Monday, June 18, 2012

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

In just under a month, I'll be in sunny Las Vegas with some of my FAVORITE teacher/bloggers!  I will be attending some fabulous presentations at I Teach K.  Then, on one night {July 10th}, we are having a meet-up for teacher/bloggers:
Would you like to go?  Please RSVP to our meet-up {here}.

TeachersPayTeachers {Paul}
*Gift Certificates

Deedee Wills
*$25 gift certificate to

Melonheadz Illustrating
*Gift Certificates

Blue Bird Gift Company
*{2} $25 gift certificates

Livy Lou Designs
*magnet board

Doodle Bugs Paper
*{3} $20 gift certificates

Erica Bohrer :)
*autographed book
*$50 gift card
*{50} $10 off coupons for teacher planners

Custom Vinyl By Design
Acrylic Tumbler - teacher themed

Kute Klipboards by Amy
teacher clipboard

In A Pikle
*1 Sweet Pikle

Steve Harpster
*1 of each of his books

Tricia Fogg {Scentsy}
*Scentsy Warmers

Shari Sloane

Katie and Company (Julie Torkelson)
*felt set

Quite a Pear (Jessica Falkenhagen)
*Gift Certificate

Thirty-One (Janet Dickens)

*All in One Organizer 

Ready or not?!?! Here we come VEGAS!!!

Daily 5- Chapter 1

I'm so excited to start sharing our Daily 5 ideas, reflections, and experiences today!! YAY!

Y'all....chapter one gave me HOPE. Hope that maybe I won't work harder than the kids & come home exhausted every day next year. Seriously, I know now why my literacy block hasn't been my favorite part of the day. For the longest time, I blamed the exhaustion I was feeling on the number of kids in my classroom, lack of help, resources, time, blah, blah, blah, blah....Ummmm, confession... I think it was actually ME trying to control everything! I was spending SO much of my precious time trying to manage my students, hold them accountable, check their work, & have 4 guided reading wonder I was going bonkers! 

This upcoming school year, my goal is to have a simple yet effective literacy time that will support all of  my readers and writers' needs as they choose and complete these five tasks....
-read to yourself
-read to someone
-work on writing
-listen to reading
-word work/spelling

I already incorporate many of those skills in my classroom.... BUT the big difference this year will be that I am going to *try* my best to let these tasks be student driven. I can visualize it....ahhhhh....can you???

Make sure to link up with Lory to read all of the other Daily 5 book study posts!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study!!

 I'm so excited to be a part of a Daily 5 book study!! I've not used the Daily 5 model in my classroom yet & can't wait to learn more about how to implement it next year! Are you like me and have no idea where to start?? Well, just go get a copy of the book and join in on the adventure!! We will begin sharing our ideas and reflections for each chapter on Monday, June 18th.

These fabulous bloggers
 Cheryl Saoud
  Lory Evans
 Lindsey Erickson
 will be joining in on the fun and sharing their amazing talents. Grab your books, post it notes, and get ready to share your Daily 5 fun!!
I can't wait!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Project Based Learning R.O.C.K.S!

Do you have Project Based Learning activities at your school?!!? We had 2 weeks of them during the last month of school to keep the children engaged during a very *antsy* time of year. The kiddos went to a class that they were interested in learning more about. They completed a survey with their top 5 picks after I showed them a slideshow of what was offered. There were all kinds of amazing lessons happening- lego building, cooking, sewing, geography, health & fitness, etc. I was lucky enough to teach a handmade & recycled jewelry class with my friend, Jane. She is our fabulous art teacher & rocks something serious. We had SOOOOO much FUN!!!

A picture is worth a thousand words, right!??! On that note, I will leave you with several pictures of the cool things we created during our PBL adventure!!! These projects would make a fun craft if you need something to keep your own children busy this summer!!

Bread Dough & Beads
 Mix finely crumbled white bread in a cup with liquid glue and paint!!!

 Use a coffee straw or skewer to make the bead hole. 

