Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cinco de Mayo!!!

WHAT??? It's almost May...not even sure how that happened!  This year has flown by especially with all of the crazy snow days that are FINALLY over!

So it's almost May, which means it's time to dance, listen to a mariachi band, and sit on the deck of my favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!  Woo-hoo!

Now I am pretty sure that's not exactly how my kiddos will celebrate, but this is a great time of year to focus on the importance of remembering the heritage and traditions of Mexico as we have many Mexican-American kiddos in our school!  So many of them love sharing their language or unique foods with the class. This is the perfect time of year to focus on the things that make each of us unique and share it with others.

So we created a simple packet that's both FUN and touches on why we celebrate this day in America.  It also has some printables that let all of the kiddos think about what Mexican traditions, music, and foods that they might have experienced.  Hopefully this will be a great way to get your kiddos talking and sharing all about who THEY are!

So here's a peek at what we included...

 Click on any of the pictures to head to our store!

So please leave us a comment and let us know what you think! 
 We'll pick 2 of you to get the pack for FREE!  

The pack will also be 1/2 price ALL day today so you can scoop it up for a BUCK FIFTY!!! :)

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sugar Problem & Easter STEM Project-Comments?

Ha ha!! I am blogging while my 3 year old takes a late afternoon nap!! Probably not a great idea!! I wonder who will be up with him when he is swinging from the furniture at midnight!! ME!! Yay!!!

Here is a real problem! Help!!! Please!!! Hide anything and everything with sugar!! We went on an awesome Disney Cruise and ate every dessert imaginable (including yummy Mickey bars)!  The cruise is over, but I am still eating like I am on that fabulous boat, the Disney Dream!!

I really am about to go into sugar shock!! I feel awful, but I keep stuffing my face with M&Ms, Hershey Kisses, peanut butter brownies with butter cream frosting, Cadbury chocolate eggs!!!!   Any advice with my sugar problem???? Those sugary treats listed above were just from today!!

OK, sorry to ramble about personal problems!! How about a S.T.E.M. project to go with your Easter activities??

Cristy and I decided we love S.T.E.M. lessons and maybe we can write our own! Here is our first attempt at creating a S.T.E.M. lesson. Let us know what you think. We added an emergent reader to help set up the problem.

Poor Bobby the Bunny lost his basket. He has so many eggs to deliver to friends! How can we help???

We can make a new basket for Bobby the Bunny!  We can...
Design, Build, Test, Photograph, Evaluate and Redesign a basket to hold eggs for Bobby by using only paper and tape!!

Let us know if you found any great S.T.E.M lessons! Thanks for reading!!
Ahhh! 12 day count down until the Nashville Rock and Roll Marathon!! Feeling scared and excited!!

You can grab this pack for 1/2 price for today only!  Leave a comment and we'll pick a couple of you to WIN the pack for FREE!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Author Study Projects

We just wrapped up one of our VERY favorite units of study....our Author Studies Bonanza!  We LOVE this unit for a million reasons.  We get to pick great books by some of our favorite authors, our kiddos will sit completely still and silent for ANY story time we do, they get to be extremely creative and crafty when creating their culminating learning celebration projects, and the parents LOVE to see the plays and puppet shows!
So here's how it works in our rooms.  We choose 2 or 3 authors to study.  Sometimes we pick ones we love, or we may pick ones that we can tell have quickly become the kiddos' favorite.  This year we chose Robert Munsch and Mo Willems.  I personally am in LOVE with both of these authors and the books crack me up!

We read TONS of books both out loud and on Tumblebooks.  We complete all kinds of great literacy activities like story maps, Venn diagrams, character trait studies, text to self activity sheets, and more.  We mix it up to keep the kiddos interested.

Then after several weeks of studying these books, we do a Mini-Project on The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.  The kiddos work in groups of 3 and they choose to either present the story in a Puppet Show or Play.  We spend some time completing a story map for the book and then they have 2 days to create their puppets or costumes.  We let them go crazy in the art center and use WHATEVER materials they want.  The room looks like something blew up in there for a day or two...but it's all in the name of learning!

We then present our "trial run"plays and puppet shows to each other.  Once they get how this whole thing works, we move on to the REAL projects!  Again they may work in groups to perform one of the author study books as either a PUPPET SHOW or a PLAY.  They work with this group over the course of 1 week to complete the story map, design costumes/puppets, practice the performance, and tie up any loose ends.

Then we have the families in and CELEBRATE!

And the best part is, while we are having so stinkin' much fun working on all of these projects...we have covered a TON of language arts standards and had FUN doing it!!!  You can't beat that can't beat that!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Part 3: Interactive Sight Word Packs - Choose 1 FREE!

Part III: Interactive Sight Word Resources:
"everything but the kitchen sink" Activity Page!

This FREE pack is for the sight word COME!  We have been using these packs for about 2 months now and we are TOTALLY loving them!  They are really helping our kiddos remember how to read and write these tricky sight words!

So here is part 3!  You can check out Part I: Flap Books or Part II: Emergent Readers if you missed those posts!

Here's the 3rd activity we included... 
Sight Word Activity Page!

Click either image to grab the pack for FREE in our TpT store!

This sheet is great for giving your kids some REAL time working with the word.  This will help the word “stick” in their brains and works on MANY kindergarten standards such as letters, words, tracking, writing sentences, handwriting, syllables, and more. (LOVE hitting LOTS of standards in 1 go!) 

We have created individual packs for each sight word (We are up to about 40 words so far!).  Then if your kiddos are having a hard time with any particular word, you can get the pack that works on that word.

Many folks have requested we offer them at a HUGE savings in a bundle, and we've done that now too!

Please tell us what you think of this pack. Can you see it working for your kiddos?  Is there a standard/skill you would like to see included?  We would LOVE any feedback you can give us!

We hope you enjoy the freebie!  And if you have made it this can also leave a comment with your name, email address, and 1 more sight word you would like to try out for FREE!  We will email you that Interactive Sight Word Pack over the next few days!  We hope you enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Fever and STEM

Who has Spring Fever????? We do!! It is so beautiful here TODAY!! But what will it be like tomorrow??  This GA weather is crazy!!

SO we are gearing up for Spring Break!! We are trying to keep those ANGELS out of TROUBLE!! Of course they are always ANGELS and never in TROUBLE!! But just in case they think about getting ANTS in their PANTS, what are you guys doing to prevent disruptions???

Well friends, We are having a blast with STEM lessons!!!! What are we doing???

Working in cooperative groups to DESIGN, CONSTRUCT, TEST, MEASURE, and REFLECT!!!

We built houses for the 3 Pigs, bridges for the Gingerbread Man, towers for Repunzel, boats for the 3 Men in a Tub, and  traps for the leprechaun! Check out the fun!!

We asked the kids what they liked the best and most of them told us BUILDING!!
We also asked them what they liked the least and almost all of them told us it was hard COOPERATING!

Thank you Regina Davis for this super, awesome, fabulous pack!! We had tons of fun integrating language arts with STEM! Click the image below to link to this pack!

Happy Spring!! Yahoo for ALLERGIES, training for the Rock N Roll Marathon in Nashville, warm weather,  practicing for the kindergarten play and ASSESSING!!

Well we do love warm weather and training for the marathon is super exciting!! We ran 22 miles last weekend! Thank goodness that was the last of our runs in the 20s until April 26 when we run 26.2 (hopefully)!!