Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mother's Day Project...Better Late Then Never!

I know I'm completely late with sharing the Mother's Day gifts my third graders made this year, but I figure it's better late than never! My team has made these gifts for two years now and have received a lot of compliments from grateful mammas! 

The idea came from Pinterest of course! One of my talented teammates cut out a letter 'm' and an 'o' from foam poster board.  I grabbed the letters and my kids to take some pictures outside. 

After getting all of the pictures printed we were able to assemble our gifts! All I needed to purchase was some ribbon and card-stock. 

We mounted our photos on the the card-stock and attached the ribbon with Tacky Glue.  This was a bit stronger than our regular Elmer's glue. 

We made a loop out of ribbon and attached that to the top of our photos, so our mom's could hang up our beautiful masterpieces. 

I recommend having your students glue their ribbon pieces on first, then add the photos.  This prevents the extra gloopy-gloppy glue from getting onto our gorgeous photos (try saying that three times fast)!!! 

Another tip I've found is to just give my students a small piece of ribbon to connect each photo to one another.  This cut down the amount of ribbon I needed down immensely and made the gift that much more affordable for my class of 26! 

I printed my photos at Wal-Greens with a coupon, I also noticed that a lot of printers have deals on pictures around Mother's Day. Score! The project cost me less than a dollar for each kid...a dollar makes me holler Honey Boo-Boo child! 

Of course you need to have some cute wrappings for gifts for mom! I loved the ease of using the brown paper bags and tissue paper flowers.  Aren't they darling?? The gift tag was made with leftover paper sitting in the bottom of my drawer and my gift tag puncher.  :) You can learn how to make these flowers HERE.  

This gift is really easy to modify, some teachers on my team have created a letter 'd' and 'a' for DAD, as well as a Grandma sign, for some individual students.  We even has some sets of twins that took their pictures together, how precious!!! 

I simply adore creating this project with my students, the kids love to give it to their mom's, and I think mom's enjoy receiving it!  

What sort of gifts are a big hit with your families? 

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

What Does the Shape Say!?!?

I don't know about you, but once I saw Linda Kamp's What Does the Shape Say product featured on TPT and Pinterest, I knew I HAD to own it!   

I always love to incorporate crafts and activities into my math lessons and this one was a big hit! You can purchase yours HERE.  In this post I'm including a few other activities we've done while exploring plane shapes in third grade. 

First up was Polygon vs. Not a Polygon.  I gave each student one pipe cleaner and would shout out, "polygon" or, "not a polygon." My students had to then create a shape that matched appropriately.  We then turn and talked to our math buddies and explained to them why our shape was or was not a polygon.   This was a fun and simple assessment at the end of the lesson! Score! 

The following day as a review we pulled out our iPads and opened ShowMe, you can read more about my love for this app HERE.  There is seriously a million and ten ways to use this app in your classroom, I LOVE it.  

I allowed my students time to go around the room snapping some pictures of polygons and items that were not polygons.  Gotta love an opportunity for some real world math!  They then sorted the photos in a ShowMe document, took a screenshot, and printed them.  Of course we could have shared them digitally, but I really wanted them to take these home as a guide for their homework. 

Linda Kamp's product also comes with pieces to create an anchor chart.  Don't mind that poor fox's funky eyes...they're trying to cover a whoopsie-daisy mistake.  #ThankGoodnessIdon'tTeachArt

I decided to create my anchor chart into a more interactive peek-a-boo poster.  

My kiddies couldn't wait to get their hands going to make their own foxy shapes! 

They had to choose their shape..we only used the quadrilaterals, then write out the attributes of the shape in the word bubble.  Once that was completed it was cut and paste time! 

This little love bug just loves to create projects! 

Here they are, hanging proudly and brightening up our classroom space!!!

Now,  I'm off to celebrate my Hawks' win agains LA Kings! Yea, Buddy!!!
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Animal House!

Hello All! I've had so much fun exploring animals this year with my third graders! I've already shared some of our activities HERE.  Beware, these is a huge photo dump in this post.  I just loved everything we did and just have to share all of the cuteness! 

First up is the fabulous informational text, What if You Had Animal Teeth.  Short bursts of information and easy to read fast facts make this book and it's partner What if You Had Animal Hair favorites in my classroom.  I love how the book appeals to the natural inquisitiveness that my students possess...we've all heard the, "What if...." questions in our classroom! 

I placed a few students in charge of documenting information from the text onto sticky-notes for our chart. 

We then used these charts to help inspire our opinionated writing on what type of animal teeth we would like to have and why.  It's a proud teacher moment to see those kiddos of mine walking up to the chart and using their resources! 

We then made these adorable little faces of ourselves my partner found on cute!

I loved how they all turned out! It makes for one silly looking bulletin board outside our classroom! 

The next idea came from Pinterest.  After reading Who Eats What we created our own food chains puzzles.

