Friday, April 26, 2013

Five + 1 for Friday

1. This has been a very looooonnnnnng week! I am not always cheerful. I was down right crabby during the week. Yep...It's true. I'm sure my students don't always like having to fix mistakes. They don't thank me when I have high expectations for them. Shocking isn't it? What amazes me is that at the end of a day that's been filled with my high expectations for my owlets in behavior and work they still hug me and smile as they go out the door.

2. Finally we have been able to get outside. Earth Day morning we cleaned the wooded area around our school. The next day we estimated and weighed the amount of trash we were able to collect. It was wonderful to spend time outside enjoying the sights and sounds of spring.

3.  After collecting trash we came inside and ate dirt and worms!
All items used in this snack were recycled, reused or reduced!
4. The pull of the great outdoors was just too much for me this week. Out we went again on Wednesday! We did our Daily 5 Word Work together outside. The sun felt so good...I'm ready for more!
Please share some ideas with me about what I can do with sidewalk chalk next week.
The forecast looks sunny and warm!
5. Are you a Carson-Dellosa Super fan? It is easy. It is quick. It could get you free stuff!
It's easy and if you follow my link I get points! You can even earn different badges. Please help me get on the leader board by following me to Carson-Dellosa!

6. I'm sneaking another one in here! We are working really hard on fluency. First graders amaze me! I have several students who couldn't read more than a couple of sight words at the beginning of the year and now...Wow! What a blessing it is to lead these learners into a deeper understanding in the whole reading process. Click on the picture to grab some fluency posters for you classroom. Please rate the product if you download it...Thanks!

Freebie Fridays

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Out the Window I Can See...

Next year I'm moving into a room with a window. I'm so excited to be able to look out the window any time.  There are benefits to NOT having a window. I imagine that it is a cloudy rainy day and so I don't mind being stuck inside. We read the "Goodbye Hello Window" last week and decided we needed some windows in our classroom. Why not make our own? We brainstormed about all the things we would want to see if we could see anything at all when opening our curtains. We drew our pictures and then wrote about what was outside. The responses were quite eclectic! I found this one to be the very sweetest...
Wouldn't you love having your child write about how pretty, smart and talented
you are? His mom is quite special! 

This Red Wing hockey fan would love to have a bedroom
that looked out over the ice!

South Africa, anyone? Or maybe...

Paris in the spring!
Tonight when I looked out the window I saw this...
Does this have an effect on your students?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bloggers Block

My students write two sentences every morning and have a mini-conference over their sentences with me when they are done. They have to use the password in one of the sentences and have the sentences be related. Some of my students love to write and pride themselves with writing way more than two sentences. Some of my students don't enjoy this activity quite as much and have struggled some days to come up with ideas. I have my students read their sentences to me so that they can catch their own mistakes and to motivate children who need ideas! One day one of my kids wrote about running over goats with his tractor, but never running over pigs. I know this child has both animals at home so I was worried about what was happening to the goats.  He laughed and said, "Don't worry, Mrs. Reck I wrote fiction!"

One of my struggling owlets piped up, "I didn't know we could write fiction! This changes everything!"

He has not had trouble writing his sentences since he learned he could write fiction! Sometimes he writes fiction and sometimes he writes non-fiction.

Giving students a choice about what they are writing about opens doors to their creativity and frees their pen to give in to their imaginings and ideas. The writing I get from my students is so much better when I allow them freedom to choose and write about what they want.

I'm glad I don't have to write every day if I don't feel like it! The bad thing is I haven't felt like it in quite some time. I've had bloggers block. Today I decided to just plunge in and write something. I often tell my students to just sit down and write whatever they are thinking about. It doesn't have to be the best thing they've ever written, but at least they have written and now I have written something, too!
Click the picture if you would like a blank of my Daily Review!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Very Tired Teacher! Freebie and a Giveaway

On Monday I went to school after having enjoyed a week of vacation time with 2/3 of my real life children. My vacation time went way too fast, but I was pretty happy to get back to a routine.  Luckily Mondays are our iPad and library days. I'm getting better at using my iPad days in educational ways. I came home on Monday feeling pretty tired.

