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September 22, 2014

PSA - My Entire Store is on Sale



Public Service Announcement!  Tomorrow (or actually in 7 minutes), my entire store will be on sale for ONE DAY ONLY!  

This includes all my task card sets.

This includes all my bundles.

This includes all my CA History items.

This includes all my Research products...

and all my Projects!  EVERYTHING is on sale.

In case you were wondering, my 5 most popular items are...

Whole Class Writing Journal Bundle

Whole Class Writing Journals {Starter Pack - 15 covers}

Long Division Task Cards (Robot)

Subtraction with Regrouping Task Cards (Super Hero)

California Regions Research, Writing, Activity Pack

I absolutely love Autumn and I'm so glad it's finally here!  Now we just need to kick the 100+ degrees temps, and I'll be a happy camper.  :)  

Have a wonderful day!  






September 21, 2014

Salt Dough Maps

A couple weeks ago we were going in depth learning about CA's regions.  If you are just tuning in, I absolutely love teaching about CA history.  It's a passion!  I love making history come alive. :)  
Sorry for digressing...  

I just wanted to share our region maps with you.  The kids each get a 10x10 board (it's a donation from a past student's family).  Throughout the week they practice drawing the shape of CA as part of their homework.  Then Friday comes, and they do the shape on the actual board.

After drawing the shape on their board, they knead their dough bags.  To make the dough, the kids each bring in 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of salt in a freezer gallon size bag.  I add 1/2 cup of water and close the bag, and they then "massage" the outside of the bag to mix it into a cookie dough consistency.  It's enough dough to cover the state and have some left over as well.  

On their boards, they fill in CA, and add detail for the bumpy mountains, flat valley, adding the rocky coast, and the flatish desert.  We filled in the boards right after recess on a Friday, and by the end of the day it was ready to fill in the rest of the board.  I had them draw the borders and label for the neighboring states, Mexico, and Pacific Ocean.  They then colored the board and let it completely dry over the weekend.

The following Monday morning it was time to paint.  Usually I paint outside, but this year I wanted them to sit at their desks to be able to focus.  Usually in past years I had them paint the oceans too, but I really wanted to limit the paint... for my own sanity.  Before school my 8 year old son added a paper plate, small paintbrush, and a paper towel to their desks.  Then I put a little bit of green, yellow, and brown onto their plates.  We started with the green, moved onto the yellow, and finished up with the brown.  After each color, they removed the paint on the paper towel, went outside to the bucket to rinse their brush, and then continued on.  It really was headache free.  After painting, the boards went back outside to dry for the day.  In the afternoon we added some wet glue and gold glitter on the coast to signify the coast, and for our state nickname "Golden State".  

All in all, it's a fun project.  Have you used Salt Dough before?  It can be used for many purposes.  

Have a great day!


  

September 16, 2014

Easy Fundraiser


I like things to be easy.  At the beginning of the year, a fundraiser needs to be easy to fit into a hectic schedule.  My team used to do a Spell-a-thon to raise funds, but that meant we had to then grade the 100 word spelling tests.  Not necessarily fun.  So we switched to a Walk-a-thon, and it has worked out great.  

About a week before the walkathon we send home this note to the families:

It has some donation supplies on the bottom of the form, asking for bottles of water, or a treat to share after the walkathon.  My big thing is to be able to give each child a water bottle when they walk.    

On another sheet of paper we have the sponsor log.

Then we make a big deal in class and on email that our students will receive rewards for bringing in donations.  Every $25 that a student brings in will earn them a homework pass.  The top 3 earners will win a gift card to their choice of places (Target, Coldstone, Starbucks, Menchies...).  


On Walking Day, I label the tops of the water bottles with their class numbers, and then put the bottles and an index card on their desks.  When we head outside they bring both items with them.  The water bottle is put near my corner of the blacktop so when they come by to get a tally mark on their lap (index) card they can also get a drink.  

We have 4 classes, so each class takes a corner of the blacktop.  Each teacher also chooses a different color sharpie to make tally marks on the cards, and the kids know they are only allowed to come to our corner to get credit for the lap.  If kids want to take a seat, that's fine.  But the competitive spirit usually makes some kids want to get as much as possible.

In 4th grade we walk for 45 minutes.  Our first grade buddies walk for 30 minutes during theirs.  Some years we have music blasting, some years it's a little quieter.  The kids still have fun!  All in all though it's a very easy fundraiser to complete.  

What do you do to raise money?