Monday, April 30, 2012


One of my sweet kids bought Interrupting Chicken for me at our school Scholastic book fair.
It's about a daddy chicken trying to put little chicken to bed with a story.  But every time the dad gets to a good part in the story the little chicken interrupts!!

Yes, we used this as a writing activity and another lesson on good behavior.  :)

Here are a few gems that my kids learned after our discussion on what interrupting is, can be and how it effects others around them: 

Just in case you needed another class meeting topic, this is a good one!  ;)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

knock knock. who's there? TBA!

No...not To Be Announced.  {are you kidding?!  i'm not opening the door if i don't know who you are!}

No's Teaching Blog Addict!!!  If you are not already a Blog Addict {and let's face it, if you blog stalk without leaving comments or find yourself hoarding free printables, you need to admit it and come join our club} and you definitely need to join up and grab your membership card.  ;)
Plus {bonus} I am now an author at TBA as well!  I got the official word last weekend and was able to introduce myself to so many other great authors.  Click the pic to check out my first official post and be sure to follow TBA while you're there!
P.S. Enough of that blog stalking business.  Please click to the left and join the site.  I promise not to spam you or show up at your house with cookies.  ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Miss Bindergarten has a {wild} day...

Whew!  I love books like this one.

It's a reminder that even the best of us has a rough day.  With the end of the year coming closer this could be one of those saving grace stories so of course I had to come up with some activities to go with it!  {s - t - r - e - t - ch that lesson out!}

The first is a Brace Map to help show {cause & effect}.  The kids choose characters from the story to draw on the left then draw how their behaviors effect Miss Bindergarten on the right.  This is also a good transition into a discussion on making good behavior choices!  ;)
{Miss Bindergarten is sad.}

{Miss Bindergarten is tired.}
The second is a writing activity to explain {text-to-self connections}.  After our discussion on how each child's behavior choices can effect other people in the school, they wrote about their personal daily choices.
{I clip down.  Mrs. Young feels sad.}
{When I be wild that's my choice.  If I be crazy that is interrupting.}
I had to add that "accident" box at the bottom for my sweet little girls who always do the right thing so they didn't get all upset about making a mistake!  We decided that most of the kids in Miss Bindergarten's class weren't being disruptive on purpose {minus maybe Franny and her fancy pants!} and that there's a difference in those choices.

This would be a great beginning of the year activity for First Graders getting acclamated back into the school routine *OR* you can use it at any point {like...per the last 7 weeks of school} as a good reminder.

Plus maybe throw in a fun activity or prize for them to earn by not being wild.  It's not's follow-up practice!  ;)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

pizza {number} combinations.

I saw this adorable fraction pizza from Mrs. Lemons {Step into Second} and my first thought was...I wish we taught fractions!  Wait, no I don't.  Because math is hard.  I mean...I wish I could do something with that cute pizza!
And then, in a moment of Sheldon brilliance, it came to me.

It seems we're teaching number combinations from here til the end of our lives the school year and these would be perfect!

Trace something round to make 2 circles.  {I usually opt for the bottom of my globe.}  Then draw lines down each one to separate into pieces.  I went ahead and cut the yellow one for my students to help with time management.  :)
The kids can use markers {or use the scrap bucket} to create their toppings.  Make sure there are only 2 types of toppings on each slice.  I had the kids use only toppings they like.  {you'll see why in a minute!}
I pulled this picture up on the SmartBoard for examples of how to draw the ingredients since mine all just looked like circles.
Glue just the edges of the yellow paper to the red circle then students lift the flap and write their number sentence underneath.
For subtraction...complete the same steps but "pick off" icky toppings like anchovies or onions by crossing them out.
You could make 2 separate pizzas or combine them like ours.

