Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Around the School #5- May!

Boy is the year coming to an end QUICKLY!  I can't even believe that we have only 8 more days- and they are a PACKED 8 days!
That is why I'm even surprised that I fit this last Around the School in before the end of the month! (and it will start up again this next school year- I'd looove to hear from you about continuing it- if you enjoy the monthly posts! :)

If you are new to "Around the School," it is a chance for me to share anywhere from preschool-fifth grade (each month will be different) the projects and activities that I see as I visit these different grades.  You just might see a new idea (or two!).

I hope you enjoy this tour!

Love these symmetrical butterflies- I think they might have been painted and then folded in 1/2 to get the same look- they look amazing hanging in the room!


I can't tell you how amazing this looks in the room- and it's HUGE :)

Frog and Toad cuteness!  The kids chose their favorite character and wrote those traits in a 

The second graders are "growing" flowers by reading! (the word "occur" is a vocabulary word)

During the morning of our 1800's day the kids created a quilt square!  They "stitched" around the outside and then decorated it with symbols from long ago.  It looks amazing all together!

These were made with our uber talented Art teacher- they used copper paint- sooo cool!

More symmetry!

Bird research and wordle!

Great idea if you work with multiple grades!
Or would make a super cute bulletin board in your grade!

I just love our librarian! :)

Coming up....
~End of the year gifts
~End of the year countdown/activities
~About Bloglovin'

I'm also thinking about starting "Teacher Tips Tuesday" (click to check out one from last summer!!) back up - might just be my summer thing.  Anyone interested in being featured?  You write a "post" and I put it on my blog- then I send traffic your way (and you my way too!).  It's so fun to highlight new blogs and learn some great tips too!

Let me know!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five for Friday

Linking up again with Doodle Bugs- Five for Friday!

1. Plants!
I love to start this unit with the celery trick.  Celery is DRAMATIC! And after a day it looks like the pic above.  Don't worry...it always pops back up.  Then we fill the water with food coloring and watch the water travel up the stem to the leaves. :)
We also planted grass, lima beans and pinto beans.  I thought we were going to have no bean sprouts this year but AMAZINGLY we had two by the end of the day today!! Yippee!!  I had a reader suggest to plant the bean seeds closer to the top of the soil because they have a hard time traveling up through the soil... that is brilliant!  I LOVE when readers leave their ideas/tips... it just makes my day!!  

2. Plant Reading!

I just LOVE this!
Our students have been reading machines trying to grow their plants!
For every 30 pages they read, they get a plant part.  Until finally, they have an entire flower!

They can even read more and add "extras" to their flower like the grass, bee, bird, and sun.
This is a free item in my store.  See it here.

3. Countdown!
I'm starting to get our countdown to summer ready!!  I have decided to do the 5 day countdown.
It looks like this:
We will do activities for each letter until we reach the last day #3 for third grade!!  The kids are SO excited and dying to know what is in the envelopes! :)

Click pic to see this product 
(on sale right now!)

4. Assessments
I don't know about you but 'tis the season for assessments!  We've been doing reading and math testing for the last two weeks.  Ugh.
I got a kick out of this one...
"This is how I got to the point where I got done."  Yep... that sums it up... let's just get this done.  hehe

5. My cutie
He said to me, as he is putting a pencil behind his ear, "this is how you look smart."  :)
I didn't get this pic but then he put another pencil behind his other ear and said, "Look mommy, now I'm extra smart!"

Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Countdown to Summer!!

Looking for a fun and unique way to end your year??  I've created a FUN end of the year COUNTDOWN!!

When I started putting this together it just kept growing and growing! (there are over 50 end of the year ideas and printables!!)  This little tiny idea turned into over 100 pages! :)

I promise you that it is NOT an overwhelming 100 pages- I created letter cards and cards to go inside envelopes and they do take up half the pages but they start to add up with all the ideas included!!

Check it out...

