St. Patrick's Day was a special day for my family. It was the birth day of our newest granddaughter. I could hardly wait to get to Victoria to hold her in my arms and give her great big cuddles. Her 2 brothers and her sister were excited, but nervous to hold her. I love this picture of them at the hospital with their new little sister.
These cute little bunnies were waiting for them when they arrived. Each one has a necklace with one child's name on it. This made it easy for them to figure out who got each bunny. My sister made the little hats for them. Don't you love the little shamrocks?
Spring Break just started for us, so I get to spend the next two weeks enjoying my grandchildren and celebrating 3 birthdays and Easter with them. What could be better than that? I will be tired, but happy by the end of the break. All the cuddles will be worth it.
I won't have a lot of time for blogging or posting while I am hanging out with my grandchildren, but I did want to let you know that there is something big coming. Watch out for more details soon.
Peggy from Primary Flourish is having a birthday giveaway to celebrate her birthday and reaching 1000 followers. She has some great flash freebies scheduled for Sunday as well as 2 bundles to give away. Check out the Rafflecopters below to enter for a chance to win.
Click on the image above to head on over to her blog to see all the prizes available.
I am donating a winner's choice product for the giveaway.
This is my also weekend to be featured on Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals. Head on over to check out this month's deal.
I want to tell you about this amazing app that I have been using.
After downloading it, I decided to put it to the test with my 8 year old grandson. He was excited to read a variety of different books. Next, I took it into my classroom. I am lucky enough to have my grandson in my class, so he started telling everyone what a great app it was even before I had the chance to really show them how it works.
I like the fact that it is suitable for many age groups. My 2 year old grandson was just as excited to listen to the stories and sing the songs as my grade 2/3 class was. The stories are leveled so that they can be used in small reading group situations at the appropriate reading level for the children involved.
My students liked being able to select different categories for the stories and I was able to project the stories onto my whiteboard so that everyone could read them at once.
There are 3 options for reading. This also makes it versatile and adaptable for the audience.
Auto play turns the pages and highlights the words as a voice reads the story.
Read to me highlights the words and a voice reads the story, but the pages need to be turned by the reader.
Read by myself is just that. The reader does the reading and the page turning.
This is a story we read today. It is all about safari babies. The main information is read as usual, but the safari facts section is read with a robot voice. My kids loved it.
Yesterday was a crazy day and we didn't get to read a story. My students were very disappointed. They asked a couple of times during the day if we could have a story. Today they got a couple of extra stories to make up for the missed day.
There is a free version that allows you to listen to one book a day, but with all the books that are being added each week, it is worth getting a subscription. Head on over to the website and check it out. Right now, there is a discount on the yearly subscription as well. Educents has a great deal for the next 10 days. Check it out here.
Well, there you have it. According to my class Farfaria is a winner.
On Wednesday, February 25th, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site wide promotion. They are adding a 10% discount to products that are already on sale in the teacher stores. That means that you can earn up to 28% off if you use the Promo code: HEROES. Now is the time to fill up your carts with your wishlisted items. If you want some suggestions, check this linky out. Teachers are sharing items from their wishlists that they are hoping to put in their carts.
As I am nearing retirement, I am choosing to mostly buy clipart. I have several favorite clipart artists and I am always on the lookout for some of their products. It is a bonus when I can get the products on sale. My first choice this time is from Whimsy Workshop. With the move to interactive notebooks going strong, I thought I might start creating some as well.
My kids love working with idioms. I created some idiom task cards last year and they were a big hit. The images in these next 2 products from Educasong would work well for creating a teaching unit that works with figurative speech. I can hardly wait to start using it.
I like to find a variety of styles for my product covers and activities. These scrappy kids from Graphics From the Pond will be a great addition to my collection.
Check out these great rock star kids from Krista Wallden and Creative Clips. I have a soft spot for music because I taught elementary music for 9 years and I still work with ukulele groups. I think I might start creating some music products when I retire.
I am also checking out some math products to make math engaging for my students. I have some of the same students I had last year, so I want to cover similar skills with different materials so they don't feel like they are repeating things.
Here is a fact family activity that looks like it will be fun to try out.
I have been using Erin Beattie's Measurement activities this term and my kids are eating them up. I have to add these to the rest.
Reading groups are a great way to give individual attention to kids at all levels. I have some students that need lots of practice with words. These task cards will work for the class, but also for those who need that extra practice.
