Friday, March 27, 2015

Five for Friday: Weather

Have you had a busy week? 

I sure have but in between Picture day, Easter chapel, a fire drill, and a surprise birthday treat for my teaching assistant...we still found plenty of time to study the weather !

We made Weather Wheels to kick off the learning.  I'm always pleasantly reminded how the simplest crafts turn into everyone's favorite activity!  The kids took these home but everyday since then, they've told me where they moved their clothespin clip and what kind of weather we're having.  
Weather Wheel supplies ...
  1. cheap white paper plate
  2. small length of yarn
  3. hole punch
  4. clothespin
  5. crayons
Now if those Weather Wheels were one of the simplest crafts...then our Weather Mobiles were one of the most time-consuming and tedious things we've done all year!  Well, it really wasn't necessarily that way for the kids but it sure felt like it was for ME !  Each child made five weather pieces for their mobile...two watercolored raindrops, a glittery sunshine, one big puffy cloud, and a snowflake circle.   Everything needed lots of overnight drying time but I punched a hole in each weathery item and then laced a length of rainbow yarn after school.  The next morning, I tied all the weather pieces on wire hangers.  Took awhile to tie all those knots.

I must admit the Weather Mobiles look absolutely gorgeous hanging in our classroom and they were certainly worth the effort!  It was challenging to snap a photo before the mobile  moved and turned so it's hard to see the full effect.  But the kids oohed & aahed when they saw them giving me their seal of approval and they've already asked when they can make another mobile!
We read numerous non-fiction weather books throughout the week but I had to include the funny story Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, too.  The kids laughed & laughed as they created pages for our silly class book

Today it is cloudy with a chance of peanuts.
(I think that's due to our recent study of Georgia!)
Today it is cloudy with a chance of donuts.
Today it is cloudy with a chance of popcorn.
I've been working on my spring assessments and wanted an incentive to motivate my Young 5's to master our sight word list.  Frankly, I believe that each and every word they can read from our Word Wall gives them a huge head start when they go to Kindergarten in the fall.  But since many students are so very close to reading the entire list,  I came up with a fun sticker chart to encourage them to practice their words and achieve 100% mastery.   
I already had a package of reward/incentive charts with a fun Popcorn theme.  These charts go along perfectly with our class Popcorn Word Wall!  Once my little learners  read a word, they'll put a cute popcorn sticker on the chart.  I know they'll be quite excited to fill their charts!
The sweetie pictured in the middle was my student last year and is an awesome reader.  Her sister (on the left) is in this year's class and is well on her way to reading adventures, too.  As I was chatting with their mom after school one day, we realized how quiet & still the room had gotten.  My little reader held quite a captive audience as she made her way, page by page, through one of our more advanced Weather books.  So proud of all my young readers!


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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Legal Paper in PreK

Don't you just love finding a GREAT deal on something you can use in your classroom?
On my most recent Goodwill trip, I came across a stack of  Legal Paper ... brand new, original packaging, excellent condition, 500 sheets per package.
These usually retail for at least $9.99 per package but I noticed they were Goodwill priced!  I quickly had my husband get a shopping cart and I grabbed all six reams. For $1.91 I knew I couldn't go wrong.
I only paid $11.46 for all six packages which is a savings of 81% off the typical retail price.
So what does one do with 3,000 pieces of legal paper when you're teaching a class of five year olds?
Two or three packages will be cut in half for drawing paper to keep our art center well stocked.  When I spend so little, I can easily afford to let my budding artists use as much paper as they need for all their creativities.
I'll use another ream or so for assembling little books to make personal ABC books, pages for handwriting practice, number booklets, mini dictionaries, and much more.

So what else did I find? 
How about four wonderful paperback readers in "like new" condition...

and one BIG BOOK of the classic song every child loves to sing...


The Goodwill stores in my area sell children's paperback books for only 77 cents so these were truly a bargain and a very nice addition to my growing book collection.

I'm linking up for the first time with the Thrifty Thursday Party hosted by The Thrifty Couple.  It's fun to see how others save money with their creative DIY projects, recipes, crafts, and thrifty tips.
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Five for Friday: The Peach State

My class has been busy learning about the great state of Georgia...otherwise known as the "Peach State"!  I'm linking with blogging hostess Kacey for her Five for Friday  to share what we've been doing this week!

After reading several books about MAPS, including Joan Sweeney's Me on the Map, we created maps of our town.  The kids enjoyed adding all the various sights they see on their way to school...including grandma's house, a gas station, and Target.  The maps are hanging on display in the hall right now but we've got plans to put them to good use in the Block center next week. 

Our main project during the Georgia unit was making a book about our state.  I typed up simple text, copied, and bound the pages to create an informational book for each student.  Here's the cover...

Here are the inside pages!  Lots of photos but I have to share because my kids were REALLY  into coloring their Georgia books and doing their best!  Makes me proud to see how much they've matured and how their fine motor skills have developed throughout the school year. 

Much of the wonderful Georgia clip-art I used in the booklet can be found here from the seller Teaches Third in Georgia. 
We concluded our Georgia studies by celebrating with a geographically delicious treat!  I baked a basic sheet cake then decorated it with a map showing the regions of Georgia.

If I ever see a Help Wanted sign for a baking cartographer...I might just apply!
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Friday, March 13, 2015

Five for Friday the 13th

It never crossed my mind when we put the 13 on our calendar that it was actually Friday the 13th!  We had a great Friday the 13th at mischief, no superstitions, nothing unlucky.  Now to start off the weekend, here's this week's Five for Friday

We've had some crazy, mixed up weather this week so I thought I'd share our  door decoration.  March is definitely coming in like a lion as we've had everything from unseasonably sunny high 70's to big booming thunderstorms and lots of windy weather. 
 One of my little learners shared this amazing SIX leaf clover with her classmates!
We worked on the -ing word family and made these adorable King of -ing 's for the hallway!

We're midway through our two week Georgia unit and the kids are loving it!  I told them they are learning things that even their parents may not know! We refer to the big Georgia map I made on a daily basis since it showcases some of the important facts about our state.
Leaving you with a little funny I found!
Happy Weekend! 

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