This pack has letter cards to spell out either 
"end of year" 10 day countdown!
"grade ___" (put the grade your students will go to next)
"day ___" (you can countdown from day 5)

Put these letter cards on an envelope or on a folded piece of construction paper.  Then find the corresponding activities that go along with the letters... there are SO many to choose from that you could do just one or them all!!
Put the activity cards in the envelope and "reveal" the activity/activities that day!

My students race into the classroom dying to know what the envelope will say for the day!
(I'll post pics in the next few days)

You can check out this HERE
It is on SALE right now!!

Want to win one??
Leave a comment- I'll choose a winner Friday.

So we planted our seeds....and I think we have dud soil.  Is that possible??  I water and it does NOT absorb into the soil.  I'm so frustrated!!  A few cups have grass growing but no bean sprouts yet.  Ugh.  I might have to re-soil many cups.

Have you checked out Teacher's Notebook's "Moore Relief Bundle" to benefit the victims of Moore, OK?   TONS of teachers donated amazing products and you can give as little as $20 or as much as $100 and you will get all the resources.

I gave... did you?

$20 - Moore Relief Effort Bundle - 100% of the proceeds will go directly to local relief efforts
Click here to check it out!

Monday, May 20, 2013


After finding out that we lost a staff member suddenly over the weekend, I didn't think my day could get any worse.  The news of OK has added an extra heaviness to my heart.

I will be saying prayers for OK, for all of my students and co-workers, my family and friends, and for all of you.  Life is too short.  Please hug your loved ones tonight, and always.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Synthesizing with a GREAT book!

Hey Everyone!  I am so excited to share a fun project you can do with your students to practice their "synthesizing!"

What is synthesizing?
We talk about it as being the 
BIG IDEA or the
 Author's Message

I've done these two things to show synthesizing.  We first talk about this picture:

the kids tell me the "details" of the picture
And then we talk about the BIG IDEA of the picture- this is the "Frame" that might be put around the picture.
We end up with- the beach or even family time on the beach.

I've also used nesting dolls to represent synthesizing too...

Each idea builds on another until you have the Big Idea!

We were just in the midst of practicing this tough skill when I was contacted by the author of this book:

by Vincent A. Mastro
(click on picture to check out the book)

It was the "ah ha" moment I needed... YES Fables were perfect to help the kids see the Big Idea or the Author's Message!!

So my brain started on overdrive.. how can I incorporate this great book with this skill and still have a cute outcome??
Cue cute project (thanks TpT!)
Spring Fever Butterflies 

So here is what we did...

I started by sharing a story called The Fox and the Stork in the first grade Basal
and we filled out an organizer together.

Once they knew the expectation of finding the "Big Idea" and the details of the story, I sent them off to work with a partner to read one of the the 3 fables from the 1st Book of Childhood Adventures.

They had a copy of the story and their highlighters ready!

It was so cute to see them intently reading the story and highlighting the important information.  This book is so well written and really captivated the interest of my students! :)
(plus the illustrations are amazing!)

Then they used the information they highlighted to fill out the organizer.

This was really "key" because I could quickly see who got it and who didn't.  Then I could do a short reteach using the text (I could also see who truly understood the story!)

Click for organizer

Once they completed the organizer and had it checked, they moved on to creating their butterfly!!

They grabbed the materials they needed

And started writing their notes from the organizer onto the parts of the butterfly.

And then cut, glued, and added more to the butterfly...they turned out SO cute!!

And they look adorable hanging in the room!

I'd love for you to check out the great book used in this lesson (and the just released companion book which I will be purchasing!!)
I am also VERY excited to be able to give a copy of either book (your choice) away!  Please leave a comment below with your email and let me know how you might use the book. 
(Vincent will be thrilled to hear your ideas!)
I will pick a book winner on Saturday (5/18)

Don't forget about the other giveaway that will end Thursday night!

Thanks so much for reading!