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May 31, 2013

Yay! It's Summertime!

What time is it??  Yeah!  Summertime!

I'm going to pretend for a moment that I'm a preteen again.

I haven't been for a very long time - but you have to admit the tune is catchy.

Yep - as of 12:40pm the kiddos left and it was summer vacation... well, I guess not exactly 12:40 since I had after school bus duty until 12:55, and then I had to grab my stuff for the haul out to the car, and turn in my keys...  but shortly thereafter.

... and it's Dad's birthday today so we're heading out to my parents' house for a birthday party so I better get going!

Hope you had a great day!  :)

All Things Upper Elementary

Hi All!  I'm blogging over at All Things Upper Elementary this morning.  

Check out my Summer Reads that make me want to say Hmmm...


...and I have a special treat planned for this afternoon, so check back!

May 30, 2013

Things I Will Definitely Change and SALE!

Kim over at Finding Joy in 6th Grade is hosting her very first linky all about what we want to change for next year.  I know I consider myself flexible with rolling with the punches.  So here are some of the things I want to work for next year.     

The back and sides of my room are pretty well covered.  I DO NOT like my walls.  Love the classroom, despise the walls.... they are peeling and yellow and just gross.  Little by little I have added more fabric over the years, now it's basically just the front of the room that I still have left to do.  I found some green twin sheets that I'm going to stick up on either side of the white board.  If it works to stick them up before school gets out, I would love that - if it doesn't then it's one of the first projects when I get back in August.  

I have tried many things over the years - composition books, binders, spiral notebooks - everything has it's own time and place.  I'm looking forward to using lap books with all my units this next year in all subjects.  This summer the plan is to bring home all my teacher editions - Reading, Math, S.S. and Science and plan out the different units to make it work for my future class.  I want to incorporate their vocabulary, main ideas, notes, etc.  It's going to be a big project.

This year I did a lot of flipping in my student notebook with regards to my conferences... next year I want less flipping, so thinking how I can restructure them to make it work better for me.

This past year Daily 5 was not a pleasant experience, I've been hearing though that next year is supposed to be a breath of fresh air.  I'm looking forward to doing more Daily 5/center rotations all year long.  I'm looking forward to implementing Literature Circles.  There is just so much I'm excited about.

Pretty basic.  I signed up for way too much this past year - on so many committees, too many adjuncts.  This next year I want to go back to the basics and hopefully my to do list will be shorter.

Summer I take better care of myself.  I get more sleep, I eat better, I feel better.  I am going to make a conscious effort going into next school year to continue doing my best and remembering ME.

One more thing - I put all my task cards on a big sale through this coming weekend over at TPT.  Basically everything that normally was $3.25 is now $1.50.  I'm all about celebrating the end of the school year  - but I'm also getting ready for next year and thinking other people may also be too.   

Hope you have a great day!  

May 29, 2013

Countdown to the Last Day - Yearbooks, Clean Up, Awards, and Ice Cream in a Bag

Well well...

1 1/2 days left with this bunch and today was basically the last day with desks.

I don't like to wait until the last moment.

This morning we had the kids go outside for an hour to sign yearbooks within the grade level.  Not every kid bought a yearbook, but they did create their own autograph booklet for kids to sign.  It was just a little mini book - a folded piece of construction paper with some folded copy paper inside.  

We also wrote our parents thank you notes to thank them for helping us learn all the 4th grade material. 

We then finished up those end of the year Student Brochures that we sent down to 3rd grade.

We cleaned out our desks right before lunchtime.  They each got a grocery store bag for all their extra stuff.  Last week we took all their paperwork home, so today was mainly their workbooks, binder, and all the other supplies.  They don't even need a pencil for the rest of the week since tomorrow is Game Day and the next will be Movie Day.  

After lunch we had our awards assembly over in the cafeteria.  Each grade level goes and presents the Principal's Honor Roll, Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance for the Year, Character Counts Awards, and Effort Awards.  Parents take pictures, student pose for pictures.  It's a hour of our day. 

Then we came back and created our Ice Cream in a Bag treat.

I know I mentioned it last year, it really is an easy project.  This year I decided to NOT tackle it with our reading buddies.  Trying to pour 2 classes worth of stuff was a little nuts last year.  

Anyhow, just a reminder how I make it in case you want to try it yourself.

*Pour 8 tsp. vanilla into a gallon of milk and shake really well.  
*Scoop 1 tbsp. sugar into the quart bags beforehand (so little fingers don't touch).

During the moment:
*I pour about 1/2 cup of milk/vanilla into a quart size bag for each kid and I make sure to seal.
*The kids scoop about 1/3 cup rock salt into their gallon size bags (partners share).
*Then they fill their gallon bag about 1/2 way with ice cubes.
*They put the little milk bags into their ice bags, seal it up, and shake hard (for about 5 minutes). 
*When the milk bags look like frozen yogurt it's time to eat - pass out spoons and enjoy.

