Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Presidents and YouTube

Here are the pictures of the writings my kids did last week.  Remember, they were writing about what they would do if they were president:
Apparently, this student wants to go back in time and be president when they had horse and buggies.

 I liked the picture on this one.  He wrote, "I will make a law that there are no more wars."

Ahhh, a girl after my own heart! "If I were president, I would go to Disney World".

Any guesses about what this little one has been bugging her parents about?  She wrote, "I would make a rule that if they do good in school they will get a dog."

I need to vote for this little guy.  He wrote, " I would make everything free.  I would give everybody a billion dollars!"

"I will make a new law that no dessert before dinner."  I wonder what Mom said to him last night!

Only in Florida..."I would make a law to not pickup a baby alligator and put it on someone."

Aren't they so cute!  I love first graders' writings.  Now, if those didn't give you a little chuckle, here's a cute video a friend shared on Facebook today.  We had our FCAT writes assessment for our fourth graders today.  You may have seen it already, but if not - here's a treat!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rainbow Compound Words

This week we are learning about compound words.  To go along with our unit on weather and seasons (and it ties in nicely with St. Patrick's Day coming up), I made a rainbow compound word activity.  Basically, I took a picture of a rainbow with a cloud and cut the cloud off.  I then wrote half of the compound word on the rainbow and half on the cloud.  The students have to match the rainbow to the cloud to make a compound word (sort of like a puzzle).  I make a lot of my activities by hand, but I have tried to recreate this on  the computer for you.  I did include 2  blank rainbows that you could print multiple copies of and add your own words.  If nothing else, I hope it gives you some inspiration.

Rainbow Compound Words

If you need a smile, I want to share some of my students' writings with you.  Okay, hold that thought!  I was going to share them with you, but when I went to take pictures, my camera battery was dead, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see them (but trust me, they're cute!).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'm a Winner

Oh my goodness!  I was going to share my kids' President's Day writing with you tonight, but as I was checking my email, I discovered that I had won a giveaway.  Actually, I had forgotten that I had even entered it.  The best part is - I won 4 AWESOME Dr. Seuss packs and I was just sitting here trying to figure out what I could do next week for Dr. Seuss.  Now, I have way more than I could ever do in a week...I may just have to do Dr. Seuss themed activities the whole month! 
      I'm not sharing this news just 'cause I'm excited to win (which I completely am), but to let you know that these packs are A-MAZ-ING!!!  You need to go check these packs out - you can find the links for them at What The Teacher Wants.

   This pack is from Growing Kinders

  This one is from The Adventures of Miss Elisabeth
  This one from What the Teacher Wants
 And this one from Deanna Jump

Seriously, even one of these packs would have enough activities for a week, but 4!!!  You need to head over there right now and pick up one (or all) of them and have some Dr. Seuss fun!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Just Some Random Thoughts

I've been really off this week.  I've lost papers that I thought were right in my daily files, forgot to pick up my copies that I needed for a lesson and just been generally forgetful this week.  I'm hoping next week goes a little more smoothly.

So how many of you out there are the teachers who are still in your classrooms at 4 or 5 in the evening?  Yep, that's usually me!  But on Thursday, I had to leave right away to meet my hubby at the bank to sign some papers.  As I drove out of the parking lot at 3:15 (while there were still kids and parents hanging out in the parking lot), I felt like I was sneaking away, like I was cutting class or something.  But, you know - it was sort of nice, to be "free" at 3:00.  So I'm wondering - what time are your teachers allowed to leave for the day and how late do you actually stay?

On another random note,  we made the CUTEST Abraham Lincoln art projects the other day.  I saw these on Pinterest (of course) and knew I had to make these with my class. 

Now, I have to admit, when I saw these, I thought, "Oh, I could make those on my own."  But, after multiple failed attempts, I finally went ahead and bought them (and then wondered why I didn't just buy them first.  I mean, the pack was only $2 and they are super cute). Teri (a.k.a. Mrs. Cupcake) has made these really cute patterns that are easy for the kids to trace, cut and put together.   I know, I know...some of you are going to get really upset that I said I was trying to copy this idea without buying the patterns, but you know you've tried it at least once (or am I just a really bad person?).  But here's the moral of the story - I've learned my lesson!  No more trying to copy ideas.  I've discovered that they really never look as good as the original!  I know it's too late to use these this year, but you can get a head start on next year by heading over to A Cupcake for the Teacher's TPT store to pick it up.  And, for even more wonderful activities, check out her blog here.  Hopefully, you'll go and follow her blog, then buy a bunch of stuff from her TPT store and she'll forgive me for trying to make her craft on my own.

