Thursday, August 11, 2011

First week back!

So this was my first week back - with kids.  It's been a great week, but I am EXHAUSTED! 

I stayed late after school today, thinking I would have all of my plans done for next week by the time I left.  Ha!  Not even close.  But, I DID get centers planned for next week.  That's always a hard task for me, especially the first ones of the year - trying to decide what's going to be "just right" for the new group of kiddos.  Anyway, I wanted to share a couple of the centers that I'm going to use for my first week of centers.

One of the centers I am planning on putting out is a listening center.  The students will listen to If You Take a Mouse to School.  After listening, I want them to think of an animal they might take to school.  Then they will illustrate what might happen if they take that animal to school and write a sentence or two.  Here's the paper that I made to go with it.

One of the other centers I will put out is a writing center to go along with the book Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London.  We've read the story.  At this center, they will pick the picture that represents how they go to school.  After cutting it out, they are going to illustrate and write about how they go to school.  After they are all complete, we can make it into a class book.

Another center that I am planning on having them do is a write the room center where they will sort the students' names by the number of letters. 

Those are a couple things I'll be using next week.  Maybe you can use something too!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Polka Dot Pots

Every year I try to get my wonderful team something little at the beginning of the year to say Welcome Back!  Normally, I get them a notebook and pencil to go with it.  This year I was trying to think outside the box (or notebook in this case).  Here's what I came up with.  I wanted some for my room to add a little warmth to it so I thought my team might like one too.  Tell me what you think.  :)

I got the pots at Wal Mart.  They're plastic so they won't break.  I know the plants don't look like much - yet.  They are the "babies" from my spider plant.  They shouldn't take long to grow.  (And, if they don't, the pots can always be cleaned out and used as pen holders!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New (School) Year's Resolution Linky Party

Clutter-Free Classroom is hosting a linky party on what your New Year's Resolutions are for the new school year.  What a great way to reflect on your own personal goals for the year as well as possibly getting some new ideas from other great bloggers.  So, my goals for the year are:

1.  Make my room inviting looking This year I want to add some warm touches to my classroom like plants and bean bag chairs just to make it feel a little more like home.  (Thanks to Donors Choose I'm getting 4 new bean bag chairs.  Yay!) 

2.  Keep an organized classroom.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I start the year off organized with everything in its place, but then I get busy and before I know it piles start popping up (as well as dust bunnies...)!  This year I want to keep up with this because I think if the teacher is organized, the kids will be too!

3.  Have fun!  I sometimes forget about this with all the pressure of getting the kiddos where they need to be.  I've found tons of fun games and activities on blogs that I plan on integrating into my curriculum to put the fun back in. 

I can't wait to read about all of your resolutions as well.  :)

Back to School Mega Giveaway!

Are you ready to go Back to School?  Erica Bohrer is hosting a Back to School Bonanza Giveaway should help you get in the mood!  Twelve fabulous bloggers have teamed up to give one lucky winner a huge back to school prize pack!  The contest will run until midnight eastern time, on Thursday, July 28th. 
 Click on the picture to go to Erica's blog for your chance to win!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reading Strategies Freebie!

Earlier this summer I was inspired by Mrs. Jump's blog  She had posted reading strategies and clip art that went with each strategy.  I loved it and immediately thought that I was definitely going to use it.  But, then I realized that the strategies that my school uses are different from the ones on the blog.

So... I got my creative juices flowing and made strategy cards to go with the reading strategies that are used at my school.  I think they turned out pretty cute too!  What do you think?

Get your own by clicking here.

I am going to hang the strategy cards on the bulletin board in my guided reading area as well as in my library corner.

Another thing I made was a strategy card to send home with my students in their repeated reading bag.  That way they can have access to the same strategies at home as they do in school.

Click the picture for your copy.
Another thing I plan to do with the strategies that are all on one page is laminate and cut them apart and then attach them to my guided reading table with velcro.  That way I can take a strategy off and hand it to a student if I want them to use it, or I can take one off the table if they're using it too much (like the "guess" strategy!)  I'll post a picture once I get into my classroom and have it all set up.  :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

ADORABLE Bracelet Giveaway! Don't Miss it!

My friend Tara at 4th Grade Frolics is having a giveaway to celebrate 250 followers.  She has teamed up with Sophie of Sophies Beads and is giving away an adorable Seussy bracelet.  You don't want to miss your chance to win it.  What are you waiting for?  Go now!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rainbow Fish!

One of my favorite beginning of the year activities is to read the Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.  After reading the story, we discuss how the rainbow fish treated others the way she wanted to be treated because she shared her shiny scales with everyone in the ocean.  By sharing her scales, not only did it make the other fish in the ocean happy, it also made the rainbow fish feel good.  Once we've discussed the author's purpose, I have each student trace a large fish pattern on a piece of paper and then water color the paper.  After lunch, once they are dry, the kiddos cut out their fish and then I share one shiny scale (aluminum foil that the students think is better than gold!) with each student to glue on to their fish.  The fish make a great display and it's a wonderful way to remind the students to share with their classmates.  I wish I had pictures from last year's fish.  I'll be sure to take some and post them when we do this activity this year.