Sunday, May 19, 2013

Winding Down

I can't believe the end of the year is less than a month away!  Friday we got a glimpse of the heat that is finally headed our way.  We've lucked out so far this year in that department.  It has been quite pleasant here in Maryland.  :)  I am very excited to start our end of the year fun activities!  Last year we "popped" our way through the last 15 days of school.  Finding that idea on Pinterest was a great way to spice up the end of the year.  See my post about the nifty activities we did here. 

Last year I made Summer Space Mission to help motivate my kiddos to keep their skills sharp during the summer.  I tweaked it this year to align it with the Common Core State Standards.  It's free this week in my TpT store!  Check out the preview below and see if it is something you can use for your kids!

Have a great week!  Let the countdown begin!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rainforest Research and Upcoming TpT Sale!

One of the changes I have really enjoyed learning about when it comes to the Common Core Standards is the research component.  One of our stories, The Red Eyed Tree Frog, takes place in the rainforest and I decided to have our writing connection be a research project.  My awesome intern and I worked together to plan a lesson that collaborated with our technology integration teacher.  A flipchart was made that allowed students to click on their animal and be taken to various websites that were preselected to help them gather information on their animal.  Students worked in pairs in the lab to identify facts about their animal's habitat, diet, and appearance.  They were also encouraged to find other interesting facts that they read along the way.  The cool part about technology and the CCSS is that students are asked to gain information from readings as well as other sources such as videos.  This is a great extension for some of my struggling readers.  They are still able to collect information and it doesn't have to be watered down to their reading abilities.  They did the research in technology class (which made it much easier then taking turns on the 3 computers in the classroom) and we worked on putting it all together throughout the week in the classroom.

I will be adding the graphic organizers we used this week, but in the meantime, check out some of our finished projects!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having another big sale this week!  May 7th-8th you can get up to 28% off many items in different stores!  My store will be participating along with MANY others!  Be sure to check it out!  If you're a seller, I made some other banners that can be used to promote the sale!  Feel free to download and use!

Hope everyone has a great week! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day, Main Idea, and a Freebie!

I simply LOVE Green Week at our school!  We have so many fun activities planned and each day we wear a different color to represent the focus of our day.  I wrote more about the things we do during the week here.  :)  We usually spend a lot of the week outside, but the weather isn't supposed to be quite as warm as it has been in the past.  We do not have ac at our school, so you won't find me complaining.  ;)

We will be working on summarizing and retelling key details about the main idea this week.  I will be using some of the activities in my Main Idea Unit that have a "green" focus.

Visit my TpT store to get your copy!

Don't forget to grab your free Earth Day freebie here!  It is my latest clipart collection of graphics, digital paper, and frames.  Hope you can put it to use.  :)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Clipart Crazy

I am loving my Photoshop Elements program!  It took me many months to wrap my head around it, but now I am having a ball!  Here are some of the sets I've made so far!  They are all FREE!  Yup, yup!  Click on the titles to download or visit my TpT store to find them all in one place!

Check back for more!  I hope everyone is having a great week!  The warm weather is making me want to spend more time outside!  Next week is Green Week at our school!  We will be riding the green wave by doing as many lessons outside as possible.  :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring is Almost Here!

I am so excited for warmer weather!  It sure doesn't feel like spring is headed our way around here this weekend.  It is chillllyyyy.  Spring is not the only fun thing going on at school this week.  We have our Book Fair and Literature Night.  Literature Night is always fun and this year's theme is Story Laboratory!  We are pretty jazzed about it in room 13.  Our PTA decided to add a door decorating contest to the mix this year.  Check out our door!

They all wrote about what reading gives them the power to do.  They surprised me with their creative responses.  :)

We've been working hard on Comparing and Contrasting this past month.  I was so excited to find these dry erase Venn-diagrams at the Dollar Store.  Score!

They worked in groups to compare the story we working, Moving Day by Robert Kalan and A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.  It worked really well because the stories had a lot of similarities and differences.  I really liked A House for Hermit Crab because it has a lot of good vocabulary to discuss.   I included the links if you want to check them out.

Here are some of the center activities I made to go along with the skill!

This was a really big hit!  I made an interview sheet that they used to find out more information about their classmates.  They then used that information to compare and contrast themselves.  The interview sheet is included in the unit.  You can find the entire unit here!

Both of my units include differentiated practice.  Information is presented in bulleted form and then in short paragraphs.  You will also see a fun center activity included in my Compare and Contrast Unit that has students compare and contrast information about different sports.  This was really popular with my boys.  Yay!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hodgepodge Mod Podge

I have just been tickled with the addition of Pinterest in my life.  Appropriately I found this on Pinterest...

I feel like there is never enough time, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to give it a good go most time.  One of my favorite discoveries from Pinterest was Mod Podge.  I always considered myself fairly crafty, but was unaware of this product and all of the cool things you could do with it.  One of the first projects I tackled at school was to create Mod Podge clipboards with my class.  We were constantly using clipboards when we did activities on the carpet, around school, and outside so these were the perfect craft.  Check them out!  The kids loved them and it was really fun.  I had some of my wonderful parent volunteers help out too, which made the process lot easier.  

I also decided my desk needed a little spicing up.  :)

I took a break from the Mod Podge and decided to paint the ceiling tiles! It was actually a little more challenging that I thought it was going to be.  The painting wasn't hard.  Getting them in and out had me sweating.  The corners crumbled a little and I was scared they were going to break in half, but I got them back in in one piece.  Phew.  I was not looking forward to reporting the news if that had not been the case.  The kids love it and the parents always comment when they come in.  :)

It's expanding to my home life as well.  Some projects have gone better than others.  ;)  If anyone has any cool projects they've done, please share!

On a side note, totally unrelated to teaching, I just got ENGAGED.  I couldn't be more excited!  That will probably put my classroom decorating mission on hold, but my good buddy Pinterest isn't letting me down in that department either.  Good gracious, it is so awesome to see so many great wedding ideas and get inspiration from photos that are posted!  Check out my handsome fiancĂ©.  Isn't he cute?  :)

Have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Super Bowl Sale!

Baltimore is looking quite PURPLE these days!  Everyone is getting more and more excited for the game Sunday.  We have been wearing purple for weeks at school now and tomorrow we are having a big pep rally!  I can't wait!  :)

To celebrate the big game, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a mega sale!  There will be a ton of stores participating, mine included :), so it is definitely worth checking out!  See the flyer below for more details!  Don't forget to enter the promo code SUPER to get the great deals!

Go, Ravens!