Thursday, January 29, 2015

Polar Bear Fun!

I love teaching students how to gather information from non-fiction books.  One of my favorite ways to do this is by learning about animals.  Polar Bears are the perfect animal to learn about in winter. Here are some of the activities we did in my classroom and in the home school setting.

First, you have to gather some non-fiction books from your school or local library.  You can also find information ALL over the internet.  Just google kid friendly videos on _____ (whatever you are studying).

Then, I like to use tree maps to help them organize what they learned.  These also help them learn how to write a paragraph or a couple sentences and stay on topic.

It's also really nice when your Scholastic reader just happens to be on the same topic! haha

Then, we have to do a craft!  But, to justify it, we use it to display our informational writing. 

I also love to do thematic math journals.  This pic came from a TK class.  She doesn't do math journals but she uses my prompts on construction paper.  This little friend made theirs 3D-- I seriously LOVE the creativity!!!

We practice polar bear sentences.  These can be used in a pocket chart or just like this mom did for home school.

Searching for Letters.

Practicing some Polar Bear addition.

Last but not least, the science experiment!
How in the world do Polar Bears not freeze?!?!

Because of all that blubber!
Kids love this experiment.  It can be placed in their science journals or simply filled out and sent home.

 You can find all of these fun activities in my Polar Bear unit!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Find a friend to tie your shoe...

Picture this....

You're walking down the hall, and one of your students trips and goes flying across the floor.  It causes a huge disruption and everyone starts laughing or talking.  Your somewhat quiet line is now in an uproar.


You have that 1 student who seems to be the real life Junie B or Clementine character playing the perfect off the wall child in your class.  That poor child can't seem to keep their shoes tied, and better yet, they don't know how to do it!

"Mrs. Baxter, can you tie my show?"
This is said about 5 times a day for the entire first semester.

One day, I heard another teacher tell a child in the hallway to "find a friend to tie their shoe."  I thought, this lady is a genius!!!  (This also happened to come in handy when I was pregnant and basically refused to bend over and tie their shoes.  I figured if I could not tie my own shoes, I probably can't tie theirs either.)

Not only did I get out of tying hundreds of shoes, but I was able to use peer tutoring (haha).  When this begins to fail... 

I suggest the 1 second method.

This sweet girl watched a video on You tube that her mom found on learning to tie shoes quickly.

Her mom stated: I showed her the video and by that afternoon she was tying shoes.

This was me:

I said, "Teach me your ways!!!!!"
(ok, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but you get the point)

I felt like I had struck gold, and instead of keeping this treasure to myself, I had to share!!!

Click the video below to watch.

In general, I told my parents at the beginning of the year I would not be tying shoes after January.  It seems harsh.. but if you are a Pre-K or K teacher, you understand!!!

I thought this might be something fun to show your kids during indoor recess one day or even on an iPad with your kiddos who still can't tie their shoe.

I hope this is a helpful tip.  Have a great day!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five for Friday!


I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly 5 for Friday Linky!

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I simply LOVE being home with this little lady.  However, I am horrible at doing fun teachery stuff with her!  So, I am going to start making more of an effort and we started with water colors!  It was the cutest thing ever-- she started painting her nails with it.  Haha, I have such a diva!

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This past week I blogged about this adorable book!  I was also doing a giveaway.  Congrats to Christi Messner!!!! I will be contacting the author ASAP with your information.  She will be sending you a copy! Yay!!!

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Oh my word ya'll------ this pie is amazing!
I found the recipe on Pinterest from In A Southern Kitchen.  It was so delicious and so easy!  I will definitely be making this again!

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I am over 500 followers on TPT!!!!  I have been so blessed to be a part of this amazing company!  If you haven't followed me yet-- please go do it now! Yay!!!

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Here's a little MLK roll and cover math FREEBIE in honor of him!

Only light. Only love. #quote #MLK Thank You, Dr. King for reminding us!

What an inspiring man!!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Solid's Liquids and Gases.. Oh My!

 I LOVE teaching Science!  It has to be one of my favorite subjects!!!  There is so much excitement when students discover, observe and explore during a science experiment.

I always teach my "It Matters!" unit during our Snowman week.  I like to incorporate science into as many subject areas as possible.  Some themes are easier to do than others.. For example with snow, you can display changes in matter- score!

One of the experiments listed in my Matter unit is called: Air takes up space.  Here's what you do:  Fill up a bucket or large bowl of water.  Place a dry paper towel in the bottom of a clear glass cup. Ask the child to push the cup (facing down) to the bottom of the bucket.  Hold it for a few seconds, then ask them to pull it back out.  At this point, I love watching their faces, because they feel like they have just performed a magic trick!  After the experiment is over, we complete our recording sheet. 

Science is so much fun!!!

I also like to show this video after we discuss Matter.  Some students may have a slight understanding of the concept, but this video goes a little more in depth (And, it's FREE).  Click the picture to watch.

You can also find a couple of different sorting activities in my Matter unit.  This one was done whole group after watching the video.

And, if you use Science Journals in your classroom-- be sure to check out my Interactive Science Journals for Young Learners.

Another easy experiment to do with your students is to simply watch an ice cube melt.  The recording sheet used in the picture above is also in my unit.  It might seem simplistic but it will help students understand how matter changes.

 Click the picture to check out my unit!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Learning is snow much fun!

Ok.. so maybe it's not the only reason...

All joking aside.. (maybe) I recently saw a status on fb where someone was complaining that teachers get out of school for a cold day.. Well, I live in TN and we are not prepared for 4 degree weather. So I simply commented (very nicely) that a 5 year old should not be waiting for the bus or walking to a bus stop in the weather, etc.. AND of course some of the buses in one county didn't start because of the cold but that's an entirely different but valid reason not to have school.  Thankfully, a teacher much older than me gave her two sense and it was pretty hilarious to read!

Anyway, I'm off my tangent.. I like every season for different reasons.. but I figure if it's going to be freezing cold then we should see some snow!  We've only had 1 day of snow, so I'm hoping for my teacher friends to see a bit more. 

I recently went to visit a family using my Kindergarten Home School Curriculum and snapped a few pictures.  It was snowman week in their house!

Snowman Syllable Flip Book

I recently updated my Snowman Math & Literacy Center unit.  This sight word reader was one of the additions.

They played a fun game called Snowman Fair Share.  She had to determine if the numbers were greater than. less than or equal to each other.

Of course we practice color words all year long!
My kiddos always loved these magnifying glass searches.

Winter I Spy: A counting math center

Math Journal Prompts (of course)

Falling Snow: this is an addition dice game.

A Snowman tree map to help organize their writing.

Winter Words: practicing those CVC words.

You can find all of these activities in my Snowman Math & Literacy Center for the classroom.  BUT if you are a home school parent, these are all included in my January Home School Curriculum.

Click either picture to check them out!

Thanks for stopping by!