Sunday, April 29, 2012

Making Big Books

Hi everyone!  It's been awhile since my last post, but school has been really busy and it doesn't seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon.  Usually it seems like this time of the year usually goes by soooooo slow, but not this year.  My chickadees and I will be practicing for the SAT 10 that we will be taking next week as well as getting ready for field day, FAIR testing and ORF testing.  I feel swamped :(  Anyone else feeling that way??

I wanted to share with everyone a class made big book.  Do you make big books with your students?  My students love it.  We read many different stories that had the same overall theme:  "The Enormous Turnip", "The Enormous Potato", and "The Enormous Carrot".  Then my chickadees created their own story following the story line but gave it a new twist.
Hence, the birth of The Enormous Apple!
Their story had a cowboy, cowgirl, tiger, and an alien (to name a few) trying to pull an enormous stubborn apple off a tree.  To make this big book each team in my class worked cooperatively to choose a character, write their page of the story, and create the illustrations.  I find creating big books, that are based on multiple stories with the same theme very helpful to my ESOL students.  I usually store my classmade big books and ones that I have purchased in a hamper.  The big books are available for students to read during their rotation through Read to Self during our literacy workstation time.

I hope everyone has a great start to the new week!  I can't believe it will be May in a few days!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

And the Winner Is...........

Drumroll please.................................
Congratulations Mrs. Richling!  You've just won my Mother's Day Craft project.  Look for an email from me really soon!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mother's Day Craft Give Away !!

Mother's Day is coming up soon.  Do you have a craft in mind to have your littles make for their Mom, Grandma, or Aunt?  If not, what about A Cup of Tea Mother's Day Craft.
It is only $1.25 in my TpT or TN store.

Included with this craft are:
*example pictures
*directions to make the teacup and teapot
*pre-made labels with a message to mom/grandma/aunt for the front of the teapot and teacup
*patterns for the teapot and teacup
*patterns for flowers (used for decorations)

For one lucky person, this craft can be yours.  To enter my Mother's Day Craft giveaway all you have to do is:
{1} Follow my blog and leave a comment with your email address


{2} Follow my TpT store and leave a comment with your email address

So hurry up and enter, because this giveaway is only lasting until tomorrow, Friday at 9 p.m. EST. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Sparkle and Inspiration

It seems like it's been forever and a day since my last post.   Things have been really hectic as I try to map out the curriculum for the rest of April and May.  We have standardized testing coming up during the first week of May, so we will be practicing and reviewing alooooottttt! But for today, I want to share with you some activities that my chicadees have been working on and really enjoy.  Hopefully they will offer you a little mid-week inspiration.  I am constantly inspired when I read others' blogs :)

Sparkle is a quick game that my chickadees love to play.  It is a great time filler activity when you only have a few minutes but want to make the most of them.  To play Sparkle, I have all my students take out a scrap sheet of paper.  I choose 5 students to go stand at the front of the room.  They then have to spell one of our current or past spelling/vocabulary words.  As the students spell the word they only say 1 letter of the word, the next student says the letter that comes next, and so on and so forth until the word is completely spelled.  Once the word is completely spelled, the next student in line calls Sparkle and the next person in line is out.  Everyone has a sheet of scrap paper out, because if they are not up front spelling the word they attempt to spell it themselves on their paper.  The round continues until there is only 1 person left up front and then we start again with 5 players.

Taste Testing and Writing
We have been working on using our 5 senses to describe things when we right.  I brought in different kinds of fruit for my chickadees to look at, smell, and taste.  Afterwards they created a bubble map of their favorite fruit to describe it.
My example for the students :)

The apricots and kiwis were a big hit, because most of my students had never heard of them.  I was very surprised that they actually enjoyed them.  After the bubble map we worked on a tree map, and then they used their tree map to wright a paragraph.

Life Cycles
We have also been working on the life cycles of plants and animals.  This week we have focused on the life cycle of a frog.  We made a flow map of the life cycle using pictures, then my chickadees wrote about what happens in each stage.  It is made kind of like a foldable book.  My chickadees loved that their writing was hidden and you would have to open the flap to see what they wrote.

