Check It Out Teachers!

Limited on resources . . .

Longing to bring technology into the classroom . . .

In need of new books for students . . .

Just need some new science equipment . . .

Looking to get P.E. equipment so kids start moving more . . .

If you are looking for these or others like it, you need to check out www.donorschoose.org.   This is a non-profit organization that allows teachers to write requests for classroom materials.  Then people and companies from around the county can donate to your projects.

In a few minutes time you can be on and writing projects to request materials.  It is well worth the time to set up an account, explore the materials and get requesting!

Spread the word . . .

Donors Choose, a place where teachers can ask for materials

Parenting — A Scary Week

This was one of those parenting weeks I dreamed would never happen.  Our youngest daughter got hurt at school.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I know injuries will happen at school, I see it all the time.  But when your preschool calls and says your child isn’t acting normal, it’s a little different.  I must say, I am proud of myself for not panicing in the moment, although I am grateful for friends at school who helped get me out the door quickly.

Apparently, our four year old was running outside and collided with another little kid.  They bonked heads and my sweet girl ended up with a nice size bump on her forehead.  She became silent, eyes dilated, and not wanting to eat.  When I arrived, she walked to me and wanted to be held. I knew we needed to head to the doctors so off we went.  At urgent care, the nurses gave her paper, stickers and a pen to make them pictures so she wouldn’t go to sleep till the doctor saw her.  This seemed to help but them she decided to start talking to me.

She shared with me :

  • how she got her injury
  • asked why we needed to see a doctor if her bump was going away
  • smelled the hand soap in the bathroom and shared how it smelled nice like a doctors office
  • changed her name to all sorts of things, and so much more!

By the time we saw the doctor, my assumption was confirmed. . . she had a concussion.  At first my heart raced over this news wondering what we were going to need to do for our sweet girl but because she was so little, rest was the order of the day.  So home we went.

Upon getting home, we sat her down and explained that her head and gotten shaken up today and that she should rest and not think too much.  Later in the evening when her sister was asking her a question, she replied that her head had been shaken and she couldn’t really think to answer her.  All I could was laught!

Despite the scare of the day, God was good to our sweet girl.  We kept her home the next day to rest a little more.  As the day went on, we saw more of our happy and sweet girl.  I am so grateful that God’s hand was upon our daughter to keep her injury from being more serious and healing her.  She is back to her happy, sweet self now!

A Farming We Will Go

This week, I decided my class would do better with theme learning so I pulled out my farm binder and went to work.  I pulled out books to make, I searched Pinterest for activities or crafts, and I downloaded ideas from Teachers Pay Teachers.  With all these resources at my fingertips, I planned out our next three weeks of learning.  I was so excited to start on this unit.

As I started planning, I came across this farm packet http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kinderbykims-Fun-on-the-Farm-Pack-166990 that is filled with amazing ideas that I decided to start with some of them!  I loved the vegetables at the end so  I copied them on construction paper and folded them so each vegetable looked like a book.  The kids could write on the inside and paint on the outside.  We were ready to start the week.

But, I wanted to make sure my room looked and felt like a farm as well as defined the areas for our projects.  So to the internet and blog world I went looking.  I came across www.kinderbykim.blogspot.com and knew just what to do!  She has pictures of large animals around her room when she does a theme.  What a great idea!  I decided I would paint large vegetables to go with our theme around the room.

At the beginning of the week, up went the barn.

Barn

On Tuesday,  we focused on the different things we would find on a farm.  The kids brainstormed people, animals, buildings they thought we might find.  Then we listed foods that could be grown on farms — this was fun because we live out in an area where lots of crops are grown so kids tried to think of things they had seen when they were out with their families.

On Wednesday, we started with the potato.  We brainstormed what we could make out of potatoes.  The kids came up with soup, hash browns, french fries, tater tots, and mashed potatoes.  We worked in small groups to fill in the inside of our potatoes.  Then we pulled out the paint and glitter.  Oh what fun we had!  Later I put them on our board . . . 

Potato

On Thursday, we moved on to lettuce.  We brainstormed what we would use lettuce for.  The kids came up with salad, tacos, and sandwiches.  We worked again in small groups and filled in the inside then brought out our paint and glitter again.  They had so much fun!  That afternoon up went our patch of lettuce . . .

Lettuce

On Friday, we ended the week with making carrots.  We again brainstormed ways we would use carrots.  The kids came up with soup, carrot cake, salad, juice, and a veggie mix.  I was very impressed with their list.  We worked in small groups to write, paint, and glitter.  We left them to dry for the weekend.

My class is so excited about this theme.  Next week, we finish up with tomatoes and turnips.  Then we start talking about all the animals.  I can’t wait!  I just love learning about the farm!

Friday Top 5 — Summer Vacation

Well, we are officially in the middle of summer vacation! It seems to be flying by so quickly, which makes me a bit sad. On the upside, it does mean that we are having a blast on our family vacation!

