Wednesday, May 29, 2013

tin can treats.

These are still my favorite little gifts to give. So sweet and simple and so easy to modify for whoever it is you are giving the gift to! We've done them the last two years for teachers (and daycare) on the last day of school. 

Just open your tin cans FROM THE BOTTOM, wash and refill with whatever goodies you want. I usually buy the small fruit cans, but this year I had a couple teachers with candy bars as their favorites, so I bought two regular size cans of pineapple. The little snack size candybars fit in the cans perfectly! 

I always leave a little bit of space and stick a bit of tissue paper in the can before I close it up. (Just to catch any hot glue drips.) Close it back up and then hot glue the lid back on. It looks a bit messy, but most people won't even look. (Until they get curious and start trying to figure out HOW you did this!)

Cover the cans with cute paper, add a happy note and some fun ribbons to the pull tab...

Sweet and easy and it's sure to bring a smile to someone's face. =)
So glad I found the idea a few years ago!

Monday, May 27, 2013

more after the fact.

Making a class book, "Down By the Bay..." 

I had them work with a partner to test their teamwork. They worked together to decide on a rhyme for their page and then figured out how to share the illustrations. It was fun to see how some of them divided up the drawing...

"Did you ever see a rabbit, doing a habit?"

Do you see him biting his nails? =)

Making symmetrical designs and figuring out where the line of symmetry would be...

Read to Someone... (these old Science textbooks are some of their favorite things to read during Read to Someone. I even snagged a couple 2nd grade ones before they were thrown out.)

Envelope puppets... (business size envelope, sealed, then cut in half. Each kid chose 2 characters and drew one on each side. Then they hold them up and say that character's "lines" during our big book.)

I've made all our basal stories into big books. Lots of $$ for the enlarged color copies and posterboard, but it's the only way I feel good about teaching from a basal series. I am so. grateful. for the freedom my principal has given me this year. She has trusted that I knew what I was doing and gave me the flexibility of doing things a little bit differently than everyone else. I will be forever grateful to her for that.

Practicing fact families...

Do you see the little green "vine" and ladybug on the far left side of this picture? It's our compliment bug. Whenever my kids get a compliment from someone, it moves up a leaf. (It moves 1 leaf for a compliment from me, and 2 leaves for a compliment from someone else.) When it gets up to the flower (10) they earn some kind of "celebration." Sometimes we vote and sometimes I choose.
We had a little painting party this day as a celebration. (Which may have gone right along with our basal story for that week, "The Dot.") {I LOVE this story! So sweet.} They were creating dot paintings, just like the main character in our story. It all went together. (Shh... don't tell them that! I'm usually pretty sneaky with our "celebrations.")

Measurement activity in math...

All school "Read Out" celebration. Each teacher has a "reading team" with kids from each grade level. They all brought snacks, drinks, blankets, favorite books and spent an hour reading with their reading team. So simple, yet so fun.

Encouragement for our 5th grade buddies during state assessments. We did something fun for them each day of their testing. (3 days of math and 3 days of reading.)

This was one of my favorite science activities from the entire year. I had never done this before, so it was kind of a gamble. But, it turned out great! I got the idea from here and here. (I just wet 2 paper towels, laid the seed on top of them and put them in a ZipLoc bag.) So simple, but the results were so fun! The kids loved it!
I wish I would have taken pictures again when school was out. The green bean had grown up over the top of the paper towel and the pumpkin was 3 or 4 inches tall. So cool to see the sprout, the seed and the roots. We will definitely be doing this again next year!

School has been out for 10 days now and my room is somewhat clean and organized. =)
I was one of the lucky ones who didn't get new carpet and paint. (New carpet and paint requires the ENTIRE room to be emptied. Ugh. NOT something I wanted to do this summer. Next summer I'll get to do it, though.)

Already thinking of new ideas and ways to rearrange things for next year. Lots of school things I want to accomplish this summer. But I'll also enjoy lots of time not thinking about school. =) Yay for summer!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

after the fact.

I posted so few pictures from school this year. I took more pictures than ever (thank you, classroom digital camera!) but posted hardly any of them here. 

This may have been my most stressful year of teaching. Ever. Even more stressful than my first year. (No kids and house then. Just Corey and the cats in our little apartment.) 

It wasn't stressful because of the kids. The kids were great. Just so many changes. Nothing was familiar this year.

But I survived the year. I found my groove and figured out how to adapt a new curriculum to fit my beliefs about 1st graders. And every single one of these 22 kiddos can read, write, add and subtract.

And we had a lot of fun learning to read and write and add and subtract. So just so I can remember some of the fun... and remember these sweet faces who hugged me and drew pictures for me and told me they loved me... It's kind of like my first group of first graders, all over again. 

Making necklaces for 100's Day... (back in January!)

I read this super cute book and then we make and eat 100 pancakes! So much fun. (The giant ketchup bottle filled with pancake batter? Easiest way ever to make baby cakes.)

It usually works out to 4 or 5 per kid and we eat them with a squirt of whipped cream on top. So fun. =) 

They each brought a collection of 100 things...

3rd, 4th and 5th graders all came to the gym and toured around, seeing all the K, 1 and 2 collections...

2nd grade made vests, decorated with 100 of something...

Science. I think we were separating rocks, pebbles, gravel and sand...

Reviewing shapes with cute little penguins...

Fractions! They each started by glueing down 4 yellow circles. Then we glued the red fraction pieces on top. We discussed and labeled and showed how you could glue the red piece anywhere on the circle and it still showed the same fraction. It was fun and hands-on and concrete for them. I love lessons like that.

We practiced our transition words, writing books about how we brush our teeth. The pages are actually stapled onto construction paper cut to look like a toothbrush...

I had 1 or 2 equations on their desks some mornings when they would come in. All they had to do was put it in the correct column as they did their morning jobs. We also did some that were greater than, less than or equal to. They loved it and it was so easy.

Too many pictures for one post. More to come...