Sunday, April 12, 2015

Surviving until Summer: Linky Party

Tomorrow I go back to school after being off for Spring Break.  I had so much fun with my boys and while I miss my little first grade friends, I know that these next 6+ weeks will not be the easiest.   So Katie from Queen of the First Grade Jungle and I thought we'd share some of the things we do to make it through these next couple of months. We'd love for you to link up and share things in both your personal and school lives that help you to survive. 
Here are some of mine!  
Personally there are a few things that relieve my stress and make this girl a happier mommy and teacher. 
Shopping for, and decorating my house makes my heart happy.  In fact I was just talking to my sweet friend Kathleen today about decor.  She's amazing at making old things new and she has a great eye.  Not only do I want to continue to redecorate our house, but I also have a new classroom next year to think about.  I'm all about farmhouse inspired decor.  I love distressed furniture, cute knick knacks, wire baskets and tin.  
In fact, today I found two great sites with all kinds of fun items on sale. 
It might not currently look like it, but I love to workout. I especially love to run and lift weights.  I miss my sweet trainer and I really miss running.  I gave both up this winter and it's my biggest regret. So, now that we are having some beautiful spring weather, I'm so ready to run and relieve stress.  
Here are some of my favorite things to help me while working out:

The first are my Adidas Energy Boost. I am in LOVE with these shoes. I've literally tried every running shoe ever invented and these will forever be my go to! Like clouds, girls! 
I also really enjoy Les Mills Body Pump. It's a great workout and it makes me feel strong.
And I REALLY love my Spark to get me through my school day and workouts.  SO YUMMY!
Going outside! 
Whether it is with my students, or my sweet boys, I love to play outside. Doing outdoor activities with my students makes my heart happy and them happy as well.  Here are a few ideas of things you can do that are both academic and for the outdoors. 

Target had packs of frisbees on sale not too long ago in the pet section.  I give my students a word to begin with and they write it. They then throw the frisbee to their partner and their partner has to change one letter in the word to make a new word.  They continue this making tons of words! It's such a fun activity and the frisbees can be used like this for many topics and standards.

We also love to use chalk to practice spelling and math.  
With Kindergarten kiddos you can draw outdoor Elkonin boxes and have them jump the sounds of picture cards you put in front of them.  For example: place a picture of a cat in front of them. They would then jump in each box and say the sounds in the word.  
Take advantage of Go Noodle. The end of the year = fidgety children.  Brain breaks are a perfect way to make it through the day and it's free.  

Make others happy! It always helps my mood when I know I'm making others feel good.  In the past we showered our 4th grade buddies with treats to make it through their testing.  These cute tags are from my friend Hope's Sweet Support pack. 

 We also love to make our mommy's feel good by hosting a Mother's Day Tea.  It's one of my favorite days of the year and it's absolutely precious.
Here are the books we make for our mommies.
Here are their cute fingerprint vases.
Reading the moms their books.
 Singing to our mommies.
Here is my pack that explains our tea and includes the items we create.  
And if all else fails... this is COMING SOON!
Now we would love to hear what you do to make it through.  You can link up below. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bunny Craft and Writing

I saw a cute little card with a bunny rump and knew it would make a super cute craft and writing activity, so I made it for my class this week.  You are welcome to download it HERE. I just ask that you follow this blog or my Facebook page. Hope you like it! 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Smorgasbord

Are a bunch of y'all on break?  I am not, but I'm counting down the days. 4 to be exact.  I'm pretty excited for some time with my own little people and my hubby.  My boys are starting their baseball seasons up again and the sun is shining. I'm so excited for warm weather, family time outside and all the craziness that comes with the end of the school year. 

I always get excited for spring because it means learning about rabbits and lots of bunny cuteness.  Here are a few of my friends with their directed drawings courtesy of First Grade Blue Skies. I think they are absolutely precious. 

