Monday, March 16, 2015

A Little Positivity

So, I've lacked a little in the blogging department lately, but y'all, it's just so dang hard to sit at the computer when the weather is so gorgeous outside!! {Sorry northern friends!} It's been so spring-like here and we are soaking it all in! Side note  - I can't get over these overalls from Target!
Yesterday, I shared a picture on social media of some quote posters I was working on for my principal and y'all wanted them as a freebie, so I'm delivering! I work for an awesome administrator and she's always trying to make our work environment positive, so when she asked me to make some little quote posters for her, I was happy to help! She and I found some of our favorite quotes, then I had them printed at the UPS store, backed them on black cardstock with photo splits, and trimmed them.

Another way we've tried to bring positivity to our school is with this Staff Shout-Out board I made back after Christmas. So often we get caught up in everything negative and lose sight of the positive things people are doing every day. This board is a place for our staff to shout-out someone who has helped them or done something positive for our school. I love going by to look at who has been shouted out! And for all of us who love words of encouragement, it's perfect {I mean, who doesn't like getting a little positive note??}

As you can see, I made little shout out slips to write on, but a post it works just as well! Anything is fine when you're lifting someone else up! We keep the slips in a little bag in our mailbox area...nothing fancy!
If you'd like to set up a shout out board at your school, click below for the pieces. :)

If you would like the quotes for your own classroom or school, click below :)

I truly hope you can use these...let's bring some positivity into our schools!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

3-D Shape Fun!

The past month, we've been learning all about 3-D shapes and my kids are having a blast! I even had one bring a book to me this morning and say, "There are 3-D solid shapes in this book!" {Insert happy teacher dance!} Here's a little recap of what we've done!
I like to introduce solid shapes the same way every year...with a snack of course!
I give the kids one of each and we talk about the attributes of each and chart before we eat them. For some reason, this really makes those attributes stick and they can immediately tell me how many faces and vertices each shape has.

After this introduction, we focus on a shape a day and work on sorting real life examples. We do this whole group and then on individual cut and paste activity pages.
Then, we review all the shapes together. We practice sorting with my shape sorting cards. When we sort, I make the kids tell me why the shape belongs in a certain group {for example, it has 1 vertice and 1 face shaped like a circle, so it's a cone}.
Probably my favorite thing we do is to make our 3-D shape people. My kids LOVED the 2-D shape people we made in the fall, and they were just as crazy about these! I didn't have time for the kids to make one of each of the shapes we learn, so I made copies of 5 of each shape and laid it out for the kids to pick the shape they wanted.
{I wish I could afford to make everything with cardstock!!}
Now, usually I pre-cut crafts for my kids, but on shape people, I always make them cut so they are working on and noticing the attributes of the shape.

The kids make the shape people by attaching eyes, arms, legs, hands, and feet to the body of their shape. I love these because the shapes are used over and over for the parts of the shape guy!
To finish, the kids write how many faces and vertices the shape has and attach it to their shape.
These little guys are always the perfect culmination of our 3-D shape unit!

If you'd like to check out these activities, you can click the picture below {and hurry while they're on sale today in the big TpT sale!}

You can also get this pack bundled with my 2-D shape pack if you need both!

I'm off to Tampa today to visit a Kagan model school...I am so excited!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Words of Encouragement

Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that my love language is most definitely words of affirmation. I mean, who doesn't love to be told that they've done a good job or that they're appreciated?? While I realize this isn't everyone's love language, I really try to give my kids at school lots of affirmation and I try to encourage them to give praise/encouragement to their classmates and friends all throughout the day. To help us think of ways to encourage others with our words today, we read Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.
I love this book for so many reasons. First, it is a great example of how a character can change in a story. Second, it a precious story of how our actions and words can build someone up and give them encouragement when they might need it most. After reading the story and discussing the changes in Mr. Hatch, we each picked a staff member of our school to surprise with some words of encouragement. My kids were so thoughtful in their writings and drawings, since they knew we were going to surprise who they were writing about later in the afternoon.
This sweetie has come such a long way in her letter/sound knowledge!

This one cracked me up!! She wrote it to our assistant principal and I love the part about her paying me!

I love the detail in his picture - it looks just like he's in her small group!
After we were done, we walked around campus and delivered our special valentines. The kids were so excited to read their writing to our staff and I loved that they saw doing something nice for others would make them feel good!

Our principal - seriously the best!
Our assistant principal - a.k.a. the lady who pays teachers ;)

Mrs. Hardy, our remediation teacher, and a SAINT! She is by far the most patient, loving teacher I've ever met!
If you would like to do this with your class, you can grab the writing page by clicking the picture below.
If you'd like more activities to go with this story, check out Cheryl's reading companion. It's an awesome pack, that has so many great activities!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What We've Been Up To

We've been having so much fun this past week digging into some of my favorite themes! We kicked off our week by making our guesses about what we thought the groundhog would see. The kids loved this activity and they did so well writing about their data! {This is part of my groundhog pack} One thing I've started doing this year that I love is to have the kids tell me what they notice about our data {written on the easel under our graph} before I ask them any questions.

After we watched the news to see what the groundhog predicted, we wrote about it and made these so, so cute groundhogs from my sweet friend Heidi.

Tuesday, we started reading some of my favorite Valentines stories - there are so many good ones!! I love reading the ones about friends, since this about the time of year when we *sometimes* forget what being a good friend means.
First, we read The Biggest Valentine Ever {my kids love this series of books!}. It led us into a conversation about friendship. We made a little tree map about friends, then made the valentine mouse that Clayton and Desmond made in the book. The kids thought it was so cool that they could replicate the mouse from the story!

Another of my favorite stories is Silly Tilly's Valentine. It's perfect for finding text evidence! My kids did a great job of finding evidence as to why Tilly was silly.
After reading the story, I wanted my kids to practice "argument" writing. I wrote all my students' names on slips of paper and each child drew a friend to write about. They had to give evidence that showed why their person was a good friend. Y'all - it was so sweet!!
"She is nice to me because she shares"

"He never left my side. You know why - because he is my friend."

{He shares with his snack and he plays with me}
Probably the favorite story of the week was Froggy's First Kiss. The kids were rolling in laughter the whole time! After we read the story, we wrote about who our true valentine is and made these PRECIOUS Froggy and Frogilina from Jenn - so, so cute!!

{My Ms. Plant - melt my heart!}
Friday, we took a break from learning about 3D shapes in math and used a special snack to practice graphing. I mean, what's better than practicing math concepts with Valentine M&Ms?? When we do graphs, I usually always pre-sort whatever we're working with. It takes a little extra time, but it helps a lot! I love having my kids work with a variety of graph types, so this time, I made our bar graph go horizontal. You can grab the graph here as a freebie. :)

This week, we'll continue our Valentine fun and work on our Valentine bags. We'll make cute and so easy!