Here is another way to help students to develop their vocabulary. It works on a few words each week and makes it manageable for everyone in the class.
After awhile, kids get bored with writing about their weekend in their journals. This product helps to get the excitement going again.
Well, there you have it. Of course I have several other items wishlisted as well, but I have to be selected because I have to budget what I spend. If you would like to see what others are considering, click on the links below.
I am so excited to be able to announce that I have 500 followers of my TPT store. I can hardly believe that my store is starting to flourish and grow. I want to share my appreciation with all of you by giving away 2 TPT gift certificates. The catch is, you will need to follow my store so that you get the email with the information needed to enter. Watch your inbox for the details.
February is full of different celebrations. Groundhog Day is the start of these events. In our part of the world, the groundhog forecast was for an early spring. So far it is definitely seeming to be so. We have had beautiful sunny days and mild temperatures. Flowers are starting to bloom and the campfires are becoming a regular occurrence on the beaches.
At school, we took some time to look at what the groundhog predictions were and then we played some sight word bingo with the groundhog sight word cards and the spring nouns cards.
My kids love playing games and I try to use a variety of themes to reinforce the same skills or concepts. I have created many different themed Dolch sight words sets so it never becomes "old" for them.
These sight words and bingo cards are available in my TPT store and some sets are also in my brand new Educents store. (Watch for the official launch next month.)
I combined the Spring Dolch nouns with the Groundhog Dolch sight words to do sentence building. It was a hit.
It was interesting to see all the different ways they used the cards that were given to them. I wish I had taken more pictures so I could share them with you.
After the sentence games, I handed out the noun bingo cards and the sight word bingo cards and they played with them.
Family Day is a fairly new holiday for us in BC. We had February 9 off to spend with families. It was nice to take a break and just enjoy family and friends for a day.
Valentine's Day is another big celebration in February. We didn't have much time to devote to this because of other activities happening, but we did spend the morning doing Valentine themed activities. Of course, handing out and receiving valentines is a big part of the celebration, so we had to have a special place to put them.
Buddy classes combined to make these special bags, and they were so cute, a colleague and I had to join in on the fun. Each class did them a bit differently, but it was fun to see these frogs hanging around in most of the primary classrooms in the school.
We also had a school wide skating day. Our class went in the afternoon, so it was a bit different doing our valentines activities in the morning instead of the afternoon.
Writing is a big focus at this time of the year. We are currently working on writing stories and developing writing skills. Here are some samples of what we have been doing.
We have been learning about the parts of speech. We decided to practice using adjectives, nouns, and verbs to create silly sentences.
Each child chose 5 adjectives, 5 nouns, and 5 verbs. I compiled them and typed them out on individual strips. Then each child was given random adjectives, nouns, and verbs. They illustrated each word and here are the results. We will be putting them together as a flip book after they come off the bulletin board.
Coming up with descriptive language that is precise and creates images is tricky for young kids. I decided to try and get them to come up with single words that would describe things. Then we combined them to create poems. They were excited to see the diamond shape of the poems. The kids enjoyed trying these out after we did some class examples. Here are some of our "diamond" poems.
A feThe Lunar New Year was the focus on Thursday afternoon. This is a big celebration in many parts of the world. Here in North America, most people think of it as Chinese New Year, but because my daughter-in-law is Korean, I prefer to think of it in broader terms. The Lunar New Year is an important celebration there too.
A few years ago, I learned to play a game that is played by many families in Korea. It is called "yut". When I was in Korea, I bought some sets for my class. We played the game on Thursday afternoon. My grandson knows the game well and he was able to help the other students with the rules. I wish I had pictures, but I was busy playing with a couple of students.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my update for February. March is going to be a blur of excitement as well. We will be celebrating 100s day, St. Patrick's Day, spring, and also doing our student-led conferences.
I had the opportunity to participate in a product swap a few weeks ago. I was paired up with Sebrina Burke of Burke's Special Kids. I chose her Winter Short Vowel Sorts to test out and I already had a copy of her Winter Short /a/ Task Cards, so I decided to use both in my small group reading intervention. I found the products were very helpful for my students.
Some vowel sounds are difficult for these kids to identify, so they need lots of practice. I like the visuals in these products. They were easily identifiable and clear for practicing the middle sounds.
