Monday, May 30, 2011

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!

In our district, we use the Treasures reading series.  For the story Dot and Jabber and the Big Bug Mystery, we do a mini-study of insects.  We chose to learn about butterflies, dragonflies, and ants.  We created charts to organize our learning (thanks, Mrs. Jump for the idea):

My daughter did all of the artwork for me!  We then compared and contrasted the insects.  After the lesson, I created this Venn and sorting cards.  I thought it would be fun next year for the kids to sort facts about each insect.  You can download the venn and sorting cards here:
I hope you can use these! Let me know what you think! 

Check out this new blog and Contest

Hey everybody,
I was cruising around blog world and a new one caught my eye. It's called "Clutter Free Classroom". For those of you who know me, I am the clutter queen. I am a chronic piler and a "setter downer". I often just set things down and don't even realize I'm doing it! I'm hoping this new blog might give me some tips on how to organize my room (and keep it that way). The best part is, they are having a contest! Hop on over and check it out!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


As many of you know, I've been working to gather teaching supplies for the teachers affected by tornadoes in Tushka, Oklahoma.  I received an email today from Teacher Created Resources - they are willing to donate teaching materials for these teachers if I will just pay the shipping.  I told them ABSOLUTELY!  It is so good to see companies that really watch out for their customers and are willing to go the extra mile.  Next time you get a chance, check out their site and pick up some materials for your own classroom.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

End of the year game

Hey everybody,
  I know a lot of you are nearing the end of your year (we have 16 1/2 days left) so I thought I would share a fun game that I play with my class during the last two weeks of school.  It's called the "What's Missing?" game.  Each day, I take down one item before the kids come in.  The kids then have to guess what's missing.  The first one I call on that can give me the correct answer gets a prize. You can make this as hard or as easy as you want - I've taken down full bulletin boards or just one or two pictures. The kids really love this game, and it gives me a head start on taking things down.   

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Teachers Helping Teachers

So, I know that many of you have seen (and some of you have lived through) the horrible tornadoes that swept through the country last month.  I was saddened and horrified to see all of the damage caused to people's homes and businesses.  On April 14, a tornado destroyed Tushka School in Oklahoma.  A few days later, a middle school was destroyed in North Carolina.
  In 2007, a similar tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg, Kansas.  At that time, I was able to gather and organize donations of teaching materials to help the teachers rebuild and restock their classrooms.  The first grade teacher at that school, Laura, and I have been friends ever since.  Our classes write to each other each year. 
   When we saw the devastation in Oklahoma and North Carolina, we were moved to help.  When disasters like this happen, the Red Cross and hundreds of volunteers reach out with donations of food, water, clothing, etc. but who helps those teachers restock their classrooms?  I can't imagine losing everything that was in my room!  Our classes are working together to raise money and donations for these teachers.  Both classes are hosting bake sales and reaching out to the teaching community to gather classroom/teaching materials. 
  I am writing in hopes that some of you in the blog world would be willing to help.  As you clean out your closets at the end of the year, consider donating some of your new or gently used materials to these teachers who have lost most of what they have.  If you would be interested in donating items or hosting a donation drive of your own, please leave me your email and I will send you the information for the school. 
Thanks for all your help!