Sorry I've been such a slacker on blogging this week.  Hopefully next week will be better!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is in the air, and the sweets have hit my hips!  Every year, our faculty and staff have a Valentine's Bake-off.  We have 3 categories (Light and Luscious, Most Creative, and Most Scrumptious).  Everybody brings in a treat (or two) and we all vote on our favorites.  The winners get a $10 gift certificate of their choice. This is what met me in the teacher's lounge this morning:

I could feel the whoosh of the wind as my diet flew out the window.  There were so many yummy treats, I couldn't try them all.  In the past, I've won the Most Scrumptious category with this recipe:

NILLA Praline Cheesecake recipe

Then, I won Light and Healthy with this one:

So this year, I was trying for the one category I hadn't won yet - most creative.  I made these (that I found on Pinterest of course):

Conversation heart cheesecakes
Yep!  That did it! I won!!!  Yeah!  I'm the only one that has won all 3 categories.  I think I'm going to choose a gift certificate to the local mexican restaurant - I love their quesadillas!  I hope you had a Valentine's Day that was as sweet as mine!

Friday, February 10, 2012

An Awesome Giveaway

Ok guys, you've got to check out this giveaway.  Hope over at 2nd Grade Shenanigans is celebrating 1,000 followers and she's giving away $100 shopping spree at TpT.  Yep, you read that right $100 to spend on any items in her store.  You can even spend some now and save some for later.  Head over there now to enter - it ends tomorrow at midnight!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Currently... and picture day thoughts

So today I'm linking up with the February "Currently" party with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade

Here we go:

On a completely unrelated topic, today was class picture day.  As I was doing my hair this morning, I thought, why am I primping and getting all pretty? Why am I wearing my "good" clothes? Wouldn't it be better just to throw my hair up in a ponytail and throw on those clothes that I wear everyday?  You know, the ones that I don't really get that upset over if some sweetie gets paint or marker on them.  I mean, years from now, will my cuties look at this class picture and think, "Who is that lady with the nice clothes and hair standing behind us?  Mrs. Spradlin always had her hair in a pony and never wore really nice clothes like that!"  So, do you get all "dolled up" on picture day, or are you one of those teachers I aspire to be?  You know - the ones that look like it's picture day everyday!

Monday, February 6, 2012

One of THOSE Mondays!

Yep, it was one of THOSE Mondays for me!  First of all, my son did NOT want to get up this morning which threw our timing all off.  Then, I get an alert on my phone that I had a Tier 3 RtI meeting that I had forgotten about.  I rush into guidance to find that our guidance counselor was already in another meeting.  I got her attention and she didn't have a meeting listed.  Our RtI facilitator was nowhere to be found, so I decide to head back to my room (keeping in mind that this is now 10 - 15 min. wasted), only to discover the parent in the front office waiting for the RtI meeting (so apparently, there was a meeting this morning).  About that time our RtI facilitator comes in and tells me she's spent the whole morning getting sick.  Greaat, more germs - just what I need!
  Anyway, we have the meeting (since mom is there) and when she pulls up the Tier 3 paperwork, it's blank (which makes me look like I didn't have my stuff together - which I did - who knows where everything I entered went...)! So now that the meeting is over (and I am walking into my room after the tardy bell), the day can begin.
    Our reading block went fairly smoothly (even with me winging my small group work because I decided to actually take Saturday OFF - go figure), and then we went to specials.  I start to get stuff ready for my math stations after lunch only to realize that I forgot to copy one of the sheets for my number sense center and that I'm one center short!  Soooo, I sat down at the computer and created a quick, no frills, spur of the moment activity they could do as a place value activity.  Basically, the kids pull a domino, draw it, write a 2 digit number using the dots on the domino and then draw a picture of the number using "sticks" and "squares".  Here's the worksheet - the first one is an example.

Domino Place Value

Like I said, no frills and spur of the moment, but maybe someone can use it...

Sharing always makes me feel better, so I want to share some of the things we did last week and are dong this week.

First, our story last week was Smile, Mike!  If you have the Treasures reading series, you'll recognize this story.  A cute little art activity we do with this story is to have the kids make sort of a self portrait of their smiling face.  On the back, they write what makes them smile.  They turn out really cute each year and we usually hang them on the door and leave them up for the rest of the year (although this year, we have the snowmen hanging around our door right now, so we might have to wait to hang them up).

Another idea to share - our pattern center this week.  I take centimeter grid paper and draw a heart shape on it.  The kids then color a pattern onto the squares inside the heart.  I allow them to choose any pattern they want (although I do limit them to 4 colors).  These make cute hearts to hang around the room and allow you to see quickly who is able to generate a pattern on their own.

Once everyone is done, I may mount them on construction paper, I'm not sure - we'll see! 
Hopefully you'll be able to use some of these ideas in your own room.  If you do use any, I would love some comments - you guys always make me smile!