Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mothers' Day Craft Idea 2017

Are you planning on having your students make a craft for Mothers' Day?  Here is one of my favorites!  Flower pots!

I love the flower pots my own children have made over the years, some were from school and some were from church.

In most crafts, I like to include something unique to the child.  To do that in these flower pots, I have them use their finger prints.  Their finger prints make the ladybugs on their flower pot.

Here is all that you need to get started... plus a clay pot. 

I have my first graders come to my table in groups of 3, so that I can guide them. If you have older students, your can have larger groups and this will go much faster.  I turn the pot over and write their initials and the year on the bottom with a Sharpie.


Then I put a bit of red paint onto a paper plate.   I show them how to dip their finger into the paint, blot it on paper plate if needed, and then press their finger onto the clay pot.  I have a model already made so they can see that I want them to make a top row and a bottom row of finger prints.


Once they have made prints all around their pot, I set them aside to dry.



I do this next part after they go home.   (However, if you have older kiddos, they may be able to to this themselves.)  I use the Sharpie to draw the ladybug features (head, antenna, line down the back, and dots).


The next day, I have students use a paintbrush and the yellow paint, to make a yellow band all around the top.  They love painting with the paintbrush, and they do a really good job.  For first graders, I must show them how to make back-and-forth strokes with the brush so that their finished product looks neat.  Then I have the pots dry again for a few hours.  (Sorry I forgot to take any more pictures, but as I make them again this year, I will upload them.)

After my kiddos go home, I pull out my trusty Sharpie (and sometimes 2 or 3), and I write the following phrase on top of the yellow paint, going around the pot.
"Like a flower, my love for you grows and grows..." (I include the dots at the end)

Lastly, I have my students decorate a white paper bag including the words "Happy Mothers' Day!" I wrap each pot in colorful tissue paper and we put them inside their handmade gift bag.  Ta-da!  All Done!!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

St. Patrick's Day 2017

One of the most exciting things to do on St. Patrick's Day for first graders is to have a leprechaun visit  the classroom.  It seems that some leprechauns wreak havoc on the classroom, while others leave a few scattered gold-covered, chocolate coins.  I prefer the latter because I really don't want to clean up the room any more than I already do.


To add to our independent reading this month, I made QR Codes for March and April read alouds for several books about St. Patrick's Day.

At our school we have B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) day every Wednesday, and sometimes on Fridays as well.  We are fortunate to have a few iPads in our classroom as well.  I rotate the classroom iPads and students who don't have one, know they will get a turn next time.  All you need is a QR Code scanner which can be downloaded for free from the app store.


I like these QR codes because they do not show advertisements to my students at the beginning of the read aloud.  My students like them because they feel so hi-tech using their devices to read the wonderful stories themselves.





Easter comes in March this year, so I added Easter books in this QR Codes for March and April Read Alongs  I've included several of my favorite books.  Here is a list of the books included.

  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day
  • The History of St. Patrick’s Day
  • That’s What Leprechauns Do
  • Jack and the Leprechaun
  • Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
  • The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever
  • There Was and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover
  • The Leprechaun’s Gold
  • Fin M’Coul, The Giant of Knockmany Hill
  • The Easter Egg
  • Pete the Cat Big Easter Adventure
  • The Night Before Easter
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Marley and the Great Easter Egg Hunt
  • The Easter Bunny’s Assistant
  • Bunny Cakes
  • Happy Easter, Curious George
  • Happy Easter, Little Critter
  • Happy Easter, Mouse!
  • The Runaway Bunny

There are times I want my students to respond to a book they've read independently.  Here is a FREE copy of one of the response sheets I use in my classroom.  You can cut it in half and have students paste the sheet into their regular Reader's Notebook.  Another ides is to make a Response Journal and put in several blank copies of this page or others like it.  Then have your students fill out one response per day, or as you desire.

If you happen to be a second or third grade teacher reading this blog, you probably teach the difference between simple and compound subjects and predicates.  Here is an activity I made to help, at least with the subject topic.  It's called St. Patrick's Day Simple Subjects vs. Compound Subjects.


