Mar 31, 2015

Teddy Bear Picnic and Spring Break

On our last day before spring break, we had a teddy bear picnic.  Each student brought in a teddy bear or a stuffed animal.  The parents donated a ton of "bear" themed snacks that the kids absolutely loved all day!!!  I gave them some teddy bear stuffing which was cotton candy.  They were not allowed to eat their teddy bear stuffing until 3:10 since we dismiss at 3:30.  Let's just say this
"Veteran Teacher" knows how to manage their sugar levels!!  I wanted to make sure that we all went out excited at the end of the day that we were off for 10 days!!!  

My husband treated me this spring break to a trip to Grand Cayman Island.  I think I am in love with this beautiful island...hoping my vacation goes REAL SLOW!!!


Mar 22, 2015

Presenting At Leader In Me Symposium In Columbus, Ohio, Ron Clark, and Teddy Bear Picnic

This week is going to be a cuh-razy week!  Grade cards go home on Wednesday, so you all know what that means I have been doing this weekend.  However, when you begin with the end in mind, you get it done.  I told myself I could NOT leave the house yesterday until it was done!  I love having fun on Saturday's, so I got busy and got grade cards off of my TO DO LIST!!
Sunday's Begin With The End In Mind is to finalize our presentation for How To Embed Literature With The Seven Habits.  We have all projects collected and done, we just need to wrap up slides by taking pictures. We will post some of our fun projects this week for you!!
We present on Wednesday and are so excited.  Once we are finished we get to watch RON CLARK!!!  He came to our district a couple of years ago for to kick off the school year for teachers and let's just say he was AWESOME!!
After our presentation, we will travel back home and go back to school on Thursday.  Thursday night we have some spring conferences and then we have an Leader In Me Open House for parents where the kids can bring their families back to school for activities on The 7 Habits.  Once Thursday is over, Friday is our last day before spring break so we are having a teddy bear picnic at school.  We will do fun bear activities the entire day!!  Thank goodness I have awesome parents in my classroom because I am sending a note home on Monday for them to donate items and give them some PINTEREST ideas that they can go cuh-razy on and bring in on Friday.  I think I will be ready for our spring break vacation by the weekend!! 
This is an example of one of the ways we embed literature and the 7 Habits in our classroom.  We read Squirrel's New Year's Resolution by Pat Miller.  We discussed the habit Begin With The End In Mind.  Next we discussed our steps that had to take to reach this goal by the end of January.  Our district uses 6 Traits for our writing "program", so using vivid descriptive words in how you get a 4 on the writing rubric under word choice.   


Mar 21, 2015

Editing Writing and Teddy Bear Picnic

I am just in love with how much my students love to write.  They have become very confident writers.  I wanted them to start editing this writing products, so I purchased Punctuation Police from Elizabeth Hall.  This has made a huge difference with my kids wanting to go back and reread their writings.  I also added my own version of an editing ticket so that the kids could match up the items on our 6 Traits Writing Rubric.  They love doing the Editing Ticket individually, but many of them love conversing with one another to make sure they are checking off things and being "honest" about their ticket!!!

 Just got item number one off of my to do list which was grade cards.  Now it's time for me to plan for our teddy bear picnic.  We have done this now for 3 years in place of Easter eggs filled with candy and it is soooooo much fun and no candy!!  I will post pictures in the next couple of days!

Mar 14, 2015

Catch That Leprechaun

For several years I have had my student use their creativity and design some kind of a leprechaun trap to share at school.  This year, I created a little writing "packet" that allowed them to begin with the end in mind.  We read several St. Patrick's Day books where we used the text to justify that we found something that leprechauns liked that we could use to in our traps to lure in that tricky leprechaun!  I had 23/24 students complete this assignment and to say that they are excited about this project is a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!!  
Here are some of our creative traps!!!


Mar 8, 2015

Leprechaun Traps...Begin With The End In Mind Home Project

We have definitely been using the habit Begin With The End In Mind in our classroom this past week.  The kids have been discussing how they can catch the leprechaun.  Of course, every time we say the word leprechaun we have to whisper it.  So, every poem, book, and message we are reading for the next several days will require us to whisper "that word".  This is such a fun way to engage ALL learners in your class.
Our focus this past week was to investigate and find out what things the "leprechaun" likes so that we know what to use in our traps.  Then once we found out these items, they started to use their creativity and were brainstorming how they were going to design a trap to catch him.  
This weekend and through next Wednesday they are designing this trap and will bring it to school.  The day they bring it to school, they will use their speaking skills to tell us how they plan on catching that leprechaun.  I will allow them to set the trap one night in our room and then I will send it home the very next day so I don't have 24 traps in my classroom at one time.  
I did design a homework "packet" for them to fill out at home that they will also bring in to me the day that are bringing the trap back to school.  
I ran into one of my sweet little girls and her family at Hobby Lobby on Saturday in the parking lot and let's just say she ran out of her car as FAST as she could run to tell me that they were getting supplies to make her trap.  She proceeded to tell me her plan and what things she was as her mother said to say she is a tad bit excited is a UNDERSTATEMENT!!!  Can't wait to see their leprechaun trap inventions!!
One of the best things about this project is the amount of standards I am hitting with this project:  speaking, listening, reading, and writing!!