Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rainforest Animal Research Report FREEBIES!

Happy almost Friday, Peeps!! Kerri here...
I know, I know! This is WAY too late for many of you who are soaking up the rays of summer (although TECHNICALLY it is not ACTUALLY summer yet according to the seasons, but that's just me, feeling bitter that y'all are out sooo much earlier than me!), but I FINALLY have my act together and am posting my Rainforest Animal Research Report goodies, that you may use, or file away, or do absolutely nothing with! I leave it up to you! :)

Step 1: I send home a letter and worksheet and the kids look up research about a rainforest animal of their choosing for homework. Obviously, you can do this for ANY animal groups that you are studying...The kidlets research at home with mom and dad and return the paper after a week. 

Step 2: We use the information that they gathered to fill out the FANTABULOUS animal graphic organizers that the girls over at Made for First Grade shared last year-click here to go to their blog post about them. These are RAD, and work perfectly!

Step 3: In my Writing Center, the kids write their research report using their graphic organizer that they have already filled out. I DO NOT do this whole group. I would probably SHOOT myself if I attempted that one. 6 kids + me is all I can handle when writing these reports out!

Step 4: I print out pictures of their animal off the internet that they can use to refer to when drawing their animal. I have them draw it with pencil, sharpie (my other best friend besides Mod Podge) over the pencil lines, and then color WITH THEIR BEST COLORING (Can you envision my gnarly furrowed brow as I threaten them within an inch of their little lives to do their best because this is for Open House, and do you want your parents to see you scribble scrabble, blah blah blah...You get the picture!)

Step 5: Using these oh-so-cool folders that were donated to my school last year (YES, I did HOARD a whole bunch of them. I have a problem...) in colorful colors, I staple their picture and the internet photo to the left, and all 3 of their writing process papers (research, graphic organizer, and final draft) to the right, slap on a snazzy cover and TADA!! They are FINISHED!! 

The kids feel SOOOO GROWN-UP after finishing these monsters, and are SUPER EXCITED to earn a Magic School Bus Goes to the Rainforest movie as a reward, while teacher collapses in a heap in her corner! (That, by the way, MOST DEFINITELY did not happen today! Nope!)

Photo time...
Covers and fun folders

 leaf-cutter ant drawing and final copy of report

 internet photo and graphic organizer

 Research homework

Isn't his little "ant-tastick" line so cute!! LOVE!

 Red-Eyed Tree Frog

I just had to show you this one. First of all, who ON EARTH names a bird "Cock of the Rock". REALLY?? Cool looking bird, HORRIBLE name. This little sweetie FORGOT 3 very important words- "of the rock".  AWKWARD!! Guess who wrote it in for her? YUP, me, whilst trying to keep a straight face as I reminded her of those 3 VERY important words that she forgot to write. 
(Note to self...maybe next year this particular bird is not a choice?? Hmmm...)

Click on the picture below to download copies of all of the above papers for the Rainforest Animal Research Reports!

I'd love to know if you find these useful! Let me know by leaving a wee little comment!!
Happy almost weekend, friends!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere!!

Hi Peeps!! Kerri here...
DUDE! I feel like I have been MIA for the last week! Things have become C-R-A-Z-Y busy in Room 4, man! Between Open House preparations, AND starting to get ready for next year (Gag. I am sooo not ready! But, it has to be done, you know what I mean??), I am slowly losing it! Plus, with so many of you already on Summer Break, I am feeling VERY VERY left out (Can you tell I wish it were summer already?)

In the spirit of getting ready for next year, I just uploaded this little number... (click on the picture to go to my store!)
This 38 page "I Know My Numbers!" Match Activities Pack includes everything you need to help your students practice, master, or review their numbers, in a fun and engaging way! These centers are perfect for Kinders throughout the year, or for Firsties to review their numbers at the beginning of the year!

Your students will read, count, represent, or order their way through numbers 1-30, while enjoying these colorful graphics and hands-on math centers that are based on the Number sense and building numeracy! Numbers, number words, tally marks, ten frames, board games, and dice-these centers have it all!

