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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Scoop: May 31

Happy Last Day of May!  Can you believe how fast this year is going by? I am really hoping the summer goes a little slower than the school year did.
I am linking up with the Teaching Trio to share my Sunday Scoop for the week with you. To be honest, I wasn't going to link up today, but my son woke me up super early {again} so I decided to blog while I drink my coffee.

Have to Do...
*We spent last week on vacation at Myrtle Beach.  The weather was beautiful, we spent every day out on the beach, and I came back feeling so relaxed.  The downside is the huge amount of laundry that now needs to be done this week.
*I have slowly been working on adding products to my new Educents store.  I love creating products, but the uploading process can be time consuming.  I have been procrastinating on adding products to my Educents store, but I need to get back at it. {P.S. If you haven't checked out my store yet, you need to.  There are some really great deals!}
*I have some thank you notes that really need to be written for the end of the year gifts I received from students. No more putting that off either!

Hope to Do...
*I didn't do much blogging or creating last week since we were at the beach! I am looking forward to getting busy again this week.  Blogging and making teaching products is a stress reliever for me, and I love spending my free time that way.
*I did spend a little time while I was sitting on the beach planning out some more telling time task cards.  I am working on creating a year long set of task cards and centers that focus on telling time.  I finished the Back to School set two weeks ago.  Now I'm ready to start on the Fall set this week.  If you stop by my TpT store, make sure you click the green star to be notified when I create new products or throw a sale!

Happy to Do...
*My absolute favorite part of every Sunday is being able to go to church with my family.  I love singing praises to the Lord, hearing the choir and special music, and listening to good preaching from God's Word.  If you don't have a church home to go to, you can listen to a great message online.  Being in church on Sunday just starts the week off right!

I would love to hear what you have going on this week!  Leave a comment and let me know!

Would you like to find out what some other stupendous teachers are doing this week?  Stop by the Teaching Trio to read more Sunday Scoops!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Teaching the True Meaning of Memorial Day

I would like to start by saying a huge 
Thank You
to everyone who has served in our U.S. military.  We have so many freedoms that are only possible because of the sacrifice made by our soldiers and their families.  I will always be grateful.

If we are truly thankful for our military, then it is important to teach our students about the true meaning behind Memorial Day.  Here are some great resources you can use to introduce Memorial Day to your students.

The National Education Association has a large set of Memorial Day lesson plans and ideas.  They include craft ideas and printables to use with your students.  They even have a link to several videos on that share the history of Memorial Day.  These short 4 minute videos are perfect for a starter or closing activity.

Of course, you will probably want more reading material for the day.  Here are several nonfiction resources for you to use.
*Time magazine's website has listed 7 interesting facts about Memorial Day.  Each fact has a picture with a small paragraph underneath it that explains the fact. 
*And of course, Time for Kids has a great printable article about the meaning behind Memorial Day as well.
*Scholastic News has a longer article that discusses ways people celebrate Memorial Day including ways that we remember and honor our fallen soldiers.
*Dogonews has an article on Memorial Day accompanied by several political cartoons meant to remind us of what Memorial Day is really about. 

Hopefully these resources will help you start a discussion with your students about the fact that Memorial Day is more than just getting a day off or having a picnic with friends.  You can find even more resources at ReadWriteThink and EducationWorld.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Summer Goals

Monica over at I Heart Grade 3 is hosting an awesome linky each week this summer.  Each week will cover a different summer topic or theme.  I am so excited to be linking up with her!

To be honest, I hadn't thought much about summer goals until I sat down to write this post.  So this topic is perfect for me because it is forcing me to list some goals for myself. 

Personal Goals
 *Drink more water every day and less coffee. I often forget to drink water throughout the day which leaves me parched and super thirsty right around bedtime.  Obviously this is not healthy so it's something I need to work on.

*Read Peter Pan out loud to my son. He has been asking me to read this to him.  I have a huge copy with beautiful illustrations, and I can't wait to start it!

*Watch less Netflix and read more books instead.  I have a tendency to binge watch t.v. series that I like during my down time.  I am planning to choose reading over t.v. more often this summer.

