Image Map

November 18, 2016

Meatballs, Author's PIE, and Ivan

The week before any holiday is always extra busy... and this year wasn't any different.  Wrapping up a novel, adding in a little PIE, and celebrating with my school buddies for a Friends-giving made this week a success.  

I love this simple recipe for crockpot meatballs.  It's super easy - literally just throw the ingredients into a crockpot, and let it cook on low for 4 hours.  The students didn't even realize they were cooking over in the corner of the room.  It was my addition to our Friends-giving lunch potluck.  A bag of original meatballs, and equal parts of chili sauce and grape jelly.  That's it.  

I also love to do this PIE activity with my kids right before Thanksgiving.  In past years I used 2 paper plates - which meant cutting it and then stapling.  This year I simplified it and just used one plate - the top was turned into a pie (their choice of filling and coloring in a crust), then the kids used sharpie to divide it into 4 pieces and writing Authors, P, I, E.  Behind each piece the kids had to write a definition and an example of each type.  Super easy, but it was a great assessment tool.  

As for real pie, we had that too - the kids brought in donations of pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving feast.  I split it up and served it with whipped cream as we watched a short Thanksgiving movie.  I LOVE Thanksgiving in the classroom!

We also finished up reading Ivan before break, so we created Ivan using 2 shades of gray paper, and then wrote opinion paragraphs on his belly.  An art project always seems to make finishing a beloved novel a little easier.  Directions for this craft are over on one of my old posts.  :)  

Hope you had a great day!

November 11, 2016

Thank You Veterans

This year for Veteran's Day my teammate told me about a neat remembrance project that she does in her classroom... and I wanted to add it to my classroom as well.  Basically you take a long piece of white construction paper, and attach the red/blue strips.  I labeled the strips in alphabetical order: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy and gave out star stickers to my class to stick in the category of someone in their lives (grandparents, uncles, dads, friend's dad) that they know who have served our country.  The kids that wanted to share out loud full class did so, but not everyone wanted to speak aloud - which is where the stars came in.  Some kids only had one star, but some had multiple ones.  In my own life I was able to stick stars onto Air Force (grandpa and uncle), Army (grandpa), and Marines (nephew).  We also watched the Flocabulary video of Veterans Day with our school membership.  That was pretty powerful.  How do you celebrate Veterans Day?  

November 8, 2016

The Great Cookie Election

I decided to keep the politics out of my classroom during the election, but I still wanted to show the process of the electoral college though, so I hosted the Great Cookie Election on Election day.  It was super simple, and I definitely want to remember this for the future.  

First up - I picked up two kinds of cookies from the store: 

Then I wrote out all 50 states on little slips of paper, and put them all on the back table in my classroom.  Each child chose a state they would represent and chose that ballot.  With the remaining ballots, I asked for volunteers and they were quickly picked up.  The students tasted both cookies and had to come to a decision for what cookie should win the vote.  

The kids wrote their choice on their ballot and turned them into the basket.  It was a secret ballot.  

I wanted the kids to understand how each state had a certain amount of points, we had a quick discussion about population (keeping it very simple), and I posted a google image map of the states and EC votes on my projector.  Then the kids got out their whiteboards or a piece of binder paper to do some math.  The goal was 270 points to win.  I also kept track on the board.  

I would reach into the basket, choose a state, the kids would consult the map and find the corresponding point value, and then I would tell them which cookie got the point.  They would add, and every so often I would ask for an update on my board.  Chips Ahoy won by a slight margin.  I really think the kids were able to then understand the election.