10 centers and recording sheets are included!!

Here's what's included...
And, here are a couple more preview pics...

Well, I'm off to work out, go to Target, and then go to my mommy's house to take her out for her birthday!! I love my mom sooo much! Here's a picture of us together from Mother's Day!
And here's a funny one. What kind of a bearded dragon lets his dinner sit on his head?? Apparently, mine does! The kids thought this was HILARIOUS!

Happy Memorial Day, friends!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just Some Random Bits and Bobs

Greetings friends!  Lindsay here . . .

I cannot believe that some of you are out of school already . . . NOT. FAIR.  And yes, I am cyber-pouting.  We still have 4 weeks, 4 days, and a few hours to go. Not that I am counting or anything . . .

Tonight's post is just a couple of random teacher goodies.  With Open House right around the corner my kidlets and I have been finishing up projects, doings lots of writing, and having so much fun with the RAINFOREST!!  But even in the midst of the project craziness, we have had time for lots of great math and language arts reveiw.  Check it out!

First up tonight: Amazing Alphabet Activity Pack . . .

A few weeks ago Kerri offered to share her Amazing Alphabet Activity pack (check it out HERE in her TPT store).  (She had even printed. laminated, cut out, and Ziploc-baggied all of the pieces for me!  Yippee!!)  My class had just wrapped up the last letter of the alphabet, so we were gearing up for a week of ABC review - it was perfect!  My kids LOVED all of the activities, particularly the "Alphabet Mystery Words". . .

I even used the alphabet picture/word/letter match with my RTI group and they loved it!  They were so motivated to see who could get the most matches!

Anyway, this was a fun lil unit - I highly recommend it for your end of the year kinders or fabulous fall firsties!

Next up: pockets.  Yes, as in pockets in your pants. Or your shirt.  Or . . . well, you get the idea.

My class has a wonderful volunteer who comes in to help with centers once a week named Mrs. Rogers.  She is a former teacher in my district, and her sweet grandson is in my class this year.  Mrs. Rogers is funny, adorable, encouraging, and a WEALTH of teaching ideas and information.  She introduced the "How Many Pockets?" activity to me last week and I just had to share!

The pocket activity is great for getting kids excited about estimating, comparing numbers, and practicing place value with tens and ones, and it goes a little something like this:

Mrs. Rogers kicked off the activity by posing a question to my kiddos: "I was just wondering how many pockets do you think we are wearing today altogether?" She gave my kiddos a chance to share their thoughts, and then she organized a way for them to find out.

First, she put a supply of unifix cubes at each table and told students to put one cube in each of their pockets.  Once all of my kidlets had done this, all of the extra cubes were removed from the tables. 

Mrs. Rogers then directed the class to take the cubes from their pockets, and snap them together into stacks.  Once they had done this, she gave further directions.  "Now I want you to combine all the stacks at your table into stacks of ten each."   After students had done this, each table brought their bundles of ten and their extra cubes to the rug, and each table had a representative come up and share how many pockets their table had.  After recording the totals for each table, Mrs. Rogers asked the students how they thought they could find out the answer to the original question: How many pockets did the whole class have altogether?  Students came up with the idea to count all of the bundles (or stacks) of tens, then to stack together the extra ones into MORE stacks of tens, and finally count up the extra ones.  Wow - our class had 90 pockets! 

Mrs. Rogers recorded this number on the board and challenged my class to see if they could do this activity every day for the whole week, to see if they got the same number.  Needless to say, my competitive little kiddos were up for the challenge, and the next day there were cargo pants, hoodies, and and other pocketed clothing items galore!!!  One of my little girls even wore THREE HOODIES just to help get more pockets for her table!   (Talk about dedication . . .)

This activity culminated on Friday, when my kiddos reached 119 pockets!  Oh the elation at reaching such a big BIG number!!  This activity sparked such great discussion amongst my students, even on the playground: comparing data from day to day, making predictions and estimating, even using great math vocabulary such as "more" and "less"  and "tens and ones". 

