Friday, April 18, 2014

Guess who's back????

Back again.  Jingle's Back.  Tell a friend.  

Actually, he's not quite back yet.  He'll be arriving right after we finish up our testing.  I became a little too obsessed with the Elf on the Shelf at Christmas time.  As soon as I saw the birthday version, I bought it instantly and knew I HAD to figure out a way to use it in the classroom.  

And I did!

During the school year we celebrate individual birthdays minimally.  We sing to the child and they get to take home a small birthday gift from me.  They are allowed to bring treats to pass out during lunch.  In order to make each child feel special and enjoy their birthday, I like to have one big birthday party at the end of the year.  I bring cupcakes, we play games, and have a really fun time!  I'm super excited to involve the birthday edition of Elf on the Shelf this year.  My class LOVED having the Elf on the Shelf visit us during Christmas, and I know they’ll LOVE seeing him back at our birthday party. 

I also included a behavior management aspect.  To help manage the kiddos during the last month of school, they are going to need to earn the birthday party.  In the note the elf leaves, he explains that he will be watching their behavior each day and reporting to Santa.  If the class displayed appropriate behavior, he will leave them a green dot to put on the present.  If the class did not display appropriate behavior, he will leave them a red dot to put on the present.  The class needs to have 15 green dots on the present, in order for the elf to be allowed to come to the party.  

What's included in this packet?
-Directions for how to set it all up
-Invitations, Thank-You Notes, and Weekly Reflections 
-An Acceptance letter from the Elf
-A Classroom Management plan incorporating the Birthday Elf
-Blank Calendars for April, May, and June 2014
-My calendar for May filled out with elf antics
-Poems to accompany each day
-9 Birthday Party Game Ideas

Click here to check it out!

I will be updating this packet with more pictures and ideas as I use it in my classroom. You can follow all my elf's daily happenings on instagram @jvanorman or by searching the hashtag #birthdayelfintheclassroom

Now, for the best part...
Would you like to win:



You're in luck!  I'm giving it ALL away to ONE lucky reader!  
Enter using the rafflecopter below!  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt

During my first year of teaching, my co-worker gave me an awesome Easter Egg Hunt for my class to use.  It was a picture that needed to be completed.  Students found an egg, read the directions inside, and followed the directions to complete their picture.  I thought it was brilliant!  I loved that it wasn't just a "for fun" activity.  It involved reading/listening.  I used that activity every year... until this year.  My only copy left was so badly photocopied (and beyond outdated) that I had no other choice but to make my own

I put together an Easter picture for students to complete.  I typed up 24 directions to hide in plastic eggs around the room.  When I taught first grade, I had one student at a time find an egg and read us the directions.  This year, I am going to number the directions and let them find them on their own.  I including a recording sheet, so they could see what numbers they still needed to find.  

Included in this packet are:
-an Easter picture scene for students to complete
-24 directions (in 4 formats, including color/bw)
-a recording sheet for independent students

If you would like more directions, or something else added to this activity, please let me know!  I'd be happy to update it!  :)  

If you follow me on instagram, I had a flash freebie for this one today!  It just might happen again, so keep your eyes peeled!  :)

If you missed it, I'll give it away to the first two people to comment on this post!  
(Don't forget to leave your email address.)

Happy {almost} Easter!  


Oh my word..... how is it APRIL already?!?!
I'm linking up {a few days late} with Farley for my April Currently!  

I've spent the weekend catching up on Revenge!  Man, I just can't stop watching it!  It's so addicting.

At first I hated our class picture.  I didn't like the gangster poses, and I really didn't like being front and center...  But when I got the picture back, I really LOVED it!  There's so much personality.  It's my new favorite!  :)

I can't stop thinking about BABIES!!!  My bff just had her third baby last night!  

She's a DOLL!!!
I'm finally heading out to Chicago to visit this summer, and I can't WAIT to meet her!  

