Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prayers and a Science Experiment

I don't usually share too much about my personal life on here, but today I'm making an exception.  My dad has been having trouble with his left eye and we found out 2 weeks ago he had a detached retina and macula.  A detached retina can usually be repaired with very little loss of sight, but a detached macula usually means major loss of sight.  

He had surgery yesterday and we are hoping and praying for a complete healing.  We won't know for about 4 weeks how much sight he will get back.  

I know his health problem is not life threatening and could be so much worse, but my dad is struggling.  My dad is always on the go.  He's not the type to just sit still for long.  He loves to travel and when we go anywhere we are up early and gone all day seeing new things.  He has always taken videos of our trips so that he can sit back and watch them when he retires.  It breaks my heart to think that he might not be able to do that.  

If you believe in the power of prayer, I would appreciate a prayer or two for my dad.  I have absolutely no doubt that God can heal my dad's eye and let his vision return to normal, but I also know that that might not happen.  We are praying for my dad to be at peace and accept whatever does happen.  It's been hard watching him over the last couple weeks and I can't imagine what life will be like if things don't improve...but we have a lot of prayer warriors praying for him.   

Now on to happier things.....

We have ended our unit on penguins and my kiddos had soooo much fun.  They were sad to take home their penguin folders because they thought we were just going to keep learning new things.  They felt a little better when I told them they could go home and tell their families that they are now penguin experts.  

One little boy shouted that he was going to teach his mom!  

To end our penguin fun we did a science experiment.  We wanted to investigate just how blubber keeps penguins warm.  
This is everything you will need.  

This was our 'blubber'.  

We needed two bowls of cold water from Antarctica!  :)

The kiddos put their hands in the bag so they wouldn't get wet... genius for faster cleanup! 

I put blubber in one bag and then put another bag inside of it so the kiddos wouldn't get their hands messy.  They were still a little hesitant to put their hands near all that goop!  

Some of my kiddos were shocked that they couldn't feel the cold water through the blubber.  As they put their hands in the bags I asked them if their hands felt different.  Some were so excited and shouted one hand was cold and one hand was warm!  

After all the kiddos tried it, they wanted my aide and I to do it too.  They didn't believe me that I had already done it.  I thought it was sweet they wanted us to participate too!  

I used Erica Bohrer's Penguin Pack to direct our learning and I highly recommend it.  This pack is full of wonderful activities.  Click on the picture to go purchase it! 

My first graders definitely approved this fun learning pack!  :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fantabulous Friday Freebies- Fractions

We started today off with a 2 hour delay because of freezing rain....and then it turned into a 'snow' day!!  Woohoo!  :)

We didn't get any snow days last year which is rare in Ohio, but we got a 'freezing rain' day today so I'll take it!! 

Since I was already up (and ready for school) I thought I would go ahead and post my Fantabulous Friday Freebies that I used this week.  

These are not freebies that I have created, but found on TpT and thought they were so great I had to share.  If you use them, make sure to leave some wonderful feedback!  

We have been learning fractions in math and my kiddos were kinda lost in the beginning.  The new common core standards in math don't take fractions real deep, but I went ahead and extended it because I think it helps my kiddos understand better when the top number (which I know is called the numerator) isn't always a 1.  I think when we first learn fractions, they just think every fraction has a 1 on top so we learned otherwise.  :)

We played Scoot for the first time this year.  I'll be honest...I was a little nervous about playing with my big class this year, but they were awesome!!  I told them it was going to take great listening skills to play and they were totally on target.  I will be finding more scoot games for sure!  

We also used these fraction flashcards for a quick practice.  Some of my kiddos have trouble remembering 1/2 is one-half and not one-two so going through these flash cards was a quick reminder.  They do go up to 12/12, but I didn't go up that high!  
I also found this Roll, Slide, and Cover game.  My kiddos will play this as one of their Math with Someone games during the month of March as a review.  The directions are given in the description.  

I feel like my kiddos have a much better understanding of fractions now which makes this teacher very happy!  :)

I hope you can enjoy these freebies!  

My brother teaches in a nearby school district so I had to text him this morning and share my good news of a snow day!  He let me know he was giving a quiz to his first period class.  I think he was jealous!  :)

Enjoy your weekend and snow day if you're off today too! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Hospital FREEBIE

Every library needs a hospital...a place where broken and damaged books can go to heal.  

This is our book hospital:  

 When books look like this...
 ...they go to the book hospital.  
This book hospital has saved me a lot of interruptions when my kiddos are reading my older books and they fall apart during Daily Five.  We review how to treat a book carefully, but I know some of my books are hand me downs and are not in the best of shape anymore.  When they need a little surgery they have to go to the hospital.  