Here is picture of Mrs. Rogers getting the students to think about how many pockets they thought the whole class might have . . . (Notice the child in green thinking very, VERY hard! )

And THIS is my dedicated little mathmatician wearing three hoodies and putting her unifix cubes into each pocket:

And finally, here is a little recording sheet to use with this activity.  At the end of the week you can have your kidlets practice writing a true statement about what they observed, such as: "There were more pockets on Tuesday than on Wedensday", etc.

(Click on the image to download recording sheet)

Well, that is it for now!  Let me know if you try to count pockets with your kiddos!  The number to beat is 119! 


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Some Random FREEBIES, and an Olympics FLASH SALE!!

Happy Thursday, Friends! Kerri here...
First of all, I CANNOT believe that some of you are already out for the summer! WHAT THE WHAT?? I am NECK DEEP in Open House madness, while some of y'all are wrapping up the school year. It is SOOO WEIRD! Not that I'm bitter or anything. Nope, not me!  :)

Every year for Open House I have my kids write autobiographies about themselves, and we do the WHOLE process (they feel sooo fancy working on their rough draft, and then writing their final draft!) We also step draw ourselves, and then trace with sharpie (of course!) and color in. Here are some final projects. They're cutey McCuteness!

If you are interested in doing this project with your kiddos, here is a the All About Me writing paper! Click the cutey girl to download...

We also made the covers for our GIANT art Memory book. Last year I made this crazy cover with snow-capped mountains (Why did I do this? I live in So Cal! I have no clue...), a road, trees, it was MADNESS! I am pretty sure there was crying from at least one of my students and the sweet friend that I suckered into helping me that day (Thanks, Miss Amy!).  This year, I wised up BIG TIME! I used the adorable backpacks from Abby's Fun With Firsties pack that I had saved since September (these were fabulous!), added the kids pictures, and made a cute little title. DONE and DONE!! 

If you would like the title thingy I made, for your memory books or whatever else you may be doing with your chitlins, here it is...

We also made Rainbow Fish Piranhas for our Rainforest this week from my Rainforest Art and Writing Unit! Of course, my boys asked if they could add big giant teeth, but alas, the answer was HECK NO! I very kindly explained that piranhas teeth are very sharp, yes, but VERY tiny, so you would not be able to see them anyway. Waa waa waa waa. They were crushed...oh well!

We will also be learning about Acrostic Poems, and writing one together when we study monkeys next week. I made a little Monkey Acrostic Paper which you can get here...

After we write the monkey poem together, they will write their own "Rainforest" acrostic poem. Fingers crossed they do a good job! :)

Wow!! That was a bunch of RANDOMNESS, huh?? On another random note, I just had a craving for KFC Mashed potatoes and gravy, which is SUPER random since I am a vegetarian and NEVER set foot in that place! Weird! (No, I am most definitely NOT preggers, the baby factory is CLOSED!)

After Memorial Day, I will be starting my Summer Olympics Unit (cue Olympics theme song). Have any of you seen the new Olympics commercial with Morgan Freeman narrating?? Gives me chills every time and gets me all excited for my Michael Phelps! Did you know that Chobani Greek yogurt is an official sponsor of the Olympics? I read that on my yogurt this morning, and thought of Men's gymnastics! HEE HEE!

This little unit will be on sale for only $5 for the next 48 hours, or until I get around to changing the price, so get yours today!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Queen Bee and Mr. T!

Happy almost Mother's Day, girls!! Kerri here...
I hope your Mother's Day tomorrow is off the hook! My mommy and my hub's mom is coming over for lunch, and the rumor is I just might be getting breakfast in bed from my 2 girlys! Sooo excited!

We are in full rainforest mode in my classroom. Here are our Layers of the Rainforest projects and one of our leaf-cutter ants projects from my Rainforest Art and Writing Pack...

Next week we will be making sloths (MY FAVORITE!) and rainbow fish piranhas! More Funness!

