Monday, May 30, 2011

Silly Rabbit. . . Books are for Kids

Today we kicked off the last week of school with a "reading marathon."  Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we ate a little bit of cereal.  

Then we read, 



and read a little more!

 The students brought a favorite book, a stuffed animal, and their slippers.  
I wore my monkey slippers today, and even Yoda joined us!  The students loved switching books and discussing their favorite parts while they sat in the "reading marathon circle."  


 We took a break to create a new class book:  "Silly Rabbit...Books Are For Kids!"

  In case you're wondering why we were here at school on Memorial Day, it's because of all of the ice/snow mixture that we got during the first week of February!  Please excuse the mess and clutter you see in the background...I am in the process of preparing the room for summer!  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tag...You're It!

I was pleasantly surprised to find a small brown package waiting for me when I arrived home from school today!  It was a Mother's Day gift from Mr. P and the boys which I ordered earlier this month.  I was searching through Etsy {which is just about as addictive as blogging} when I discovered. . .

Here's a closer look at the necklace that I ordered.  It has both of my boys' names, and I adore it!  Even though they keep me on my toes they are absolute blessings, and I don't know what I'd do without 'em!


Here they are-mad about the number of photos that had been taken. . .
{probably thinking "How long does mom expect us to sit here?}

Thursday, May 26, 2011

summer blog entries. . .

This summer I'll have my hands full with my two itty bitties {one and three-both 150% boy}, but I'm already mapping out a great series of posts and giveaways.  I'll have two regularly scheduled weekly posts on Tuesday stop by for {How "Tues"day's} taking ordinary items and making them into extraordinary classroom tools.  This will feature simple and inexpensive "how-to" projects for the "do-it-yourself" style teachers out there.  I'll also be posting {Fab Finds} and {Fab Freebies} every Friday.  Those will start the week of June 13th.  I hope they'll be helpful, informative, and spark some creative ideas for a brand new school year!

Father's Day 2011

Father's Day is right around the corner, and we're going to get started on a few projects next week.  I don't know about y'all, but I love shopping at Dollar Tree.  I pretty much make weekly visits to take a look at the latest arrivals and the teacher's corner {Mr. Perry doesn't understand this fully, but he is supportive of this habit since he knows how I like to use ordinary household items and random items for classroom instruction.  {is there anyone else out there that can relate?}

About a month ago I snagged about 25 of these cute little wooden picture frames.  I plan to have the students decorate/paint them, and add a photo, poem, or note.  I haven't decided which one yet.  I'm thinking of attaching a little decorative note that says, "You make my {heart} sing" or "You make my heart {flutter}."

Just a side note for those who may not know...when Dollar Tree has a limited quantity of something that you need, you can usually order it directly from their website.  They can ship it to a store  near you so you can pick it up there.  The website has everything from office supplies to toys and games.  Most importantly, it has the teacher's corner items too!  Click on the link to check it out.

Here's a little book about dad's and a coupon book that students can 
illustrate, cut out, and present to their dad.

My dad

Father's Day Coupon Book

Click on the picture below to see another great example of a coupon book.

Here are a few of my favorite books about dads.

 I just discovered a fabulous website with all kinds of crafts, ideas, and fun projects!
Visit Make and Takes  for more great craft/gift ideas including these cute little "monster bookmarks." 
Daddy's Little Monster. . .

Here's another really cute idea that I loved.  You could probably get lots of ties from a second hand shop or Goodwill.  Click on the snake for the instructions.

Fathers Day Crafty Tie Snake

sum-sum-summer's coming!

  We're smack dab in the middle of a graphing unit, and I'm lovin' it!  

Here are a few of my favorites. . .

 How do you like to beat the summer heat?

In case you're wondering about the empty "what did we learn" space...I looked at the clock during math this afternoon, and we had 4 minutes to pack and prepare for dismissal! 

math journal entries about "beating the heat". . .

We wrote these questions after our graph was constructed.  Creating and answering the questions is much more complex than making the graph, and has really "stretched" my students' thinking skills!


and lfinally. . . one of my favorite graphing resources!

We are counting down and waiting with anticipation.  
To those who are finished up with another school year-congrats! 
 To those who are still on this journey. . . hang in there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

authors, inventors, and researchers...

Over the past few weeks, we've been making lots of class books.

My two favorites were created during the week that our spelling words were "days of the week" and "months of the year."  We wrote "The Very Hungry First Graders" and "The Pigeon Munches All Year Long."

We're still illustrating, but here's how the story starts and ends.  

Here's "The Pigeon Munches All Year Long."
After we read "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog," the kids did a great job on some directed drawing.
I used the sketch below to guide them through the process.

We've also been conducting research about famous inventors and working on a few inventions of our own!

We're also taking a closer look at the animals and plants of the desert habitat. 

We've also been working on character analysis and higher level comprehension skills.  I loved these portraits of Miss Nelson along with her physical traits and character traits.  We were supposed to create one for Viola Swamp as well, but didn't get a chance to.  Harry Allard's "Miss Nelson" series is great for teaching character analysis because Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp have easily identifiable traits.

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