Friday, May 30, 2014

Five for Friday {May 30}

It's a great Friday!
I'm linking up with Doodlebugs to share my Five for Friday.

We're still having lots of fun at school, but truth be told, we're all fading.  When Kindergarteners begin fading, you know you're in trouble.

Summer!  It's so close I feel like I can reach out and grab it!

I'm craving lazy days and oodles of time with my kids, but we're finishing off the year strong.  I know I'll miss my kindies like crazy when they leave me, so I'm soaking up their almost first-grader goodness with the time we have left.

1.  We're still starting every day by popping our countdown balloons.  This week we had a bubble party with the other Kindergarten class, we hung out with bare feet in the classroom, we chewed bubble gum, and we enjoyed some outside reading time.  

2. We planted seeds over a week ago and watching them grow has been such a disappointment!!  I'm not sure what we did wrong.  Maybe the seeds were old???  Only about one third of the class has a sprout.  Bummer. :(  
On a positive note, next week is Worm Week (LOVE!), so all will be forgotten with these boring old plants.

3.  We made these addition ladybugs this week.  A fun craftivity to go along with our BIG addition/subtraction review push to finish off the year!

4. We received our last pen pal letter for the year this week.  We have been so lucky this year to be class pen pals with two awesome classes.  My in real life bestie is a kindergarten teacher in Colorado, and one of my blogging besties teaches Kindergarten in's been so much fun for us to write back and forth and for my students to learn more about these very different places!  They were intrigued by the mountains in Colorado and the Spring dust storms in Texas!  So much fun!  
5. My students completed their final writing assessment this week.  This piece goes into their permanent file at school.  Both of these sweeties began the school year barely able to write their names.  They are going to first grade as writers!  So proud of how hard they've worked this year!

My weekend will be filled with baseball, planting flowers, and getting Memory Books put together!  Bring it on!  Hope yours is awesome as well!

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Summer Top Ten

Hey there, friends!  I have two more weeks before my summer break officially starts, but I am definitely thinking SUMMER...especially after the gorgeous weekend we've had!  I'm linking up with Deanna Jump with ten things I can't wait to do this summer!  

1. My son, Trey, will be finishing up his little league season and I am so excited to watch the rest of his games, and to have his baseball schedule the only thing that makes us feel "busy" in June!

2. I love visiting my town's Farmer's Market on Wednesdays.  Last summer I only made it once or twice and at the end of the summer I wished I had gone more.  This year, I am hoping to go more frequently.  
Also....mid-week grocery shopping!  I am so ready to not have to fight with weekend crowds at the grocery store.  One of my favorite things about summer!!

3. RUN!  I will be doing the Color Run at the beginning of August and I really need to get myself ready for that.  I love going out for a run right away in the morning and I am really looking forward to not having to wake up before 5:00 for that to happen this summer!

4. I can't wait to go on lots and lots (and lots!) of bike rides with my family this summer.  It is something we really love doing together.  We take a bike ride almost every day in the summer.

5. I can't wait to vacation this summer!  We'll be heading to Wisconsin Dells in July, and we're so excited!  We love it there.
We'll also be doing some camping, and my hubby and I are heading to Chicago in July with some friends.  Maybe we'll sneak in another getaway or two as well, just because we can!

6.  BEACH DAYS.  Last summer, we only had one beach day.  I was so disappointed that we didn't go more.  We are so blessed to live only a few minutes from the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan...I definitely want to get out there more this summer.

7. I am excited to do some reading this summer.  These two are at the top of my list.  One for school, and one just for me.

8. I have some house projects that I hope to get done.  The main one being a built-in/TV cabinet/entertainment center for our main family room.  As you can see, I don't really know exactly what I want to do there yet.....but hoping to figure it out soon!

9. I want to have PLAY DATES for my kids....and for me too!  I love breaking up our summer days by spending time with friends.  It's great for the kids and so fun for me, too, to have some chat time with my mommy friends!  Hoping for lots and lots of park visits, beach days, and backyard playtime with friends this summer.

10. Of course, I have plenty of school projects on my summer to-do list.  I want to re-do my calendar area -- that's at the top of this list!  I also want to work on a few new bulletin board displays and of course organize, file, and prep new things for my new crew!

