Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Five for Friday on Saturday

Wow, was that a fast week!  I'm back with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday...on Saturday!

So let's get started...
I'm finishing up my manatee mini-study with my kindergartners this week. As part of this study, we collected money and adopted a manatee.  You can even choose the one you want to adopt, we chose Annie.  You can learn more about Annie and saving the manatees here
My first graders have started a mini-study on kaleidoscopes.  So far we've done some research and created some fun pictures of kaleidoscopes. I'm on the look out for an EASY way to make kaleidoscopes.  I've seen several DIY projects online but none have really caught my eye.  Suggestions?

My second graders are finally finishing up our shark study.  We have learned so much and they've had an awesome time.  Our last shark hooray is a field trip to a local museum to participate in a Shark Lab.  I've never done this, so I'm really excited about this trip.  I'll be back next week with pics and details.

You can grab this fun shark acrostic over at Stepping into Second with Amy Lemons.  And don't be jealous of my "bulletin board" aka the back of some filing cabinets!!
Brooke from Countless Smart Cookies is celebrating her birthday and I've donated to this HUGE 3-day giveaway.  It will run September 29-October 1.  Mark your calendars.
Here's the link to enter.
I'm so ready for fall. The temps were supposed to be lower last week so I cooked up a big pot of taco soup.  But mid-80's is NOT cooler.  Oh well, I enjoyed the soup in a sundress!!  Fingers crossed for cooler weather this week.

Have an awesome weekend and relax. That's my plan...and maybe some day drinking.  Sometimes that's the best answer to a busy week!  See ya...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Idioms in Action

I mentioned in this post that I was planning a big lesson on idioms for my firsties.  This week we dove in head first.  I started out with a quick PowerPoint with my objectives, I can statements, definitions, and some examples of idioms. 
Here's a peek at my objectives.  I call my students CLUEsters.  Our gifted program is called CLUE (Creative Learning in a Unique Environment.) So CLUE students are CLUEsters, get it?!?

Then continued by reading aloud, "My Teacher Likes To Say." (pictured below)

This book is packed full of easy idioms that we discussed and talked about the origin of some of them. There are literal illustrations of each idiom in the book which resulted in a lot giggles.  This was a great time to discuss the terms "literal" meaning of idioms and "actual" meanings of idioms.  Which was a segway to one of the assignments they would be completing.  

I had several different idiom sheets (like the one pictured above) for them to choose from, student choices equals them being invested in the assignment.  This one is, "He's in hot water."  On the left side they drew the literal meaning and on the right the actual meaning.  I defined the idiom at the top right:  "He got into trouble."  This activity was reinforcement for my lower group. Each child completed a different idiom.  This created exposure to a variety of idioms when they shared at the end of class.  

I also used some matching cards from this packet and we did a little scavenger hunt around the room.
Probably my favorite part of this lesson was the original idioms they wrote.  I copied several, and again, they could choose the one they wanted.
 Never bite the hand of the restaurant waiter.
Get off on the wrong road.
(Maybe this is a good time to discuss homophones!!)

You can grab this fun activity here.  Be prepared to crack up!

What's your secret for teaching idioms?  Young children think so literally, it's a tough skill to teach.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Teacher Chat

Everyone has that one teacher that they will always remember and admire.  Emilie at Island Teaching Adventures is doing a fun link up to spotlight these inspiring teachers. 
So, if you could sit on a bench and chat for one hour with any teacher from the past or present, who would it be?

Mine would be my 8th grade Spanish teacher.  He was a tough cookie and did not mess around.  When you left his class you REALLY knew some Spanish.  I remember it being the one class I had to study for every night.  We had random quizzes and had to act out scenarios using only Spanish.  I went on to take Spanish II and III, but never learned anything new.  Due to all that hard work in 8th grade, I was able to test out of two semesters of Spanish in college.  I can still remember a little Spanish but it's one of those things that you loose if you don't use it on a regular basis.  

