Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Great Turkey Race

This is our second annual Turkey Race.
To start we read The Great Turkey Race by Steve Metzger. It is a fun story where turkeys compete to be the Thanksgiving turkey.  
Then we headed outside for 5 competitions that matched up with the competitions in the book. First up the students had a running race.  They ran the track and when they completed it they were awarded a gold medal.
Then they competed in an obstacle course. They had to zig zag through cones, go through tunnel, jump in hula hoops and do 3 jumping jacks to complete.  The first of the two students that ran was awarded a medal.
Next was the jumping competition.  Students had to jump the discs without falling off.  If students could complete task they were awarded a medal.
Then students competed in a throwing competition.  Students had 3 chances to throw a football threw the net.   If they did, they received a medal.
To finish off our field events, we had a dance off.  Students that danced the whole time received a medal.  Sorry this picture is so blurry.



Racing through Force and Motion

First step was the room transformation:
The kids were thrilled by the sights and even the sounds in the room.  ( I had the sound of cars revving their engines) It took us about a week and a half to work through all the steps in this STEM project.  I chose to let the students build cars with LEGOs and recycled cars.

Students test tracks and cars.  They also tested different types of force to explore what force works best for their cars. 

Students also had a press conference at the end of the race to explain what they had learned.
Throughout the STEM project, we had pit stops that covered common core math standards. There were math tasks that were fun and challenging.
I have this set available in a kinder version and a 1st/2nd grade version.




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Back to School Must Haves

I added some much needed visuals to my room that I love!  Here is my rules for my classroom. This classroom rules display is about building the character of the student. Then we add to the wall through the year building up great leaders.
The absolute best thing I use in my classroom is my schedule posters.  They make my life so much easier.  All I have to do is switch posters each day and the visuals cut out the questions what is next all day.  My kinders can easily follow our day's schedule.
I print out the schedule and glue together. Then I laminate to finish off my posters.



Back to School Beat the Clock

We started this year off with this fun engaging game.  It was divided into four quarters with each quarter covering expectations I have for my students this year.  The first quarter taught active listening and communication between teammates. 
The second quarter was about congratulating their teammates.  This one was definitely a favorite.
The third quarter was interesting. Students have to learn from their mistakes and pay attention what is going on in their group to succeed. (I don't have a picture of this activity)Then the last quarter students had to work as a team to get down the field.  

I did these activities with my kindergarten class.  This is great for grades K-2 You can find this in my store if you want to give it try to start out your year with clear and high expectations for your classroom. 







Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Elf on the Shelf

This year we will be having an elf on the shelf in the classroom.  It has been so hard with all the "have to" stuff- report cards,  CFAs to administer, teacher evaluations, professional development plan, IEP meetings and so on.  I find it difficult to make room for the fun holiday crafts and projects. I don't want my students to miss out on these things so I will do "elf on the shelf"! That will give them something to look forward to when they walk in the classroom and let them imagine what the elf did last night.   This will also give them something fun to write about in centers or writer's workshop.  I have collected a few of my favorite sites for ideas for my mischevious elf.  You can click on the pictures or links for the places the ideas came from.
 Idea #1 came from Saddle Up for 2nd Grade.  I love using the magnetic letters to write messages to students.  I think mine will scale the white board to spell out the message.
http://www.saddleupfor2ndgrade.com/2014/12/that-silly-elf-freebies.html
Idea #2 came from Life With My Littles.  It is definitely that time of year, when go through so much kleenex.  As my students get sick, this will be fun to lift their spirits.
http://www.lifewithmylittles.com/2014/11/best-elf-on-shelf-ideas-for-toddlers.html/
Idea #3 came from A Few Shortcuts. We are a LEGO classroom, so this is a must!
http://afewshortcuts.com/2014/11/elf-on-the-shelf-ideas-lego-revolution/#_a5y_p=2936061
Idea #4 comes from Simple As That Blog.  This would be simple to put up too!
http://simpleasthatblog.com/2015/11/more-than-40-easy-elf-on-the-shelf-ideas.html
 Idea #5 came from Seusstactic.  I just need to get a slinky for this one.
 There are also so many great products that can go with Elf on the Shelf on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I really like these:
Teach More Fear Less wrote letters to introduce and say good-bye. Click on the image below for the Freebie.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Elf-on-the-Shelf-Introduction-Letter-FREEBIE-2886555

The Panko Post created this product that has notes written and ready to go! This freebie is in powerpoint format so it is easy to edit to put in your elf's names. This is such a TIME SAVER!!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Elf-On-The-Shelf-Character-Trait-Notes-2233533
And Of course, here is another freebie for your elf to have a diary for the students to write about the elf's adventures.  I like this product from Kindergarten Smiles.  I will create journals for students to write individually.  You could also do a class book and have students take turns writing through the month. 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Elf-on-the-Shelf-Journal-2904200
I hope your Christmas is blessed and we all make it to our Christmas Break soon! Now I need to plan the class Christmas Performance.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Elf-tacular Giveaway

 
I am excited to be a part of some amazing teachers, authors, and bloggers.  We have a group called Spotlight on Elementary.  You can find our group on facebook, instagram, twitter and we have a store full of just freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I hope you are enjoying our hop and getting to know a few. If you would like to enter in the giveaway, here are the instructions:

While you are here, I wanted to share one of my favorite winter books Snowmen at Night.  There is a few of these in the series.  When I love a book, I create extension activities to use in the classroom.  You can find this one on TPT.  I included a retell activity where students put the snowballs in order that they occur in the book. 
Students can refer back to the book for support to put the snowballs in order.  There are also a no prep math center.  I did make this pack for 1st and 2nd grade students.  In this center students will covering standards: 1.NBT.C.5, and 2.NBT.B.8.  There is also an additional printable for each of these standards. 
I love to include the family in our school community when possible.  I added an at home activity they can do with their family or they can also do the activity in the classroom. Students create a diorama
of what their snowmen do at night.  I supply the child with some basic supplies and let their imagination do the rest.

Students then write about their scene and then you can set your room up with the displays for students to read and explore.

 I also like to use this book to help me teach my students about adjectives.  Students describe their snowmen at night and then the next day.
I do recommend this book and I am sure your students will love it too.  If you are interested in this extension pack, I have it on sale this week while we run this giveaway for just $2.00.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Snowmen-at-Night-Math-and-Literacy-Pack-first-grade-and-second-grade-2894902

Good luck on the giveaway!! Head on to the next blog...
http://teaching-autism.blogspot.com/2016/12/elf-tacular-giveaway.html

  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Movie Theater FLIP

This was a mini-flip.  This happened right around Halloween, so we decided to this instead of a party.  It was a surprise to our students.  While they were at lunch, we flipped the two rooms quickly!! My room became a movie theater and my colleague's room became the concession stand. 
I put a marquee above my door and used a plastic table cloth for a curtain. I used Christmas lights to make a center isle.  I also had my flashlight to look up and down rows if needed.

We had been working on counting money so this went well with this flip. We had the second grade students work the concession stand and sell/take tickets to the movie.  Each student was given $5 to spend.  Our kinders got 5 dollar bills.  Our 1st graders got 5 dollars in quarters and our 2nd graders got $5 in a mix of coins.  Those working the concession stands had to count the money to make sure they got a dollar for what was purchased.   The week before we asked for donations from parents to supply our stand.  I asked the local movie theater to donate the popcorn boxes and a neighbor of mine donated kettle corn.


We sold hot dogs, candy, drinks, popcorn and tickets.  We used play money- just in case that was not clear. This was a lot of fun for all of the students!