So, in honor of summer vacation I want to share with you my top 5 highlights of summer vacation.

1 — Summer school — my youngest daughter was thrilled with the talk of going to summer school but then when we pulled up to her school that first Monday, she cried that she didn’t want to go back to her school but she wanted to go to a different school for summer.  What sadness for the start of summer!

2 — Family Vacations — We have been on a road trip and loving all the sites across the United States. Our children have traveled well and made lots of new memories!

3 — School shopping — My brain has already hit the school shopping mode.  It is crazy how a teacher knows like clockwork when sales start! I have picked up some great sales over the last week!

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4 — College Campus Previews — Since we are on this amazing trip, we decided to spontaneously throw in checking out college campuses. It started with my husband wanting to see his old campus, which our kids loved because of the lake and tower they have, but we have included several others. At each campus, I am making a point of picking up a college t-shirt or two so I can wear them at school on College T-shirt Day to promote colleges around the U.S. (My husband likes that we now have shirts to wear during college football season!)

5 — Summer School Art Week — I taught summer school this week and we included an enrichment subject each week.  The last week we did art — focusing on Pop Art. The kids had a blast! We got to do bubble art and I must say, they did some amazing art.

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A Special Thank You — For All The Teachers

This is a special week–one in which we celebrate teachers.  Students will bring gifts, flowers and cards.  Parents will express their thanks for their child’s teacher. And for one week, teachers will feel an extra bit of appreciation for all the work they have poured into the lives of the students in their room.

As a special thank you, Teachers Pay Teachers is honoring teachers with a site-wide sale.  Be sure to stop by on Tuesday or Wednesday. Use the special code and get great savings on materials for your classroom!

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From one teacher to another, I appreciate all you do for your students each day!

A Visit From SkippyJon Jones

This last week, our family had a visitor for several days.  My youngest daughter is in preschool and her class has been doing a book with animal friend.  Well, on Monday she was so excited to see that it was her turn to bring SkippyJon Jones home for the week.  The instructions for the week were to share experiences with him, read the story in his backpack and retell the story to share with the class next week.

So, SkippyJon Jones rode around town with us for the day.

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He enjoyed dinner with our daughter.  She taught him to play games (which she won both times they played).

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And when bedtime came each night, she made him his own bed on the floor and kissed him goodnight as she tucked him into bed.

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Perhaps though, my favorite part of SkippyJon Jones visit was our daughters retelling of the story.  After reading the story SkippyJon Jones Class Action, here is her version of the story:

“SkippyJon Jones, he couldn’t go to school because he had to stay home.  But he was able to go on the school bus. The penguin helped him go to school.

The mother cat was a little cat.  Skippito caught him, but he didn’t want the cat.  He didn’t have enough time to get it! So he didn’t want to do to school, but the penguin go him on the bus.  It was only for dogs!

The teacher threw a ball and the dogs traced it.  They were afraid of a little dog in a polka dotted cup.  The dogs weren’t afraid because they didn’t have a refrigerator. His mom met him and he said, ‘Good night, mother.’ ”

She was so very excited the next Monday to take her new friend SkippyJon Jones back to school and share with her friends and teachers her story retell and to show off the pictures of her and Skippy.

After seeing her excitement and joy during the week of having SkippyJon Jones at our house, I am working through trying to decide what story and animal I should send home for my students to enjoy reading with.  It really is a great opportunity for literacy development and building the home-to-school connection for families.

What book/character would you suggest sending home for students?

Friday Top 5 — Back to School Edition

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This week we started back to school after winter break.  Honestly, I would have loved an extra week but it was nice to get back into the classroom.  I was a bit concerned on Sunday about how Monday would go but I was pleasantly surprised at how the kids were ready to get back to school.

Now, onto on our top 5 for this week:

1 — Introducing students to the topic of Winter and talking about animals that hibernate during that time.  After reading a book, one little boy said that he knew lots of animals like giraffes hibernated.  That gave us a good laugh as several kids had just visited the zoo over break and seen the giraffes, they were a bit confused!

2 — Making snowmen this week and one of my students just got glasses over break.  After he had put glasses on his snowman, several others joined him.  They actually came out very cute!

3 — Introducing iPads to the class on Monday, one little guy asks, “We can play all those games?” His smile after my reply of yes was priceless.

4 — Having a mom stop in to tell me that her son was so excited about school because his classroom was way different and cool.  I did a little rearranging of the room over break and changed up my schedule for the kids.  I guess they ilked it, I know I sure did!

5 — The excitement they had when I shared with them that some of our projects on DonorsChoose (www.donorschoose.org) had been funded over the break and all the new things we would be getting.  There were cheers galore from the kids.

It was a great week back but I am grateful for a weekend to rest.

What were your top 5 events for school this week?  I would love to hear from you.