Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Day the Crayons Quit Writing Papers

I JUST finished the cutest writing papers ever!  I am going to use them with Drew Daywalt's "The Day the Crayons Quit".  We have finished with the Reading curriculum for the school year, so I'm trying to come up with fun, yet enriching, activities for the last couple of weeks of school.  I figured this book was a great way to incorporate both letter writing as well as persuasive writing into 1 lesson.  I'll post some pictures of what my students come up with this week when we finish with it!

Here is the cover of my little set, just to show off my first successful hand drawn clipart images!  I love my sweet little version of crayons!  What do you think?!  I'm working hard to teach myself graphic design, and am getting a little more confident each day that goes by!

Product available HERE

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Countdown to Summer

Well, that time of year has come again!  It is time to start counting down the days to SUMMER!! This year, I have decided to celebrate the end of the school year a little different than I have in the past.  We started with 26 days left, and are having an ABC Countdown.  Each day has  different activity that corresponds to letters of the alphabet.  Friday the 17th was the letter "A".  We completed an Awesome Art Project.  We read "The Lorax" and made our own beautiful landscapes with truffula trees and the "Unless" quote.

Monday April 20th was "B", which brought a Beach Day.  My students brought in beach towels and their favorite books from home.  I found a video of an idyllic beach with great sounds of waves crashing and even seagulls flying overhead.  Add in a few beach balls from the dollar store, and we had our own tropical paradise.  (I had planned for us to go outside and lay in the grass, but a sting of severe weather went through the area in the afternoon.  Two nearby schools sustained some damage from the strong winds.)

Some of my students enjoying a tropical twist to their
normal reading time.

I brought "Anne of Green Gables" in memory of
Jonathan Crombie who passed recently.
The 21st was our "C" day.  We celebrated by dressing CraZy!  Think backwards shirts and mismatched patterns.
Lots of mismatched patterns!

Backwards shirt!
This countdown has been so much fun!  Here is my full countdown calendar.  Some of the days were a little difficult to come up with special events for the letter, or I tried to incorporate already assigned days into the cute calendar. 

What is your favorite way to celebrate the end of a school year?  

Easy to Follow Math Multiples

Hey Everybody!

I just finished a new product for my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and I couldn't wait to share it with you!  I have been teaching my littles multiplication to get them ready for 3rd grade.  I have been going over skip counting and different ways to remember the multiples of each number, and this idea came to me.  I made up pages with number outlines on them.  Inside the numbers, are the first 10 multiples, in order.  The idea is that the kids can trace over the shape of the number while reciting the multiples.  I think this will help them memorize the multiples.  Simple memorization of the facts is, in my opinion, the best way to multiply.  That's the way I learned it, and it's so much faster than drawing arrays and all those new-fangled methods people keep coming up with.  Since I just finished the product, I haven't even had a chance to laminate my own set yet.  When I do, I'll add pictures to show it in use!

I put 3 different sizes in the product.  Full page, half page, and quarter page versions.  They can be placed in centers, made into posters and hung up, used in lessons, or sent home for extra practice.

Here are some pictures, hope you like it!

Click HERE to download your own copy!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Earth Day 2015

This year, to celebrate Earth Day, my class is reading and discussing Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax".  It is one of my very favorite Dr. Seuss books!  The subtle changes to the landscape really impact the kids.  They get so emotional when the once beautiful Truffula Trees are all chopped down and the bleak and toxic nothingness is left in their place.  To bring the beauty of the story to life in our classroom, I "grew" a beautiful hot pink Truffula Tree of our very own!  There is still plenty of time to make your own!

I started with a big styrofoam ball.  Whichever size you choose,
just be sure you get enough feather boas to cover. 
Using a LOT of hot glue as I wrap and wrap the hot pink
thin boas around and around the ball.
Almost finished!
Yay!  I had just enough!  I want to say I used a 9" ball
and it took 3 feather boas.  I thought I bought 2, but
luckily, when I unpacked my bags, I had grabbed 3!
Look how beautiful it turned out!
Of course, the Lorax is keeping watch over my Truffula Tree
at all times!  I made his beard out of pipe cleaners so I could
style them the way I wanted.  LOVE how it turned out!
The picture I uploaded to Pinterest. 
It's hard to tell how tall it really is based on the last picture.
I used a 4' bamboo stake that I cut about 6" off of.
I had it outside my classroom for about 3 days, then
I worried about its safety with little hands walking by.

I didn't take a picture of how I anchored the tree down.  I placed a block of styrofoam into a plastic container.  I hot glued it into place.  Then, I anchored that into place with a lot of rocks.  It does not tilt at all if you properly weigh it down.  You could always use a large dowel rod for the trunk, I used the bamboo because I didn't want it to be perfectly straight.  I like the imperfections and interest in the bamboo.  I found a pack of 12 for about $3 at Walmart.  Hobby Lobby had some as well, but of course they were about $10 for 3 and much more mature than I wanted.  I hope you can find a use for this in your classroom.  I would LOVE to see what you come up with!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Starting Over

Wow!  So, it turns out, I'm really bad at this whole blogging thing!  I started, fell off the wagon, restarted and then fell BACK off the wagon!  This time, I am going to try and stay on the blogging wagon!  I'm currently wrapping up my first year teaching the marvelous 2nd grade!  I have a lot of fun things planned for my littles.  In addition to finishing up a fantastic school year, I'm renewing my dedication to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I'm hoping with summer quickly approaching, I'll have renewed energy and ideas.  Plus, I finally caved and bought a new computer, so that is incentive to get to work!  Stay tuned for more fun and excitement!