Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Plants and Earth Day

We celebrated Earth Day today...just a little late :)  We made an anchor chart to brainstorm ways to help the earth and then painted these handprint earths that I've seen all over pinterest.
"I can turn off the TV and lights.  I can walk to my neighbors' house."
 This one cracks me up: "I will plant flowers all day until I am done."

I'm not sure how, but as we were discussing Earth Day and how to help the earth, the topic of markers came up and kids got so stuck on it.  I would ask them how they were going to help the earth and they'd say: "Put the lid on my marker."  Um...okay.  It was my fault really, because when the first student mentioned markers, I tried to give them credit so I said, "Yeah, if we take care of our markers then we won't throw them away so much and there won't be so much trash."  So then I ended up having to walk around and say, "Don't write about markers!  How else can you help the earth?"  (Can you tell we've spent too much time this year talking about marker lids?)

Anyway, here's our hallway display.  

We have been learning about plants in science.  Over the past week, we filled in this chart as we watched video clips and read books about each part of the plant.
 And yesterday they made their own plant diagrams.

 We used yarn roots, a popcorn kernel seed, a straw stem, construction paper leaves, and tissue paper flowers.  Now we're moving on to talk about insects!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Five for Sunday

Obviously I'm really bad at the Friday linkys...but I don't want to miss out on them.  Posting late just gives me a chance to share about my weekend, too!

1. We've been learning about plants and made a graph about our favorites (idea from the fabulous Cara Caroll)!  I changed the lesson a little and let them paint their favorite fruit, vegetable, tree, or flower.  They loved it...we don't paint enough.  Then we graphed what we had.  Cara has a great recording sheet you can use, too. 

2. On Friday we went on a field trip to the hospital.  They do a great free program for the kids, where they role play going to the hospital for a tonsillectomy.  They get to dress up as moms, dads, patients, nurses, doctors, and see all the tools the doctors use.  I would hope it helps ease their anxiety if they ever have to go to the hospital themselves.

3. But overwhelmingly, the most popular part of the trip was our time at an amazing playground!

4. I had a great weekend, beginning Friday night with a Greg Bates concert!  He is an up and coming country artist from my hometown outside of Nashville, TN.  You might have heard his singles - Did It For the Girl and Fill in the Blank.  If you like country music, I strongly suggest you check him out.  He is an incredibly talented singer and songwriter!  (One of my favorite songs by him is called Brothers...so sweet.)

5. We had beautiful weather this weekend, so a friend and I took a walk on Carolina's campus.  Graduation is a few weeks away and the girl you see in the picture is someone trying to get a head start on her cap and gown pictures.  It was so weird walking through and thinking I was in the exact same place four years ago...about to graduate and freaking out about finding a job and being an adult.  It doesn't seem like it's been that long!  And the people graduating now were finishing high school as I graduated college...makes me feel old.

Anyways, before I forget, here are the two winners of my CGI Math Book.  Congratulations to Jen Jen Qld and Yvonnee.   Check your email!  Also...if you didn't win, you can grab this product at a discount - 2 dollars off - for the next two days!  Just click here!

I hope everyone has a great Monday!  If you haven't yet, link up with DoodleBugs Five for Friday!

Monday, April 15, 2013


I have no words, so I will rely on Christ's words instead:

"Now is your time of grief but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."    -John 16:22

My prayers are with Boston tonight.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Winners and Math Problems

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Thank you to everyone who participated in my very first giveaway!

Winner of Giveaway #1 is Janine Normandia Fernandez.
Winner of Giveaway #2 is Lori Raines.
And Winner of Giveaway #3 is Cindy Clark.

I will email you as soon as I finish this post :)

I want to share my latest product for TpT which I am super excited about.  We have been working really hard on problem solving in my class, using different types of CGI problems.  We had done many whole group problems, but I wanted to give my students some more independence and ownership over their problem solving.  I created these problem-solving books to help.  
Each day we do one problem.  The kids draw a picture in the blank space, write the answer in the box and a label on the line.  I also encourage them to write a number sentence.  Then, we come together and share how we solved it on the Smart Board.  

We started this week with really easy problems, like the ones shown above, so the kids could get used to the system.  We'll move on to more difficult problems like separate (subtraction) and join-change unknown (missing addend).  
To allow for differentiation, I've included 3 levels of numbers for each problem, so they would be appropriate for 1st and 2nd grade, too! 
Click the picture below to check it out and download the preview on TpT for 4 free problems.  
Also...I will give this whole packet away to 2 people.  Just leave a comment with your e-mail! 

