Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Writing...The Joy of it all!

Hello Everyone!
Do you ever wonder if you truly are teaching? Making a difference? Helping kids be the best they can be?? I am telling you when you really look at the progress kids make through their written expression, your answer will be clear! Don't doubt yourself!!
 Every student in our school district maintains a writing portfolio which is passed to each new grade level as students progress.  We take a writing sample three times a year. The samples go into the portfolio along with documentation on a writing continuum.  Last week I finally had a chance to show the kids the writing collected in their personal portfolios.  Of course, they only had writing from kindergarten and this year, but I wanted them to see what almost brought me to tears as I was putting folders together. Tears of JOY!!! The growth in writing is amazing to me!! They are learning!! They are taking in all of our little lessons and writing conference conversations!! 
When I asked the kids to open their portfolios,...you should have seen their faces! You should have heard the squeals of delight!! You should have seen them jumping up and down!!

They truly couldn't believe how much they have grown as writers!
End of Kindergarten to end of first grade growth!!

Today we counted up all the books we have published! Again! The smiles and cheers were crazy cool!!
In my class I have some wonderful moms who come in on Thursdays to help kids publish their drafts. Once in a while they will get them typed up, but the majority of work is simply printed on plain white paper and stapled together with a little cover.  Each kiddo was able to publish about 18 books this year. That makes a total of 396!!! 


I can't thank the moms enough for the incredible help this year!!  I know I couldn't have done it without them!! Yes!!  MoreTears of JOY!!!
 Here's my publishing note that I include with the tub of supplies.

On another note, I promised I would share a quick little end of year treat. Very simple, inexpensive, not too much color ink, but also thoughtful!! 

Well, the excitement of our school day has calmed, it's time to put the wife and mother hat on and get dinner going.  Nothing too exciting!! Oh well, I love that I get to wear different hats!!
Till next time, thanks for stopping by for a peek!!  Stay tuned for some popsicle fun!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thanks for the Memories!

Hello Everyone!!
Feeling so blessed today as we take time to remember all those who put so much on the line for the freedoms we enjoy today.  Thank you to all of you and your families! Flags are flyin'!! Hearts are burstin'!

Just a quick share today before we go out to enjoy some grillin'! I've had a ton of e-mails asking if I had an end of year memory book I do with my kids. Well I wanted to update and upgrade my meager one anyway, so here's a brand new one!! I wanted something that had room for written expression as well as creative expression, so each page has both.  The book turned out to be about 25 pages long, but you can certainly pick and choose, and copy it 2-sided to save paper!  Here are a few pics!

a second option for a student cover

Stay tuned for a quick and inexpensive end of year little treat for those amazing littles!!!
Enjoy your day!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Cool Finish with a Personal Finance Touch!

Hello Everyone!
Phew!! We are in the final stretch!  9 more days of first grade fun!! In math we are finishing up with a "cool"personal finance unit.  It's a unit that includes just about everything we've studied in math and social studies. Money, addition and subtraction, fractions, wants and needs, everyday living, etc.  I put together a little unit last year that now includes a personal finance section. "Popsicle Pizzazz" includes some cross- curricular learning/review opportunities that will help the last few days go down smoothly! Here are a few pics.

A PERFECT book to read if you want to combine cool popsicles and personal finance is a recent discovery, "Root Beer and Banana" by Sarah Sullivan.  It is about two girls who accidentally discover friendship and charitable giving through ice pops!! I am so excited to share this story with my littles!!Root Beer and Banana

The popsicle unit is now about 75 pages, but you certainly can pick and choose which learning opportunities to print and do! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay tuned for pics of our last few days of learning celebrations!!! We appreciate your support!
Well, off to get all my Popsicle sticks ready for next week!!  I hope you have a cool end of the year!! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Days of Summer! A send home packet of fun!

Hello Everyone!
It's that time of the school year when teachers think about how to make sure that no "summer slump" happens with our precious students.  We always try to send home suggestions to parents as to how to keep that from happening.  This year I put together a little pack that will be easy to print, easy on the color ink, and easy to send home...but will keep kids engaged in the learning process all summer.  Here are a few pages from the all black and white, no running out of color ink, 50 page pack!


The pack contains math, word work, creative expression, written expression, and reading opportunities!!

You can get it HERE!!! CLICK!! :)  50 Pages worth of fun!!

I may just add some science later, but I wanted to at least get this out!!  Happy last couple of weeks!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

...As Lovely as a Tree...

Hello Everyone!
We had a  "tree"mendous day today!  We are finishing up our natural resources unit and today turned out to be all about trees!  We started off with our Think Outside the Box Thursday Morning Warm up. I gave the kids some little leaves and twigs.  They had to glue them on to their paper and create something different.

I am always amazed at the creativity in my littles!!

  We read several books about trees, brainstormed why trees are considered a natural resource, and created some summary list trees out of paint chip strips. Glue or tape a stick to the bottom and voila! Some pretty special little trees!!  

Save the Trees!!!

We then had the opportunity to go outside to enjoy and study the trees around us.  We took paper and crayons out to take some rubbings. We of course talked about protecting trees for so many reasons. We are so lucky to have some beautiful trees around our school. 

We also talked about replacing any trees that are cut down or damaged by weather or fire. We found a great example of a new tree. 
What a great day of learning!
If you are interested in our unit on Natural resources (I think I shared one last year as well) here are a few pics.

mystery picture


And you can get your free 30 page printable download HERE! CLICK!
Well, I can't believe tomorrow's Friday already!! The days are flying by!!! Hold on tight, we're coming in for a landing very soon!!  I hope the view until then is as great as it was today!!!
Thanks for stopping by!!