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

Advertisements

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!

IMG_20150713_085032_01

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.

20150622_090354           20150622_091610

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!

sale_250_120

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

Bullying — Why I Hate It

imagesBullying.  It’s something we address in school starting at the beginning of the year. As we head back to school this week, we will review the topic as we review the rules of our classroom and school.

In the TK classroom, I use the story The Recess Queen to talk with my kids about bullying.  However, bullying is such a hard topic for me because of my elementary years.  I feel as though in talking with my class that I repeat and emphasize it so much because of how hurt I was as a child.

I was the kid that got bullied.  And it hurt. A lot.

When I was in 4th grade, toward the end of the year, our class had a party.  We were encouraged to wear a shirt for everyone to sign.  I chose to wear a special Disneyland shirt with Mickey Mouse on the front.  All morning in class, we got to sign each other’s shirts with our black pens. It was pretty cool. But then recess came.

During recess, a girl asked to sign my shirt so I let her.  What I didn’t know at the time was that she wrote “kick me” on the bottom three times.  Then she and two other girls proceeded to hold me down on the ground while other students came over and kicked my back like my shirt said.  I sat and cried the whole time.  No one came to help me.  No one who said they were my friend went to get the yard aide .They just stood and watched, afraid to do anything–so they told me. Finally, after what felt like forever, the bell rang.  I walked with tears streaming down my face back to class.  My friends tried to cross off the words but to me, the shirt was ruined.

My teacher, a gentle man, saw my tears and asked what had happened.  I explained and he gave the girls consequences but somehow it didn’t seem right in my world.  I was hurt and no one could take away how I felt that day.  In fact, in some respects, it still follows me today.  The wondering if someone is really my friend or if they are just saying those words.

When I got home, I hid my shirt.  I didn’t want to see it ever.  What had started as a great day was destroyed in an instant. When we moved a year later, I threw the shirt away.  I never wanted to speak about 4th grade.  In fact, to this day, I couldn’t tell you more about 4th grade than that very instant. That’s the impact bullying had–it made a such a strong, hurtful impression on me.

I understand how students feel.  I relate to the hurt because I’ve been there.  I strive to teach my students to be respectful, to use kind words, to be patient and talk about how they feel in situations.  I want to do my best to create an environment where everyone can grow and learn each day. So, in my room, we will talk about how to be a friend and how not to bully someone because everyone should be respected.

Learning our ABC’s

One of our main things in my class is to learn our ABC’s. While working on a letter each week, we always make a list of words that start with our letter of the week. However, for so many students, when we go to make our list they just call out words. So many times they are looking around the room and saying things they see.

I can see the disappointed look on their face when we talk about their words being on the not list.  So this year, I have decided to create little readers to help them associate some words with each letter. I am designing letter books that are 7 pages long, have 6 pictures students can color and the word of the object below it.

In this post, I have included the links for letters Aa and Bb.  The letter Aa is a freebie for you!

original-1309083-1

original-1309876-1

Be sure to watch for more TK Easy Alphabet Readers as I plan to make books for the entire alphabet.  What do you do to help your readers associate words with letters?

Love this site . . . for books!

I love books.  My  husband and children love books.  I have books for every age, literally!  I can’t walk into a bookstore with buying at least one book . . . for everyone sometimes.

As a teacher, I have collected a lot of books.  They come from bookstores, Scholastic, students, and garage sales.  But, this spring a friend showed me an amazing website where I could get books!

If you haven’t checked out:  www.paperbackswap.com yet, I highly encourage you to.

Here’s how it works:

1. create an account

2. upload 10 books you are willing to send to someone (they must be in good condition!)

3. get credits to spend (each book online costs 1 credit)

4. browse and order books you would like

Now, beyond this simple start up, you have to be willing to mail your books to others.  I was very skeptical of this at first but now, after shipping over 20 books, I have recouped that cost by all the books that have come to me!  For each book I send, I get a credit to spend on a new book.

I have used the credits to get my oldest daughter her BOB books, my nonprofit book, and my middle daughter some math picture books.  I have loved using this website.  I have a list of books I hope to get this year!

Where do you love getting your books from?