Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Field Day 2012

Today was Field Day. Other schools call them Play Day. But basically it's a "yes, you will get wet" day. In the 90+ degree weather, I had a spray bottle of water and misted down the class as we had fun. Of course, the best games were those that involved water. We had a real water slide, a carry-the-soaked-sponge-on-your-head relay race, and a bouncy house, as well one of those carnival bell ringers (where you hit the spot with a heavy mallet).

Next year I'd like to see a sit-on-and-bust-the-water-balloon relay race.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's Graduation Day!

Here they are, waiting to go into the auditorium to receive their diplomas. The reason they're on the floor is because we took our chairs in earlier that morning.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eating Healthy (So a Child Can Understand It)

Our students keep hearing about "eating healthy" and making healthy choices. So to help my class, we took paper plates and divided them into fourths. We then labeled each section: meat, fruit, bread, and vegetable. And we "filled" each section with pictures cut from catalogs. We also discussed the fact that a piece of meat or a pile of mashed potatoes covering more than its "share" is too much. I think the lesson worked, especially when I watched them making their choices in the cafeteria.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teacher Resource - Education (dot) com

I've added this to the blog as a favorite teacher site. You might want to add it to your site, too. It's a great resource for all grade levels!

Monday, May 21, 2012

DIY Sentence and Story Cubes

If you're like me, you don't have a lot of money to spend on the expensive "story starter" kits offered through the various teaching supply websites. Neither does my school have the money to buy them. In addition, some of the cubes will get lost before the year's end.

As you've probably noticed, I do a lot of DIY (Do It Yourself), that work just as well. I thought I'd share with you what I do. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of stamps. Using plain wooden 1-inch blocks (available cheaply at hobby shops or dollar stores), I made my own story/sentence cubes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Writing Sentences With Newspapers!

With the end of the year looming, and all the paperwork/inventory/testing involved that needs to be done (and no assistant), there's little time to actually teach class. Many teachers resort to playing movies in their rooms, but I don't like doing that. I want the students to still learn. So I came up with this activity that the children literally jumped on.

I gave each child a sentence strip and a page of the newspaper. I instructed them to write me a sentence telling me what they wanted or planned to do this summer. Then they had to "write" the sentences again using words from the paper. (If they couldn't find the word intact, they could cut and paste letters together to spell the words.)

The results were fun and often funny. Braedyn's sentence reads, "I am going to the aquarium."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Getting Creative With Stencils

Believe it or not, I found these plastic alphabet stencils in a party store. The kids love using them, and on a whim I challenged them to write a sentence using them. Later that day they used the stencils to make lists of their friends' names, among other thing. These stencils are so inexpensive, they'd make great end-of-the-year gifts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Domino 6

Play dominoes up to 6! In the beginning, I put out a small "cheat sheet" to help those students who needed it. (Ex: 6 + 0, 5 + 1, 4 + 2, 3 + 3).

The rules are simple:
*Put dominoes face-down on table, shuffle, and put to the side.
*First person draws first domino. First domino always goes into the middle.
*Next person draws a domino. Depending on the first domino, a match has to equal 6. (See pic.)
*If the domino drawn cannot match, the next person draws. If it does match, the player places it but doesn't draw again.
*BE SURE the next player checks their "on hand" dominoes to see if any of them can be played, before drawing from the pile.
*When all dominoes have been drawn, keep going around the circle to see if a player can play from his "on hand".
*Winner is the first person to use up all his dominoes. Or, when all dominoes that can be played have been used, the winner is the person with the fewest dominoes left.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Name Math - and a Freebie!

This is such a fun activity! Basically, each student takes the number of letters in his first and last name, and adds them together. Then he gets to add together his first name, and the first name of a friend, to get a sum. (In fact, he gets to do this with two friends.)

Click here for the initial freebie worksheet.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Writing Sentences, But Differently

I've done this with the class as a whole a few times, just so they get comfortable with it. Next week they'll be on their own.

Basically, I give them a simple five- or six-word sentence. Underneath it are blank lines.

First they take the first word, (ex: Meg), and substitute a new name (ex: Bill), followed by the rest of the sentence as is, and write it on the first line.

Second line, they change only the second word (ex: bit), while writing the remainder of the sentence as is.

Third line, third word - fourth line, fourth word - fifth line, fifth word. You get the idea.

(For fun, to challenge my more advanced students, they got to write the "hidden" sentence" on the back of the paper, which was using all the words they substituted in. Ex: "Bill threw a  cold toast.")

Sentence examples:
A frog sat on a log.
Did you see the duck?
My mom can make cupcakes.
Bob saw the red bug run.
She has a big purple crayon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Calendar Cheer Poem

May! May!
School is out
In ___ more days!

(Our school year ends in May. Our daily cheer is our countdown.)