Friday, March 30, 2012

What a week!

Ok y'all - I am tired!  I guess it's because this was our first week back from spring break, but boy am I whipped!  All day yesterday I felt just sick to my stomach and was worried that I was coming down with a stomach bug (I even stayed yesterday and wrote sub plans for today - just in case), but today I felt better.  I did have a little boy this morning tell me that his tummy hurt.  I tried to talk him into staying until he could finish his reading test, but he kept on and on and on.  Finally, I wrote him a pass and sent him to the clinic.  About 2 minutes after I sent him, a cute 5th grader came to my door and said, "That boy you sent to the clinic just threw up right outside the door!"  Boy, I dodged a bullet there.  That is one thing I can't handle in the classroom. 

Yesterday, I had one of my cute little boys come to me after lunch and said real quietly, "Mrs. Spradlin, I did something no first grader should do."  Now he's got me thinking.  So I ask, "What did you do?"  He said, "I did something no first grader should do in his pants."  "Did you have an accident?"  "Mmmm hmm".  So, being the nice teacher that I am, not wanting to embarrass him, I quietly tell him to go to the clinic so they can call and have his mom bring him some new pants.  He begins to walk off and I go to get my class and he turns around and yells, "It's not in my pants, it's in my underwear!"  So much for subtlety!  Maybe he is getting a stomach bug too...  The good news is - we only have a 3 day week next week.  We have a day off for the fair on Thursday and then off for Good Friday!

So today we wrote about our spring break.  We have penpals in Greensburg, Kansas that we write to every year.  This year, we're picking a different type of writing to send each month.  We've sent friendly letters, reports, and now we are writing a personal narrative about our spring break.  To make the writing a little cuter, I had the idea to print out and make a suitcase cover to attach to the writings.  The students then made "stamps" that read, "To:___" "From:___", "Kansas", and "Florida".  I was really proud of how cute they turned out.  Heres a picture of one:
We also included an Easter treat for our penpals:
and of course, one for the teacher:

How about you?  Do you have any "local" days off for the fair or other things?  Do you have penpals?  If so, where are you and where are they?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Place Value Art

We've been working for a while with place value.  Most of The kids are finally understanding how to show numbers using "sticks" and "squares" (base 10 blocks).  We've talked about using a "flat" to show 100.  We're going to be working on this for a while, but since they're starting to really get it, I think it's time for our annual Place Value Art Show. 

I copy a bunch of paper flats, sticks, and squares and tell the children that they can use them to make a beautiful picture.  Here's my (thrown together really quick) example:

The kids, of course are much more creative than I am.  I've seen them make the most beautiful pictures - rocket ships, boats, robots, etc.  And, of course, theirs are glued onto paper, colored, and beautiful backgrounds are added.  We talk about an art gallery and how people can purchase beautiful works of art.  We then talk about the value of their paintings.  Of course, there's always one that says their art is worth a million dollars.  I tell them that we are going to add up the flats, sticks, and squares they used to make their picture in order to find the value of it.  For example, in my picture, I used 2 flats, 4 sticks, and 20 squares.  If I added these up, my picture would be worth $260.  This is a good opportunity to introduce the concept of regrouping.  That is a second grade skill in our district, but being introduced to it doesn't hurt. 

I then give the kids some blank scrapbook tags and they get to write the "cost" of their art on the tag.  We use black construction paper to make frames for each work of art and then hang them in the hall with the price tags (just in case anyone wants to purchase one, lol)!

The kids really enjoy this activity and it gives them the chance to practice counting, place value, and number sense skills. 
I found these printable base 10 blocks here if you need them!  If you do some place value art, let me know!  I'd love to see the works of art your children create!  I'll post pictures of ours when we finish.

