Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Apple Science With Some Cloudy Weather

It's hard to believe we've already been back to school for almost a month now!!! Wow! While my blogging has drastically decreased since school started, I've been thinking about all of you!! I finally have some time this evening to post. So here's some things we've been up to. First, I have my very first student teacher this year and she started Monday! While she is a big help to have in the room since I'm short an aide, I didn't realize how much prep time I would lose. My before school prep time and my afternoon prep time has quickly been consumed with talking and working with her.....thus, leading to bringing many things home with me to do each evening that ordinarily I could get done at school. Don't get me wrong though, I am excited and honored to have her, but I've got to come up with a better system to manage my other obligations. 

Today, I had my goal setting meeting with my principal as we are going to "Performance Based Teacher Evaluations" this year! Whew! So if your students don't show growth, you could be out of a job. I think this has many advantages as I do know a few teachers out there that shouldn't be teaching, however, it has its downsides as well. It will also be interesting to see how this is going to look in my classroom since I teach special needs students of multiple disabilities in grades 1 - 5 and all of them but three take the alternate assessment. My classroom curriculum is mainly focused on teaching behaviors and life skills, and secondly academics. It will be interesting to say the least!! I'm sure you'll be seeing more posts on this topic as the pieces unravel. 

Now for the fun stuff, this is what we've been doing the last couple of weeks! 

Last week we did an apple study! We had loads of fun!

We taste tested green, red, and yellow apples!

Everyone agreed, but two students that the red apples were their favorite!!

 Then, we did "Apple Sink or Float......."

 Along with many other objects that the kids starting sneaking in. It was so much fun watching their amazed little faces though at what would sink, and what would float! 

And to think that this is the first year I have integrated Science into their curriculum. What was I thinking! Look what they've been missing out on!!

 Then, we made apple prints!!
This student didn't follow the directions! She's my EH student. I have a long way to go with this one!

 And the best was saved for last! Homemade Applesauce! Yum!
Even the kids that said they didn't like applesauce loved this applesauce! There's no way you couldn't! It was awesome! 
 My friends that are here visiting from Alaska make homemade nectar and had brought me homemade cinnamon nectar the night before. We added a touch of this and I think that is what really made it!! You could smell it 3-4 rooms down from mine!

This week we began our weather unit!
I wish I'd have taken more photos, but I just get so busy. My students are all so needy and as I mentioned, I am short an aide.  

Here we are doing our tornadoes in a bottle!

 As you can see, my kids were once again engaged and amazed!
The results were awesome!

 Yesterday we went cloud watching and I forgot my camera! But we got to see cirrus, stratus, and cumulous clouds! 

Today they made these! We used equal parts shaving cream and glue and they turned out fabulous! They're like 3-D and feel puffy. I hung them up before I left today but forgot to take a photo! Here are three of them!

Afterwards, we used bingo daubers to make cloud pictures!! 

Here you can see the student on the left made a cloud with raindrops and I just love the creativity of the lightening bolt on the right!

It's amazing how much fun you can have with simple bingo daubers! I actually purchased these at JoAnn's and they are all fruit scented, so that adds an extra treat that the kids love!

And here's some random photos of my awesome clan just having fun!!!! 

All of these science projects were taken or adapted from these two units by Kristen Smith and can be purchased in her TpT store!

Hope you're all having a rocking year!!!!
 photo 262537ca-e39d-4585-9d7c-a9633c31f18e_zps73236c33.jpg

Friday, September 6, 2013

Freebie Friday With Phone Number Practice

Looking for ways to help your students learn their phone numbers?? Learning your phone number is an important life skill that all students should know. This is the phone number practice sheet that my students do each morning to help them learn their phone number. 

On the bottom portion that is blank is where their number tiles are placed and stored on two strips of velcro. Then, on the top portion I place a velcro dot on each of the tiles. Each morning students use their numbers on the bottom to put their number in order on the top. They then have to read their phone number aloud to me. I'm offering this as a Freebie in my TpT store!

Freebie Fridays

And guess what??? It's my birthday!!! To celebrate, I'm going to give away any item from my store to one person that comments below! Just visit my store {here}, leave a comment below telling me the item you want, and on Sunday night I'll pick a winner!

You can also scroll down to the next post and enter to win the new "passion pink" Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener!

Have a great weekend!

 photo 262537ca-e39d-4585-9d7c-a9633c31f18e_zps73236c33.jpg

Monday, September 2, 2013

Organizing Student Info, Currently, & Sharpener Giveaway

 happy labor day photo: happy labor day Labor_Day.gif
Hope you all are having a great Labor Day and getting some rest! Believe it or not, I'm actually heading up to my class after this post to set up for the week! Last week was my first week back & I still have lots to do to get my year running smooth! 

One thing that helps my year run smoothly and keeps me organized is my student notes & data folder and I finally got my new one for this year put together last night. This is a trick I learned when I did my student teaching and it has been an amazing tool that I wanted to share with you! My supervising student teacher used it as a parent contact log, however, I use mine to keep track of my students' progress on their IEP goals as well as a place where I jot down notes on letters, numbers, or other skills they may need extra practice with. 

All you need is a folder, scotch tape, and large 5 x 8 "blank" index cards.

Tape the index cards on either or both sides of the folder so that they overlap like this, by placing one strip of tape at the top of each card. Start at the bottom and work up so they will flip upward like the picture below.

Write a students name on each one like above.

And there you have it!!
Flip the cards up to the student you want & write your notes. You'll have all your notes in one place for easy retrieval, rather than having sticky notes everywhere or needing folders for every student.

Be sure to visit "Hippo Hooray for Second Grade" or 
"Diving into 2nd Grade" for more classroom quick tips!

And now for a little "Currently" from Farley's monthly series & another pencil sharpener giveaway!

Calling all PINK lovers out there!!!
If you haven't gotten one of these awesome sharpeners yet, you may be glad you waited, because now it comes in precious pink!!
Troy from "Classroom Friendly Supplies" has added this new sharpener to his store and has graciously offered to give one away to one of my followers!!! The best part is that since September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, he is graciously donating $1 from every "precious pink" sharpener purchase to these two charities, so be sure to spread the word! He has got to be one of the most giving people I know!

Enter here for a chance to win! You also have the option of choosing red, blue, green, or black if pink is not for you! 
 This giveaway is only open for U.S. residents. 

happy labor day photo: Happy Labor Day 5_zpsd7a6d381.gif

 photo 262537ca-e39d-4585-9d7c-a9633c31f18e_zps73236c33.jpg