Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lunchbox Linky Party and a Giveaway!

Oh what fun!  Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics is hosting a totally unique Linky Party:  "Looky in My Lunchbox Linky."


I am a girl who loves to eat and talk about food, so I had to join!  Tara is also giving away this CUTE lunchbox from Thirty-One, so be sure to join the fun!

So here is a picture of my lunchbox.  Other teachers have asked me if it is a Thirty-One bag....nope!  I found this at Target - though my teacher bag is from Thirty-One.

Here is what I had for lunch today!

I am nearly 8 months pregnant, so I am TRYING to eat healthy - though I often fail.  I have been ordering adult lunches from our school cafeteria because they are cheap, healthy, and pretty darn tasty!!  Today I had a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant.  I also packed myself an avocado, an orange, fresh strawberries, cranberry juice, a cookie, and pudding.  Not going to lie... my lunch did not stop there.  I had more in my lunchbox, but I was too embarrassed to take it all out at once in front of my co-workers, haha!  They already thought I was a weirdo for taking a picture of my lunch!!

So Tara asked a few questions in her Linky Party.  Here are my answers:

No, we do not eat lunch with our students - THANK GOODNESS!  I love my kiddos, but geez... we all need a break!

Our lunch / recess break is from 11:00am - 11:50am (primary grades, K - 2nd).  We are fortunate to enjoy that entire 50 minutes, unless we have to "serve" our weekly lunchroom duty for the first 15 minutes OR if we have to "serve" a recess duty (a few times a year).  Oh yeah and on inclement weather days, we have to keep our kids.

I used to eat by myself in my classroom, so I could get work done... but somewhere down the line - probably by the start of my third year of teaching - I realized it is important for me to take a "brain break," take a few deep breaths, talk with my colleagues in the teachers' lounge, and actually EAT!

Well, that was fun!  Thanks, Tara, for hosting such a cook Linky Party!  And thanks to YOU for stopping by!  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Integrating Art into Other Content Areas

One of the many things I love about Kindergarten is being able to use art projects to teach concepts and lessons.  (Someone please reassure me that this is also appropriate for Third Grade!  I will be so sad next year if I am frowned at if and when I do art projects in my new classroom!) 

Every Wednesday, my students particpate in what we refer to as a Classroom Meeting.  This is basically my approach to Bully Prevention, Conflict Resolution, Community Building...whatever you want to call it.  Here is what we did today:

1 - I opened up the lesson by asking the students a couple of questions:  "What is a leader?  What are some qualities of a good leader?"

2 - I read aloud Swimmy by Leo Lionni.

3 - We had a discussion about Swimmy and what made him a good leader.  We brainstormed ways we could be more like Swimmy.  We talked about how the fish worked together as a team to reach a common goal.

4 - The students worked together to splatter paint a large sheet of white butcher paper with blue paint in order to create "water."  (However, it was difficult to see the fish on the white paper, so I might suggest using blue butcher paper and then using white paint to splatter.)  I recommend laying down extra butcher paper underneath your art work to catch any fly-away splatters.  Or if you are lucky enough to be in a warm climate, paint outside!

5 - The students used an art technique called "crayon resist" to create their own unique and special fish.  First, they colored a design on their fish using crayons.  Then, they used water color paints to paint their fish.

6 - I was planning on having the kids work together to put their little fish together to make a big fish (just like the fish in the story), but this lesson and project ended up taking up a ton of time as it was, so I just did this last step by myself after school.

We had fun with this lesson.  Give it a try in your own classroom!  If you do, I would love to hear how it goes.  Have fun and thanks for stopping by!  :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stretchy the Word Snake - Part 3 (FREEBIE!)

If you have been using "Stretchy the Word Snake" in your classroom, you will be happy to learn that I just created some cards for short vowel "E"... yay!  You can pick up your own free copy of the Short "E" cards at my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE!

If you are unfamiliar with "Stretchy the Word Snake," but would like to introduce him to your students, read my previous posts HERE and HERE!

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Anchor Charts Linky Party and a FREEBIE!

I am joining the awesome intermediate crowd over at Ladybug's Teacher Files - which, by the way, is my new favorite blog HANDS DOWN!  If you have not yet explored Kristen's blog, take some time to do it.  Here is my warning to you though:  You will not be able to stop stalking her!  When I first discovered her blog recently, I spent an entire morning and afternoon exploring what she had to share...AHHHH-MAZING!

