Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Free & Easy End of Year Activity Linky

SUR-VIV-AL!  Can you feel it?  I am mentally and physically exhausted each day, and that's just by lunchtime!  We have five official school days left, and two are half-days, but the excitement is building, and the attention spans are shrinking, so I'm linking up with Diane at Teaching With Moxie for her Free & Easy End-of-Year Activities.

For this week, only, my Memory Box activity will be free (and it's already easy) at my TPT shop.  Although it's "officially" owl themed, it's very flexible.  Just leave off the owl embellishment from the download and it's for any grade, with any theme!  Click the photo to get yours now!

This project actually has taken my students several days to complete, a little at a time, and each one is as individual as its creator.  It links writing, editing, publishing, crafting, and memory-making in one free and easy end-of-year activity!  Have fun with your kiddos, while keeping them busily, enthusiastically learning!
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Hootin' & Hollerin' for Hoots N' Hollers!

Congratulations to Hoots N' Hollers for reaching 100 followers!  Courtney and Sarah will be hosting a huge giveaway, including a surprise from my Teachers Pay Teachers shop, beginning Thursday, May 30!  I'm thrilled to be a part of their success and honored to be chosen to donate an item to their giveaway.  Good luck to all - you can click the link below to fly over from my little nest to theirs!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

At Least Five for Friday

This was the last full week of school already?  We've been so busy getting ready that we're already running out of time!  My little second graders who came to me as my babies are all grown up, and I'm not ready to let them go!  Wait...come back?

Nope.  Life doesn't work that way, and as much as we want our little ones to stay little, they grow.  They learn.  They move on.

If we're lucky teachers, they visit our rooms next year. If we're great teachers, they visit our rooms to bring us their wedding pictures, pictures of their children, and even let us teach their children!

WHOA!!!!!  I've jumped way ahead.

Why don't I just show you what we've been doing for the past week before I off and marry them and let my babies have babies!

We've learned A LOT about animals, and even took a huge field trip to the Riverbanks Zoo, in Columbia, SC.  After the trip, we made our own favorite animals and added them to the zoo I wrote about here.  Then we wrote animal opinion pieces to persuade our audience of peers that our favorite animals were the best animals.  We worked hard to describe why they were the best, and what made them the best.  It was hard to go beyond "they have cute eyes" to tell how the eyes are cute, but we got there!  Now one sweet paper describes "soft, loving, brown eyes".  Can you imagine?
Meanwhile, we have completed our very first Boosterthon!  If you've never heard of it, check out this incredible fundraiser/fitness/team-building/social-awareness/character-building event (and yes, I know that's a lot of slashes) by clicking here.

Our class was chosen as "Most Enthusiastic" and rewarded with starring in a video put together by our Boosterthon Team!  We won a Crazy Hair Day, No Shoes Day, Extra Recess, Gummy Gators (we were the Gravett Gators team), and had a B.L.A.S.T! running the 30 or so laps during the Fun Run!  By the way, that's ME with the long blonde hair and red sunglasses...yep, I know how to have crazy hair...and I'm showing you a photo because that's the first large tee-shirt I've worn since college, but I'm NOT DONE YET!
We also had Field Day this week - see - we're really trying to fit it all in!  The kids had such fun with water events, sack racing, relays, a picnic, and hoppin' and boppin'.  Even our principal got in on the boppin', bringing out his old trombone and playing some tunes with the middle school jazz band...not bad!
Best Friends since Kindergarten!
My dudes were chillin'

My chicks were chillin'

My daughter was chillin'!

Crazy hair's gone, crazy place!
In the midst of all that, as if that weren't enough, we completed insect projects this week, and my students presented their collections and toured the other second grade classes' collections.  I was pretty impressed!
The inside of a hornets' nest, as seen from 
the hornets' point of view
What a week it was!  I just hope this week can live up to last week.  Any ideas on topping that, 'cause I'm not sure how to keep my friends on task after all the excitement!
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summertime's Callin' Me!

If you're from the South, you know what real beach music is.  No, it's not the Beach Boys!  It's our own style, a laid back kind of dance fact our state dance is the shag, and it can only be done to beach music.  Summertime's Callin' Me is one of my favorites, and is loaded on my ipod, along with all my other faves, so I can listen to them all the way to and from school every. single. day.  Even my daughters are requesting beach music this time of year!

I've been inspired to create a few summer-themed resources for you to use for these last few days of school, while summertime's calling all of us!

I finally finished up my Multi-Brights Mega Digital Paper I blogged about here, and you can get it here.

Tonight, I was trying to think of a way to make rounding "stick" when I came up with this:

My students love playing with these beach balls on craft sticks, and I usually have them draw me a picture of the beach and color a beach ball.  No more!  This adorable mini-unit saves lots of time (crunch time), and is reusable year after year.  Click on the picture to pick up a copy for just $2!

After all, you need to save your bucks for the beach, right?

See you shaggin' down by the sea!
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Made It and a FREEBIE!

I'm with Tara...just making it to school must count for something, right?  I know the kids are ready for school to be out, but honestly, I think I'm ready, too, although when I'm out, my FIFTH grader is out, and I mean really out.  Never to return.  Going to middle school.  OUT!  There's a tiny pity party in my mind now.

Really, this weekend, I made some pretty cool stuff.  I found some old shutters out by the street in my neighborhood a few weeks ago and knew they'd make the perfect privacy screen.  I spray painted them black, hinged them together, and got this:

Then I finally got around to sewing extra fabric to store-bought panel drapes for my living room.  Didn't hang them, but did make them!  They bring the blue from the left side of the living room to the very coral right side of the room.  I'll have to post a picture after hanging them - right now, they're lying on the sofa!

And I made about seven or eight new animal activities, printables, and more in individual and an Animal Mega Pack that I talked about here.

Lastly, I just about finished up a fun new digital paper pack, soon to be available on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Here's a sneak preview with a little freebie!

Have a great week, y'all!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Five for Friday on Mothers' Day???

You know, I really love Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday, but I can never get it together to post by Friday!  I've decided better late than never, right?
We've been in full swing studying animals for the past few weeks, and it's been like Wild Kingdom in my classroom.  These tiny fellas showed up - painted lady butterfly larvae:The kids have been watching them grow, change, make the "famous J shape", form their chrysalis, and I'm hoping for adults next week!

Another tiny friend grew into an adult...he was no bigger than my thumbnail, and I'm not kidding!  We had to let him and his friends go home to their pond, which, of course is their natural habitat.

We also had a temporary visit from some rescued baby groundhogs.

1. That brings me to show you a new unit I made for life cycles:
It's available at my store on Teachers Pay Teachers, or you can just click and go on the picture.

2.  Here we are observing mini-ecosystems inside hula hoops.
Click on this photo to see the activity at my store.

I was TOTALLY inspired at Sunday School last week, where I saw these, and many, many more animals...having a field trip to our state's largest zoo Tuesday, I can't wait to make these to go with our study on animal classification and characteristics!


4.  I touched and fed a giraffe!!!  My favorite animal, ever, is the giraffe, and this guy was super-friendly, not at all shy, and A-MAZ-ING!  Then I saw a kangaroo, up closer than I ever have before...If you're studying animals, try out my Animal Mega Pack.  It includes all the activities above, and many more.
 5.  Finally, my students and I hand-painted these "grow kits" for Mothers' Day.  We also made the cutest poems on paper flower pots with paper flowers, but it was SO close to the end of the day, that I couldn't get a photo before the bell!

Before I go, I have to tell you about a fantastic give-away at Tori's Teacher Tips.  Click on her graphic to go enter...

Happy Mothers' Day!
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