Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Scoop & Giveaway Winners

Here's what I'm up to on this fine Sunday:

3 "Have-to's" - pretty basic and self-explanatory

2 "Hope to's" - We're *almost* done with Baby Boy's nursery (pictures will be posted soon!) 
Click HERE to check out my baby bump progress so far :) 
Today's project is organizing all of the beautiful baby books we have into baskets - yes, I know - very teachery :)

Secondly, my husband and I have recently been sucked into the show "Parenthood." I know, I know - we're late to the party,
but are loving it so far! :)

1 "Happy to"...
*drum roll please!*
The winners of my Weather Interactive Notebook Foldables are...
1. Angela from "The Teacher's Desk 6"
2. Karen H. 

Congratulations ladies - check your e-mails! :)

Thanks to everyone who entered! If you didn't win the packet, you can check it out in my TPT store and snag it for only $5!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Genius at Work

Happy Saturday!
Phew - this last week wore me out. I am so thankful for a quiet and relaxing Saturday to lay low, watch Parenthood in my pajamas, and do some baby shopping :)

While I was out running a couple of errands, I stopped at the Dollar Tree (aka Teacher Paradise). No matter what I'm there for, I always have to stroll through the Teacher Aisle. 
Anyone else with me?

While I was there, I found these awesome little signs:
Displaying IMG_4656.JPG
I bought a couple of each type to put on the desks of hard-working students who are setting a role-model example. I know my kiddos will LOVE to get one of these (with a few reward tickets, perhaps!) on their desks during work time.

I think yes.

So head on over run to your nearest Dollar Tree and see if you can snag a couple of these cute signs - at just a buck, you can't go wrong!
Hop on over to Joanne's blog for other motivating ideas!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Baby Update: 30 Weeks!

Hello friends in the blogosphere!

Today I am 30 weeks pregnant: 3/4 of the way done! 
30 Weeks Pregnant Chalkboard
(although, with the size of Baby Boy, my OB isn't too confident that I'll make it to my due date! 
My hubby was 10 lbs at birth - I was 5 lbs. 
Enough said.

It's been a while since I updated, so here's an overview of my baby bump progression:

2 weeks ago I entered the 3rd trimester:
And here's today!

Baby Boy is the size of a big butternut squash (about 18 inches long and over 3 lbs!)
I'm feeling quite "large and in charge" and have definitely started to waddle!

Baby Boy seems perfectly healthy and is plenty active, keeping me on my toes with lovable pokes, somersaults, and bicycle kicks.

We're *ALMOST* done the nursery and I promise to post pictures soon. We've decorated it as a woodland forest - the perfect spot for our little guy to grow and explore.

Question to all moms out there:
What are (were) your baby must-haves?!?! All of the options out there can be dizzifying and I'd like some tried-and-true products that YOU (and your baby) LOVED.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Birthdays in the Classroom

Happy Thursday from beautiful, sunny, Spring-is-on-its-way Seattle :)

Today I want to show you my birthday chart:
 I cut out suitcases (using my handy-dandy Cricut!) and labeled each with one of the 12 months. Then, I wrote each students' birthday on a yellow "luggage tag" and attached it to the appropriate month. It's cute and easy for me to look at a glance to see who's birthdays are coming up this month.

On a student's birthday, they come into the classroom to find this on their desk:
The birthday certificate can be used as a Free Homework Pass.
The "Crazy Cool" balloon is a crazy straw with a packet of Kool-Aid attached :)
You can grab the balloon template for FREE by clicking here:

About 2 weeks before each student's birthday, I give them a blank "All About Me" newspaper (that I got from Lakeshore) that they will out and bring in on their birthday. After they present them, I hang them in the hallway outside the classroom.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Weather Interactive Notebook Giveaway!

This is what my prep periods and after-school-work-time has been consumed with lately:
I've been planning, printing, cutting, and perfecting my Interactive Notebook foldables for our weather unit! 
 QUESTION for I.N. users:
When you're planning a unit, do you build sample pages ahead of time or do you do it with your students as you go? I've done both ways, depending on the unit (and the prep ime I put into it!)

