spring

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Do You Know How Donor's Choose Can Help You?


Have you ever tried Donor's Choose? I've watched others use it, but never tried it. . . . .
 until this past fall. 

I work in a puny room no bigger than many bathrooms. So I needed a way to consolidate
 space and help kids with their needs. 

So I signed up for Donor's Choose and 
asked for 4 Wobble Stools. It was a stretch, 
because I just didn't think anyone would help me out. 

But they did! 

And boy did they! 

I had a few who donated anonymously and a few who had their donations doubled. 

All of a sudden it was complete. 

That feeling is a great one. To think that strangers believed in me and even wanted to purchase something to help my students was heartwarming. 

One of my donors was Krista from Creative Clips. I'm a huge fan of hers and when she said she was making a donation she really filled my bucket!

My stools were delivered right after the Christmas break. Here are some pictures of the day they arrived. 







So, if you are thinking about doing a Donor's Choose project, do it! It's easy to do if you just follow the steps on their website. 
Good Luck!




Friday, January 20, 2017

#weholdthesetruths

Today is a very important historical day for the citizens of United States. 
Inauguration Day signifies the day we officially start the new presidency.

There is a lot of controversy this year over the choice that our people picked for president.  Like it or not, we need to put on our big girl panties and move along with it. 

We have choices. We can choose to be angry and complain. Or we can choose to be nice and try to spread goodness everywhere. I choose the latter. 

In honor of that I want to share a forever freebie with you today. 

Click the picture to get this activity.

I'm going to use a book by Maria Dismondy to help your students also see how niceness is far better than being ugly. 

Maria's book called Chocolate Milk, Por Favor helps to teach your students about empathy and diversity. 

I read it to a group of kindergarteners last year. You can click HERE to read about that. I was truly amazed at how well even those littles could feel sad for Gabe in the story. They got it! They understood his pain. That's empathy! It's not hard to teach about it, and this book helps reinforce it!

I have created a packet of things that you can do with this book to help your students understand the importance of being kind to others. You can click the picture above to go to the freebie. 

Or Click this picture to go to my store.


You can also search in TPT for more freebies. Just use these in the search bar:
#weholdthesetruths
#Kindnessnation

I hope you will use many of these freebies to teach your students right from wrong and how to hold their country together with kindness. 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Transportation Day is Hands ON!

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.

Every spring the kindergarteners get to see, feel, and hear about many kinds of transportation that they may or may not have ever seen up close. Trucks, tractors, police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, electric service trucks, motorcycles, Amish horses and buggies, bicycles, buses, combines, and mail trucks are just a few of the vehicles that gather together.

We have a large parking lot that is empty during the day. All of the vehicles can gather here and give everyone plenty of room to see everything. The kindergarteners from three buildings are bussed here for about an hour-and-a-half to see everything.
Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
The students get to talk to the people who drive those vehicles and often get to climb right inside, too.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.

Their imaginations run wild thinking about how fun it would be to actually drive one of these. (Don’t worry: No keys were left in any of the vehicles!)

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
They may have seen a combine in a field working, but to actually climb up in this huge machine was so worth it!

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
We share the roads with the Amish in our community. So, to see what’s it’s like inside a buggy was very exciting. 
 
Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
They are amazed at the size of some of the larger machines.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.

They got to see how long the bed of the semi truck is! Running through it and screeching is louder than they thought!
 
Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
This little lady got to see what it’s like to ride in an ambulance, before she ever needs to.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
It’s pretty cool to see a car that’s shorter than a kindergartener!

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
They get to actually practice safely getting out of the back of the bus, in case they ever need to do so.
 
Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
 
Besides having fun on this day, they learn a lot about many different kinds of vehicles, and many children form ideas about what they want to be when they grow up.

Transportation Day is a fun day outside where police, firefighters, school bus drivers, farmers, and more bring their vehicles for children to learn about and explore. Learn how Transportation Day works at this teacher's school, and get ideas for how you can start Transportation Day at your school.
If this is something that you would like to do for your students, then you might want to start planning it now!
Patty


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Are You Looking For a Better Valentine's Party?



