Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Summer Shopping! Linky Party

Last day with kids tomorrow! So excited! I've been doing some major cleaning up this week, so my room is looking pretty empty these days. But my basement is starting to look full! Can't wait to start moving into my new classroom. To get started planning for next year, I've been doing a weeeee bit of shopping! Couldn't help myself! ;)

So here I am linking up with Kristen over at Ladybug's Teach Files for her Summer Shopping! Linky Party. How fun! Click the picture below to see all the other blogs sharing their summer purchases.



First up, I needed two smaller pocket charts for my math and reading centres rotation cards. I plan to do both in the same guided/daily 5 format next year. More to come on that this summer!


Next, I bought a set of 6 small storage caddies for my groups. I plan on having six groups/colours, and these caddies came in the exact colours I wanted. Perfect!


For math, I didn't have these, so I went ahead and got a set of 12 jumbo dice in dice. Perfect for math centres! I already found Shari Sloan's free games Dice in Dice Addition and Dice in Dice Subtraction. A new twist on an old game!

 
For my back to school bulletin board, to go with my Pete the Cat, I found these cute shoe cutouts.

And lastly, not that I need any more bulletin board trimmers--my storage baggy is bursting at the seams!!--but I found this cute paw print border. Thought it would go nice with my Pete the Cat theme. :)

That's it for now. I'm sure I will be needing wanting splurging for lots more before the school year starts! Can't wait! ;)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Skunks, More Summer Countdown, and Pete!

This post is a smattering of randomness from last week... I have three days with kids and two admin. days left, so that's how my brain is feeling these days... scattered!

Here's a pic of our skunk hats (head pattern from Cara's "Camping Capers" unit, just stapled to black construction paper strips). SO stinkin' cute! ;)



S is for Summer Birthdays (mine included), so I made some cupcakes, iced them in blue frosting, and put some little swimming teddies on top. The kids loved them!



U was suppose to be play Ultimate Frisbee outside, but our class got invited to the grand opening of the public library instead! So U became "Ultimate Trip to the Library". They had just renovated and have a brand new children's section! After some speeches, they had Geronimo Stilton and Clifford hanging around for the kids to see. Plus they handed out balloons, stickers, Geronimo Stilton cheese hats, bookmarks, and book bags! Then we got to sit down and enjoy some cupcakes and juice! It was a pretty fun afternoon. I had a lady come up to me and tell me how wonderfully my kids behaved. I was so proud of them! :)


V is for Vacation! I gave my students an 11x17" piece of paper and we folded it in half twice to make four squares. In the middle we wrote "Summer Vacation" and in each square we drew and wrote about four things we wanted to do this summer.



Here's my plan for the summer... lots of camping (starting next weekend), road trip to Ohio and Wisconsin, new puppy!!! (Bella needed a friend), and my birthday. 


The plans that I didn't tell my kiddies about were moving classrooms, planning for guided math (new), and building a deck on the front of our house. Whew! It's going to be a busy summer! :)


Look what arrived in the mail.... It's Pete!


Love that little blue cat! Since I'm moving to a brand new school and classroom, it gives me a chance to change things up and start fresh. I don't want to do a garden them again, so I decided to go with a Pete the Cat/Polka Dot theme... Stay tuned this summer as I start getting things ready for the new year! Here's my Pete poster for my back to school bulletin board... I think it will say "Stepping Into First Grade". I bought some cute shoe accents to write my students' names on.


Lastly, I got my students' gifts all ready for the last day... I'm going with Reagan's Candy Awards (unfortunately they aren't available in her store right now...) and little goody bag with a pencil, activity book, and suckers! Sweet and easy!
 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Camping Fun!

My favourite thing to do during the summer is go camping. I love sitting around a bonfire, curled up in a blanket, making s'mores. We've gone once so far this season and have many more trips planned! Many of my students have been talking about their camping trips already, so I thought it would be nice to end the year with a fun camping theme. Here's some of the fun books we have been reading...



We loved sitting around our "campfire" to listen to stories! We took a poll to see who had been camping before. Only 3 out of 21 students had never been camping before!


We finished up our Summer Math Centres, so I looked around and found some fabulous camping math activities to do during our last week and a half of school! {7 more days with kids!} Here's a peek at the activities we've been doing...

I fell in love with Cara's "Camping Capers" unit from The First Grade Parade. We have been doing a lot of the writing and science activities in it. I am also using a few of her math activities as stations. They are great review and a lot of fun for this time of the year. Here is a count and graph activity from her unit:


She also has this cute fishing for facts sort. I added paper clips and a dollar store fishing rod and *voila*! Best. centre. ever! {According to the kiddos!}


Another fun centre I found was this "Smores Roll and Graph" from Kelli over at Castles and Crayons. {And it's free!!}


Here's another freebie from Kelli.... "Marshmallow Measurement!" I think this is the second favourite centre, because they get to eat their marshmallows after! :)



Another fun {and free} review centre I found is this "Odd and Even Roast" from Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans. Hope has a whole unit of fun camping themed math centres.


Here's a quick and easy game of "Let's Go Camping" addition cover up from Ms. Arnold.


And lastly, here is another yummy s'more centre. "Doubles Plus One S'mores" from The Lesson Plan Diva.


