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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Eat It

So does anyone remember that Weird Al song Just Eat It?  For some odd reason that song popped into my head as I was thinking about this post.  I remember watching that music video as a wee lass and now I have a hauntingly funny memory of it.  Anyway, moving on to the post.  One of my favorite math concepts to teach my first graders is geometric shapes.  Not only do we explore the standard flat shapes such as triangles and squares but we get to delve into the discovery of three dimensional, solid figures like the sphere and pyramid. I love sending the children on a shape scavenger hunt around school.  This year I decided to do an edible math discovery so the kids could not only manipulate a geometric figure but just eat it too!  The kids and I had a blast investigating, sorting, and recording data about the snacks.  On the last day of school I surveyed my students and this lesson was the winner of THE BEST MATH LESSON EVER award. Try it with your kids, they won't be able to wait to Just Eat It.  Get this activity for FREE here.school blog signature

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Task Signs

I have a little post for you in honor of the end of the school year.  Do you ever have those teacher moments that aren't the ultra cool a-ha ones?  You know, the ones that make you think is anyone out there even listening to a word I say?  Well years ago I had the second kind of teacher moment that inspired the first kind of teacher moment.  I was getting frustrated that my first graders were not following my directions on how to get a project completed effectively.  I would write the steps on the board but to my dismay only a handful of the kiddos were adhering to my ever so particularly scribed instructions.  It then dawned on me that the little darlings needed PICTURES to cue them on.  Duh, right?  Well I made some task signs to use.  After years of abuse I decided to retire my old ones and I created new ones.  Now whenever I assign my students a task I display the task signs.  They have magnets attached to the back of the signs so they stay on my whiteboard.  For example, if I want the children to write their name, color the project, cut the project, then glue it onto a background paper to complete a project I display the cards in that order.  It is so helpful!  Oh, and you may have noticed in the photos that if I want the kids to use a specific tool for coloring I put the matching task sign under the color sign (i.e. color with colored pencils).  I find that I'm not having to repeat the directions over and over again.  Head over to my TPT store to check out the task signs.school blog signature

Burnt Out Blues

I have the end of the school year burnt out blues.  How about you?  Life has been so busy for me.  Besides the end of the school year chaos I had two big whirlwinds hit me.  In April my hubby was assigned to work in Texas.  Too bad, so sad for me. I am now a semi-single mom.  My hubby does get to come home often but all I can say is single moms are a-maz-ing.  Seriously, they deserve angel wings!  I also suddenly became the mommy of twins.  My nephew, who is twelve days younger than my baby, came to live with us.  We love him dearly but another "all I can say" is that parents of twins deserve angel wings too.  Now it's the end of the school year for me.  I have had a really neat group of kids this year.  I also have a very disorganized, piles everywhere, mess of a classroom waiting for me to pack up.  (Insert exhausted sigh).  Needless to say I have had little time to blog or post anything here.  I'm hoping to post more this summer as I prepare to take on the common core standards.  I'm excited-scared about adopting the CCSS.  Excited because I get to create new, fun things for my future students to use.  Excited because I feel like I need a refresher to revitalize my teaching practices.  Scared because I'm journeying into the unknown.  Scared because I have so much to do and so little time to do it with.  Is anyone else feeling excited-scared about common core?  Is anyone else experiencing the end of the school year burnt out blues?  If you are we'll get through it all together! :)school blog signature