Saturday, February 16, 2013

Love is in the Air. . .Among Other Things

Ok, so I'm not the greatest with being a regular/comitted blogger. However, I am amazingly good at losing my voice and catching colds (third time this year...seriously no joke). If you've ever had to teach without a voice then you know it's no walk in the park. . .it's nearly impossible. . .and definitely the closest thing to torture that I ever want to experience. One would think that having a day off would have given me plenty of time to keep my word about blogging every week, but catching up with my Beverley Hills ladies with this snuggle bug was way more appealing. He's seriously the cutest little furry baby that's ever lived and I love him to pieces!

Now that I'm back to normal (and caught up on all of the mess created when your substitute doesn't show up for the day) here's what we've been up to! I've always loved Valentine's day...really there isn't a holiday that I don't love. Honestly, who doesn't appreciate a good reason to celebrate and eat chocolate?? It fell on a perfect day this year too which added more to my love for the day of love. All week long I pumped in mushy gushy love themed activities into all possible crevices of our day.  For math this week we took a moment to review a few topics that we've touched on since coming back to school (comparing numbers, measuring with non-standard units, missing addends/subtrahends, and graphing). I whipped up a new unit Crazy In Love (little did I know how perfect it would be because they were cra-to the zy all week long). As usual they ate up the chance to work with a partner and spent their entire recess (4 days inside because of the rain) trying to copy the clipart on drawing paper (my little Picassos are always ready to draw some doodles).
The activities I included in the unit all have a corresponding Valentine/love themed book to get the excitement bug flapping its wings. Here is a list of the read alouds (and their activity from the unit):

1. Love, Splat- -by R. Scotton (Hearts & Graphs: Measuring with Candy Hearts)

2. The Biggest Valentine Ever! - -by S. Kroll (Cupid's Love Shuffle: Measuring with Non- Standard Units)
3. Froggy's First Kiss- -by J. London (Frogs & Kisses: Comparing Numbers)
4. Who Will Be My Valentine This Year?- -by J. Pallotta (My Funny Valentine: Missing
They're all super cute books that I would highly suggest adding to your personal library if they aren't already a part of your collection. You can grab your copy of Crazy in Love at my TPT store && get your lovey dovey crazy on next year (or this year as a belated celebration).

Our writing lessons this week were focused on writing facts about animals and people. As part of our love day celebration the kids were told to pick one person or thing that they loved and to tell me why/describe that person or thing. Most of them were really sweet and picked their moms or dads, one picked me, and one picked. . .are you ready for this? Chocolate milk. After the editing was done and a final copy was created we got busy making our very own cupids. The only pattern I gave them was a circle for the head. Everything else was created on their own. I never really give them a lot of patterns because I want them to problem solve && of course I want their work to turn out a little different than the person sitting next to them. I did do the diaper fitting (yes I said diaper. . .and yes it was crazy town for a few minutes as they laughed like hyenas and rolled on the floor).
Of course we had our Interactive Read Alouds for the week focused on Cause and Effect relationships. Our read alouds included: Corduroy (D. Freeman), Franklin's Valentines (P. Bourgeois), Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes (E. Litwin), and Mole's in Love (D. Bedford). &&& d-to the -uh we had sentence editing in our centers. . .this week it was from the pack Lovely Sentences. Their work was something to love and I finally feel like they're really starting to get the hang of capital letters and punctuation marks! Praise to the big man upstairs (and no not Santa as one of my lovelies suggested. . ."Who? Santa?"). As always my sentence editing pack is in my TPT store for just $2.50.

With all of the work out of the way, it was party time- -Fun Thursday style! We all made valentine bags. . .they weren't anything special just colored paper bags with handles, their names written on them, and a few valentine stickers. Then the kids passed out their Valentines. For the first time ever I had everyone bring in Valentines to pass out that were already completed and filled in. I'm always surprised at how much candy some parents send in with their kids. . .giant treat bags that make mine look shabby (not cool)! Without further delay, here's a picture of my Valentine treat for all 16 of the little ones that hold a piece of my heart in their glue stick covered hands.
I used my super cool (and way underused) Slice machine that  my mom got for me a few years ago when I was into scrapbooking (my obsession with Publisher has put that on the back burner. . .really it's not even on the stove anymore). I then used Publisher to create a tag that I cut out (with a circle punch tool), glued it onto the cardstop scalloped tag, punched a hole and tied it onto the treat bag with curled ribbon. Inside of the bag I put a cup of pudding, a valentine note pad, heart eraser, and a few pieces of candy. Of course I attached a spoon onto the bag. . .I'm not sure if they were actually used because when dessert is involved all table manners disappear and my kids like to eat like cavemen, but it's the thought that counts right? Last but not least, here's my pinterest inspired banner. All of first grade made them for the 100th Day of School and I couldn't resist bringing it back again!
Until next time, live. . .love. . .teach!

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