Monday, May 2, 2016

The End is Near....:(

Can you believe summer is almost here?  It's that bittersweet time of year.  Planning the end of the year activities, assessing and FREAKING OUT!

Every year I think to myself,  "if only I had a little more time...with...this!"  Every year!  It never gets easier to say goodbye to a family of first graders!  We spend all year building a community and then, just like that, they are second graders!  :(

For the most part, my end of the year activities are planned out and I'm ready for the big finish!  Daily 5 time is running like a well oiled machine, these days!  Another tear just dropped as I think of the hard work it took to get here!

Each year I end the year with a rainforest unit!  It is a fun, engaging theme for students and I love it.
My kiddos are enjoy reading a huge assortment of rainforest books we have in our classroom library! I've really beefed up my collection!

I say this for every project, I'm sure, but this one is probably my absolute favorite!  We learn so much about the layers of the rainforest, the animals that live there and demonstrate our learning by presenting a play to our families during the last week of school!  This is such a fun way to end the year and truly is the Big Finish to first grade!  The kids really look forward to performing for the Kindergarteners...they remember being the audience not that long ago!

I have rewritten a reader's theatre script every year, depending on the kiddos and personalities.  I base the script off of Lynne Cherry's amazing book, The Great Kapok Tree!  The kids really get into their parts as creatures from the rainforest!  Over the years, I've accumulated super AMAZING costumes thanks to parent volunteers, past and present!  It makes it so much fun for the kiddos to dress up like the animals!

After performing the play, the students share their interactive notebooks with families!  What a wonderful way for my students to share a year's worth of learning!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Earth Day!

Earth Day is this Friday!  I love celebrating Earth Day!  It's a kick off to our big conservation unit!  We are headed to the Worm Farm on Thursday morning, followed by "Worm Stations" that afternoon!  It's sure to be the best day ever!  Or so I've heard in years pasts!

We make "Worm Dirt Cups" (yum), "Worm Buddies", "Worm Anatomy Book Covers" and color a cute worm book!  Yep!  Best day ever!
So, this unit starts with a trip to the worm farm to learn about worms from Farmer Mark!  Then we come back to class and explore worms up close in the afternoon.   We measure our worms and described how they look, feel, smell and sound!  

Worm book coloring station!
We measured our worms!
We made worm buddies!
We drew the worm anatomy!
After we explore our worms and measure them, we put them to work in our school garden!  Our garden teacher loves the new residents each year!  

So I guess it really is the Best Day Ever!  But not just for the students!  :)
Here is a Freebie for you to use this week!  Grab some worms and celebrate these helpers of the Earth!  

I have some other resources that I'll be using this week!  Check 'em out!  Just click the picture!  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Classroom Tested Resources

April is Poetry Month!  I'm blogging over at Classroom Tested Resources today with an idea for Poem in Your Pocket Day!  Hop over for your freebie!

Enjoy the Day!

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Jelly Bean is not a Jelly Bean when....

This is a fun writing prompt for Spring!  I make jelly bean templates and put them in my writing tubs with colored construction paper.  The students trace and cut out a jelly bean shape.

This shape becomes the focus of an illustration that CANNOT be a jelly bean!  It's so fun to see the wheels start to turn and watch my kiddos use their creative juices!  We then write to one of these prompts...

A jelly bean is not a jelly bean when it's a _________________.

This is not a jelly bean! It's a ______________.

Then we had to decide what our jelly bean, wasn't!  Each child created a picture using the shape and completed the frame sentence:

My kiddos had so much fun with this little writing assignment that I'm thinking about adding to independent literacy tubs for the remainder of the year.  I'll add different shapes each week and let their imaginations go wild!

 And of course, my personal favorite....MARIO!

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Magic Egg!

I want to share a little art project I enjoy doing with my kiddos every Spring!   Like most great projects, we start with a wonderful book!

After reading about Babushka and her beautiful eggs, we make our own! 

We start with a plain circle and draw shapes and squiggles.  Then we colore each shape or space a different color.  We try not to have two touching spaces be the same color. 

Then we carefully cut the circle into strips about the same width as our pinky fingers.  We make about 6 cuts, which gave us 7 strips!  We cut the strips over our background paper so they fall in order on the paper.  Then we glue them down onto the background paper, leaving small spaces in between each strip!
Viola!  A circle becomes an magic!

These cuties wanted to make a second "magic egg" and work together!

I'd love to know if you try this art activity and how it goes for your students!