Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cooking with our OWN Basil

On the last week of school the basil we grew in our planting unit was almost a foot tall!  I have done a planting unit EVERY year, and we have never had anything grow more than an this year's growth spurt was very exciting!  I decided to find a recipe for my kids which involved using basil as an ingredient.  I ended up having them make english muffin pizzas.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Give-away and Wrap Up

The last week has been a real doozy...finishing up school and hosting a local wedding reception in the same week might not have been the best idea!  

First off...I want to congratulate the 2 winners from my give away....Stacy and Jasmin (check your emails for details).  And thanks to everyone else who entered...I was super impressed by the turnout.  Using rafflecopter to do a give-away was super easy...I will definitely be doing more in the future!

Packing up my classroom is always such a pain!  Why do we need to pack everything up every year?!  I think (actually, I KNOW...) I have more things in my classroom than in my apartment!   I seriously wonder if there is a better way to go about this...and I am seriously considering hiring movers next year to pack up my room for me!  Below are some pictures of the mess of a classroom I created while packing/cleaning.  I don't know how many times I told myself "it has to get worse before it gets better."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Puzzle Storage

I buy most of my puzzles at the dollar store and I love them....they are cheap, pretty sturdy, and if you lose a piece, it's no big deal because they only cost you a dollar!  However, the boxes they come in are all different sizes, they are not sturdy, and they are a pain in the neck to onto my solution!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Matching Colors

I may have discussed my fondness for "Do a Dot" bingo markers earlier in the year, and I am still in love!  First of all, my kids enjoy using them.  This makes my life a lot easier because I can just take out the bingo markers, and they are instantly ready to work!  At the beginning of the year, one of my students could not attend to anything on a piece of paper.  If you gave him paper and a writing utensil, he would just go to town scribbling everywhere.  Over the course of the year, we tried to do a lot of activities to work on attending.  Without the ability to attend to a variety of tasks, anyone would have trouble learning much of anything.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


During my BBQ Unit last week, one of our favorite activities was a "mad-libs" style book I made.  On each page, there are 4 picture choices for the kids to pick from to fill in the blank.  I found this idea from someone on Boardmaker share...unfortunately, my version of Boardmaker couldn't open I created my own version and changed it up a little!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BBQ Unit in Action

Yesterday, I wrote about planning my BBQ unit.  Today, I will share pictures from my students completing this unit.  All the resources showed in today's post are available on TPT (click here for the link).  This unit comes with:
* 19 vocabulary flash cards
* An adapted book
* An "I have, who has" card game
* 11 worksheets

We started the unit by reviewing the vocabulary words and reading an adapted book. Here is a picture of some of the vocabulary flash cards.  The words covered in this unit are Strawberry, Grapes, Hamburger, Salad, Lemonade, Soda Pop, Juice Box, Apple, Kebob, Ketchup, Mustard, Chips, Picnic Table, Basket, Grill, Oven Mitt, Tongs, Napkin, and Plate.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

BBQ UNIT Planning

Of course, as the school year was winding down a couple weeks ago, was I cleaning up my room like everyone else?  No!  I was making a brand spanking new unit on BBQ to do with my students for the last 2 weeks of school.  This unit was a lot of fun and really helped my kids build up some vocabulary they can use all summer long!  I think this unit would be great in summer school or in the beginning of the school year as well.  If you live a place that doesn't probably could use this unit all year long (and I am very jealous of you!).  This unit is available on Teachers Pay Teachers (click here for link)

Monday, June 17, 2013

100 Follower Give-Away

I am SUPER excited to have hit 100 followers last week!  When I started this blog last summer, I really had no idea if anyone would ever read it... let alone that I would have people follow me!  I have loved every minute of blogging...especially hearing your feedback and comments.  I also LOVE getting emails from people about their classrooms or asking me questions about mine!  This has been such a great place to be able to collaborate with so many fabulous teachers.  My classroom has become a more engaging place thanks to all the ideas I have got from some of your blogs!  I guess my point is that I am so grateful to all of to show my gratitude, I decided to  try out a true blog give-away contest!  The prize is your pick of any product from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

I have never done this before, so hoping this works!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!  And here is the link to my TPT store, so you scope out the items you can win:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boy vs. Girl Sort

As I was cleaning up my classroom, I found this old file folder that I LOVE.  It is another sorting activity that is a little more involves sorting picture of boys vs. girls.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer School Set-Up

Just about 1 week left of real school...then off to summer school we go!  This year, we aren't staying at our current school.  I am used to working summer school in my actual classroom, so I usually don't have to change or plan very much.  This year, we are going to a new school in the neighborhood, so I actually have to plan pretty much every thing, since I won't have access to my classroom once we start.

In order to figure out what I needed to pack, I started by making a loose schedule for my kiddos.  Basically, we do our normal morning group all together (calendar, weather, journal, social time, etc.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Subtraction Bowling

It's the end of the year, and I am getting I have been all over Pinterest lately trying to find activities that are fun, engaging, not a lot of work to set up, and still work on IEP goals!  I think I found a good one this week....subtraction bowling!  When I went back and looked over my pin boards, I realized I had pinned this bad boy 2 it must be a keeper! ha!  The only materials are plastic cups and a ball!  We had both laying around the classroom.  We only had clear cups, which I was worried would make it hard to tell if they had been knocked over or one of my students helped me out and painted the cups all different colors!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

End of Year Celebration!

We may have over 2 weeks left, but we still celebrated the end of the school year with families this week.  We invited all the parents and siblings to attend this day of events with us, and we had a pretty great turn out.  We started out our day with a Double Decker Tour of our city.  As I have talked about in previous posts, I got a donorschoose grant for this trip.  So many of my kids have not had the chance to really explore the city they have lived in their whole lives.  We prepared for this by doing mini research projects on different places in our city.  The kids also did presentations on these projects (check out the visuals we used for "presentation behavior" here

Friday, June 7, 2013

Preparing for Summer

We have already begun preparations for the end of the school year, summer school, and the beginning of next year.  In year's past, our kids have had summer school all of July and our next school year always began after Labor Day in September.  All of my kids have scripted "no school in August" for years to help themselves understand this change in routine.  However, next year, our school calendar is changing and we are starting school in August.  When we broke this news to them, they were in a few jaws were little hanging open (haha).  So, to help all my kids really understand these changes,  I made them calendars for the next 3 months.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Preposition Activity

I found this activity on Lakeshore Learning and got it as part of a donorschoose grant.  It is an awesome, hands-on way to work on prepositions (which so many of my students struggle with).  I also like the visual cards that come with it to help my students understand the directions.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kool-Aid Playdoh and FREEBIE

As the school year is winding down, I have been on the look out for some fun, new activities to keep school interesting for the kids and (not going to lie) for me too!  I found a lot of great ideas on Pinterest, including home made play doh using Koolaid to give it different smells.  The activity was fun, the play-doh turned out great, and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves.  However, I definitely should have allotted for more time than I did.  I did the activity with two students at a time and thought we could do the activity in 15 minutes.  We came close, but I was feeling rushed to get through all my groups.  Since we were rushing, I feel like the activity wasn't as educational as it could have least I know now for next time!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Healthy Door Contest

This past week, we put on a family reading night that went along with a "healthy" theme.  Leading up to the family reading night, we had a door decorating contest.  We didn't win, but my kids did such a nice job, I wanted to share our door with you!