Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Made It!

Another Monday, and I made it!  Even though I left the house this morning with four hours of sleep, leaving behind a sick daughter and husband, dashing out the door with a well daughter and self, I did make it!  Seriously, just about everyone I know has had the most awful stomach virus - it's in both school districts in town, and running rampant through my family.  My mom, dad, brother, his kids, wife, mother-in-law, my husband and daughter have all caught it within 24 hours of each other.  I keep praying not to catch it, spraying Lysol everywhere, wiping down everything with Lysol Wipes, and using hand sanitizer like it's going out of style.  I can NOT miss another day of school, and would almost rather die than have a stomach virus!

On to the Monday, and the Making:
We've been reading and writing about Rosa Parks recently, as a part of our study of the United States Regions.  I always begin with the Southeast, because it's where we live, and move clockwise around the country.  We read Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni last week, and made a flow map of Rosa Parks' fight for equal rights, according to the book.  I had a brain-blast at the last second and decided to make buses for the top of our graphic organizers, to visually represent the "back-of-the-bus mentality" for my kiddos.  They absolutely loved the book, and were very excited to read about Rosa and her battle.  In fact, I've found that this class LOVES biographies!  That's a new one on me...I can't remember ever having so many kids interested in reading biographies before.  Well, we make some brown-ish people and some cream-ish people to ride in our buses, and then glued it all down to large construction paper.  We used 5"x 5" post-it notes, cut in half to serve as our flow map boxes.  Then we did some shared note-taking, independent drafting, assisted editing and revising, and finally are publishing our finished writing on some paper I found that has a bus full of kids at the top.  The paper is perfect, too, because it's just black-line, so my students can color in the correct skin tones for the sections of the bus.  Here are a couple of cute flow maps:

Yesterday was my birthday, and Friday I was surprised when my kids brought in flowers for a vase that my Room Mother brought.  Some kids brought single roses, others brought spring bouquets.  I brought them all home and arranged them in the vase, and thought they were absolutely gorgeous!  What a great idea for getting everyone involved, without anyone spending a ton of money on a teacher gift!  I did receive some really nice gift cards, too, and great cards from the kiddos.  Callie, my sick little one, "made" me a birthday party for yesterday, as well.  She is super-creative, and had games, crafts, musical instruments, snacks, and cards all made and ready.  It was the best party I've ever had!

My students have recently been in STAR testing, to potentially qualify for the gifted and talented program at my school.  For those who were involved, I made up these little STAR Test Survival Kits.  They have 2 pre-sharpened number 2 pencils, a Starburst, a star-shaped note of encouragement, and a little snack (too bad i couldn't find star-shaped snacks) all in a Zip-Lock bag.  The kids were so excited to take their survival kits, i think they forgot to be nervous about the test!

Inspired by Nancy at First Grade WOW, I made a hula hoop clock like hers while we studied telling time.  The kids had so much fun rolling some inflatable time dice I have and setting the correct time on the big clock.  I set it up so that the hours were inside the hoop, and the minutes (counting by fives) were outside.  then I screwed together a part of a yardstick and a ruler, added the minute and hour hands, and put it all down on the rug.  We tried to keep the whole thing centered over four squares to emphasize the quarter hours, but we're a little wiggly, so it kept moving around.  Anyway, the kids and I had a blast playing with it, and a great online game called Stop the Clock.  You can click the title to find the game.  It has four levels of difficulty, and is super-fun!

We've been studying matter in science, and got out the safety goggles for making Gas in a Bottle.  This is just a simple chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda, but the kids have no idea it will make the balloon inflate, so seeing their faces is such a delight!  I also used balloons to show that gas always fills its entire container, and to show that it takes the shape of its container.  I bought all kinds of odd-shaped and sized balloons and pumped them up (too hard to blow).  We even made one of the long, skinny kinds into a triangle (no balloon animals, not enough talent for that!).

So, for a rainy, sick little Monday, we did pretty well, I thought.  Thanks, Tara, for hosting!


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