This hospital saves me from being interrupted over and over again while I'm working with my reading groups...and my kids think it's funny when I say my old books need a little surgery and some stitches.  :)

Our librarian has been wonderful at helping me repair some of my books.  I'm hoping they make it to the end of the year and then I'll send them home with my kids for the summer and replace them.  If some of my books can make it to May I'll be very happy.  

Here is what the rest of my book baskets look like in my class library.  I purposefully made my book hospital a different color so that my kiddos could find it easily.  

I originally got this idea from Pinterest (where else?!) and before that it came from the 2 Sisters of Daily Five.  
Book Hospital. Definitely need one of these!

Here is my book hospital freebie:
Hope your library can benefit from a book hospital! :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Sayings and Winners

I am joining Tammy at Forever in First with a Saturday Saying today.  Go visit Tammy for all of her wonderful Saturday Sayings posts.  She has some wonderful words of wisdom!  

I *heart* Pinterest.  I have always kept a journal with my favorite quotes and now that Pinterest is here I have a board with some of my favorite quotes.  Today I am going to share one of them. 

Growing up my dad always told my brother and I that if he did something we could do it and if he said something we could say it.  He always led by example.  As our dad he knew that we would learn more from his actions than his words.  

I could go on about my wonderful dad, but I share this to say that I feel like it's the same with my students.  When I see one of my kiddos doing something they shouldn't do or saying something unkind, the first thing I usually ask them is if they have ever seen me do that or say that.  Of course they say no.  

I try really hard not to cut in line, stick my tongue out at my neighbor (unless I'm saying the /th/ sound of course), or tell the girl I played with at recess that I'm not her friend anymore...

I feel like kids get tired of being told what to do all the time.  I know I sometimes do!  :)  Kids are just  They are still learning right from wrong and rather than just telling them what to do and what not to do all the time we need to show them.  

It's not always easy, but we need to help our students by setting a good example.  We need to be careful with our actions and with our words.  Our kiddos pick up on more than we think.  

I actually had a discussion about this with my kiddos yesterday.  I had a boy who had been out a couple days this week because he was sick.  Yesterday he went to the bathroom and a few minutes after he came back he raised his hand and told me in front of everyone that he had diarrhea.  I asked him if he had had an accident and he said he had.  He came to me so I could send him to the office and it was unbelievable.  He had it e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.  

My heart broke for my sick kiddo.  My other kiddos knew immediately what had happened (you couldn't hide the smell) and I began to hear comments.  We had to leave the room while it was cleaned and aired out so we took some math games and went to the gym.  Before we played our math games we had a class meeting about how we treat our friends.  We talked about how our friend must feel and how each of them would feel if that had happened to them.  

I think I made my point.  

Kiddos learn by example.  I think we continue to learn from example even as adults.  Be cognizant of this in your classroom when you're with your kiddos.  

They're watching you....all the time because they *love* you.  Just because their ears are closed doesn't mean their eyes are closed. 

Before I go, I have 5 winners to announce of my Night Before Valentine's Day Pack.  Hope your kiddos enjoy it!  :)

Congrats to Marcy, Suzy, Kelly, Denise, and Karyn!  I'll be emailing  you soon!  

Happy Saturday!  :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Night Before Valentine's Day Pack....Giveaway!

Valentine's Day is coming up quickly and I have created another activity pack to go with Natasha Wing's The Night Before Valentine's Day book.  

This Night Before Valentine's Day Pack is $3 in my TpT store.  Here's a quick look at it:

There is a freebie in the download preview if you want it!  :)

Since I'm feeling very overwhelmed with Common Core, assessments, report cards, behavior issues, conferences....etc. I am going to give away 5 activity packs away for *FREE* on Saturday.  Hopefully this will lighten the load for a few of you!

Leave a comment with your email address and I will randomly choose 5 winners on Saturday.  Winners have already been contacted!  :)

I will also be joining Tammy at Forever in First with Saturday Sayings so make sure to come back and visit!  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Currently and TpT Sale!

The beginning of February means another Currently from Farley!  Go to her blog to get more details and write your own Currently.

Here is mine:

We got several inches of snow last night/this morning.  I love how we always get snow on the weekends, but never get enough during the week for a snow day!  I REALLY enjoy those snow days!  :)

That's why it's one of my pet peeves not getting a snow day.  I also included lying....from students or anyone.  It drives me crazy!  

I also get really annoyed when I'm stuck behind a slow driver in the left lane.  I don't mind if you want to drive slow, but don't do it in the left lane and make me drive slow too!!  :)

One more thing before I'm off to go shopping with my hubby....there is a big TpT sale tomorrow!  I'm having a 20% off sale at my store and TpT is giving another 10% off if you use the code Super when you check out.  

I will definitely be doing some shopping during the Big Game tomorrow!!  :)  Enjoy the big sale!