Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Freebie and Linky!

There she is- my latest freebie. Just in time for Cinco de Mayo! The packet includes a Cinco de Mayo themed graphic organizer, writing paper, and templates and corresponding instructions to create a "Sombrero Craftivity". Click on the image above to go ahead and download a copy for yourself!

Now I have seen that some of the rest of you have been posting some of your great Cinco de Mayo ideas as well, and I am sure there are many others that will pop up this week that I have not even seen yet! Let's get them all in one place friends- so that we have a wealth of sombrero and piñata filled ideas for years to come! 

Go ahead- grab this button and post it along with your Cinco de Mayo celebration ideas so that others can link up and check out the linky "fiesta" as well!

Looking forward to seeing all of your ideas!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Open House!

Tonight we had our Spring Open House....whoosh I am super exhausted! But I love Open House - it is always so much fun for the kids to be able to show their parents all that they have been learning! So here is a little glimpse into the tour that my kiddos gave their parents tonight- they were the "super" tour guides! 

Okay...this first one is a little off the "tour" path, but I just had to post it. Each one of the staff members created a flower to put on the office window thanking out secretaries on Secretary's Day. Aren't they springy!

Okay now really...on with the tour...

When each student arrived, they had to pick up their Open House Checklist to help guide them through their tour! (We practiced using it today in class- always a good idea!)

The table with the checklists, some photos of events from our year, and our "Super Recycle Hero" bulletin board!

Welcome to our room! I have the most well behaved students...they are such good listeners ;).

The students created a picture of themselves and we wrote acrostic poems as part of our poetry unit with their names and words describing them! 

(Some got quite creative with it.... haha)

You can click on the image for a copy of the activity page I used for the acrostic poems in English and Spanish. Note: The Spanish one you do need to add an accent in "acróstico". The font I used was anti accent!

(Clipart: Scrappin Doodles, The Digital Bake Shop)

We set out our writing portfolios and poetry books that we have been working on for our parents to see!

Our "Rainforest Haikus" from our visit to South America, and our "Green Kids".

This is a glimpse into our pod. (You can see our "Earth Day Collages" and "Super Gallon Man".) Our school was built in the 70's. Apparently the pod thing was big. 

A treat for my super tour guides after finishing their tour!

Alright so that may have been an abbreviated students did much better...but you get the just. Off to bed! Tomorrow is Friday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plants and the NBA!

Today we explored the inside of a seed! Each student received a lima bean that had been soaked in water to open up and examine! We created this super simple class anchor chart to share what we saw.

The kids were so surprised that a seed has many of the same characteristics and needs many of the same things as we do!

Third trimester is also our big trimester for non-fiction retells in our district. They can get to be a little monotonous at times with all of the practice so I always try my best to spice it up for them and select topics of interest! My boys are absolutely OBSESSED with basketball. One of them bought me this book that I shared with you a week or two ago at the book fair that shares short biographies on a variety of "NBA heroes".

I read about one of the players for my students and modeled an example of how to retell the section. The black words are the key words the students should use in their retells. The orange are the words I used related to my particular text.

After this, I put my students in groups of three and gave each group a photocopy of a photo of their player and the information in the text about them. The groups had to work together to read the text, then using my example as a guide, write their own retell of the section!

And here is our finished product to add to our retelling wall... boys peed their pants they were so excited about this!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day Collages

Alright, so here is Earth Day Part 2!

We started these collages on Friday and finished them up today. It is kind of a lengthy project, but the kids love it and they look sooooooo cool!

So here is the deal. Each kids get a 11 x 17 piece of paper. They have to create a collage on the paper with photos or illustrations from magazines displaying things found in nature and/or natural resources. (I will say I am thankful that we already completed our unit on goods and resources as it was an easy tie-in!).

After completing the collage aspect, the students had to think of a word or phrase that they thought was important for Earth Day and that went well with their collage. They created the word or phrase by cutting out invidual letters from the magazines and putting them together to form words.

(I will say if you want to do this activity make sure you have a lot of nature magazines on hand and/or ask your students parents to donate some. I know my grandma always gets free calendars in the mail- these work amazingly for the big photos!)

Here are some of our finished products:

"the planet"

"be green"

"help the earth"

"i love the earth"

They look pretty sweet, right?!

Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rainforest Haiku Poems

This week on our trip around the world, we visited our first continent- South America. While in South America we learned all about the rainforest and the animals that live there. To tie in our poetry unit, we created "Who am I?" Haiku poems, related to the rainforest animals we studied.

The students wrote their Haiku and glued it to the flap of their "rainforest" tree. Then beneath the flap they had another sheet in which they revealed the name of their animal along with a drawing.

