Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooky Writing

What fun we had today! We started our day off reading poems from Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex. The kids absolutely loved this book.

Following our reading, we had spooky writing time. I browsed Pinterest and teaching blogs last night to get some ideas, and here are my favorite writing story starters that my students used:

My kiddos had a blast writing around the room, in the dark (with lamps lit, of course), all the while listening to spooky music to get them in the mood to write their stories.  

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Projects

We had such a great time creating Mother's Day gifts in my classroom today.

Mrs. Lee-Garcia (the amazing teacher across the hall) was generous enough to share the wonderful "Shrinky Dinks" necklace idea with me.  "Shrinky Dinks" is a shrinkable plastic that can be shaped for various craft projects.  

This stuff is incredible. I first cut the "Shrinky Dink" plastic into about 3 inch diameter circles. My students decorated the circles with messages for their mothers.


Then I placed these creations in the oven (preheated to 325) for about a minute. They shrunk to the size of about a quarter. Tomorrow we will tie a ribbon through the "Shrinky Dink" to create a Mother's Day necklace.


We also made stone picture magnets. Thank you Pinterest for this cute idea! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

100% Club

For the past three years, I have had the 100% Club as a part of my classroom. Though I cannot take credit for its creation (Creator: Mrs. Jennifer Barrett), I am delighted to share this free and motivating tool that I have had the pleasure of using in my classroom. The 100% Club is made up of students who score a 100 on an assignment, or for those students who show 100% effort on their independent work. Each time a student earns a 100 or 100% effort on their independent work, they receive a blank 100 to decorate (see below). Before handing the 100 to my students, I write their name along with the assignment name on the 100. The students use their creativity to decorate their 100. I then hang their 100s around the classroom. By the end of the year, my room is covered with student decorated 100s. This is just a simple, free way to congratulate and recognize my hardworking students. It also adds a bit of color to the room.

Here are a couple of photos of the 100s in my classroom.

Grab a copy of the blank 100 to use in your classroom here.

Hope you enjoy, 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Outdoor Reading Day

Summer is right around the corner, and my students can feel it. They all want to be outside instead of in the today my students enjoyed a day outdoors with their book. I invited students to bring a towel, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat in order to spend some quality reading time outside as a special treat. They loved it!

We stayed outside after reading to have a book discussion in groups by passing around a beach ball covered in questions:
  • What connection did you make to your reading today?
  • What do you think will happen next in the story? Why?
  • What was your favorite part of today's reading?
  • What type of reader would enjoy this book and why?
  • What character from your book would you like to be? Why?
  • What is the conflict in your story?
  • What is your story's theme?
We also spent time outside to do some spelling work with a paintbrush and water (no paint). My students painted their spelling words with water on the concrete sidewalks outside. No mess, free, and easy.

My students are begging me for another reading day outdoors. This was the perfect way to end the week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Alphabet Soup Spelling

Looking for a fun spelling activity for your students?  A friend passed this activity along to me and my students love this!
All you need is a plastic spoon, a timer, the directions below, and alphabet noodles like these.

I modeled how to play this game with the freebie attached. I hope your students enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Feeling Crafty

I have been on a craft kick lately. I just can't wait for the summer to get here so I'll have more time to devote to the many crafts I have on my to do list (thanks, Pinterest). This is what I've been working on...crafty clipboards! 

I know they're not perfect, but I expect to be an expert at these soon enough. I've only created the three so far, but more are to come. I was contemplating opening an Etsy shop to sell these and other crafts. How much would you pay for a craft clipboard?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stick Pick: iPhone/iPad app

I have stumbled upon the most amazing iPhone / iPad app I have found for teachers: Stick Pick! It is an app that provides an easy way to promote equity, build higher order thinking skills, and support your English Language Learners in the classroom.

Check it out for yourself!