Each student got three to four styrofoam cups and a handful of permanent markers.

They then had to come up with their own food chain...I am always amazed by their creativity. 

After each student had a chance to finish their food chain we then played rotated around the room, trying to stack one another's food chains in the appropriate order.

As a culminating activity we created habitat murals in groups.   I let my kids create the classroom rubric for the project, which really helped with the buy-in.   I loved hearing their conversations relating to things we've learned throughout our animal chapter on animal needs and behaviors! 

They also had free reign of my extra craft supplies...which was a BIG deal.  This group was creating the coral reef and had declared the sparkly purple poms make the perfect sea urchins! 

The rainforest habitat group found some use for my leftover tissue paper squares.  

Check out the artwork! I love this jaguar scaling the tree! 

At the beginning of the year I made these flip charts for my Open House...I learned how from Kelly HERE! I loved how the flip chart allowed me to share important information at a glance..well, I thought  my students might like these for the same reason! 

I wish I had a template to share with you, but I made this the old fashioned way by cutting and pasting. I'll add it to my summer To Do list ;) 

My third graders loved to use the free WB Animals app for their research! 

To help keep track of students' research...and for me to keep track of their work habits, we used Doctopus through Google Drive.  This is my first time using Doctopus and I'm loving it so far! I can't wait to share more with it! 

Well...if you're still with me you earn a gold star in my book! We've got 17 days left of school...not that I'm counting down or anything ;) 


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Monday, May 5, 2014

May Monday Made's a Party!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! (almost)
I'm linking up with the fabulous Tara and her infamous Monday Made It.  I'm getting excited as the summer is approaching and I know I'll have more time to create and share! 
Last Friday my school celebrated a good friend of mine's retirement.  I was overjoyed when I was asked to provide the decorations for our luncheon at school! I love a party! 

Here is some of the little touches I created, in hopes of making her feel special...

These were the first things I made for the party and by far my FAVORITE touch! Another amazing teacher who loves party planning helped to collect large baby food jars, I then hot glued a box of 24 crayons around each jar and then added a little ribbon, just because it needed a little somethin' somethin'. 

Crayon bud vases ready to go out to the tables! I love all of the bright colors!!!

These were the centerpieces at each table...two crayon bud vases, a brightly colored pom, and framed quotes from some famous authors.  The frames are from Ikea and were loaned to me by another amazing teacher.  She has used them for her table numbers at her wedding, isn't that darling??

Since by teaching buddy was our school's Reading Specialist, I decided to have a children's literature theme to the decorations.  I used my overhead projector to help me sketch some of the more detailed characters.  Don't you just love how mischievous Max and Eloise look???
I liked the simple black painted outlines, so instead of painting the entire character, I chose to add one or two details in color to make it pop. 

This was the backdrop for where the party took place.  Hopefully you can recognize some of these characters!  

Here's a closer shot of some of my favorite little critters! 

This book cover bunting was inspired by the very woman who hosts this link party, Tara! I loved seeing the bright illustrations liven up our teachers lounge! 

Finally, I'll leave you with the quote below.  
Happy Teacher's Appreciation Day and thank you for all of the love and care you put into your classrooms each and every day! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears...Oh My!!!

 Lions, and tigers, and bears...oh my!  I LOVE teaching about animals! It's one of my favorite science units in third grade, unlike *cough* Energy and Heat *cough*.  Any who,  I thought I'd take the time to share some of the fun activities we've been up to...

It looks like a zoo in here! 

No, I'm not talking about the disorganized mess in the corner of this photo (yikes!) My students were asked to bring in a stuffed animal to school for their homework.  We then did some research to classify our animals.

Next up we placed our animals into the wild! Also known as...butcher paper.  Students had some great conversations and debates on where to place their animal based on their animal's needs.  We also noticed some food chains, one poor lamb was almost sacrificed by her owner when she was placed next to a gray wolf! 

I've already blogged about these cute camo critters, but I just love them so much! You can read about theme HERE

This last week we read What if You Had Animal Teeth, which is such a fun read! If you don't have it in your classroom library, I STRONGLY recommend it.  The kids love the short bursts of informational text and the silly illustrations.

After completing a close read of the text, my students built this sticky-note chart filled with facts about some of the animal teeth included in the book.  

We then used this chart as inspiration for an opinion piece.  My students formed an opinion on what type of animal teeth they wish they could have.  The chart was used to help provide evidential reasons that supported their opinions.

This adorable craftivity was found on TPT by one of my awesome teammates. Unfortunately, I'm unsure of who the creator is.  If you know, please let me know! I'd love to give credit!

Isn't this the cutest!? I can't wait until I hang these up in the hallway! 

Something else we've been loving? Watching Planet Earth DVDs while we pack up for the day! 

This week we'll be creating habitat murals, I can't wait to see what kinds of ideas they come up with!!

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