Friday, May 20, 2016

Five for Friday May 20

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




Dr. Jean and I put together another science packet.  This one is called I am a Scientist .We included QR codes, a Prezi, anchor charts, her song "I Know a Scientist," and 20 of our favorite, tried and true lesson plans for hands-on STREAM activities.  We love hands-on learning, and so do the kids. 

Here is a list of the activities we included. It's a great variety of STREAM (Science,Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities.   


These anchor charts are included. I printed them for the kids' science journals.


The Prezi has the videos that are on the QR codes, too, so I used the Prezi to teach and the QR codes as a center to reinforce the concepts.  I zoom in on either the "I am a Scientist" or "The Scientific Method" slide and leave it up on the Smart TV for science so the kids see it as a huge poster.  



We had a BALL with the Shoe Classification Activity!  (I used some of my pictures from the week for the activity pictures!)

I love this packet because it's great for the end of the year- when I want to let the kids move and have fun- but still learn.  It's also great for the beginning of the year, to introduce science and what being a scientist is all about.  Next year, I'm going to start Scientist of the Week.  The kids will love it.


I hope you enjoy the packet as much as we do.  It's a great way to instill a love of science into your classroom!
                                                              
Some of my sweeties wanted to show you exactly how our "sh" spray works!  I think they should do an infomercial or go on Shark Tank- and we can put this right on QVC...

(It's almost creepy when I say, "sh" at the end.  It sounds ominous...  but you get the idea.  They get quiet.  :)

                            

It's a small spray bottle with "sh" written on it.  The "magic spray" is water and glitter. It's fancy, that's for sure.   I keep it by the door, and when they're lined up and ready to go- I spritz down the line- and ta-da.... silence!  So magical!  AND - they really learn that "sh" digraph!




Luckily we had a delivery in a very big box.  What could be better?   We decided we would make a Reading Box. That was simple- and the easiest to make- so it worked great for me.  I cut the flaps off. Done!

 The first day we decorated the box.  Everyone  got to add something special.  When they felt they were a part of making the box, they want to take better care of it. 

Each day, during center time when a group of 4 are on the rug, I split the time so two go in the box to read for the first part of their center time, then the other two go in to read for the last part. Everyone gets a chance in the box.  It's REALLY special- and SO exciting! AND you do your best reading in the box, don't you know!!!






Dr. Jean and I made 20 different designs for 17 sayings for our Gift Tag, Gift Card, and Gift Idea Packet.  Each saying is on both a half sheet of paper to use as a gift tag or a full sheet that can be printed, folded, and made into a card that your class can sign. 
It would be fun to give a variety, but I decided to go with "Thanks a latte" for my end of the year thank you's for everyone at school. We have a lot to be thankful for every day- and I want the kids to know that!  I got packs of Starbucks $10 gift cards and added them to our cards.  Everyone signed each card. We read Elephant and Piggie's THANK YOU book, and had a delivery day.  That's one of my favorite mornings of the year. The kids are SO THRILLED to give- and I just love that. 


\


Did you know this is the last book in the series?  I'm sad it's ending, but I can't wait to see what Mo Willems comes up with next!    
http://www.amazon.com/Thank-You-Book-Elephant-Piggie/dp/1423178289/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463591239&sr=8-1&keywords=elephant+and+piggie+thankyou
I got out the Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Gears- all sorts of building activities.  The Tinker Toys became microphones.  The boys became back-up dancers. (The girls reminded them that "back-up" dancers go... in the back.) And that was all she wrote.  They went into housekeeping to practice their performance and surprise me.


Yeah- I probably wouldn't have chosen a Flo Rida song but...  they just kept singing this line over and over- and having a ball!  Welcome to our house!

Thank you for stopping by! Have a perfect weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I am a Scientist!


 Dr. Jean and I made another science pack!  This one has QR codes, a Prezi, anchor charts, her song "I Know a Scientist," and 20 lesson plans for hands-on STREAM activities.  The activities are tried and true, fun, educational, and memorable for the kids.  I LOVE hands-on activities with the kids.  My class is LOVING science with our new I am a Scientist packet.

Here is a list of all we included. It's a great variety of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities.   


I printed these anchor charts to add to the kids' science journals.


The Prezi has the videos that are on the QR codes, too, so I used the Prezi to teach and the QR codes as a center to reinforce the concepts.  I zoom in on either the "I am a Scientist" or "The Scientific Method" slide and leave it up on the Smart TV for science so the kids see it as a huge poster.  




AND Dr. Jean's SONG!  Oh my gosh, songs are the best for learning. And nobody does them better than Dr. Jean!

We had a BALL with the Shoe Classification Activity this week.  (I used some of my pictures from the week for the activity pictures in the packet.)
My husband actually used to do this for his high school Earth Science class as an introduction to the importance of sorting and classifying in science, and what scientists do.  He did it a little more advanced with teams- but we had so much fun with it as a whole group- and learned how important sorting and classifying is in a fun way!   It's fun to start with a simple attribute to sort by, then get progressively more tricky!  And then choose a student to sort by an attribute.  They love it!
fluorescent yellow on the sneaker
laces/ no laces!
tied/ untied

The kids begged to do it the next day- and we did- even though I was nervous the whole time, because I thought we'd have a fire drill any minute since it was a nice day.  (We didn't.  Phew!)

It's interesting to see which traits are tricky and which aren't.  They get really fast at the game quickly. And love to see how fast they solve the mystery!

I love this packet because it's great for the end of the year- when I want to let the kids move and have fun- but still learn.  It's also great for the beginning of the year, to introduce science and what being a scientist is all about.  Next year, I'm going to start Scientist of the Week.  The kids will love it.




