Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Remembering September 11th - craft

"Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?"
I was doing my student teaching in Plainfield, Illinois with a group of 4th graders.  Ironically, that day I had planned to teach a Health lesson about dealing with death.  Boy, oh boy, did we need that lesson that day.

Fast forward 14 years . . .
Talking to a group of 7-year-olds (who weren't even a twinkle in their parents' eye 14 years ago) about the events of September 11th is not an easy thing to do.  They can't even comprehend the pain and bewilderment of such an event; the absolute betrayal and anger; the fear that it could happen again.

  But it is something that MUST be remembered.  Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day.  Just because a group of children weren't even alive, does not mean they shouldn't know and grow from it.  

So last Friday, I introduced September 11th with these two videos from YouTube.  

These do great job of  giving the facts of the day without being too much for the little ones.

American Heroes for Little Learners(Freebie)
Then I found this A-MAZ-ING packet on TpT that has 42 pages coloring sheets.  The great thing is, that she provided several versions of the coloring sheet so you can make it match whatever you may be teaching about: like Memorial Day, Patriot Day, heroes, etc.

 I grabbed what I liked best, as well as, some construction paper.  I thought this coloring page would look great with an American flag.
Here's what you need for each student:
1 sheet (9x12) white construction paper 
1/4 of sheet of blue construction paper 
5 strips of red construction paper (these are 1" strips)
1 white star
(Click on the image below to get your own copy of the stars)

Start by cutting out a star and glue it to the blue paper.

Now glue the blue into the upper left corner of the white paper.

Start gluing strips at the very top, along the bottom edge of the blue and along the very bottom of the white.

Fill in the gaps with the last two strips and trim. 

So pretty!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

TPT Sale!!!!!!

This just in:  Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a sitewide sale!  
Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 25th, you can get 20% off my store and an additional 8% by using the promo code HEROES.  

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share my latest product.
{Click on the image below to find this at my store.}

And here a a couple oldies but goodies!  
{Click on either image to be taken to my store.}
The anniversary of the end of the Civil War is coming up on April 12.  You may want to check out my "Civil War on Sunday Unit" if you really love Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House books.

My "Decorah Eagle Unit" is especially great because through the magic of live streaming video, you and your class can observe bald eagles.  The Decorah eagles currently have 2 eggs in their nest bowl and the third egg is eagerly anticipated.  You can check them out here.   

So fill your shopping carts!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fancy Nancy Adjectives!!! - {FREEBIE}

I had such grand intentions.  I have been "working" on my latest unit for over a year.  And when Christmas wrapped up, I decided I would finally get this unit finished in time for Valentine's Day.  But . . . I guess that wasn't meant to be.  
Instead, walking pneumonia invaded and all grand intentions were thrown out the window.  

Nearly 4 weeks later, I'm just starting to feel normal again.  But here it is, four days until the BIG day and it's still not done.  So I decided to give my kiddos a little holiday fun and we did one of the great activities in my adorable little pack.  
Before I get to the activity, here is a sneak peek of what I have done and what I ~hope~ to get posted before next year's Valentine's Day rolls around.

And tons more!!!! 
{I hope you think of me next year for you Valentine's Day fun}

The past few weeks, my class has been spending time on adjectives.  It just so happens that my great, "Fancy Nancy" unit has an adjective activity!
Here's how it works.  The students make cute envelopes and then sort several adjectives into envelopes titled "How Many?", "What Kind?", "My Senses", and "Color, Shape & Size".   

After they finished cutting, folding, and gluing, they sorted the adjectives into the right envelope.

Click on Fancy Nancy to get your own copy of this great Valentine's adjective activity!
BTW. . . Adorable little Nancy here is by Nikki at Melonheadz.  You can get Nancy as a part of a bundle over at her TPT store.


Monday, January 5, 2015

A {Good} Excuse and A Reading Street ~*Freebie*~

So, yeah.  It's been nearly five months since I posted last.  You read that right. F-I-V-E.  But I have a really, really good excuse.  I promise.  No, really, I mean it.  

Our school district finally rustled up the cash to buy us a new Reading series {because our old one was 12 years old and completely not up to current standards} and we chose Reading Street.  Taaaa Daaaaaa!  For those of you who use Reading Street and can remember your first years with it, I think you can relate to why it's been five month since my last blog post.

Don't get me wrong.  Reading Street is a great program and it is pushing our kids like never before.  But it has taken all my energy to stay afloat with all the content that needs to be covered.  The first year with a new series is always the toughest.  The teacher's manuals are jam-packed with material.  The hardest part is deciding what you can get done and what needs to be put aside.  {For this year anyway!} 

Does it sound like I'm complaining?  Sorry.  On to the FREEBIE!!!

My class and I were working on our folk tales as part of Unit 2, and {lucky me!!} it was my year for my formal evaluation.  

We had spent the week reading . . .   

. . . and writing folk tales.

For my observation, I wanted the class to apply their knowledge of the important elements of folk tales:  rewards/punishments and the central message or moral.  So found this great
set of videos on that features 13 videos of animated folktales. 

 So I chose four of my favorites and whipped up these cute activity pages.  Click here to get your own copy.

{Since this was an observed lesson, I wasn't able to get pictures.}
 We completed this activity together.  I had desk partners discuss the rewards/punishments and the central message before having them share their thoughts with the class.  I was very happy how much the kids were able to share with each other

I could also see this working perfectly as a computer center activity.  Though you may not get the collaboration, you would end up with a great formative assessment!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Welcome Back!!! {{Freebie}}

This summer has gone waaaaaay too quickly!  Not to mention that the weather was so mild, I wouldn't even  count it as "Summer".  Here in northwestern Illinois, it rarely got out of the low 80's and the humidity was NON-EXISTENT!  I know, I know, I shouldn't be complaining but we couldn't even enjoy swimming because the pool was just too dang cold!  

