An Easy Art Project... and cute too!

First, sorry I've been MIA.  We hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving and so that pretty much kept me busy!

Our school is all business, no holidays, we'd hate to exclude anyone or make anyone feel uncomfortable.

So I have the perfect project!  Let's make Symmetrical Evergreen trees!

They are super easy and a good cutting and thinking challenge for the kiddos!

I always demonstrate the project whole group, then hope they remember when their day comes along and they get to do the project.

So here are the step by step directions:

1.  Have students fold the paper in half.  Line up those corners!

2.  Here is the tricky part.  I go over and over how they tracer needs to be on the fold.  So I have the paper talk moving the opening part.  Then I talk with my lips zipped to show they want the fold.  Lay the tracer on the fold and trace.  Also discuss how the tree is symmetrical.  Tell them the fold is called the line of symmetry.  They might remember that when they get to 3rd grade and need that!

3.  Keeping the paper folder, cut it out.  If you did it right, you should have an evergreen tree!

4.  They I put up the shapes and foam pieces and let them decorate the tree.  They are just so adorable!  I love it!

They do it all themselves!  I know some with do it wrong.  I know some will struggle with cutting but I love them anyway!


Our Thanksgiving Feast

If your school is anything like my school, they are scared of food.  Food is not for sharing.  But it is an important element of Thanksgiving.  Those days of having a yummy thanksgiving feast are long gone for us.  But my team teacher, Mrs. Shields and I have found a way around the problem. We have snack, together!  Each student brings their own snack that might have been around at the time of the pilgrims... like bread, fruits, berries, goldfish (well, we can pretend they are the fish that was caught for the special feast!)

Here are a few pictures from last years feast!
My class is the pilgrims.  Mrs. Shields class is the Indians.

We sit together to have our "feast"

Then we sing a few songs together! 

Here is the letter I send home the week before to give the parents plenty of time to think of Thanksgiving together!

Thanksgiving Letter


Our Veteran's at the public Library

After making the oh so adorable veteran's using Deanna Jump's Veteran Unit.  I took them to the library for all the world to see.  While me and my partner in crime (Mrs. Shields my team teacher) two of our students were ready and waiting to see their soldier displayed!  It was very heartfelt (and if you know me... I cry at the pledge).

Here is a picture our vets!

There is actually 2 more bulletin board of our soldiers!  Aren't they adorable!

Thank you Veterans.


Writing in our journals

I admit it.  I have never been a good journal teacher.  Even when I taught 5th grade way back when I just found it difficult to manage.  How to you continue to help kids grow in their journals and check in and get all the other stuff done.  It seemed like an impossible task. 

So this year, I have put it on my I must accomplish, is to have successful journal time.  And, believe it or not... I am actually enjoying it.  The kids have grown so much.  On Friday, I told them they need to be the writers.  I want to see what they know.  Of course, there is one or two who are stuck to me like glue and require me to hover over them to get their words our.  But today I saw a rainbow of amazing writing! 

So let's start here.  This student used words that are not in the room.  Soldiers are brave.  Well, soldier was available to them but the rest was all on his own.  Amazing!  Also, notice the lines.  This is now I know they are planning their writing.  They draw lines for each word they want to say.

Notice this one.  Great job.  But, see that question mark.  That is because I had a question on the example paper.  It was a great opportunity to discuss when to use and not use a question mark.

Now this one is great.  But every paper in her journal is I like __________.  Boring.  So I told her she could no longer write that sentence without an additional sentence to go with it. 

I love this one the most, because he didn't just draw a soldier like me.  He drew the tank.  Here we discussed the use of I as a capital and we need spaces between our words.

This student gave up.  She couldn't figure out soldier, although it was on the board.  But I still have her big props for giving it a try.  So I need to work on initial consonant with this one!

So, I hope I continue to see growth.  Of course I will right?  But believe it or not, the journals are almost FULL!  I think I have until Christmas before they will need a new journal.  Yeah!  What kinds of journals do you use?


Share and Conferences

So I survived parent conferences.  I realized at about conference 15 of 32 that I was losing my mojo.  I have so much to share and not enough time to get it all in meaningfully.  What is the purpose of conferences?  Is it to compliment?  To show where improvement is needed?  To simply check in?  I just am not sure?  Anyway... I will step off my soap box, but I wish it could be easier!

Now, for my share!  Thanksgiving is really one of my favorite holidays.  It is simply about family and togetherness.  So I would like to share The Legend of the Five Kernels.  It is about how the Pilgrims struggled through their first winter.  I have my class make a book about the legend.  I then encourage them to share it at their own Thanksgiving celebration.  Parents LOVE it!  So I am sharing it with you!

I hope you enjoy it.  If you can't open it let me know.  I am not exactly sure how to embed documents.  I would love your feedback!