I hope you enjoy the packet as much as we do- and it helps to instill a love of science into your classroom!
Thank you for stopping by!


Friday, May 13, 2016

Five for Friday the 13th!


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



Dr. Jean had some wonderful ideas for gift notes, so we got together and made a packet of them. We made 20 different designs for 17 sayings for our Gift Tag, Gift Card, and Gift Idea Packet.  Each saying is on both a half sheet of paper to use as a gift tag or a full sheet that can be printed, folded, and made into a card that your class can sign.  I made a bunch of cards ready for my class to sign!

The packet has a list of gift ideas to go with each saying- from simple, small tokens to larger gifts, depending on what's perfect for you.  I love to have my class remember the cafeteria ladies, our wonderful aides, our great nurse, special area teachers, any parent volunteers or classroom helpers.   Sometimes I want to give just a little something to let them know we are thinking of them, and other times, we may want to give a gift card or larger gift.

For example, the candy bar card would go great with one candy bar or a beautiful box of candy.  You could bake a loaf of banana bread to go with the banana card- or give the Bananagrams game.

The cards can be used any time of the year- for any occasion or just because.  That's my favorite part.  I printed a lot of the cards out to keep at school with some of the accompanying gifts, just in case. They're not just for school either- you can use them for anyone!

I hope you find some cards you can use and this packet can save you some time during this busy time of year.  

Next- I've found some awesome videos to share.  I know you'll love them all- and they make you think in such a good way.  Get a cup of coffee and relax and enjoy! 

My friend Jen, our tech teacher, did a presentation about Genius Hour.  We heard A.J. Juliani speak a few months ago, and he spoke a lot about Google's "20% Project."  That was the idea that Google employees could spend 20% of their time working on projects that interested them where they could be creative and innovative.  From that project came ideas like Google News, Gmail, AdSense, and Google maps- some of the awesome things we use every day.

The Genius Hour takes this idea into schools.  Students are given time to create, to invent, to pursue their passion.  Not surprisingly, when this time is provided, students are engaged, focused, researching, experimenting, and setting the bar higher than a teacher probably ever would.  Oh, and at the same time are hitting those standards, but in a way that matters to them.  It's so exciting.

We were talking about how to bring this Genius Hour to kindergarten.  What would it look like in early primary grades?  They sure have passions- but it's more like "kittens.  minecraft.  fairies."  

My belief is that education is finally, hopefully, coming full circle in a wonderful, hands-on way, and what young children need is TIME to EXPLORE, CREATE, and PLAY WITH THINGS.  (Do you hear the angels singing?!  Me, too...)

Here is what I believe Genius Hour would look like.  Messy.  Fun.  Creative.  Exciting. I see tables with art supplies- paper, tape, staplers, hole punches, yarn, shoe boxes, toilet paper rolls, oatmeal boxes, glue, wall paper books, old pieces of everything you can think of, straws, plastic spoons- WHATEVER you can imagine- it can be used!  Then...  Ready, Set...  GO!  You have no rules.  Just make something fabulous.



My kids LOVE army guys.  They will make a base for them.  Some of my girls are huge fairy fans- they might make a fairy house from wall paper and a shoebox, some sticks and stones, or moss,  to feel like outside- who know?!   The kids love playing library.  Maybe we need to make scanners for the books.  

A teacher's job will be to be there, listening, encouraging, gently suggesting additional ideas if needed.
When do you fit it in?   Well, it's important.  I know there is so much curriculum already eating up the day- but I am lucky enough to have a set Free Choice time for the kids.  That's when I am working it in.  It's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), at it's best.

You can expand it with writing and have the kids write "how-to" books or persuasive writing about their projects if you want to tie it in to literacy.

ANYWAY- enough talking.  Here's what I wanted you to see.  You will love it.  I promise.

OK if you watched that-  you'll  LOVE  this Part 2! 
Just in case you haven't seen this... well, it's awesome. 



HAPPINESS!  It's 12 minutes - and worth every one of them.  
  


Thank you for stopping by! Have a perfect weekend.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

End of the Year Gifts




It's that time of  year again to start thinking about end of the year gifts.  I love giving gifts to lots of different people throughout the year- just to let them know I appreciate them and all that they do.  I love to teach my students that a special note and being remembered means a lot to people.

Dr. Jean had some wonderful ideas for gift notes, so we got together and made a packet of them. We made 20 different designs for 17 sayings for our Gift Tag, Gift Card, and Gift Idea Packet.  Each saying is on both a half sheet of paper to use as a gift tag or a full sheet that can be printed, folded, and made into a card that your class can sign.  I made a bunch of cards ready for my class to sign!

The packet has a list of gift ideas to go with each saying- from simple, small tokens to larger gifts, depending on what's perfect for you.  I love to have my class remember the cafeteria ladies, our wonderful aides, our great nurse, special area teachers, any parent volunteers or classroom helpers.   Sometimes I want to give just a little something to let them know we are thinking of them, and other times, we may want to give a gift card or larger gift.

For example, the candy bar card would go great with one candy bar or a beautiful box of candy.  You could bake a loaf of banana bread to go with the banana card- or give the Bananagrams game.

The cards can be used any time of the year- for any occasion or just because.  That's my favorite part.  I printed a lot of the cards out to keep at school with some of the accompanying gifts, just in case. They're not just for school either- you can use them for anyone!

I hope you find some cards you can use and this packet can save you some time during this busy time of year.  Have a wonderful week!









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