Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord {June 30}

A new summer linky party was just started by Michelle over at Fabulous in First, and it's perfect for me because I feel like all of my summer posts are completely random and filled with lots of odds and ends.

I've had these little guys on the brain ever since Thursday when I picked some up to help get me through our overnight drive home from Florida.  
I used to love these, but hadn't had them in years.  For some reason, when I was strolling through the grocery store picking up carrots and Mt. Dew for the hubby :), I got a hankering for PeachieOs.  Soooo random, but sooooo delish!!  They made 3:00 AM feel a little less horrible. :)

I'm sure you have seen this floating around Pinterest at one time or another...
The pom pom eraser glued to the end of a dry-erase marker???  This is on my to-do list this week when I hopefully force myself to head into my classroom for a few hours.  Have you tried it?  Does it actually work as an eraser?  I'll be sure to let you know how they turn out!

I'm toying with the idea of a classroom theme for next year.  I've never really had an official "theme", but a fellow K colleague of mine is going to have a bumblebee classroom next year and all of her ideas are so stinkin' cute!!  
I'm down to ladybugs or jungle.  Thoughts???  Help me decide, please!  
Do you have a classroom theme?  What is it?

Head over to Michelle's blog to check out other Sunday randoms!! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday {June 28}

We just returned home from our big Disney vacay today after driving through the night last night.  I am ready for an early bedtime tonight, but had to join in on Kacey's Five for Friday linky party since I won't have another chance until August!

We had the best time at Disney.  It had been over 10 years since my hubby and I had been there and, of course, our first time with our kids.  PRICELESS is the best word I can think of!  And MAGICAL!  And I know that this photo doesn't show Disney at all, but it was one of the only photos from our trip that I am actually in!  It was taken on our last evening at the Magic Kingdom.  We were waiting in Fantasyland for the chance to meet Belle!  

I wrote detailed posts about each day on my family blog.  Hop over to read more about our trip there!

It was a fabulous trip, but it's always good to be home!

Speaking of road trips, you MUST remember this if you plan to take a road trip with children at some point.  We had an 18-hour drive each way.  On the way down, we drove the whole thing during the day.  You know how kids are in the car.....(actually, I'm the same way)....they ask for snacks.  A lot.  
These were such life-savers!!

I got the idea from Pinterest (of course...).  Here is the original source.

I picked up these bead storage boxes from Hobby Lobby for $1.99 a piece.  And one I got for 40% off.  Cheap!!  I used my Silhouette to cut vinyl and fancy them up.  (Nicole Alderson, did you spot Rowdy Spunky???  LOVE that font!)  Then, I just filled each little compartment with snacks.  A good variety so that they had lots to choose from.  When it was time for a snack, I pulled out their boxes and they chose two sections.  They LOVED it!!  It was my favorite tip of the trip, and I highly recommend it if you'll be travelling with hungry kids!! 

I have to spread a little blog love to one of my favorite teacher-bloggers, Kristen from A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  Do you follow her???  She has the most hilarious recaps of The Bachelorette each week, and has me laughing out loud with every one!  Pop over if you haven't been there before!!
(P.S. -- she doesn't know I exist, but her posts are always a highlight of my week, so she's one of my FIVE this week!  I always love a good blog recommendation!!)

 I've been seriously playing for the past two weeks, so next week it is back to work!  Lots on the to-do list.  Of course there is summer fun to be had next week, but the to-do list is long too!  
This awesome organizer is from Nicole at Rowdy in Room 300.  Click here to grab it for yourself!

By now I KNOW you know that Google Reader will be no more after this weekend!  I was sooooo sad for so long, but finally embraced it and am really liking Bloglovin'!  Click on the button on my sidebar to follow me on Bloglovin' or you can import your current blog favorites from your Google Reader account.  It's so simple and quick!

Happy weekend, friends!!

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Long time, no see...

Hey there, friends!

It's been a while, I know.  I've been enjoying a fabulous vacay with my family in Orlando.  

(Yes, we understand that traveling from Michigan to Orlando in June may seem a bit crazy.  Michigan summers are unbelievably gorgeous and Orlando summers are unbelievably HOT and sticky. hubby and I lived in Florida for a year when we first started teaching so we were prepared.  The heat doesn't bother us, and it's our most flexible time of year for traveling seeing as he is a teacher too.  We wanted to take a long vacation and Orlando was the place!)

Orlando was the place because we wanted to spend time with this gang!

Our kids' first time at Disney.  Completely magical!!

We won't be home for over a week yet, and I'm just NOT thinking teaching or school or planning or anything of the sort while I'm here!

So, I'll leave you with a few fun photos of our trip so far and a promise to return when we get home.  

