Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Open House 2017

Well this year's Open House was a success! My students proudly displayed all of their projects and shared their knowledge with their parents. We took part in 6 weeks of ocean research. We studied many ocean animals and wrote informational writing pieces in our ocean research journals. We also completed culminating art projects for each of the animals we learned about.

This was the bulletin board that is displayed in the hallway as you enter the classroom. Our octopus project welcomed the families into our ocean research center. To find out how we made our octopus art click here!

We made these adorable shell and pipe cleaner crabs. I ordered the shells online and the students painted them red. They then glued on the pipe cleaner legs and eyes. 

 The students wrote an informational piece on each ocean animal we studied. We compiled these pieces of writing in our Ocean Research Journals. The students had an impressive 10-page book for the event!

 We created divers and three-dimensional turtles. I attached the turtles on a sponge painted paper bulletin board with green butcher paper seaweed.

After reading The Rainbow Fish and discussing the story elements, the students created their own Rainbow Fish with glitter scales of course!

 These adorable clownfish were so much fun to make out of paper mache! We studied these amazing creatures then created the fish. The students put layers of paper dipped in paper mache paste all over a balloon. After a few days the fish were dry and ready to be painted. The students painted them using a shiny orange paint, then added white stripes. Then the orange foam fins and tail were added with hot glue. The mouth is made of model magic formed into a ring and the eyes are large google eyes. I hung the fish in the classroom with fishing line attached to the top fin of each fish.

 The students chose 6 of their favorite ocean animals and completed a research cube. These cubes were hung around the room using fishing line. Grab these Animal Research Report Cubes here!

 We also read Mister Seahorse and created watercolor seahorses to display on a bulletin board. First the students used the wet-on-wet method and painted all over a piece of watercolor paper. Then the students sprinkled a little salt to create a textured/bubble effect. Once the paintings were dry, the students traced using a pattern I created and cut out their seahorse. After the seahorse body was cut, the students cut little spikes to add to the back and drew on eyes.

We also created humpback whale diagrams to display the students' knowledge of the beautiful sea creatures as well as their knowledge of the diagram text feature. 

The students took part in collaborative diagrams. Together they used our informational text to create a diagram of a toothed whale or baleen whale. They completed these diagrams in groups of six and we proudly displayed them for the parents to see.

I am so proud of all of the hard work from my students this year. Open House was a great way to celebrate the end of the year! I will miss this group of kiddos so much!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Octopus Art Project

For Open House each year, my class transforms our room into an Ocean Research Center. This year I have integrated a few new projects. One of the new favorites is our octopus art. We learned about the amazing octopus and created a culminating art project to display for Open House.

I had the students choose two sheets of any color of construction paper. I then instructed them how to paint using the sponge method. They chose any colors of paint they wanted and then they painted away with tempera paints.

After the paint dried, I had the students trace the octopus body shapes on the back of the construction paper using templates I created. Then we had a paper cutting party and all the students cut their octopus pieces out.

I then helped the students glue their octopus together in small groups. We added eyes using tempera paint sticks.

I hung the octopus art on the bulletin board outside of our room to welcome the parents into our classroom. I stapled the octopus art to look as if they were crawling over the bulletin board paper.
Here is a picture of the unfinished bulletin board... words of welcome coming soon!

My students loved this project! Stay tuned for future posts about our latest ocean projects for Open House!

To get the templates click here!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Frog and Toad

This past week my students have been immersed in the classic stories of Arnold Lobel. Frog and Toad are some of my childhood favorites and they still engage and entertain kids today. My students were practically rolling around on the floor with laughter at the antics of these beloved characters.

Once we completed the reading of the Frog and Toad Together stories, we completed some fun activities from the Frog and Toad Together Unit. Check out the pictures of the unit below and get the unit here.

There are many great activities that can be done with this story. Included in the Frog and Toad Together Unit are engaging activities such as comparing and contrasting characters, finding text evidence for character traits, sequence of events, central message, comprehension questions, and more!

                                 Get the full unit here!

Frog and Toad is also great to use for teaching the central message. There is a lesson to be learned from the characters in each story. We created this helpful anchor chart to help us keep track of the central message.

I can't wait to read more Frog and Toad to my students and check back soon for additional Frog and Toad resources!

Update!! I have uploaded the Frog and Toad Are Friends Unit. Click here to check it out!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Penguins Penguins Penguins!!