This was at the baby shower for her first baby.  
(We really need to take an updated picture this summer, Michelle!)
Fun fact... her first baby was born on my birthday!  We were destined to be best friends!  :)

I can't wait to go on some trips and enjoy some lazy days by the pool.... 
I stupidly volunteered to teach summer school this year.  But it's only in the mornings, Monday through Thursday, and only in June.  I...will...survive.  That still gives me plenty of afternoons for the pool. Since I'm teaching summer school, I'm cramming all my trips into July.  I'm heading to Toronto, Chicago, and VEGAS!  I am beyond excited for the Teachers Pay Teachers conference.  I can't wait to meet all my favorite bloggers and learn some new tips and tricks with tpt!  

See this massive pile of papers????

I have been putting off grading them for toooooooo loooooong.  Since the end of the year is so close, we've been doing daily math and language review pages for morning work, to make sure everyone is ready for 3rd grade.  My favorite review packs came from Amy and Jessi.  Jessi has daily assessments for every 2nd grade math and ela standard.  She's working on assessments for k-6!  Impressive!    

Hours and Last Day
Student hours are 7:45-2:15.  
My official hours at 7:15-3:15.
My real hours are about 6:30-6:30....  but let's not go there....

Our last day is May 22nd!!!  
33 days of school left... and COUNTING!  :) 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shades of Spring!

I am SO excited to share with you my latest product!  

During the past few weeks, we have been working on identifying shades of meaning among adjectives and verbs.  Last year I just did this kite activity.  But this year, I raised the bar and made an entire unit of this topic.  It is FULL of fun activities to teach shades of meaning with your kiddos.  Many of the activities could be used to simply teach synonyms with younger ones.  

Here's a sneak peek of what's include in this unit.

Paint chips work really well to teach shades of meaning.  
I use them to introduce the unit, and to make some adorable suns!

Shades of Adjective Flowers

An updated kite for Shades of Verbs 

I also included: two posters, two scoots, four independent worksheets, and ten lists of adjectives and verbs all ready to go!  
Not all pictured.  

Here are some pictures of my class enjoying a couple of these activities.  

My kiddos had a BLAST working on these activities.  I love the bright colors and the educational crafts it provided us to decorate with!  I know you and your class will have a blast with this unit!  :)  

It is half off until tonight.  But I would love for THREE lucky readers to win a copy!  Enter using the rafflecopter below.  
(This is my first time using rafflecopter.... here's hoping it works as well as everyone says it does!)  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up for a very random Five for Friday!  Saddle up and enjoy!  :)

Read Across America!

We had the BEST time celebrating this week!  I've felt so bad dropping the ball this year on many fun holidays, so I was NOT about to let Seussweek slip by!

We read Horton Hears a Who and wrote our opinion of the book, along with a little craft.  



We went on PebbleGo and learned all about the life of Dr. Seuss.  I made these fun timelines to help piece it all together.

We also read Oh, The Thinks You Can Think and practiced looking for context clues to help us understand new words.  

We read The Cat in the Hat and practiced Cause/Effect.

Finally, we enjoyed green eggs & ham, while reading Dr. Seuss books around the room!  


It was a super fun week!  


We have been working on repeated addition and arrays this past week.  As a culminating activity, we built Array City!  I wrote four repeated addition sentences on the board.  They had to create the array in the window of buildings.  Then, they had to create their own array in the stars and write the repeated addition sentence to match it.  This was one of my favorite activities!  We had a blast!  



Reader's Theater

In my reading intervention group, we have been using reader's theater to help with our fluency.  I absolutely LOVE the plays in this book:

They were so fun to listen to, so I had two of my little girls record a short snippet from their play, "Goldilocks and the Three Bullfrogs".  I loved the expression they used.  I'm so proud of how far they've come!  :)

Math Movers

I LOVE the Math Mover activities from Hope!  It was a great for a math review activity, that got them moving and thinking!  I might have used the Christmas edition this week.... but no one seemed to notice or mind.  :) 

30 Blows

On a non-educational note, my dear friend turned 30 this week!  YIKES!  That means it's my turn soon!!!  :/  I sent her this fun little package, to help cope with this traumatic birthday.  You can grab the printables here.  I used a 3 inch scalloped circle punch to cut out each tag.  

Happy Weekend, friends!