Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Bunch of Smart Cookies!

Wow! I can't believe that my third grade kiddos will be taking the state test NEXT WEEK!! We have been reviewing concepts, practicing vocabulary, refining our bubbling skills . . . and we are so ready to rock this test!

It was my class's turn to decorate the third grade bulletin board in the main hall of my school, and I really wanted something to pump the kids up for testing. I stole this "smart cookie" idea from One Extra Degree - my favorite third grade blog! Amanda took this idea from the ladies at The Lesson Plan SOS blog - you can check out their Smart Cookie Craft on TPT here!

I created a recipe card template, and the kids came up with "ingredients" and "directions" for what would make a good test taker . . . or SMART COOKIE! We talked about traits such as confidence and determination, the importance of water and rest, etc. Then they got to decorate their own little cookie, and the whole thing turned out so adorable I just couldn't wait to share!

Here are the finished products. The kids all did great, but my personal favorites are the "2 dashes of pencil lead" and "1 quiet mouth". Another student even had 7 pencil sharpeners for her ingredients . . . now that is a lot of sharp pencils!

You can click the scissors below to access the recipe template - it makes an adorable bulletin board for testing, Open House, or just reminding people of your batch of smart cookies!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You like Sushi??

Well, I sure don't! But, being a vegetarian does make it hard to enjoy all that raw fish! :)

Lots of my kiddos, on the other hand, LOVE sushi! Isn't that weird? That is all they talk about and they even bring dried seaweed for their snacks at recess 

So when I saw this super duper fab clip art set on for only $1, I about fell over from excitement! What better way to engage all my sushi eaters than with a Sushi-themed adjective and verb sort! And the little pieces of sushi are SOOO DARLING! I hope you enjoy this fun little center!
XOXO- Kerri!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mother's Day Plates

Good Evening, Teacher Friends!! Kerri here...

I have been making this decoupaged Mother's Day plate for the last few years with my kiddos, and let me tell you, it is SUPER cheap ($1 a kid!) and SUPER CUTE! I love it so much that I made my own daughter make ME one 2 years ago. I am not ashamed to admit it!! :)

I buy the plates at IKEA for $1 each. I am sure you can find similar plates at other places if you don't have IKEA near you. They are clear glass and 9.5 inches in diameter. Next, I have my kids write "I Love Mom This Much!" in sharpie on plain white paper and then draw themselves with their hands outstretched, as well as write their name and the year. When I taught Kinder, I bubble cut the words and their drawings out for them, but I think in First they can handle bubble cutting themselves (MAYBE?? I HOPE!)

Next, and here is the trickier part, you have to Mod Podge the words and their drawings onto the back of the plate facedown so the words show through to the front, and you have to glue the words BACKWARDS so they show up the right way. CONFUSING?? I agree. I always screw one up, every single year. But then I figure it out and the rest are perfect. There is NO WAY your kiddos can do this is very tricky. Time consuming? Sort of. But totally worth it.

Then, the kids mod podge squares of tissue paper onto the back of the plate, over the words and their drawing. I have them use a sponge brush and put mod podge onto the plate, then place the tissue paper over that and mod podge again. It is important that they TAP the sponge brush onto the tissue paper or the tissue paper will come right off. Usually, I walk around during this part with my own sponge brush and help them make sure the entire plate is covered with tissue paper and all covered with the mod podge. I usually let them choose from different complimentary colors, like purple and pink, or blue and green. 

Has everyone heard of Mod Podge? It is the most AMAZING product ever. I buy the glossy Mod Podge at Michaels and it is like the most FANTASTIC GLUE/SEALER EVER! It works on EVERYTHING...truly fantastic!

After the back of the plates are covered with the tissue paper and mod podge, you let them dry overnight and the next day they will be hard and shiny and perfectly sealed. Not sealed as in, I will eat my dinner on this plate, but sealed so that the tissue paper never comes off. I have had parents come back to me years later, STILL talking about the beautiful plate. looks sooo pretty sitting on my table!! Hope you like it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fungus Among Us - A Super Science Experience!

Hello teacher friends!

In third grade world we have been working on our class science project for our schoolwide Science Night. The 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students performed an experiment at home and then presented their findings to their peers, parents and teachers that night.  The K-3rd grade classes did whole-class projects in order to give our kiddos experience with the scientific method, and our class boards were displayed at Science Night as well.  For my third graders, not only did we make a class board for Science Night, but each of my students had their very own mini board that they completed in class.  

I used a 12x18 inch piece of construction paper folded into thirds for the background of the board.  For the lines and headings I created a template with a horizontal page layout, and created two columns, which creates the right width for each part of the board.  I had to cut out some of the different sections to arrange them to fit on the board, but it all fit in the end!  (Click on the science beaker at the bottom of this post to download the template for you to use!)

Our class experiment was to see if spraying hand sanitizer or soap on bread would keep mold from growing - an experiment which my 17 third grade boys LOVED!!   (Anything dirty or moldy is always a hit!)  Below you can see the entire board filled out:

The hardest part of this project was for my students to write their own conclusions, using their observations to answer our initial question. This was GREAT practice for my kiddos for next year when they do their own individual projects as 4th graders!  Here is one student's observations, labelled diagram and conclusion:

Hope this is something you can all adapt and use with your kiddos!  I saved my students' boards and we are going to display them at Open House in June! :)  They are so proud of their super science work!
Click below for a template...

