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Sunday, February 24, 2013

I HATE February

Well, hate is a little harsh, but February totally kicks my teacher butt.  

Allow me to explain.....

When February began Kelly and I were totally on top of things, and by totally on top of things I mean we had started planning events earlier than the day before.  We began working on a 100th day to the extreme activity.  There were CENTERS .... and MARBLES.....and SCIENCE......and MATH.....and everything BUT THE KITCHEN SINK!

And then...

Report Cards

       DRA Assessments

              Quarterly Math Assessments

                      Quarterly Science Assessments

                                  Valentine's Day

                                             A Class Trip

                                                        Presidents' Day

And before we knew it, it was Friday and the 100th day was Monday (this Monday- as in tomorrow) and not a damn thing was planned.  So Friday night we went out to a local watering hole (read-drank a pitcher of black berry sangria) and got to work.  What we plan on doing is not the Extravaganza we had originally conceived, but I think it will be cute-and I hope we are ready.  Phew, we made it!

Then it dawns on us Read Across America Day is Friday, this Friday!  Cut to Kelly and I at her kitchen island Saturday afternoon (sadly without the sangria) working on what to do for Read Across America Day.  Another day planned-and not too shabbily if I do say so.  

As I sit here, watching Daniel Radcliffe tap dance on the Oscars and completing the MOUNTAIN of paperwork that was due last week and my supply order I have to ask...


I'm trying, really trying to be positive that this is just a busy time of year, but I am dying a quick and pain-filled death over here.  Maybe I just need a mental health day soon...REALLY soon!

If we make it past Friday, we'll let you know how the 100th day and Read Across America Day went.

Hang in there teachers, it is all worth it in the end!

Damien and Kelly!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Best Valentine Boxes!

Hi all, Kelly here!

So switching grade levels has had its benefits.  I was forced to search for a new Valentine box and found this idea on Pinterest.  Yes, it is an Ipod Valentine box complete with heart earbuds.  Love, love, love especially because I use my Ipod everyday to transition in my class.  First I give directions then play the music and when I lower the music the students quiet down and have to be silent when the music ends.  Works like a charm!
One of our centers was to deliver your Valentine's.

Then of course I had to find new Valentine party ideas and I found a great one called Sweethert Snack by Sarah Cooley.  Loved all her ideas so I decided to have centers for my celebration.  First center was delivering Valentines, which is always the favorite.

Center number 2 was unscramble the Valentine words.  This was a challenge for some!

Center 3 was minute to win it games with conversation hearts.  Each activity was given one  minute to accomplish.  I ran this activity because I am a big kid and wanted to take the challenge.  Yes, I am the only one to stack the pyramid.  The kiddos loved this activity.


Center 4 was eating our one sweet treat yummy cupcakes, strawberries and water.  I hope you can't notice the sprinkles on the cupcakes because sprinkles are a fondant which is banned from school.  Oops the parents just can't seem to remember that rule.

Having 15 minute center rotations was perfect!  I also had clipboards with Valentine's Day word searches on them in case kiddos finished before time was up to switch.  Many other cute activities came in the packet which I used later on that day.

Off to start planning St. Patrick's Day!

Hi all-

Time to visit a 5th grade classroom on Valentine's Day.  Since I have a Harry Potter theme I have been able to find a great deal of Owl "stuff" to add to my room and the Owls fit in perfectly!  

I found this ideas for my Valentine box on Pinterest.  We first painted the small tissue boxes either brown, white, or black and let them dry.  Then it was Carpe Diem as my kids were free to do whatever they wanted to decorate their owls.  

Big round eyes and 3D beaks were a big hit in my room
A more traditional owl

A few of the finished product (notice the lightning bolt scar on the far left) :0)

Aren't they adorable
It is a room #20 Valentine tradition to have chocolate fondu on Valentine's day.  We usually have a HUGE spread of dippables...well not this year.  Since the government is trying to eliminate all forms of fun in school the new food guidelines put a limit on what I was allowed to have.  However, since the conversation began that Valentine's Day was inappropriate for 5th grade I will accept the minimized fondue celebration as a WIN!

I find that this sign really sums up my feelings on the whole issue of food in classrooms...

...And it can be found in our front office.  

We hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!

With Love and Friendship, 
Damien and Kelly

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Super Sunday Sale

Our entire TPT store is on sale Sunday...along with TPTs sale you can get our products for 28% off.

Check it out!

Happy Shopping
Damien and Kelly

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sale and new product

Don't you just love my door.  Everyday when I walk down the hall my door makes me smile and want hot chocolate!  My kids wrote persuasive essays about a favorite book.  This was a freebie from Across the Hall in 2nd Grade .  There were lots of paper choices to choose from and I opted to photo copy the mug tracers on colored paper.  Perfect writing activity!!

Here is a close up, my kiddos love Franny K. Stein.  Santa actually gave Franny K. Stein books to some of them, how does Santa always know the perfect gift to give?

We have also been studying polar bears.  Here are the anchor charts that were made from all their schema and learning.  Then we created polar bear paragraphs using my latest product Nonfiction writing for any topic First the students created opening sentences followed by writing 4 facts they learned about polar bears.  Last they wrote a closing sentence and copied their sentences into a paragraph.  The graphic organizer helps my 2nd graders understand how to write sentences that are not run ons.  (sorry the picture is sideways!)

We then added a cute polar bear head and created the polar bear paragraphs bulletin board.  The polar bear craft is not included in my product.  There are many different paper choices with the nonfiction writing product so it will work with any nonfiction topic.

Another fabulous activity that my students did during read to self was R controlled vowels another freebie.  I cut out each of the three super heros and placed them on chart paper. As students were reading to self they wrote down any er, ir , ur word on a sticky note.  At the end of read to self students placed their sticky notes under the correlating super hero.  I have never seen my kids so motivated to do a word hunt and they also concluded that the most popular r controlled vowel was er,  super hero Derek.  Each super hero has a name and description using the matching r controlled vowel.  Awesome product my students finally got the bossy r thanks to super heros Derek, Arthur and Kirk!

Enjoy the super bowl and don't forget to shop, TPT is having a big sale and so are we. In between commercials view your wish list and take advantage of the big sale!

Happy Shopping,
Kelly and Damien

 Sunday Super Sale