Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: New Hair Cut!

Do you change up our hairstyle often or do you generally stick with the same look?
http://www.secondgradesugarandspice.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tried-It Tuesday: Art, Matisse-style!

With our Art Docent (a fabulous mom who volunteers to come and teach art twice a month), we have been studying the great artists from history. 

Click HERE to see our fun activity, Michaelangelo-style:

This week we moved away from the "Ninja Turtles" as my students called them :) and learned about the interesting life of Henri Matisse.
Henri Matisse. Photo: Gisèle Freund.
After learning some background information about this famous artist, the kiddos studied different pieces of his artwork. Then we pulled out the art supplies and got busy!
(I'm linking this fun idea up with my friend, Holly, for her "Tried it Tuesday" linky)

My Art Docent found this fun idea from:

Matisse is well-known for his dancers and the juxtaposition of the human bodies from the background. So we decided to replicate his style and create our own dancers:
First we took scraps of brightly colored construction paper and covered an entire piece of white paper. 
Then each student cut black paper to create their "dancers" - each body part was cut out separately.
After the bodies were glued down, the students added clothes, hair, and various other extras!
 Didn't they turn out wonderfully?!?
I have a pretty reluctant group of artists this year, but they dove right into the project and loved it!

I'll end this post with a great quote by Matisse:
Matisse

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Drill Sergeant for a Day

Happy Saturday, friends!
I went to my church's Good Friday service and it was incredibly moving as the choir led us through a traditional tenebrae service, which alternates music, narration readings, and candle lighting. The whole presentation was a somber and powerful message:
Good Friday ~~~ But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5) NASB
I can't wait to go back for Easter Sunday, to glory in the hope that we have because the story doesn't end there. Jesus didn't stay dead - he defeated death and rose again triumphantly!

Today I want to share an idea that really motivated my kiddos:
(Linking up with Joanne from "Head Over Heels for Teaching")

We just wrapped up our Standardized Testing week and because of the schedule, our PE class time got cut. The students, as you can imagine, were less than thrilled. So I decided to have a little fun :)

On Friday, I told the students before morning recess that I needed to go to a meeting and that they would have a sub for about half an hour. I had another teacher pick them up from recess and bring them to the classroom where I had changed into gym clothes, a baseball cap, and tennis shoes. 
The kids walked in, confused, and saying, "Hey, wait a minute..." but before they could say another word, I blew a whistle and demanded that they all take a seat. I introduced myself as Sergeant Lawfull (I am full of the LAW) and told them that because they had been sitting all week, working hard, their teacher had called in an expert to whip them into tip top shape!

As you can imagine, the kids were loving this.

I marched them out to the football field and led them through intense calisthenics, all the while blowing my whistle, yelling, and calling them Cadet (last name).
Fitness Exercise Clip ArtStretch Clip Art

Then, once we were stretched and ready, I had them run.
and run.
and run some more. 
:)
This they did not love as much, but they didn't want to mess with Drill Sergeant Lawfull.

We then marched back to the classroom and proceeded to do both Math and English with Sergeant Lawfull. It was the speediest we've ever done these lessons :) If they spoke out of turn, they had to drop and do 20 push-ups! 
We had such a wonderful morning - they were eating it up and it was such a stress-reliever after the long week of testing. The students are begging for Drill Sergeant Lawfull to come back - which I think she will during the long last weeks of school :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fuel Your Faith: Resurrection to New Life

Good Friday
Here's a beautiful depiction of the Easter story:
Here's a verse I've been mulling over this week, thinking about the hope that Easter brings:
this hymn just came to me today, Good Friday
Now it's your turn!
Grab this template or type your own blog post:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tried-It Tuesday: Magic Piece of Trash

Confession time: my classroom is often a mess.
Not disorganized, just messy.
Messy classrooms can sometimes be a good thing :)
The students' desks are often exploding (no matter how many times the "desk fairy" comes to visit), their shoes track in mud, grass, and wood chips after each recess, and a myriad of pencils, pens, markers, etc. like to fly out and congregate on the floor each night.
At the end of each day, I ask my students to clean up their floor space, but undoubtedly, once everyone has filtered out to where they need to go, the floor is still a danger zone.
 
