Monday, January 31, 2011

100th Day

I love, love, love the 100th day of school. I don't know what it is about it, but it's exciting to me! Here's a few of the fun things we did on our 100th day.

Here's the topic for their journal that was on the overhead as they entered the classroom.

I found the $100 pencils at Party City last year for like 50 cents. I picked up the bookmarks and crowns in the $1 section at Target.

We read The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.

Then I divided the students into 2 groups of 10. Each student had to decide on a topping to add to the pizza. Then, they added 10 of that topping to their pizza, resulting in 100 toppings on their pizza. This activity was a great cooperative activity.

Then we read Grandpa's Teeth. This is my new favorite book! I laughed as I read it for the first time alone in my classroom. After school, I read it to my 2 children in my classroom. As I was reading, the janitor came in and stopped and just stood there listening until I finished the book. It was hysterical! You must get it and read

Then the kids made two drawings. One was what they look like presently. Then, they drew themselves at 107 years old. We crumbled up the 100 year old picture to make it look "wrinkly".

We also made 100 day bottles. Click here for all the instructions. I highly recommend this activity. It's a simple at home project that's a more purposeful twist to the "bring in 100 items" activity.

Happy 100th Day!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sharpening Pencils

I want to invent an electric pencil sharpener that actually works really great for more than a month. But until I do, I have to do my best to maintain the one we have in our classroom. One way I attempt this is by not allowing my students to sharpen colored pencils. They can only sharpen those in their personal manual sharpeners. Another way I try to keep our sharpener in tip top shape is by keeping students from sticking pencils that are too short in the sharpener. Short pencils could possibly get stuck. Also, they shouldn't be writing with pencils that are too short anyway. I put this sentence strip up so they can check their pencil before they sharpen it. Simple fix!

Picture Graph

My students put graphing skills into practice everyday while I take attendance! I created the graph using a black laminated posterboard and black velcro. I laminated sentence strips for the title and categories. In the beginning of the school year I choose the topics. After the first month or so I start letting the students take charge of this. I make it a reward, because they all love being in charge of the graph. They come in first thing in the morning and place their picture on their choice. At a glance I can see whose picture is left, therefore who is absent. Fun, purposeful and no maintenance on my part!

I'm linking here:
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homework Hotline

I used to collect homework every morning and throw it in a tray. Many days the end of the day would come and I never got a chance to go through the homework. The problem with this was then I couldn't give feedback to those who didn't turn in their homework. So I had to come up with some way to avoid this. Now we have the "Homework Hotline".

The students clip their homework on the "hotline" using the numbered clothespin. I can see at a glance whose homework is missing. Problem solved!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Giant Panda

In Science, we learned about endangered animals. One of the animals was the Giant Panda. So we did a mini study on pandas today. First, we read this book:

Phi-Shu the Little Panda
Then we went to the Smart Lab and viewed some of these websites:
An interactive video/reading activity

Just a fun jigsaw puzzle to work on on the Smart board.

Then we worked on this graphic organizer:

I gave each student a sticky note and they had to write one fact about the panda. Their sentence had to start with "Pandas have", "Pandas are", or "Pandas can". It was a great way to help them organize their thoughts.
I altered this idea from here

Lastly, we completed this writing assignment. The students started with "Did You Know?" Then they wrote 3 things they learned about the giant panda.

I got the lined writing paper here

I found the panda head and feet here

It was originally designed for a paper bag puppet. But I usually like the crafty things to have some writing incorporated.

The kids really learned alot. They were fighting over the 6-8 panda books I had displayed on the bookshelf! So cute!