Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break, Bunnies, and Random Thoughts

Aaah, Spring Break! Time to sleep in, do some fun activities with my son, read on my Kindle, and catch up on my blog and TPT. I love that it's Spring Break. However, it brings with it thoughts about the end of the year. We all have those wonderful end of the year tests to worry about. Besides that, I kind of hate to see this year end. I've had a really great class this year (not perfect by any means, but great), and I'll hate to see them go. Also, I'm worried about the upcoming year. The class that's coming into 2nd Grade next year is the last class I had as Kindergarteners. That was a tough year for me, and I'd hate to relive it. I guess I just need to enjoy the class I have now while I have them, and pray for the best next year instead of worrying. Wish me luck! :)

Easter is coming! I know some of us can't use that word in the classroom, so I'll use the word, Spring. On the last day before Spring Break, I was trying to find a way to make a fun day for my class. It was last minute, so I couldn't really ask parents for help, so I went to my teaching guru - MOM. My mom is a retired 2nd Grade teacher (I actually had her for my teacher in K and 2nd), and always has great ideas for me. 

She told me about this easy project she used to do with her classes, and they really loved it because it also allowed them creative freedom. Because of that, my newest activity was created.

Below are some samples from my class.

You can find this at TPT by clicking on the images above or by clicking here.

Of course, since I love my followers, I've decided to give this project to the first 3 followers who leave a comment on this post. Be sure to include your e-mail address AND a comment!

Many of you read my post about my son, Jeffery, and his being mainstreamed from the EBD class. He got his report card last Friday, and I'm so proud to say that he got all As and Bs!! His behavior has been very good in class too! THANK YOU to Mrs. R. and Mrs. M. for putting up with ME! Also, THANK YOU to Ms. B., his EBD teacher, for helping him to make so much progress!

On a final note, my friend, Autumn, over at The Primary Techie just started a blog! She's the person who makes those great Watch, Think, Color and Move It games I keep blogging about. Please visit her blog to find out what she's been up to lately. The first 3 people to follow her, let me know, and leave an e-mail address will also receive a free copy of my Bunny Craftivity. I know you'll love her blog! I do!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Teacher Feature

I'm honored that Renee at Fantastic First Grade Froggies has chosen ME for her Friday Teacher Feature! Click the image below to check it out! While you're there, check out some of her great ideas and products!

Thanks, Renee!

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Currently, Lincoln, and Gumballs

It's a new month! That means it's time for Currently, sponsored by Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Listening - To the Bon Jovi live feed from their concert in Tampa. They have been my favorite since 1986 (I know I just dated myself there). The have a new album coming out this month, and I can't wait!

Loving - That Jeffery's new meds are working. You might have read my previous post about his ADHD, and how he was going to be fully mainstreamed. The mainstreaming has gone very well so far. I was still having issues with him in the mornings - refusing to take his meds, refusing to get ready for school, and other ODD traits. The psychiatrist has put him on a patch to start the day. I have to wake up at 4 am (UGH!) to put it on him, and hope he doesn't wake up, but so far it has been working wonderfully! Mornings still aren't perfect, but at least he isn't so oppositional.

Thinking - I do need to get inspired to make items for my TPT store. I want my store to be successful like many of the other sellers on TPT. I just can't work on things constantly. My creativity tends to get blocked when I try to force myself to make something. When I can, it takes me a long time. I refuse to make something that isn't of good quality. It won't be helpful for other teachers.

Wanting - My tax refund to come soon. I can always use extra money! :)

Needing - Motivation to lose weight. I know I should, and I need to for my health. However, it's so hard for me to start eating healthy foods and exercising. I hate to cook, so that doesn't help either. 

Like/Love/Hate - These items were supposed to be things that start with the same letter as my first name. L was kind of a hard one for me to work with, but I came up with 3 things. I like laughing and having fun. I love to learn. I hate doing laundry. Well, I don't mind putting it in the washer. It's the folding, hanging up, and putting away that I don't like. I need to buy stock in Downy Wrinkle Releaser since I refuse to iron. :)

Well, February seemed to just slip by me, but we did do a few things of note in my classroom. We have been learning all about Lincoln and Washington. So, I used that as an opportunity to teach the children how to take notes and write a report. I had them use books from my classroom library, and they took notes while watching videos on BrainPop Jr. My school has a subscription to this, and I'm so glad we have it! It's an excellent resource. They have a few free videos to watch if you don't have a subscription. You should definitely check it out.

After taking notes, they narrowed their information down to 6 important facts, and wrote them on a graphic organizer found in this activity pack by A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Yes, I had the children do the craft activities too, of course. The Kindergarten teacher in me still loves it when my class does craft activities. They are so much fun! :) 

 This one says, "I will put food, drinks, and water because if I got lost I will not have food, drinks, or water."

We did George Washington too, but I didn't take pictures yet.

Back to the reports - After they narrowed their facts down, I had them put them into sentences with one of my favorite graphic organizers. 

Students start with a topic sentence, write several supporting details, and write a conclusion. It seems to work very well for my class. You can find this in Clutter Free Classroom's February and March Writing Pack.

Once they fill out the graphic organizer, I had them write a rough draft of their sentences in report format. I check these, conference with them over what they could/should fix, and then they write the final draft. Note: I plan to add pictures, so please check back if you are interested. 

As for the gumballs, my class LOVES bubblegum! It is their favorite prize, and I even let them chew it in class. Anyway, for Valentine's Day, we made these adorable gumball machines (which I thought would be very appropriate for my class).

They came from this:

Feel free to leave comments below.  Have a great weekend!