Saturday, February 4, 2017

Animal Habitats

Animal Habitat Ideas

My students enjoyed our unit on Animal Habitats.  We sorted plastic animals on habitat mats (found in my TPT store), and colored 3D animals with their habitat as the background. 

Plastic animals worked great for this project. 

Each animal has a 3D affect. The bird and hen with a nest, polar bears's fish, alligator tail, and monkey ears. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Frog Skeleton

Fun Hands on Frog Skeleton Activity

The kids enjoyed putting together this frog skeleton. This and other activities can be found in my TPT store in my amphibian unit week 1.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

What I've Learned – The Daily 5 

This past year was my first for the Daily 5. I'll have to say I am surprised at how I grew to love it, and what it has done for my students. First of all, when I started, these thoughts went through my mind the first weeks:
                        What the heck was I thinking!
                        I'm going to have to micro-manage.
                        My centers won't be as engaging.
                        My kid's attention span will be too small.
                        How interested will my kids be in reading in more than one center?
Of course all these thoughts came to mind while in process of "preparing" the kids to know the routines, learn to read to self, buddy read, etc. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here is a link to read about the Daily 5 from the "2 Sisters"

Anyway, I'm not gonna lie… I was wrong!  I read
last summer and tried to follow their procedures, and remember the countless articles I read by teachers who use the Daily 5.  They proclaimed that their "teacher life" was easier, and their students not only loved the Daily 5, they learned better.

Let me back up a bit, prior to, I was organizing, replenishing, and slaving over 6-7 centers per week, each with specific subject areas. I was spending oodles of time after school mostly focusing on these centers, on top of planning for other parts of the day.

After the beginning stages of our 5 centers, and the preparation phase for my kids, I was amazed. So, I have a rotation schedule for my kids in order that everyone hits each center each week (next year I'm going to try a free choice schedule). To my surprise, "Read to Self", and "Buddy Read" were the favorites of the week; I would hear an enthusiastic "yay". Sure enough, they stuck to the routine, used reading buckets, and were engaged in the centers. I had less micro management than I've ever had in my classroom!

I'm sure you are thinking… yeah but what about guided reading groups. How can you even hear them reading with centers going on in the background and children reading to each other? The answer is, I found the noise level to be better! Yes, of course there was noise, but at a normal speaking level. My students in my guided reading group were not distracted, and nor was I. With the Daily 5 I have a Hmmmm, or certain buzzzz in the classroom. It's the kind of feeling and sound you can remember when your students are all engaged, interested, and happy with the activity they are doing. Just a feeling in the room that you know well, when you experience it as a teacher. Here are some pics of my students during the Daily 5 during one of these fully engaged times.  
Students during "Read to Self"

"Work on Writing"

"Buddy Read" after reading shoulder to shoulder students sequenced events together.

To sum it up… I would highly recommend the Daily5 to another teacher! However, read up on the preparation for your students, and follow the steps – they have been tested and are true. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Humming Bird Craft

My students loved making these humming birds. We did them along with the pollination and plants unit found in my TPT store.  Here is the pattern and a picture.  All you need are small cup cake holders, card stock, pipe cleaner and markers.  Fold the cup cake holders and glue to the pattern cut from card stock  (after coloring with markers). Poke a small hole in the card stock and pull a small pipe cleaner through the hole. Done...


Download pattern by clicking here

Saturday, April 23, 2016

How I Organized my Desktop

                             Spring Cleaning My Desktop

I'm so proud of myself... I finally got my act together and cleaned my desktop with all my TPT products and more.  I made a template (got the idea from Flip Flopping To School, who got the idea from Smiling and Shining in Second Grade) as a background that allowed me to separate and organize all my files. It took a while but was well worth the effort. I feel like I Spring cleaned my house! Here is a screen shot of my desktop and the template I used if anyone else cares to take on the challenge:)
My Desktop

Click to download here

Friday, April 22, 2016

Free Earth Day Writing Activity

                                   Free Writing Printable for

                                         Earth Day!

This activity is great for Kindergarten and First Grade writing.  It supplies words for students to use in their sentences.  To download click below.

click here to download

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Easy Soil Activity

This activity was so easy and yet my students were so engaged doing it.  Sometimes it surprises me how much they get into an activity that I thought was so, so... Anyway, we first took a walk around the playground to notice what types of soil we could find.  We spotted sandy soil near the track, rich soil around the bushes, and of course since we live in Ga., we found red clay. Once inside (and after a quick discussion about certain plant needs), I gave each student a piece of paper folded to make three spaces.  They labeled and drew the types of soil we saw and what might grow in them.
Red Clay, Sandy, and Rich Soil Activity