Finally, I'm back with a post that's NOT about Explore Tubs. Were you getting sick of them? I hope you at least got some fun ideas or freebies to try with your class! :) I had a lot of fun planning them.
Well for starters, when August rolled around and everyone was setting up their classrooms and getting ready for the new school year, I was welcoming our baby boy, Jackson Cole. He was born on August 3rd. He just turned two months this week and is such a bundle of joy! Even if I'm not getting as much sleep as I would like and am usually covered in some sort of bodily fluid... I still love him! ;) I get to have Zoe at home with me too, which is fun, but it definitely keeps me busy! But I get to take her to preschool, gymnastics, and have lots of fun times with her! She is enjoying being a big sister and helping me out whenever she can!
Of course my teacher brain never shuts off, so I've been trying to harness some of my teacherness into my home life. One of my projects was to organize (and label of course) some of Zoe's toy bins. They have actually stayed organized and it helps us with clean up time and searching for toys!
And I've also been letting her play with some of my math manipulatives. These jungle counters from Learning Resources were a big hit. And after she spent a good hour playing with some dry beans daddy harvested from his garden, I knew she would just love a sensory bin. I had some left over split peas, rocks, and blue jewels from some bins I made for school, so I threw them in a tub with some containers and the jungle animals. She just loves it! It makes a mess, but it also keeps her quiet and focused for a bit. I'll take that over clean house any day.
Another home/school purchase I made were these Tiggly sets for the iPad. They are interactive tools that you use on the iPad with their corresponding apps. There is a shapes kit, number kit, and words kit. I'll use the shape one at home with Zoe, and will take the other two to school next year. They are pretty fun to use and bring iPad learning to another level!
I've been doing a bit of thinking/planning on how I want to run my classroom net year. I know I want to incorporate a lot of flexible seating into my classroom and more inquiry/play opportunities. I really struggle with fitting enough play time into our school day. I totally see the value in play, but for me I want to try to tie it into their learning and the curriculum as much as I can.
I want to set up a dramatic play centre in my first grade garden. I did a "Pizza Parlour" last year during some of our free time/explorations time and the students had a blast! We incorporated some math with money and writing by taking orders. I thought I could change up the centre each month and connect it to our theme for the month. Here's a look at my monthly theme plans. If you download the PDF by clicking here or on either picture, it contains links to my journals and explore tub posts.
The first centre I want to set up will be a movie theatre. I want to use the movie "Inside Out" to connect to our Social Studies unit of "I Belong". It is the perfect movie to talk about feelings, groups we belong to, conflict resolution, and friendship/family. I'm thinking of setting up a movie theatre with a puppet theatre, so students can create their own "movies". We'll also incorporate counting/addition with money to buy tickets and snacks. They can do some writing with the movie tickets and movie reviews. It's all planned out in my head, but I'll have to take pictures when it's all set up next September!
I found a few goodies to use in my movie theatre dramatic play centre from The Dollar Tree. Unfortunately those candy boxes were full, so I had to eat them so I could use the empty boxes. ;)
But then I was at Walmart the other day in the toy department and saw this WONDERFUL GOODNESS OF A TOY PACK! It's a Movie Theatre Snack Set! It has hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, candy, slurpees... even 3D glasses and movie tickets! How perfect! And it was only $14! I found it online at Walmart.com but not Walmart.ca. Check your local stores to see if they have it!
You can follow my Pinterest Board to see some of the ideas I have pinned for dramatic play.
And of course I try to sneak in some time to work on TeachersPayTeachers stuff. I had a lot of requests to do a Grade 2 Interactive Social Studies unit. It's been a lot more detailed, so I'm rolling out the units slowly over the course of the year. The first cluster, all about our local community, is up and available here. The second cluster will be finished next month. I have to fit in computer time during naps and after bedtime, so I don't get things done as much as I would like. That's ok... sometimes snuggles and playing picnic take priority over work! :)
I've also fit in a few other TpT projects, such as some Social Studies and Health games/activities, some more Chalkboard & Brights decor items, and a request for some French vocabulary cards. These are all available in my store.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends. Enjoy your three-day weekend and some turkey! We've got friend and family gatherings all weekend, so I'm sure it will be a delicious, fun-filled weekend for us. :) See ya next time!