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!

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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 Renewed Start

As the end of my Christmas break draws near and another year starts, I took time to reflect on the last 12 months.  There were so many things that happened that I could be thankful for yet I found myself refecting more on what liesahead.

I went into my Christmas break very tired and worn out from my group of kids.  Honestly, I was very drained from them.  They are a very active group that needs lots of attention, plus coming home to attend to my own family just added to it.  I needed this break!

This last week I was able to focus on my family and our home.  We cleaned, rearranged, trashed, and donated.  It felt good to declutter some of the rooms and gave me a sense of a new start.

Then today I began to think about my classroom.  I put some of the books we would be working in together, searched through Pinterest for ideas, and found a smile returning to my face.  I am ready to see my active crew again.  I am excited to see the growth they had over break and what new, exciting stories they have to tell. I am sure that Monday will be a very busy day!

I also found myself evaluting other areas of life.  I have a terrible way of letting self doubt enter in things that I do.  I found this particularly true with my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I was really good with creating product for the first several months last year and then by the start of summer, self doubt kicked in.  I hardly touched my store.  Yet, today, I found myself reading some of the comments left by others.  People, like me, that were grateful for something I created.  I felt a spark of joy and realized that I need to focus more time on my passion of developing things.

To this end, I am also stepping out and opening another store on Teachers Notebook as well!  I am excited to see how God uses these two businesses this year.

For me, 2014 isn’t represented in a word or a list of resolutions that will be broken within a couple weeks.  For me, it represents a fresh start with the things I love: time with my family, a new and fresh outlook on my classroom and students, and a renewed joy in creating materials and selling it for others.

What does 2014 represent for you?