Monday, February 25, 2013

Landforms & Ginormous Give Away

We just wrapped up our unit on landforms with a very hands-on activity.  
Last year's landform project was quite time consuming and difficult to complete without several volunteers.  So, this year we changed it up a bit.
First, students painted land and water on a sturdy paper plate.   They dried quickly.
Meanwhile, at home, my hubby made a salt dough recipe.
A cup salt
2 cups of flour
¾ cup of water
 The next day, students used the salt dough to create a few landforms of their choice after review.

Here is a valley in the making!
These had to dry over the weekend before painting.
Don't you just love the volcano!
Ocean, river, pond, valley, volcano, 2 mountains.
Ta-da!  Done!  My kiddos loved this & were quite as a mouse (even my most rowdy one) while painting them.

I am joining Michelle @ Our Sweet Success for a Ginormous Give Away!  You have to check it out and enter!  They are anticipating over $100 in product.

You can link up to join the Give Away until March 1st.
You can begin to enter the GiveAway on March 3.  

I will be offering one of my TPT products for free.  You may want to go ahead and browse my store to pick your favorite.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First Grade Publishers

The Wise Ones are now publishers!
 Just check out the smile on their faces when they first saw their book.  They were so excited!
Here are a few example of pages from their books.
If you have never published a book with your class, click on the pencil below to find out just how easy it is with Student Treasures!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Hall Pass

I am joining Rebecca over at Tunstall's Teaching for a fun linky called Hall Pass!
Teachers deserve a Hall Pass, too!
P - Product
I LOVE these adorable owls from Peachpops clipart and all the Workstations I have made with them.
However, this is my favorite - Having a Hoot with Tens Frames.
Cover page
4 possible Workstations with the one set of pieces.
Each of the 4 Workstations has its own set of directions.
Recording sheets available if desired.
A - area
My favorite area of my classroom is my carpet/meeting area.  This is where I meet with students for CAFE lessons, mini lessons and read alouds.  I have a small pink ottoman I sit own (with storage underneath).  Beside it is my easel.  On the left wall is the calendar, CAFE board and posted rules.  In front of me and behind students is my favorite part of my classroom - HANDS DOWN - my double sided bookshelves filled with 1000s of books organized by genre, author, and level.
S - Signal
I have several signals that I use daily to get my students attention, but my favorite one is my CHIMES.  When I want everyone to clean up & meet me at the Carpet Area, I ring the chimes which hang from my chart stand.  It is distinctive enough to get their attention without being loud and disturbing my neighbor.  They may tune my voice out, but the chimes get their attention!

S - Sanity
I live for enrichment on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  It gives me just enough of a break to catch up and clear off my desk.  On the days I do not have enrichment, I try to make a small chunk of time for either a math game or reading with our 4th grade book buddies.  If all else fails - I have a Mountain Dew and chocolate!  Then, I am more wired up than the kids.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

How To Writing - Yummy!

We just finished up our "How To" Writing Unit.  It is always so much fun.

We began by asking ourselves, "What is a How to Story and What does one look like?"  To explore this question, students logged onto their Raz-kids accounts and found a special assignment waiting for them - a collection of how to stories which included:
  • We Make Cookies
  • Making Salsa
  • We Make a Snowman
  • Making Pizza
  • Grow Tomatoes in Six Steps
  • Making Rice
We also began reading How To Books for Read Alouds.  Here are just a few of my new books purchased through Amazon.  Students loved the How to Babysit a Grandpa one! 
After exploring what how to stories look like and sound like, we began our own.

Day 1 & 2:  How to Blow a Bubble

They didn't know learning to write could be so much fun!

Day 3 & 4:  How to Make a Smore

After eating real smores and making foam smores, students wrote their how to piece.

Day 5 & 6:  How to Make Kool-aid
Students planned their how to story on stickie notes first.  This made it easier to correct any mistakes in the order of the steps.
 Of course, we made Kool-aid to test out their writing!
And last but not least, my favorite....
Day 7 & 8:  How to Make a Pizza
This time, I wrote out the recipe for students to follow. They followed the recipe to make their own pizzas and then tried to change the recipe into a How-to Story.