I'm sure that your minds are beginning to think about your upcoming Valentine's Day party. I'd like to share with you what we do for our Valentine's Day parties.

First of all the kids are asking all day long, "When is the party? When is the party? Is it time yet? How much longer until the party?" 

Be honest. . . your kids say that too.

Here's something you can plan that will eliminate those questions. 

Have your party in the morning. . . first thing! Right after they arrive. Right after the pledge, attendance, and lunch count. DO IT! Get it over with! Be done!

Here's how. 


You can either plan it with your food service people and order a special breakfast from them. We have had pancakes, or scrambled eggs, or whatever is available. You will have to contact them and plan this ahead of time. That's why I'm telling you now. 


I send a note home to the parents and tell them of our plans and ask them NOT to send in cupcakes, candy, or cookies. Yes, they still do, but the party is not all about the sweets. 



Or you can have families bring food in. Maybe a breakfast casserole, muffins, a pan of scrambled eggs, pancakes, french toast, regular toast, fruit, juice, or whatever sounds good to your kiddos. Maybe some moms can stick around to help serve it too.

Once breakfast is over you can start the party. . . because, let's face it, the party is what they really want!

We passed out our valentines to the classmates at this time. (our whole school did their parties in the morning, so it was convenient to pass out to other teachers too.) 

Once they are passed out, they can then open them.  Read them. Laugh at them. Blush. Giggle. Scream. Whatever they like to do in your class. 

After that, you are on your own. You can do a craft, a story, an academic activity that is a Valentine Theme. Or you can go back to doing regular work. It's your choice. Your kids might be a bit high, but they will not be asking, "When is the party? How long until the party? Is it time yet?"
Click the picture to go to the link.


Thanks for reading all of this! Here's your prize for hanging in there with me today. You can grab my Valentine Knock Knock Jokes (to put on their lockers) for free {just for a short time}. So download them, leave some good feedback, print them, laminate them and they'll be ready to hang on their lockers on February 1st.  Kids love to practice reading and expression with these jokes!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Project Based Learning - How to be a Public Speaker


Click the picture to go to my store.


Do your students need help in speaking publicly? Is this one of the standards that you have to teach or assess? You can check HERE to see. 

By this time of the year, your 2nd graders or older students may be ready to move on to this  project based learning activity. 

We called it Collections or Hobbies Exhibitions. The students are to think about things that they might collect. It might be baseball, football, Pokemon, or other kinds of cards. It could be barrettes, Barbies, jewelry, shells, rocks, or Legos. Or it could be action figures, medals they've earned in sports, or books. 







For the students who don't have a collection I let them share a hobby they enjoyed participating in. That could be self defense, scouting, making things with Legos, or other building materials. It could be knitting, making pot holders, or other crafts. The possibilities are endless. If they can justify it, they can use it. 






At home the students will gather their materials and think of a way to display them. They can use the display boards (that can be found at discount stores), cardboard that lies flat on the table, a colored or designed piece of paper (similar to scrapbooking or wrapping paper), a piece of fabric, or even a towel. They just need to find something that makes their collection stand out from the table. 


There is a form they can fill out at home with the parents' help. This will be used in the classroom during writing time to write their report. Once the report is complete, they will practice reading it aloud with a partner or small group. Their goal is to know their topic well and be able to share their collection/hobby with others, orally. 

This is what comes with the set when you purchase it. 


On the day that you have determined to be the sharing day, you will have each student stand in front of the class with their project and share all they can with the class. If you'd rather have them share in smaller groups, that's ok too. 

After they have shared, you can give your other students a chance to ask questions.  There is a question cheat sheet that can be used to help your kids who struggle with formulating questions. 

Be sure to secure the area for your whole class display with your administration. For me, we used the gym in our building. But maybe you have a different place or building that you want to display your entire class's projects. There was one other 2nd grade class who participated with me on this project. When we displayed them in the gym in the evening, there were many projects to look at. I encouraged parents to ask questions of the students who were standing in front of their display.

If you wish to grade this project, you can use the rubric that is included in the set.

If you choose to do this with your class, please come back and share with me how it was received. I'd love to hear about it.