Happy teaching!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Grouchy Fly Word Sort

Happy Easter friends! Kerri here...
My little chitlins are learning the spelling pattern for when Y says E and I at the end of the word this week. They are really enjoying reading the room with their little clipboards and is quite darling, I must say!
So...I created this Read the Room center for my Literacy Centers this week called "The Grouchy Fly", similar to the Loud Clown center I posted a week ago. I tried to incorporate the words from our phonics readers in the sentences, so some of the sentences are kind shall I say...WACKY?? Oh well, at least they will be reading, right??
Click on the fly to download...

Happy Easter! He is risen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Virtues Writing Packet

Hi there Friends! Kerri here...
As you may or may not know, I am OBSESSED with all things DJ Inkers-clipart, fonts, teaching posters, what have you. So, just today, I came across the most adorablest (is that a word?? whatevas...) new Clip Art set called "Words To Live By". 
I'm in LOVE!!
At my school, we use John Wooden's Pyramid of Success to teach our kids about the virtues. It a word...fantabulous! That man is sooo inspiring, and had such great words of wisdom! So, I made this little Virtues writing packet to help my class write about the virtues we are working on each week. There are 20 pages in this packet, and the virtues I included are:

Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Kindness, Cooperation, Patience, Confidence, Thankfulness, Determination, Respect, Loyalty, Enthusiasm, Self-Discipline, Perseverance, Courage, Tolerance, Helpfulness, Honesty, Compassion, Forgiveness, and Consideration. 

All for you...All for FREE!!! 
Hope you likey! Click on the picture to download!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Clowning Around!

Hey there! Kerri here...
It is so weird to read about so many of you being close to the end of your school year! Here in So. Cal, we don't get out from school until...wait for it...JUNE 24th!! Can you believe that?? Many of you will have already had a month of summer by then! Sheesh! Of course, we don't start back until the very end of August, and the kids come back after Labor Day, but still, I'm going to be DYING in June! :)

A couple weeks ago, my kiddos were working on the -ou and -ow spelling pattern, so I made this little Read the Room center for them to do. They totally dug it! Click the clown for your very own copy!!
Hope you all are having a fantastic week!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Snail Races!

Hi Friends! Kerri here...
Long time, no blog! I was with my family in Williamsburg and Washington, D.C. for the week, and man, is it beautiful back there!! So many trees, and lots and lots of 300 year old bricks, as my daughter would say!
Here's a picture of our adventures!

So, here is a fun little game that my kiddos are obsessed with. It's basically an addition or subtraction graph called "Snail Race" and the object is to see which numbered snail can make it to the top or side first. The kids roll 2 dice, either add or subtract the numbers, depending on which version you give them, and then color in one square that corresponds with the answer on their dice and the snail on the paper. My kids LOVE this game! They are OBSESSED with finding out which snail makes it to the top first. To extend it, I have them write 1st place next to the snail that makes it to the end first, 2nd place next to the next snail, etc. so they have to keep rolling and adding or subtracting. 
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy! 
This game is especially great for your fast finishers who constantly need something to work on!
Lindsay made the addition version and I made the subtraction version. The addition version uses 6 sided dice and the subtraction one uses 10 sided dice. I will be making a more challenging version soon with larger numbers and will post it when I finish making it!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

1-100 Cards!

Hey there! Kerri here...
I made these a while back for the 100th day of school! They have come in SOOO handy! Not only do we use them to order numbers 1-100, we use them to... 

  • do place value activities
  • grab 4 out of a bag and put them in order from least to greatest or vice versa
  • grab one and then write the next 4 numbers or the 4 numbers that came before the one they grabbed
  • write the number word for the number taken out of the baggy
  • greater than/less than activities
  • etc. etc.
I ran each set on different colored construction paper, so I would be able to tell whose baggy was missing the NUMBER 19 THAT WAS DROPPED ON THE FLOOR!! (Can you tell what my pet peeve is??) and then presto, TONS of math activities in those little baggies!
One more day until Spring Break, but who's really counting??
Me!! See ya! 
Click above to download your own set!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Contraction Pockets

Hi There! Kerri here...
I absolutely LOVED my girl Lindsay's Pronoun Pocket idea last week, so I first grade-ified it and made it work for my little chitlins! We have been practicing contractions and this super cute project lends itself beautifully to that skill! I didn't have the time to let my kiddos make their own pockets, so I found a cute DJ Inkers clip art pocket and made it super big. I ran them off on colored construction paper and cut 2 1/2  by 3 inch pieces of paper in the same colors for the flaps. Voila! Contraction pockets that look oh so darling on my cabinets!

Thank you Lindsay for the killer idea! You inspire me girl! Click on the pocket for the pattern!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Flower Power!

Hi Blogging Buddies! Kerri here...
Spring break is next week, and let me tell you, I am counting the days! I can't wait to relax, unwind, and gear up for Open House! 
We are studying inflections when we get back from break, the kind that makes the root word double it's last consonant or drop the silent e at the end (Can you tell I have very little idea what I am talking about? Thank God I don't teach 3rd grade like Lindsay!) so I made this little center for my kiddies to practice reading and writing those tricky words. 
Click on the picture above to download and have fun!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Going Buggy!

Going Buggy!
Happy Sunday! Kerri here...
I hope the weather where you are is as beautiful as it is here in Cali! Wow! Spring has sprung!
I made this little bug center a while back to help my kids review short and long vowel words. They had fun sorting the ladybugs into the correct jar. After they finished I had them do a cut and paste sort of short and long vowel words. Click on the links above and below to download the center and the sorting worksheet/words! Enjoy!