Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fun with Peeps!

We had so much fun this week working with Peeps!  

Hubs thought I was crazy when I told him to stop and buy be 100 Peeps on the way home!  LOL.  

We filled our week with science experiments.  

We started by doing some internet research on Peeps and looking at the boxes.  There is a quiz on the website that has a TON of crazy facts about Peeps!  

Then we explored with our senses.  {Which you can download in the preview from TpT for free.}  We touched them and listened to them and smelled them AND ate them! 
  One student said the sugar on the outside tasted like sand so it really brought up some great conversations about the senses!

We mixed the colors to see what would happen!

We heated them up and cooled them down to see what happened!

We mixed it with baking soda and vinegar!  This was so fun to give the students the opportunity to see!  And I let one person from each table pour it into the cups too so they thought they were super special!  Generated great discussion about predictions and the possibility of what could really happen in science!

We soaked them in 4 different kinds of liquids to see how they reacted!

We did these all along with my new fun new Peeps Science Mini journals.  Included in this download is 7 experiments (one blank experiment page so you can create countless versions of your own), a class survey, notes pages, Peeps research, and a senses activity which is free!  Just print these pages, get yourself some Peeps and go!  

We also did a fun writing creativity with our Peeps experiences!  

This download includes several different graphic organizers to prepare your writing with 2 different ways to make your crafitivity (1 with just a story page like shown above and another where you can staple a little book to the belly of the Peeps!)  So you can really make this activity fit what you are teaching right now in writing!

This also has a free download in the preview you will want to go grab!

 We did this during our state mandated testing in grades 2-6!  So it was the perfect lesson for our very long recess free, special free, extended day!  Testing days are long for us too right?!?!  (I am fortunate we don't have any testing but I have been at many schools that do so I give all you who do mad props!)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

D and B Reversals - Bright Ideas Hop

It's Bright Ideas time again!  So here's an easy idea to help kiddos with the common error of switching d's and b's!

I actually have 3 doors in my small room!  Two of those doors we use every day.  So we now have a d door and a b door!  (We used to just have a d for door but now I made it a little harder for the kids!)

So I have to admit… taping a letter around your door knob is not the easiest thing!  You measure and think you cut correct and it just does not work.  So here's a couple tips.  

It's easiest to lay it around the know and cut little snips.  SO here… I rounded the edge of one side just to see, placed it not eh door to see, and then snipped right where the purple arrow is.  Then I took the tape back off and cut a new curve where that snip was.  

Once you have the letter figured out.. if you are doing a second door I would suggest just peeling off that tape and copying it!  SO here I just layer that same measured piece from above and cut one more piece exactly the same!  {Another tip would be putting the tape onto a table or shelf just while you are working with it.  Applying that pressure makes it much easier to cut!}

You could of course just use masking tape and wrap it around - duct tape is not as forgiving when you curve it!  I like to use the duct tape because it comes in all the cool designs that you can switch out with the season.  Not to mention that when you change the tape you have again drawn attention to the letters on the doors!

Be sure to check out the other Bright Ideas from over 150 inspirational educators!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Freebies for a Great Cause!

Spring is in full bloom where I live!  Is it where you are?

My post today is for a very important reason… meet my friend Tori and her new baby Mason!  

 I want to share with you a special fundraiser that I am a part of: Tori’s Tiny Miracles Fundraiser! Tori is a teacher, blogger (Tori’s Teacher Tips), Teachers Pay Teachers seller, and most importantly a mom of 2 little miracles. Both of Tori’s children were born premature: Michael, born at 28 weeks and weighing only 2 pounds, 6 ounces, and most recently, baby Mason, born at 28 weeks and weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces. Michael is now a happy and healthy six year old! Baby Mason is only 2 months old and has just undergone surgery but is a fighter!!

Aside from all the emotional ups and downs of having a NICU baby, Tori's family is facing some very large hospital expenses. Together, almost 50 TPT creators/bloggers came together to show our support for our friend! We put together FIVE affordable bundles with a spring, summer, or end of the year theme: Kindergarten, First, Second & Third {Spring}, Second & Third {End of the Year}, and Clipart. The proceeds from these bundles listed in this store will go directly to Tori’s family to help offset the medical bills and living expenses they have while they are caring for their newest miracle. Check out each bundle below:

This bundle has 13 products to get you from now to the end of the year!

This product includes ten packets to enhance your teaching this spring!

As a thank you for supporting her family, Tori has also put a freebie in the fundraiser store. Please make sure you download it while you're visiting.

To do these fun poems we made a list of words for each letter for the word spring.  {This was 100% a guided activity!}
Some did one word like above… but many did multiple words! 
{I spoke of commas and so you will see all sorts of marks on their papers because they were not really ready for it.  Someone suggested doing a couple and they all ran with it!}

Thank you so much for your support!  Click here for your freebies!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Easter Plastic Egg Wreath DIY

I usually don't get crafty in my real life… I just don't typically have time.  But I have a lot going on right now and needed to channel some of that energy in a therapeutic way!  

