Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hot in Herre!

(Insert Nelly's 2003 hit "Hot in Herre" to get you in the summer spirit).  Or if you're anywhere down south like me, it's so hot already, you don't need theme music to tell you what season it is!

Appropriately, both of my latest creations have to do with the sun, color, and heat absorption, as per my good friend Leslie's request!  Leslie, I hope this is something that suits your needs!  Please let me know if I need to make any changes or if you have trouble retrieving any of this!

Both experiments are very similar, with just a few differences so let me explain:

#1: Flava-Licious Science- Buy a box of Pop-Ice Popsicles and freeze them.  Show the class the different colors, and answer the "Before Experiment" questions (either together or independently, as desired).  One color at a time, set each color out under the sun on a white paper plate.  Use a stopwatch to time how long it takes each color to melt and record results on the bar graph.  Then answer the "After Experiment" questions.  Eat excess popsicles to celebrate the hard work :)

#2: "It's Gettin' Hot in Here"- Copy THIS cube net onto the different colored paper (as designated on the graph page).  Make each colored paper into a box.  As a class, find the outside temperature and record on the answer sheet.  Then, place a small thermometer in each box (if you don't have them in your classroom already, I think they're pretty cheap at the pet store- the small kind with the adhesive on the back for fish tanks).  Set the timer for ten minutes.  After the time is up, check each of the thermometers and record the temperature on the graph.  Answer the "After Experiment" questions together or independently and discuss results!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fun Finds

With tomorrow being the last day of school (holy moly!), I have been super busy and haven't had time to post.  Same goes for today, but I'm stopping by quickly just to show you all my fun finds from this past week!

Last week I went to Staples, which is a rare occasion, but I'm so glad I did!  They had a $1 section up front and I found these notebooks that have a $100 bill printed on the front.  There are TEN in a pack for only $1!  Score!  I grabbed 2 packs and I'm going to use them as prizes on the 100th day of school next year. They also had ones that had smiley faces and bright colors so I grabbed a couple of packs for my treasure box as well!

Another box had spiral bound dry-erase activity flip-books for practicing number and letter writing!  They were....drum roll please....$1 each as well!!  I thought these would be great for a handwriting center at the beginning of the year!

And I don't know about your area, but at the Dollar General right by my school they still had TONS of plastic Easter eggs on sale for TEN CENTS a pack!  I picked up one dollar's worth for my classroom and another dollar's worth for my church Easter egg hung next year.  There are so many fun things to do with those little guys...I just couldn't resist!  I know it's come and gone, but here are some links to some things to do with Easter eggs in the spring:

Summer time seems to be an awesome time for bargains and treasure finding!  Have you guys had any great "teachery" finds lately?  Tell me about them here!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Extra Bonus For the Weekend- Cool Beans!

Here's a little thing I've created for a center or activity on ways to make 10.

Copy THIS on card stock, laminate, and cut out each strip.  Spray paint some beans blue and some beans green. You could also use blue and green jelly beans at Easter time! Have them match up the beans with the ones on the cards.  Then have them write the corresponding number sentence on the RECORDING SHEET to discover all of the different ways to make 10!

 I like this idea because it can be adapted to fit other basic math skills...not just adding to ten!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Peace, Love and Fractions, Baby!

Congratulations, Carol!  Here is an equivalent fraction game for your 4th graders!  By the way, I do realize it is girly, so once I finish fulfilling the other winners' requests, I'll work on a boy-friendly one, too!

I hope this is along the lines of what you were wanting!

Just print on card stock (print the last 4 pages twice), laminate if desired, cut, and it's ready! For some reason, the last page was saving strangely, so I had to put 2 on one page and 2 on the other.  Weird!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

By George, I Think I've Got It!

After Googling how to embed my PDF documents in vain (found lots of information that was confusing/not very helpful/too hard to follow), I finally stumbled across THIS entry in one of my new favorite blogs!  I don't have time to add my own post today, but I thought I'd share this for anyone else who might be interested! 

By the way, follow her blog if you teach.  She's awesome!

Speaking of following blogs, I'm starting my first contest....

Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me why you love to teach and one "wish list" game/activity/worksheet, and I'll create said wishlist item in the next week or so and post it FREE for the first 5 people who comment!  An example of a wish-list game/activity/worksheet would be if you are really wanting an adjective activity to go with your unit on insects.  Let me know and I'll create a customized activity just for you!

Tell your friends to follow me, too! I will be doing a lot more contests this summer, so keep checking in!

Happy Hump Day!  Tomorrow is our "end of year" fun field trip to Chuck E. Cheese!  :)

-Mrs. G

P.S. I updated my "Greatest Hits" post now that I figured out how to embed documents.  Yay!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shape Cha-Cha Slide

About a month ago, I was teaching my students about slides, flips, and turns with shapes.  I didn't want it to be all worksheets all the time.  So as a last-minute idea during my planning period (which is right before I teach math) I decided to introduce each concept (slide, flip, and turn), then do "Shape Ballet" where I played slow ballet-esque music and had them make their little shapes "dance" by sliding, then turning.  Later to do the reflection, I had them have a shape "dance partner," facing each other while they danced.  It was cute for an introduction to the concepts, but it gave me an idea to do "Shape Cha-Cha-Slide!"  (For my first graders, it was also good practice for reviewing left and right.)  I found the "cha-cha slide" song and played it for us to 'dance' to.  Only instead of our bodies doing the movements, our shapes did! I provided each student with a shape block and a piece of grid paper as a "dance floor" for their shape. Here's a simple breakdown of what we'd do:

-Whenever it said "slide to the left/right/take it back," we'd slide whichever way it specified and say "slide".
-We'd still stomp our right/left foot when it instructed us to do so.
-Whenever it said "turn it out" we'd turn our shape and say "turn"
-When it says "reverse," we would flip our shape once and say "flip!" on the off beat.
-On the extra stuff like "how low can you go/clap your hands/hands on your knees/cha-cha now," we'd take a dance break and do those motions with our bodies just for fun!

