Art Project and School Supplies

We're getting all artsy fartsy around here.  This was a cute, quick art project.

I read a blog post over at Rowdy in First Grade on the book Rabbityness and the art project Jennifer did with her kiddos.  I  knew we had to try it out.This is an amazing book FYI.  It deals with individuality and experiencing loss is such a subtle, beautiful way.

Only problem, no water colors.  Boo hoo.

However-I did happen to receive a very nice e-mail from MPM School Supplies.  They offered me $25 worth of school supplies to try out their company and let y'all know what I thought of it.  Problem solved!

So, late late on Saturday night (okay, it was actually Sunday by that point), I ordered six sets of these babies:

Prang's the best when it comes to water colors.  Sorry Crayola.  I still love your crayons.

The MPM School Supplies site was easy breezy to navigate.  Six sets put me $0.08 over plus shipping, but it was worth it. 


That was a nice little surprise.  I love me some free shipping.

Then I waited.  And Wednesday this package arrived with my goodies.

Can you believe I ordered this on the weekend and it was at my house on Wednesday?  

Look at these beauties:

We don't squeeze in time to do this sort of project often, but I wish I did.  One of my kiddos came up to me later to give me a hug and thank me for letting them "do that painting thing."

That Time of Year

How is it that I always forget what happens at this time of year?  22 sweet kids stuck in a small room together.  All awesome kids.  All getting pretty tired of each other.

It happens every year.  They've been together all year and are starting to get annoyed with each other.  Little comments here and there, an eye roll, or mean look.  The bickering and general lack of patience with each other.

All little things but they're starting to tear our team down.

We had "the talk" Friday.  We talked about how when we put out negative feelings, it takes a whole lot of positive to get that fixed up.  We decided a whole lot of positive needed to be added to our room.

Friday afternoon, they had to choose three people (and not their besties!) and decided on a positive act-words or small kindness-they could perform that would add positiveness to our room.  On Monday afternoon, we shutting down the school work early and starting some team building activities.

We're reading The Energy Bus for Kids.
There's an adult version.  Basically, in life, you have to choose to get on the positive energy bus or be an energy vampire.

There are even posters on book's the website.  Raise your hand if you know an energy vampire.

We're going to plan out words we would want our principal to use when describing us.  Then, we're going to plan actions that will get us there.

We're going to decorate our names on posters.  There will be traveling to write positive comments on other people's name posters.

They're going to work in small groups to create skits on how to and how NOT to respond to energy vampires.

That's my game plan.  How do you manage this time of year?  Any suggestions for me?

Biography Time

Full disclosure-I started writing this post in blogger Nirvana.  It's spring break, my girls spent the night at my parents, my husband is working, the cleaning ladies are moving full speed ahead at my house, and I am sitting in Starbucks with a coffee and my iPad.  Bliss.

It's spring break now, but when I return, it will be biography time.  I've been scouring the internet.  Okay, that's not true.  Apparently it's biography time for a lot of people because all kinds of cool biography stuff has been popping up in my feed and on Pinterest.  Thank you, good ideas, for coming to me.

So far, I've found these pins:
                                                                        Source: via Megan on Pinterest

                                                                          Source: via Megan on Pinterest

                                                               Source: via Megan on Pinterest

                                                                        Source: via Megan on Pinterest

This tiny little thing is fabulous! Connecting biographies to iPhones. Instant engagement.

And I've come across some great ideas recently as I was reading through blogs:
Making a scrapbook from L. Marie at Chickens, Crayons, and Diapers

And from Sabra at Teaching with a Touch of Twang

These are my favorite biography series:

And here's a little fun something from me to download that I use with my reading groups.  Print on card stock, fold, tape, voilà.

Monday Made It

It's time for a Monday Made It!  Thanks, Tara, for hosting this little bit of fun every month.

I made a couple of cute Easter printables using images from The Graphics Fairy.  Stick these in 8x10 frames and you're all cutsied up for Easter.  You can download them here.

Now for the school stuff:

I made this little set recently for my kiddos to use for editing their writing:

Well, I'm on Spring Break right now, so time for me to go relax with another cup of coffee.  Woohoo!


We're almost done with those fiction stories!  I know I've written about it enough.  Here here and here.

This week it was time for the kids absolute least favorite, why do you hate me so much teacher, part of writing.

Revising and Editing.

Guess, what?  I'm not a huge fan either, but it's the burden writers have to bear.  I have something I'm hoping will make it a little easier to do this time.  My poster and mini poster editing set.  You can find it here on TPT.  The set comes with full size posters and quarter sized, so the kids can have them available at their desks whenever they need.

I made this set for revising a couple of months ago.  Here's a picture of what I do with the smaller size:

We spent last week writing our stories.  I wanted them to take their story blocks-
and turn it into actually stories (and not just complete sentences.)  We took it slow, one row a day.  The first day I took a sentence from our read allowed, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  It was a very descriptive sentence for a very simple action-walking down the hallway.  Each day I added on to our list on the Mimio of a block from my plan, and the descriptive sentence I would turn it into.
And you know what?  They did it!  They really did it!  I couldn't be prouder of these kiddos.  There are varying levels of descriptiveness, but they all did it.  Even my super reluctant writers kept up.  I can't wait until they can share their finished stories with each other.

Five on the Fifth

It's time for the March edition of Five on the Fifth!

If you're new to this little series, it's a way to highlight some of the fabulous ideas I've found out in blogland.  It even has its own Pinterest board.

Now for the good stuff.

I think Molly over at Lessons with Laughter  and Abby at Third Grade Bookworm were reading my mind with some strange voodoo connection.  I have been struggling with spelling this year.  So many things I want to do . . . . and so little time.  Both of these ladies posted on how they're using Spelling City to manage things in their room.  I'd be happy to turn this management conundrum over to the computer or iPad!

Julie at The Techie Teacher shared a super cheap document camera she purchased for her classroom.  At waaaay under $100, this is one super techie feature to use in your room that won't break the bank.  

Tammy at Forever in First shared how she has her kids "Make It Right".  Turns out making a kid say he/she is sorry doesn't always fix things.  I love her simple and easy guide.  Go read her blog to learn how she uses it in her classroom.  It's worth the trip!

Miss Foote at Chickadee Jubilee teaches her students important life skills and writing at the same time.  Using a video and cupcakes.  How is this not a win win?  

Sara over at Smiling in Second Grade shared a great word work "Guess Who" type game that she played with her students.  Quick and easy phonics practice that students will love?  Thanks for the idea!

All of these lessons and ideas are pinned on my Five on the Fifth board.  If you are in the pinning mood, pin from there or directly from these ladies' blogs so they get the credit (and traffic!) they deserve.  Hope you found something to take back to your own classroom!