Either way...tasty math and hopefully a new activity for you to use!  Thanks for the idea Amy!  :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Fashion Find {shoe-la-la}

Will you!  I have a new favorite book!
This book appeared in my mailbox yesterday afternoon with a note inside from our media teacher.  Just because she knows me and that it's my thang to teach in heels.  When I went to thank her for getting it she said "You can think of us next year when you read it.  We'll miss you!" to which I responded only appropriately...waaaaah!!!

I am such a crier.  And gearing up for this transition {while and good one and one I am not regretting!} is already taking a toll.  Do you know how ridiculous it is to pack a classroom you've practically lived in for 6 years?  {plus a previous 2 years' worth of stuff.}  I will never complain about moving houses again because at least you know that everything in there is yours and you don't have to try and sort through what goes and what stays!

After a 12 hour day I'm just pooped.  But if anything will lift my spirits it's this sassy story.  The four friends go shoe shopping and try on every shoe they can find {even a pari that matches her underwear!} but to their own demise {and that of the poor shop keeper} they can't find anything they like.  What's a girl to do?!

Make your own fancy shoes!  {obvi}

I love love love the story and will cherish it as a gift from my first teaching home.  Your girls will love it and if you give your kids a shoe decorating challenge I have a feeling the boys won't mind it either.  {hmmm...I feel a project coming on!}

Ok, and while you're shopping, pick up some spray paint for your own DIY neon toe party!!
Happy Friday friends.  Soak it in!
P.S. This just in!  Express is having a buy one, get one half off sale on the ENTIRE store this weekend!
Go to their Facebook page and click the link to get an email sent to you with the coupon.  Offer is good online or in store.  Looks like it's time for a shopping trip!  ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

it be pirate day matey! {ar}

Shiver me timbers it was pirate day!  We usually save pirates for one of our year end themes but this year me teammates were scurvy dogs and decided to choose something else.  I had no choice but to make them walk the plank!!  {or just decide to do pirates on my own}  Lucky for them, Abby has a pirate unit sure to make yas party.

Because the story of Pirate Mark would take a lot of colored ink would only allow one child at a time to read it, I pulled it up on the SmartBoard instead.  I read the story while the kids wrote down /ar/ words they heard {in the packet} then we read the story together and identified all of them.

Then we made ar pirate people to hold our list of /ar/ words.  {one of the many wonders of the world...Monday's Pete craft with ZERO help was a complete success.  today's pirate craft using 100% tracers...nightmare.  note to self: pre-cut next year!!!}  But they did turn out adorable!
Once we left the classroom for lunch we finally began our /ar/ word hunt!  There were 16 /ar/ words hidden around the school {helps to email staff members ahead of time and ask them to be aware!} and when we came upon one they were allowed to break their hallway silence, give a hearty swing of the arm and say arrrr!
They loved that one in the cafeteria line!  :)  I purposely left the last one with our technology teacher and told her not to let them see it until the end of class.
Once we had all 16 {and practiced reading them again} we were off to find an X that held the treasure...candy bars!
And what good is a pirate without a good pirate hat?!  We made these from black construction paper and used the construction paper crayons {a personal favorite} to make jewels.  We've used sequins in the past, I just didn't have time today to wait for them to dry!
This was a great unit from Abby and well worth the money.  And only ONE of my kids was still sounding it out at the end of the day.  {You've been a pirate all day and said arrrr approximately three thousand times...what more do you want from me?!}

I have a special Friday Fashion Find for tomorrow.  Until then...buckle down me hearties, it's almost the weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pete the Cat's white {and muticolored} shoes.

Why oh why did I not get into Pete the Cat {by Eric Litwin} until just NOW?!  Seriously.  I saw all of the Pete stuff floating through the blogisphere last year and I was like, "Pete the what?  No thank you."  I'd never seen the book, no one on my team had the book and I had other things to do.

Then my kids heard "I love my White Shoes" during their Book Fair preview in the media center.  And what is the only thing I heard for the rest of the day??  {you know it...everybody sing!}  I love my white shoes.  I love my white shoes.  I love my white shoes.  I love my white shooooooes.