And isn't THIS the truth?!?
I plan to enjoy every lazy day I can in June, July, and August!  YAY for summer!  8 1/2 more days!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five for Friday {May 23}

Hey hey!  Happy Friday!  This week was my last full week of school, and we're still going strong.  We enjoyed some awesome weather this week, and we fit in lots of great learning and lots of fun too.  Let's get started on today's Five for Friday!

1. Tuesday was our Boys Only Lunch.  OH MY were my boys excited!!  They cheered and cheered when I passed out their invitations last week and couldn't wait for Tuesday's lunch to arrive!  
I invited parents and several were able to make it.  They ate lunch and the boys showed their parents all the fun things they do during choice time.  We all had a great time!!

 2. I pulled out some clay for science this week and the students made animals out of clay.  Snails, pigs, camels, and more!  We spent some time discussing similarities and differences between types of animals and this was a fun, hands-on way to explore those things.

3. We always color self-portraits in the first week of school and I display them in the classroom all year.  I took them down this week to pack into the bags I am preparing to send home on the last day of school.  Precious little babies from the beginning of the year!

4. Today marked 10 more days of school for us, so I got to school early to hang our balloons!  
 We popped our first balloon this morning and enjoyed a sidewalk chalk party with our 4th grade reading buddies this afternoon.

5. We completed our "When I grow up..." page for our memory books this week and this little guy just melted me!  When he grows up he wants to be a "teacher like Mrs. Sloothaak".  Love him.

Also BIG news from this daugther graduated from pre-school!  This girl is SO ready for Kindergarten!  So proud of her!!

Enjoy your long weekend, friends!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Balloon activities -- our last 10 days of school!!

I have 12 days of school left.  It's just crazy and, even though I'm ready for it, I feel like it's snuck up on me a bit!

I wanted to pop in quickly tonight to share a MUST-DO for the end of the school year.  If you have time, this is quick and easy to put together, and SO MUCH FUN for your students!!

I posted last year about our balloon activities.  We popped a balloon each day for the last 10 days of school.  Inside each balloon was a slip of paper with a special activity or treat for that day written on it.

IT WAS THE BEST.  One of the first grade teachers in my building told me that her students are asking if they'll be doing it again this year.  I love love love creating lasting memories for my students.  Love.

In case you want to make this happen for your class, I've included the activities that I will be using this year.  I also included a page of blank frames in case you want to add some of your own activities.  
CLICK HERE to grab this from Google Drive.

How many more days of school for you?  
What are your favorite ways to finish off the year with your class?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Five for Friday, on Saturday {May 17}

Well, hi!  My life has been c-r-a-z-y this week.  My to-do list at home is as long as my to-do list at school....'tis the season of living off little sleep as we prepare for the end of the school year!  BUT.... we're down to 14 more wake-ups.  Can't believe how close we're getting!

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday, even though I'm a day late...  

1. Wednesday was field trip day!  We spent the beginning of the week completing this Farm Animal Facts book as a class during our writing block.  
 We used non-fiction books to research each animal and worked together to decide which facts to add to our books.

2. The Critter Barn is such a great field trip.  It lasts all day and the kids have the best time getting up-close with the animals on the farm.  Goats, chicks, sheep, ducks, cows, chickens, bunnies, and more!  
 My teaching partner and I were EXHAUSTED at the end of the day.....but we made it!  And we love doing these fun things together!

3. We've had a sweet girl come from the high school all year to help in our classroom and Thursday was her last day.  We had a small good-bye party for her and we gave her a class book full of advice the students thought of for being a good teacher.  
First, we brainstormed some ideas.  I used different colors to make it easier for the students to transfer the idea they chose to their own paper.
 This little guy wrote that good teachers don't break the rules.  And, in his illustration box, he wrote The rule is don't touch spiders.  Ha!

4.   I spent all day on Friday with this guy.  I had a day for individual year-end assessments, and I was able to complete running records on each student.  This is my district's first year using Fountas and Pinnell and I really liked it.  I'm so proud of how far my kiddos have come this year!  Such a fun day to get to listen to each of them read to me!!
5. AND......My boys could not contain their excitement on Thursday afternoon when I was passing these out at the end of the day.  They have been asking and's FINALLY their turn!  Next Tuesday is Boys Only Lunch day!!  All 18 of them....and I invited parents!  We'll have a great time. :)