Monday, May 25, 2015

Splish-Slash: It's a Summer Time Blog Bash

It is time to celebrate summer. Hopefully you are enjoying your break or your last few days of school. I am currently on break but it doesn't feel like summer here in Colorado. It has been cold and rainy for weeks. We even had field day canceled due to weather. But now its time to hop into summer with this blog hop. It is my first time participating in a hop and I am so excited to be a part of it. Make sure you finish the hop for great giveaways, freebies and fun ideas. A huge thank you to Rachael at The Classroom Game Nook for organizing all of this! 

One thing my students struggle with is identifying genres. Here is a set of colorful genre posters to help students understand the different genres. These kid friendly definitions should help your students understand the different genres in no time. 

I am giving away a Luau Classroom Pack. This is over 100 pages to turn your classroom into an island paradise. It is valued at $12.00 Check out some pictures of it in my classroom. I recently wrote a blog post about it. 

Enter to win it here: a Rafflecopter giveaway  

What are your favorite summer plans? Do you have a tradition every year? I love spending time with my girls all day. I have two year old twins and they are an absolute joy. I really enjoy being with them and going on adventures with them as often as I can. Since they are two pretty much any time we leave the house is an adventure! 

We also spend a good part of the summer golfing or watching/ supporting my husband in various golf tournaments. We always travel to Albuquerque, NM and stay with friends while my husband plays in a golf tournament. 

This summer I am very excited for our CO blogger meet up. I am so excited to collaborate with other TpTers and bloggers. We are going to have an awesome event! 

The last thing I am excited about is InnEdCo! It is a Colorado Teacher technology conference. My PTCO paid for me and two other lovely teachers to go!  

Now hop on over to Growing Outside the Box and see what she has to offer! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Engaging Learners

The end of the year is a whirlwind of fun activities and spring fever. Those things don't always mix well in the elementary classroom (am I right?) This year I really tried to combat the end of the year craziness with some engaging and rigorous lessons. Oriental Trading was the place I found all of these ideas! (They provided the products for my students and I to review. I am writing this review in exchange for my honest opinion and I was not compensated for this post.)  I have used this site so many times because it is an affordable place to turn to for the classroom, school incentives and parties! I put my teacher hat on this time and found awesome resources here is what I found and how they were used!

5W+H beach balls 

The students and I  read a story and wrote the parts of the story on the beach ball. We blew them up and I let the kids play with them first. I knew it was going to happen so I let it! The kids loved this project and the beach balls were great quality.  I used some permanent makers I had in class and also Its Permanent Fine Point Markers. These markers have great color and low odor but they do not write on everything like most permanent markers do. I recommend them for writing and coloring but not permanent writing.

Mother's Day Puzzle 

This was not how I wanted to use these but the students saw them and begged me to let them turn them in to Mother's Day cards. So we did! Every mother wants a puzzle right? We drew a picture on one side and a letter on the other. These were easy to use, sturdy and the kids LOVED them. I hope the moms did too!

Spelling Word Giant Scrabble

When I saw this I had to have it. I really like to play scrabble so I figured out a way to bring it in the classroom. We focus weekly on phonics skills and spelling patterns that go with our Pearson Forward Curriculum. I thought it would be a fun way to do word work with giant tiles. The students loved it! We have played it several times and I think this game is a must for any 2-8 classroom. The best part was the students worked together so well.

End of The Year Journals
Every year I do some sort of end of the year journals. Some times I make them and sometimes I find them on TPT. This year I thought I would try Oriental Trading's version. They were cute and interactive. My students loved walking around the classroom getting autographs and counting how many boys and girls we have. I think these will be something I use year after year.

I hope you got some fun and engaging end of the year activities. I also hope you remember to check out Oriental Trading for your classroom needs. Tell me what you think! Comment below!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Luau Classroom

Did you know May is National Luau Month (Its hard to believe thats a thing.) Well I am switching my room theme just in time! Although a little piece of me died inside as I took down the Broncos stuff, I am pretty excited about how the Luau is turning out. I wanted to do the switch before the end of the school year because the last thing I want to do when I come back to school in August is add another thing to my plate. Here are some pictures of my "new" room:

For my teacher assistant. I have one student per day as my teacher helper. I do this instead of my classroom jobs. 

My behavior chart. My favorite thing is the tiny surf boards for clips. 

One of the teachers at my school was cleaning out her house and gave me all of this great Luau stuff. Like most teachers I am a pack rat and could not turn down free stuff.

You can buy this classroom pack from my TpT store. It is over 100 pages to turn your classroom into a Luau.