This Easter Egg Plastic Wreath was so easy to make I thought I would share it with you all!

 Items needed:  
  • one wreath frame (I used a wire one from Walmart that was $2.33), 
  • about 75 plastic eggs (I bought 100 just in case, but it really depends on the size of your wreath)
  • 2 packs of Easter grass
  • hot glue gun with about 10 glue sticks

I started by glueing a little bit of grass all the way around the wire frame.  It was like dot of hot glue on top bottom and middle of wire frame and then stretch the grass across.  

My wreath has 2 layers.  I started in one spot and did the bottom 2 eggs and then the next bottom 2 eggs.  Then I put the top layer egg right in the middle of all 4 eggs.  To glue that top egg, I placed it where I wanted it and eye-balled where the glue would go (most of the time it worked out.) 

I continued by doing 2 eggs on bottom and then the 1 egg on top.  (I purposefully did not do all of the bottom row first and then the top row because if colors touched it would really bother me.  =)  

Next step it to add the extra grass between the two layers of eggs.  I put dabs of glue along the outside circle of that top row and stretched the grass along.  Then I did the inside circle all the way around.  

Lastly I went through and trimmed the grass.  This was messy.. but working with Easter grass in my opinion is not the easiest thing to do.  It's very all over the place and since there is so much of it would be impossible to attach it all!  So I just went around the wreath and trim, trim, trimmed until it was just the way I liked it!  

Here it is hanging on my front door!  Isn't it pretty?  

It took about an hour to make and cost under $12!  I have gotten away from crafting around the home… raising kids is time consuming.  Who would have thought… you all make it look so easy.  =)  

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Peek in my Poetry Rack!

It's poetry month!  So I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into my poetry rack!  

My rack is a clothing rack from IKEA.  I have had it for about 8 years and it has moved with me about 4 times.  It's one of those pieces in your classroom that you have to tighten with an allen wrench every few month, but overall it has survived and will surely give me many more years!!

First things first… poems! I have poems for the entire year on my poetry rack.  This is a poem I picked up somewhere along the way about spring that students can read now. 

My poetry rack stores many of my daily routines.  Here's a few of my favorites:

(The picture below is one of my favorite poems!  This is a picture of me and my husband when we wed in Hawaii many years ago.  We talk about how I don't come to school to socialize and be fun, I come to work because it's my job. I of course explain I love my job… but I want the kids to understand from day one I am a person too!)

I house many fluency practice items here including letter, number, and sentence charts!  We do these together and they do them independently in centers!

I have many vocabulary charts!

I always try to include as many real pictures as I can! I want the kids to relate to them!  
My charts are interactive!  We write on them with Vis-A-Vi pens and pile them on with sticky notes!

My charts have organizers that are ready to go at any moment!

As you can tell.. my charts are WELL LOVED and made about 6-8 years ago so they are lacking the cute handwriting and graphics of today.  But they are real and what is being used to teach and so I love them!

I organize them with pants hangers!  When I first started my poetry rack I would ask every store I went in to keep the hangers and take any they had laying around.  It took no time at all… many stores were glad to get rid of them!  I did hot glue them on and I double sided them so I could get more on my rack!

And I keep a binder ring on my easel to hang my charts and poems on when I need them.  

So it's a part of our daily routine and the kids LOVE having these!  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Subtraction in Kindergarten

Looking for some fun ways to teach subtraction for your little learners?  Well this is the post for you!

Try jumping subtraction problems.

So I taped down several "number lines" down to the carpet around the room.  Then we took turns jumping subtraction problems.  Students loved getting to jump each number.  

(And it's a great precursor to jumping on a number line!)  

A great followup activity would be giving the groups a page of subtraction problems and letting them take turns solving the problems on the real number line!  Great for those kinesthetic learners!

You can also do some subtraction art!  Another great way to have kids act out take away problems (and I like this one because they can take the pieces home and practice with their family!)

Students always start by creating the setting.  

Then they use the manipulatives to act out the subtraction problems!

We practice and practice together and then we add in the printable.  

Eventually the students get it and they don't need the manipulatives (except for the fun!)

So the pictures shown are part of my Spring Subtraction Art Freebie which can be found in my TpT store exclusively!  It also includes a full color center you can laminate and use again and again!    And if you love that, you can also get other Subtraction Art Products here as well!  

And don't forget.. spring is the time to get outside!  You can still pick up The World Outside Bundle from Educents which is loaded with activities, centers, printables, and more to take learning outside (even if you can't actually go outside!)

And we are linking up our Subtraction Strategies with Teaching Momster!  
Be sure to stop by and get other great resources for subtraction!


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