Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pinterest Gone Wrong

It's no secret that a lot of teachers get their best ideas from Pinterest. I love scrolling through the thousands of creative ideas on Pinterest, especially the art projects. Last year, I was in charge of an office bulletin board, and decided to have the kids make as self portrait of themselves blowing the bubble gum. The coolest part was the pink balloon that was going to be poking out of their mouths! The kids had a ton-o-fun with this art project, especially since I let them chew the bubble gum first and practice blowing bubbles. Proudly, I hung up their work, after school that day. The picture tells the rest of this story. Early the next morning, this is what the bubble gum (balloon) looked like hanging out of every. single. mouth. Not cute. It sure had the attention of our 6th graders who happened to walk through the office. The office staff was amused too. Me, not so much.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Top Five Books That Will Have You Reaching for a Box of Tissue!

Ok, so I've gotten a little softer in my old age.   Motherhood has made me a permanently weepy person--for all sorts of reasons...happy moments, time passing, lyrics of a beautiful song, a memory of someone I'm missing, or a happy time in my past.  It's gotten to the point where I have a hard time making it through read aloud in my classroom.  On more than one occasion, I've had to have a student read a chapter of a book for me, or ask my mom read to my class during library time.  I just can't do *certain* books without a heavy duty windshield wiper attached to my glasses.  Here's my top five list of books that have me reaching for a box of tissue!!

1.  Charlotte's Web (E.B. White):  You know the chapter I'm talking about...when the fair is coming to an end and Charlotte lets Wilbur take her egg sack in his mouth.  I'm crying already as I type this!  I get heart palpitations as this chapter creeps closer and closer.

2.  The Story of Ruby Bridges (Robert Coles):  Ok, if you can make it through the part where Ruby is praying for the angry mob as she attempts to go to school without a dry eye, then you're made of steel.

3.  The Christmas Day Kitten (James Herriot):  Mrs. Pickerings has a special spot in heaven for allowing the momma stray kitty to have her babies next to her warm fire before dying.  I can not, will not, and won't read this to my class again. I make that ugly crying sound and can't even get to the end of the book!

4.  Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (Eleanor Coerr):  Beautiful story.  Couldn't believe the journey it took me and my students on.  The kids were even crying.

5.  Nubs:  The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, & a Miracle (Brian Dennis):  Dog lovers beware--this true story of loyalty and friendship between a Marine and a stray dog will have you sobbing.

 What are some books that have you reaching for a box of tissue?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Integrating Art Into Math

Any time I can find a way to squeeze art into another subject area, I go for it!  We are learning about plane shapes in math, which also includes learning about lines and angles.  The kids enjoyed making the various lines and angles with neon colored pipe cleaners and buttons.  They had a blast in math! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

On Your Mark, Get Set, Walk!!

It's that time of year again....our annual Walking Contest begins today.  Our school district sponsors this event to get us healthy.  We all get into walking teams at our schools, and log in our steps for 3 months.  My team is named the "Yack Pack" since we talk so much collaborate constantly.  You can see by my picture that I've earned 70 steps today already, going to the coffee pot, then back upstairs to my computer--ha ha!!  Actually, I walk every day, usually in the morning before school.  I really do need this contest to begin since I've been a little lax with my health since the start of school.  I've been spotted on more than one occasion "drinking" Ruffles from a red plastic Solo cup during recess breaks. It's time to take charge!  Anyone else getting healthy for the new year?

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Week With Martin

The first week back from a relaxing winter break can be a long one.  Rather than waiting until the official holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I decided it would be a great unit to transition into from break.  My go to read aloud is Martin's Big Words:  The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., written by Doreen Rapapport.  The kids were mesmerized by the powerful messages and strong illustrations of a hard time in our American history.  Although it's a delicate time period and topic to bring up with children, it's one that I cannot and will not ignore.   It has to be more than a holiday to our students, I believe.

The kids made their "I Have Dream" art mobile, which I mentioned in the previous blog.  You can see one of them behind the book.  This year, I attached the clouds to a hanger, for more stability.

The next activity I did with my students is something I discovered on Pinterest.  I brought in a brown egg and a white egg to symbolize the different skins that people have.  We talked about how it doesn't matter what the outside looks like, but that we're all similar on the inside.  We all have feelings, hopes, dreams, fears, silliness, talents, intelligence, etc.  The kids absolutely GOT the big message with this activity!

We gathered together today for one final picture, celebrating our pretty shades of skin, knowing that we are all very much a family in our class, lucky to be living in happier times, and feeling lucky that Dr. King was brave enough to stand up for what's right!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Need an activity that will help your students connect with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a meaningful way?  This "I Have a Dream" Art Mobile project will do the trick.  Click on the image to go to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.


Here I am, sitting in front of my computer, starting something I've been thinking about for over a year.  You are reading my very first blog.  My hope is that you will follow me on this new journey.  You'll hear about my life as a teacher, mom, friend, wife, animal lover, and lots more!  Thank you for being patient as I learn the ropes of blogging.

Happy New Year!