portfolios (folded construction paper) with reading responses and illustration inspired crafts!
 My Favorite authors/series to study
Leo Lionni
Eric Carle
Tomie DePaola

4.  Bring out the colored paper!  Get your students excited to work with bright and fun materials!  (we love Astrobrights paper) Spruce up your writing supplies with a couple new sets of colored pencils or skinny markers even!  Give them a little freedom and extra privileges!

3.  Use their little faces!  I make multiple print outs and sizes of their cute little faces.  We use them in our writing and crafts.  It adds ownership and perspective! 
 Student Faces Ideas:
What animal are you similar to and why? (pictured)
What will you become when you grow up?
I will be famous for...
Famous Quote 
 Have students pick a famous quote and write it in a speech bubble from their faces
All About Me web drawing or writing
 Place yourself somewhere in the world 
Tell about your environment and how you would stay alive and happy there

2.  Student led learning (with technology!)
Have students respond to reading by creating an oral book review!
 iPad Book Reviews Unit

or have students create a movie about their topic of choice!
Complete resource for teaching students to create a movie HERE

1.  Just add props!  Make learning unforgettable by adding props!  As you walk by the discount bins think about how you could make learning more fun! See what we did in with our snakes HERE.
 Rubber snakes at Walmart for $1  

 Not cool with snakes?  How about precious little puppies?  See what we did HERE.
 Take your Puppy to School Unit!

I hope this has helped spur on some ideas!  Have a great idea too!?!  I would love for you to share in the comments! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

We Made it to May... Lesson Plans, Moms, and Twitchy Eyes

May!  Sigh...thank goodness.

May is such a FULL crazy school month.  In some ways that is great because it tends to fly by, but it also makes teachers lose their minds in the process.  So from my permanent eye twitch to yours, here's to May!

First up, Mother's Day.
We are making a lavender body scrub for our moms to take into the shower.  It is a beautiful exfoliator (made that word up according to my spell check) that smells like summer and happiness.  Believe me.  It's wonderful.  And so easy that you'll feel guilty. 

3 Ingredients: sugar, oil, and either lemon juice or lavender oil

 I use little disposable containers.  (for me in my shower, there is a hurricane vase full of this homemade treasure but that's another story)

After the mixing, smelling, oohing, and aaaahing has been completed by my students, we tie ribbon around the container and add a little label that explains what this gift is for.   You can see the label in this instagram picture below.

We make a card complete with writing all about mom and a direct draw mom portrait that melts any mom's heart.  We will also be making beautiful tissue paper vases with mod podge too!

I put an SOS email out to my parents begging for their glass recyclables, and tada!  We have what we need to make some CUTE vases for mom!

Directions for these gifts, writing, and Printables for Mother's Day Found HERE

 Is your word wall at max capacity?  We have 5 more words.  I am one excited teacher.  This year I have kept up with our word wall week by week!  My students are so good about asking what our new words are each week.  They beg to hang the old ones too so honestly I should really give them the credit.  I just work here.

This silly little pink box was the key to a year of word wall words.  I put the words in here in order of our reading series/district high frequency word police mandates.  Each week it was no problem for my students to grab the next few words.  

I found this picture from the fist week of school when we were just reviewing our color words and learning how to use the word wall.  {wipes tear from face}  They have come such a long way!!!!

 We have 10 word wall centers that students can do.  The best part about them is that it doesn't matter if we have 10 words or 110 words on our word wall.  These centers are open ended so students and teacher can choose the words to target!

This activity below has students color coding the consonants and vowels.

There are different versions of this one from two letter words and up!
We are on the more difficult words here at the end of the year.

When students finish their rotation during guided reading they can grab a word wall activity!  They get to go work on the rug by the word wall.

I got the cute little clipboards last year in the target dollar spot!
  {11-20 are on the back}

Another resource that has made the rounds all throughout the year are these reading and writing flip books.  More advanced groups love to make flip books as a reading response activity!

We just prepped these plant flip up books because we will be planting seeds this week.  Print, fold, and staple!

Now I am throwing myself an internal party because something that I envisioned last summer is finally finished!!!  I really wanted to have a guided reading phonics sounds wall.  I just couldn't quite make it happen until recently!  Then as a result, more ideas began to form and I just wrapped up my phonics posters and phonics tracers sets!  

I sat out on the patio this morning and put together my vowel teams binder.  The phonics posters that match each one of these posters will be displayed on the wall, while the students can practice reading in these binders!  We have been using the short vowels and blends binders at school, but since it's the end of first grade, I really wanted to get these long vowel, vowel teams binders done!

My students read them and circle the hunks and chunks!  I love the constant review!

Along with the reading binders, I also made tracers.  My students went nuts over the short vowels, blends and digraphs, now I have our big kid sounds to add to the mix! 
 My 14 year old daughter asked if she could try it out.  {wipe another wayward tear}
 To see my original post about short vowel posters and blends and digraph posters click HERE
For the entire set of posters for the year check out the bundle HERE
For the entire set of tracers for the year check out the bundle HERE
Just need the new sets?  Click the pictures below.
So the reason I have been out on my patio prepping, drinking coffee, and blogging, is because we are under construction.  {Since November} With our kids being teens now, we decided to finally put in a pool.  My husband really wanted to go for the teen appeal and he designed this cave/jumping platform/slide.  It's really coming together now! 
 Hold strong dear teachers....we can make it....#summer2015