Tips and Tools for Back to School - Interactive Notebooks

It's Sunday and my favorite day to link to my Primary Peeps for our Tips and Tools for you! This week's tip comes from the fabulous Lisa at Pawsitively Teaching.  She wants to talk to us about interactive notebooks in the primary grades.  Head on over there to see what she has to offer. You won't be sorry.

Monday Made It - A Teacher's Home Office

I'm linking up with the fabulous Tara from 4th Grade Frolics!!!
Teacher's Home Office
I tend to spend my entire summer doing BIG projects.  I'm not sure why I can't just relax!!!! This summer I really needed a workspace, but there were no extra rooms available for me. (Insert my sad face.)  So I decided to take about 25 square feet of my bedroom and turn it into my workspace.  
Teacher's Home Office
The workspace is multi-purpose.  I store all of my school materials, crafts, my children's crafts, home office materials and my children's school memory boxes.

I did not want to spend any extra money on this project so I reused bookcases that I had in my old office.  I painted them white with left over paint to try to keep a calm space for the room.  I also repurposed baskets from another space in the house.  The ribbon is hung up on small curtain rods that I attached with hooks to the bookcases.  The paint has magnets on the bottom that stick to cookie sheets that are screwed into the bottom of the shelf.  Both the ribbon project and the paint project came from Pinterest ideas.  A lot of the items are stored in jars that I save from food.  The children's school memory boxes are white copy paper boxes.  I added duct tape around the top to hide the labels.
Ribbon Storage

Paint Storage
So this project took some time and it's not over.  As I use it I'm sure that I will move some things around.  I also want to have my hubby make doors for the shelves.  He isn't as thrilled about that idea as I am.  Wonder why?

Tips and Tools For Back To School - Classroom Volunteers

Classroom Volunteers

Welcome to week two of our Tips and Tools for Back to School! Let me catch you up if you are just joining us.  I'm working with a great group of teachers to bring you tips for back to school along with some valuable tools to help you.  This week the fabulous Dirt Road Teacher will be helping us manage classroom volunteers! She has included a couple of tools to help keep your volunteer focused and productive.

Volunteer Contract

Volunteer To Do List

Click here to link to her blog to see what she has to say and the tools that she has to offer you!

Tips and Tools For Back To School - 2nd Grade Common Core Math Planning

Free 2nd Grade Common Core Math Planning Guide

Get ready for a summer filled with Tips and Tools for Back to School. I've teamed up with a great group of teachers named "The Primary Peeps".  We are going to work hard this summer to give you something new and useful each week.  Make sure that you check in every week to see what we have in store for you:)

Primary Peeps Tips and Tools for Back To School

The first week is brought to you by the lovely Leah Grasty from Grasty's 2nd Grade Goodies.  She has certainly set the bar way high for the rest of us. She is offering tips and a planning guide for 2nd grade math.  Go check her out.

Click here for the Free Planning Pack

The Tampa Bay Lightning - Giving Back To The Children

I live just outside of Tampa.  As a native Floridian I enjoy all of our Florida sports teams.  At the top of my list is the Tampa Bay Lightning.  They have sponsored my class in reading for 2 years in a row.  They offer a program called Score With Reading.  As the kids log their reading time they earn prizes.  One of the prizes that every child can earn is two tickets to a game.  I tell my students who earn the tickets that we can all go the same night if they want to and sit together.  This year there were about 10 students along with their parents who decided to meet me at the game.  We had a great time! Topping off a wonderful experience was the fact that I won a gift card for class supplies from The Lightning.  The effort that this organization puts forth to giving back to the community is wonderful.  They have truly made a difference in my student's lives.  This is an experience that they will remember forever.
The lovely Ms. Wagner and I

Introducing Loving Teaching Inspiring

A dear friend of mine Mrs. Lankford just started blogging.  I couldn't be more thrilled because I admire her so much as a teacher.  We are very lucky that she is sharing her talents with the world.  You should check out her blog.

