October 19, 2015

Facts About Bats!

Hey everyone!  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Fall is definitely in the air, but I am LOVING this weather!  Sweaters and boots are my favorite!  

We have been working on a bat unit.  We read a story called Batty About Bats, which is included in the intervention program we use.  There are so many informational texts about bats, so this activity could be adapted to whichever one you are planning on using,

The first day, I made a Facts About Bats poster.  I drew a bat in the middle.  We had a class discussion about what we know about bats.  Then, we read the story together.   After the story, I gave each of my students a few sticky notes.  They were directed to write down something they learned, a fact, about bats.  Then they went up and put their stickies on the poster.

That evening, I drew an outline of a bat on black construction paper.  Then I traced all their bats on the paper, this way they were ready to go.  I also cut out circles and triangles on white construction paper for their eyes and teeth.  The next day, my kiddos cut their bats out and glued on the eyes and teeth.  They decorated their bats, and let me tell you, they came out adorable!  

After their bats were completed, we reviewed the facts that were written on the sticky notes.  Hen I gave the students 2 sticky notes each, and they glued them to the bats' bodies.  The students each wrote 2 facts that they learned about bats that they didn't know before.

After class, I hung them on the wall for display.  We will keep them up until the day before Halloween (that Friday), so they can take their little bats home.  

I'm so happy how smoothly this activity went.  They all enjoyed writing about their bat facts, even the kiddos who do not like writing at all!  

Aside from school, I also wanted to mention that I have a new found love.  The last 10 years, I have had super sensitive skin, and it had gotten worse and worse. It got to the point where I started just using pure olive oil and sea salt soap that I bought from Amazon.  Even with that, my face would still get red and irritated just from the water.  Well, other was about to change pretty quickly!

Over the summer, my friend invited me to her Arbonne party.  I went, but was a little scared to try the products.  I gave them a try, and could not believe that I did NOT have a reaction!  And even better, my skin felt so much better and it took away some of the redness with just one use!  I decided to buy a couple things, and booked a party for myself.  After my party, I purchased a bunch more.  I earned a free product, plus $125 for $25, and $35% discount on anything else.  After my party, I was asked about become a consultant and starting my own Arbonne business.  I wasn't sure about it at first, but they showed me how I could earn the products and most of the startup costs from having a few more parties to promote me as a seller.  I decided to go for it!  I figured, hey, why not?  I love the products and I am tired of living pay check to pay check on NC teacher's salary.  So, here I am!

I am now selling Arbonne, because I love the products so much!  I would not have signed up for something just to do it and make some extra cash.  I really fell in love with the products, and I especially love that all of them are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, paraben free, chemical fragrance and dye free, and are even PETA stamped and certified vegan!

If you are like me and have super sensitive skin, I urge you to give it a try!  It was a life changer for me!  Especially, I also suffer (or suffered) from psoriasis on my legs.  After using 2 products, it is gone, except for a little scaring which is going away too! 

For the psoriasis (works awesome for eczema and dry skin too!), I used:

 These even helped with the little itchy razor burn bumps after shaving your legs!  I am so excited about these products, and I'm so excited to begin this new journey!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  






October 7, 2015

Spooky Spelling

It's frightening that it's already Monday...this weekend flew by!  I spent a ton of time cleaning the house and organizing all Bella's toys.  Much more time than I wanted to 😉.   But I am ready for the busy week ahead of me.  This weekend we are headed to a balloon festival on Saturday and going pumpkin picking Sunday.  We are super excited to get outside and enjoy some family time. 

Last week, we made some adorable little ghosts.  We cut out a ghost shape on white construction paper, then we glued the Google Eyes.  My kiddos got creative, and I love how they turned out!  They picked big eyes, small eyes, and some of them even mixed a big and a small eye.  Then we used bingo dotters and black markers to make the mouth.

After our ghosts were finished, we wrote our spelling words along the outline.  For my younger students, we stopped there.  Then we just glued our ghosts on black construction paper.  



For a my 2 older groups of students, I gave them fancy Halloween paper that I found at the dollar stores years ago (and they still probably have it lol).  I gave them the writing prompt: "If I saw a ghost, I would...".  The students wrote their stories on the paper using their spelling words.  After their stories were finished, they went back and highlighted their spelling words they used.  Then we glued their ghosts and stories onto a 11x17 piece of black construction paper.  They loved reading and sharing their stories with each other.

