Monday, September 24, 2012

Volunteers are WONDROUS!

Can I just say I am thrilled by all the wonderful volunteers I have in my class this year. It's wonderful to see students' families engaged in the classroom AND it is such a help. Some family members volunteer during the day and com ein during math time. This lets me have another adult in the classroom working with students when I am conducting math small groups. I LOVE this time ~ SOOOO beneficial. I also have several families that will cut lamination or prep activities at their home and send them back in. When I send things home to volunteers I have a little system to keep it all organized. I thought I would share it with you all. . . 

The paper I send home in the big baggy explaining what needs to be done. 

The small baggy with examples of how I want things cut. 

The final product before it gets sent home. 
You want to know what is AWESOME about this. All the families brought the bags back to me in less than a week (most brought it back the next day!!!). 

Now how I organize my Copy volunteer system. First off, I keep it all in a copy folder that says COPY ~ Miss Kielar (PICTURE to come). Then I simply paperclip one of the squares from the following form on to each item or set of papers I need copied. I can put the total amount I need copied. I check if I want it 1 sided to 2 sided, 2 sided to 2 sided, 2 sided to 2 sheets, or leave it blank if I just want it normal. Next, I can say to paperclip or staple. I also have a spot for sorting papers or stacking papers. I enjoy colored paper and card stock paper at times so there is a spot for that as well. I love this system. It is so simple to manage. 

There are 6 slips to a paper. 
Here is a close up!
You can grab these forms as FREEBIES at my TPT store HERE!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Frames, Oceans, and Vertebrates

The week before school started ((((way back in August)))) I created one of the "First Day" frames. Of course the only willing models I had were my puppies! How cute! On the first day of school I had each one of my sweets stand in front of my (then blank) blue bulletin board and hold the frame. There were some SUPER adorable pictures. I will definitely be tweaking the frame for the 100th day and the last day of school. Then I will take all the photos and give them to the parents as a memory keepsake!
What's hilarious is Dasher was AFRAID of the frame. How funny is that?
This is my baby Wesley! He wasn't afraid one bit. It's true small dogs think they are bigger than they truly are. 
Puppy Love
This is what each students desk looked like on the first day of school. I created a little "goodie" bag for each sweet.  The label on the polka dot treat bag says: "I'm bursting with excitement to have a smarty like you in my class!" I put starbursts,  smarties, pen/pencil, and notepad in the goody bags for my sweets. They LOVED them. I do have the labels and was trying to find them to add as a freebie. I will find it before next year rolls around :)
My mom came to my class the 3rd day of school with my back-to-school basket. Growing up she always made each of  her kids a back-to-school basket. . . and well I'm still in school so I still get one!
My mother then took a picture of me with each of my sweets holding the red m&m chilling in the basket! That blue bulletin board was our back drop!

We just wrapped up our Oceans unit in science. It was so much fun. Our reading story was Dear Mr. Blueberry. For those of you who don't know, the story is an informational story. A little girl is writing letters to her teacher, Mr. Blueberry,  asking questions about the blue whale living in her pond. It is super cute and ties in perfectly with our Oceans unit. To kick it all off we watched a video from United Streaming about the blue whale. We filled out an adjective map about the blue whale. I used the one from Deanna Jump's Ocean unit (which is awesome!)  I also created a Whale Research Notes (it's available as a FREEBIE at my TPT store) book for each of my sweets to complete.
 I went to our school library and checked out every book we had on whales. I brought all the books to my classroom meeting area. Here are some of the ones I checked out: 

Here is an example of some their Whale Research Notes:

I went over my expectations for using the library books to help them complete their Whale Research Notes project booklet. My sweets did an AMAZING job with the project and they completed it INDEPENDENTLY!!! (YES that's a huge accomplishment) Then we began reading our science book and matching up vocabulary words. I used United Streaming to watch the Magic School Bus: Takes a Dive video. WOW between that and the blue whale information we had already learned they were hooked on the Ocean unit. For our science curriculum the kids have to know what an island, trench, continental shelf, undersea mountain, bottom-dweller, free-swimmer, and a floater all are and where they are in the ocean. I split my class into 4 groups and gave them all those labels and four colors of bulletin board paper and said make your own ocean! At first they were unsure of how to do it. They wanted me to give them step-by-step instructions. After I continued to encourage them to keep it up and create their own ocean they became absorbed in it! Here is an a peak at one group's work:

That's how I do oceans and I'm looking forward to adding even more things to our unit for next year. It's all about tweaking what you have and improving with experience.

In science we are off in the land of vertebrates starting on Monday! I just finished a mini science unit to help us with our learning. 

It's posted at my TPT store HERE. I would love to know how you teach vertebrates, cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals, and amphibians, mammals, and reptiles????!!!

I will email the first person who comments (with their email address) my new unit!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Currently Link-Up!

I believe I'm able to enter the blogging world again! I've missed it, but time has not been on my side. Tomorrow is Back to School Night. I created a powerpoint, handout, class blog letter, and volunteer sign up. Lord willing I'm prepared as much as I need to be!

Now onto September's Currently. . .

I have pictures coming soon from Busch Gardens. I went there this weekend and it was a blast! I only went on one ride and loved my time there. More on that later this week. Go link up with Farley and don't forget the Rule of 3! Come on now, we are teachers who tell our kiddos to follow the rules :)