Being an educator now, I appreciate his "demand" for us to learn.  Looking back I wish I'd had him for all three years of high school Spanish, who knows maybe I'd be a Spanish teacher now!!!

Head on over to Island Teaching Adventures and read about other memorable teachers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday~Sept. 17

It's Wordless Wednesday with Miss DeCarbo again. 

I'm excited I finally got our class sudoku board up and running.  When students finish with any assignments they can take out their recording sheets and complete the weekly class sudoku.  I laminated the blocks so I can just wipe them off and change the numbers weekly using a dry erase marker.  Quick and easy.  I just copy one recording sheet per child per week and I'm done.  You can grab the "Can You Sudoku?" recording template here.

What kind of things do you have planned for your students to work on when they finish assignments?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Five for Friday~Sept. 12

I know it's Saturday, not Friday..... I started this post yesterday but Blogger was acting cray cray, so I quit.  

It's Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching.  Life is crazy busy right now so this will be short and sweet.

This week my firsties worked on a "Who Am I?" word portrait poem.  I dreaded doing this because I know it's early in the year to discuss verbs with -ing endings, adjectives, and synonyms.  But I gave it a whirl and they did AWESOME.  I have to remind myself these are gifted students, so they can handle it.  I was so happy with the outcome.  We brainstormed lists of each part of speech and then they went to work.  Not too shabby!

The format is:
Line 1:  your name
Line 2:  two adjectives to describe you
Lines 3, 4, 5:  phrases about you beginning with verbs  
ending with -ing
Line 6: a synonym for Line 1

Since we have been in school for well over a month, it's already time for formal evaluations to start.  So I've started planning a lesson in idioms for my 1st graders.  I'm going out on a limb here because they tend to think literally, but it's my job to push them outside of their comfort zone!  I'm hoping they surprise me in this assignment too. Fingers Crossed!!!  So to get the ball rolling, I made two awesome purchases on TPT this week that I'd like to share with you. 
Click on either pic for links and details.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
Have you heard to SLANT boxes?  If not, head over to Lessons with Coffee and get the details.  Basically you sign up for a month and she matches you up with two fellow teachers.  One you get to know and she/he sends you a goodie box of cool stuff and the other one you "stalk" and find out all their little favorites and you send them a box.  She gives you a theme each month.  I know that was a poor description but check out Lessons with Coffee to get the real run down of the process.  I'm super excited about my two matches.  Boxes get mailed out at the end of the month so I'll be back with pics then.  I've been working and searching and crafting for my match.  It's fun stuff, go try it.
Leave me a comment if you decide to try it.  The next sign up would be for October.

Two of my coworkers had birthdays this past week so I got crafty and made them both some cute clipboards.  Take a gander.  You like?

I also added some cool, personalized stationary that I made and a few other teacher goodies.  My crafty-ness is over for a while now.

If you're following my page on Facebook you already know this but for those of you that don't....I finally gave in and signed up for my first Stitch Fix.  I keep seeing things about it on-line and in the media, so I bit the bullet.  I signed up yesterday and there is a waiting list so I won't receive my box until Oct. 21!!!!!!  Yikes!  But I'm still excited and can't wait to see what they choose for me.  If you are thinking of signing up, I'd be honored if you use my referral code:  Just click the link to get started.  Is anyone already receiving Stitch Fix?  What do you think about it?  Like it or lose it?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday and a FREEBIE

It's Wordless Wednesday and we've been studying the history of pretzels.  So, of course, we had to make some!

And now for the FREEBIE...

To make this more meaningful we did some brainstorming, sequencing, and writing activities.  You can grab them here:

Be sure to leave me some love in the comments and let me know how you plan on using this in your classroom.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Currently

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh, Boy 4th Grade for September Currently.  Is it just me or did September sneak up on us?  I've been back in school since July 29!!!  A month, already?!!  Needless so say, I've needed this 3 day weekend to collect myself and catch up on sleep!

As you can see I'm being lazy and wishing for unrealistic things...but a girl can dream!!!

Head over to Oh Boy 4th Grade and link up if you haven't already.  See the rules below.