Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back To School Prep...

Wow!  Hard to believe summer is coming to an end.  I have been enjoying all the blog posts around and they have really inspired me these past few weeks.  I am really looking forward to the start of the new year.  It's gonna be another busy one for me as my own children will be in 1st grade and full-day PreK VE. {Not to mention new Reading and Math programs…plus Common Core - oh my :o}

Here are a few things I've been working on…

Birthday Straw Balloons:

 I just love how these turned out!  I used my Cricut to cut balloons out of scrapbook paper, some ribbon and printable tags.  You can grab the printable tags for free at my Teacher's Notebook Store.  

Welcome Treats

I am addicted to the Dollar Spot at Target {I can only imagine how many $1's I've spent in that section over the years…}  Well, I have been struggling with what to give out to my students as a welcome treat.  I usually put together this little bag with a variety of things - but I just don't have the energy to hunt down all the items all over town.  So I was ecstatic when I saw these adorable lollipops at Target this week.  And so the idea was born…  {And boy was it quick and simple:)}

I think they turned out so cute!  If you are like me and sometimes can't locate the cute things you see on blogs in the dollar spot, you can easily get some smarties and use the same tags.  If you'd like the tags you can grab them for free at my Teacher's Notebook Store.

A "Messy" Project
 I had a wonderful parent make these for me a few years back.  They were finished just in time for the school year so I didn't get a chance to paint them.  I always wanted to…just couldn't ever find the time, go figure right???  Well you can see they were in desperate need of a coat or two of paint.  (I didn't even realize how much my little angels from last year enjoyed drawing on them…ugh!)

I won't even tell you my first plan of attack was to use black spray paint…ugh turned out in a disaster as one can didn't even cover half of one shelf but managed to cover both my hands black.  {Still have black fingers - very embarrassing}

So on came plan b… semi gloss black paint.  And 3 hours later I couldn't be happier with how awesome they turned out!

I've been working in my classroom… pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Out with the old… In with the new….

After 9 exciting years of teaching Open Court/ Imagine It, I will be retiring my binders and starting new ones.  My district has adopted HM Journeys.  I went to training this summer and all I can say is WOW is this series packed full of components.  I'm not sure how its all going to work but I am excited to be reading/teaching some new stories.  I'm sure I will also be busy creating some new story projects.  

The first project I created was my weekly spelling word cards.  I display these on the board (using magnets) but you could display them in a pocket chart or pinned to a bulletin board.  I copy them on color card-stock using a different color for each unit.  

You can grab a copy at my TN Store!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Catching up… End of the Year WrAp Up

Wow!  I'm so embarrassed it's been so long since I've posted on my blog.  I had a very demanding class this year and my daughter started Kdg. (so she took a lot of my extra time).

I would like to share my Learning Cafe with you.  All year long I save my students' projects and then have them share their portfolios with their parents.  
I love how our stained glass butterflies turned out.  They were also hanging on the windows inside our classroom.

We turned our classroom into a little cafe.  I had a few extra desks brought in (boy did we get a little crowded).

We did a little writing activity about how we've bloomed this year and hung them from the ceilings.  

 Ice cream shop poetry writing.

"Cooking Up Great Memories"  I used the chef patterns from: Miss Kindergarden.  I added some cute scrapbook paper to add some color:)  Then I created my own student cookie memory book for students to write in.  You can get a copy of the cookie book at my Teachers Notebook store. 

 My students wrote letters to their parents welcoming them to our classroom.  I had my students use scrapbook paper as the background - thought they'd look cute on the "tables" as the parents came in to sit down.

Here is the menu for our Learning Cafe.

Students gave their parents a little trivia quiz - they enjoyed being able to grade their parents. 

 My students wrote a recipe for their family.  We brainstormed different traits that make up families and then they wrote it into a recipe.  I was so proud at how hard my students worked on their recipes and how creative they were!

 The dessert table.  (They students were very excited!)

 Our room full of "customers!"  We had 100% parent support.  My students had so much fun sharing all the things they've learned in Second Grade.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Native Americans

This year we have new textbooks and standards in Social Studies.  I was very overwhelmed trying to come up with resources to teach my students about Native Americans.  I wanted to make it fun and memorable.  So I used the textbook as a guide and then searched the internet and pinterest to add to my lessons.  I had fun teaching about them and my students had a lot of fun creating the little projects along the way.

Here's a little peek at what we did…

We learned about the Plains Tribes - and how important it was for them to live in Teepees so they could follow the buffalo herds.  My students used symbols to decorate their teepees.

We painted rugs and made weavings for the Southwest Tribes.  The beads were Wampum from the Northeast Tribes.  I died macaroni noodles and the students made patterns and designed their own necklaces.

I have to admit when we first started this activity I thought I made a mistake and my second graders were too young.  But boy did they surprise me on how quick they caught on to the weaving part.  Next year I will be sure to set up the plates and "loom" ahead of time so all they have to do is the weaving part.  I am very pleased at how beautiful they turned out!  

Northwest Native Americans - Totem Poles

We created an information page for each group of Native Americans and then published them in this cute Native American foldable person.