Monday, May 28, 2012

Honoring our HEROS!

Memorial Day is very close to my heart.  I grew up in a military family with my dad serving in the army for 25 years.  He served in Desert Storm and was injured and had to be transported home.  I remember when the chaplain and the commander's wife came to our door to tell us something had happened to my dad. I was only in second grade. He is find now of course and continued to serve until I was a junior in high school. 

My brother was in the 160th Special Operations Division-Night Stalkers stationed in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.  This time when the men in uniform came to the door, we were told my brother was not coming home.  He is with Jesus now and drinking sweet tea and eating all the BBQ he wants.  I will forever miss my little brother.

My point is, Freedom is NOT free.  Somewhere right now, there is a little girl in your class, missing her daddy because he is deployed.  There is a wife, praying her husband will come home safely. 

Enjoy your Memorial Day, but please remember what it means.  It is not National BBQ Day.  I would LOVE for you to leave a comment with the name of your soldier.  Do you have a loved one who served?  PLEASE leave a comment about them.  I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for this page to be filled with thanks for our veterans!

God Bless,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Common Core Resources

Hello again darlings!  Our last day of school was Monday and while you may be thinking my hiatis from blogging was because of all the fun I was having this summer, think again... I was at a Common Core conference.  Yep, the first day of summer, I became the student.  I know, I am crazy, since I had a choice in the matter, but I am a big dork, and I like to get a head start on things.  Don't feel too bad for me.  I did get to go boating and fishing! 

So basically, I wanted to give you some resources for Common Core.  Please bare in mind that I still have two more days to attend of this conference, so I'll post about that later. I am not an expert by any means.    Click the pic to download my notes. 

Also check out these resources I found on the web.

Teaching Channel: videos of ideas to teach some of the more challenging Common Core

PTA Resources by grade level: Awesome printouts to give to your parents to help them understand the changes coming.  It was great for me too!

Common Core Video Series:  Professional development videos

Have a Happy Memorial Day and remember, FREEdom is not FREE!  Thanks to all our troops especially my guys in the 160th Night Stalkers!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Camp Week Fun-End of the Year is HERE!

Well my friends,  our last day of school is tomorrow!  Yippy!  I've been busy finishing report cards, DRA folders, organizing, and packing.  Sorry I haven't posted in a while!

We were Camping in my third grade classroom.  It has been a blast!  Take a look!
Here the kiddos are opening Care Packages from parents.  As you can see in the background, we had to make a few tents out of desks and tablecloths. Normally, I have five or six small tents.

We made God's Eyes (Ojo de Dios)  with sticks that we collected on a nature walk.  You can also use craft sticks.  Click here for directions.

How many days of school do you have left?

Monday, May 14, 2012

End of the Year Things

The end of the year can be overwhelming with packing up the classroom, records, report cards etc. I have a hodgepodge of letters that I use every year that I wanted to share. The first letter, or poem I should say, is a poem from me to my students. I put this in their portfolios which has all of their writing and crafts we made throughout the year. I put this poem on cute paper with a picture of me and the student at the bottom. I found it on an a to z teacher forum but could not find an author.
I also send a letter to my parents thanking them for all of their support. I encourage them to continue working with their child over the summer. I attach a kindergarten high frequency list to the  following letter:

All of the teachers have to turn in a welcome letter at the end of the year that is sent to our new class in August. This is a part of our checkout list so I put it in my May folder so I can copy it onto cute paper and turn it in! I put a picture of myself on it so the kiddos and parents will recognize me at meet the teacher day!
Feel free to download all of the letters. I kept the summer letter and welcome letter in word format so you can change them to fit your classroom! Enjoy! I would love to hear what you do with your students or send to parents at the end of the year!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Economics Carnival

We had beautiful weather for our Third Grade Economics Carnival on Thursday!  So great, in fact, that I got sunburned!  I am always so impressed with my kiddos during this unit!  They come up with some really creative booth ideas!  This year, there was a dancing contest booth and a hair braiding booth!  Of course I had to try both of them!

