Sunday, April 22, 2012

Common Core Math Review

I love Sundays! This week, Sunday is the only day that doesn't have a soccer game, a baseball game, a lacrosse game or dance rehearsal (or 3 of those) on the calendar. And this girl is gonna spend an hour (or so) catching up with all of my favorite bloggers today. Yippee! I can't wait!

 Earlier this week, I posted my Monster Math Common Core Review pack in my Tpt store and in my Teachers Notebook shop. It's not math about monsters, but it does have adorable monster clipart on each page.  My students LOVE the little monsters!

I made this monster themed math pack to help my students review some of the important concepts and skills taught during our math lessons throughout the year. This packet was designed based on the Common Core Standards for first graders. In my classroom, I use the monster math pages as morning work or as a daily review or warm up during math time.  My first grade students start using the monster math pages mid-way through the year.  Second grade students could use them at the beginning of the year for review/practice.

This week, my students will be doing earth day themed activities.  I love earth day.  In fact, I'm thinking about starting a petition to just get rid of Halloween at school  (my least favorite and my principal's favorite) and kick up the earth day activities a notch.  I'll post about some of the things we are doing for earth day soon.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Animal Research and Mother's Day

I know...they don't really go together. But, they are both on my "list". Oh, how I love lists (well actually I just love crossing things off)!

My students are wrapping up their animal research reports. I'll try to post a picture or two of their final reports later this week. They worked so hard on their reports and are super excited to share them with their families at our end of the year celebration. Yep, I keep their reports and a few other special things to display at our celebration.

Last year, I made a special report form for my students to use for their animal research reports. Here are the steps I use for the research project:

1. book shop for an animal to research
(I gather all of my leveled nonfiction books about specific animals. I also clear out the library shelves. I scatter the books (by animal) on the tables in my room and let my students "book shop" to pick an animal to research. I have a somewhat embarrassing number of leveled books, so the students have lots of choices. Allowing them to book shop for their animal helps to guarantee that we actually have books about their animal.)

2. The children spend several days taking "notes" to use for their reports. They take notes about everything from habitat to appearance.

3. When the notes are complete, they spend several days writing about each of the same topics in their reports.

4. My students "report" to the class about their animal.

5. The animal research reports will be on display for our end of the year celebration (parents, grandparents and school staff members are invited).

This is the animal research report form that I use.  You can find it at my Tpt store and at my Teachers Notebook shop.

Next up, I'm gearin' up to work on a Mother's Day book with my students.  Every year, I promise myself that I will start the Mother's Day stuff earlier (so I don't have to rush).  It doesn't usually happen, but this year I'm sure going to try.

This is the Mother's Day packet that I made to use with my students.   We make it into a book for them to give to their mom to celebrate the special day.  You can find it at my Tpt store and my Teachers Notebook shop.

In between these two projects (and operation destress my life), I've been working on a common core math review pack.  I'll be posting that in the next couple days.  My dentist had the bright idea that I need to "destress" my life.  I personally thought I was hiding my stress pretty well until the left side of my darn face turned numb and swelled up on Friday.  Turns out I've been clenching my teeth so hard at night that my muscles became swollen (which pinched a few nerves)...blah, blah, blah.  So, operation destress it is.  More sleep, more wine, extra bubble baths, no more moving and I'm practicing saying "NO" really loud.  So far the plan is working just fine.

Enjoy your week everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hip, hip, hooray! It's Opening Day!

Opening day is a big deal where I live! It's a time for fans to celebrate the beginning of the season for our favorite major league team and the beginning of little league practices and games. Baseball fever is what it boils down to and I found the perfect book to celebrate the excitement with my students and my own little ones.

I added a post to TBA about this book and others that you might like this morning.


I'm happy to report that my favorite team won their opener yesterday! Go Tigers!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Currently April with Oh Boy, Fourth Grade

It's time for Farley's April version of Currently! Visit Farley from Oh Boy, Fourth Grade to read about what everyone is "currently" doing in April.

Here is what I am currently doing...
Now, about that duct tape shooter.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a duct tape shooter for those meetings when the speaker keeps insulting you by saying the same thing over and over and over again (even though you've wasted valuable time talking about the same thing during the last 4 meetings)?  Or when a parent says something outrageous to their own child, even though they would threaten to sue you if you said something half as horrible?  Or when someone talks WAY too loud and you feel like you are going to either yell back or burst out laughing? Yep - a duct tape shooter would solve all that.  Not nice, but it would help.
Head over to visit Farley to read all about what is currently going on in April!

Monday, April 2, 2012

My New Favorite Series

First of all, thank you so much for all of the kind messages and prayers for my students and the families who were effected by the tornado that touched down in the community where I teach. The "village" where I teach is an amazing place full of helpful, caring people who amazed the surrounding communities with their spirit and determination. While many of our families spent the past two weeks doing clean up, repairs and demolition, we tried to provide as much of a normal routine as possible at school (with lots of support available).

This is a picture that one of my students gave to me on the first day we returned to school after the sad and so accurate. Again, I thank you for your kind words and positive thoughts for our families.

On a brighter note... it's official...I have a new favorite series! It's Katie Woo! In case you don't know Katie Woo, she is a 6 year old first grader. Her books are easy to read. I'd say most of them are level I or J (if you use Fountas/Pinnell levels). They are chapter books, which is such a big deal for our little readers.

This is our spring break week, so I walked to the library with my own children today. For a few minutes I even pretended to be a stay at home mom who could do that every day.  Then I encountered some random kids throwing books through the puppet theater and I quickly returned to teacher mode.  Ha! Since we didn't have to rush, I spent some time reading different Katie Woo books, so I would know which ones to add to my Amazon shopping cart. Easy - all of them! Here are a few that I snapped a picture of in the library today.  If you click on the photo below, you will find  Katie Woo books on Amazon.

There is also a great Katie Woo website.  You can check it out by clicking on the image below.

Anyone else love Katie Woo?

Looking forward to a lunch date with friends (fellow teachers) tomorrow!  We have big plans to catch up while we laugh and talk about everything but school.  :)