What is your room theme for next year? Comment below! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Its Here!

I love a good teaching tool! Don't we all? One great tool is The Teacher Anchor! C. Jayne Teach  has this wonderful resource available.  Next year's Anchor is here!  Visit her site and grab one before they are gone.

If you haven't visited C. Jayne Teach before you can find a variety of helpful and stylish classroom essentials.  Head over and check out this tool you will be happy that you did! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Educents Savings

Educents is already a site full of great deals. Now you can save even more.  Now through 4/27 visit this link  and enter code COOK010. You will save an extra 10% on their already awesome deals just in time for the end of the school year. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Skype With Amy E. Sklansky

We had a wonderful experience in our classroom last week. We skyped with an author and poet for Poetry Month.  I connected with Amy E. Sklansky through her Etsy Shop Little Knits Studio. She generously donated to our CO Blogger Meet Up and mentioned she was an author. I immediately checked out her website, bought a couple of her books and was thrilled that she would do a workshop for my students.

We got ready for her visit by reading some of her poems from Out of This World and From the Doghouse . These are beautifully illustrated books full of engaging poetry. The students were very excited that someone who wrote a book would want to talk to them.

Amy started off the Skype workshop having students look at some different pages from her books. The students were to pick out which one was a poem. Then she read a few of her poems, some of her favorite poems from other poets and talked about her process. She interacted with the students and asked them questions. They loved it and you could feel the excitement in the room.  Amy showed the students some of her rough drafts and told them that she sometimes revises 12 times. (I loved hearing this and keep reminding my kiddos who think that the writing process ends at the draft.) As she interacted with the students she shared a powerpoint with great information and examples of her work, other poets and even some students.

Their writing task for the workshop was to write a list poem. Amy helped them brain storm ideas after sharing her own list poem Packing For The Moon, about what the astronauts packed on the first trip to the moon. The students had wonderful ideas and even my struggling writers did a wonderful job.

The students loved  every minute  of this experience and it was perfect for poetry month. Check out some of their list poems and their creative places to pack for. Amy told them to play with the word placement and words themselves you will see that they really took this piece and ran with it. 

The workshop ended with the students asking questions which they really enjoyed. I think this is something my students will remember for years to come. They even asked me today who the next author was they were going to Skype with. If you want this experience for your classroom you should check out her site! If you live in the St.Louis area you might even be lucky enough to get an in person experience. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Earth Day Resources

Image Credit A Sketchy Guy

Earth Day is coming.....

Do you promote Earth Day in your classroom? If you do you should head over to Educents to check out some great FREE resources. If you haven't signed up for Educents you can now and receive $10.00 towards your first purchase. This will only work if you have not signed up before.

Here are some of the great resources you can use in your classroom from Educents and some of its talented sellers!

10 Earth Day Freebies for Kids

  1. Earth Day Sort - Help kids learn the difference between reducing, reusing, and recycling!
  2. Happy Earth Day Writing Activity - Kids of all ages can reflect on ways their family, school, and themselves can help keep the Earth healthy. Also encourages handwriting practice!
  3. Earth Day Coloring Pages - Creative kiddos can color the Earth with their colors of choice, or follow the color-by-code page to add critical thinking to art hour.
  4. Earth Day Poof! Subtraction to 5 - This Earth Day themed game builds fluency with subtraction facts to 5. It can be played in a small group or as a partner game. It is a fun way to practice those facts!
  5. Earth Day Word Search Freebie - Enjoy this Earth Day themed word search puzzle with 21 eco-friendly terms like atmosphere, compost, and recycle.
  6. Earth Day Bookmarks - The perfect Earth Day treat for your students. Available in full-color and black-and-white.
  7. Earth Day Survey and Graph - A fun and different way to practice graphing in your classroom while encouraging collaboration between students.
  8. Spring Coloring Book - Let your little ones COLOR & SPELL Spring words.
  9. Love the Earth Mystery Picture Graph - Students will love discovering the mystery picture by coloring in the correct squares on the alphanumeric grid using the coordinates given. This is a great addition to an Earth Day or recycling unit!
  10. April 2015 Journal - A month of free journaling for learners age 8 to 100! Read about important historic, artistic, and current events that happened during the month of April - including J. Robert Oppenheimer's birthday and Earth Day on April 22nd. Then develop vocabulary and critical thinking skills.
Want to turn your Earth Day celebration into an educational experience? Discover new ways to learn about the amazing planet we live on (without breaking the bank!) --> Earth Day learning resources<