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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Free Summer Vacation Making Words Activity

This is a fun activity where the kids try to make as many words as they can using the letters from Summer Vacation. You can choose to display this sheet on the board with the document camera and the kids record their answers on notebook paper or you can copy this sheet for each child. 

There are variations on how you can assign it. It can be a partner activity, a timed activity, or fill the entire sheet in activity. I prefer to do a timed activity where the kids see how many words they can come up with in five minutes. After that, they can partner up and fill in the rest of the words. 

You can download this activity for free at my TpT store.

End of the Year Party

The last day of school is fast approaching.  Our class party is the day before the last day.  This year we are going to do a parent picnic where the kids can have lunch with their families.  We will picnic on blankets.  After that we will have relay races and then go back to the room to cool down and have a sweet treat.  Depending on the day we will either go back outside or watch a video.  Bring on the fun!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Class Yearbook (Memory Book)

Every year I do a yearbook with my class. I usually start it a couple of weeks before school is out. You can choose to use all the pages or pick the ones you like best to include in the yearbook. In the past, my yearbook was only five pages. 

I also add photographs by inserting blank copy pages where I want the photos to go. The kids glue them in. In addition I add work that I saved from the beginning, middle, and end of the year. This is entirely optional. 

This yearbook can be whatever you want it to be. I’ve even considered having the kids trace their hand and making a picture out of it…just for the memory.

You can copy the pages on colorful paper with black ink or on white paper with colorful ink. Do what works for you. 

I made each page a little different so that the children stay interested.  This year I had the class memory/yearbooks bound at the UPS store.  They made them look like spiral notebooks.  I laminated the front and back covers beforehand.  The manager gave me a special price of $1.25 a book.  They are so cute!

On TpT I am selling my class yearbook/memory book.  The pages included are:
Front Cover
All About Me
My School
My Teacher
Best Friends
Favorite Game
Favorite Memory
Favorite Sport
Favorite Subject
In the Lunchroom
Our Field Trip
Something I Learned
Something Funny That Happened
I Lost __Teeth
People Around School
Dear 25 Year Old Me
Acrostic Poem About School
Poem About School
My Class

I hope you enjoy this activity as much as I do.

Thank You Cards (End of the Year)

On the last days of school, I like to have the kids create thank you cards for the special area teachers, office staff, and cafeteria workers.  Sometimes I turn them into thank you books where the kids each write their own letter and draw a picture.  I staple all the pages and add a cute cover.  Other times we make "big" cards.  This entry is about the "big" cards.

This week we made a "big" card (like a big book) for the music teacher.  We started out by brainstorming what shape to make the card design by listing our ideas on the board.  Next we made a plan by deciding which idea was feasible to implement.  On the list there was:  heart, instruments, and music note.

We had a lively discussion about which instrument to choose but then someone suggested we cut out a huge music note and everyone draws an instrument.  I guided the class into making colorful instruments on small papers that they cut out and glued to the music note.

On the inside we did a shared writing activity where we came up with the special message and then each child signed the card.

I love this time of lesson because it has a real world connection.  It also is a great way to teach the children how to show appreciation of others.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Give Away: Just Because... $25.00 Best Buy Gift Card

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Math LInky (K-5)

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Mad Minute

Some of you may have heard of the mad minute before... 
I LOVE it!  The kids LOVE it!  It's a hit in my room.

About ten years ago I was introduced to it when I was a second grade teacher.  Like most wonderful ideas, I learned it from a veteran teacher.  She had created a set of mad minutes and showed me how to organize them.  I am forever grateful!

Flash forward ten years and I made my own typed set (different problems).  I kept the storage/organization the same but tweaked the procedure.  Basically it's a small bin with file folders cut in half to file the minutes behind it.  They are labeled +1s, -1s, +2s, -2s, etc.  (I will have to upload a picture soon.)

What is a mad minute?  Well, it is a crazy minute where the kids try to solve twenty addition or subtraction problems.

From the Scholastic bonus catalog, I ordered two sets of Dry Erase pockets (6"x9") to save paper.  It also helps with record keeping because I leave the level that the child is working on in the pocket.  Only the kids that compete the mad minute turn it in for me to check.  If they pass, they earn a star and I change out their sheet so that they are on their new level.

The math sheet goes in the front of the pocket and a sheet with the child's name goes on the back.  That way I can pass them out face down.  I stick their star stickers on the side with their name when they pass a level.  The children love counting their stars.

This activity helps the children learn their math facts.  It is a fun way to motivate children to study and learn their facts.  It is a competition against themselves.

You can purchase a mad minute set in my Teachers Pay Teachers store or you can make your own.  I highly recommend this activity.  You can always try using sheet protectors and vis-a-vis markers instead of the dry erase pockets.  I will say though that the dry erase pockets really helped me keep track of each individuals performance.