Thursday, April 17, 2014

Missing Pieces - Mystery Solved!

Hi everyone,

I'm here to share a little tip with you today!

As you may already know, I love making crafts with my class. I just love how they motivate my students to write great stories. They are a great way to spark their imagination!

I usually am pretty flexible with rules during our crafting periods. Some of our "stricter" classroom rules fly out the window during craft time... as long as the project gets done ;)

I do, however, have ONE rule when it comes to crafts in my class. 
This all started with the case of the mysterious missing craft pieces...

I used to have so many instances when mysterious papers would just DISAPPEAR before our crafts were finished. I used to run to the photocopy room to make extra pieces for those kids who were in tears because their craft pieces had MYSTERIOUSLY taken off...
Well no more, my friends! No more!

NEW RULE: My students are NOT allowed to throw away ANY of their scraps until their craft is completely finished!
I just don't have the time to run to the photocopy room in the middle of our craft time to make my kids more arms, feet, or whatever may have "disappeared".
My new rule has MAGICALLY changed our crafting experiences ;)

This took some convincing but together we have come to respect 
the "NO recycling until you're done" rule! HA!

What do they do with all those scraps during the crafting process? Simple. 
They keep them on the corner of their desk.

Some of my students like to work standing up, so they use their chair for their scraps. Whatever works. I'm not picky. 
As long as there are no tears for missing pieces, I'm good ;)

I also use this rule when we work in our interactive notebooks, when we do "cut & paste" activities, and whatever other activities consist of cutting and gluing!

So there you have it. A simple trick.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! 

Later gators,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SO Many Spring Activities & A Freebie!

Hi everyone,

I'm here to show you all the fun Spring things that have been going on in my classroom this past week!

We have been BUSY BEES, working on our spring centers, reinforcing literacy and math skills with some fun Spring activities, and working hard on our Earth Day crafts! 
We even got to start our plant observation books :)

My students have been LOVING my Spring printables! These activities have been perfect for reviewing skills that we learned this year. I was able to easily spot what concepts need a little more revision and which have been mastered. It's that time of year when we look back on what we have taught and reflect on our students' learning. I'm so proud of each and every one of my kiddies this year. They are so eager to learn!

We worked on our Earth Day crafts a couple of weeks early because I wanted to have them hanging on our classroom ASAP! These little bears are from my favorite craftivity: Give The Earth A Bear Hug.

Every time we start a craft, the control freak in me gets very anxious with the mess on everyone's desk! HA!

I don't worry much about noise anymore, thanks to this new app!
It has been a gift sent from teacher Heaven! ;)
** You can read all about the apps that I use for classroom management HERE **

I have one simple rule when we work on crafts:
Students are NOT allowed to put ANY of their scrap papers in the recycling bin until they have put their craft together. This avoids pieces making their way to the recycling bin too early. 
Less tears = happy teacher!

Look how beautiful they turned out!

There's nothing like a great craft to get the kids excited for upcoming writing activities :)

A couple of weeks ago, an AMAZING mother brought these tiny plants to our class for our Mother's Day crafting. I, of course, used them to start our plants unit too! 
We have been watching our plants grow every day and we even planted some seeds of our own!

Can you see what peeked out on Friday?

Do you see it now? ;)

We started our seed observation books and we have been recording our observations as time goes by. 
I completely forgot to take pictures of our seed books but I promise to take some tomorrow :)

We also added a fun page to our interactive notebooks!

They had a blast working on this page and they kept asking when we are going to do the second one! 
I guess this means I better get myself to the copy machine tomorrow morning ;)

You can grab this interactive notebook page for FREE at my TPT store!

We finished off our week with this fun Spring activity from my Print & Go Pack

This week, we'll be working on some more Spring activities and we will continue to use our seed observation books. I can't wait to see if any more seeds have sprouted this weekend... Fingers crossed, I don't really have a GREEN thumb! HA!

If you like what you see in this post, take a look at these Spring items in my teacher store.

Later gators,