Friday, April 24, 2015

Five for Friday

This wasn't your normal, typical, average week.  Joining Doodlebugs Teaching to give you a quick look.

Our week started off deliciously when Nana came to make donuts for us! 
By Monday afternoon, skies over the Atlanta area looked like this...

Thunderstorms, tornado warnings,  strong winds, and hail resulted in my deck looking like this...


On Tuesday, we enjoyed a visit from a local vet

The dog enjoyed lots of belly scratching!

Wednesday was Earth Day and we brainstormed ways we can help take care of the Earth. 
We realized our class has thrown at least1,400 plastic sandwich bags in the trash this school year.  The kids were astounded by the number.  My goal is to make an impact on their lives in some small way.  If the only thing they learn is to reduce their use of plastic bags which can't be recycled...then I think I've done a pretty good job.

On Friday, we took a field trip to a nature center.  We were blessed with gorgeous sunny weather but more severe storms are predicted.  Our school's Spring Fling has been moved indoors Saturday but I'm sure we'll still have a wonderful time.  Hope you have a great weekend, too!

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Five for Friday: Icky Interesting Insects

We've had an interesting week of insects!  The class realized insects aren't really icky but are a rather important part of our world.  I'm linking with Doodle Bugs Teaching to tell you all about our week.

I hope everyone has some sort of sensory tub in their classroom.  I really don't know what I'd do without mine. It's in the way sometimes and does require a bit of upkeep.  The benefits, however, far outweigh the inconveniences!  For this week's study of insects, here's what the tub looked like...
I found gigantic plastic insects at Hobby Lobby for the main component.  The kids LOVE them!  My sensory filler is a bag of dried green split peas.  The peas are teeny tiny so little fingers really enjoy sifting through them.  I added a small bucket and plastic scoops, too.  The final tub item is a box of beautiful insect photographs I found several years ago at Goodwill.  These flashcards are printed on heavy cardboard so they are very sturdy and perfect for the sensory tub.
 We made these adorable bee hives with bubblewrap!  Then the kids used a yellow stamp pad and crayons to make fingerprint bees swarming around their hives.  Such an easy craft and cute enough to display in the hall!
When you're learning about bees you must have a taste test of  honey!  My little learners gobbled up a treat of buttery Ritz crackers topped with a dollop of sweet honey. 

We learned about the life cycle of a ladybug and created a wonderful little craft.  I found the ladybug patterns and colorful life cycle pictures on TPT by seller Teacher's Breathing Space for only $1.  What a deal!  Here's a link to this awesome product.


Everyone enjoyed Dr. Jean's Insect Song from the Kiss Your Brain CD.  Have you sung this one with your class?  It's a fun, catchy tune which helps reinforce what you're learning as you study insects.  Let me warn you...once you sing it, you'll have a very hard time not to sing and hum about insects the rest of the day!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Sight Words

I'm happy to see Miss DeCarbo is hosting Wordless Wednesday parties again!  This fun linky is where teachers showcase one photo and then ask you a simple question.
How do your students practice their sight words during centers/Daily 5/small groups?

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Five for Friday: Easter Happenings

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I'm home on a Friday morning!   
Spring Break is next week but I'm fortunate to be off for Good Friday, too!
Life is good so here's my Five for Friday!
 We made the cutest, most colorful Napkin Books this week! 
It all starts with an inexpensive package of luncheon napkins.  I created a very basic set of pages featuring color words and Easter egg clip art. I sized the pages to easily fit inside the 6x6 napkins.  Print the pages and just staple along the closed side of the napkin to create your Napkin Book. Be sure to pick up a package or two of pretty seasonal napkins on sale AFTER the holiday for next year's class!

We were fortunate to have beautiful sunny skies for our class Easter Egg Hunt
Actually, we were fortunate the egg "hiders" and parents could rearrange their schedules for our hunt to be rescheduled due to a very rainy, stormy forecast. 

I like for the class to play a game when finding their eggs.  It eliminates the intensity of the hunt being a free-for-all race to find the most eggs or to find them faster than everyone else. 
For the past several years, I've had each child bring in twelve plastic eggs filled with a treat.  Instead of using baskets for the eggs, each child has an egg carton to hold their bounty.    Before the day of the egg hunt, I label the egg cartons by spelling H-A-P-P-Y  E-A-S-T-E-R.  One letter is written in each egg compartment leaving one blank for the space between the words. 
The eggs are also labeled ahead of time with these letters.  So, for each dozen eggs, you end up with eleven eggs that have letters and one blank egg (for the space between the words). 
For the hunt, each child finds the letters they need to spell H-A-P-P-Y  E-A-S-T-E-R.  If a child has already found an egg with the letter T on it, they don't need to find another.  But if they do, they just place it back where they found it for another friend who needs that letter.  This method of hunting works really great!  It's more challenging than just picking up random eggs to fill your basket.  And one added benefit is watching students help their friends who are searching for one particular letter!
Here's our April door display!  Each student was given construction paper and access to an art tray filled with tiny pom poms, cupcake liners, spring colored crepe paper, and BINGO dot markers.  The directions?  Make a flower for the door!  It turned out more beautiful than I envisioned!
I added several new math centers to the shelves so we'll be ready for our Insect unit right after Spring Break.  My kids love to play  Count & Clip games and this one features ladybugs and reviewing sets 1-20.  I'm sure it will be a favorite as we learn about ladybugs.
There's also a math basket filled with ladybug counters (lima beans spray-painted RED and ladybug details added with a black Sharpie) to use for counting sets on our ladybug plates (cheap RED paper plates with black circles Mod-Podged on them).  
My family is heading to the South Carolina coast for Spring Break.  It's not an ideal weather forecast but at least I can put my toes in the sand and have plenty of time for family fun and a little relaxation!
Be sure to visit Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday!
Linky Party
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Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Currently

Listening to the running water of the shower.  My teenager had a haircut this afternoon and the loose hairs were driving him crazy!
Loving that our Spring Break officially started TODAY!  I'm so lucky that my preschool, my son's high school, and my stepson's college are all on Spring Break at the same time. 
Thinking of my TO DO list.  It's all floating around inside my head but I need to write it down before I forget something really important.
Wanting a sunny Spring Break.  We're travelling to the South Carolina coast and the forecast isn't great.  It's not going to rain all week but it's also not going to be super sunny.  But a cloudy week at the beach is better than a cloudy week at home, right?
Needing to do laundry and get packed.  The packing is pretty involved, too.  It's not only my clothes and things but also food, linens, cleaning supplies, etc.  Pretty much anything else we need to open up the beach house which hasn't been used since last fall.
EGGS-plain your name My blog is Learning at the Teacher Table because that's exactly what my kids call it!  They come to my kidney shaped table during centers and we do small group activities together.  Lots of learning takes place at the Teacher Table.  I love it!
I'm linking with Farley and her Currently April linky party! 
Visit and see what everyone is Currently doing this month!
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