Thursday, May 31, 2012

School Year Finale - Wacky Science Day!

Our school year has come to an end and I am so sad to see my little ones go.  I hope to see their smiling faces next year as second graders!  I am not sad to have a few months to relax though!  It's been a busy year! 
I know I am not the only one who faces a struggle with end of the year activities.  It is hard to find fun stuff for the students that are still educational and keep them in the "school zone" mindset.  Let's face it, they know the summer is almost upon them and they just want to play!
Since we have had so much fun with science these last 6 weeks of school, we decided to bring it to our students one last time and keep our last week just as educational as the first..  So, all of us First Grade Teachers presented Wacky Science Day!
 This soda experiment came from Deanna Jump's Science Unit.   Just add Mentos to a 2 liter bottle of soda and watch the magic!

This experiment was adding baking soda to a bottle of vinegar.  The Carbon Dioxide it creates makes the balloon blow up.  Check out the videos below.

Here is the video I showed the students after they made their prediction on what they thought would happen to their balloon.  Click the picture link to watch.
Here is a Freebie to go with the balloon experiment and more about this super fun unit.  Visit Jamie (the creative mind behind this Science Unit) at Oh First Friends by clicking the link below!
After all the fun experimenting, the Fire Department hosed the kids off!  What a great ending to our last day!  Our summer break has officially begun!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Great Books For Your Summer Reading!

Who doesn't love a good book pool side?  For me, this is heaven!  Not all the books I read are about teaching, but the teaching related ones that I'd like to read during the school year end up on the shelf for most of it because there is no time!
For those of you looking for a great Go-To book to help with your plans for next year, here are a few of my favorites.  They are easy to read and great during our free time!  In fact, I am reading some of them again as a refresher of all the great ideas I didn't get to use this year.  The books below are quick links to Amazon so you can just click and buy!
This book by Debbie Diller is a great starting point for getting your math stations started and organized! It is written in an informative way with lots of pictures to support what she talks about. 
  Here is another book by Debbie Diller to help you organize and make the best use of your Literacy Centers. Again, it is written in a way that is easy to understand with lots of picture support.
This last book of Debbie's is great for those of you who may have never taught Guided Reading groups or need more ideas of how to make the most of the ones you have set up in your classroom.

These last two books are by Kathy Collins and Debbie Miller (no relation to Debbie Diller I think). I have used these for the last 7 years and I am always going back to each one to find new ideas everytime!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Sales!

There are lots of great sales going on during Memorial Day! I am linking up with Kindergarten Lifestyle and many other teachers to offer 20% off my entire store Sunday and Monday only!  Just click the link below!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eclipse 2012!!

The song that comes to mind is "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. Okay, I'm old I know!  My family and I had a blast tonight observing a 90% eclipse!

We are in southern Arizona and it started about 5:30pm.  My daughter was TOTALLY into it!  I had to draw a picture of what it was she was looking for.  After that she was totally engaged!

  Unfortunately it went behind the mountains before we saw the ring.  Either way it was still AWESOME to experience!  My students will get a kick out of the pictures tomorrow!
Our neighbors invited us over and they had these special lenses to look through!  I held the lens over my camera to take the pictures.  It wasn't easy that's for sure!  Hope you enjoy and were able to see it where you were.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Right To Brag A Little...

Okay, I don't know which is worse, my house disaster or the classroom disaster.  I am officially on the countdown!  Our last day is Friday and I have not done one thing to prepare my classroom for the transition.  My focus is on my daughter's 5th birthday party Monday!  Yes, she is an end of the school year baby so every year is a super busy one!  She is super excited and we are surprising her with Sea World when the week is finished!  We live in Arizona and the 100 degree heat is back.  Any place with water would be fine with me. 
My daughter turning 5 is brag #1.  Brag #2 is being a proud teacher of the hard work my students showed this year.  My class was a mix of half English Language Learners and the other half English Proficient.  Our school uses DIBELS to assess our students in Reading and this test has become a big deal for my students.  They all wanted to reach 100 words per minute by the end even though the goal for First Grade is 47.  Most of the students were only reading 10-35 words per minute in December.  By May, I had all but 3 students reading 60+ words per minute.  Most were in the 70-100 range.  It just made me feel so good that they strive for such high goals at 6-7 years old!  I made them all special certificates and held a small ceremony to honor all of them for their Reading accomplishments.  Of course, my camera battery  Here are the certificates and some of the ones they will be getting as they leave Friday.  I'll be sure my camera has batteries this time..hee hee
You can download them all from my TpT store.  They are for Kinder-Second with different designs.  The Reading certificates are for both girls and boys.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Fun!