Teaching Goals
 *Read at least 3 books about teaching.  I was given a huge box full of teaching related books at the end of the school year.  I love learning about how to be a better teacher during the summer.

*Prep the majority of the centers I plan to use next year. I have so many task card sets and center games that I have either made or gotten from TpT.  The problem is that many of them are still stuck on my computer.  I want to prep all the ones I plan to use next year and sort them so they are ready to go.

TpT/Blogging Goals
*Reach 100 followers on TpT.  Right now, I have close to 90 followers.  I am really hoping to be able to hit the 100 follower mark this summer!

*Blog at least 2 times every week (if not more).  When life gets busy, my blog is usually the first thing that gets neglected.  No matter how busy my summer gets, I am going to try to blog more consistently.

Make sure you stop by I Heart Grade 3 to read about the summer goals of other amazing educators.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

10 Fun Ways to Relax This Summer

I know as well as you do that teachers work extremely hard during the school year.  We spend whole days on our feet doing our best to explain new concepts to our students. And just because the school day ends, doesn't mean our day is over.  Afternoons and evenings are spent grading papers and projects, cleaning up, and prepping for the next day.  Even our weekends are busy with lesson plans and center preparations. While all this work can be pleasant, it is also physically tiring.
Of course, teaching is emotionally tiring as well.  We deal with discipline problems and help children with the emotional issues they bring from home.  We give of ourselves to our students every day.
The tiredness that we feel at the end of the school year is exactly why teachers need the summer off to relax.  Relaxing is easier said than done though. Here are 10 fun ways to relax this summer!

1.  Take a walk - Get your blood flowing and your energy up by taking a walk.  It doesn't have to be long or fast.  A simple stroll around the neighborhood can be an exercise in relaxation.

2. Read a book for fun - We encourage our students to read during the summer. Shouldn't we do the same? Spend some time reading a book that has been on your To Be Read list for a while. 

3. Sit in the sun - Summer is finally here!  You have been inside your classroom for hours on end for the past months.  Put on some suntan lotion and just sit outside for even a short amount of time. You won't be disappointed.

4. See a movie - Now is the perfect time to go see a movie.  After all, you may be able to stay up past 9 on a Friday night during the summer.  Go with a special someone, a group of friends, or even alone.  Just make sure you relax and enjoy yourself!

5. Go out with friends - Speaking of friends, make a date to spend some quality time with your close friends this summer.  Plan a spa day, a pedicure, a dinner out, or even a fun night in.  Spending time laughing and talking with friends is a great way to relax and unwind.

6. Try some yoga - While the thought of doing yoga may seem overwhelming to some of us, it is also very relaxing. Find a yoga video that's at your level (doyouyoga has a fun 30 day yoga program on youtube), put on some soft music, and try a few poses.  You will be surprised at how relaxed you feel afterward.

7. Make a thankful list -Sometimes simply remembering everything we have to be thankful for can be a wonderful relaxation tool.  Use a pretty piece of paper to list things that you are thankful for.  You can even post the list in a visible spot and keep adding to it throughout the summer.

8. Play a game - It doesn't matter if you prefer board games or sports, playing a game can give you another opportunity to relax.  Focusing on a game will take your mind off your to-do lists and worries.  Instead you will be focusing on the fun you are having!

9. Call a friend - You have at least a little extra time during the days now.  Use that time to chat with a friend that you may not have gotten to talk to lately.  While you are talking, try to focus on the positive things that have been happening in your life.

10. Plan a free day - While this may be out of reach for some of us, a free day is the perfect form of relaxation.  A free day is a day when you plan to not do any chores. Skip unloading the dishwasher and putting away laundry.  Fill your day with relaxing, fun activities instead.  Of course, this isn't practical for everyday, but it is sure nice as a special treat.  {Don't worry, the chores will still be there tomorrow!}

Just remember, as teachers we all need some down time this summer.  Plan to take some time to relax.  Schedule some relaxing activities if you need to.  By taking some time to relax, you are more likely to start next school year on a happier note!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Family & Friends Night

Towards the end of every year, the students in our school put on what we call Family & Friends Night. {It's basically an open house, but the students also perform in a short program.}  Ours was April 30th this year.  And yes, I know that was quite a while ago, but I am so proud of my students that I wanted to share it with you anyway.

