Monday, April 30, 2012

Build a Sundae! Freebie!

It's Manic Monday again at Classroom Freebies!
That means lots of great ideas to download.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Here is my Freebie. 
Build a Sundae Survey!
I used this with our Character Ed program with our buddy class at the end of the school year. Students mingle with each other and build their sundae by answering the survey questions.  When they finish the survey they make the real thing. 
Who doesn't like ice cream?!!
Click Here to Download!

Thanks for visiting! 
Please check back and follow for more freebies!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Year End Memories - Share Them

Have you ever used Smilebox?
Do you take pictures of your students?
Not a teacher, you will want this for home.
Smilebox  lets you create invitations, collages, slideshows, and scrapbook pages for FREE!!!! 
Read to the end if you are a teacher for a special FREEBIE!
It is so easy to use and there are literally 100's of choices of templates, layouts, music, and pages for your to customize with your own pictures.
I have been using smilebox for years. 
You can easily post your creations to  your website, blog, facebook page, 
or email it to parents of your students.
Great for Year End Memory Book or DVD.
Here are some ways I have used Smilebox.
1. Collages - I snap pictures of students the very first day of school.  Slide the pictures into a collage template and email it to parents after school to ease their jitters. They see the smiles on their child's face at school and know they are having fun.  This is especially great for preschool and kindergarten where mom and dad are letting their babies grow up and go to school.
2. Slideshows - I use this to document project work.  I take pictures throughout the project of students at various stages.  Parents can see their child applying skills, and new learning taking place. 
 I insert the pictures as slides and add text explaining the learning that took place along the way.
3. Scrapbooks - I use scrapbook pages to show pictures from parties, special events, theme days, or to create memory pages. These are pages that can be created from templates that allow you to insert several pictures per page, add text, change colors, change embellishments, and add music.
 Here are some examples of how I used 
Smilebox in my classroom.
Just click on the play button to view. They take less than a minute to download, but they give you an idea on how each creation is different. 

This a sample of a Collage. 
This was done with pictures from the first day of school.
Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own photo collage

This is a sample of a Slideshow.  
This was project work we did studying floating and sinking.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This digital slideshow generated with Smilebox

This is a sample of a Scrapbook.
This is the culminating activity for a unit on oceans near the end of the school year.
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Digital scrapbook customized with Smilebox

Now for the best part. If you are a teacher and want to sign up for Smilebox. Go to  Scroll down to the very bottom of the page, It looks like this.

Deutsch | English | EspaƱol | French
© Perion Network Ltd. | 15809 Bear Creek Pkwy, Redmond, WA 98052
Click on Teacher Toolbox. 
 You can register to get the upgraded, Premium version for FREE! 
I did not know this until a few weeks ago.  I always used the free version and it was great. The premium version gives you no ads on your creations that you email. You can also download your own music. You will have access to additional templates. You can also burn DVD's of your creations. A great thing to have for the end of the year memory books or graduation celebrations. 
It may take a few days to get your code once you register. 
 If you have any questions on how to use Smilebox
 please email me or leave me a comment. 
 I am sure you will love Smilebox. It is so easy to use, believe me!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mother's Day Gift

I have been trying to figure out which Mother's Day Gift 
I am going to make with my students. 
 I have so many past ideas that it is hard to choose. 
I think I am going to take flower pots and have the kids use their fingertips 
to make flowers on them, and then plant some flowers in them. 
One year I had the kids bring in an old shoe and we planted flowers in their shoe. The moms loved them.
Another idea I used in the past is recipe cards.
 We made cute little bundles of recipe cards for mom.
 The top recipe card is the "Recipe for a Happy Child", 
 which is a super cute verse that any MOM would love.
 It is placed on the top of  a stack of cutesy, blank recipe cards and tied with a ribbon.  
Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy as my class would say.
I have used this with preschoolers, kindergarten, and even second graders.  
To add to it, I have the students write or dictate their favorite recipe to me.
Have them write about MOM's cooking. (mine would be lack of cooking)
They are hilarious!
If you need a quick activity here is a preview of my recipe cards.  I have sets of both girl and boy clip art.
I have also included 2 different writing activities that can go along with the cards. 
I just posted this on my Teacher Pay Teacher Store for $2.00. 

Check back for more Mother's Day Ideas! 
 Is your class making anything for Mother's Day?
 Share your favorite "Mother's Day Project" 
in the comment section.
It is fun to share your ideas and talents.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Teacher Tip - Storage for Bulletin Boards

Did you join the Manic Monday Mania?
Hey! I hope you checked out Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies yesterday. There are so many great freebies to grab! If you haven't had a chance yet, there is a linking button in yesterday's post where you can find all of the participating blogs. There are lots of new blogging buddies that would love for you to stop by and grab some of their best freebies. Be prepared to blog hop for hours. Make sure you have plenty of ink because there are so many cute activities to download.
 It makes everyone's day if you follow or leave a comment. Have fun!!

