Thursday, January 31, 2013

How To Make A Cloud In a Microwave

Want to see complete and utter amazement on the face of every student in your class? 

Make them a cloud in the microwave.

 But to make it even better, I would highly recommend that you DON'T tell them you will be making a cloud in a microwave. Just tell them you will be putting a bar of soap in the microwave, and ask them write down a  prediction of what's going to happen next. They will tell you you're crazy!! It's going to melt or even better, it's going to explode! 

I just shrugged and told them, we'll see. 

First, I put a bar of ivory soap on top of some wax paper in the microwave.

**NOTE: Do NOT use just any bar of soap. It HAS to be a bar of Ivory soap. If you choose to ignore this very important detail I will not take any responsibility for the not so pretty end result!!**

Next, turn on the microwave for about a minute and a half. Then sit back and watch their faces.

{the cloud is forming}

90 seconds later.....

BOOM!! A Cloud!

Oh how I wish I could show you their happy little faces!! Everyone got to hold it.

The bottom stays very soft and spongey like. It's everything you imagine in your head a real cloud would feel like.  The top hardens a bit, but becomes flakey and will fall apart at the touch. So just resting it on top of flat palms is best. By the time the 25th kid had held it, we had lots of soapy "snowflakes" around the room. Unfortunately, due to the non-durability, I can't make a cloud for every kiddo to take home. If it weren't for that I SO would!!

Instead I'm going to let them make my newest craftivity, which they can carry home no problem!

This cloud craft is just one small part of my Weather Is Wild Unit that I am SO very excited about!!  The boys are all super impressed with his lightening bolt. And by "the boys" I mean all my 1st/2nd graders and my husband. 

Here is a peek at just a few of the other things included in this 103 page unit.

Speaking of weather, ours has been un-seasonably dry all winter.

The teacher wants a snow day!! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Go Bananas This Valentine's Day

We're going to go a little Bananas in class this Valentine's Day!!

Not literally. I mean, Valentine's Day is the one holiday that is synonymous with chocolate right? 

But we will be using my new Valentine's Day Craft {Bananas About You}  pack to write about some of the things we are just bananas about! I can only imagine what my kiddos are going to write about. A few predictions do come to mind (based on our daily conversations) including but not limited to: Justin Bieber, Angry Birds, Legos,  The Gummy Bear Song, and PE.

Three things that would make my list...

1) My little family

2) Cute clipart. I'm currently obsessed.

3) Pink chevron phone cover I just ordered.

Notice how exercising didn't exactly make my list? I'm not bananas about it.

Luckily, I am pretty bananas about my brand new workout sneakers I just got for my birthday!! Brand new as in they're so brand new that it's perfectly acceptable to take a picture of them on a counter top, ha! Hoping to give them a whirl tomorrow for my first time back in the gym since prior to my broken foot mishap this summer. I'm already pretty sore just thinking about it. Eek!! Wish me luck!

Leave a comment with your e-mail for a chance to win my Valentine Pack. 

I'll pick a winner in the morning :)

Congrats to # 2, Heather!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Team Teaching Tuesday- Schedules

It's very late in the day, I know it!! But I couldn't let Tuesday slip away without getting my Team Teaching post up!  My East Coast friends are probably already asleep for the night. I'm hoping some of my West Coast friends are still with me. Today was a bit of a whirl-wind day. I had a mix up on the dates a book study I go to once a month with a cohort at my school. I thought it was next Tuesday but oh no, it was today.

In any's my Team Teaching Tuesday topic this week.

Am I the only one who likes to look at other people's schedules? I love seeing how other teachers organize their day. Granted, I know some of us have a ton of control in how we organize our schedule and some of us have little to no control at all. But for whatever reason, I always like to see them :)

This is a picture of our schedule today. On Tuesday's my kids are in art the entire last hour of the day. It's by far my favorite plan time of the week because of that solid hour. However, it doesn't give us much time to get a lot done in the afternoons. I have one of those schedules that changes daily. Some days I have two specials, other days I have one. I miss having specials at the same time for the same length of time every day. I like the consistency. However even with the different specials times daily, I have certain times of the day when I like to do things.

Morning Work: I start every morning with these Good Morning Work packs!! They're our favorite! They buy me a few extra minutes to get in things like attendance, lunch count, etc in the mornings.

Literacy: First thing in the morning. 90 minutes of whole group and guided reading/small group instruction instruction.

Snack & Story: Everyday around 10:30 (or as close as I can get to that time with specials) we have snack and story. The kids grab their snack and take it to the carpet and eat while I read them a picture book. It keeps snack to about ten minutes tops and gives everyone something to do at that time, even if they are snack-less. It's also an easy way for me to squeeze in an extra just for fun read aloud!