After a delicious pizza supper, we started our program.  This year our songs and reading parts were all patriotic themed.  

I loved hearing the students read about the founding of our country, the making of our flag, and the fight for our freedom.

After the program, everyone headed to our elementary classrooms.  Our rooms and hallways were filled with student projects for the parents to see.

One class made dioramas from different habitats.

The older elementary classes brought in science projects.  This student researched eggs and chickens.  He even brought in a live chick!

The second grade class made a combined bug collection. {Although I am pretty sure that the boys from several grades were bringing in bugs during recess for a while.}

  We also displayed several of the projects and papers from our Roald Dahl author study.

Our Memorial Day agamographs were a big hit as parents walked down the hallway toward our classroom.
Another parental favorite is our student writing binders.  In each binder, I include a copy of everything the student has written throughout the year from journal entries to research reports.  Not only are these fun to look at, but parents love having all their student's writing for the year in one easy to keep collection.
We end the evening with our yearbook dedication.  Then every student gets a yearbook.  Most of them start the signing process right then.  It's so cute to watch the younger kids signing their names in huge letters in each others' books.  Of course, it's also a little bittersweet to be asked to sign the yearbooks of your students who are growing up right before your eyes.  
All in all, Family & Friends Night is a huge amount of work for both students and teachers.  But it is always worth it to see the pride the students take in showing off their hard work to their friends and family members!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Our Final Field Trip of the Year

We had our last field trip of the year last Monday.  Obviously life has been busy as I am just now getting around to telling you about it.  Not only was it our last field trip, we combined it with out last art class as well.  We went to a local state park, and we had a blast!!
{Just a warning - this post is going to have lots of pictures!)

We started the day by reviewing the art basics that we have learned throughout the year.

 Once we had reviewed, each student was given a drawing board, paper, and pencil.  They could choose anywhere around a stone porch to sit and draw.  It was so fun to watch them concentrate on their art!

Next, we moved to a beautiful view of a patch of daffodils and the ocean.  For this drawing, the students got to finish it with watercolor paints.

Once art time was over, we let the kids play in a grassy open area for a while until lunch.  They loved having the freedom to just run around.  We also brought balls, Frisbees, and kites for them to share. {Of course, we did have to solve several arguments over whose turn it was to fly the kites.}
Then it was lunch time.
And then the most fun of all - play time on the beach.  

And it wouldn't be a beach trip without a sand castle building contest. {We didn't actually judge it, but it was fun to watch the kids and parents working on their creations.}

a starfish

a traditional castle

a turtle

a shark
I just want to say that I am so thankful for the number of parents who came on this field trip with us.  It definitely made the entire day more fun and less stressful for me! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Scoop: May 3rd

Wow! This week has been busy!  Of course that means that I had tons of things to do this weekend.  Of course I love linking up with the Teaching Trio to share my Sunday Scoop! 

Have to Do...
1. I am a procrastinator. So yes, I still have to type up a week's worth of spelling worksheet pages for this week.  
2. We are going on a field trip to a park tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure we are all ready, but I always feel like I should double check on things like rides and permission slips.
3. And as always on the weekends, I washed several loads of laundry.  However, I have not managed to put it away yet.

Hope to Do...
1. School and life has been so busy that I have been severely neglecting my blog and TpT store.  I did manage to get my store ready for the big sale and add some new banners.  I am hoping to have time tonight to write a few blogs for the week.  This week is going to be just as busy as last week so maybe if I have them all written, it will be easy to just add pictures and post them.
2. I am so excited about the big sale on Tuesday and Wednesday.  What an awesome way for TpT to make us as teachers feel appreciated!  I am sure by the time Tuesday rolls around I will have a huge wish list to shop from!

Happy to Do...
1. I started getting a sore throat Friday night, and it has gotten worse over the weekend.  I was afraid it was going to turn into a full cold, but it feels like it might be getting better today.  Hopefully if I drink some tea and get to bed early, I will be completely better tomorrow.  Hopefully!!

What do you have planned for today?