Sculpey Clay Beads
Pick up to five different colors of Sculpey clay & roll them together to make beads. Then bake them in a toaster oven for 20 minutes!
Sculpey Animal Beads= A-DOR-ABLE!! 
Those little plastic eyes won't melt when you bake them!! 
WHAT?? I learn something new everyday!!
Bottle Cap Collage Beads
 Cut  a circle out of cardstock (or use a scrapbooking paper puncher) & pick a background out of a magazine to cover it .
Find words in a magazine and glue them down on your background. The example below was a collage a sweetie was making for her mama!!! LOVE!!!
 Hot glue the circle into the bottle cap (we used gatorade and orange juice caps) & decorate with fish tank pebbles, glitter, or whatever else you can think of! Use ribbon and hot glue to create a loop to hang on a necklace!! I'm going to use this idea in my classroom & have my kiddos make educational {noun, verb, adjective} necklaces!!! HA!!

 Paper Beads
Cut triangle strips of magazine paper like shown above. Roll in up around a skewer, seal with glue {mod-podge}, and slide it off.

Wire Bling 
Twist 2-3 different plastic coated wire strings up and BLING! I love how the smartie pants above used one of her bread beads in the center of her ring!!
We used skewers and pencils to twist the wire around to get the curl effect.
At the end of the class, we used our handmade and recycled beads to make tons of necklaces & bracelets! The children were SO proud of their work!! I was impressed, too!!
Project Based Learning R.O.C.K.S!! The End.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Step Up Day & End of the Year Printables {Freebies}

Hey Sweet Friends! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend celebrating Memorial Day! Just wanted to share a few writing printables with y'all that I use at the end of the year with my *almost* second graders!! 

We have a school wide "Step Up Day" during the last week of school. The kids LOVE visiting the second grade teachers and learning what it is like to be a second grader!! While they are off feeling pretty dang special, I am with a class of the cutest kinders telling them all about first grade!! 

My students always fill out a "First Grade Facts" sheet to give to a kindergarten student. You would think I gave those babies gold! Kinders get's the simple things in life that are the BEST!!! 
 When my sweeties come back from the other end of the school feeling all grown up & over first grade, we enjoy a few writing activities that center around what they learned from "stepping up" !!
 and one where they predict what will happen in second grade!
 We also write notes to ourselves to save for the first day of school. Before doing this, we reflect on the first day of first grade & predict how it might be alike or different than second grade...Do I hear a Venn Diagram calling my name?? Why yes I do?!?!  
 After our discussion, we all write letters to ourselves to open up the morning of the first day of school {including myself- No, mine doesn't start with "Dear Jesus,"...HA!}. The letter template below can really be used for anything though. After they are done writing, they stick and seal their letter in an envelope to read the morning before their first day to ease the jitters.
 And I thought I would also throw in this summer goals writing printable. We work at setting goals all throughout the year & this is just a motivator to get the kids thinking about what they want to accomplish this summer.
You can download these printables *here*{Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles & KPM Doodles}! I hope they're helpful as you are surviving the last week or weeks of school!! If you don't have a school wide Step Up Day, I recommend checking with your 2nd grade friends to see if you could schedule in a time to do one on your own the last week of school!! You'll have a blast!!!

Well, I'm officially 30 today!! I've been SO blessed during my twenties & want to celebrate them by having everything 20% off in my TpT store today only!! Check it out {HERE}!!!

Happy Memorial Day!!! GOD BLESS all the courageous men & women that have served or are serving our country! I honor you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hello Summer!!!

Y'all, I'm on summer vacation!!!! Thank.goodness.for.a.break. I've been getting some R&R time with my sweet boy!! It's ohhhhh so nice to slow down and enjoy my family all day long. The little squirt is sleeping over at his grandparents' house tonight. It feels really strange when my house is this quiet! I'm missing him already!!
So my last day with my sweet class was last Friday! We had a BLAST at our luau themed party! Limbo on down the page {sorry, I couldn't help myself} to see some awesome pictures of the fun....
Okay, this isn't the best table pic. I was so busy at the beginning of the party that I forgot to take a picture before the kids made their mark!!! At least, you can tell they were really enjoying themselves!!

 Masks, Hula Skirts, and Leis
 Ice Cream Sundae Station
Holy Toppings!!!
Face Painting!!!
 LIMBO! I love it when parents participate in the craziness!!!
Slushes were a BIG hit!!

 How did I pull off such a wonderful end of the year party? I didn't!! I had the BEST parent volunteers pretty much take care of everything!!! I LOVE them!!!
I hope you have or *had* a wonderful end of the year celebration with your kids!! XOXO