Today I decided to try something to help with the clean-up process.
I'm linking this idea up with my bud, Holly, from "Fourth Grade Flipper"
http://fourthgradeflipper.blogspot.com/2014/04/tried-it-tuesday-intermediate-science.html
 
We had done a major art project this afternoon.
Fun?
Yes.
Engaging?
Sure.
Messy?
You bet!
Creativity is Messy and We are Very Creative Kids Playroom Wall Decal, Craft room decor sign, Classroom art studio, Create Words on Etsy, $15.00
At the end of the day, I rang my bell and told the students to "clean up."
Five minutes later, the students were seated, ready to go...and the floor was still a mess.
So I picked out (im my head) a MAGIC PIECE OF TRASH!!!
 
I didn't tell the students WHICH piece it was, but I did challenge them: whoever picked it up would win the game! Well if there's one thing about this class, it's that they're competive! They jumped out of their seats and started picking up (and throwing away) construction paper, pencils, food wrappers, etc. I kept an eye on my chosen piece (today it was a goldfish cracker) and at the end of 3 minutes, I announced that no one had picked up my piece. So they zoomed around again, cleaning the carpet with uncharacteristic veracity :) Finally, one of my boys picked it up and threw it away, winning the competition! I announced that he was the winner - and he beamed :)
 
Note: even if a student picked it up in the first minute, I wouldn't announce it until the end, because then the kids will stop cleaning :)
 
I wish I had taken before and after pictures - but you can use your imagination!
 
It's simple.
It's fun.
It's motivating.
It works.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mathematical Monday: Springtime Subtraction Scoot!

This weekend confirmed it...
Free chalkboard prints...Spring is in the air!
and I am oh-so-ready! :)

This weekend the weather was gorgeous and my hubby and I took full advantage of it, heading outside to read, go for walks, and enjoy a mountain drive up to a Tulip Festival!

Speaking of spring, today I'm linking up with Jess from I {Heart} Recess for her M is for Mathematical Monday linky:
I have created a new product, with my friends who teach the younger kiddos in mind:
This spring-themed festive SCOOT game is a fun activity that gets your students up and moving while reviewing the important skill of simple subtraction (0-20). The cards are differentiated, including both horizontal and vertical problems, as well as four cards with subtraction word problems on them.

These could be done as a whole class game of SCOOT, a partner game, or individual work during math centers. Perfect for pre- and post-assessment or some much-needed practice with simple subtraction.

Here's what's included:
Click HERE to check it out my TPT store.
*If you teach the bigger kids, I have a double-digit subtraction version in the works :)

I would love to give away TWO FREE COPIES of this packet.
If you have students who need some reinforcement with their basic subtraction skills, leave your e-mail address and your favorite thing about spring! I will choose a winner tomorrow night at 8pm PST. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sparking Student Motvation: Testing Encouragement Cards

Whew! We survived...
Testing Week!
dun dun dun
:)

Today I'm linking up with my bud, Joanne, from Head Over Heels for Teaching, to share an idea that both motivated and encouraged my students this week. The idea comes from my dear friend, Rose, who blogs over at Rosie's Rambles:
Rosie's Rambles
She created this cute and practical packet of Testing Encouragement Cards:
Testing Encouragement Cards
These cards are the perfect little note to encourage your students to keep working hard!
We tested for four days this week, so I put one card on each students' desk each morning:
The first day I gave them little Testing Survival Kits that I had put together:
 Tuesday they came in to find these notes:
Wednesday I waited until halfway through the morning to pass out these delicious cards:
And on the last day, Thursday, I gave them a final note to let them know how proud I was of their hard work all week:
*Instead of candy on this one, I put two of our classroom tickets on each desk.
*I printed the cards in B&W to save ink - but copied them on colorful paper to add pizzazz!

You can snag these encouragement cards for only $1 from Rosie's TPT store. 
Use one or use them all - for a buck, it's a bargain! :)

Also, she has given me permission to give away a set for FREE!
Here's how to play:
1. Go to Rosie's Rambles and follow her blog
2. Leave a comment on this blog post with your name, your e-mail, and your tips for surviving the endless hours of proctoring during a standardized test :)