May 20, 2016

Five for Friday! 5/20

Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Kaci from Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  I hope you all had a super great week! It was my first week of summer break! It was freezing and rainy here in Kansas, I bundled up most of the week. I miss the sunshine.

I wish I could say I had a productive first week! Haha. But I think I relaxed a great bit of my time. With the relaxing, I did do some creating! I added a few new products to my store. I hope to add more throughout the summer! These are some things I used last year, and just added!
These are great for practicing mastery! We copied them to colored paper and just taped them to their wrists! The best part was that when they wore them outside of our room, others would ask about them. They could then recite what they are learning :) Find them HERE

My students each had a copy of this dictionary in their desk. Anytime they had a spelling question they would refer here first. If they couldn't find their word, then they came to me with their journal and I would write it in. It stopped the constant question "How do I spell....?" If you would like this resource, find it HERE :)

My Donors Choose project got funded today! As I type this, actually. :) I am so excited!! I will be starting an art club after school for the students in my school. Some of our kids stay late to ride the bus, and this will give them something to do! We will be focusing on nature and doing things outside and with materials we find in nature. So I am looking forward to that!!

I joined in my first blog hope this week! That was so exciting! I now have 200 Instagram followers. I know that's not many, but I was thrilled. Hahah. It's the little things ;) I uploaded this FREEBIE to more store for the hop. I added it to my bubble wands for an end-of-the-year gift!

For our last day we did our annual field day! I was in charge of a group with another teacher. We always have lots of fun playing the games. The kids love it! 

My summer #toberead list is getting longer and longer. I've already started and finished a few!
I'm reading in preparation for our Mock Newbery at the beginning of the year. I will also be mailing copies of my list to students I had last year. I hope that they can get in on the action, even when they aren't in my class :)

Here's my list so far:
1. Booked by Kwame Alexander
2. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
3. Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager
4. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban
5. Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Allison Mcghee
6. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
7. Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
8. The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
9. The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
10. Pax by Sara Pennypacker 
11. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
12. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
13. The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary
14. Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford
15. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
16. Summerlost byAlly Condie
17. The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price byJennifer Maschari
18. The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
19. Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
20. Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Do you have any suggestions that I should add to my list?

Thanks for stopping by!

May 14, 2016

Sweet Summertime: Summer Countdown Bloghop

Happy Saturday friends! Thank you for following along on this awesome Summer Countdown blog hop! I hope you score some wonderful freebies along the way. Keep reading for a freebie and a TPT giveaway ;)

Is anybody else as excited for summer as us?! I know I am :) My summer vacation actually started yesterday at 3:45pm. Crazy, right?! I can't believe the school year has already ended. I always get sad on the last day of school. I work in a small school so the relationships that I build are pretty tight and I miss my kiddos SO much. But as sad as I was, I was also ready for a break. 

I can definitely tell that the break is approaching. My students have been extremely chatty. I have a really quiet and well behaved group, so it was something I wasn't used to all year. 

Coincidentally, my last day was Friday the 13th. ;)

With the end of the year approaching for most schools, I thought I would share my top 5 tips for keeping my students busy and focused throughout the crazy.

As the last days are being counted down I think a lot of kids and teachers begin to get too relaxed about school. Movies are played and bad behaviors are overlooked. I believe in teaching as much as I can, for as long as I can. Yes, even on the last day of school. We only have so many hours a year to spend with these kiddos to make a difference in their life. I'm tired, they're tired, but putting a movie in isn't going to teach them. That's a babysitter. 

I teach using games, going outside, or doing fun activities. The kids can be actively learning even when you're doing something as simple as having a competition with math facts or baking for another class. It's easy to get caught up in the thrills of the approaching break, believe me, I want to. But I also have a duty as their teacher to teach them things! My kids have never seemed to mind. 

We do Accelerated Reader at my school. The point parties and rewards are over, but my kids are still reading and wanting to take tests despite the need for a reward. They just love to learn! Teaching for as long as you can is still possible, you just have to motivate yourself to do it.

I LOVE GoNoodle. We use it daily in my classroom. During the end of the year we are tired and ready for summer. When I can tell my kids are beginning to lose interest I always turn on their favorite video and suddenly they are back with me. GoNoodle is an easy way to achieve engagement while also doing activities to promote physical and mental exercise. 

Their favorites are Pop See Ko, and any videos with cats. This class is crazy about cats. 

