Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Day Preview

Ah, sorry for the lack of posts. I just finished one of those weeks of school that
I dread every cards were due and we had parent/teacher conferences.
Somehow I also decided to throw in Spring Fun Day which made for a crazy, crazy week.

We had a lot of fun on Spring Fun Day! And I have plenty of more details and
activities to share later, but I thought I'd start with these two...

For this activity we practiced sorting verbs, adjectives, and nouns.
The clip art is from Lettering Delights.
I LOVE lettering delights- they have such cute things!

It really is pretty basic.
The kids put down the rainboot, umbrella and sun down on their work area
and then pulled out the raindrops and sorted them into the correct groups.

*Update- I added this activity to my Teacher's Notebook store.
You may purchase them here.*

I love this next activity!
You could do it as a class or put it out as a challenge activity.
I used pinwheel clipart which was from the same set as the pictures above.
Students need to add, subtract, multiply or divide the four numbers
so that they equal 24.
I got my puzzles from mathplayground which would be a fun game
to play in the computer lab too.
My students worked hard on this activity and it was
great to see them using math skills we have practiced this year!

*Update- I added these to my Teacher's Notebook store.
You can purchase them in my store here.*

More to come! Hope you are having a relaxing weekend!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I may or may not have mentioned that I am teaching an
arts and crafts class for 13 little ones after school.

It's only for 7 weeks and I'm doing it with another teacher.
Thank goodness since I don't think I could have
knotted thirteen bracelets this afternoon without going crazy.

But, it is fun and I do love working with the little ones.
They give me random hugs and tell me that I'm awesome.

I'm pretty sure that most of my 4th graders didn't think
I was that awesome today after I told them about their
two tests this week and was on them like glue to do their work.
But there's always tomorrow... :)

Anyhow, last week our project was to make tic-tac-toe boards.

First, I had to make best friends with Steve
(or at least I think his name was Steve) at Lowe's.
First, he nicely cut my boards into 9 by 9 squares.
Which I thought was perfect and nicely said thank you and goodbye.
However, I counted, multiplied and added wrong.
But, was too embarrassed to go back, so I drove down the road to Home Depot.
Unfortunately, Home Depot would not cut squares that small.
So, back to Lowe's I went, hoping just to get a different worker.
But, Steve was there again and nicely cut my wood into 8 by 8 squares this time.

Lesson learned: Go to Lowe's. Calculate correctly.

Anyhow, I had the boards and just added paint and rocks in the mix.

From there it really was very simple.

Put out paint and paintbrushes and let them go!

There were some VERY colorful game boards!

It was such a fun craft!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Classroom Tour

I'm linking up to Always First Grade's Link Party.

Welcome to my classroom! Each year I try to do a different theme.
I've done a water, travel and safari theme in the past, but this year I did a western theme!
Yee haw...let the tour begin!
This is the bulletin board outside of my room.
Each cowgirl/cowboy has a lasso with a student's name in it. I'm not going to lie- I would never make those cowboys/girls again, they took me FOREVER!

Our door...come on in!

This paper was my first inspiration to make a western themed classroom.
Martha Stewart- you make everything beautiful.
Too bad I could never find this pad of scrapbook paper again.

The rainbow of locker tags... I heart the turquoise one.

This is not the best picture, but each chair had a bandanna wrapped on the back of it. As you can imagine, the boys had them around their necks in 2.0 seconds the first day, but they did look adorable while they lasted. This was my mom's idea- she is planning my sister's wedding right now and thinks maybe she has spent a little too much time looking at chair covers. :)

Write 'Em Cowboy!

Lasso A Great Book!

Part of our writing center...

Our calendar and schedule area...

Boy and Girl Bathroom Passes...

Mailboxes, our school's theme verse for the year, and colorful book boxes...

Our Book Nook organization area...

Our vocabulary words will go here...right now they just have western words on them.

Our library area... and the huge cowboy boot that is a hit in our classroom.

Our wanted bulletin board. I took pictures of the kids the first day dressed up in a western vest, cowboy hat and bandannas and then printed them in black and white and hung them on the posters. I wish I could show them to you- they turned out so cute!

I love birthdays! And who wouldn't love a birthday hat with their name on it?

Boot Scootin' Behavior Board...
we can only hope that I don't have to use this much this year.

Our job board...

This is above our door. It turned out larger than I had imagined,
but I actually like it that adds some color to our room

Wrangler of the Week...each student gets to bring in pictures to share.
I always start out with a poster about me.
Yes, the large picture in the middle is me when I was in fourth grade.

Oh, how I love decorating my room. I think that is one of my favorite feelings...the feeling you get when your classroom is all decorated...the name tags are perfectly on each desk, the books are all in order, the notebooks are all new, the locker tags are all straight, and everything is in it's proper place just waiting for students to come. Ah! Too bad I have to wait until fall for it to come again. Until then, we will saddle up for the rest of the's going to be a good one!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Math Card Holders

Recognize these?

If you do, you must have Chicago Everyday Mathematics like me.

We use these these cards for all sorts of math games
and while they aren't too much of a pain to store,
I never really had the perfect system.

At one conference, it was recommended to me to make different
color lines across the top of the cards, but honestly
those lines are really, really hard to see when you have
one little tiny card with one little tiny yellow line on it.

Of course, my cards were all rubber-banded, but have you
noticed how much 4th graders love rubber bands?
Really that should be re-phrased as 4th grade BOYS.

This summer I was at the Dollar Store and noticed these pretties...

Gift Card Holders.
They are cute and durable and fit math cards in them perfectly!


Now, I few extra notes...
1) My dollar store inconveniently stopped selling these, but
you can find them at Michaels as well as other stores, I'm sure.
2) They don't fit ALL the cards, but 95% of the games we play
only use card numbers 1-10 which they do fit nicely.
I just have the extra cards on the side in case we need them.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Productive Project Finds and Finishes

This weekend was rather productive as far as finding things for
projects at school. All of these will be separate posts with all the details as
soon as I bring my camera to school to snap some pictures.

-I finally finished sewing pillowcases for our "Wrangler of the Week"

- After becoming best friends with the man at Lowe's, I was able to get
wood cut for Tic-Tac-Toe boards for the Arts and Crafts Class
I teach after-school on Mondays.

- I found more gift card holders to store my math cards in!

-And, perhaps the best find was that The Dollar Store had
3 for $1 (of course) ceramic flower pots.
Mine hasn't carried them since 2007 and today there they
were just waiting for me to pick them up!

Go see if your store has any so you can make these
with your class for Mother's Day!

It makes me ready for SPRING!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reason #1 Why I Love March

Yea! I got to change my calendar this morning
from February to March!

Why was this awesome?

Take a look at the calendar pictures below...

Any guesses?

And it's not because Spring Break starts on the 31st!
(Although that is a cause for celebration!)

I didn't have to move all of the numbered cards around!
February is the greatest month since it makes switching
your calendar to March so easy! Love it!

It's the little things, right? :)