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Saturday, March 30, 2013

My HP love has brought me to London

Hello from across the pond!
I'm writing this post from London, England where I have been spending my Spring Break. With the Harry Potter studios open in Leavesden (a full studio tour of the ACTUAL sets) I knew it was time for a plain ride.

The studio has been awesome! The castles amazing! The history intriguing! The food... Let's just say I can't wait to eat in America.

Below are some pictures from my journey. Hope you Re enjoying, have enjoyed, or will enjoy your Spring Break.

Cheerio!
Damien.













Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Spring Break Finally!!

We haven't had a day off since Winter break thanks to hurricane Sandy. We missed two weeks of school during the hurricane so in order to fit in the 180 school days we only have Spring break off for the rest of the school year.  This year we go until June 28th which is unusual for us. It was the longest three months ever and everyone in our building needed Spring break. 

So for our Spring party we had 4 centers and it went great!  If you haven't had your Spring break yet you might want to try some of these activities.

My favorite center was creating an egg with shaving cream and paint.  I saw this idea on Pinterest.

 
 
Spread shaving cream on a tray.

Add acrylic paint and spread with a popcycle stick.

Press paper onto shaving cream.

Let the paper dry for 5 minutes then scrape off the shaving cream.



I suggest only doing this activity if you have a sink nearby.  The kids loved this activity!!

Here are a few eggs that were drying in the hall.

 
Another center was have a cupcake and fruit kabob.  After students finished they worked on a word search.



                         How awesome are those rainbow fruit kabobs!  Another idea from Pinterest!


                             M&M graphing was a yummy center  the kids were totally engaged in

                                  Last center was egg coloring followed by the Spring Bump game.



Of course we had to make bunny bags to take our eggs home in, how cute are these!

All of these activities are on my pinterest board for March/April.

Happy Spring Break,

Kelly

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Favorite Breads From Around the Globe


  Since I LOVE bread and needed to come up with a creative way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this product was born.  It was one of my first lessons I put on TPT so I just gave it a face lift. 
Here are some pictures of the product in action from last year. This lesson combines map skills with graphing and analyzing data and the best part eating!
You can see last years post here.   To view the product on TPT click here.


     

Happy St. Patty's Day!


Kelly


                                         


Monday, March 4, 2013

Food is illegal! (At least in my classroom)

No, this post isn't about the Haddix novel Among the Hidden where junk food is illegal.  It is about my own school district where food had become the enemy.  our school district has put strict guidelines on the food we are allowed to have in the classroom if we are allowed to have any due to the pressure from the state guidelines.  

-Movie with popcorn after reading the novel- NOPE!

-Teaching fractions while baking cupcakes-NOPE!

-Valentine cards with chocolates attached-NOT A CHANCE!

Now I am a fan of food.  I have always used food in my fifth grade classroom as a treat and as an educational tool.  Well not this year.  We have had more discussions on what we are allowed to eat and when then we have had about our struggling students-ABSURD!

Remember this FUN and engaging Math activity- Pi Day Activities .  Well, so do I but it seems as though it will be a distant memory soon as I am NOT ALLOWED to use food to teach.  

Now I know many of you might agree with the "no food in school" insanity.  And before you ask "yes there are other ways to teach these concepts".  That, however is not the point!  The point is, why is the government concerned with what is eaten on February 14th?  When did popcorn become the enemy?  And lastly, why isn't the answer to all these problem increased activity time (more PE and Recess) instead of no cupcakes? I believe that my government, my board of education, my administrators, my principal, and my colleagues and I have more important things to worry about.  

One of my favorite activity of the year and a hot seller in our TPT store Pi Day Edible Centers is no more.

I'm just curious, has anyone else suffered the "food ban" in their classroom?

Please share your comments and pardon me as I go grab a celery stick and some humus. 

A fan of food in the classroom, 
Damien

Sunday, March 3, 2013

We Survived-100th Day & Read Across America Day

We made it!  Kelly and I survived one heck of a week that included both the 100th day of school and Read Across America Day. 

Kelly and I planned to participate in a half day of 100th day of School activities.  Well, let's just say what we planned could have taken an entire day because we didn't get beyond activity number 1.  Our students made 100th day hats, each with 10 strips of colored paper hanging from the top.  On each colored paper (you guessed it) things in groups of ten. 

Ten stamps
                Ten drawings
                                     Ten math problems
                                                                   Ten friends names
                                                                                                 Etc.

That's all we got to together.  Kelly completed some other activities and I HOPE she will find the time to blog about it.  Here's a few pictures......

Here is the stamping station underway.  


Since Kelly's room is Under the Sea themed one group of ten was a
group of ten fish.




Here is the sign above Kelly's door made by her student teacher!  The kids were so excited to enter the classroom.  This idea was from Pinterest.


This is the 100th day kiss hunt that we were supposed to do with our Reading Buddies but ran out of time.  Spread out throughout the room were 100 kisses that had a number from 1-100 on the bottom of the kiss.  Each student was sent to hunt for two kisses and then place on the hundreds chart which only had a few numbers showing on the 100's chart.  Kids loved this activity.



Next it was on to Read Across America Day.  

Step #1- Decorate the door. 

I always use Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as my book inspiration but come up with a different design each year.  I have to say, I am running out of ideas.  Last year I recreated the Hogwarts Express.  Revisit that blog post here: Read Across America Day 2012 . This year I was going with a quote I found and the idea that reading can allow you to experience many lives.  We were reading Harry Potter and were going to experience the Great Hall.
Here we are reading HPSS while wearing Harry glasses and lightning shaped scars.  The kids
created their own Harry covers. 

Here we are TRANSPORTED into the book waiting to be sorted in the Great Hall. 

Sure I think the decor is cute, but it was the BIGGEST pain in the butt to created and had me at school, hanging candles until 10:30 PM the night before RAA Day.  (Note to self-next year, begin door decor on January 7th).

Kelly's door made by her student teacher:



In Kelly's room before beginning a very fun filled day we needed some creative energy.  Another idea from Pinterest, the cat in the hat snack.  Vanilla yogurt layered with strawberries.  Kids ate this up then we were ready for the rest of the day.

We spent the day reading Dr. Seuss books, writing about Dr. Seuss books, watching digital retelling of Dr. Seuss books, and creating Dr. Seuss characters.  Here are some pictures from our EXHAUSTING but really FUN day!


Here we are watching a digital retelling of Yertle the Turtle. VERY cute!

We had our Reading Buddies share some Dr. Seuss stories together 
We made this guy...

Our buddies analyzing the character of Yertle the Turtle















We also had a Seuss relay which was one of the best activities of the day.  The students had to run a race and search for Dr. Seuss titles given only the initials of the titles (for example OFTFRFBF is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish). 

                                    Relay pictures:

On your mark get set go!


                  Find that Dr. Seuss title as fast as you can!
We ended the day with one of my favorite activities, A movie on the ceiling.  I rig up the projector to shine on the ceiling and our students lay down on the floor with pillows and blankets to watch the movie.  It is so cute watching them all lay together and watch the film.  
So much FUN!
It was a GREAT day filled with reading fun!  

How did you enjoy your Read Across America Day celebration?
Damien