My latest "Pinter-ations!"

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's So Hard to Say Good-Bye

Today was a sad day... Today was the last day that my senior intern was in class with us! 

Here was the first day we met and we have had so many adventures together!! 

100th Day!!

Frog and Toad!!

Meeting Jack Hartmann!!!

It has been so wonderful to share in the learning experience with her. Have you ever taken on an intern?

I know that some teachers are scared or feel that it is a big responsibility! It is! Don't get me wrong but it's also a good experience for you as a teacher because you get to reflect upon your own teaching practices-- not that you don't-- but you tend to look at them differently when someone is looking to you to help build their own. It's a challenge because you do give up your sweeties; yet you do look on with loving care and guide when needed. You feel a sense of pride when you see him or her starting to build that confidence in the classroom and really take ownership of the lessons, tears, and laughter!!! They become you-- in a sense. I loved watching her teach and seeing her grow into her own and am so excited for her to have her own classroom one day-- maybe in my school!!! 

I wanted to give her a little something from the kids to remember. So I turned to my favourite-- Pinterest! I do not know the original creator of this so if it's you-- please let me know!! We made a tree for her

I think the orginal had some washi tape and some flowers-- I kept it simple! I love their prints on there. I also had the kids write a book on some advice for her new classroom. They were so stinkin' cute!


I loved how most of them put "Love your class!" Isn't that so true!!!! 

Do you have a senior intern? I'd love to hear about your experience! 

If you'd like to make a book for your intern, you can download it for FREE! Click on the pic!

 Click for FREEBIE!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Let's GoNoodle!

GoNoodle! Have you heard of it? I promise you that this will change the way you do movement and transitions in the classroom. Now if you are like me and teach primary, we always do some type of movement song (We have done the Tooty Ta, Chicken Dance, Freeze Song, Tony Chesnut-- You name it!). We have to or else our eyes and bodies will twitch at the end of the day! I must look like this at the end of the day some days!! 

I don't know about you but some days, I am barely hanging on! Especially at the end of a a rainy, blustery, cupcake filled, or oh my gosh-- they served ice cream at lunch day!!! 

GoNoodle has been a saver in my classroom as far as brain breaks and movement. My kids ask for it every half hour or in between our transitions because they KNOW-- that's how I roll! We always use some type of music or transition movement in between subject areas. Plus, they added 100 minutes of physical activity into our curriculum in addition to their PE time so this also meets that need (I am so thankful for that! It saves me the time from having to think of ideas!!) And all you need is a computer, a projector, and elements of fun! Best of all, signing up is FREE and you have the option to upgrade to get more options! 

So, how does GoNoodle work? Like I said, it's a free sign up. You sign your kids up here. Once you sign your class up, your class will select a champ. As your class goes through their breaks, they will earn time towards their goal. Once they meet their goal, their champ will grow and change-- They LOVE this!!! It's important they see this-- plus, it's just fun! Then they move onto the next level. Here is a picture of a champ with a level bar. It always shows the students what goals they have met and how far they have to go until the next level. 

So, how do your students meet their brain break goals? Oh my goodness! There are so many choices! It just really depends on what they need. Wanna dance? Sing? Relax? Exercise? 

Here are our Top 5 choices in my class--so far! We've yet to explore all it has to offer. 

Transitions are really tricky for my class this year and I have found that these have really helped to get them refocused and motivated to the next activity. It also keeps them engaged so that they can go onto the next Go Noodle break, too! I love seeing their faces, too, and love hearing them ask for it because I know they enjoy it so much! 

So, go ahead! Go Noodle with us! We are even giving away a FREE one year subscription to their services!!! Go over to the Primary Chalkboard (click on the button below) to take you there and enter! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas: Spin for Comprehension!

Hi there!!! I'm so glad you stopped by today!! I'm so excited to be part of the Bright Ideas Linky today! I have learned soooo many new ideas since the last hop and am excited to share my simple idea with you! 

