Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcome to the Rainforest

a toucan and elephant - love my kiddos!

Well, it has been quite the week! We have been studying habitats for awhile now. Each of the six first grade classes took a habitat to specialize in, but I must say ours was the best. We were the rainforest. The kiddos were choose an animal to learn more about and then we transformed the room into a rainforest. I used a performance assessment to assess their research, and here is how it went. The kids made their own animal costume - this was a blast, though a bit chaotic (but aren't most student-led learning experiences?) - and then we made vines and trees for the classroom.

Once we were all set, the kiddos put their costumes on and the other first grade students traveled to the rainforest, interviewing the animals that they found. The students animals were in charge of telling 2-3 facts about their animal (great oral component) and show off their picture and costume.


Poisonous Dart Frog
Komodo Dragon


Toucan and Macaw
Glass-winged butterfly - yep, they do exist!


Amazon butterfly and Morpho butterfuly
Tasier and Red-eyed green tree frog

A picture of our vines from the ceiling!

Once our classroom presented, we had the opportunity to explore the other habitats, which included the ocean, polar lands, desert, grassland, and forest. This has got to be one of my favorite moments of the year so far!

~ Katie

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Synonym Rolls, Question, and a Freebie

Such adorable synonym bakers!

Hey all! I am getting a bit better with posting within 7 days - a daily blogging goal just doesn't seem possible at this time. Well, here is a grand adventure we had this week.

I saw a pin on creating synonym rolls - a super cute take on cinnamon rolls - and then Rebecca found this amazing post at The First Grade Parade (don't you just love her!?!) She has this fantastic tutorial on making baker hats, which we did pronto! But we thought we would dress ours up a bit, we made mini cinnamon rolls and put them on the hats.

Then we made this matching game. We printed several cinnamon rolls on brown paper, and put a word on them. Then we printed several frosting globs and put corresponding words. (for the words, we printed them on labels, but writing them on the pieces would work just as well!)

We laminated them and then cut them out. To play, we had kiddos laid out the pieces like a game of memory. Then they take turns flipping one cinnamon roll and one frosting glob in hopes of finding a match. If it is a synonym match, the student builds the synonym roll and reads the two words to their partner. If it is not a match, then they flip it back over and it is the next persons turn.

Viola! The kiddos loved it - especially using wooden spoons and the matching aprons I found in my cupboard!

Now here is the question, there are rumbles that I may be moving to 3rd grade next year. If any of you lovely teachers have taught 3rd grade, would you please share what I can look forward too?


Friday, April 20, 2012

Another Week Down, R-Controlled Vowel Unit UP!

Well, my dear friends, I want to apologize for the sudden absence. I can't believe it has been another week of no posts, but then again it was one of those weeks. Here is a brief run down of the awesomeness that the third week of April has showered upon me:

* Sick student on Monday, throw up city! (yuck!)
* Special behaviors reigniting and well, let me tell you, not super fun and completely tiring
* Accidents - you know the kind, my primary friends, and yes plural!
* One student found a goose egg and decided to bring it into the classroom - glad he wasn't attacked by the goose!
*Spring hyperness still in full swing!
*Sudden sick day, room not ready at all and my wonderful secretary scrambling to find a sub

So, yes, I am definitely ready for the weekend and yes, I am need of some time to recoup. Oh, but great news, posted our Bossy R mini unit, and I must say I adore the cute story that I wrote! Oh and best part, it's only $3! 

How was your week?
~ Katie

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Help! Spring Break Didn't Fix It!

Ok, so maybe that blog title is a bit extreme, but man oh man it has been a bit harder coming back from Spring Break than I would have liked. I think the kiddos are feeling it too. So here's what I desperately need from all of my wonderful teacher friends out there - what amazing, effective, stellar management tricks/tips do you have that helps students settle down from Post Spring Break Craziness, or PSBC? Oh, and keep in mind, it has been raining here and we are looking at more inside recess days. (Was that a collective "ooohhhh," I just heard?)

But on the brighter side of things, here are some oh so adorable quotes my kiddos have said this week:

     Student A: "I don't know what I like most about summer."
     Me: "How about sleeping in?" (yes, something I cherish!)
     Student B chimes in: "I don't like sleeping in, it just wastes the day!"

Yes, my friends, the wisdom of this particular student totally made me think "wow, I should be more like him!"

    Student C: "Sometimes I call my mom sassy."
    Mom Helper (laughing): "I bet she calls you sassy too!"

    Student D: "I'm a Tweedy bird!" Flapping his arms and running in circles at recess. Totally made my recess duty today!

Oh, and I have been working on a stellar R-controlled Vowel Mini Unit. So far it includes the most adorable Bossy R story (if I do say so myself). I am hoping to have it posted this weekend and a corresponding freebie with it.

What do you look for in a unit?

~ Katie

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TpT Troubles?

Quick question ~ Is anyone else having an error message pop up when you try to upload a new TpT product? Just checking to see if it is only me. :)


~ Katie

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This To Shall Pass...But With A Crash and Bang (and a FREEBIE!)

First off sorry for the unexpected hiatus in postings! Rebecca and I are on Spring Break - Finally! While Rebecca is off gallivanting in Washington D.C. with her sis, I am home listening to my kitchen be demolished! Yes, my friends, the Hubs and I are remodeling our kitchen - well the nice construction crew is! I am so excited for the finished product, but as of now, all I hear is BANG...CLING...CRASH and occasionally the crew muttering something under their breath (I'm afraid of what that might be!!!).

So now that our house is in complete shambles - our fridge is in what will be the dining room, and the microwave is in the living room, plus no kitchen sink to speak of - I decided to make a quick Spring Inspired Freebie to help me feel a bit more productive!

Click on the picture to download it!

Oh, and the other thing keeping my spirits up - these delicious brownies I made! If you like chocolate and caramel, definitely give them a try. So dangerously yummy! 
Photo courtesy of What's Gaby Cooking

~ Katie