Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ideas and Resources (Reading/Language Arts)

Summer break= blog stalking which I have had a lot of time to do.  I am super excited at all the resources I have came across and wanted to share a few that I am excited about using this school year.

1. http://storylineonline.net/
This site has lots of books read by various actors as well as follow up activities to do in the classroom.
Some examples of books that are featured include:

and a lot more.

Not only does this promote language and vocabulary but it also donates rice to end world hunger

I can't wait to use this for my word study block. Students can enter their word lists and then complete various activities such as practice spelling tests, games, etc.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

End of the School Year Activities

I am so happy to be on summer break and have finally uploaded some photos from our last few days in the classroom.  Not only did I have to shut down the school year with report cards, IEP progress reports, and cumm folders, but I also had to pack up and move my classroom a few doors down into a new classroom. (the journey of unpacking, setting up and organizing will come later during the summer). Whew talk about exhausting.

Here's a few things we did the last few days of school.
Water Balloons
On one of the HOT days where we weren't allowed outside after 12 pm due to heat conditions, we headed outside with pages from our memory books, Popsicles, and a tub full of water balloons.  

First we sat around in a circle and I had each student share what they were most proud of from this school year. While they stood up and shared, I dictated their answers for a page that would go in their end of the year memory books.  Also while sharing we enjoyed icees as the sun was blazing down on us. 

Once we cooled off we practiced throwing our paper airplanes for the school wide Air Show that would take place the next day.  This made for some sweaty, ready to get wet students.

Then I had them pick partners and we played a few rounds of water balloon toss.  The last thing we did with the water balloons was a have a water balloon war.  We had a blast and it was a great way to cool down.

We also started  our End of the Year "remember me" shirts.  Each child got a shirt with each students handprint on it.  This served as a memory of all the friends they made this year as well as the specials times we shared as a class.  I got the shirts at a local thrift store and used my teacher discount at Michaels to get the fabric paint. 
We all wore our shirts on Awards Day. Here's how fabulous they turned out

yaay for fun crafting activities.

Candy Math
We also did a fun candy math activity using the following template i found via blog surfing: Candy Math Document  . This involves candy and math skills so you can't go wrong.  We used Skittles and M &M's. 
Once we completed the steps in the activity the students were able to eat their candy.

I don't know which they enjoyed better: the math activity, or eating the candy at the end (wink wink)

Feel free to snag any activities/ideas for future end of the school year days.  Also feel free to leave any activities you do with your students. Sharing is a MUST in the teaching world.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Personal Avatars

This year I came across a fabulous website where students can create their own personal avatar which you can find here: http://myavatareditor.com/  (they love it because these are the Wii avatars).

I used the avatars to go with our Acrostic Name poems project.  Students used their name to write an Acrostic poem. Then they went online and created their personal avatars.  Once we saved their avatars to a drive, they  created a power point slide where they typed their poem and inserted their avatar.  They were allowed to customize their slide to integrate technology skills.

Here's a quick snapshot of their finished product.

These avatars could also be used to create characters in stories written by the students or also for character education when working with emotions and feelings.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mother's Day Handmade Frames

Being that I am a crafty creative person, I love doing art projects and crafts with my students.  I try to incorporate projects and art continually throughout the year which has been great because a lot of my students don't have the access to materials or crafting goodness. 

So for Mother's day I headed to Michael's and bought some unfinished wood frames as well as simple Mother's Day "stuffers" my students could pick to put in the bag with their frame.  Some of these goodies included: candles, soap, back massage's, nail kit, etc. 
We also painted bags for the frames to be presented in and wrote on the front of them adding some ribbon on the handles.  Here's a few photos of how wonderful they turned out.

Feel free to leave your Mother's Day crafting ideas in the comments section.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Read Across America

Our class had a wonderful Read Across America celebration day back in March for Dr. Seuss's birthday! I made this t shirt to wear for the birthday celebration:

We spent a chunk of our day journeying through various centers and activities to promote reading and the celebration of the man himself: Dr. Seuss. The following are some examples of things we did in case you want to incorporate them in your celebration for next school year. 

Students were given Cat in the Hat shaped "passports" which they carried to each station.  I have 2-3 students per station and they rotated every 15-20 minutes.  After they completed each station they had to be signed off by me.  At the end of our celebration they turned in their hat passport for their daily reading participation grade.

Station examples:
1) Computer station: I had the students get on http://www.seussville.com/ and explore. There are tons of things for them to do on this site.  For teacher ideas for lessons and activities go here: for teachers

2) This photo shows the cat in the hat passports that students took to each station.  This station is a Tic Tac Toe Dr. Seuss birthday game (students would play multiple rounds and keep track with tallies of the winner) then they would be able to pick a Dr. Seuss illustration to color.  

3) the READING station.  Students were provided with Dr. Seuss books from the classroom library or ones they brought from home and just enjoyed time reading the books with their partner or individually.  They really enjoyed this quiet time especially my emergent and beginning readers who used their decoding strategies to sound out the rhyming words.  The discovery of learning to read is life changing.  

4). The Cat and the Hat Rhyming words: before I began our station rotation I read aloud the Cat and the Hat to the class.  This station had the students using ripped pieces of red paper to create the stripes on their cat in the hat..hat. Once they covered their stripes to their liking they had to come up with as many rhyming words for the word cat as they could.  These were written all over the hat then later totaled up by Mrs. Hawk.  The winner with the most words won a special prize.  

5) the Foot Book: I also had a station where the partners would read The Foot Book. Then they were given construction paper 'foot" template pages.  Their job was to create their own "foot book".  Students could use examples from the book or be creative and come up with their own kind of feet.  

I also found this video of Justin Bieber reading the Cat and the Hat.

How did you and your class spend Read Across America? Feel free to share your comments below.