It actually started when I was at Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and I saw these (among other things and then the Dollar Tree turns into the Fifty Dollar Tree! LOL! I'm sure you can relate!) and had to have them!

Hence, the birth of my Bright Idea!!! I'm always looking for unique and fun ways to build comprehension in my class. So, I thought I would write questions on the petals and use them in guided reading groups!

This is the best part! You tailor the questions you want!! For mine, I had two comprehension wheels: One for fiction and non-fiction.

On my fiction wheel, some ideas to ask are (the ones I used are bolded):

What is the setting?
Who are the characters?
What is the problem
How is the problem solved?
Would you have chosen a different ending? 
What is the key idea? Find a supporting detail. 
Did the characters change in the story?
What is the theme?
What is the author's purpose?
What was your favourite part and why?
Compare and contrast 2 characters.

On my non-fiction wheel, some ideas to ask are (the ones I used are bolded):

Tell about a new fact you learned.
Does the text provide evidence through pictures or drawings? Show us!
Does the text have a map, diagram or map? Explain one to us. 
What did you already know about the topic?
Pick a Power Vocabulary word from the text. Teach us.
How can you learn more about this topic?
What is the key idea? Find a supporting detail. 
Why is this topic important?

The possibilities are endless!!! 

As you can see, we used it in reading groups and the kids were so eager to spin the wheel and discuss the text with each other and me. It was so exciting and fun to see them so engaged in text talk. 

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook , Pinterest, or Instagram.

For more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Getting Artsy with Olivia

This week we are studying Olivia! That cute and adorable pig that is so precocious that it is almost endearing! We (ok, I am, too!) are loving being immersed in Olivia. We are studying how her character changes or acts from text to text. We are also studying how her character interacts with the other characters in the book and we are comparing her adventures. They are just really fabulous books to do a study on!

Of course, we had to make an Olivia! We have been working out of my Olivia Literacy Companion pack all week! It is one of my favourites! 

Working on Artsy Syllables

Olivia Character Comparison. How are you alike/different than Olivia?

You can check out the rest of my Olivia activities here:

Today, however, we took an artsy approach to the story, In the original story, Olivia visits and art museum and tries to create art in her bedroom! As seen in the story, this was not done with much success! In our classroom today, the students got to do a gallery walk of art and they were art critics. I first showed them a virtual tour of the National Art Gallery. You can click here to see what that is like. Just fair warning, some photos contain unclothed people! I previewed the gallery and tried to stay on one floor or one corner of a floor only to avoid that at all costs! We talked about colors, shapes, lines, why did the artist choose to paint this particular piece (the art term is called emphasis). Just look at my little artists!

To get these prints, I just asked our sweet art teacher for a few that would be appropriate for first grade and hung them up. I also put a sticky note with the name of the artwork as well as the name of the artist! They were in love!! I made a quick little mini-book for them to work on. It is not a part of my packet but one that this group needed. 

If you'd like to download this little mini art critics book (bonus writing prompt paper included! It is a writing paper that prompts how do children like to create art like Olivia.) click on the image below to grab it!

If that wasn't fun enough, Olivia has her own youtube channel AND some fun websites to add to your learning and fun! Click on the pictures to take you there.

In between all this fun, our class has really been into Go Noodle! Have you heard of it? It is a site that has all sorts of brain breaks (some Common Core aligned!!) for kids! It has been such a refreshing change in my classroom!

Sorry some of the pics are blurry! It's hard to get those action shots with your phone! 

This is us doing the hurdle jump!

The 400 meter run!

I have to tell you, it really wears them out! For every break, they earn points and each point is working towards a goal for them. I HIGHLY recommend it for your class! It's a free sign up but you can pay for more access to videos as such! So GO NOODLE today! LOL! We are seriously in love in with it. I have one of the kindergarten teachers hooked, too! LOL! 

Hope you all have a super duper rest of the week!