Happy 2017 to you all! I am excited to get back into the classroom after a wonderful break and we have lots of exciting events happening this month in our classroom!

The cold January weather always reminds me of those adorable penguins and first graders LOVE penguins. Right when we get back from winter break, the first unit I always cover is the kids' favorite… the Penguin Unit!

Starting Monday we will learn about penguins by using this resource. We will first read about penguins with the informational coloring book. We make charts together to record new information and do lots of writing. We will also complete some great interactive activities such as diagrams, life cycles, foldables, comprehension games, art projects and more!

Grab this adorable penguin art freebie here!

I also love to teach the students how to draw a penguin. This skill comes in quite handy when students are writing about their new knowledge of penguins. I have a useful freebie that teaches the students each step of drawing a penguin. There is also space for writing in this free resource. Check it out here!

I also like to integrate penguins into our math lessons and we will be using many fun and interactive activities! We will review number bonds with these cute penguin number bond activities. We will also play penguin addition math games.

I am so excited to get started with all of our penguin fun this month! :) Happy teaching!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Celebrating Thanksgiving!

I love the fall! The leaves are changing and the cool weather always makes me so happy. It truly is the most beautiful season. Now that we are a week into November, it is time to start thinking about celebrating Thanksgiving.

My students have begun creating these adorable coffee filter turkeys. Here is an example from a few years back. 

I also have some great activities planned for my students covering a variety of common core standards for Thanksgiving. We will be completing a fun Thanksgiving Turkey Draw and Write Activity. This activity is perfect for practicing following step-by-step directions, drawing skills, and of course writing skills. My students love these activities and you can pick up this turkey freebie in my store.

We will also be playing these super cute Thanksgiving Games. We will use the phonics games and the math games with our parent volunteers to practice standards while celebrating Thanksgiving. Check them out here.

We will also be reviewing addition and subtraction skills with these engaging color-by-the-code activities. You can grab them here. I also have a freebie sample here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Chapter Book Companion

I am so excited to talk about my latest resource! It has been great for differentiation in my classroom this year. My Chapter Book Companion has been a wonderful activity to help my advanced kiddos stay focused, while challenging them and allowing for differentiation within my classroom.

My high kiddos are already very advanced with phonics, high frequency words, and other foundational reading skills. I needed something for them to extend their learning independently, while providing me with time to meet with my kiddos that need more work with foundational skills.

This chapter book companion was a perfect solution! After my advanced students read a chapter of their chosen chapter book then they write a summary in their chapter book companion. This provides them with an opportunity to reflect on their reading, while keeping a log of important events. This is a perfect resource to help with retelling of important events. There is an opportunity for students to draw a picture of the chapter events as well. The students log the characters, setting, and write about how the character transforms throughout the book.

I have also begun to use these during literacy circles. I have chosen a book for my advanced students to read together as a group (soon they will have the choice). They then complete the chapter book companion together after reading chapters as a group. This is a great way to teach collaboration within the reading standards.

I am so excited about the level of work that my students have produced using this resource! If you are interested in this resource, you can get it here!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Crayon Bulletin Board

After posting my classroom reveal I had tons of questions about how I created my crayon bulletin board! Well… this is the place to come for details!

I was originally inspired by this pin and loved the way the box was created. I then decided that I wanted my bulletin board to be more 3-dimensional so I grabbed some construction paper and played around with it until I got the result I was looking for.

To make the box, I used a shipping box that my wobble stools came in. I cut the semicircle with scissors. I then covered the box with yellow construction paper. I just used glue sticks and tape. I folded it like a present and attached the green flap at the top. I glued on the green triangle shapes and used a marker to create the green lines. I then used push pins (lots of them!) to attach it to my bulletin board.

To make the crayons I took different shades of construction paper and rolled them into cylinders. I taped them lengthwise. I created crayon name labels with my students' names and glued them onto the outside of the cylinders.

I then needed to make a cone shape for the crayon points. I cut a square (approx. 8x8") and twisted it into the cone and taped it together. I then trimmed the bottom so it was flat.

Before attaching the cone to the cylinder, I stapled the crayon to the wall. I stapled the inside of both sides of the cylinder to the wall. I then attached the cone to my desired side of the crayon.

To attach the cone to the cylinder, I placed two tape loops (sometimes 3) inside the cylinder. I then wedged the cone inside the cylinder.

Stay tuned for a video tutorial!

If you are interested in the crayon labels you can download them here.

Happy bulletin board Creating!!!