Friday, June 28, 2013

Insects, Part 2

Just an addition to my Insects post from yesterday!

I realized I DID have some of the graphic organizers I used - they are here at the house because whenever I get around to start thinking about school stuff later this summer - well, here they will be! 

So here we go- 

This is from Deanna Jump's unit - but she had the kids do something else with it. I just cut out the picture and copied it. Then the kids glued it on a piece of notebook paper. We added facts that were true for all {or most - like wings} insects and then when we got done, they put it in their Insect Folder.

How can you not like my cute bee? After we drew this, we made it into kind of a bubble map and added facts about bees.

This may be sideways, just because that's the way my morning is going. This was for ants. They actually had a sub this day. They made a list of facts about ants.

I guess there isn't a rotate button in Blogger. This is my dragonfly page. Notice our cute dragonfly with the Huge eyes {and because the kids thought we needed to, we added 6 little tiny legs. Then, as you can tell if you can read sideways, we added facts about dragonflies. 

My plan for today is to try to rest this afternoon, then after my daughter gets off work, she and I are driving to the big city so that tomorrow we can watch Les Mis performed live! I'm a little excited! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I have been wanting to write about this for awhile, but I've gotten so excited about all the linky parties - aren't they so much fun?

Let me give you a little background. Our district follows a reading series - Houghton Mifflin Journeys. In the past, we've gotten done with that a week or two before the end of the year, so I needed something to do during that time, and we would study one of the marvelous units I had purchased through TpT. But this year, the way the schedule went, our series took us right through the last full week of school. However! I had some time in the afternoon, so I took it and we did some studying of insects. 


I started with Deanna Jump's Insect Unit:

 Insects Math and Literacy Fun
Deanna has some great pictures and introductory information about insects. I would project her unit on my Smartboard, so the kids could see all the pictures. She also has a fun rhyme {that I think she wrote herself!}. She also has crafts that the kids can make. 

I also used some of Monica Schroeder's unit:

Insects: Creepy Crawly Fun

Monica has some great experiments to try with your class.

I also was quite happy to find this new thing from Scholastic Book Clubs:

I was able to purchase these 8 bug books with points - so it felt like a freebie to me! Scholastic calls these Knowledge Quest books. They have them on other subjects, also. 

Of course, of course, we did not get to everything I wanted to do. We read Honey in a Hive and watched the Reading Rainbow video about bees - too cool. I had to ask one of my lower readers to please quit asking questions during the video - he was SO interested in what was going on. {Made me want to watch just him and me, so I could answer his questions as we were going.}

We also read the Insect Detective which explained what characteristics an insect has. And we read Are you a Dragonfly? which had lots of new information for me {I know!} about dragonflies.

Oh, Oh, almost forgot - what did I have my kiddos do with all this information we were gathering? Well, I gave them a piece of construction paper. I had them label it as their insect folder. They folded it in half {like a folder} and decorated it. Then we made a little graphic organizer about what makes an insect an insect. And we made a graphic organizer about dragonflies and bees. And maybe something else, I can't remember for sure. Ah, I wish I had pictures I could show you - but they are at school, and I'm at home, and the two aren't meeting for awhile! 

I really enjoyed this unit, and I think the kids did, too. I didn't get to the experiments that I wanted to do. But now I'm thinking that I might start this school year with insects. I was reading in First 6 Weeks of School to start the year off with something that is accessible and can provide an easy home-school connection. Living in southwest Kansas, I think insects are pretty accessible!

OK, totally off the subject - but is anyone having this problem? I keep waking up about 10 minutes earlier than the day before. I don't think my body understands that we should be sleeping longer than the day before! Anyway, I'm very tired. Which may lead to my next problem - Is anybody else having trouble getting out of their jammies in the morning {or afternoon!} I mean, I get up and do things - this morning, I worked in the yard, did the dishes, etc. etc. but I just want to stay in my jammies.

Alright - summer is in full swing here - we're having a 4 day stretch of 100 degree days and at 9:30 this morning, it certainly feels hot! Have a good day, whether you stay in your jammies or not!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Picture Book Linky Party

Man, I'm late to the party - but I Love Books! So I'm still going to join in with First Grade and Fabulous.

Book linky parties are great - here's another one I did in February - and I liked some of those books so much, I'm highlighting them twice!

First, I have to say this - my hubby and I bought books all the time when our girl was little. And quite frankly, we did a darn good job. We picked lots of good ones. Sometimes I don't feel like I do such a good job with my class. 

Anyhoo - 

First, I bet more than one person put this on their list:

This is such a fun book. And I like that the teacher in this story is named Sarah Jane - just like me! {But without the H.}


I really enjoy this book. The kid in the story has to tell his class about how he spent his summer vacation. It starts out pretty true to life - he gets on a train to visit his aunt. But pretty soon, he's doing all kinds of fun things. I read this to my class and we talk about what probably really did happen, and what he imagined. Then I give them a piece of paper and they fold it in half. On one side they draw and write about something that really happened on their vacation. On the other side, they draw and write about something they would have liked to have happened.  Last year, I even made them tell the class about their drawing. 

