Saturday, April 23, 2011

Let's Go Fishin'!

Well, spring break is coming to an end...and I found quite a few goodies at Walmart and Target this week! My prize box will be fully stocked with fun erasers, pencils, bubbles, and jewelry, my play-dough supply is replenished, finger puppet and monster pointers were purchased for reading, and I got some great ideas from all the other teacher blogs out there.

...but the item I am MOST excited about is my "Let's Go Fishin'" game. I've had this idea bouncing around in my brain for a few months now, and Target had the game on sale for $6.50 this week, so I took the opportunity!
On the bottom of each fish, I wrote a sight word on a cut down address label (since I didn't have any of those colored dot stickers), so the game can be changed as needed.
 How to play: 3 kids work at each of my workshop stations. They will take turns trying to catch a fish along with the parent volunteer. When they catch a fish, they must read the sight word, and color the corresponding fish on their Let's Go Fishin' worksheet. The fish then go back in the pond, and the game continues until their worksheet is completed.
  I can't wait to try it out with the kiddos...they'll LOVE it!
Stop over at my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download the worksheet for FREE!  
(Just so you know, the thumbnails aren't showing up properly. It seems to be downloading just fine though!)

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sight Word Giveaway!

Diane & Kelly over at Made for 1st Grade are having an awesome sight word giveaway! Who couldn't use some more strategies to teach sight words?! Especially at this time of the year when the gap between those who have them down pat and those who don't becomes increasingly apparent.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons is having a super cute giveaway! I would love to use this activity for my ABC station during workshop when we get back from spring break!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Bunnies!

We made adorable Easter bunnies today, and the kids absolutely LOVED them! 
My example bunnies
 This is one of my favorite projects to do throughout the year! I guess they're really called Boo Boo Bunnies because you can put ice in the hole in the bunny's body to place on scrapes and bruises, but we made them in 4H for Easter when I was younger.
I found visual directions online to put up on the smartboard, and I walked the kids through step-by-step. They turned out great! 
Our little bunny family!

They're all as unique as the children who made them!
 Happy *almost* Easter!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Billy the Bean

We started our plant life-cycle unit of my favorite things to teach!
We read Billy the Bean by Maria Elena Buria.
We began our bean journals, in which we labeled the parts of a bean plant, drew the supplies we needed to plant our beans, labeled the 4 things a plant needs in order to grow, and drew our first bean observation. I forgot to get pictures, but they'll show up in future posts.
Then we planted lima beans and snowdrift marigolds (for Mother's Day!). 
Last, we watched and sang along to "Billy the Bean!"
The kids always love these activities. I don't think the book is in print anymore as I can't find it ANYWHERE online. It's absolutely my favorite book to begin this unit, and the kids love it! The illustrations were done by Emma Siu (who I assume is a child based on the way the dedication is worded), and the kids always ask if I drew the pictures. Too cute!
I can't wait for the beans and marigolds to start sprouting...and neither can the kids!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Persnickety Pickles is hosting a favorite (non-teaching) things linky party! You are only supposed to list 7, so we'll see how this goes!

1. I love Glee! It's not even funny. In general, I love musicals, so it's pretty amazing to me that I can tune into Fox every week and watch one. That said, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins are some of my all-time favorite musicals. Julie Andrews is amazing!

Glee: The Complete First SeasonThe Sound of Music (Three-Disc 45th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)Mary Poppins (45th Anniversary Special Edition)

2. Needless to say, based on #1, I love music. I find that music can express my feelings and enhance my moods better than anything. My favorites include: Ben Folds, Ben Folds Five, Guster, Matt Nathanson, The Swell Season, Jars of Clay, James Taylor, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum...just to name a few!

Way to NormalThe Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner 

3. I am an animal lover. Cats are my favorite animal. They are so independent, but they can also be such snuggle-bugs. We have 2 cats and 2 guinea pigs. 

4. I enjoy scrapbooking, but don't usually have any time to spend on it until summer vacation. I especially like these Martha Stewart page covers because they open on the sides near the spine rather than the top...much less slippage.

5. I love to bake! I make some delicious cupcakes and cakes if I do say so myself. I've dabbled in cake decorating, using fondant, and doing tiered cakes, but I really love baking cupcakes the most. They're the perfect dessert, to me. Just the perfect ratio of frosting to cake! I hope that one day I'll make a side-business out of this hobby. I already have business cards!

6.  Tropical vacations are the best (even if I don't get to take them often)! I love Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It's so beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing there; I wish I could go every year!

7. Interior design is very interesting to me. I love to watch the HGTV shows, and I've enjoyed painting and decorating my own home. It think it's fun to figure out which colors go together and plan where you want your furniture. I also have an affinity for buying new bedding and wall decor. You will find the quote "Live well, love much, laugh often" on frames, art, and clocks in every room on my first floor (I'm still working on the second floor!). It's kind of my motto. 

Well, I guess that's it! 7 of my favorite more, no less!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm a Winner!

I can't believe it, and I'm so super excited! I actually WON the photo block giveaway over at Beg, Borrow, & Steal! I absolutely cannot wait to use them for sight word review in my classroom. They will be a HUGE improvement over the cube tissue boxes wrapped in inside-out wrapping paper I've been using. And, hopefully, my kids won't destroy these like they have the others! I will post pics of the blocks in action as soon as we start using them in workshop.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autism Awareness

April is Autism Awareness Month.

Autism refers to a spectrum of developmental brain disorders. It is currently estimated that 1 in 110 US children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Autism is more prevalent in males; in the US alone, about 1 in 70 boys are diagnosed with this disorder. Unfortunately, it isn't yet known what causes autism spectrum disorders.

Visit Autism Speaks to find out more!

On a related note, one of my favorite books is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. We were discussing this at work the other day, and it ties in with Autism Awareness Month. Although Mark Haddon doesn't explicitly state in the novel that the main character, Christopher, has ASD, it is pretty safe to assume he does. Christopher is a 15 year-old child with behavioral and social issues who resorts to solving mathematic equations and groaning when overwhelmed or upset. He does not like the color brown or when people touch him. The story is told from Christopher's perspective, and each chapter is assigned its own prime number. It's a good read, and I highly recommend it! I think it might be time for a reread for myself as well.

Picture Blocks Giveaway

Mrs. McHaffie over at Beg, Borrow, and Steal is having a giveaway for reaching 100 followers...and she's giving away some awesome picture blocks (that I've had my eye on)! Oh, imagine all the things you could do with these awesome "toys!" They'd be much more durable than the wrapped tissue boxes I've been using for sight word practice... 

Fingers and toes are crossed over here!
Photo Stacking Blocks