I will be honest:  I do not have any photos of anchor charts to share.  I am not even teaching Third Grade until July.  So why am I joining the Linky Party, you ask?  Well, I do have something to share that is related to anchor charts and I think you all will like it!  I created a binder cover (as well as a side panel label) for an Anchor Chart Binder.

"Are you stuck?  Well, you're in luck!  Anchor Charts can be used when you're confused."

You can snag this FREEBIE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE!

If you are unfamiliar with Anchor Chart Binders, here is the basic concept:  When your classroom becomes overcrowded with anchor charts, you take a picture of them, put them away for next year (or give them to your students to take home), then you print the photos and organize them in a binder that your students can refer back to when they need help with a particular concept.

Side note:  Nancy, over at Teaching My Friends, has shared an awesome post about why and how she utilizes an Anchor Chart Binder in her classroom.  Head over to her blog to read all about it!  Be sure to pick up a copy of the FREEBIE that she shares:  an index page for your Anchor Chart Binder!!  She also includes some helpful photos, like the one below, that help you understand what an Anchor Chart Binder can look like.  Thanks, Nancy!!

Oh, by the way, if you are a primary teacher, there is another Anchor Chart Linky Party for you going on over at Ms. M's Blog.  Head over there to join the fun!

Hmmmm, I guess that is it for now.  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Linky Party and My Next Big Challenge!

There is a Linky Party going on over at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies and I am super excited to join the party!  Now, I have to admit, I am not officially a 3rd grade teacher yet... but starting on July 9th, I will be!  I am beginning to wrap my brain around that change and so I am SUPER grateful for this Linky Party, as I am discovering some awesome upper elementary grade blogs.

I recently went into the classroom - that will soon be my own - to take photos.  I am totally a visual learner, so I wanted the photos to help me plan while I am home.  I will be going on maternity leave for the end of this school year and the first month of next school year.  Yeah, crazy, right!?  I am extremely fortunate that my mother is going to take a week off of work to watch my soon-to-be newborn, so I can break down, move, and set up classrooms in June.

So... here is my next big challenge:  Creating a Third Grade classroom environment that matches my teaching style and personality.  Here is the canvas I will be working with:

Lots of organizing... lots of decorating... lots of setting up to do!  Wish me luck, please, because I will need it!  Thanks for stopping by.  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I have a Pinterest-inspired FREEBIE for you!

I spotted this chart on Pinterest and I knew I had to cutesy it up and post it in my own classroom!  It looks like the idea originally came from Mrs. Roper.  If you want to check out her Third Grade blog, "Rolling into 3rd!" click HERE!

If you would like to grab your own copy of this FREEBIE, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store - where everything is always free - by clicking HERE!

I hope that you find this printable useful.  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Back to School Planning - Say What!? (Oh, and a FREEBIE!)

It is true:  I have been spending my spring break lesson planning for the first week of the 2012 - 2013 school year!  I have good reason - I work at a year-round school and our school year starts at the beginning of July and I will be on maternity leave during that first month of school.  Another reason - I am changing grade levels (Kindergarten to 3rd grade) and since I have never been an intermediate teacher before, I figure I better start wrapping my head around all of this before this baby pops out!

Anyway, I have been learning a lot about third grade from some amazing teacher bloggers and Pinterest addicts recently.  Focus Walls, Book Clubs, it is all so exciting!  I do love, love, LOVE Kindergarten and always will, but I am super stoked about this grade level change, since intermediate kids are at a much higher ability level than our little Kinders.  During my "research," I found this fun back-to-school writing activity:

This little gift comes from Becky at Dots-n-Spots.  Stop by her blog to grab her freebie and give your thanks!  (By the way... if this one does not work for your kiddos, there are lots of awesome teachers on Pinterest and blogs who have shared their time capsule printables.  Just do a little searching and I am certain you can find one that works for your age level.)

Brooke, over at Primary Perspective, created a super cute Time Capsule.

I tried my best to make a time capsule as cute as hers!

I also made a blank template version of this printable to share with you.  If you would like to grab your own copy of this FREEBIE, click HERE!

By the way... if you know of any great blogs that are Third Grade specific, please refer me to them!  I have a lot to learn and not much time to do it.  As always, thank you for stopping by!