As promised, I'm going to do a GIVEAWAY of my new packet to one of my blog followers:
If you'd ike to WIN a FREE COPY of my Weather Interactive Notebook Foldables MEGA Packet, please leave a comment with your e-mail address and your favorite science topic to teach.
I'll choose TWO winners on Saturday night.

Hop on over to Miss DeCarbo's blog for other wordless (or almost wordless, like mine!) posts! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Types of Clouds - Engaging Activities to Help Retain Information

In science, we've been working on an in-depth weather unit, focusing on air, the atmosphere, precipitation, severe weather storms, and clouds.

To learn the types of clouds, we took notes in our interactive notebooks:
Stay tuned for a giveaway :)

We sang a great (albeit cheesy!) Cloud Song to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell" which I found on (AWESOME website, by the way!)
We then practiced "creating" clouds in two ways:
First, with cotton balls
Storm in the Night  Lots of cool ideas for clouds, water cycle, weather
And then, for the more tactile learners...
Shaving cream! :)
At first, of course, we had 30 seconds to play in it:
Then we got down to business shaping the different cloud types: 
While I hope the students retain the different types of cloud shapes, I KNOW that they all went home, clamoring about how they got to play with shaving cream in class! Happy students = happy teacher :)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pointillism - AKA Painting with Q-Tips!

Happy Saturday!

After a longggg week, I am basking in the gloriousness that is a weekend :)

This morning my hubby and I stole away for an early morning date: delicious donuts and a crisp walk through a beautiful park.
We are sooo excited about our little boy joining our family in May, but I am already starting to feel the shift in relationship between the two of us. We want to savor the time we have left as a family of two.

This week was chocked-full of fun activities in the classroom, more of which I'll be sharing about this week. Today, I'm going to share a quick and easy art activity that we tried.
We've been studying different art techniques and this month we focused on pointillism. We studied George Seurat, a French painter known for his pointillism paintings:
GEORGES SEURAT(1859-1891) Detail: 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Île de la Grande Jatte', 1884 (oil on canvas)Pointallism | .Georges Pierre Seurat was a French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman. He is noted for his innovative use of drawing media and for devising a technique of painting known as pointillism.
Each student was given a piece of paper, some paint, and q-tips.
We discussed primary colors and secondary colors, and then experimented with how to blend the different colors to create new paint options.
Rainbow Colors | Primary and Secondary Colors Mixing Activity | Visual Arts | Preschool Lesson Plan Printable Activities
They brainstormed a little and then got to work!
The beauty of pointillism is that up close, it looks like a bunch of dots, but when you hold the paper away from you, the picture comes into view. 
Here are some of the final products:

It was relatively quick, easy to do, and rewarding for the kiddos.
Why don't you give it a try in your classroom?

I'm joining my blogging buddy, Joanne, from 
Hop on over to her blog to see other motivating ideas!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bird's-Eye View Snowmen: Easy Art Project

Hello friends!
Today I want to share a really cute art project that my 5th graders did this week. In art class, we discussed perspective and looked an examples of a "bird's eye" or aerial view of things. Then we set to work creating a snowman from a bird's-eye view:
Aren't they cute?!?
I found the idea on Pinterest - where else? :)

Here's a step-by-step of our project (picture heavy!)
We passed out the supplies:
Each student got a piece of paper, some watercolors, pastels, and a baggie filled with white paper for the snowballs, scrapbook paper for the scarf, brown paper for the arms, and an orange scrap for the carrot nose.
Then the students drew all over their paper with a white crayon.
Yes, white crayon on white paper.
They drew snowflakes, swirls, and flurries.
Then they used blue watercolors to paint over the entire page, creating the background of our artwork: 
We set the backgrounds to dry: 
And got to work creating our snowmen: 
We then took pastels, traced around the outside, and rubbed around the edges of each snow ball: 
We layered the snowballs, putting a small square of cardboard between each layer to add depth: 
And voila!
 Here's the bulletin board:
 It was a fun and easy project that the kids thoroughly enjoyed!

I;m linking the idea up with my friend, Joanne, from "Head Over Heels for Teaching"

Pop over to her page to see other motivating ideas!