The end of the year is almost here, but I know most of you Lovely Bloggy Peeps like to plan ahead, so go grab this Economics Carnival Unit!  The first 4 people to comment and leave an email address will get this big, huge ginormous unit for FREE!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Word Families

You all probably don't care about word families or anything having to do with school right now! I still had to keep on my game face, though because with 8 days left of school, I still awaited my observation. Lucky me:) Today was my lucky day, though and at 9:30 in walked my assistant principal with his laptop in tow! I swear I heard angels singing the hallelujah chorus as he walked in! I had a lovely little word family activity just waiting for his arrival! 
My kiddos have been working really hard on blends, digraphs and beginning sounds. When we do a word family I always encourage them to use the blends and digraphs we have talked about. Today we did the -ip word family. I was bursting with pride when I sent my students to their seats with their dry erase boards and saw the boards filling up with -ip words. We met back on the carpet after 5 minutes and wrote our words down on the word family smart notebook page. Then, we touched the frog and watched him spit out -ip words. We read each word and then compared froggy's  list to ours! Click on the picture below to download a free word family page. If you like this activity and want more, please purchase the word family smart notebook download on my tpt store. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End of the Year stuff...

Okay friends, I have 8 days of school left and I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  How about you?  There is so much to do and so little time...

Well, one thing to check off my list is my welcome letter for my new class.  We have to turn it in to the office next week so they can get them ready for mailing. (already, I know!)  Click to get a free copy to model after.  I know I always like to get ideas from other teachers of what they write.  I also include a letter to the parents called, "A Million Words or Less."  I found it online a few years ago.  Sorry, I don't know who from...

As I pack up my room, (actually, before state testing) I take all of my posters and anchor charts off my wall.  I don't believe in saving them for the next year because I feel it is powerful to create the charts with the kiddos.  I take a pic for my files and then I hold a raffle for my kiddos to choose anchors charts to take home.  They LOVE this!  Lots of my girls like to take them home to play school.  My boys like to take them as a poster or to make large paper airplanes. =)  No matter what, it is better than trashing them.

I hope the end of your year is as stress free as possible!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Singapore Sunday and 5 Star Blog Challenge

Hello my darlings!  Ten days of school left!  While I am thrilled, I am not looking forward to the end of the year work that is involved, you know, report cards, DRA folders, filling out permanent files, and PACKING UP!  Ahhh!  Our entire school is changing classrooms because we have a new edition opening at the beginning of next year.  Wowza!

Well, with only 2 weeks left, we are learning new Singapore Math Strategies for multiplication.  One such strategy is the Area Model of Multiplication.  It is a mental math strategy that helps kiddos to multiply in their heads.  It will also help kiddos as they get into larger multiplication problems.  Check out the FREE video by clicking below.

Download the poster and worksheet for FREE!

I hope this was helpful for you! 

If you have your own blog, head on over to the organized classroom to take the 5 Star Blogger Challenge!  We are happy to say we have met the Challenge and we are proud to be 5 Star Bloggers!

5-Star Blogger
Have a great Sunday,

Friday, May 4, 2012

In Twenty Year Writing

So I'm gone for less than a week at 4th grade camp and I feel like I've missed out on all the Teacher Appreciation Linky Parties!  Wow!  A lot goes on in the blog world!

Currently my kiddos and I are getting ready for our Publishing Celebration that we are having for the parents tomorrow.  We have been writing about what we are going to be doing in 20 years.  Right now it works out perfectly because my kiddos are 9 years old and I am 29, so I can tell them 20 years ago, I was in third grade.  Gosh I am old!  It is cool for them to see that the goals that you set for yourself can really happen.

Download the freebie for a graphic organizer and final copy paper.

My kiddos dressed up as their desired profession.  The kiddo above wanted to be a tornado chaser and the girl wanted to be a scientist.  I had a little girl who wanted to be a veterinarian and so she brought in a bunch of her stuffed animals.  It was so cute! 

Before we present, the kiddos act as host and hostess and get their parents refreshments.  My kiddos are not allowed to partake until the parents leave.  This really gives them a sense of ownership and makes them feel like they are doing this for their parents.  I also do a slideshow of pictures throughout the year.  The parents and kiddos love it.  I use Smilebox.  If you have never used smilebox, you have to check it out!

Twelve Days and counting!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The SL Blend....Let's Slide!

We have been working on blends during our phonemic awareness time. When we say a word that has a blend we always make a sliding motion with our hand as if our hand was sliding down a slide. I always tell my students the a blend is two or three letters that slide together. I created an anchor chart for my students to refer to. When we talk about a new blend we will create a new chart and list all the words that have the blend.

The following activity was created for my students to put into their poem folder. I had my students highlight the SL blends. You can also copy it in color and the SL blends are already marked!

How do you teach blends in your classroom?

5-Star Blogger