Thursday, April 17, 2014

End of the Year Activities = FUN!


Hi Friends... I hope this blog post finds you well.  I wanted to share a few activities that I do with my kiddos during the last few weeks of school.  I don't finish my year until the last week of June, but I know that many schools end in May so I thought I would share my end of the year activities a bit earlier this year :)

I always have done some type of scrapbook with my students every year, so last year I decided to make something new and a bit different.   


This is what the cover will look like...But I am going to add a picture of myself with my little ones on the cover for a keepsake :)


This is what the lapbook will look like when it's opened.  I printed my flip-flap books in color but I have black and white versions for my little ones to color.  Each flip-flap book has lines inside of them where the students will write.  I am just totally lovin' this one :)  And I think my kiddos are going to love it too! 


If you want to take a look at this unit, check it out in my TPT Store when you get a chance :) Just click the image below to get there!





I wanted to do some type of project that my students could do on the First Day of School and then again on the Last Day of School to show their growth in their writing and how they have "literally" grown by adding a picture of them to the project..so.....

From Beginning to End 
was born :)

And for those of you who know me by now...it has to contain some type of Flip-Flap Book...LOL


During the last week of school, my little ones do the last part of my From Beginning to End unit.  The first day of school we work on The First Day of SECOND Grade flip flap book.  It is a great activity to see what skills they have and what they need to work on as well.  Then at the end of the year, they complete the last part of this activity where they do The Last Day of SECOND Grade flip flap book.  It is INCREDIBLE to see their growth within their writing skills!  The parents absolutely LOVED it last year!








This is what the Flip-Flap Book looks like when each page is opened!









The Flip-Flap Book for the End of the Year has different sentences in the booklet that has the students writing about memories and things they have learned...and of course, a picture on the last page of the book to show how they have grown through the year.

This is the example of the Third Grade project!



So...If you haven't planned your End of the Year Activity yet, I hope you give this unit a try!



Here are some pictures of my little ones completing the project...







So...that's a fun little ditty that we did at the end of the school year :)

If you're interested in using this in your classroom, you can pick it up in my TPT Store!

Click the images below for your grade level!




Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

Hugs,


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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ipods in the Classroom for Listen to Reading



Hi Friends....  Welcome to the next....


Isn't this FUN!!!  I absolutely LOVE these Bright Idea Blog Hops.  I have learned sooooooo much from the last two hops!

Today I just wanted to share with you how I organized my Listen to Reading Station in my classroom during our Daily 5 Rotations.  

I have been teaching second grade for 21 years so I have a HUGE..did I say HUGE...collection of books on cassette tapes.  I'm not sure if you have ever tried to teach children how to work a cassette player, but it is deathly NOT FUN!  I have tried and tried and tried...over and over again to help my little ones understand the ins and outs of cassette players over the years to NO AVAIL!  So I have decided to STOP TRYING and go with the times....in came...ipods!  Yes...children today can work technology better than we can especially if it begins with an "i" :)  So I caved!  I wanted to buy 6 ipods for my classroom, but they are REALLY expensive and I just don't happen to have that kind of cash laying around...so I head on over to ebay and found myself these adorable "iPods" that work REALLY well at $16.00 a pop!  Not bad...huh!

I organized the 6 iPods and typed out a list of books that are in each bin.  I color coordinated each laminated card so that we knew which bin each book belonged to.  My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE using the ipods in the classroom and they can't get enough of them!












This regular iPod is used for my Listen to Reading Station where I have 6 copies per book.





I spent most of my summer transferring my cassette tapes over to mp3 files...it wasn't fun..but when it was done, I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders!  I used a really cool program called Audacity.   This program allows you to change your cassettes into mp3 files really easily and then they can be put on mp3 players.  Now...I would LOVE to show you how to do this...but you would probably not learn it correctly from me...so I am going to forward you to the wonderful Nicole over at Teaching With Style because she created an AWESOME video on how to transfer these files over using Audacity.

Here is the link to Audacity...


Click this image to head on over to Nicole's blog to learn how to convert your cassettes to mp3 files with Audacity!  Nicole was a godsend to me and her video tutorial is SUPER easy to follow!


When I was ready to teach my students HOW to use the iPods, I met with the class on the carpet and put 3 - 4 children in each group with an iPod and I explained how to use the iPods...and that was IT!!!  YES....I said it...THAT WAS IT!!!  ONE 20 MINUTE TEACHING SESSION and they knew how to use them!  It doesn't get any better than that.  Now if a child ever has difficulty using one, which only happened in the beginning, one of the other students quickly helped them and it was smooth sailing.  If this is something that is on your "to do" list, I highly recommend it!  Best thing I have done in my classroom to help with the management and organization of my Daily 5 Rotations!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about my classroom ideas, or Giveaways, and FREEBIES, consider following me on Facebook,  Pinterest, and my TPT Shop!

Take a look below at all of the other Bloggers that are sharing their Bright Ideas today!  You don't want to miss out on these amazing ideas!  Check them out....





Big Hugs,

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Friday, April 4, 2014

An Out of this World GIVEAWAY!


I love teaching in units!  It helps me to create more meaningful lessons for my learners and saves me time during the day!  It's wonderful when you're able to find great digital resources to support the content that you're teaching!  I love how this resource for Kitten's First Full Moon from Tamara over at Mrs. Russell's Room goes with my Flip Flap Book on the Moon!!!!  You gotta love pairing fiction and non-fiction units together in perfect harmony...right?

So...why not give a set away to one lucky winner this weekend?


My Flip flap book features several literacy links.  Students can use this as a research tool, or as an individualized piece to reflect on their learning of the science content!
Check it out!



Tamara's unit features an in depth look at main and idea and cause and effect skills with explicitly laid out plans that are easy to implement and follow.




These two units will enhance any integrated unit plans that you have for teaching space concepts or the moon! :)

If you'd like a chance to win one of these awesome resources for your class...just fill out the rafflecopter below!
The giveaway ends on Sunday!

Hugs,

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