Friday, March 28, 2014

Five for Friday- March 28th

I am linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! Thank you, Kacey!

 It actually seems like spring this week.  (Well, the last part of this week, at least- the beginning was in the teens.  BRRR. )

I finally finished my Bird Nest Prezi.  I have wanted to make this for a while, because I love teaching the children about birds.  I put together all of my favorite pictures and links.  I like using Prezis, because any time I have a few minutes, I can refer to it, and we can learn a little something.  The kids LOVED seeing what birds used to make their nests- and learning about the different types of nests. 
If you would like a copy of my Prezi, just click on the picture below. It's FREE at my TPT store this week.

We made bird nest kits, and wrote about what we would use to make our nest if we were birds.

 HERE is my post alllll about Birds and Bird Nests- with LOTS of TPT Freebies!

I had the children each bring in a favorite thing this week to write about.  They could write a story telling about their favorite thing or a fiction story with their favorite thing as the main character.  I took a picture of each child with his/her favorite thing for the cover. 

This one just made me smile.
 ("My hat is the greatest thing ever. I like my hat.")
He went on to say how his mom made it, and he loved the tassles.
I brought in my favorite thing- my dog Floppy.  I got him when I was one.  I showed the kids this picture and how new he was, and explained that I loved him so much, took him everywhere, slept with him all the time, told him all my stories, and took him on vacations with me. 
Then- I showed them Floppy now.  They were sort of speechless.  (I suppose I do see him through "Velveteen Rabbit eyes..." and he does look really bad...)

We talk about how some of our most loved things get worn out- and to other people look old and raggedy, but to us become more and more special.  I tell them how each patch is from a special 5th grade dress or 3rd grade coat.  I love sharing this, because lots of the children's special animals are very worn and old looking, too, so they "get" it, and feel a little more proud of their well-loved stuffed animals. 

I also share two stories that I wrote about Floppy to show them examples of what we will be writing.

We  learned the song, My Favorite Things this week.  Yes- I made a Prezi to go with it...   If you would like a copy of it, it is free at my TPT store.  Just click HERE.

Here is my post about it from last year.  I have Youtube videos all around the edge of the Prezi of different people singing the song.  The kids always love listening to the different versions.  Every year I get at least one "keeper" comment.  This year- when they watched Vanessa Williams, Placido Domingo, and Tony Bennett singing, one little boy said, "I liked the part where George Washington sang."  (AKA Tony Bennett...) Last year someone said I sounded like Julie Andrews.  THIS year, one little darling said that Vanessa Williams had the same voice as me.  Yes.  I am that needy that those comments made my day.  Yes. I do realize that children often suck up to the teacher.  Still.  Knowing how I sing- and knowing that Vanessa and I, in fact, do NOT have the same voice, that little darling scored some points. 

Inside the Prezi are pictures to illustrate the words in the song.  You can just click through the arrows at the bottom of the Prezi to go through the pictures as fast or as slowly as you sing it. 

We usually learn this song and sing it with some other songs for the grandparents on Grandparents' Day in May. 

I am ready for some summer activities. But NOT camping in a tent.  I am not good at camping- except when Jeff put our tent in our living room when the kids were little.  Our living room was HUGE, and that was fabulous. We did camp in a tent with the kids, and I have happy memories doing it- but hotel rooms still win for me. This description of camping made me smile. 

This little guy was my writing challenge in the beginning of the year. (And the one who was afraid he may be flushed by that automatic flusher.) He used a fist grip until we switched to using golf pencils. That was his magic trick. 

I  loved this post and wanted to share it.  I could read it every day, just as a reminder. 

The post has a great write up about each thing, but here were some of my favorites, with just the message that I put with the picture.

 (Sometimes I have a hard time forgetting when someone is mean...)

Luckily, I don't really worry about competing against anyone else (or I just gave up- haha), and I feel so blessed with my life that I am not jealous. But these pictures were awesome.

Stop trying to compete against everyone else.

Stop being jealous of others.
(Oh my gosh, I LOVED that dog's face!)
There were SO many that I really, really loved.  Which ones are your favorites?

OK- here is my number five.  Just to make you all feel better about yourselves.  My friend Shelley, (from The Write Stuff Teaching) did this celebrity look alike app, and came up with these lovely matches- PROBABLY because she, herself, is lovely.  So I thought that looked like fun.  Right?! 

I did one online.  Picture #1...  My closest match was Tara Reid.  Next- Queen Latifah. OK. Not what I had expected, but then- the third one was... wait for it...

Really?  How LOW in the celebrity files did they have to scrape to match me up with BORIS BECKER?!

So then I figured it must have been a "bad" picture.  Let's try again.   Always the optimist.  The next one HAS to be better. 

Picture #2... FIRST match... Michael Keaton. 
I quit.  Maybe I should have taken the advice from #4 and STOPPED comparing myself to others.  duh.

Have a wonderful weekend! It really feels like SPRING!  YA-HOO!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Bird Nests and Birds

I updated this post HERE with freebies and more bird ideas!  Enjoy!  Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five For Friday March 21

I am linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday on this fine SPRING day!

Here is a look at my week!
Monday included lots of leprechaun shenanigans.  Of course we had our gold letters and gold sight words out for centers and free choice.

Here are some other fun little leprechaun goings-on that took place.  The kids loved the mini leprechaun cookies. I loved eating the pre-made sugar cookie dough using the pre-made sugar cookie dough to make them.