Afterwards, we displayed them in the hallway. 

I just love how creative my students got with their ghosts' faces.  They look adorable hanging up in he hallway! 

My next post will be a little "batty" 😉

Hope you have a wonderful week!





October 4, 2015

Spooky Slime!

There's nothing quite like a hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee on a raining, chilly, Sunday morning in October.  We are patiently waiting for all this rain to head out though, so we can start enjoying some fall festivities.  Bella has been wanting to go pumpkin picking and to Scarowinds, but the last couple weekends were a washout.  At least it let me catch up on some house cleaning and decorating.  On one of the rainy days last week, I was looking up some Halloween activities on Pinterest and came across this:

I loved this idea, so I made it with Bella.  She loved mixing it and stretching and playing with it.  I wanted to bring this activity to my classroom, but wasn't sure how to tie it in with their IEP goals.

As I thought about it and my students' goals, most of them have a reading or a writing goal.  I came up with the idea to make a poem about our slime.

I went out to the store to get the ingredients:
*liquid starch
*clear Elmer's glue
*bat confetti

I easily found liquid starch in the laundry area of the supermarket, and then found the glue in the school supplies area.  Super easy...but bat confetti...nope!  No luck!  I went to a whole bunch of stores.  I found pumpkin confetti, skull confetti, but NO bat confetti.  I know I've seen it so many times, but when I actually needed it, I couldn't find it.  So, on to Plan B.

At Dollar Tree, I found some rings with bats and spiders.  I also picked up some googly eyes.  Instead of bat slime, we were gonna make Spooky Slime!

I cut the ring part of the bats and spiders off.  They were thin enough that they would mix in the slime pretty well.

The next day, my kiddos helped me make the slime.  Since I have different groups at different times, we scaled down the recipe, so I could make a little bit with each group.  Instead of using 1/2 cup of water, liquid starch, and glue, I used 1/4 cup.  

First, we mixed the water and glue in a bowl.  I gave each of he students some bats, spiders, and googly eyes to mix in.  After that was all mixed together, we slowly stirred in the liquid starch.  Then we finished mixing it with our hands.

After a few minutes of hand mixing, our slime began to thicken.  As the students stretched and played with the slime, I asked them to think about how it feels, how it made hem feel, how it looks, etc.  

Then after playing with it for a few minutes, we separated the slime evenly and then put it in a baggy, so each student would have some.  We washed our hands, and then got working on our poems.

Our poems were formatted like this:

Spooky Slime
____  ____  ____

____  ____  ____

Spooky Slime

I asked my students to think of words that described the slime.  When they thought of their words (some needed to be prompted and guided), I wrote them on the table in front of them so they could spell it correctly (or mostly 😉).  For my kinder, I wrote down the words she told me in highlighter, then she traced over it.

After our poems were done, I laminated them (I used my personal laminator so I can do it right then and there).  Then we put them in our baggies with our slime.  The students each took turns reading them aloud to me and to each other.  They loved sharing their poems, and the loved even more that they could take their slime and poem home with them! 

Spooky slime was fun for my students and me!  It was fun watching them get so excited about their creations and their poems!  

Post a picture if you end up using this in your classroom.  I would LOVE to see it!







October 2, 2015

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Happy fall ya'll!  October is here, and finally I am too :).  This past year has been super tough, so I have not been bloggin' at all.  Unfortunately, my mom passed away March 7th and it really hit me hard.  Although it has been almost 7 months, it is something that I struggle with every day.  I'm lucky to have such wonderful family and friends to support me.  I would appreciate all of your prayers and positive thoughts sent my way.  It's not only tough on me, but it's tough on my 4 year old daughter who was super close to her as well.

I did not want to start this blog off on a sad note, but wanted everyone to know why I have been missing for a while.  School wise, my year has been off to a mostly smooth start.  Super busy, but smooth.  I hope your year was off to a great start!  I love, love, loooove October and the fall season.  From pumpkin picking, pumpkin flavored everything, and just fall scents and colors, it is truly one of my favorite times of the year.  As soon as October rolled around, I did not hesitate to bring out the festivities in my classroom. :)

This week, we have been working on base ten and 2 digit numbers with my 1st grade group.  We practiced with base ten blocks and place value mats, but I wanted to change it up a bit and make it fun.  I decided to break out my Chutes and Ladders game, but added a twist to supplement our learning with base ten.