On another note, does anyone know how I can share a VERY large file?  I have SMARTboard files for each of our Treasures stories, but they are soo big (over 60MB).  I need to email it to someone, but it's too big.  Help!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Review, A Kite, and a Freebie

So a while ago, I posted about a rainbow compound word activity that we did. I didn't have my pictures at the time, so here are a couple of pics:

I actually used a pattern from The Mailbox magazine to make them originally.  The kids had a lot of fun with this station.
I also wanted to share a picture of the adorable Dr. Seuss characters we made from one of the Dr. Seuss units I won in a giveaway:

Finally, I found these cute long I knights on Little Priorities:
I loved this idea, but the story in our reading series that introduces the long I sound is The Kite.  Soooo, I made a kite that the kids can write long I words on.  My thought was that you could have them do like a read the room activity where you hang long I words around the room and the kids will "fly" around the room and record the long I words they find.  If you want to extend the activity, you could add kite bows and have them write a sentence on each bow using the words they found.  Anyway, it's not fancy, but here's the kite I made:

I know it looks sort of blah, but I'm thinking if you copied them on colored or scrapbook paper, they would be really cute.  Let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

K-2 Linky Party

Ok gals (and guys if there are any of you out there reading this), I know some of you have been on sort of a blog break like me.  As we jump back into blogland together, you would not believe some of the new blogs out there.  Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle is hosting a Linky Party where K-2 bloggers can link up their blogs.  You have got to check it out.  I've found tons of new blogs and some great new ideas.  Check it out here:

Click here to join the party!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Currently....I'm on Spring Break!

So, I get on my computer today and it says that it's Friday.  Is that right?
 That can't be right!
 That would mean my spring break is almost over! 
Maybe my settings are messed up - it's got to only be like Tuesday, right? 
Please?  Anybody?....

Ok, now that I've dealt with the fact that spring break is (almost) over, I've got to apologize to you guys about being MIA for a while.  It must just be this time of year.  Maybe I've got spring fever or something, but I've just been coming home and wanting to do nothing but veg out in front of the tv.  I haven't really done much on the computer in the last few weeks.  To give you an idea of how lazy I've been, I've spent the last two days checking over 2500 emails.  Yep, over 2500 - that's not a typo!  I've got it down now to about 400 left.  I'm hoping I can catch up and keep up now.  As I'm checking them, I've been really bummed 'cause I've missed some awesome giveaways.

Anyhoo, I'm trying to motivate myself and jump back into blogland, so I'm linking up with Farley and the latest Currently... It is still March, so technically, I'm not late! 

Now, I have to ask you guys for some help.  As some of you may know, I am, shall we say, organizationally challenged.  Well, our school is an "A" school this year which means we get a bonus!  I now have about $700 to spend.  I really want to buy some cute organizing bins and things for my classroom.  Right now, my book bins and things are baskets that I picked up from yard sales, things other teachers were getting rid of, etc. and they are really mismatched and wearing out.  Do any of you super organized types have suggestions about the best bins, baskets, containers, etc that really hold up and look great?  I know you guys have some great looking classrooms, so I'm hoping for some suggestions. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Hug, An Award, and An Easter Egg Hunt

Hey everybody,
   Sorry I haven't been in the blogging world lately, but things have been CRAZY lately.  I haven't had time to write lesson plans breathe, let alone blog surf or post.  I really miss you guys and I'm hoping to get back on track soon.  How do the kids seem to know when you're really not feeling like yourself?  I was having a little bit of a rough day the other day when one of my little sweeties came up and wrapped her arms around me and just squeezed (so tightly it was hard to breathe).  She said, "I love you, Mrs. Spradlin!"  That came at just the right time.  Today, one of them brought me a box of chocolates.  When I asked him why, he said, "Just because".  I really want to loop up to 2nd with them.  Maybe I'll ask my principal tomorrow...

   I did notice that Rebecca from Teaching First blessed me with a Lovely Blog award.
The rules for this award are to:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
2. Pass the award on to 15 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you.
So now to pass it on...

And now, on to the Easter Egg kids have been having a great time in our reading and writing the room center.  I've found a lot of you that have been posting read/write the room freebies lately.  So, as we near the Easter/spring season, I was thinking - how much fun would it be to combine read/write the room with an Easter egg hunt.  I'm thinkin' put sight words or math problems in the egg and then hide them around the room.  Give the kids a recording sheet and have them record what they find in the egg with their answers.  Hmmm...maybe I'll start working on that.  Check back soon to see what I come up with.  Any requests or suggestions?