Monday, October 28, 2013

Peek at My Week

Short and sweet, tonight, my friends! I thought I'd share my plans with you, for some great resources for Halloween, place value, pumpkins, and more!

All-righty, then, those don't look like I thought they would, nor do they look like they do in Google Drive, but hopefully you'll get some ideas anyway!  BTW, How do the rest of y'all make your visual plans look so stinkin' cute???

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sparking Student Motivation

It's Saturday (for a few more minutes), and I was reading all the ideas at Joanne's Head Over Heels for Teaching Spark Student Motivation linky, so I decided to join in.

I know I've talked about A/R before, and how motivated it has my babies to read, but you know what gets them to finish ALL of their work? Friday doesn't matter what it really consists of, Friday Fun is just a winner. I've never had even one child ever miss it for not having work completed, and in 14 years, that's a lot of Fridays and a lot of kiddos!

For the last 20 minutes of the week, I plan (or not) something educational and fun. I write FUN on the board each Monday, just to keep behavior motivated, too, because we can lose letters in fun, and if the FUN is gone, the Friday Fun is, too! This week, it was just the bubble gum lesson I posted about last night. Sometimes it's a Magic School Bus video. Last week, we sang the Noun Song and the Verb Rap from I even have special requests for the
Sid Shuffle/Continental Drift from Ice Age! That only lasts about 4 minutes, but my kids are satisfied, have fun, and then are DYING for me to read to them!

Give Fun Friday a try!
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Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for
Honestly, I can't believe my littles made it through this week, so Friday could not come fast enough! Add in a Teacher Workday on Monday, and I think they'll be fine by Tuesday. Poor things! We had CogAt Testing this week, and rearranged their schedules for related arts and recess, and their desks for testing security, so they were tired, off balance, and displaced.

Because there was so much "bubbling in", we celebrated the end today with Bubble Magic!  First, while some classes were still testing, we very quietly learned to blow bubbles without wands. Add a little dish soap and a little glycerin to your regular bubble mix and pour it into very shallow dishes. We used lids for some science containers. Be sure your entire hand is covered in the bubble mixture, then experiment with using the okay sign, making a "diamond" with your forefingers and thumbs, etc. Dip them in, and blow gently. The kids were A-Mazed they didn't need bubble wands to blow real bubbles, and, BONUS! Desks were super clean! (Clean up bubbly desks by wiping the surface dry, then spray on some rubbing alcohol and wipe clean to cut through the soapy mess.)
Later, we chewed bubble gum and some of us taught others of us how to blow bubbles. We made a quick list of directions for some "how-to" writing later in the year.



In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, we PINKED OUT today - even my boys were into it!

I learned to make a fishtail rainbow loom bracelet this week. My eleven-year-old and nine-year-old daughters could spend hours sitting at that thing, so I asked for a lesson. Mine turned out pretty well, I thought. BTW, I already knew how to make the "original" one!

It's my mom's birthday (and my puppy's) tomorrow, my mother-in-law's Monday, and my brother's mother-in-law's was yesterday. Isn't that weird?
I'll be baking two cakes, serving one meal, having one luncheon, attending one dinner, and buying one doggie treat this weekend!

I don't know if y'all know, but First Grade Wow has the most incredible Cinderella unit for free in Google Docs. I found it today, and printed, copied, laminated, and cut all afternoon! It's adorable, perfectly aligned to second grade common core, and, like I said, FREE!
Jump over and pick yours up!

One of my BBBs has a fabul-o-tastic Fairy Tales Unit, too. Heidi Harrell, from In That Room has her Fabulous Fairy Tales AND her Stone Soup Folk Tale units on SALE right now at TPT.  They are awesome! Be sure to check out her store - it's all on sale!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tried it Tuesday and a WINNER!

I'm linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for her weekly linky Tried it Tuesday.  We'll get to that winner part in a minute!

Today, I taught my students how to steal! That's right. You heard it. STEALING!!! Surprisingly, when I announced that I was going to teach them how to steal, there were two or three who snickered that they already knew how, and had stolen before (oh my!). I went on to explain that we weren't going to be learning to steal "things", but words. It's a struggle for my little ones to answer questions with a complete sentence, so I taught them to "steal words from the question" to make great answers. This strategy really worked! We underlined words in the questions that we could use. Next, we talked about how to rearrange the words to make them an answer. They caught on really quickly, and wrote possibly the first complete sentences with capitals and ending marks that I've seen all year! Pretty exciting stuff for my little ones! We were working on our Stellaluna questions when the thievery began, and I honestly think they'll remember the strategy because it's so crazy a thought that a teacher would encourage stealing.

We've also just begun to study place value, so I made a seasonal game to practice tens and ones. You can click on the photo to get a copy for your class.  Prep is super easy - print off the candy corn. Laminate if you wish, and print off the recording sheet. I'll be providing my place value mats along with base ten blocks for my kids to use, because we're still very much in the concrete mode of place value, but depending on your students' needs, you may just be able to set this out at a math station.

Halloween Treats Place Value:

And now, the Winner is...Christin from Shifting Teacher K-2! She has won amazing prizes from The Bender Bunch, Barrow's Hodgepodge, Ideas by Jivey, Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin', In That Room, and Fourth Grade Flipper. Congratulations, Christin!
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