I hope you are enjoying your summers as well!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Last days of school countdown activity

Really quick post for me today!  I am enjoying my first Monday of Summer Break....LOVE!!!  I feel like summer should give me MORE time to post on my blog, but instead I have just been on the go, go, go with my fam and haven't wanted to take the time to sit at my computer.

BUT...I wanted to post this before I forget all about it!

I had the MOST FUN with my class at the end of the school year!  Each day, for the last 10 days of school, I had a special treat or activity planned for them.  They came into school every morning soooo excited to see what was planned for that day!  It was a blast!

I typed each activity up and folded them small enough to fit into a balloon.  I have clips hanging from my ceiling to display student work, so I clipped the balloons onto those.  The kids were so excited and very curious when they walked into the classroom and saw them for the first time!!  

I decided to plan my activities according to which day they would work best, so I labeled each balloon.  Each day, we popped the balloon for that day.

You can check out this post for photos of some of the activities we did.  Most of the photos I couldn't post because my little ones faces are in them.  Didn't think to be smart about taking those photos!

Here is the complete list that I did with my class this year:

- bubbles
- shaving cream
- pick your own seat
- sidewalk chalk party with our reading buddies
- bubble gum
- read-aloud story outside
- DEAR time outside
- movie with popcorn and movie candy
- smelly marker hand shapes
- 10 extra minutes of recess

I think my students would have a hard time choosing a favorite, but they really LOVED "pick your own seat" day.  Every so often throughout the day I would say "Pick your own seat!", and they'd scoot around the classroom finding a new place to sit.  So fun.

My favorite???  Well, they were all fun, but setting movie day for the day before the last day of school was like a stroke of planning genius.  My teaching partner and I each had a movie choice in our room, and the students from both classes got to choose which movie they wanted to watch.  And we got a much-needed break from busy bodies and noise...and time to staple and sign our report cards.  Win-win.

And, we had this...
Sooooo cute, right???  A parent donated the popcorn and cute little popcorn cups.  And some movie candy too.  The kids were practically speechless.

Anyway, I will most definitely plan a balloon countdown at the end of every year.  It added the perfect amount of fun to each day and gave us some moments to just celebrate our class and our time together.

Do you have a fun way to countdown the last days of school?  Or have you used this fun Pinterest idea in your room?

By the way....if you'd like to grab a copy of the activity slips that I stuffed into my balloons, click here!

Check out other fun end-of-the-year ideas by clicking here!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Five for Friday {May 31}

Well, I'm a day late, but I still wanted to share my FIVE for the week!  We are down to 3 days left, and life at school is b-u-s-y!  Lots of fun, a little bit of fighting (some of my sweeties just need a break from each other!!), and some great learning is still happening.

Here's what went on this week!

1.  The end of the year means loads of assessments!  The kiddos got comfy to complete their final writing assessments of the year.  So proud of my talented writers!!

2. WORMS!!  I LOVE teaching worms at the end of the school year.  The kids are CRAZY about the squirmy worms.  So much fun.  I took an idea from my bloggy friend, Nicole, and had them feel cooked spaghetti noodles without looking and then guess what they were feeling.  Lots of great predictions and a really fun way to introduce our worm study!

Eeeeee!  The worms!  We all LOVE them!!!  After lots of discussion about how to care for our worms respectfully, we enjoyed an abundance of time with them this week.  

3. The balloon-popping has been an absolute riot.  My students come in EVERY day soooooo excited to see what the activity or special treat for that day will be!  And then to hear their little conversations like "Pick your own seat day has been soooo fun!  Better than bubble gum day even!!" and "Every day gets more and more fun!!".  Makes my teacher heart feel all warm and fuzzy!  A couple of the fun things we did this week were:

Smelly Marker Hand Shapes
I have a "Star of the Day" program in my classroom.  Every day, the STAR gets to choose a Mr. Sketch scented marker and I draw a star on their hand.  The kids loooove this, so on this particular day everyone got to choose a color and special shape for their hand.

Sidewalk Chalk Party
We enjoyed this special activity with our 4th grade reading buddies during our last time together.  The sidewalk in front of our school looked so bright and colorful when we were done!

4. We took one final field trip for the year to the Outdoor Discovery Center near our school.  Outdoors + animals + a smart guide that shared LOTS of fun facts = an awesome way to spend one of our final afternoons together! 

 5. The town I grew up in hosts a 5k race each Spring to benefit the American Cancer Society.  I decided not to run it this year, but my son wanted to sign up for the 1-mile fun run.  A few minutes before race time, he was so excited to see his teacher show up to cheer him on!  What an awesome teacher he's been blessed with this year.

He ended up coming in 2nd place for his age group.  Way to go, Trey!  You persevered and met your goal!  We're so proud of you!!

One more weekend of report cards and schoolwork... I think I can, I think I can!