*So, all in all, this activity by itself does not TEACH the students everything they need to know.  But it was something that got them interested and kept them active.  After I used this to introduce the unit of study, they kept asking for it.  So each day during our shape study I told them if they worked hard in math for the day, we could end it with the shape cha-cha slide.  Whatever works!

Here are some other things on slides, flips and turns I have found:

-Here is a link to a simple on-line game to play on a SmartBoard or to have students play on student computer for review.
-Here is a good lesson plan with a slide/flip/turn game to play!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Grade's Greatest Hits

Ok, so it’s the end of the year, and I wanted to do a writing assignment on a favorite memory of first grade.  But I’m very (as you’ll see with many posts) tired of all of the cliché activities done in school, year after year.  I like to think outside the box, just because it keeps me from getting bored!

After looking at the standards for the fourth quarter, I noticed we had to write couplet poetry.  So I modeled writing couplets for about a week and gave them some time to practice writing them on their own.  Then, I had them brainstorm all of their favorite first grade memories.  We made a huge list on chart paper.  Then they took one memory from the chart and turned it into a couplet!  Covered some required standards and did a sweet end of year activity at the same time! BAM!

I decided to create a picture of a CD on Microsoft Word, and we’re calling it “First Grade’s Greatest Hits.”

You can find a PDF file that you are welcome to use HERE.

Each student wrote their couplet on the "CD." It’s not the most exciting thing I’ve ever created, but I think the idea turned out to be really cute!  Until I figure out how to post a Word or PDF version of the stuff I create, just facebook me or e-mail me if you want me to send you a copy!  I'll be glad to! They did a really wonderful job coming up with their couplets!  Here’s a few of my favorites:

“We had fun centers every day.
But we won’t at the end of May.”
“Halloween Science with Chris was fun!
It excited everyone.”
“Mrs. Guillo is the best teacher ever.
I never want to leave her.  Never!”
“We learned a lot and got so smart.
Telling time like a 2nd GRADER was my favorite part!” (a little off on the rhythm there, but cute nonetheless!)

Next year, I hope to do this again but do it a little bit earlier so they can be on display longer.  I kind of slacked on the “cutsie-ness” of the display because there’s only TWO WEEKS OF SCHOOL LEFT! (Aaahhh!) I’m going to add to the hallway display by getting a bunch of old (real) CDs and dangling them from the ceiling with fishing line. I might even take a fun picture of the class dressed like rock stars to add some more excitement.

I will post pictures of what it turned out to look like on Monday (I forgot my camera last week!) And the Blogger site has been down so I've been a little behind!

So with the school year quickly coming to an end, what is your favorite thing you do, as a teacher, (or what do you remember doing when you were a student) for an end-of-year activity?

Bible Class Bit: Daniel and the Lion's Den

Bible Class Bit: Daniel and the Lion’s Den

I am teaching 3rd grade Bible class on Wednesday nights this summer.  Of course, I can’t do anything without wanting to add my own personal touch to it, so I thought I’d occasionally share my Sunday School findings with you as well!
This week I was supposed to teach about the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den.  But by 3rd grade, these kiddos can tell you that story front and back, so I wanted to give it a twist so that they might learn a thing or two.  Let me also give a back story by telling you that last week (my first week with the group) quickly taught me that this is a big group and a ROWDY group!  So as I planned my lesson I had to think classroom management as well as quality lesson.
I found a cute PowerPoint version of the story HERE.  I used that to start the class with, just to get the details fresh in their minds .  Then I found THIS great activity that illustrates the faith that Daniel had.  The children were really interested during this part and it led to some great discussion!  In fact, they were saying things I hadn’t even thought of!
Then I divided them up and put them into 4 different “centers.”  One group was at the back table with me.  We made a VENN DIAGRAM, comparing and contrasting Daniel with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (who we learned about last week- I will try to post soon about the activities I planned for that night).  I let them do the thinking and writing on their own and they did a great job!
The next group did faith charades, which I got the idea from HERE.  They had to draw a story from the Bible from a hat and act it out to their group.  After somebody guessed it right, they had to discuss how that story showed faith.  Pretty simple, but they loved that center!
The third center was simply a crossword puzzle which I created as a simple review of basic facts about the story. I went to THIS website to make my own crossword puzzle. 
For the last center, I wrote the words of Daniel 6:22 on index cards and mixed them all up. They had to unscramble them to make the verse make sense.  If they had trouble, they could look up the verse in their Bibles after a while.
Last night went much more smoothly than the first night.  I feel like they were more challenged , and they were certainly more engaged because they were constantly active and doing something different than what they usually do. 
We’re about to do a summer-long study on the Beatitudes so if anyone has any wonderful ideas out there, throw them my way!  Have a great weekend everyone!