31 May 2012

End of Year Class Book

Every year, we create a class book at the very end of the year for our classroom Book Nook.  I laminate the pages and bind it together.   My students always seem to gravitate towards these books and look forward to making their own to add to our collection.  I've used several different formats over the years, but decided to stick with the same format as last year.  I also read it on the first day of school to my new class of second graders.   They love to read about the experiences of my prior students.

Get the freebie, by clicking below:

28 May 2012

Reading Reward

I had to come up with something special as a reward for my kiddos that made their reading goals for the whole year.  Where better to look than Pinterest, of course! I found just what I was looking for.  I saw a birthday display using the large Pixie Sticks and balloons.  Check out her cute birthday display here.  I changed it up just a bit, and used flowers in lieu of the balloons, because of our whole blossoming learners theme.  The kids absolutely loved them!


23 May 2012

Writing Portfolios

I got a bit overzealous at the end of this year.  We made portfolios containing samples of their work throughout the year.  We also made these Writing Portfolios.  I saved all their writing during the year, so we could compile it into a Writing Portfolio at the end of the year.  Needless to say, it took a whole corner to house all of my work samples.  I think I mentioned before that I am a bit of a hoarder.  Our Writing Portfolios contained lots of different genres-  All About Books, How To's, Friendly Letters, Biographies, Narratives, Small Moments, Fables, Persuasives, and Poetry.  They took a lot of time to put them together.  But, my students were gems and really did most of it all by themselves!

I love the covers that children create for their own stories.  I had to share just a few...

All About Books


 Moral- Being a good friend.

The worst best friend...LOL

 Moral- Kindness

Small Moments


19 May 2012

End of Year Craft

I can't believe the end of the year is nearly here.  This year seemed to fly by.  The last day for most of my students will be this Friday, and I wanted them to have a fun craft to take home with them on the last day of school.  I was watching Nick Jr. with my toddler the other day, and saw a cute fish craft using a soda bottle.  I also had seen a cute label from a fellow blogger and had to use the idea to make a cute tag for our fish craft. You can see her original label idea here. We'll glue the tag on the bottom of our fish.  We've been talking about fish in science so my kiddos will be able to make connections to the fish diagrams we made in class.  Hopefully they will remember the names of the different fins!  The completed fish craft will look like this:


13 May 2012

Choosing Caps

So, this is yet another way to recycle baby food jar lids.  This is my alternative to choosing sticks.  If you saw my post on Mother's Day parent gifts,  you'll notice I've found yet another use for the oodles of baby food jar lids I've been saving.  I really loved the colorful Mother's Day magnets and wanted something similar for my classroom. I've always used popsicle sticks to make choosing sticks, but I have to make a new set every year with new names.  Each of my students is assigned a number at the beginning of the year, so I just put colorful numbers on the inside of each cap and can draw a number instead of a name.  I figured they'll also make great math manipulatives, as well! Click here for the pattern.  You have to download the document in order for the numbers to show up with the correct font. 

12 May 2012

Proper Nouns

We had fun with proper nouns.  Each student wrote their names in the boxes vertically.  Then, they had to write a proper noun that they either like or is special to them across.   They just left the extra spaces at the bottom blank.  We've talked about proper nouns all year long, so it was a great mini review at the end of the year.  It will also be a cute addition to our end of year portfolios.


08 May 2012

Mother's Day

We have been busy bees getting ready for Mother's Day.  Every year I'm brainstorming new ideas for Mother's Day gifts from my students.  I never seem to stay with an idea more than 1 year.  But, this year may be different.  I really love how our fridge magnets turned out this year.  I'd say it's a keeper, but I used baby food jar lids and my toddler will most likely be moving on to big boy food.  I've been saving the lids because I just knew I could come up with some way to use them in the classroom.  I seem to say that about everything! I had seen an idea on Pinterest about making matching games using the lids and that sparked the magnet idea.  I used 3 lids for each student, and simply attached a magnet to the back.  They really turned out cute.  My toddler has been playing with them all night, so hopefully my parents love them as much as he does. 

I found this super cute way of wrapping simply using a baggy and scrapbook paper from a crafty blog.  Mine aren't nearly as fancy as hers, but they'll have to do :).  I just used plain cardstock and typed my message at the top.


06 May 2012

Word Building

This is one of my favorite stations.  It really reinforces spelling, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary.  My students use grid paper to write their spelling words going down.  They use the letters in their spelling words to form new words going across.  This is similar to doing an acrostic, but with spelling words.  When they get stuck on a letter, then they can read around the room for additional words or even use their library book or the story of the week.  They love to use words that connect to whatever we have been learning.  I've really noticed a difference in their spelling since adding this station. 


01 May 2012

Butterfly Lifecycle

We have been learning all about life cycles.  We watched our class caterpillar form his chrysalis and then turn into a beautiful butterfly.  We actually missed the last part, but they still enjoyed observing our new class visitor.  We put all the butterflies for our grade level together in one habitat, and they observed them for a few days before it was time to release them.  We used the printable below to illustrate the butterfly life cycle.  Check out their butterflies below-love the colors!  I saw a similar idea at another great blog- First Grade Best.  She used construction paper for her butterflies.  Check hers out here.

Click image below to get the FREEBIE.