On Tuesday I got a free download from Carson Dellosa. I took a school iPad home to play with. The book, Run! Predators, is very engaging. From the first sentence, "Have you ever seen a bear with a shopping cart?"   to the Bengal Tiger at the end, I was prey to a common core aligned non-fiction book!  Many of the animals had features that allow the reader to hear the sound the animal makes...Sweet! The map feature allows you to quickly see how close the predator lives in relationship to you! I plan on getting more  books from this series to feed my non-fiction predators. After devouring this book, I was still tired.

I have a download code for one lucky winner! Will it be you? I hope you aren't too tired to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

On Wednesday we started playing a new game in the math work stations. The kids enjoyed playing the Very  Smart Mathapillar! I had found awesome sparkly pom-poms for sale right after Easter. Here they are in action. Click on the picture if you'd like a copy of the mathapillars! I came home on Wednesday still feeling tired.

Thursday brought the story of Doubting Thomas to my class. I'll be giving chapel in a couple of weeks, so I'll pass it off to my owlets and let them do chapel for me! They are ready and will enjoy leading the school in worshiping our awesome God who is NEVER tired or crabby! They are practicing this Doubting Thomas story to present during chapel time. I know that some of you can use this too so click HERE for this freebie. I came home on Thursday later than usual and I was still tired.

Today is Friday and I woke up tired! I thought I should head over to see Laura at Love to Teach to see if I could win my own Starbucks card at her 400 Follower Giveaway. Have you entered? You have a little time left! If you aren't too tired, click HERE to go see her! There are so many great prizes to win.

I'm going to watch Merlin with my family now. I'm going to wrap up in a blanket and I'll probably fall asleep before the end. In the morning I'll wake up refreshed and and ready to fly into the weekend!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Flowers Freebie!

Welcome Spring!

FINALLY...I have good news! Spring has arrived. Not only do the birds know it, but now we are all rejoicing over the melted snow, warmer weather, and the April showers! Spring is my favorite season of all. It is  filled with so much hope, and possibility. Capturing my love of spring and birds is this clipart by Kari Bolt. I love her work and I'm having so much fun making activities using this awesome set. Here is a peek at one of the printables I made to help my owlets further their understanding of contractions. Click HERE if you would like a copy for your class, too!

Grade Onederful...Thank you so much for the spring art project! My students loved making flowers to go along with their butterflies. I have to bite my tongue from time to time. They each had their own idea about what their daffodil should look like. It wasn't the same picture I had in mind, but it is so important for children to learn to express themselves without being hindered by a teacher who is a perfectionist! We praised God that only He could make a flower more beautiful than we could...Plus His smell way better, too!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Looking for Spring in all the Wrong Places!

I've been looking for spring in all the wrong places. Even though the past week was called "Spring Break", I saw very little evidence of it. Finally today I realized I've just been wrong in my approach! I'm using Five for Five to show you some of the places I've looked and failed at finding my beloved friend, Spring!

1.  I looked locally. My girls and I went to feed ducks. We found a most unusual duck, but we didn't find Spring!
A Melanistic Mallard Duck! A melanistic animal is like the opposite of albino!
To see more click HERE!!
2. I looked around the house for Spring, but only found Easter eggs!
Of course it's an owl!
3. I looked for Spring in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What was I thinking? We get a lot of snow where I live. A lot! Nothing prepared me for the amount of snow I saw in Houghton Michigan, home of the Michigan Tech Huskies! Look at all this snow...

There was at least a foot of snow covering the ground.

I really wouldn't want to drive here in the winter, or spring!

4. Maybe I could find Spring in one of the shops downtown. Chickadee Jubilee would love this place! I love it too, but no spring found here!
5. I finally found Spring. She was in the loveliest places I know...A book! I love the bright pictures and feeling of spring that I get from Kevin Henkes, My Garden. What a great book to share with my Owlets after our break. The Book Fairy will be leaving this awesome book  in the classroom for us! I've made a freebie that goes along with this book and you may get it HERE.

Thanks for the Link-Up Casey! It gives me something to think about all week long!