Number 3:

In this story, a farm lady can't get her cow to quit flying and come down to earth. You can use this story to make predictions about what Miss Rosemary will do next. You can also talk about problem solving and persevering, because Miss Rosemary does both. She has to try several ideas before she finally solves her problem.

Number 4:

Another good story. Wodney Wat has a speech impediment and the other kids make fun of him because of it. But then a bully joins their class and Wodney is able to help the other students. This is a good book for talking about not making fun of other people, and for encouraging students that even though everyone is different, we all can help each other.

Last year, I also started the year with an ocean unit. I had several books I used with that. I write about it here, if you are interested. 

What about you - what are your favorite books for the beginning of the year?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Teacher Tips and Bloglovin

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I really have no idea what I'm doing - but what I'm trying to do is add Bloglovin - cuz I want to feel the love! Anyway, it sounds like Google Reader is going bye-bye - I'm thinking that might not matter much to me because I like to go look at people's blogs when I read them, I don't read them through Google Reader. BUT if you like to read through a reader like that, then you can read mine through Bloglovin now! Phew - I hope that makes sense. 

I have something else I want to post today - and it's school related!

I know this was supposed to be Tuesday - but Tuesday, Thursday, what's the difference??  

Anyway, my tip/hint/idea is one I personally use. Our school usually starts about 2 weeks before Labor Day. So I try really hard to have every bit of those 2 weeks planned out. And I try to have all the supplies I need for each of those two weeks in a file folder or in a tub so they are easily accessible. 

Personally, the first 2 weeks are crazy - exciting, tiring, learning (the kids and ME!) - and for me, I need to have as many things in place, ready to go as I can.  The other part of that is I NEVER get to everything. I also overplan. 

The other suggestion I have for new teachers - or for any teacher - is to make sure you have something besides school - a hobby, a group, a charity you help, something - because school can get pretty overwhelming and try to suck all your time if you let it. 

OK, if you'd like to read more tips - and probably anything that's good for a new teacher is good for somebody who's done it a year or two or more, check it out at Seusstastic Classroom!

And I'm hoping Bloglovin is working!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My teacher always says....

Ha, ha, one of my favorite bloggers is having her first linky party and it's called -
 Really - I'm not the only one that has a repeat button???

1 - "I want a million bucks, but I don't see the bank truck coming to the door." This is after one of my sweeties tells me "I want..."  and that want is something that I just can't give, for whatever reason. At the end of the year, some of my smarter sweeties started telling me that Yes, they did see a bank truck at the door. Ha - don't we all wish!

2 - "Tell them, 'I don't like it when you....'" Is it rude to say - this is an easy way to stem some interpersonal problems? For me, it takes me out of the loop or middle of the situation, and my friend that feels hurt gets a chance to tell their classmate why. Of course, if this doesn't help, I step in. But usually this is enough to take care of the situation.

3 - "Don't say 'I don't get it,' say 'I don't get it YET.' This is usually for math. I just hate it when my little friends say "I don't get it." So I made them quit saying that. By the end of the year, some of them were saying this on their own when they were asking a question.

That's all I can think of right off the bat. Probably as soon as I publish, I'll think of a bunch more. 

And ooh, on me - I'm trying to add a signature - I got the idea and steps from Mrs. Stanford - but I'm afraid I'm going to have to play with it a little - it's pretty tiny right now. 

If you some special things you always say, share them at Forever in First


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

End of the Year - Gliders

Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations is having a linky party called:

Well, since the end of the year just happened, I can remember some of the things that happened :)
{Other things just happened in a blur!}

One of the things we did on the last day was make paper airplanes - whoops, no, no - we made
Paper Gliders!

{Here is the most boring picture in the world of a paper glider! You can say thank you later.}

I have an origami book that I use for instructions. They are very similar to THIS.

I do not use plain white and obviously boring {see picture above} paper. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought one of their huge sets of scrapbooking paper - $20, $10 with a coupon. And I use that. It's much prettier and nonboring!

So we made the paper airplanes - no, no, Gliders! and then I let the kids fly them in the room. First I had all the girls, then the boys, then my kids all have numbers - so all the odds, then the evens. Then 1 - 11 and then 12 -21. It was a blast! They really enjoyed getting to fly airplanes - no, no Gliders! in the room and it was a great 30 minute project.  

I'm looking forward to finding some great ideas and filing them away for next year. If you are interested in more end of the year activities, check out the linky party at Seusstastic Classroom

Have a great day! Mine will be spent indoors while the great outdoors hits 100!