I myself am now off to find some inspiration.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of This World Mid-Week Freebie

I am so excited about an upcoming space unit that my chickadees will be working on.  I love teaching this unit because there are so many engaging and fun things that I can do with it.  My chickadees are always fascinated when we explore real world concepts.  To go along with some new target skills that have to be taught I created this:

If you would like this freebie simply click here!
The word cards included allow for differentiation.  There are 2 pages of Tier 2 words.  This is a great activity for a literacy workstation or for cooperative learning.  I will most likely be using this for Rally Coach or for a modified All Write Round Robin.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Here Are The Rules:
* Post these rules
* Answer the 10 questions that the tagger posted for you
* Create 10 questions of your own to ask the people that you're about to tag
* Tag 10 people and link them with your post (and let them know they've been tagged!)

So first up are Marissa's questions.
1. Are you a night owl or early bird?? Definite early bird
2. What was the last book you've read? (Not related to teaching) I just reread The Hunger Games to get ready for a teachers vs. students challenge
3. What kind of movies do you prefer? Comedy, action, drama, love story??? Comedy or Action
4. What is your favorite grade to teach? 2nd
5. Coffee or tea? Coffee (iced)
6. Are you married or do you have kids? Married for 9 fabulous years
7. How long have you been teaching? What grades have you taught? I am going on my 10th year of teaching.  I have taught a half year of 4th Grade and the rest of my time teaching has been in 2nd grade.
8. Did you always know you wanted to be a teacher? Maybe subconsciously :)  I still want to be The President one day!!
9. What do you like to do when you're not teaching? I love to read mystery books or shop!
10. What is your favorite song that puts you in a good mood?  Hmmmm...I don't have a favorite song
Now for Judy's questions.
1. Soup or Salad? Salad (I love Greek salad)
2. Designer Purse or Designer Shoes?  Designer Purse, it usually goes with more and does not hurt (unlike most designer shoes)
3. Favorite Music Genre? When it comes to music I don't have a favorite, I like a little bit of everything
   4.Pepsi or Coke..or Neither (explain)? I like regular Coke better than Pepsi but Diet Pepsi is way better than Diet Coke
5.What is the name of the board that you post the most pins on Pinterest? I have not yet been on Pinterest (this is very shocking to most of my friends)
6.Righty or Lefty? Righty
7. Favorite Season? Fall

8. The glass is always...? (half full or half empty) Most of the time, half full

9. When is your birthday? Don't worry about putting the year! November

10. Do you have siblings, if so how many? 1 sister

Now for the questions for those I have tagged.
1. Chocolate or Vanilla?
2. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?
3. Favorite movie?
4. If you were stranded on a deserted island what 3 things would you hope to have with you?
5. Do you have any pets?  If so, what kind?
6. Heels or flats?
7. What is your least favorite thing about teaching?
8. Best Professional Development you have had is.....
9. Funniest thing a student has asked or said to you...
10. If you were given 1 million dollars what would you do with it?

My tagees......

Have fun!!  I can't wait to read your responses!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seining and Similies

Now that benchmarks, other end of quarter assessments, and report cards are done I feel like I can relax a moment.  Anymore, it seems as if I test / assess my students to death, never mind teach them!  Does anyone else ever feel that way?
We did have a nice respite yesterday since the chickadees went on a field trip.  Since we live near the water we were able to go Seining in a lagoon.
Teachers, students and parents love this hands on field trip.  If you are not familiar with seining, seining is the catching of ocean creatures (that live in the see grass beds) using a net (similar to volleyball net) that you drag along the ground at an angle.  We put our "catches" in a bucket and professionals explain to us what they are and characteristics of them.  Finally our "catches" are released.
Some of our catches!!  There is a comb jellyfish in the upper right hand corner of this photo, and that spongy looking thing below it, is a hairy sponge (that ejects a purplish liquid when stressed).  A crab is towards the bottom.

This week also found my chickadees learning about similes.  I thought they would have a hard time understanding what 2 things were being compared (and why) in a simile, but they caught on pretty quick.  Especially because this skill was reinforced through writing about themselves.  Egomaniacs anyone!!???
Students had to draw and label a self portrait and then write about their self portrait using similes.

Since I am now hungry as a wolf, I am off to cook dinner.  Have a Happy Easter !!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hippity Hoppity Sale and Freebie Reminder!!

If you have not yet gotten my Hippity Hop Antonym Freebie, get it soon!!  It would be perfect to use with your chickadees this week!!

I am also having a 20% off sale in my TpT store for today only.

So hop on over!!  Happy Spring!!