Tuesday, May 31

It's Random

I know this is random, but I just wanted to mention that I LOVE the new Heinz ketchup packets.  So far, the only place I've seen them is Chick-fil-A.  These are the greatest.  No more squeezing pack after pack of ketchup onto a napkin or hamburger wrapper.  It leaves me thinking, "why didn't I think of that?"

Sunday, May 29

Summer To-Do List

Apparently starting a blog at the end of the school year was a bad idea...  It seems like the last two weeks have flown by.  I actually started three different posts and was interrupted all three times.  So sorry to all 11 of you that follow my little blog (LOL).  Hopefully as I post more, more will come and follow.  I digress...  Assessments, report cards, cummulative records, room cleaning, end of the year parties, have all ended.  SUMMER IS HERE!!  While I'm sad to see this year's class leave, I'm so happy to be a stay at home mom for the next couple of months.
But, we teachers know that school is never too far removed.  There will still be professional development, grade level get-togethers, classroom organizing, and curriculum creating. 
Since I've seen so many other teachers already planning how they will use their summer break I thought I'd do the same.  Let's face it-- I need a little accountability or else it could just be a lazy summer out by the pool with the kiddos.

1. Take a week off-- I need one week to just sleep in late (well as late as a K and C will let me sleep) and stay in P.J.s until lunchtime.

2. Vacation Bible School-- I'll be teaching upcoming first graders.  It's always a good reality check to remember how those babies come into the classroom each August.

3. Math Tubs- Because of teacher blogs I was inspired to totally change how I manage independent work time.  I love math tubs now.  I printed, laminated and cut out TONS of terrific math activities from February-May.  Now it's time to start creating some great ideas to use for the first half of the year.

4. Math Curriculum- I'm ready to start alligning my math lessons to the Core Standards.  Sounds like fun, huh?

5. Crafting- My mom just bought a Cricut and the Sure Cuts A Lot software.  Thank goodness for me she just lives 5 minutes away.  I've already found lots of ideas I can't wait to try out.

6. Short Vowel Word Work- I'm planning to create some word work to be used while I teach short vowels.

7. Purging of Toys- Am I the only one that seems over-run with toys at home??  I really didn't think that would ever happen to me, but it has!  I will be donating lots of toys by the end of the summer :)

Monday, May 16

On the Home Stretch

We've finally made it to single digits-- now that today is over there's only 8 more student days left!!!  And as much as I L.O.V.E my class this year, May certainly has a way of making you ready for summer.  We are through with the Harcourt reading series, "structured" math lessons, report card assessments, and DIBELS.  I've devoted the last two weeks to fun, themed lessons. 

This week it's all about animals.  What better way to learn about nonfiction texts than through hands-on projects.  Today we learned about 5 of the 6 main habitats. 

We first learned what animals need for survival: food, water and shelter.  "Shelter" naturally led us right into discussing habitats.

Next, we watched the five habitat videos on Brain Pop Jr.  Hey, what can I say, Mrs. Morse has to have time to grade assessments and enter them into the computer.

Then it was on to the fun stuff.  I divided the class into 5 groups, 4 kids in each group.  They used lots of nonfiction books to draw their habitats onto large butcher paper.  Before each group got started I showed them how to pull out coordinating colors for their habitat.

The groups worked really hard on their backgrounds for a long time.

When they were ready, each child chose at least 3 animals to illustrate, cut out, add to their posters.

The children wrote their habitat facts on seperate pieces of paper.  They had to list the animals and plants.  Then tell a few interesting facts.

After their projects were finished we shared the final products. 

Lightning Bug Round-Up Word Work

Here's a little game I made to review the long i sound (spelled -ight and -ite).  This is my first time to link something to Google Docs.  Fingers crossed it works!  Click here to download.