Hope you had a great day!  

May 28, 2013

Countdown to the Last Day - Thank You & Summer Birthday Party

I'm in the final stretch, can't believe week 38 is finally here. 3 1/2 days left...

Last Friday we celebrated by having a camp out in class. I mentioned it the other day... We made s'mores cones, painted pet rocks, and did a nature activity book that the local association gave to my grade level. 
Today our agenda included more thank you notes ( we've been making them every morning for the past week), completing grade level centers, and having our summer birthday party. 

What? Yep a summer birthday party.

Before I go into that let me tell you what we did in the morning. Basically we got to school and had 30 minutes to make more thank you notes. We have been making 2 thank you notes per morning for days now. We have covered our principal, vp, librarian, office ladies, firemen, our reading buddies, 5th grade play presenter class, and chaperones. Today we wrote notes to 2 more important people - our custodians. Tomorrow we finish with our parents. Yes, they will write notes to their parents for helping them learn all their 4th grade material. 

Anyhow, after thank yous, after prep, after recess, we had 2 hours for our grade level rotations. There are 4 rooms, so the classes rotated through for about 28 minutes per room. Just simple things that the kids love- and it fills time with us doing the same activity with a new bunch of kids over and over (i.e. - we all had time to pack up our rooms while the kids were entertained).  My room was Boggle.

When my class rotated back to me it was time for our pizza party, then they went outside to play when I set up for our summer birthday party.

I have a bday party that includes all the kids that aren't in school on their special day.  I mean, everyone in my class participates, it's just FOR the kids that aren't there.  3 weeks ago I gave them their special homework pass and their special pencil so they could use it before the end of school. I told them that they could bring in treats if they wanted. Then it was just a matter of setting up games to play. 
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We had pin the tail on the donkey, limbo, musical chairs, 
and blew up balloons to draw faces on them. 

We also made birthday wish posters. 

Usually I have the kids take a half sheet of copy paper to make up their birthday wishes- but we couldn't do 8 in a day. Could you imagine trying to organize that? So instead we made birthday posters. Same concept but they just wandered around to the different posters writing their birthday wishes. The kids get so creative with birthday wishes - ponies, fairies, iPads, health, favorite meal. :)

Linking this up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper 
I hope you had a great day!

May 27, 2013

Flash Freebie

Flash Freebie going on over at TPT for the next hour or so.  I hope it helps someone out there.  Please leave some feedback, I'd appreciate your thoughts.


Monday Made It: End of Year Gifts

Hi Everyone!  I love a Monday home with the family.  Well, not the entire family since Hubby has to work - such is the life of a videographer on a holiday.

But we will BBQ later on as a family... and we will have a water gun fight this afternoon as a family...and we will head to the cemetery to help the Cub Scouts pick up the flags as a family... and we will clean up this place we call home as a family...
Image by MelonHeadz Illustrating

So thankful for the service men and women.  Stay safe!  

Yesterday I went shopping for all the things needed to finish up this last week of school.  Want to see my list?

Tuesday: Pizza Party and Summer Birthday Party
*Capri Suns
*Inflatable Limbo Stick
*Pin the Tail on the Donkey
*Pizza being delivered

Wednesday: Ice Cream in a Bag
*Rock Salt
*Gallon Bags
*Quart Bags
*Milk and Ice pick up on Tuesday night

Thursday: Game Day & Last Reading Buddies
*Otter Pops

Friday: Last Day Gifts and Movie Morning
*Popcorn Treat Boxes
*Microwave Popcorn Bags (both for gifts and another box for Movie Day)
*Movie Snacks - Good & Plenty, Chocolate, Junior Mints
*Thank you notes
*Plastic Treat Bags
*Movie Tickets for teachers

Then I kept shopping for next year when I really probably should have stopped:
*Bought my vinyl tablecloths
*Bought handheld pencil sharpeners
*Bought my pink erasers
*Bought red dish tubs for center rotations

Anyhow, want to see the final outcome of the gifts?  

Popcorn Boxes and Thank You Notes came from Michael's.  Tissue paper keeping it shaped, and the goodies are in plastic treat bags tied up with a red ribbon.    

Each bag includes a pop up bowl of popcorn, a jumbo size candy, and teachers also get movie tickets.  The little note's font is by Kevin and Amanda, and the clip art is from MelonHeadz Illustrating.  

All 12 of them ready to go :)  

"Have a Picture Perfect Summer!"

I made up 12 of them to include the 4 office people, 1 librarian, 2 custodians, 3 sons' teachers, and 2 preschool aides.

Have a great day!