This next part is an ode to my room mom. Just look at her AMAZING and beautiful creations as she transformed me into the "Queen B" of my classroom for Teacher Appreciation Week (My kiddos call me Mrs. B, so it was quite appropriate!) Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was matchy matchy! It was incredible!
My gorgeous front door

This has a pocket behind it to house all of the love notes my kiddos wrote me!

This vase looks like a bee hive! It is sooo cool looking!

Yup,  I am an actual "Queen" bee!

My Queen Bee crown! I will be wearing this in reading groups so the kids know not to "bug" me when I am reading with other kids! 
I love you, Mrs. H! You have truly made me feel like a Queen this year and I don't know what I'll do without you next year!

I leave you with this Mother's Day video-Mr. T rapping about his Momma circa 1980 something. Skip to 52 seconds if you don't want to see the 80's kids badmouthing each other before Mr. T comes over and lectures them. This video takes me right back to my childhood! Love it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak and Christopher Walken. WHAT???

Happy Tuesday! Kerri here...
Is anyone else so sad that Maurice Sendak died today?? I know I am. I love his books. Well, except the one with the naked baby showing all his bit and bobs (no reference to our blog, thank you very much) who is falling through the sky with a bottle of milk, I think? That one is just weird.

True year Linds and I were showing a movie educational video during W week of Where the Wild Things Are and other Maurice Sendak stories (you know, the one through Scholastic?) and we decided to let the kids watch JUST ONE MORE part of the video, when lo and behold, the weird story with the naked kid came on (DANGIT!), only we had never seen it before and we had NO IDEA that an actual real male private part (I can't bring my self to type the real word-sorry) would be shown, so all of a sudden the kids started screaming and giggling about the "naked boy" and his "private parts." Can you say, "AWKWARD!"?? 
We turned that video off SO FAST! But, as you can see, I am still scarred by it years later.

Anyway, I stumbled upon this video of Christopher Walken reading Where the Wild Things Are, and it is HILARIOUS! Are you a fan of Christopher Walken? That guy is BEE-ZARRE, man! But strangely intriguing at the same time! You will get a kick out of his running commentary, so check this out...

That's all I got, Peeps. RIP Maurice Sendak. And I heart you, Christopher Walken...

Monday, May 7, 2012

HOLY LAMINATION...and a Summer Olympics FREEBIE!

Hiya Peeps! Happy Monday...
Can I just tell you how happy I am that I am NOT in Junior High like my poor daughter is, and that we had quite the stressful weekend due to Junior High DRAMA. Sigh...Junior High SUCKS. Always has, always will, and all I know is that I am one serious PRAYING mama for my baby girl, that she'll make it through each day with her sanity intact. 
Anyone else remember those HORRID Junior High days?? Blagghh...

On a happier note, I had SO MUCH FUN shopping on TPT yesterday! I got some FANTASTIC goodies for the end of this year, and next year too! The sale is continuing through tomorrow, so there's still time to get your SHOP on! Both our whole stores are 20% off through tomorrow night! Plus TPT's discount, don't forget!

Does this look familiar to anyone?? HOLY LAMINATION!!

I just laminated the first round of my Summer Olympics Math and Literacy Centers, and the roll of lamination is already a MILE long!! YEESH! I have some serious cutting in my future. But, don't you just heart lamination?? It makes everything so darn pretty! Here are my Summer Olympics centers all laminated and shiny...
Contraction Match-Ups

Sentence Scramble

ABC Order and Making Words

Cards for graphing center!

Short and Long Vowel Sort

Subtraction Number Sentences and Sums Match-Ups

Adding 3 Numbers

Fact Family Sort

Part/Part Whole Puzzles

I also have a little Summer Olympics FREEBIE For you!

Who doesn't love a good game of memory, while practicing reading Summer Olympic Vocabulary Words?? Comes with recording sheets, so the kids can practice writing the words as well! They'll be having so much fun they won't even know they're learning! Click on the picture above to download it from TPT!! 
And, don't forget to pick up Lindsay's new Under the Sea Math and Literacy Centers-it is SO DARN CUTE, I can't even stand it! And at 28% off, it's a TOTAL steal!