Today we talked about animals that we would see camping and brainstormed a giant list. I'm not sure if we would want to camp where we could see bison or polar bears, but I guess it's possible! We also read a book about skunks and made a cute skunk head (from Cara's unit) that we will make into headbands tomorrow. I'll try and remember to snap a picture! They look really cute so far!


Combining our camping unit with our summer countdown, tomorrow is "T for Teddy Bear". I plan to do some fun sorting activities with the stuffed animals. We will also compare teddy bears to real bears. And we will write some stories about what would happen if our teddy bears were real. I can't wait to hear what kind of crazy adventures we would go on with our teddy bears :)



Click either picture to download. For the story page, I made a "teddy bear" page and a "stuffed animal" page. I know for a fact I have some giraffe and orca whale stuffies coming tomorrow!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer vacation or the last wee bits of school!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Weekly Recap and Thank You Gifts

N is for Numbers.... we played some of our favourite math games, including Mario BUMP, Dinosaur Subtraction Board Game {free from Games 4 Learning}, Ten Frame War, and Domino Parking Lot {free from Kim Adsit}. I set up four stations and put on my new favourite classroom tool, the fun classroom timers. I use the egg timer, but there are other fun ones like a bomb, candle, and people running a race!


O is for Origami... we made a simple talking dog head and a hat. I got the instructions from {here}. They have great visuals and are rated easy, medium, and hard. Very good site!



P is for Picnic... one of my favourite (and easiest) activities so far! I just brought a few blankets to school and we sat outside in the grass to eat our lunch. The kiddos were so excited about this one! It was nice and relaxing to just hang out and eat our lunches together :)



Q is for Quiz... I put together a little Math Jeopardy with some simple review questions (addition, subtraction, shapes, skip counting, etc.). The game is in a PowerPoint format with links, so it would work great if I had a SMARTboard :( but alas, I just had the kids point to the white board and I clicked with my trusty mouse. Lots of fun and a great end of the year review!


I uploaded the PowerPoint file to GoogleDocs if you would like to use it. Just click the picture above to download it. You can change the categories and questions to suit your needs. The title at the top is the font Elise from Kevin & Amanda, but you can change it to anything you have. If you download the file, let me know if it works ok! This is my first time uploading a PowerPoint to GoogleDocs.

Today we also made a sweet treat for our dads for Father's Day! I made up some sugar cookie dough and in small groups we cut out a few shapes and "painted" them with milk and food colouring. I found the cute idea {here}. We stuffed the cookies in a ziplock bag and attached these cute labels to the bag. I made two different labels... just in case there are students who want to give their cookies to a grandpa or uncle.


 {Click to download.}

Tomorrow is "Read Outside" day. Should be a nice relaxing day! :)

So, I put together a few gifts for some of my staff. For my most helpful and amazing secretary, librarians, and resource teacher, I bought some delicious flavoured honey from a local farm. I made these cute bee labels to tie on with a ribbon. Sweet and simple!


{Click to download.}

For my fantastic EA's (who helped me soooo much this year), I bought them some adorable reusable cups and filled them with colourful, reusable ice cubes. I also attached a little book store gift card (who doesn't love a good book!) to the cute label!



{Click to download.}

Happy Friday tomorrow! 9 more days! Can't believe it! :D

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Kites, Letters, and Movie Day!

On Wednesday, we read the book "Curious George: The Kite" and then decorated our own kites. I found these super easy instructions here. We just used 8x11" manilla tag or cardstock, long wooden stir sticks, masking tape, crepe paper, string, and crayons! Super easy prep (I did pre-fold the kites, but it didn't take long) and the kids had so much fun with it!



Even though it was a really hot day and absolutely no wind, we still had a blast flying the kites. They just had to make their own wind by running like crazy. It tired them out, so I was ok with that!




Thursday was "L" day of our ABC countdown, so we wrote letters to our second grade teachers. I told them to to tell their next year teacher all about themselves! I find it is a great insight into their writing and spelling skills to pass on to the second grade teachers. We get little photo stickers of our students from the company that does our school pictures at the beginning of the year, so I stuck one of the pictures onto the letter so the teachers can put a face to the writing.



{Clipart from DJ Inkers}

I've uploaded my letter here if you are interested... I also included pages for Grade 1, 3, and 4. Enjoy!

While I was starting to clean out my room, I found a stack of writing that the kindergarten teachers had given us at the beginning of the year and I am just shocked at the difference in their writing. I am so proud of how far they have come!

Well, Friday was all gray and rainy, so it was the perfect day for letter "M". Movie Day! We are studying fairy tales right now, so we read the book "Puss in Boots" in the morning and then watched the video in the afternoon! Add in some juice and popcorn and it was a nice, relaxing way to end the week.


*bad iPhone photo*

We are half-way done our countdown! Thirteen more days with kids. I finally broke the news to my firsties that I was going to a new school next year... they were pretty sad. "Will you come visit us?" asked my little trouble-maker, always a handful student. Yes, I will even miss him. :) I can see the tears coming on the last day (mostly me) but we'll have so much fun that we'll make it through. I've had a few meetings at my new school and I *love* my new teaching partner already. I'm sure I will love it there too. Well, happy weekend everyone! I am so jealous of  you who already get to spend your weeks at the beach... but I will remember that in August when I'm still basking in the sun. ;) Cheers!