The moral of Pete's story is this: he is chill and it is alllll goooood which makes this book a must have for anyone with students who can be moody, whiny or emotional.  {Not you?  Ok then, go ahead and get back in your bubble.  There is clearly nothing on this blog that you need!}  ;)

First, we sequenced Pete's trip down the street:

Then we made our own Petes {thanks to Deanna Jump's model} with specific shoe colors for the stories we were planning to write afterward.

Being that I happened to do this lesson on Monday after an exhausting weekend, I was not about to be cutting out fifty'leven project pieces.  I gave each kid the following pieces of paper and walked them through it.

We used a large one to make his body, the other large one to make his head {some were able to cut it in one go, others had to make a head then cut separate ears to attach} the long, skinny one for his tail and the 4 cut strips for the legs.  They used the scrap bucket for everything else.

If you like all of your crafts to look the same you should probably get Deanna's pattern but I kind of like that they're all a little different.  :)

The kids wrote a story to tell how Pete's shoes turned their chosen color.  Here are a few:
{pink because he stepped in cotton candy at the fair} 
{yellow because he stepped in honey that fell out of a tree}
{black because he stepped in hair from a man giving himself a haircut}
{Red because he stepped in tomatoes a lady dropped at the grocery store}
{green because he got grass stains from walking through a field}
My Pete is {in Jenn's words "Pete-ish"} since I used hers as a model.  I just couldn't find any Pete graphics for purchase that I liked!  There are cute blue cats...but they just look like blue cats.  {not so much what I'm going for.}  So if you like my Pete you'll love Jenn's...check out her Cause & Effect writing at Finally in First!

Our art teachers have wallpapered the hallway with all of the amazing projects our kids have done in art class this year but there was plenty of room for our Pete stories on either side of the front door!  ;)

There are even more good ideas waiting for you in the Classroom Must-Haves Linky Party.  Remember to link up and share yours!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the theory of opposites.

have you ever had a non-weekend?  one that wasn't just busy but SO busy you were actually excited to "sleep in" monday morning?  that was us this weekend.

the ever so inspiring kim mcmanus from mosaic {la} came to town to do a women's conference for us and i was her up-close and personal assistant for the weekend.  she made us laugh, she was encouraging and she even inspired our men this morning by speaking at our regular sunday services.

but now, at the end of the weekend, i am straight up tired.  {too exhausted even to hit the shift button apparently.  what's up with my no-capital form?!}

in fact, that's why i'm here.  this has nothing to do with teaching and i don't have anything to give you.  but in my sleep depraved state i am one thing.  a grouch.  one snap at the hubs and i knew it was time to remove myself from anyone's company.

kim talked to us this morning about the theory of opposites when dealing with conflict.  in a nutshell, do the opposite of what you feel like doing.  if you want to yell, speak softly.  if you want to get away from someone, go nearer to them.  if you want to avoid an issue, address it.  if you want to retaliate, just move past it.  {if you want to snap at your husband because he was noisy when you were trying to nap, don't.}

what a great principle that would be in our classrooms!  i can be successful with counting to 10 so i don't scream or using a time-out table instead of sending a child across the hall.  but this theory of opposites and fighting those emotional reactions is such a good one.  because the other smack-you-in-the-face-good point she made was this: people are watching.  our students are watching.  their parents are watching.  our coworkers are watching.  and not only that but they are following the models we set for them.  if i'm seeing a pattern of impatience, emotional reacting or {fill in the blank} in my classroom, chances are good my kids learned those moves from me.

just something to think about tomorrow as you meet monday morning head on.  keep the positive in your mind and the love in your heart.  {plus maybe an extra large cup of coffee}.

{i encourage you to listen to kim's message on living like you're alive.  she'll be my reminder for tomorrow's morning commute!}

p.s.  i don't know why it's taken this long for me to get on the pete the cat bandwagon but come back tomorrow for some new pete-tastic ideas!!  ;)

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