Here is what the finished product looks like. You could def. have them add animals in the trees! We were just runnin on a time crunch! (Shocking I know- we usually have plenty of that! haha)

Alright- so are you ready to do a little are some examples of my student's Haikus. Don't cheat and look ahead- you have to give your best guess first ;).

I will be nice and translate (althrough let it be stated that this is not best practice ;))!

I eat leaves
I walk slowly
I have three fingers

(the syllables may be a little off in English...)

I am a sloth!

I have four feet
I am a little long
I am yellow

I am a jaguar!

I run on water
I am green
I am very small

An iguana that runs on water! (I am thinking he couldn't remember the exact name...and neither can I at the moment- but he worked that description!)

After we finished our poems, the kids set their poems at their table spot and had the chance to walk around and guess the animals that their peers poems were describing.

Also, you will notice my kiddos in deep concentration writing on little yellow post-its. This is because they not only had to read and guess, but also at the same time I asked them to carry a post-it and pencil with them to jot down any plural words they saw in their friends' poems. We are studying plural suffixes this week- thus I thought what a perfect and quick way to tie in to spelling. (Isn't it amazing what we teachers can come up with to squeeze all we need into each day!)

This activity is part of my upcoming "Pack Your Bags" (Bilingual Continent Study Unit) that is currently in the works. I leave you with a little cover teaser ;)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day - Part 1

Today we decorated our grocery bags for the "Earth Day Groceries Project". This is such a fun and simple project and the kids get sooooo excited about it! I roped some of the other teachers at my school in too and we decorated around 260 bags in all with positive Earth Day messages. The students bags will be given to customers at our local Jewel-Osco on Sunday to celebrate Earth Day! 

Some in Spanish!

Aren't these just too clever!?

Of course the Lorax had to make his way into the mix!

I leave you with this adorable rock video in Spanish for Earth Day! One of my colleagues sent it to me today and it was just too much fun not to share! Rock out with your kids on Monday- seriously!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Trip Around the Word & a Freebie!

My classroom is all a buzz -packin, gettin our passports ready, etc.----WHY?, you ask. Because we are taking a trip around the world! 

Here is our suitcase.

We had to pack of course. Click on the picture to enlarge the image- pretty humorous- let's do a little "I Spy". Do you spy a cell phone? A DSI? A fruit roll up? A hair dryer? Bulls gear? They are too funny!

Then of course we had to get our passports. It's not the greatest picture ever, but on the right you can see there is a space for a stamp from each continent (it continues on the next page). I stamp my students passports after they complete all of the activities required in the continent and they are getting ready to "leave".

This is our "Continent Data" chart. Before we enter each continent, I read to my students a little brief intro. of the continent we are traveling too and we fill our this sheet to keep our facts straight! They keep this with them in their luggage as it is important to be informed about where you are traveling! We just entered our first continent of SA today- so no worries---I will share more along the way!

Also, I will be including some of these activities in my upcoming "Continents" unit I am in the works of finishing up- so keep your eye out for it!

Leaving you with a quick freebie today. We are working on plural suffixes in Spanish currently. I will then be bridging these suffixes into English with my kiddos next week. I am OBSESSED with sorts in my room, thus here are the word sorts we will be working with to practice these word endings!

Hope they are helpful! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

A little anchor chart action...

Just a few of our latest anchor charts to share with you guys today! Some are in English, some Spanish- but they could work for either or-- just a little translatin ;)!

On Friday, we went over the parts of a plant and created this quick anchor chart:

Then my students created these cute little flip books describing the purpose of each part:

Today, we discussed what a plant needs to survive and created this anchor chart:

You can grab the flip book as well as activity pages to go along with these anchor charts in English and Spanish as part of my "A Little Dirt Never Hurt" unit. Click on the image if you are feelin the urge to check it out!

To continue on our anchor chart journal...we finished up our review of long vowels today and created this anchor chart as a source of reference for our "sound" wall!

(Don't judge the "Hola!"- I realized I wrote it in Spanish after I snapped the photo. A little language confusion on my part! - Gotta change that tomorrow ;)- It's hard to keep it straight sometimes!)

Finally- I just recently ordered these genre posters from "Really Good Stuff" -which I love! They are super colorful- and the best part is they come in English...and are you ready for this....SPANISH too!

Aren't they pretty. There is the big yellow one that shares all of the genre names. Then there are little definition posters that go along with it, and a space to select one of the definition posters to put in the middle of the main one. It's great because you can place your focus genre there! I just love them because they are so colorful. Check out how they spice up our library area "reading" wall...

Are you lovin' that pop of color as much as I am?!