Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How to Make a Sandwich

Last summer, I read the book "Crash Course" by Kim Bearden.  It completely changed my world.  Every day isn't perfect, but it left me wanting to have more perfect lessons, more memories, and wanting to give my kids more hands-on learning experiences.  I made it a point to try to plan one or two incredible lessons a week.

This lesson is one of those lessons and I can honestly say it is one of my favorite ones I've ever taught.  Yes, it did cost a little bit, but I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to create this lesson, so I budgeted for it.

First, I gathered all the sandwich stuff I needed to make this lesson work.  Honestly, it didn't cost much because I grabbed a lot of the stuff out of our refrigerator.  Either the stuff had just expired or had been in there awhile.   If you are better at finishing off all your extra food, then most of this stuff is cheap or you can see if several parents could send in the stuff for you.

I also went on Amazon and ordered chef hats, aprons, and gloves.  That cost a little more, but I really wanted to build out this experience.

After I gathered all of my stuff together, I waited for my kids to go to specials and I got everything set up and ready for them.  They had no idea that they were coming back to this lesson which made it more fun.

As always before we started, we went over the rules - no eating because some of the food was expired, no playing, and work as a team.  I appointed team captains and then split the kids into groups of three.  The team captains were the only ones allowed to come get items from me.
Once the sandwiches were done, I gave students their cut and paste sheets.  We went over these when we were going over the rules, so they knew what to do.

After that, we did our How To Make A Sandwich rough draft together.  I did this because I wanted us to be able to talk about our transitional words.  I also wanted us to be able to discuss how to use commas in a series and how to add extra details between the sentences.
The next day, I let my kids write their final drafts and paint a picture of what the sandwich looked like.

This may not be the lesson for you, but go find your lesson.  There is nothing more incredible than seeing your kids' eyes sparkle, watching imagination grow, and observing dreamers realize that they can do anything.  It will make all of the weight you endure worth it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Buckets

This time of year is always so crazy to me.  There are 100 things to complete and tons of paperwork.  Every year, I do a post similar to this.   I hope this post can help you with a few ideas that you may want to try in your classroom.

Oh, and before you say, "I can't believe she buys all of that!"  I don't buy everything you see.  I send a letter home to my parents and most of the stuff is donated by the parents.  I do typically get the buckets and put together the little shovels with worms, but they do the rest.  I even arrange for a parent or two to come in and fill up the buckets for me.

These are great if you want something that's free and you want your kiddos to work on their reading over the summer.  It also isn't something that will be extremely time consuming.  There's also several different ones in case you want your kids to be more challenged.

The last few years, I have done summer buckets for my class.  I know it looks like a lot, but when you get parents to help out, it's a lot of fun and it doesn't cost quite as much as you think it may.  I usually find the buckets at Michaels.  Below is the list of items I send home to my parents.  I try to put things that the kids can use during the summer, but also things that they need for their summer packets like pencils, little pencil sharpeners (I found them at the Dollar Tree in packets of 8 to 12), erasers, crayons, and even flashcard packs for some of my kids that are still working on learning their math facts.

If you want to use the tags that I put on the buckets or the list I sent home to my parents, just click on one of the images.  It will take you to the file so you can download it.

I created these last year to prevent a summer slide for my kiddos.  Since I finished first grade pretty quickly, I went ahead and created a kindergarten packet and a second grade packet.  If you are curious about how they are set up, click on the grade level you are interested in and download the preview on TPT.  It will show you how it is set up.  Each packet also has a parent letter and reading log.  All you have to do is print the packet front and back and it's ready to go.  With it being the end of the school year, if you are like me, you don't have time for much more than that.  There's too many memories to fit into your day.  If you are tutoring this summer, you may also want to check out the packets.  I know several people have commented that they are perfect to use when tutoring.

Alright y'all!  Hope you have a great week!  Thanks for being the best fans ever!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Testing Treats

Sometimes it's nice to do a Throwback Thursday post.  This is one of my favorites.  We used a lot of these last year and I used them again this year.  I don't have time to do all of these, but with my parents' help it's fun to do some of these so testing isn't too rough.  Hope these help you out, too.  If you like them,  you can click any of the images to make them yours.

ALL of the items below I found at Target, but I am certain you can get most of them at the Dollar Store, Walmart, or the grocery store.

A few other things I do during testing week to try to help with any stress my kids may be feeling is I have their parents write them a note for each day, I have breakfast ready for them when they get to the class, and at the end of the week, we have a pizza party.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five for Friday

My niece really wanted a paint party, so my sister scheduled a party at a place called Adoore It!  I'm sure you're thinking, "Why is she posting the name? I can't go there."  Well, I'm posting the name of the place because while you can paint your own signs, you can also order signs and Nikki will ship them to you.  She's great and her signs are adorable.  This is one I decided to paint to hang in my craft room at home.  If you want to get a sign for your door (She has hundreds of options), click the image below.  It will take you to her Facebook fan page.

I saw this on Facebook and had to show you.  Every time I see it, it makes me laugh.  It's a picture for Cinco de Mayo.  Get it?  "Sink"o de Mayo!  I've never seen that before and just found it hilarious.

For Career Day this year, we had a forensic investigator come talk to our kids.  She chose several kids to volunteer.  These are pictures where she had my student touch a sheet of paper.  After she touched the sheet, she helped my student dust the sheet for fingerprints and lift her fingerprints off the sheet.  She then showed her how to preserve the fingerprints.  My students LOVED participating in Career Day.  We always have some really neat careers for each of the grade levels.  Most years, we even have a helicopter land on our soccer field.  This was an all around fun day!

For Teachers Appreciation Week, one of my students gave me a Starbucks gift card.  I don't drink Starbucks or coffee every day, but I love it when I'm in the mood for it.  My favorite is white chocolate mocha.  My little guy was so excited, so I took this picture and sent it to his mom to show him.

For the last few months, I've been making shirts to wear for all the special school days.  This is the shirt I made for the last day of school.  I think it may be my new favorite.  Too bad I can only wear it once a year.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mothers Day Gifts

I love giving gifts, but classroom gifts always leave me feeling a little stumped.  It's easy to create something quick and fun when it's for one person, even two people.  However, when you have a classroom with 18 to 24 kids depending on the year, it is complicated, especially when the 18 to 24 kids are between the ages of six and seven and you are on your own.  So, here are a few ideas that are reasonably cheap.
Last year, I did this little surprise.  It was a card and then we attached a candy bar to the back of it. Quick, simple, and fun.  If you need something that isn't time consuming, feel free to click on the image.  It's a freebie, so maybe it will help you.

This year, my teammates and I decided to work together.  I had already started thinking I may want to do the awesome "Spa Moms" that my girls at Fluttering Through First Grade created.  As my teammate would say, "They are the!"  Seriously, these take a little time and effort, but they turned out great.  You can click the image below to go grab the packet.

First, we made our Spa Moms and coupon books.  One of my teammates let the kids write their own coupons.  I kind of got a late start, so we decided to use the pre-made coupons. That's one of the greatest things about their packet - you have options!

After we made our Spa Moms and coupon books, we made a scrub.  My teammate found the little mason jars at Walmart in cases of 12.  The scrub used baby oil, Johnson's baby soap, and sugar.  To make four little jars, you need to use 1/4 cup of baby oil, 1/4 a cup of Johnson's lavender baby soap, and 2 cups of sugar.  You stir it all together and then put it into the little mason jars.  We found the recipe at Woven Beautiful.  If you click the image, it will take you to it.
Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!