Another fun thing to do at the end of the year is random acts of kindness. In my class we counted down the days, starting at the number of students I had in my class. Each day we would draw a name and they would get to pick a kindness deed to be done that day. They loved being able to spread happiness throughout the school, and the other kids loved it too. 
One day my kids made cookies for another class. 

Some days they would read to other classes, write kind notes to students and staff, smile at everyone we passed by, and pick up trash. Each day a student had a unique idea to celebrate our last days with kindness.

Compliment Parties are my favorite kind of party. 
Throughout the year my kids work for parties when they have a certain behavior while with another teacher or outside of the classroom. We usually base it on being great with a sub, getting a compliment from another teacher for having polite manners, or showing bravery and courage. 

When they demonstrate any of these great behaviors they earn the chance to guess a letter on our hangman board. If they guess a correct letter it goes into the correct space, if not then it goes into the discard pile. They have to earn every letter to get the party, even if they know what the hangman spells out. I usually have it spell out the party they are going to earn, but in a fun way. In the past we did "Sleepy Time Celebration" for a pajama party or "Super Sundae Surprise" for an ice cream party.
I always tie each party to something we are learning in class, or make a review game for them that has the theme of our party.

Although we do this all year, I still have a game going until the last day of school. Sometimes my kids earn it in the last week. We had our last party on Wednesday. I think this motivates them to keep up with the great behavior they had shown throughout the year.

Go Outside!!

My kids love being outdoors! We can do so much of our learning out there. I teach at an Agricultural charter school, so we do have access to a lot of outdoor activities. Even without this there is so much you can do. We read outside all throughout the month of May. They think it's so fun to get the blankets and read like they're at a picnic.

Spring is also the perfect time to plant! We plant flowers, butterfly plants and vegetables in all of our gardens. 

We had a watermelon party outside this year too. We taste tested different kinds of watermelon, made graphs, wrote stories and had a seed spitting contest. We used the packet It's A Watermelon Summer by Mrs. Baker's Dozen. So cute and perfect for the end of the year!!

Thank you so much for joining in and hopping through some amazing summer activities. I have a little freebie for you for joining in with us! I created some colorful tags that I attached to bubbles for end of the year gifts. Click Here to download this freebie! I got a 6 pack of large bubble wands at Wal-Mart for less than 4 dollars. Such a great deal! 

You can also enter my giveaway below for a $10 TPT gift card to celebrate the start of my Teachers Pay Teachers store! The winner will be announced Wednesday, May 18th.

This would be great for all of your end of the year needs. I just added a set of  end of the year awards to my store, so check them out!

Hop on over to The Bender Bunch for the rest of the countdown!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 6, 2016

Five For Friday!

Happy Friday bloggy friends!
I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for this weeks Five For Friday!

As the last week of school approaches we've been able to do some fun and exciting end of the year projects. This week we finished up our Geometrocity from Digital Divide and Conquer. My kids LOVED this project. After their cities were put together it looked awesome!

We finished up our Earth Day art activity on Tuesday. We studied the art by Dale Chihuly and created a chandelier inspired by his work. We collected and cleaned plastic water bottles. Then we used sharpies to decorate them, and then cut them out in a spiral shape. We then used pipe cleaners and hung them on chicken wire. We inserted some solar lights and then raffled it off!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, friends! I hope you were as blessed this week as I was. We have a great PTCO that treated us with yummy goodies all week. :) I'm also thankful for Go Fund Me. They allowed teachers to set up a project and they are matching donations up to $100 which is awesome. If you would like to donate or share click here. My students and I would definitely appreciate it. :)

The end of the year is approaching, so it was the perfect time to break out some of my new products for review. We used my Luau Color by Sum and my Spring Color by Product during math this week.

This is my Spring Color by Product. It contains two worksheets for each multiplication fact, 1-6. This was great practice for the end of the year. It helped us practice our mental math so that they could exercise their brains and better prepare for next year.

This is my Color by Sum product. Also, great for practice with 3-digit addition. My kids love, love, love coloring pages like this. It gives them something exciting to look forward to after they complete a math problem.

Today was our school's annual plant sale! The kids had so much fun learning about these different kinds of plants so that they could be salesmen. They loved interacting with our customers and trying to persuade everyone to buy the plant they were an expert at. Our class grew strawberries and all of the baskets were sold, which made them so proud!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great weekend!! :)