Monday, March 30, 2015

3D Solids, a Tower Challenge, & End of Year Awards GIVEAWAY!

Whether you're happy about it or not...Happy Monday, everyone! 

Since I didn't get a chance to blog at the end of last week, I'll share a short little snippet of what we were up to (plus stay tuned for a GIVEAWAY at the end!).

We began our 3D Geometry unit in math by recalling what we already know about 3D solids and by looking at various solid manipulatives to help us fill in this anchor chart:

At the end of the week, we had a bit of time left after a short lesson so we had a "just for fun" (but not really!!) challenge: which table group can build the tallest free-standing structure. 
The kids thought this was great because they got to "play" with snap cubes and build an awesome tower. But throughout the process, we talked about what features make a sturdy tower, based on what we had learned about 3D solids thus far (not to mention it ties in perfectly with our Materials, Objects, & Structures unit in science!).
FLASHBACK! Earlier in the week we sat in a circle at the carpet with about eight 3D solids. The goal was to build the tallest possible tower so we had to figure out which 3D solids would work well for stacking and which ones would not. i.e. a cube works well because it has flat faces, but a sphere would not because it is round. And a cone can stack but it has to be on the top. etc. Anyways, we ended up deciding that the biggest (and flattest) solids worked best on the bottom of the tower because a wider base made our tower more sturdy. The kids obviously transferred what they had learned to this challenge because I kept hearing things like, "we need a more solid base!" Too stinkin' cute.
After the towers were built, we of course performed "the earthquake test" (aka "the table shaking test") to see if each tower was free-standing and sturdy, and then we measured to see which tower was ultimately the tallest. 
All towers passed the earthquake test and we had a tie between two groups for the tallest tower.
But we didn't focus so much on who won the challenge; We examined each tower and discussed why it worked well and if any improvements could be made. ...Anyways, gotta love it when spontaneous activities work out! #teacherimprov #success ;)

And NOW I'm excited to share that I spent all last week working on a new pack that is *finally* complete...and better yet, you can enter today for a chance to WIN THIS PACK! 
It includes 44 certificates and 43 medals that are a perfect addition to an end-of-year gift for your kiddies. But I also created them with the intention of using throughout the school year since many of the awards are meant to encourage students, give recognition to hard workers, and build a positive and supportive classroom community.

I have also included some "teacher suggestions" along with detailed instructions:

At the end of the year you can choose the awards yourself or even have your students vote on who should receive which award. Either way, your kids will grin from ear to ear when they receive these fun and colourful (and EASY!) certificates and medals. 
To get a detailed look at exactly what's included, click HERE.

So without further adieu, here's how you can enter to win this entire pack!

The winner will be announced next Friday, April 10th. Thanks for entering and GOOD LUCK!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five for Friday (linky party for March 20)

Since I am on March Break I decided to celebrate by joining in with Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday link party! Here we go:

I started my first collaborative group board on Pinterest! 
Like most other teachers, I LOVE gettin' crafty especially when it comes to my classroom so I thought it would be fun to create a board just for DIYs! And I figured that more people pinning = more inspiration so if  you'd like to join our group board, just comment below (or email me: with your Pinterest URL and I will add you as a collaborator! 
*make sure you're following me on Pinterest otherwise I won't be able to add you!*

I don't know what it is but I've seen this little grammatical detail *everywhere* this week and it drives me BONKERS! (see picture below) From the bank to the grocery store, I wish I had a permanent marker with me to add a very tiny but powerful comma :P I was actually taught the "rules" of the comma very inconsistently throughout my years in school but I am an "oxford comma" girl all the way!!!

I am due exactly ONE MONTH today!!! Can't wait to meet this little guy...

This weekend the hubby and I are driving across the border and into the city (about 4 hours away from where we live) and staying for one night to do some baby shopping, etc. 
The two things I'm most excited for: 
IKEA (which is the reason we're taking the truck not the car haha!) & a hockey game!!! 

I am BEYOND excited and feel so blessed to have reached over 500 followers in my little TpT store this week. As a celebration, I put all of my products on SALE for the weekend :)

If you'd like to join in on the Friday fun, head on over to DBT to link up! 
Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

St. Patty's Poetry & FREE Measurement Printables

Well.....I suppose I'll do just one last blog post before I throw in the towel! 

Because we won't be in school for St. Patty's day (hello spring break!!), we "celebrated" it for the past two weeks with some simple themed activities, literacy centers, and poems:
You may remember the above poem that I used last year as well.
I put each of my firsties' names on a sticky note and each time we read the poem throughout the week, a new set of students got to be "in" our poem.

We also finished up our short-and-sweet linear measurement unit with a couple simple activities. My firsties worked hard while I pulled them for some one-on-one assessments.
For this first activity, the students used little cubes to measure and record the length of each ice cream:

Download this freebie HERE!

Next, they could draw any object/picture they wanted and then they measured the length and width of their drawing with snap cubes:
Download this freebie HERE!

After seeing my kiddies *flip* for my (FREE!) Dr. Seuss flip book, I knew I wanted to create some more. So over the week, I worked on putting together a little bundle of 7 different fiction & non-fiction reading response and comprehension flip books:
I have so many plans of how to use these with my firsties: from simple follow-up activities to various shared and guided-reading texts, to comprehension and story element assessments.
(As seen in the two pictures above, the books can be printed on either coloured or plain white paper)

If you think your kiddies would enjoy flip books as much as mine do, check out my new obsession in more detail :P

And now I am *officially* on spring break!!! Here's to a slightly productive and excessively lazy week ahead ;)

Friday, March 06, 2015

Dr. Seuss & Measurement Too!

Well hi there, hello! Happy Dr. Suess week! We read and did let's take a peak!

Okay I promise that's the only Dr. Suess-y rhyming attempt I will make this post...not bad though, right?! Well anyways, in case you hadn't heard, Monday was Dr. Seuss's birthday so we did some fun literacy activities to celebrate throughout the week...

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was *super* pumped about my flip book! I've literally spent hours trying to figure out how to make an easy template on the computer so I can just print, fold, and GO...and, by George, I've finally got it! YAY!
I'm excited to share my very first (of many!) flip books with you all as a FREEBIE :) 
From I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! "My favourite part was the crocodile wearing underpants."
From The Cat in the Hat: "My favourite part was when the cat in the hat cleaned up." Ah, a child after my own heart...That fictitious mess gave me serious anxiety!

INSTRUCTIONS: You can print the book 2-sided, but I personally hate running back and forward to our school's printer in order to flip the paper so it prints double-sided. So I just find it way easier to print out each page "as is" and then make them double-sided on the photocopier. 
ANYWAYS, this file gives you full instructions and 3 flip book options to choose from: 
1. with traceable sentence-starter (as pictured above) 2. without sentence starter 3. without sentence starter OR book titles (so you can hand-write any Seuss title you choose and then copy a class set)
Click HERE to download! Enjoy!

We also started a new math unit this week: measurement! One of the things we focused on was comparing and ordering lengths. As a fun application of this new skill, my firsties completed a little spring-inspired math craftivity:
We are pretty tired of the cold and snow so we attempted to encourage Mother Nature with our beautiful Measurement Gardens :P ...They turned out so cute so hopefully she melts all the snow for us.
(love the deer!)
The kids cut, compared, and then pasted each plant in order from shortest to longest (or from longest to shortest...their choice!). We talked about how, when comparing lengths, we must always use a common baseline, and the kids decided on their own that the grass was the natural common baseline for this activity because plants don't grow in the sky. True story, kids!
Click HERE to download the flowers for the craftivity!

And without further adieu: bring on the weekend!!
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