Before I end, I have to give a shout out to all the awesome ladies who helped me with my giveaway.  Thank you to: Jen, Kelly, Danielle, Hilary, Crystal, Sara, and Kimberly Ann.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Five for Saturday

Ok, I've recovered from my spring-break-withdrawal and I'm ready to link up with Kacey for Five for Friday.  Here's some of the random stuff we've been up to.

 1. I added a fingerprinting kit to my writing center and the kids are loving it.  I have a little book that gives them ideas for different things to make with their fingerprints and they are going to town.  On the back, they have to write a story about their picture.

 2. In math, we've been using Krissy's Race to 100 book, and they are so motivated to write.  Handwriting is not my strong suit, because I don't make it a priority, but this is such an easy way to fit in number writing every day without taking up a bunch of time.  And my students are obsessed and so motivated.  It is the quietest 2 minutes in my class every day.

3. In reading, I am really trying to get my students to use a variety of strategies to figure out words.  You know those kids who only want to use picture clues or only want to say each letter sound?  I have a lot of them this year!  We've talked about how our reading strategies are our superpowers, so this week we discussed how superheroes don't use just one superpower.  They use whatever they need to accomplish their goal.  (My kids contributed a lot here about specific superheroes and the villains they fought off and how they did it.)  So we pulled out one of our class superheroes, Proactive Pete, and made this anchor chart.  We know that proactive people stop and think, instead of immediately reacting.  So we applied that to reading, too.  Proactive readers stop, think of a good strategy and then solve the word.  We practiced using lots of strategies to solve words and using new strategies when the 1st or 2nd one didn't work. 

 4. We're really hitting subtraction hard in math, so I've tried to find some concrete and fun ways for my kids to see subtraction.  My mom got me these super cute fishing poles and I used them to make a subtraction game.  We put all 8 fish in the tub and they have ten seconds to fish them out.  At the end they make a subtraction equation on this <freebie> recording sheet.  (The graphics on the recording sheet are from My Cute Graphics and Krista Wallden.)

5. Today my school's Girls on the Run team ran in their 5K.  I got to be a running buddy for one of the girls and it was so much fun.  She kept pumping her fist in the air and saying "This is the best day ever."  And when people on the sidelines would cheer, she'd say "Wow...I have so many fans!"   It was so great to see how excited all the girls (from about 30 different schools) were to run in a race for the first time.

Well, that's my five.  Don't forget, you have a few more hours to enter my giveaway.  Good luck!


Sorry I have been MIA this week.  Coming back from spring break has not been easy... I keep wondering how I was teaching and blogging and also had a life and got sleep before spring break.  I haven't gotten that balance back. 

Anyways, I was going to link up for Five for Friday, but I will probably have to wait till tomorrow because I'm too tired to upload any pictures right now.  So...I just wanted to remind you that my 100 followers giveaway ends tomorrow night.  Enter now if you haven't already! Click the picture to go to the post.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Celebrating 100 Followers with 3 Giveaways!

I am so excited to host my first giveaway in honor of my 103 followers!  Some awesome bloggers helped me out so I am able to have 3 great giveaways for you to enter.  Each giveaway includes 1 math prize, 1 literacy prize, and 2 winner's choice prizes.  Good luck!

Giveaway #1

Giveaway #2

Giveaway #3

Friday, April 5, 2013

Google Reader Alternatives

If you're like me, you freaked out when you heard Google Reader was going away.  I still don't understand why they're doing it?  Anyways, I've been researching some new blog-reading options (though I'm still mainly using Google Reader...I don't do well with change :)

Here's some info on the two I've found and liked the best...

1. Feedly

2. bloglovin'

In summary, both of these have great things to offer.  Right now, I'm leaning toward bloglovin' just because I love seeing things on people's actual blogs.  As I've been reading on there, I've thought "I had totally forgotten what a cool design she had."  But I'm going to keep an eye on feedly too, because I bet they'll be making changes as more and more people switch over from google reader. 

What do you think?  Have you found any good alternatives for google reader?

Happy Birthday, TBA!

Teaching Blog Addict - Ultimate Freebie

Teaching Blog Addict is turning 2 and celebrating with a HUGE freebie linky party.  Check it out and link up your freebies!
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