Saturday, April 28, 2012

April Showers...

The past week has been rainy and a bit dreary here. I'd be lying if I said the weather didn't bother me at all. It gets me a little bummed sometimes, especially when I think back to some of the 70-80 degree days we've already had here in PA. I mean once you get those beautiful days, they spoil you and at least for me there's no turning back!   So here's hoping for some sunshiney days this week!

When it's raining, snowing, hailing, or below the freezing mark (for those of you that live in colder climate), I know I can count on hearing 2 words that I almost wish didn't exist: INDOOR RECESS. I'm not sure what anyone else does for indoor recess, but I know I try to change it up. This year, I came across a FANTASTIC website: Adventure to Fitness. This is a 30 minute TV program, that combines physical education with all sorts of learning. I think this week's adventure was to the Mayan ruins. Some adventures from the past include: dinos, mummies/Egypt, and an abominable snowman. The #1 rule of this program: NEVER stop moving! My class LOVES this program and it certainly helps them to release their energy on those icky indoor recess days. Check it out, it's free!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

If I Was A Dinosaur

Finally back to bloggy world and I thought I'd share some projects with you that my students recently completed. Towards the end of my Dinosaurs unit, I always have my students create a project titled "If I was a Dinosaur." Before I assign the project, I trace each student's body on a large piece of butcher paper (they choose the color). I make sure they're laying with they're arms and legs slightly apart and trace in marker. Then, I roll up the butcher paper they've been traced on and send home a project letter. At home, students can cut out their bodies and use any extra paper to help create what they think they might look like as a dinosaur. Pretty cute, huh?!?! This is a creative project, so some students' projects are completely fictional, while others appear to be more true to form/nonfiction. Typically, I allow at least 2 weeks for students to complete this project.

In school, we write a report with the same title: "If I was a Dinosaur." In the report, we consider what we might eat. Herbivore, carnivore, or hey it's 2012...maybe an omnivore!  Based on what we eat, we also consider who we might be friends with and who our enemies might be. Then, we try to imagine what we might have spent our days doing. This is a great way to get in some creative, imaginative, personal narrative writing that requires some background knowledge and general reasoning. The pics below are projects created  by students I've had in the last 2 years. I'd love to put up pics of the ones hanging now, but my memory card is full! Oh NO!!! I gotta clear some of those pics off or buy a new one, oy!
Inspired by the triceratops! 

 Check out the scales on this one. Clever!

 Incredible design and thought here! This student realized that alligators and dinos could 
be closely related, and voila!

 The Nikes always make me smile. :)

Ugg boots above, don't ya love? Haha!

 This kiddo refused to think that she would wear only her natural born skin, so she added clothes. :)


Here's to a happy Saturday and an even better Sunday! :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hurry Spring Break!

Alright so, unlike many of my fellow teachers, I have TWO more days of school before Spring Break. Yup, I'm in one of those school districts where the concept of having a full week off for Spring Break died before I was probably born. But thankfully, we've had no snow days this year so we actually have the longest Spring Break that we've had in quite some time. I get off Wed, Thurs, Fri before Easter and the Monday after. How about you? Are you one of those blessed and fortunate teachers who gets an entire week? Have you lost any days to snow days????

Since I have only TWO days of school this week, which will inevitably seem to go as slowly as a snail crawls, I had to be a bit creative with my planning. After all TWO days isn't enough to introduce new topics, but you still want to plan meaningful, standards-based activities that promote learning. (No time to waste, my kiddos gotta be able to read that level 16 or I at the end of the year)! I'm using the 2 days to review blends, vowel teams, cause and effects, etc. After browsing pinterest, I found a few cute ideas I'm gonna use this week. Check 'em out below!
I created my own writing paper and changed my title to "If I was the Easter bunny". I also included the 3 lines for writing on simply because many of my students just are not ready to write on a single line. Grab your copy HERE.

Also, check out these freebies I found on TPT. 
Get it HERE

Get this one HERE

Hope you enjoy my freebie finds! Happy Spring Break!