But of course, as soon as we head back to school the temps soar into the 90's, with heat indexes in the 100's!
As a side note, the elementary teachers in my building were nominated in the ALS ice bucket challenge.  And I gotta tell ya, after several days of sweaty, hot classrooms, this felt VERY refreshing.

So here we are, about to wrap up our second week of school.  I am actually kind of proud that I found time to hammer out a blog post with all the changes that we've endured so far.

To be honest, there were too many academic changes to mention.  And frankly, I hate thinking about some of it because it just ticks me off.  So I'll avoid blasting my blood pressure through the roof and save you from the gory details.  
But one of the great changes is we have a new principal who has really busted his tail to learn this job.
I can't imagine the pressure he has felt coming into a building filled with women who have pretty much run themselves for the last 5 years.  He is kind, funny, courteous and knows exactly how to run this ship.  We welcome him and look forward to working with him for many years to come.

Another great change is our building:  The entire school got new flooring and an updated paint job.  
Here is the impressive before and after shots of our hallways.  It is so much brighter and inviting.  

Now. . .  on to the freebie!
I don't know about the rest of you, but during the summer, we have a hard time sticking to a "bedtime" at my house.  And I can only assume that this is a problem in most households over the summer.  So that got me thinking. . .  
The Pigeon is always full of excuses.  In this great book, the Pigeon comes up with every excuse possible to keep from going to be.  I wanted to do a small (very small, as in, tiny) writing activity with my kiddos on the first day of school.  We read the story and then talked about all of the Pigeon's excuses to stay up late.  Maybe the kids had used one or two of these very same excuses before???

So after we shared our own excuses, they colored, cut out and glued their pigeons together. . . 

Wrote their own excuses on the speech bubble. . .

And wallah!!!!  The pigeons came in many different colors, too!

So, so cute!

So enjoy this fun and cute freebie!
{Click on the image above to get your own printable.}


Monday, June 2, 2014

June Currently

LISTENING:  Though I am writing this from my classroom, the peace and quiet after the recent rain has just blossomed with the sound of bird calls!

LOVING:  I spent the majority of my weekend cleaning my ENORMOUS house for guests and I really hope it STAYS clean!  We'll be dropped into our summer break in T-minus 4 days and I'm hoping my boys can help keep it picked up.  
I pretty much follow this...people ask me how I manage to keep a clean house. Heres my answer
I found this cleaning schedule on Pinterest and I plan to use it to do a better job at keeping my home neat and tidy.  I really like this one because you only have to do deep scrubbing on weekdays.  Perfect for my summers off!  So often during the school year, I do all my cleaning on the weekend and I don't have the strength to enjoy anything else.  Or I avoid the cleaning altogether . . .  With this, I can get and keep the house clean during the week and have the time to spend on other things.
THINKING:  Last year, my oldest went to a Cub Scout camp with his uncle.  But this year, the scheduling didn't work out.  So instead, I signed him up for his first summer camp.  For 4 days and 3 nights, he'll be at Camp Benson in Mt. Carroll, IL.  This is a big deal because he won't really know anyone else there and he'll be sleeping in a cabin in the middle of the woods.  SOOOOO exciting, but a bit intimidating.  It isn't until July but I've already starting preparing him for this experience.  I was his age when I first went away to camp but his (and mine!) nerves are still jumping.   

For the past few weeks, I have had this binder sitting on my desk.  I really, really, really, need to get my copies done for next year but I just haven't found the time!
I prefer to get next year's copies done now because the copy machine is always so busy at the beginning of the year.
In the past, I had these papers spread throughout my room in file cabinets, folders, stack of papers.  I always struggled to remember what needed to be copied.  So, duh, I put them all together in this binder and I keep in on the bookshelf by my desk.  In it, I have our:  Assignment Planner, Grammar Quiz Booklet, Addition and Subtraction Fact Booklets, Daily Math Review, Spelling Lists, and Spelling Dictionary.  These are items that I give to my students at the beginning of every year to be stored at their tables.  

This summer our school will be getting a small face lift.  These hallways have looked like this since the elementary addition was built in 1956.  We will be getting all new flooring and a new paint job.  I'm hoping for a cool orange and black scheme to match our school colors.  Those brown and beige floor tiles are asbestos, so they are heading out the door and will be replaced with a grey flooring material.  
In addition, we will be getting an all new parking lot for the building and I'm told the boys and girls bathrooms will be remodeled.
Because of this, I will not be able to get into my classroom until mid-to late July. (If we're lucky!)  So I'll need to decide now what I'm taking home with me to work on over the summer.  This is going to be tricky!  

1.  Two summers ago, I began a bathroom/laundry room renovation that just CANNOT keep moving!  We finally got drywall up but finding the time to paint has been a nightmare!  Now that I am (almost) on summer break, I'll be able to push that task to the finish line.
2.  I think I have about a dozen TpT products started but none of them are nearing completion.  Hey, that sounds like my bathroom project!  Anyway, I hope to get 2 or 3 done and posted this summer.  Now that my kids are getting older, I won't be as distracted.
3.  We expanded our garden this year from a 12x20 to a 20x40.  That means more great veggies but it also means more weeding and tending.  

Be sure to link back up with Farley!

This may be my last post for awhile, so I hope everyone has a great summer!!!!