Thursday, May 30, 2013

Six Days

We have almost made it to the end of the year.  I was inspired by all the fun end-of-the-year countdowns I've seen, so we are doing a 10 day countdown to summer.  We are four days in and here's what we've done so far!

Day 1: Parent Appreciation Breakfast - Muffins for Moms/Donuts for Dads
Since I have many single parent households, I decided to do a joint parent celebration instead of Mother's Day and Father's Day so no kids would feel left out.  We used Lindsay's interview questions from her Mother's Day craftivity and the kids wrote letters to both of their parents and painted pictures for them.  It all turned out super cute, but of course I did not take any pictures!  But, one of the moms did take this picture of me and a student at breakfast.

Day 2: Game Day
The kids could bring a board or card game from home.  All afternoon, we rotated around to play different games.  We did have a bit of a debate over whether Beyblades qualified as a game or not.  I told the student as long as his mom considered it a game, I would, too.  It was a very popular choice that afternoon, though I have to say I don't really see the appeal.  My personal favorite was Uno.

Day 3: Pajamas and Movie Day
We watched Finding Nemo and ate popcorn.  I loved this day because it was so calm and relaxing in the room - total opposite of every other day I have planned :)  And don't they look cute laying on the carpet all together?

Which brings us to today, Art Day!  We had four art stations: making foam doorknob hangers, working with modeling clay, beading necklaces or bracelets, and sponge-painting t-shirts.  Everything went pretty well, except the beading took longer than all the other stations, so the kids there were never done when it was time to switch.  We had to go back to those later in the day.  Also...the modeling clay didn't have any directions, but I'm assuming it just has to dry out?  I'm hoping maybe the weekend will be enough time.
In honor of Art Day, we read Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch.  I had never read this before but we loved it! 
Tomorrow we're wearing our t-shirts for our last field trip of the year! 
And in case you're wondering...the rest of our countdown includes:
  • Children's Museum Field Trip
  • Field Day
  • Ice Cream Sundae Party
  • Pizza Picnic
  • Graduation
  • Last (Half) Day of School
I hope all of you are enjoying your last few days with your classes!  And for those of you already on summer vacation...have a margarita for me and enjoy your pool time.  I'll be joining you soon!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wow...I'm a Terrible Blogger

I am so sorry for being so out of the blogging loop.  We are down to the last 11 1/2 days of school and things are C-R-A-Z-Y.  We start our 10 Days of Activities Countdown on Friday, and when I'm not preparing for that I'm working on my slideshow or my kids' end-of-the-year gifts, or finishing up assessments.  And then of course the big kids at school are testing this no specials/planning time and we're supposed to stay quiet.  My class does not do quiet well. birthday was last week, and so I've been celebrating!  Two weekends ago I went to see my sisters and sweet niece and nephew!

And this past weekend, my parents came to visit me!  They also visited school Friday afternoon and brought my dog Harper to meet my kids.  As you can imagine, they were super excited.  And my dog was incredibly patient with them.  She didn't bark once!

Unfortunately I haven't taken any pictures this week, but we're finishing up our unit on spiders.  We did this little venn diagram to compare spiders and insects.  You can download it for free by clicking the picture.  (graphics by Thank you for still reading.  I promise I'll be back on a blogging schedule soon!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What I Bought

I am so excited to share my purchases from the TpT sale.  In truth, I wish I had about ten more things in my shopping cart, but I'm trying to be more frugal and get better at saying no - even when there is a sale! 

I focused on some things that were very timely:
Lindsay's Mother's Day Craftivity/Writing Template
Isn't this the cutest card?  It also comes with interview questions for the kids to answer about their moms...I can't wait to see what they say.  Since I have several students this year without mothers, we are having a combined Mother's/Father's/Grandma's Day breakfast in a few weeks, so we have some time to get our stuff done, thank goodness!

And I bought this super cute graduation craft/writing from Miss Kindergarten. I love it!  The pack also comes with editable diplomas for preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten graduation.  
And although I didn't buy this from the sale, I am also super excited for these graduation caps I just ordered at Really Good Stuff.
Graduation Caps
The last time I was in kindergarten I attempted to make caps myself with black posterboard and an online tutorial.  It took so long and most of them wouldn't even stay on the kids' heads!  (They still looked cute being thrown in the air though!)
  But I figured the time and grief I'd save was worth a little cash this year.  Do you celebrate kindergarten graduation at your school?  Any special traditions/suggestions?