My students had the best day yesterday performing for their moms!  We found a Mother's Day song that is sung to the tune of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".  The lyrics came from Regina Bell, a music teacher in Oklahoma.  I was laughing so hard they had me in tears!  Here is a short clip...

They students also made gifts thanks to Home Depot!.  They donated 4x4 tiles so the students could decorate one for their moms.  They are great about donating to schools, so remember that when you are needing these kinds of items.  Here's how their tiles turned out.

For all who are Mothers, Grandmothers, or mothers to be, Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway - Final Day!

I hope you all had an enjoyable week and got the appreciation you deserved!  What a busy one for me and it hasn't stopped yet.  Our First Graders are performing today for their moms and I can't help laughing about the words in the songs.  If I am able to get the video to turn out, I will try and post it this weekend.  They are so darn cute!!  In the meantime, enjoy this last freebie that is part of my Teacher Appreciation Giveaway.  This is a writing activity to help keep your students engaged during the last days of school.  I designed it so it can be used with K-3 kiddos. It includes things like writing about their favorite classroom activities and what they want to learn in the next grade.  I hope you enjoy it!  Have a great weekend!!

Teacher Appreciation {24 hour} Giveaway - Day 5

This is my biggest giveaway yet!  For the next 24 hours, you can grab my best seller {Henry and Mudge Math and Literacy Activities} FREE!  Yes! I said it right!  89 pages of fun, FREE!  It will only last until MIDNIGHT Mountain Standard Time, so grab yours today by clicking the link below!

My students loved the Henry and Mudge books!  Especially the book club activities!

Also, my Teachers Notebook 30% Off Sale is still going on until tomorrow, so stop by for more savings!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway - Day 4

Happy Wednesday!  The weekend is almost here!  It's time for day 4 of my Teacher Appreciation giveaway and this time I am teaming up with Jamie over at Oh, First Grade Friends.  She has a cute freebie for you!  Angry Bird Noun/Pronoun Sort. 

Click the link below to grab it for your students!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway - Day 3

Just stopping by again to offer round 3 of another freebie to show my appreciation to all you awesome educators!  If you are still needing help stocking up on math center games with a summer theme, you might want to download this one!  It is a 10 More/10 Less math game.  Students take turns uncovering a number then adding or subtracting 10.  Here's what it looks like:

Click the Picture link below to download.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway - Day 2

Gotta love being appreciated!  I know I do!  Yesterday I brought you "Day 1" of my Teacher Appreciation Giveaway !  I hope you had a chance to grab the summer time math freebie!  Here's another one for you!  I noticed teachers celebrating dinosaurs so I uploaded this dinosaur freebie to my TpT store.  I used it as an addition to the First Grade Reading Street program, but it can be a great addition to your dinosaur units as well.  Add it to your collection by clicking the link below!  Hope you have a fabulous Monday!!

Don't forget to check out the huge sales going on at Teachers Pay Teachers until tomorrow!  You can get up to 28% off my entire store with the PROMO Code: TAD12
Just click the link below

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway - Day 1

I am so excited to be celebrating Teacher Appreciation this week!  As a teacher, I know that many of you go above and beyond for your students!  Well, it's about time teachers go above and beyond for their fellow teachers as well!  In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I will be offering 6 days of classroom resources FREE!  Here is the first: A beach themed Roll and Cover Addition Game I have in my math centers.

Click on the picture link below to download this freebie.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week Sale!

It is time to send out a little love to all you wonderful educators out there!  We, as teachers, know how hard you have worked this year and some of you are already thinking about how to make it even better next year!  So, the teachers here at Teachers Pay Teachers would like to share the love!  Head over for a huge 3 Day Teacher Appreciation Sale May 6th - 8th!  During those 3 days you can get up to 28% off all my products and many others too by using the promo code:TAD12 at checkout.  I am showing my appreciation a day early because, if you are like me, you like to spend part of your Saturdays surfing the net for teaching resources.  My 20% off sale begins tomorrow!!!  Happy shopping (and saving)!