Friday, December 30, 2011


I think another reason I haven't been blogging is because I have been PINNING!

Seriously, so many great ideas in one place is SO AWESOME!

So follow me on Pinterest, so I can follow you, and we can all share all these great ideas we find!

Twas the day before Christmas break...

And I was determined to do something FUN! Now, I tip my hat to my colleagues that ran reading groups that day, but not I, ladies and gentleman. We Polar Expressed our way into the classroom, courtesy of my train tracks. Oh, and I drew a lovely poster of a train :) Yep, that's about as good as my poster skills get. Thank goodness for Microsoft :)

One of our morning activities was a make your own snowperson. The kids were totally cute. A few of our reading coaches came in and "voted." I thought the kids did a great job working together and using their materials :)

We also did a make your own Polar Express train :) The privacy folders are up because I did NOT want to hear "He's cheating off me!" so I told the kids if they wanted to protect their ideas to put them up. We had some guest judges for this activity as well. Again, they did great, had fun, and got to eat their creations at the end :)

We finished the day after receiving their gift from me (books I order from Scholastic), cleaning up, watching the Polar Express, and going to our all-school sing along.

Phew! We made it to Christmas (and as I write this on Dec. 30th...the break is going by TOO fast!)

Layers of the Earth

In our most recent Lead21 unit, we've been learning about "the story of the Earth." Crazy brain led me to wanting to do this fun edible layers of the Earth activity with the kids. After a fight in the bathroom was sort of resolved (oh little boys), we got to work. They really enjoyed it, and I made it as educational as possible by having them draw a diagram of their layers :) We talked about plates shifting, and they got to use their graham crackers to make plates as the crust :)

Harvest Festival

This year, our school had a harvest festival, where our AWESOME PE teachers round up lots of help and put on a 90 minute party for our kids. This year, we teachers were encouraged to go hang out with them, so hang out we did :)

Yes, I did the Thriller dance with them, and no, there is no evidence :)

I got some tips from 3rd graders on how to throw a football :)

I think I got most of my "street cred" from this activity below. It was an obstacle course, and the kids thought it was so hilarious as another student and I raced. Needless to say, I lost, and was quite out of breath afterwards :)

I tried to do "Mystery Readers" at the beginning of the year. The kids loved it, and were always so well-behaved for a Friday afternoon. Eventually, I ran out of parent recruits and teacher recruits, but it was fun while it lasted!

On Halloween, we made spiders, but tied it into math by turning them into name-collection boxes. It had to be a number the kids could draw an array for, since we were doing multiplication in Everyday Math. They turned out really cute, and decorated our door during Halloween.

Yes, I am still teaching!

So after a long hiatus, here I am during break. Don't know when I will get back to regular posting, but here are some things we've been up to!

This year we have been using Lead21 as our reading curriculum....It's been interesting. It's great for our benchmark and advanced kids, but not great at all for our struggling readers.

Anyway, they do a project each unit. This unit, they wrote their own plays and acted them out. Even with tons of guidance (and I'm new at this too!), I'm always nervous about the final project. I need to give the kids credit, most of the groups were able to pull it off, adding in props and actions :) They even chose their own backgrounds on our smartboard :)