Now for a Tuesday Tip.
How do you store your bulletin board things and posters? 
For the past 20 years I have used large art portfolios to store mine. They were getting a little stinky after sitting on the floor for 20 years, so I decided over Spring Break to get new ones. So I went to Office Max and the portfolios I had been using were about $20 a piece. No way! I needed about 10. I have everything organized by month, season, or other categories. Anyway I remembered seeing a fellow teacher having garment bags laying on the floor in her storage closet filled with bulletin board supplies. I went to Wal-Mart, thinking they will be cheap, but $8 a piece was just OK and besides there was a Dollar Tree across the street. Guess What I Found! Garment bags -$1! My kinda price. I figured I could always bring them back, if they were to flimsy, or I could buy new ones every year at $1 a piece.  

I keep all the bags from my bulletin board sets, so I used clothespins
 to attach the bags to hangers, and then inserted them in the garment bags.
Use a permanent marker to label each garment bag.
 I now have them hung up in a closet in my basement. 
They are off the floor and so much easier to look through.

So neat and organized, 
and no more old smelly cardboard art portfolios.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Year End Countdown Freebie

I am linking up with Classroom Freebies and lots of others bloggers to give you some Freebies.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
The Year End is approaching quickly.
 Do you want to keep your students
 wanting to come to school each day?
Here's How!
Try this
 ABC Year End Countdown.
Just count back 26 days from the end of the year and that is A day. 
Each day has a little activity for the students to look forward to and enjoy. 
You can make each activity last a short while or all day.
It is up to you and your students.
Included is a note to the parents explaining what students need to bring or wear each day.

Just click on the Classroom Freebies Logo to grab some more goodies.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Measuring with Sea Creature Update

 They're growing leaps and bounds!
 It has been 5 days and check out the difference!
 Students have been weighing, measuring, and collecting data in their logbooks.  When I taught kindergarten, students used non-standard units of measurement. They used the little plastic bears or unifix cubes. This year in first grade we are using standard units of measurement. Students are measuring in centimeters and weighing in grams. Weighing in grams is such great practice, since the blocks come in 1g., 5g., 10g., and 20g. sizes. Students have to count by 20's, 10's, and 5's, and be able to switch from one to the other, as they add and place each block on the scale. I was amazed at how well they did considering some of the creatures are now weighing over 440 grams. Authentic writing is taking place as students write their observations of changes occurring in each sea creature. We took time on Friday as a group to brainstorm adjectives to use in our logbook. We will do 2 more measurements before we finalize our graphs and analyze the growth.
 Aren't they Huge!

Monday morning they will race in to see how much the Sea Creatures grew over the weekend.
I love to see my students excited about math! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Culture Fair! A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

 Although I have taught 20 years, I am at a new school this year. The school is very diverse and the willingness of the families to share their culture and traditions is unbelievable. Another great thing is that there is an acceptance of differences. We celebrate holidays and traditions from around the world and no one complains.  The students, teachers, and parents learn so much from one another. This sharing of cultures can not be found in a textbook or on the internet. It is authentic. Each year the 5th and 6th grade students team up to do a Culture Fair.  I had heard about the school's Culture Fair but this was my first year to experience it and Oh My Word.  Two students pair up to present a country complete with items from their country, clothing, books, food, drinks, food and more food. Students also prepare a Powerpoint presentation for their country. Students set up a table in the gym, decorate it, show maps, artifacts, foods, and even dress in the traditional clothing of the country. The parents play such an important role because they cook or provide the food and drink for our ENTIRE school to sample. Parents assist other families by sharing their artifacts and clothing. Each class comes to visit and learns about the country through the displays and the explanations from the 5th and 6th students.  Students are allowed to sample foods from every country. Most countries had 3 or 4 traditional foods to share and many had the country's popular drinks to sample.  My first grade class loved this as much as I did. There were foods I had never heard of, and the 5th and 6th graders could tell me all about them. It was an amazing day.  I have never seen anything like this to this extent. Bravo for the parental support, the students hard work, and the 5th and 6th grade teachers for providing a day that is truly an experience that will last a lifetime.

Check out some of the pictures below.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Math Calendar Journal

Do you do a Calendar Journal? 
About 5 years ago I started creating simple pages for the students to complete independently that involved many of the skills we covered at our morning meeting. Each month I created a journal with similar but different activities. I was teaching kindergarten then and found that most students, with some modeling and group work in August and September were able to complete the calendar journal on their own after September. Each page is a little different and just reviews a couple of the skills we covered at calendar time. Now that I am in first grade I wanted to continue using the journals, so I  had to make them a little harder.  I use these journals first thing in the morning when students come in the door.  I bind the pages into a book or journal, and students do one page each day.  You will notice that on some pages I have a day of the week and some I do not. I order the pages depending on our school calendar, days off, or special events before binding.  Below is just a sample of the some of the pages I used in kindergarten. All of my journals have DJinkers  clip art, which I love and have their CD's but.... according to their terms and conditions, I can not share my journals with their clip art.  Sooooo...I am changing the clip art so I can share the journals.

Here are some of the kindergarten(or first grade if appropriate for your kiddos) pages for you.  Just click on the link below the pictures to go to Google docs and download.
Tell me what you think! 
Do you want me to change the clip art for May? 
I have about 30 differentiated pages for each month.

If you would like a copy of this April Calendar Journal

What do you think? Are you a follower? It is only a click on the side!
Thank you!