It's been a while since I've had time to link up with Doodle Bugs for the wonderful five for Friday linky party. I didn't have school today, so I actually had a little time to catch up on some things. One of which was organizing my photos on my computer. My school pics were all mixed in with my family pics, but no more! I deleted old photos that I no longer needed, and put those from this current school year into a folder marked 2013 - 2014 school photos. It's about time... we only have 36 days of school left!!! Holy cow! How did that happen? I am really getting sad about passing on my little cuties. I am really attached to them.
Other than organizing my photos, I finished Easter Bunny shopping for my darling granddaughters and volunteered in my daughter's Kinder classroom. She asked me to come in to help with her Writers' Workshop. The opportunity to visit her classroom may never happen again (we had different snow make up days), so I was happy to volunteer. I had fun & was impressed by her teaching skills. (Well, I wasn't at all surprised... says the proud mother.)
Anyway, here are five things from my week.
The Postcard Project. Recently our focus was on all things American. My teaching partners and I borrowed an idea from a Kinder teacher from another school in our corporation & challenged students to collect postcards from all 50 states. We helped the process by asking Facebook friends to send postcards. As you can see, my class collected a ton of postcards! Friends & family really came through! (Actually, about half of the cards belong to one little girl! Her family must know a lot of people!) We have postcards from all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. I also received cards from Ireland, Switzerland, Mexico, and Afghanistan! These cards are hanging in the hallway so everyone can enjoy them. Thanks Bekah P. for the awesome idea! We will definitely do this again next year!
Rockets! We read a few books about space last week and just had to make our own rockets. We work so hard all week long, so I like to give my little kiddos a little creative outlet by doing a craft each Friday.
I guess this should have been included in last week's Five for Friday, but I didn't participate in last week's linky... Week before last we made these fun kites. It was a real challenge for my little cuties not to mix the paints. They worked so hard to keep the red red, the blue blue, and the white white and not make pink or purple. *smile* I think they did a great job!
I won a prize! Yay! I've entered lots of giveaways before, but haven't won until recently. Brenda at Primary Inspired gave away two puzzles to go along with her post about how she uses puzzles for sight word practice. I used the pieces of this puzzle for CVCe word practice. My Kinders love puzzles, so this is a great addition to my literacy activities! Thank you, Brenda!
Helpful Kinders. We spent time talking about being helpful last week. Here is a sampling our the writing.
What is more fun than watching paint dry? Why, watching the grass grow, of course! Actually, watching the grass grow has been pretty fun. My Kinders have been busy this week and last working on our project for the Science Fair. The primary grades do a grade level project, and my teaching partners & I wanted something simple. And, what can be simpler than watching the grass grow?
We only have to submit one display for the Science Fair. I created this board using my new Watching the Grass Grow product. I didn't get home until after 5:00 tonight, but I think it turned out pretty cute! In addition to our display, we will set out a set of cups & the kiddos' booklets. I think our display will be the hit of the show!
Using the pages in my new set, we made our hypotheses, recorded our observations, and (will tomorrow) write our conclusions. My little cuties really enjoyed being junior scientists! They were thrilled each day to come in and check out the cups of grass/seeds. Click HERE to purchase.
I can't claim the cute cups 'o grass as my own idea, but I can claim how they were made. We are hoping to reuse this display board next year (it will be a new set of kids...), so we didn't want to hot glue the cups onto it. I traced the shape of the half cup and taped on bent paper clips which act as holders. To keep the yarn "dirt" from squiggling out of the cup, I taped a piece of brown paper onto the back. (If you do this - put the tape onto the paper & make tiny clips into the tape sticking off the edge of the paper. This will allow the tape to fit onto the cup ~ the little tape tabs will overlap slightly on the side of the cup ~ and the tape will be smoother & less noticeable. If you sew, you will know just what I mean, if you don't & aren't sure, find someone who sews and ask them what I'm talking about. :-) I wish I had taken a picture of this step.) Plant some green pipe cleaners, and PRESTO! You have a pot of grass!
The little cutie on the left got a little mixed up with think/thing, but I do like how she spelled definitely!
I love the progression of how this Kinder wrote his observations. He really added some great details!
The Science Fair is this Friday, so we will have to do one more observation & write our conclusions tomorrow. We also will have to look at the "no water"grass of our neighboring class because it grew! I guess the potting soil must have had enough moisture for it to sprout! Who knew...
And, once we submit our display, my Kinders want to rescue the poor weak, yellow grass from the cabinet. They want to put it by the window so that it will turn green. Boy, do I love those kids!
My spring break is coming to a close... I didn't go anywhere warm or do anything exciting, but I did have a nice week off. I spent lots of time with my daughters & granddaughters, went to lunch with some friends, and generally did nothing. The weather was pretty yucky ~ we had snow on more than one day, but I'm not complaining (OK ~ maybe I am complaining about the weather). While I didn't do any spring cleaning around my house, I am doing a little in my TpT store! My entire store is at least 20% off until Monday & I am joining my fellow Indiana teachers in a one day one dollar sale. So, hop over to my store to stock up on some items to use this year & next.
You would think that the fact that we had so many snow days & two hour delays, I wouldn't be as ready for Spring Break as I am... But, then, maybe our crazy schedule we've had since Christmas vacation may be precisely the reason! We had only two full five day weeks of school this quarter! I am seriously over winter. I am ready to put away my winter clothes and put on something bright and springy!
But, as this picture I took on the first day of spring, I'm not sure if Mother Nature is going to cooperate!
I snapped this picture of the parking lot outside of my classroom on Thursday. Really, snow on the first day of spring... Well, that's Indiana for you!
Before & After ~ I started cleaning & organizing the area behind my desk last week. It was quite an undertaking to say the least! I took the picture above mid redo & the one below last Saturday. I don't usually go into school on weekends, but the mess got so big as I was working I needed some time without kids to finish it. I think this new configuration will work. I put the little bookshelf in the empty space next to my computer desk and moved my resource books there to free up the built in shelves so I could move the book bins down. It is visually less cluttered. I hope I can keep it neat & tidy!
I recently read this book to my Kinders. It is a nice little book, but I didn't really think that it would have the impact that it did...
Inspired by Calendar, one of my little cuties decided to write his own story in his journal. This was done completely on his own over about a week's time. He wrote his story during Daily 5 and free choice center time. Once he finished, he wanted to share his story with the class. As you may guess, his story has inspired others to write their own versions of Calendar!
My new clip chart. Yes, I know I'm late in the clip chart craze... Most of the other teachers in my school use some sort of behavior chart that uses cards or a stoplight. I had this chart in my TpT store in the fall, but didn't start using it until recently. I have a little guy who needed the chance of redemption that this type of clip chart offers. When he got on red (sometimes within 30 minutes of arrival) he pretty much acted red all day. I really wanted him to know that he could turn things around with better choices. I wish I had started this sooner! Not only is my little "red guy" doing better with his behavior, but my whole group is really trying hard to get on pink. Those who end the day on pink get to stick a diamond onto their clips!
If you haven't checked out my Trade & Grade post, hop over there now. It includes a giveaway & links to some great freebies!
And, finally, check out my newest product for spring: