Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory FREEBIE!

Happy (almost) New Year!  To ring in the new year, I want to share an activity that I have done with my kids for the past two years.  It is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Project that we do at the completion of the CATCF novel. The project covers the topics of summarization, letter writing, descriptive narratives, and adjectives.   I would love to share my template and directions with you if you are interested in the project.  STEP 1:  Follow my blog, and STEP 2:  leave a comment with your email address.  Once you have done that your CATCF freebie will be on it's way!  The kids LOVE making these characters, and they always turn out so darn cute!  Here are a few pics of our projects!

Monday, December 19, 2011


It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Christmas break!  I sure do LOVE teaching around Christmastime, but I sure do LOVE when we get a nice long break too!  Here are a few highlights from our last week of school!

Christmas around the world:  Welcome to France!! My teammates and I each took one country to teach to our classes in a rotation, and I was in charge of France!  Here are a few pictures from the day-
Noel Banners with construction paper, glue, and glitter

File folder passports

Yules Logs-Swiss Rolls:)

French "Yule Logs"

Reindeer Hands and Feet- This must be the oldest craft in the book, but my kids loved it!  And they definitely personalized all of the reindeer! So stinkin' cute!

And-as promised, pictures of our cinnamon ornaments!  Mix Cinnamon, applesauce, glue, and a little water for some amazing smelling ornaments!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Revisiting the Glory Days.....and apple cinnamon ornaments!

My husband and I were hanging out with some of our friends tonight, laughing about "the good ole' days"-or the "not so good ole' days" depending on which story we are telling at the time:) HA!  When we got home I was perusing through old pictures, and what should I find but a video of us back at cheerleading practice! (My husband and I met on a college cheer team-GO PIRATES!)  Anyway-have a chuckle for yourself!

Anyway-at school this past week we dug into the vivid vocabulary from the Polar Express!  So far so good!  My kids and I are pushing through these last couple of weeks until Christmas, and I am sure that you are too!  I am taking the whole Elf on the Shelf thing really seriously:)  If you are interested in my Polar Express Unit, check it out here!  There is still time to do the unit before Christmas! 

We are also going to be making Cinnamon applesauce ornaments.  The recipe is super easy, the room smells amazing when they are done!  I'll be posting my own pictures and recipe next week, but if you want to try it with your own kiddos, I found a great blog about it called 5 orange potatoes. Check it out:

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Girl's Night, Thanksgiving, and Polar Express!

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  Now we are in the home stretch until Christmas break!  I would first of all like to say how relaxing it is to get to visit with family and friends during long breaks from school.  I was so blessed to spend my weekend before Thanksgiving with a close friend that I used to teach with. It was motivating to talk to someone who shares a positive attitude about our kids and their potential in meeting their end of the year goals in reference to testing.....and have a couple of glasses of vino:) Add to that a 6 day weekend with family in FL, and voila!  Relaxed and ready to go!

I have posted a new product on Teachers Pay Teachers that I will be using with my third graders in the weeks leading up to Christmas break.  It is a Polar Express Writing Unit, and is a BLAST!!  There are so many great options for using The Polar Express in the Classroom, but I absolutely LOVE using it for writing!  Check it out HERETHE POLAR EXPRESS WRITING UNIT

Also, here are a few pics of things that we did during Thanksgiving.  The newspapers and paper plates were used in a budgeting lesson teaching kids how to plan for and budget for Thanksgiving dinner.  Whew!  That was a toughie, but definitely an eye-opener for my students!  (Think:  What do you mean the turkey cost $20???)  Priceless!  It is amazing the street smarts that come out during lessons like that too!  (Think:  I am going to get green beans in a can, since they are cheaper.)  I hope you all had success teaching Thanksgiving to your kiddos too! 

Comparing and Contrasting the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Tribe

Budgeting sheet and plate with cut out food from the Sales ad.  For more, see my Thanksgiving Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers.

We don't have bulletin boards in the hallway, so this is my makeshift attempt at displaying our Thanksgiving work:)

Getting Serious!!  Budgeting our Thanksgiving dinner!

A little Pilgrim girl and flow map for the First Thanksgiving

Bulletin Board in my classroom with Pilgrims and first Thanksgiving flow maps.  Had to post this so that everyone could see the pink/blonde pilgrim:)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Time!

Halloween is absolutely my FAVORITE holiday to teach.  And I am totally sure that when Christmas rolls around, I will be saying the same thing:)  I wanted to share a few fun moments we had during the holiday lessons!

Thanks to Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants, I got to use this ABSOLUTELY adorable witches brew lesson.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!!  It was so much fun, and even though it was a lesson for younger kids, my 3rd graders loved it!  To check out her unit, click HERE!  Pics Below:

The day after our crazy fun Witches Brew, we had the 3rd annual PUMPKIN MATH DAY!!  The kids were absolutely hyper!!  But, I figure, if you can't beat the Halloween madness, why not JOIN IN!  I have a PDF file of the unit.  If you would like me to email you the unit, just leave me your email in a comment, and I will send it to you!  Here are a few pictures of our Pumpkin Math Unit:

Now that we have all survived Halloween, let's get going in NOVEMBER!  On to the next fun holiday!  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Love Teaching in the Fall!

Well bloggies, I feel like I have not been able to blog in forever, and I have to say that it is because:


We are finally getting glimpses of cooler weather, and fun lessons about Halloween and crunching leaves are here!!

In honor of one of my favorite seasons to teach, I am throwing a SALE on my Halloween Unit.  From now until Sunday, the Halloween writing unit is 10% off, making it only $3.15!  Hooray!  You can access my unit HERE.

Here are a few things that we have been up to this Fall:

FIELD TRIP!!  Oh boy!  Every teacher's dream day!  Just kidding-but I really did have a lot of fun taking my kids to the Imagination Station.   Here are a few shots of us at the station and eating lunch at Toisnot Park!

We also did a little "Shaving Cream Spelling".  Don't freak out when I say this but.....I have never done this before!  It was super fun and the kids were hilarious with their shaving cream hands!

Lastly-I would love to share some of my personal photos-Ha!  My husband and I went to the Bahamas last weekend...Holla!!  It was such a blast! Here I am on embarking day:

That's all for now!  Happy Fall Everyone!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oreo Moons+Halloween Unit

Whew-So, I guess not posting in a week means that I have a lot to post about now?  School has  been crazy busy-I am sure you all feel the same way! This week, I decided to try out a few new things!  First of all, I decided that with my group this year, I needed to do MUCH MORE informal assessment to make sure that they were with me and listening!  I decided to try using questions and having the students respond with hand signals.  I like it!  I can immediately tell who gets it, and who is sleeping with their eyes open!  I am also continuing to use the whole brain teaching strategy of TEACH-OK.  It is a wonderful way of giving the lower students reinforcement, and the higher students a chance to explain their thinking! 

*By the way-does anyone else feel like they have to put on a circus act somedays?*  Luckily though, while my job is a challenge, my kids are sweetie pies this year, and I love being around them!

On to another topic:  Moon OREOS!  I took this activity from the home grown leaners blog.  It was so much fun and the kids ate it up-literally:)  The activity asked for the kids to carve the phases of the moon into the creme of the oreo.  They were definitely into it, and were using words like "waxing", "waning", "gibbous", and "crescent".  Woo Hoo!

You can totally see the phases of the moon in this kids!  He did a good job scraping!!

Had to post this-please notice the boy in the middle.  I mean, I am so happy that he was that excited about learning!
In my last post, I included the moon journal that we will be using.  It is a free download, so go get it HERE.

OK ALMOST DONE!  I have made a Halloween Writing Unit that I am selling on TPT.  It will be a week long writing unit, and will teach kids how to write a descriptive narrative.  It is super fun, and I can't wait to use it!  And-best of all, it is only $3.50!  Check is out here-Halloween Writing Unit

Have a FABULOUS week!!