Before our game, we warmed up by practicing identifying double digit numbers with flashcards.  We practiced counting by both ones and tens.  Then, we were ready to play!

The students took turns spinning their spinner, just like how you would normally play.  When they took their turn, they moved as many spaces as the spinner showed them.  After moving their pawns, they had to say the number that they landed on.  Then, they used the tens and ones to build that number.  During each turn, the students had to tell me how many ones and how many tens were in their number.   During each turn, I would talk them through it asking them questions, "Do you have to add more ones or tens?" "Who has the biggest number?"  "Who has the smallest number?"  "How many tens are in ____'s number?"

My kiddos had a blast playing this game.  They got really into it, and it helped them make the connection about how many tens they had and how big their number was.  After our game, I made a couple random numbers using base ten blocks.  The students told me each number.  Then I had them give me a quick thumbs up for the higher number and thumbs down for a lower number.  

Soooo, before I said that I did not hesitate to start Halloween crafts, so here we go!  I have 3 different math groups.  I have a K-1 group, a 2nd grade group, and a 4th grade group.  I originally thought of this idea for my oldest group when we were reviewing multiplication and arrays.  We made spiders and pumpkins arrays and ten frames with our bingo dotters!

We used:
- Bingo dotters (black and orange)
- Purple construction paper
- Hundreds chart (blank)

First, my students decided on the factors they wanted to use for their array.  Then, they started dabbing away!
We cut the extras away from the hundreds chart, and then glued it onto the purple construction paper.  Then, they wrote their equation on the side.  Then, they got to decorate it by adding stems for pumpkins and legs for spiders!

For my younger students, we used 10 frames instead. 

My 2nd grade group was working on adding numbers to a set of ten to make numbers in the teens.  We dotted a set of ten, and then in a separate ten frame, they picked any number to make.  Then they decorated and turned them into spiders and pumpkins.  Afterwards, we glued our ten frames to the construction paper and wrote down the equation on top.  

 We also did this with my K/1 group.  We made ten with spiders and pumpkins.  I loved how I was able to differentiate, so all my students could have fun with it!

Here is our wall we hung them up on!  The clarity from the camera isn't the best, but it's what I have to work with right now.  I don't have any luck with phones, and ended up breaking my phone.  Now I am stuck using an old phone, but I am planning on sucking it up and paying the money for a new one, since insurance doesn't cover water damage.  

I cannot WAIT to post about our next activity we worked on.  We made something icky and sticky and my kids had a BLAST with it!!  I will post it this weekend.  :)

I hope you all had a wonderful week and enjoy this weekend!  A WET one if you are on the coast and being affected by Joaquin!  (Stay safe if you are!!)


February 1, 2015

Snowball Sight Words with Snow Dough!

As I finish up cleaning my house this Super Bowl Sunday, this is how I'm feeling! :)
Before we head out to a party, I wanted to post a fun activity I have planned for this week.  There's been so many times that I pinned things on Pinterest that are amazing ideas, but I just never get around to them.  I could not pass this one up though...as soon as I saw it, I knew my sweet students would LOVE it! 

 Three Ingredient Snow Dough - This stuff is really fun to mold and squish!
Yesterday, I got to work making it.  I am planning on using this fun dough as a way to practice sight words.  I found some awesome play-doh sight word mats on TPT.  Click on the pic below to get them too.  They were $4 for all 220 sight words.
Sight Word Playdoh Work Mats 220 Dolch Words  (Black/White
I printed out the black and white sight word mats, and then put everything in a plastic container.  Then I put the sight word cards in a plastic baggy.  If you use a clear container, you can even put them underneath.  The students will make "snowballs" to make their sight words.  I can't wait to use these!
The students will just roll the dough into little snowballs and cover the word with them.  I will be posting more fun winter activities soon, but I am heading out to a party now.  Have a wonderful week!!
Hope you enjoy!

November 23, 2014

It's almost turkey time...gobble till ya wobble! (And a freebie!!)

Hello everyone!  It is almost turkey time!  I'm so excited to spend time with family (and for a short break!).  I love this time of year - the different scents, food, and being able to wear comfy sweaters and boots. 
Speaking of fall foods, I've been working hard to stay away from a lot of processed foods and have recently tried coconut flour to bake.  I found a recipe for paleo pumpkin muffins, so I made those tonight. 