I always love to include an educational video that explains the origins and traditions about our national holidays.  
Here is a great one that tells all about St. Patrick's Day.


I hope you and your students enjoy St. Patty's Day this March 17th!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

What are you doing for Dr. Seuss Week?

I can't believe February is almost over and March will be here next week!  In fact Thursday, March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Our school will celebrate this beloved children's author with a full week of Seuss-like fun!


  • On Monday, students will wear a hat and bring their favorite Dr. Seuss book to read during reading.  Our principal will read The Cat in the Hat to each grade level.  
  • Tuesday will be crazy sock day and we will read Fox in Socks.  
  • Of course Wednesday will be Wacky Wednesday, and all the children will dress in their wackiest of outfits.  
  • Thursday students will wear green for Green Eggs and Ham.  
  • On Friday, we're all wearing our favorite college shirt along with reading Oh, The Places You'll Go book.   
Dr. Seuss's birthday coincides with Read Across America Day, so I really wanted my kiddos to have as many books written by Dr. Seuss as possible.  I was so disappointed when I found that I only had 7 or 8 in my classroom.  So I went to our media center and found only 2 that were not already check out by students or teachers. With only about 10 books, it didn't look like we were going to do much Dr. Seuss reading at all... and then I had an idea!



I would make QR codes linking to books that could be read with an iPad!  I worked on this for several days and when I was done, I had 20 books linked to videos which showed the words, in most cases, on the iPad screen, as well as the sound of someone reading the story aloud!



As you can see, last year my kiddos enjoyed traditional books 
as well as our new access to read alongs with our brand new QR Codes!


My students were so engaged and excited to get to read so many great treasures by Dr. Seuss!  We actually used these all throughout the week.  If you are interested in checking out the set, you can click on the link below and download a preview.





If you want to see the fun Dr. Seuss-inspired math activity called 
 click on the link in this sentence. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

100th Day of School 2017

What are you doing on the 100th Day of School?

So our 100th Day of School this year is on Monday.  Normally,  I'd be already to go.  However, I've been sick with the flu for a whole week!  I don't have to tell you how behind I feel right now!  I had to have a friend send home the 100th day letter to my parents earlier this week.  I get parents to donate the various items we need for our awesome 100th Day Snack.  So tomorrow (on Sunday, I can't believe it!),  I'm headed to school to  see what my parents sent in so that I can see what else I need to purchase in order to fill in the gaps.


I will also be cutting paper for our 100th Day Crowns as well.  I need to go to Walmart to pick up new ink cartridges so that I can print the headers that go on our crowns.



These are pictures from last year's 100th day of school.  If you want to read more about what we did last year, click here.

I'll come back after Monday, and post some new pics of what we do this year!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

MLK Day 2017


What are you doing in your classroom for MLK Day?


My school is out on Monday in observance of the holiday dedicated to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  When we return on Tuesday, we will learn all about the life of Dr. King.

I have a series of products called American Heroes.  These products contain material for both primary and upper elementary grades.  You can get this one, just in time for MLK day, Monday, January 16th.

You can find this product on TPT simply titled Martin Luther King, Jr., or click on the cover image or preview below to go directly there.




My kids and I love the reading website Epic!  And we love National Geographic Kids!  If you have not joined Epic, you'll want to go ahead and take advantage of the thousands of great books they have to offer.  


I plan to read this book about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to my kiddos when we return to school on Tuesday.  I don't have it in my classroom, but with Epic, I have access to so many wonderful books just like this one.  I project it on my Smart board and my students can read along with me.  

This is the image you will see when you first click onto their site.  You will probably recognize some of the titles at the bottom of their screen.  




Or you if you want your own copy, you can click on the link below to get it from Amazon and add it to your classroom library.  Here are some other great books I have in my classroom library that I like to read aloud.  My students love to take the books I read aloud, and put then in their book box to read during independent reading time that day.  

            

I'd love to hear from you.  What are you doing in your classrooms to celebrate MLK Day?  Feel free to leave comments below. 



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