Loving Teaching Inspiring

Popcorn Day

Popcorn Day is always a huge hit!!! We love to celebrate this day after a long morning testing or during the end of the school year. The first thing we read was  "The Popcorn Book" by Tommie DePaola. The kids loved that book. We listed the key details on an anchor chart. 

For science we popped popcorn.  The kids watched me pop the kernels in an "old fashioned" air popper. They would call out vocabulary terms like old maid for the duds and dynamite for the big pops. They learned the vocabulary in DePaola's book.

After we popped the popcorn, we taste tested the popcorn and caramel corn. They were both a hit! We used a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the different flavors of popcorn.

The kids had a ball, (heee-hee), playing popcorn outside against another class. The first one to drop the ball lost the round.  After we came back in the students received a free choice.  They got to choose from a ton of different popcorn language arts activities that I wrote. You can find the print and teach activities by clicking on the photo below.

 Click here to find lots of fun, easy and inexpensive ideas for learning all about popcorn in the classroom.  Perfect way to incorporate science, reading, math, writing into a fun and engaging day.  {elementary, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, homeschool} #popcorn #endofyear

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

My all time favorite chapter book to teach with is "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Historically I have saved this chapter book for the last month of school. It is so captivating that it keeps the student's engagement up. At the conclusion of the book, we always have a candy day. We compare the book to the movie and taste test some candy. It's nice to give out candy as it appears in the movie. The kids get a kick out of tasting the gobstopper when it's introduced in the movie.

Wonka makes a nice selection of candy. The 12 ounce bags are the best price per ounce.

If you need a companion to use with the book, check out the unit "Wonka For Candy"!

Watermelon Day

Watermelon Kool-Aid, Watermelon Jolly Ranchers and Watermelon Gum for EOY
Yay we made it to the last week of school! If we are honest it takes a lot of energy to get through this week. I for one want to keep teaching, hold their attention and have fun. So this is what I came up with.

We read "The Watermelon Seed" and found the central message. 

We listened to the Watermelon Song and learned how to spell w-a-t-e-r-m-e-l-o-n!!

We pretended to be taste testers and tested watermelon Kool-Aid. After we tasted it we wrote down adjectives to describe it.

My favorite was tasting watermelon. Yum. We drew pictures of it and found more adjectives.
We had a lot of fun guessing the flavors of our jolly ranchers! Followed by a little down time chewing our watermelon gum.

To end the day we had a seed spitting contest. The kids loved it and said that it was their favorite part.
I hope that you have a fabulous last week and a wonderful summer!

For more ideas and printables, check out my End of the Year Thematic Days.

DIY Class T-Shirts - Summer Blog Hop

I'm so excited to participate in Tailor Made Teaching 's Summer Blog Hop.  We end every year with kid created t-shirts in my classroom.  We wear these shirts on the last day of school just before we usher in the summer.  This year I wanted something quick and fun.  I found this idea on Pinterest and recreated it with my own twist.  The total project time was 2 hours for 18 students.  I had them working on independent work while I called them over to a table.

Materials:  shirts, spray bottle, acrylic paint, wood letters, pencil (for splattering) and paper to cover the table.

1.  The first step that isn't shown here was to take all of my old anchor charts down and reuse them on the table.  After every 3 or 4 shirts, I would peel away a layer and recycle it.

2.  Then mix 1/2 bottle of acrylic paint in a spray bottle filled with water.  You will need to shake regularly.

3.  Lay out your letters in order so that kids can find a phrase or word quickly.  These letters are made of wood.

Clean Shirt

DIY Class T-Shirt
4.  Gently spray the letters with the paint.  Less is more during this step.  If the letters were saturated, the paint bled through underneath.                                             

5.  The kids wanted to have fun with some splatter paint.
DIY Class T-shirts
6.  Remove the letters and leave the shirts to dry.

DIY Class T-shirt

DIY Class Shirt

To celebrate the summer I made a freebie that you may be able to use for your class. It's a great way to get a writing sample for the next year's teacher.

Now it's time to head on over to The Teacher Talk to see how she's getting ready for the summer.  I bet you that she has a fun freebie ready for you!