Thursday, May 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye~End of the Year Poem for Parents Freebie!

Ending the school year is bittersweet, especially when it means saying goodbye to the children and families we have grown so close to. Parents trust us to care for, nuture, inspire and protect their precious little ones. During the year, we help them to grow in every way. This sweet little poem is something I like to print on colored paper to send home on the last day inside my student's keepsake boxes!

 Isn't it so precious?
There are a few different font options too!
It is sure to bring tears to your parents' eyes when they read it!
 If you would like a copy, you can download it here

For my teacher friends who start in a month other than September, or don't end in June, leave me a comment and I'll post a revision for you!
 You'll want to check back again for the link!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

End of the Year Projects~ Keepsake Pizza Box and Memory Book!

Boy this year just flew by! I can't believe that next week we start our end of the year projects! I am sitting here this evening printing the pages I need to make our oh, so cute pizza boxes! This is a tradition of mine and I consider it and the contents inside (like a DVD of class photos) to be my gift to the students and families! 

My mom did a lovely job coloring this example for the photo shoot, don't you think? She had fun making it! Mom comes in every year at this time (and weekly too) to help me. She assembles the boxes and passes out all of the children's treasures I have been saving.

One project from each month and all sorts of goodies like pick sticks, cubby tags and other special items get sent home in the box. The kids have a blast looking through all of their crafts while remembering all of the fun themes we had throughout the year! The parents go crazy when they come home and absolutely LOVE the boxes!

I took a trip out this weekend to Gordon Food Service to pick up some small white boxes. I was happy to walk out of there with 50 boxes for $15.00! Local pizza places will often donate boxes too if you smile and tell them you are a teacher! 

What else is in the box? When you lift the lid, there is a cute page of ABC's through the year. I type up some special things that we have done during the year that begin with that first letter. Inside is a sentence completion page about the year too. I always personalize a special poem for each child to include. All of those pages are in the Pizza Box Craftivity

NEW THIS YEAR... I thought it would be really cute to add a slice of pizza to the box in the form of a shape book! 

As we look back at the year, we will use the brainstorming sheet that is included to generate some ideas for writing on each page of the book. 
There is one page for each slice, or month, of the year! 

Here is how my example turned out:

 It looks good enough to eat! I printed mine in color, but there are black and white covers for the students to color too. Covers are created for Kindergarten, First, Second and Third Graders.

This brand new item will be free for the next two hours! 
Head over to my store and grab a copy to try out with your class! 
I hope you like it! :)

I like looking back with these kinds of activities as much as the kids do. 
We always end the year feeling wildly accomplished!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Simple Science Experiment~ Dancing Raisins

We had some good fizzy fun with our first "official" science experiment and introduction to our Being a Scientist unit! We dropped some raisins in Sprite and the magic of science excitement filled the room! Head on over to my Creative Lesson Cafe blog to read all about our Dancing Raisins! This is a super simple and fun experiment that would be perfect for firsties!

What are some of your favorite science activities for first graders?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Clock Flowers!

Hello First Grade Gallery friends! Was it the best Teacher Appreciation Week ever for you? I sure hope so! I wanted to share a fun activity we worked on for our May bulletin board! We practiced telling time and made a project at the same time! See how cute they turned out!

I did this with my Second Graders to review time to five minute intervals, but you could easily modify this for your Firsties. The flower pattern is from Amy Lemons time unit. I hope she doesn't mind, because I didn't see the new revision :), but I changed up the craft a bit to make it more of a math station activity to review for MAP testing.

First, I printed some rainbow arrows from Jen at Teaching in the Tongass to use as clock hand manipulatives. I also printed a sheet of digital clocks from Teacher Gems.

I had some great task cards from Rachel Lynette all copied and so I decided to do a scoot activity where each station required the students to model the time with the flower clocks and then use the recording sheet to write the correct answer. I am going to be working on additional sets of task cards because my class just loves to SCOOT! I'll let you know when they are ready!

Once we finished the scoot, whichever task card was on the student's desk was the one they had to show on the clock project. They glued down the clock hands and wrote in the digital time. The digital clock is glued to one leaf.

The kids had a fun time with telling time and now, we have a colorful May Flowers bulletin board!