My kids enjoyed playing partner games with them and learning at the same time. This comes with mats in color and a black and white version. I personally like the color ones, so I usually try to use them. In this case, I made a copy of both. This allowed more children to play with the cards at the same time.
Check out the previews of the two products below as well as a couple of pictures of them being used by my students.
If you have kids that are struggling with vowel sounds and sorting out what sound goes with what vowel, these activities will help. Just click on the images to check them out. You can also check out other products that work for intervention while visiting her TPT store.
If you want to check out what 2 products Sebrina tested out of mine, click here. These products are available in my store for 50% off until Feb. 14.
If you would like to see some of the other blog posts for product swaps, check them out in the links below.
Our class just celebrated the end of our space unit with a huge display of projects that represented what was learned. The children were so excited to see what each one had created and to ask questions about them. The parents were amazed at the variety of projects and the information that the students shared.
They had a choice of using a model, postcards, invitations, or essays for their projects. Here are pictures of them. A couple of children were sick, so their projects are missing.
If you would like to find out more about the project criteria and other materials used, click here.
We began our study with a variety of materials and books that I had on hand. We also used a fabulous unit that was created by Amna Baig of Teach Two Reach. This unit has many great ideas for learning about the planets, moon, sun, and space in general. You can check it out by clicking on the image below.
Research was a big part of the learning. I divided the class into groups and each group had to research one inner and one outer planet. They became the experts and then they shared what they had learned with the rest of the class. It was cute to see them use the space language and share their knowledge with the others. They took it very seriously.
The class had lots of fun making the moon phases out of cookies. The best part was being able to eat them when they were done.
Check out the alien spaceships that we made from paper plates and slurpee covers.
Well, there is a lot more that I could share, but this post is getting long. Check out the links to find out more about the products used and then use your imagination to see how they might work for you. I can guarantee your students will be engaged and learn a lot. My class has a huge range this year and even my students that really struggle did well with this unit.
I can hardly believe we are already at the end of January. It seems it was New Year's Eve just a few days ago. So many things have happened this month, I will need to write more than one post just to share it all.
I want to start with our New Year's celebration. Here are some pictures of our first days back.
The kids were very excited to see blowers and hats and other festive materials when they arrived back after the Christmas break. We took time to share what we had done during our winter break, and then we did some group photo booth pictures.
Instead of writing out resolutions and goals, we focused more on what we did during out winter break. We also did do some New Year's journals and writing, but we mostly focused on various different winter themes.
I finally got a chance to try out Susanna's art project. She has a tutorial on her blog at Whimsy Workshop. I was very pleased with the results and my kids loved doing it.
We finished our solar system unit and we had a big celebration to share the projects we created to show what we had learned. We did so many things during this unit, that I need to write a separate post to tell you all about it.
Lots of other things happened this month as well, but I will leave you with these things for now. I hope that your January was fabulous as well.
December is a busy and happy time for sharing and giving. The children can hardly contain their excitement. It is sometimes exhausting, but it is very rewarding at the end of the day. Here are some highlights of our last couple of weeks.
A couple of years ago I got this DIY idea from Pinterest. It was from Charity Preston"s Classroom DIY. My kids loved finding out what was hiding behind each number. On one day they had a movie and popcorn. We watched Santa Claus the Movie. They loved it.
For our Christmas concert we performed A Porcupine In a Pine Tree. This was a Canadian version of the Twelve Days of Christmas. I created the boards based on the images in the book and each child had a board to hold up. They did an awesome job. Here are some pictures of the Mounties, the Leafs, and some of the animals.
On the last day, I decided to let the children do a make and take it activity. I put out a bunch of different craft materials ahd they created their own Christmas crafts. Here are some of the creations.
At Christmas teachers often receive gifts from students. I appreciate every gift, but this one especially warmed my heart. One of my students really wanted to give me something, so she colored me a picture and gave me Canadian Tire money along with a candy cane. Isn't that sweet?
Winter break is finally here and we are having everyone here for Christmas. This will be the first time since 2009 that all my family will be together. One daughter has arrived with her 3 children and my older son and his family live in town. My other son and his family, my son-in-law and my mother and mother-in-law will be arriving on Christmas Eve. My other daughter will arrive on Christmas Day.
Here is a picture of the tree. It is hard to find it under all the presents. There will be some very excited people on Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to all my friends and family and to all the wonderful people I have met or had to blessing to encounter through blogging and collaborating.