I LOVE this unit!  Hope you enjoyed and didn't get too hungry!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Finally a Facebook Page

Hi everyone!  I finally took the plunge and created a Facebook Page for my blog.  Any suggestions/ideas to make this as painless as possible would be greatly appreciated. 

       Stop by and Like my page!  
And don't forget to join the Give Away.  It ends tomorrow!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Got Storia?

   Once you download the Storia APP from Scholastic you are on your way to growing a classroom of readers!  Hundreds of picture books and some of your favorite series of books are available for download with cash or with Scholastic Points.  All of the books I have purchased have a Read to Me option.  Some of the books purchased even have interactive games, videos, puzzles, and/or a dictionary.
    You can even personalize bookshelves for students as needed through the Reading Management section to make sure they are reading "Just right ebooks." 
    I only have my personal iPad in the classroom for use during Read to Self or Listen to Reading.  It had now become a hot commodity with the purchase of  Storia books.
    Go check it out!   Oh, did I mention, you get 5 free book downloads just for downloading the APP?  I've also received other special offers for books since downloading.

Monday, February 11, 2013

1 for You and 1 for Me Giveaway!

I know I can't be the only one who has done this - Purchased multiple copies of books without realizing it!  I think I now own 4 copies of the first Pete the Cat.  However, seeing they are sooo popular with my firsties, they are not part of this Giveaway.
Up for grabs are:

  • I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff with pictures by one of my favorites - David Catrow.  I used this book recently for opinion writing.
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell with pictures by David Catrow.  I used this one at the beginning of the year when we talked about feelings and being nice to one another.
  • Knuffle Bunny, Too by Mo Willems.  This is a great book to use during Writing Workshop with a mini  lessons on small moments, speech bubbles, onomatopoeia, sequencing, and special print like bold or italicized.
  • Mud, by Mary Lyn Ray.  I have not used this book yet.  I purchased 2 copies each within the past 2 months!!  It is about the coming of Spring - so I will be using it soon!
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose! by Lucille Colandro.  Who can blame me for ordering multiple copies of this?  There are so many versions and the kids love them.  I often use rhyming books like this for Round Up the Rhymes activities, otherwise known as "Using words you know."
  • I Spy, Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold.  I have to be honest.  I just use this one for read alouds.  Kids love Fly Guy!
So, now is your chance.  Enter the Giveaway!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Currently & Super Sunday Sale

Listening:  to basketball?  seriously?  We just went to 3 basketball games for two boys.  We get home & hubby turns on a game while Tanner, who played in 2 games today, went out to practice some more.
Loving:  My hubby got me an early Christmas present - another Schnauzer.  We named him Rascal and I have fallen in love with him.
Sitting with my buddy while he plays on the computer!
I'm getting older & learning to hold my ears up.  Well, at least one of them!
I'm looking for my little buddy to come out of Sheetz!
 Thinking:  My mom is the strongest woman I know.  She never complains about anything and sometimes keeps it from her kids when she is sick.  About 5 years ago, she was about to have heart surgery for a hole in her heart.  She was NOT going to tell us or my dad.  A few days before her surgery, my aunt threatened to tell us if she did not.  She just doesn't want us to worry.
So, yesterday she went to the hospital with tingling in her legs and arms.  She complained of dizziness and of feeling like she was freezing, as if outside in the cold, not chills.  After the fact, she tells me she didn't think she was going to make it.  The doctors cannot explain it.  Today, she feels a bit better, but not much.
Wanting:  I would love a day of just to rest.  Thanksgiving break was filled with the passing of my husband's grandmother who I have known since I was 15.  Also the death of a neighbor & a coach from high school.  Christmas break was filled with lots of business and the flu.  MLK day & the following day, a workday, was filled with strep throat.  I just want a day to relax and refresh!!
Needing:  I want a LONG date - even overnight - with my hubby.  As you can see by the above our 3 children keep us busy, we have had a lot of sickness and sadness.  I just want to go away and focus on one another.  Hopefully, it will be soon!
Pet Peeves:  It makes me quite angry for someone to lie straight to my face.  It shows a total lack of respect.   Negative Nellies seal their own fate!  There is no place for that in the classroom!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday Sale!
I am teaming up with lots of other sellers and TPT for a huge sale. 
Sunday only, you can get up to 28% off my products by using the sale code: Super
Enjoy the Superbowl!