And most importantly...what did you buy at the sale?  Pop over to Blog Hoppin' and link up! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week and a Sale!

Are you guys excited for Teacher Appreciation Week?  The sweet PTA at my school has food lined up for us every day.  Tomorrow is breakfast day!  So me and my coworkers are planning to double up on our workouts, too, ha!  They're also giving us mini-manicures (shortened versions) and on Thursday, 15 minute massages.

And on top of all that, TpT and Teacher's Notebook are having big sales!  All of my products are on sale (20 percent off) starting tomorrow.  At Teacher's Notebook, you will automatically get an extra 10 percent off at checkout.  And at TpT on Tuesday and Wednesday, enter the code TAD13 for an extra 10 percent off!

I am so excited to empty out my wishlist and buy some products for all my end of year activities.

And, if this week wasn't already great enough, I'm also leaving Thursday afternoon to see these cutie-pies!  How lucky am I?

If you're having a sale, be sure to link up with Irene!  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Currently May

I am so out of it that I was totally surprised when I saw everyone's "Currently" posts.  I guess it is a new month...

Listening - To Matthew West.  Love his music!

Loving - Actual *spring* weather.  It seems in NC we typically get the extremes.  I'm loving the fact that I don't need heat or AC, and I can wear whatever I want without a jacket.  I'm trying to soak up this sweet weather before the heat of summer.

Thinking - About our kindergarten registration tomorrow.  Sixty new kindergartners are coming for testing and it is so exciting to meet them and imagine which ones I'll teach next year!
(On a side note, I was explaining to my students what they would be doing while the new kindergartners are at school tomorrow.  We started talking about going to first grade, and one of my students said "Wow, you've got a lot of stuff to pack before we move up there."  So...I had to tell him I wasn't moving with them to first grade.  It was a pretty rude awakening for some of my sweet students.  They asked if they could just stay in K.)

Wanting/Needing - It is the time of year that I worry about my kids reading on grade level.  Maybe it's just my school, but the pressure is really on this year.  I know I need to stop stressing and just focus on making the most of this last month, but I'm still worried!

Summer Bucket List - I'm looking forward to spending time this summer working on some new products I have in mind for TpT and also organizing some of my teaching materials - and my computer files.  And...I'm really excited to visit the beach for a week in June, and spend time at the pool all summer long :)

And a funny one of my sweet English language learners was building at the blocks center.  All of a sudden, he yelled that his building was "sexy."  The room went silent.  I had to explain to him that it wasn't a school word, but it was just so funny hearing how he used it.  It was obvious he had no clue what it meant.

Link up your currently with Farley!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Butterflies and Fairytales

Hey everybody!  I've been such a bad blogger lately.  We are 26 school days away from summer, and things are so busy.  I know so many people are counting down to summer, but I am still stressing about all I have to do between now and then.  So...sorry if I don't blog as much as normal for the next 5 weeks.

We began to learn about insects this week and we started by looking at butterflies.  I started with butterflies, because all of my girls are suddenly obsessed with them.  We made this diagram of the life cycle as a class:
And then they made their own diagrams:

We've been watching video clips on Discovery Education. (Does your district subscribe to that website?  It is so great, especially to let the kids observe science in action.)  And we learned today about the parts of an insect.  We labeled those parts on the butterfly:

We've got a few more butterfly activities to finish this week, and then we're going to compare them to other insects.  We also finished up our fairy tale-writing this week with our class book.  The kids worked together on this story (dictating to me).  I printed it, and they each illustrated a page.  Here are a few excerpts...

It was a really fun way to do shared writing.  It was so interesting to see how passionate everyone got about what would happen in the story.  We had to make a lot of compromises!

I know everyone's been talking about Instagram and I missed Teacher Talk Tuesday.  I already have an Instagram, and it seemed silly to make a second one for my blog, so you can follow me @danielle_faerber.  Hopefully I'll keep up with that, even if I can't stay on top of blogging this month.  Clutter-Free Classroom has a great photo-a-day list, too, that I'm going to try to do, too.

Good luck to everyone starting testing this week!
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