Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Loomy Sale!

In the spirit of fall, I felt like I was over due for a good old fashioned sale. The prices of my Loomy Bracelet worksheets are definitely falling this weekend! Buy each Loomy set for only $1 or buy all three for $3. These bracelets are so much fun! My students love making them. I love using them for centers. They are also great for indoor recess. Some people have been hesitant about trying these because they think they will take too much time. I would be lying if I said the students can make them in 5 seconds. However, they don't take that long to make. The first time we made one it took between 10-20 minutes to make. Now it takes about 5-15 minutes for them to make it, and I teach first graders! Some have become "experts" and they go around and help anyone who needs it. They really help each other out and are so excited when their bracelet is complete. Even if they don't finish making them in time, I just give them a baggie and they ask to finish them at recess or take them home. The more they make them, the faster they are. Try out the FREE Loomy Bracelets too. But don't forget, the sale is only for Saturday and Sunday! Have a wonderful fall weekend!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Lost and Found - Repair Shop

Every year I try a few new things. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. This year I tried two new things that I absolutely love. The first one is having a Lost and Found box in my room.

I saw it on Pinterest and I knew I had to try it. I have to say that it is wonderful addition to my classroom. My students find things on the floor or around the room and if they don't know whose it is, they just put it in the Lost and Found box. If someone is missing something, they just go look for it in the box. This has cut down on so many small disruptions where students are asking whose things are and then holding it up for someone to identify it. It's quick, easy, and doesn't take up much room. It's definitely a must-have in your classroom!

The second thing I tried this year is something I saw in my best friend Andrea's classroom. She had a repair shop box in her room.

I was intrigued and I asked her about it. She said that whenever a student breaks something or rips a page in a book etc., they put it in the repair shop box for her to fix it. This is also a great addition to the classroom. Whenever anything breaks or gets ripped. I just tell them to put it in the repair shop and I fix it later. It's great! I always love less classroom disruptions and these additions have definitely helped with that. Just some fun ideas for today. Happy day off to all of the Marylanders!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Saving Sunflowers

So, "resourceful recycling" me saw some sunflowers the other day in the mailbox room. I have forever wanted sunflowers for my students to use when we learn about flowers and seeds so I was jumping on this opportunity. There were six of them which was perfect because that lets me have one for each group and then one for me to use as a model. The question was: How do I save these? I'm not teaching plants until the Spring but I have seen people use dry ones from year to year so I knew it could be done. All I've ever heard about drying flowers is to hang them upside down. Awesome! Wait. Where? How? I searched the room high and low and this is what I did:

I just opened a paper clip to make an S. Then I stuck one end through the stem (close to the head of the flower). After that, I hung the other end of the paper clips along some beads that I already had in my room. Perfecto! All of them hanging up nicely without taking up any extra space: 

Now I'm no expert so I have no idea if this is actually going to work. Only time will tell. In theory, I like to think this will work. In a few weeks, I will post the progress of these beauties and hopefully all will be well in the land of flower drying. If you have any tips or ideas for drying flowers please let me know! I can't wait to use these in the Spring (: 


*10/21/14 - Sunflower Update*

Just FYI the sunflowers did dry this way. Over a few days, I came in to tons of pollen on the floor. This morning I came in and found about 60 tiny worms all over my easel. I almost had a heart attack! They were everywhere! So, while I learned that hanging them upside down like this does in fact dry them, next time I will be sure to do this outside. You never know when stealthy little worms are hiding in your sunflowers!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Character and Setting Song

Over the years I have noticed that almost all children in first grade love songs. Not only do they love them, but they remember them better than anything else! I have come up with tons of quick little chants to use in my class that my students sing to help them remember key ideas. I do this for phonics, reading skills, math, and even science. I try to make them short and sweet. Before this year, I never video taped myself doing them. While I am aware that I look somewhat dorky while I do it in class, it is a whole different thing to see your dorkyness on camera! I'm just trying to say whatever to that fact and hope that the chants help someone else's students which would make it all worth it. With all of that being said, I have made a video for my character and setting chant. I am aware of my specialness in this video and had to include my super specialness in the ending (: My students love this chant and we sing it whenever we talk about character and setting. They start to sing it on their own when they hear the words character or setting. Not only did I make this video, I thought it would be good to have some resources to go with it. I have several different character cards (boy, girl, cat, dog, bunny, pig) as well as setting cards (house, outside, underwater, castle, zoo, carnival) for the students to use while they chant along with the video. I have also written 4 days of lesson plans and made materials to go with those plans like posters, chant cards, journal cut-outs, worksheets, and an assessment (with answer keys). I'm hoping my little chants and activities can help your students learn and remember character and setting! I'd love to know if you found this useful (: Over and out.

Get the video pack with cards, lesson plans, activities, worksheets, and assessments
Video Pack HERE