Mother's Day Project

There are so many great ideas out there for Mothers Day, so I combined a few and came up with this!

These were fairly simple to create.  First, take a brown paper bag and fold it in half.  I stapled the edge to make a "binding". I've seen many paper bag books with ribbon tied to create the binding; however, I went simple!  Then, I found the pages for kids to decorate from The Memorable Teacher.  It was a FREEBIE!  Woot!

I chose 4 pages from the packet and pre-cut the squares out.  Students wrote and colored and used glue sticks to adhere them.  This created the front and back covers and inside.

I chose to keep the opening of the bag toward the bottom of the booklet.  We created a fun picture card to insert into the bag opening.  We took pictures of the kids outside, edited them, then attached to card stock.  I cut out circles with a circle punch to create the little tab to pull the picture out of the slot.  This creates a fun little surprise for mom to find!

Now, on to the keychains.  Aren't these adorable?!  I got this idea from Simply Kinder.  They are created with Shrinky Dink sheets and Sharpie markers!  It took me a little while to perfect cooking them, but after I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy.  Hint:  The shorter the length, the better, as they will curl up in the oven and begin to stick together.

Make these shrink film keepsake keychains with your students using Shrinky-Dink paper! We share how on Simply Kinder.

I used a small circle punch in the corner of the bag book and looped ball chain through.  I opted to use ball chain instead of the keychains shown above.  I knew I wanted to attach them to the bag books.  I ordered these on Amazon in 3" length.

Voila!  I think our moms are going to love these!

Teacher Appreciation Week

I feel so blessed to have such amazing families and kids this year.  For teacher appreciation week, our room mom suggests students bring a single flower to be added to a vase, with the idea that it will make a bouquet.  Well, my families all brought in whole bouquets!  It looked like a florist shop in my room all week.  This is just a small sample... I had two other vases full and took 5 bouquets of tulips home to enjoy.

Of all the student notes I received, this one made me giggle the most:

Now THAT'S a compliment!

Enjoy your weekend!
Find something you LOVE during the TPT sale today and tomorrow only!  Use the code below to save up to 25%.

Need a last-minute idea for your class for Valentine's Day?  Check out my post from last year on how to make melted Crayon hearts.  

You can purchase the cards here.  Super easy and the kids LOVE them!

I'll Dab to That!

That time when you challenge your students with a number sentence with four addends and one of your students is so excited he dabs.

Haha!  This just happened!

Winter is the Warmest Season

You might not agree with me right now, but winter IS actually the warmest season.  Yep, that's right.  And if you're saying, "Uh, uh.  No way!" then you might want to read this book by Lauren Stringer and see if she might persuade you otherwise.

I absolutely love this book.  Winter is the Warmest Season shows readers that the things we do in winter are quite warm.  Things like bundling up in scarves and mittens, sitting by the fire, and drinking hot drinks.  Snuggling under blankets and spending time cuddling with family.  Convinced yet?

I use this book every year in January to kick off my opinion/persuasive writing unit of study.  At first, students are like, "No way!  Summer is the warmest!" But then I teach them that this author is going to try to convince us that winter is actually the warmest.  Afterward, we write about what makes winter warm and cozy for us.  We will be doing this on our first day back, which is a fantastic time to talk about what makes us warm because students have just spent all of winter break with family doing things that make them feel warm and cozy inside.

I highly recommend this book with its beautiful illustrations as an addition to your opinion / persuasive writing unit this year.

Stay warm friends!

It's Time...

Happy New Year everybody!  I put it off for days, but the pull of getting in to school and getting a few things organized and ready for the new year got me yesterday!  I'm sure many teachers feel the same way.  On one hand, it's winter break and we deserve to sit around in pajamas all day doing whatever.  On the other hand, we feel anxious about the amount of work that lies ahead and wouldn't it be great to get some of it done so we can feel at ease about going back to school?  So, off to school I went.

It's quite frigid in Indiana... We are experiencing some record breaking low temps.  As I'm typing this it's warmed up to a brisk 1 degree this morning - brrrr!  I think we can count on some indoor recess time this coming week when we head back to school.

We do get a teacher work day this Wednesday before the kids begin on Thursday; however it's never enough time for me to get it all done.  Lesson planning, report cards, meetings, and organizing just can't get done in one day.  So, I usually will come in one day during break to get cracking.

It's sort of depressing, though.  As I walked toward the building amidst the fresh-fallen snow from the night before I realized there are no other tire tracks in the parking lot, nor footprints in the snow leading to the door.  I guess I'm the only one who's made the trek in.  That's okay, though.  Even though it's a bummer to spend part of my winter break working, I will enjoy the rest of my break knowing that I'm organized and well-prepared.

And, I'm getting two new students on the first day back.  TWO!!!  This, on top of a third new student I received just 2 weeks before break.  So naturally everything has to be re-labeled.  Closet labels, the class list posted outside my door, lunch choice sticks, etc.  This will be new student number 5 and 6 for me this year... it's been that kind of year, very transitional.

I have a very diverse group this year.  I'm the 1st grade high ability teacher, which is new to me, and I also have a cluster of ENL students.  On top of that, I have received a cluster of gen. ed. students as well.  Can you say differentiated groups?  Our district also adopted all new curriculum this year.  ALL!  As in new math, reading, and writing curriculum.  It's been a challenging year for me all around.

So, as I'm thinking forward to the new year, yesterday's school visit was all about getting organized, setting up new groups and partners, cleaning up and de-cluttering.  I spent about 5 hours doing just that and I could have spent at least another 5, but the sun was beginning to set.  This beautiful view out my classroom window reminds me that tomorrow is another day and I can't get it all done.  Like, ever!  But, I can be content that I'm doing all I can for my students and for myself and that's a good feeling.

Happy New Year!  Let's make it a great one!