We made a We Are Lucky class book, thanks to sweet, wonderful Sarah from A Sunny Day in First Grade.  I LOVE her products. Every one is so well made and so perfect to use in the classroom. Plus, she shares so many wonderful freebies- like this one! This book is free at her TPT store!

We had Open House last night, so I quickly put it together without laminating it- but I am going to do that now, so it lasts.  The parents loved it. They love reading our class books with their children. 

 I am lucky because I am hape.  (happy)

We also finished our Lucky Journals!  We worked on a couple pages each day, and the children really took their time. It is a simple way to have children write a little, and great even for morning work. If you would like a copy just click on the picture below.  If you don't include the "Leprechauns hide..." page, you could use this anytime in the spring.  Maybe you could go on a lucky clover hunt outside on a nice, spring day!
There is another page in the little journal that says, "My last name is..."    On this page, I let the kids write their last name with all different colors and fancy ways- because most of them need practice spelling and writing their last name.
I also made a different cover in case you prefer rainbows...
This was one of my favorite pictures for some reason, because it looks like the little snowman and the boy are dancing across the snow holding hands.

walk in the snow

Having any sort of "celebration" on a Monday adds at least 8 or 9 days to the week, I think.
We had a half-day conference day last week to discuss our math vocabulary with grades Pre-K- 2nd, so that we were sure we were all using the same math language.  As we went over the language, I realized that I had never actually said the words, "hidden partners," to my class at all.  (Actually, I had never used those words to anyone at all- which I think is a good thing... cause it sounds sort of soap opera-ish to me...) 

Anyway, as we talked math talk for the next couple hours, and everyone else moved on to other math vocabulary, I was sort of stuck on Hidden Partners.  I came up with a fun game to play during that class called... wait for it... Hidden Partners!  All you need is 3x5 cards and a marker.  It doesn't get much easier than that! 

Basically, Hidden Partners means there are different ways to make a number. 

We have been making charts about Ways to Make... numbers 2-5.  

I made 3x5 cards with numbers on them that added up to our target number.  I have 17 students, so I made 9 sets of cards- for example, for "5"  I made 0,5; 1,4; 2,3; 3,2; 4,1; 5,0, 3,2; 4,1; 5,0.  So I would also play the game since there are 18 cards.

I had the children spread out, and gave each child a card with a number.  They could not show their number to anyone until I said, "Go!"

Once I said, "Go!" the each child had to walk around and find a "Hidden Partner" to go with his/her number to make 5. 
 Can you tell we played this on St. Patrick's Day?

Once they found their Hidden Partner, that team of two had to sit down on the floor so everyone knew they were paired up and done. 

The kids loved this game!  We had so much fun.   We also played it with the number four.
I made sets of numbers for 3, 4, and 5.  I just used different color markers for each set  in case they get mixed up.  You could go all the way up to ten!  We are really working on learning and knowing addition and subtraction facts to five right now.

I also thought of a new twist on this guy...
Really- I was trying to pay attention to math vocabulary. I just got one phrase in my head and kept thinking  of fun ways to teach it- and then I may have doodled a little.

See?  What if the numbers "007" were twisted just a bit to make a Number Bond, Secret Agent?  The kids would have to solve the mystery.
Yes. Those are the kind of notes I take at meetings. 


BLENDS!  We worked on these guys a LOT this week.   I have several good videos and games to help reinforce blends on my Beginning Reading Prezi.  It's free at my TPT store if you would like it!

Here is a picture of  the specific sections that have blend activities. I used to be able to embed my Prezis, but I can't now.  I have no idea why...  Anyway, if you go get the Prezi, you can play around with it and see the links.

 Here are some of our favorites!

Transformer "h" by Ne-Yo!

I love this Consonant Digraph Sorting Activity from Julie Van Alst. It is free at her TPT store.  Thank you, Julie!

 Consonant Digraph Sorting PicturesConsonant Digraph Sorting PicturesConsonant Digraph Sorting Pictures

I made one set with magnets on the back to use as a center sorting activity.
I took this picture as they were working on it.  Don't worry- I went over, and we checked it together... I see they have "fish" and "shake" under "th."   They are tho thilly.
I made another set that we cut apart and glued onto an anchor chart for our classroom to help us remember the blends.

Plant update! 
Here are our beanstalks... 

This is one week of growth for the grass. 
And these are just about ready to bloom! Happy Spring!

I found The Kid Whisperer this week, and I think I read every single question/answer and scenario on the Educators' Blog.  I learned so many tips, and I wanted to pass it on in case you haven't seen it.  After you read through it, you will be so excited for one of you kids to even TRY to test the limits... :)  

One of my favorites was "How to Help Your Students Deal with Bullies."  I sort of think the word "bully" is a little overused, and some kids/adults confuse any conflict between students as bullying- BUT that's neither here nor there, what I loved about his answer were his suggestions about how to handle someone being mean.  One suggestion he had is to look at the person being mean, and say, "I'M HAPPY!"   OK- as an adult, that just made me smile, because I just picture myself saying this to some adults who just sort of enjoy being mean.  That would sort of shut them down- or surprise them, anyway. 

Get a cup of coffee and enjoy reading his questions and answers!

This picture seemed like a perfect prescription for the weekend. 

Have a HAPPY one!

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