We also did a bunch with my newest mini unit on Rabbits

And we read the sweet book, Hopper Hunts for Spring.
Speaking of bunnies, Landon had to take in snack for preschool, so I made them some Bunny Bait. Who doesn't love popcorn, m and m's and goldfish? You can grab these toppers on my Facebook page. 
In addition to bunnies, we've been working on adjectives and adding them to our writing.  I couldn't think of any better unit to grab for teaching this concept then my sweet friend Hope's, Suzie Adjective Unit. I can't recommend this unit enough! 
We started the unit with our favorite counselor.  He came to the classroom dressed as his twin brother Fred.  The kids were mesmerized by his "character" and totally fell for our twin brother story.  Fred was hilarious, dress in crazy striped socks pulled up over his pants, one glove, a cup full of candy, a hat and his favorite Batman shirt. 

The kids LOVED Fred and we wrote him letters to let him know how much we loved his outfit.  I've never seen my kiddos more excited to write a letter to anyone! The adjectives were flying on their pages.  It was priceless. But would you expect anything less of a lesson inspired by Hope?
In addition we did her lollipop lesson included in this unit and her adjective runway show.  The runway show was truly precious! We rolled out he red carpet, played runway music, grabbed our school's microphone and read descriptions full of adjectives written my our little people about their outfits. It was adorable. At the end of the catwalk, they would strike a pose and it cracked me right up.  

And finally, my friends from Blog Hoppin' and I are throwing sales in our stores today and tomorrow.  If you want to grab any of our spring items, you can grab them for twenty percent off for the next two days.  
Here are some of my favorites:
Image Map Image Map

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites (Chapter 5)

I'm so excited to be a part of this book study and as many of you may already know, I love a good graphic organizer! We use them daily in my classroom, especially during reading instruction. I also use them quite often during our Science and Social Studies times.  This chapter names several different types of organizers, such a KNL, Word Webs, Story Maps, Cause and Effect Charts, Character Trait organizers and more.  If you are someone like me, who is much more visual than auditory, then graphic organizers are extremely important to your learning.  The best part about them is that they appeal to both left and right brained learners.  They help us organize information but integrate both visual and verbal activities. 

Below are several examples of graphic organizers I've used in my room.  

This is an example of a character traits organizer we did in my room this week.  We first listed the traits of one of the main characters in Green Shamrocks. We completed this organizer together. I then sent my kiddos off in groups to complete a similar organizer on another character from the story.  

Main Idea Organizers

 Venn Diagrams

Below are my notes from the chapter. As you can see, I really try to use graphic organizers A LOT in my classroom, but my goal is to use them more in my math instruction. I also want to encourage my students to make their own organizers, in addition to the organizers I provide. 

I thought I'd leave you all with a few graphic organizers to use in your classroom, as a thanks for linking up.  If you'd like them, just click the graphic below.

I have also included the book study template for this chapter. 

We would love for you to link up below.

Don't forget to prepare for chapter 6 discussion over at One Extra Degree on March 17th.
Here is the rest of the schedule and you can join in at anytime!
Mrs. Jump’s Class Chapter 7 (March 28th)
The First Grade Parade  Chapter 8 (March 31st)
In April, you will be visiting these girls for the remainder of the study:
Mrs. Ehle’s Kindergarten Chapter 9 &10 (April 4th)
What The Teacher Wants Chapter 11 (April 7th)
First Grader At Last Chapter 12 (April 11th)
Erica’s Ed Ventures  Chapter 13 (April 14th)
KinderGals Chapter 14 &15 (April 18th)
A Rocky Top Teacher Chapter 16 (April 21st)
The Inspired Apple Chapter 17 (April 25th)
Little Warriors Chapter 18 (April 28th)
Falling Into First Chapter 19 (May 2nd)
Kickin’ it in Kindergarten Chapter 20 (May 5th)
If you are not a blogger (which is totally fine!!!) we still want to hear from you! Leave a comment below to let us know how you are incorporating this book in your classroom!