My little helper :)
They came out sooo yummy!  There are the best right out of the oven when they are warm and moist, but I'm going to store what we don't eat tonight into a container and put them in the fridge.  This way I have a healthy snack I can bring to work, or send to school with Bella. 
They didn't come out looking the prettiest, but they are delicious!  Even my picky 3 year old loves them!
I found the recipe on pinterest.  If you're interested in the recipe, here's a direct link to The Detoxinista
Another thing I LOVE about fall is all the adorable craft ideas to do with my students.  This past week, we made turkeys to hold our hard work!  I have been really focusing on writing with my kiddos this year.  Since I'm a K-3 resource teacher, my students are all on completely different levels.  I created different writing prompts (and blank templates) to fit the needs of all my students.  For my kindergarteners, they just finished the sentence (they told me what they wanted to write and I wrote it on the table as a model for them to copy).  My first and second graders had to answer the prompt in 1-2 sentences.  My third graders had to answer the prompt with a paragraph.  I was so proud of how well my students did with coming up with their own complete sentences.  They loved displaying their hard work in the hallway with these turkeys, but they are very excited to take them home on Tuesday (we are off Wed, Thurs, and Fri!!)   
A lot of my kiddos liked to write about what they were thankful for and what they liked to do on Thanksgiving.  Those were the biggest hits on the writing prompts.  Well, I am THANKFUL for my followers on my blog and TPT store, my students, and hard working teachers!
My gift for you fellow teachers is this packet (turkey templates and writing prompts) for FREE.     Just click on the picture. :)
If you download it, please let me know what you think!
I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving and enjoy time with your family!

November 19, 2014

Chalkboard Boxes

Hi everyone!!  I am finally back!  It has been a crazy busy school year so far.  My goal was to begin blogging again MUCH sooner, but I just have not gotten around to it.  I have been dealing with some pain that at first I thought was carpal tunnel, but after many tests, an ER visit, and many doctor appointments (and an MRI to rule out brain tumor and MS), I am in the process of getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I have an appointment on December 12, so maybe I will finally find out what is going on with me!!
 Back in August (I know, I know - I am waaayyyy late), I was in the playroom with my little girl Bella and we were practicing writing letters on her chalkboard wall.  I was looking for some ideas on Pinterest and found a great idea to write the word in chalk, and then have the child use a paint brush and water to trace over it.  I really liked that idea (and so did Bella!), so I was thinking about ways I can use that with my students.  I wanted to think of a way we can do something like this without taking up too much transition time, since I only have 45 minutes with them in my classroom to work on their IEP goals.  After thinking for a couple minutes, a light bulb went off in my head...Chalkboard BOXES!  I use them to practice letter writing, as well as sight words with students that have already mastered letter writing/formation.  Here is what they look like:

Bella and I went to the local dollar store and we picked up these:
*Plastic storage containers
*1 box of sidewalk chalk (24 pack)
*2 Microfiber towels
*Little paint brushes (like the kind used for watercolor paints)
Then we went to Walmart and picked up chalkboard spray paint.  We also needed to get a spray primer for the plastic lids.  I bought little plastic "party" (shot) cups as well.  Then  I got to work!

I FIRST sprayed the primer (it's a must!) onto the lids.  Then I sprayed the chalkboard paint. 
I let them dry for the rest of the day in my garage, so the paint could settle.
Once they were all dried and ready to go, I assembled them.
I put 4 crayons in each of the 6 boxes.  Then I put the paint brush and cup.  Then I cut the 2 microfiber towels into 3 pieces each and put one in each box.
In the classroom I use these mostly with sight word practice.  I introduce the sight word.  We read it together.  Then they use their fingers to trace it in the air (we call it air pencils), and saying each letter out loud while they do it.  Then they write it on the lid of the chalk board box.  Once they write the word, they trace over it with the water in the cup and the paint brush.  Then we continue with our other activities.  The board wipes pretty clean, especially when you use water on the eraser.  My kiddos LOVE these!

For younger students, you can write the letter or word (or even their names!) on the boards for them a bunch of times, and they can practice it by tracing it with the paint brush and water.
We also use these with our spelling word lists.
Let me know some ways you will use these boxes in your classroom!
 Well I hope you are all having an amazing fall.  I can't believe next week is Thanksgiving!  I am going to post a freebie tomorrow for a Thanksgiving craft, so be sure to check it out!