Monday, September 30, 2013

Precious Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness {giveaway}

Hey yall! Happy October!
October is my absolute favorite month of the year! The weather is fabulous, the foliage is beautiful, and its got my favorite holiday....Halloween!
October is also special to me because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many women in my family have had breast cancer, so I'm always up for raising awareness. Check yourselves, ladies!
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Troy from Classroom Friendly Supplies is graciously donating $1 from every sale of his newest color pencil sharpener to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
What color is the new sharpener, you ask?
Why, Precious Pink, of course!
Troy has also allowed me to give away one of these pretty sharpeners to one of my followers.....score! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway will end on Tuesday, October 8th.
If you can't wait to see if you've won to order your new sharpener, head on over to Classroom Friendly Supplies to order yours now!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Nice to Meet You, Mr. Appleseed

Hey yall! Happy Friday!
We have had a fun and exciting week learning all about folktales. We learned about Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and everyone's favorite....Johnny Appleseed! I love that our state Social Studies standards include these fun folktales, especially since Mr. Appleseed is so much fun to learn about!
We started out by reading this book
and watching the Brain Pop Jr. video on Johnny.
We taste tested 4 different kinds of apples and graphed our favorites.
Granny Smith was the winner, but I was totally pulling for the Golden Delicious....yum!
We made applesauce and wrote about the process.
Best. Applesauce. Ever.
We brainstormed some facts and then wrote about Johnny.
All of the above activities (including the recipe for the world's best applesauce!) came from Katie's (Teacher to the CoreApples and Appleseed unit.
 Seriously, one of my favorite purchases this year! Talk about integration!!!
After learning all about him, Mr. Appleseed himself came to visit and read us a story!
They were over the moon excited....just look at those faces!!! Everyone wanted a hug...and one sly girl went in for a kiss on the cheek! My sweet hubby is so supportive and such a good sport about these kinds of things. You might remember, he dressed up as a leprechaun for my kiddos last year!
The funniest part was hearing all the questions my littles had for him...and he had no problem playing along!
Student: Did you plant an apple tree in my backyard?
Hubs: your house the one with the black roof?
Student: Yeah! And a fence!
Hubs: Yep...I was there!
My teaching buddies and I were rolling! Another student asked him about his pet wolf (which one of our stories talked about) and he told them it was tied up outside. Ha!
It was probably one of the most fun we've had this year. What did yall do to celebrate?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Hero Is...Teaching 9/11

Hey yall!
I know that we are all remembering where we were that fateful day 12 years ago. I was a sophomore in high school and was heading in to my 2nd period Anatomy class. My teacher had just turned on the TV and we started watching when the second plane hit.
My little firsties were not even born on that day, yet it is important that they understand why we are a strong nation and why we will always remember 9/11. I approach this topic delicately, as I don't want to scare my babies. So I steer clear of focusing too much on the attack itself and instead focus on the heroes that emerged in the aftermath.
We talked about New York City and the Twin Towers. Then I explained that some bad men flew airplanes into the towers. We talked briefly about the people that lost their lives, but quickly moved on to talk about the firefighters, police units, and doctors that showed such bravery that day.
We read these two books
and made a bubble map about what makes a hero.
Please excuse the plainness of our map. I am not artistic, so our anchor charts are always very straightforward. My kids don't seem to mind, though!
After our discussion of heroes, I had my kiddos write about what makes a hero. My firsties this year really struggle with writing, so we've got our work cut out for us! Even though we've been talking all week about what makes a sentence, I think I only had 2 or 3 students actually write in complete sentences...sigh. We'll get there!
I had seen this adorable craft from Tammy, but knew I wanted to add our writing to the craft. So we came up with this!
If you'd like to snag a copy of the writing paper, click here. It is a full page, but I printed mine 2 to a page, so they would be small enough to fit on the flag.
Did yall teach about 9/11 today? If so, I would LOVE to hear about it!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five for Friday

Hey yall! Happy Friday!
Even though this was a short week, I was still just as grateful that today was finally Friday. My kids have been all kinds of crazy this week and I am one tired teacher.
Time to link up with Casey again!
We are working on building our stamina and partner reading this week. The kiddos have been doing an amazing job with partner to self-not so much. We've got some work to do!
We've been working on Reagan's tally pack this week while we were studying graphs. The littles had such fun interviewing their friends!
One of my boys that has a super hard time controlling himself had a pretty decent day the other day. He earned some stickers from another teacher and then proceeded to share them with me! The smile on his face was priceless.
The hubs and I snagged this cute little table from Ross the other day. I love it! It looks ten times better than our old end table and cost a whopping $20...score!
Does this picture really need any explaining??? :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Math Manipulatives Organization {with a freebie!}

Hey yall!
First off, what do yall think of the new blog design???
There are still a few kinks and links to be worked out, but I'm loving it!
Huge thank you to Becky from The Cutest Blog on the Block. She took my many emails and turned them into something beautiful!
So does anyone get slightly overwhelmed with the amount of math manipulatives in a primary classroom? Pattern blocks, unifex cubes, counting bears....oh my!
I have never had a great system for organizing all of the manipulatives. I generally just put them in some random container {that may or may not have matched my color scheme} and thrown them on a shelf. Our school had these horribly huge, double-sided shelves on wheels that I absolutely detested wasn't crazy about. Wait...let me see if I can find a picture...
Oh, there they are....ugly things! I used them last year to hold all my unorganized books, because I started so late in the year and just had to make do.
But this year, I was over them.
I was all set to run out and buy some black bookshelves and about 100 Sterlite containers when I ran across these bad boys at Big Lots.
Bingo! I picked up a couple and ran home to make some cute labels. My mom and I spent all day Saturday working in my classroom, and I was stoked to get these all set up!
I am sooooo in love! The drawers are large enough to hold all of the materials and the bottoms are really sturdy.
I love that my kiddos can just pull out the drawers and take them back to their desks. And with the cute labels, I know they won't have any trouble putting stray materials away!
These babies are seriously slim and take up minimal space...bonus! Plus, they look pretty darn snazzy :)
I'm thinking I'll probably put our weekly math centers in those baskets on top, or possibly use them for extra manipulatives storage. Or I may just have to run back to Big Lots and snag a couple more rolling carts.... :)
If you would like to grab the labels I used, click here.
Font by Kimbery Geswein
Clipart by Lovin Lit and Digital Bake Shop
How do yall store your math manipulatives???

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Remind 101

Hey yall!
Happy Labor Day weekend! I just wanted to pop in real quick and share an amazing resource that we've been using this year.
Have you heard of Remind 101? I'm hoping you have, but in case you have been living under a rock lately {like I have been!} let me tell you about this cool resource.
Remind 101 is an online text messaging service that allows you to message your students' parents {or your students, depending on the grade level!} without giving them your cell phone number. You can type in one message and it will be mass texted to anyone that has signed up to receive alerts. Pretty cool right?
To get signed up, just head on over to the website. It honestly takes about 2 minutes to sign up and you can print off a note to send home to parents about how they can sign up to receive messages. If they would prefer to receive emails instead of text messages, there is a way for them to sign up for that, too!
I've been using Remind 101 this year and have already had so much more contact and support from parents than last year. Parental involvement has always been a weakness in our school, so I'm totally psyched to use this service to help strengthen that! I've been averaging about 1-2 messages a week...but mine are certainly not as creative as this one...
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend, friends!