Math: I usually do math the hour before lunch  (today was an exception for a special activity I needed more time for)and we always begin with our Math Meeting (calendar time & math review rolled into one) and move into my math groups and stations. Some days, I do an extra round of math stations in the afternoon too when I need more time.

Read to Self:  Right after lunch my kids go to recess. When they get in I read them a quick chapter from a chapter book and then they do Read to Self for about 15 minutes. This gives me time to pull kiddos for 1 on 1 reading and quick running records. 

Then we roll into Writing or Science & Social Studies. Which one depends on the day. Some days I have time for a full writers workshop. Other days I don't be I always integrate a lot of writing into our Science & Social Studies so some days they become one in the same.

Afternoon Recess:  We try to squeeze in one more quick one every afternoon 

Even though this is my *general* schedule, flexibility is the name of my game. If I've got an extra fun lesson or activity planned, I move things around to accommodate as needed. My kids like their routine, but they can also be pretty go with the flow when I need them to be! :)

Does your schedule change daily? Does it stay the same? How do you display it??

As always bloggers are invited to grab the button and link up a post about this week's topic!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Team Teaching Tuesday + Birthday Sale

I turned27 years young today :)

So today for Team Teaching Tuesday I'd love to look at idea for celebrating birthdays in the classroom.

In our classroom, I keep it pretty simple. Truth be told, I could really use some fresh ideas.

I leave every kiddo a certificate and a birthday sticker waiting on their desk.

Then they get to pick a special pencil from my Bucket Filling Bucket :)

At the end of the day -- we play heads up 7-Up or 4 Corners which they highly anticipate!!

Also, at my school we are allowed to bring in treats. But, I accidentally forgot to put that into my Classroom Intro packet at the beginning of the year. (Don't ask me how. But I did.) And no parent has contacted me all year to ask. I feel awful!! But I also feel like if I send home a note now then all the kids who have already had a birthday get the short end of the stick. Sooo...I'm thinking I might just let it go until next year. 

The lucky kiddos in my girl Kelley's room from Teacher Idea Factory get to wear this super fun cape!!

This series of pictures seems to speak for itself and I imagine this girl feels ten feet tall by the end of the activity! 

Jennanie from Kindergarten Lifestyle has her class create a special book for the birthday boy or girl and she even offers a freebie for you to grab to do the same. 
How do you celebrate birthdays in your class?

I'd love for you to link it up and show us how it all goes down in your room!!

Same guidelines as last week Feel free to link up anytime this week!!

1) Please link directly to a blog post on the topic for the week. This way readers don't have to go searching to find your post.

2) Grab the button above and link back here so that readers can easily find all the others who are joining in on the action.

Finally, to celebrate my birthday and MLK Jr's  (who was also born on January 15th) I'm throwing a 20% off sale in my TPT Shop today!!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Magical Product Swap 3

It's time again for the magical Product Swap hosted by the sweet Jessica from Mrs. Standford's Class!!

I was lucky enough to be paired with one of my best blogging friends, Nicole from Teaching With Style!! I had my choice of anything I wanted in her store!! She has many great math resources, but since we had just wrapped up a unit on 3D shapes before break, this one instantly caught my eye....


Now, Nicole made all of the Calendar pieces super bright and colorful. I loved them! But my color printer was out of comission at school where I printed them. So I decided I would just copy them onto bright neon papers and I think it came out great! In my opinion, it's a bonus because now I know this product can be printed in color or black in white if I prefer to save ink.

Here is a shot of all the pieces. I was impressed at how many cute clip art images she found to represent cubes, rectangle prism, sphere, cone, and cylinders.

Every morning my kids come in, un pack, eat breakfast, and begin their morning work. Part of their morning work this month includes stopping by the calendar to identify what the 3-D shape of the day is. Then they color in using the Class Graph that is also included in Nicole's pack.

I've been having my kids color in their graph in the same color as the shape is printed on. 

It's been really cool seeing the connections my kiddos are making each morning. 

They say things like "Hey,  the dice really are cube shaped!"

When January is done I have already brainstormed a few ways to turn this one into a center sp my kiddos can continue to use it. Go Fish 3-D Shape style anyone? :)

Nicole is letting me give one of her 3-D Pocket Chart Sets away!! 

Here are Three Ways To Enter...

1) Follow Nicole's blog: Teaching With Style and leave a comment letting me know you do.

 2) Follow my Blog and leave a comment letting me know you do.

3) Leave a comment letting me know your favorite shape :)

I will pick a winner tomorrow night!!

Thank you so much to Jessica for hosting these swaps! I'm off to check out everyone else's posts!!