Friday, February 28, 2014

Bringing Japan to Our School

Happy Friday everyone! Our school had the great privilege of having two Japanese students from Bunkyo University visit us this week. They stayed with my teammate in her home. It was a lot of fun having them around. They observed my class and taught a lesson called Maneki-neko, or "Beckoning Cat." The students each created their own "Beckoning Cat" which brings good luck. Today was their last day. They gave each one of my students a hand-made paper crane and an origami heart. They took lots of pictures so hopefully they can e-mail them and I can post more! :) If your school ever gets an opportunity like this, take it! It's a great way to bring culture to our kids and introduce them to new things.

The maneki-neko (Japanese: 招き猫?, literally "beckoning cat") is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman), usually made of ceramic in modern times, which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner.

 Each group of students looked at two maneki-nekos and had to find the difference between two of them. In one picture, the cat held up its right paw and in the other, the left paw. Depending on which paw it's holding up determines the meaning.

The students then created their own and chose a Japanese meaning that they wanted their maneki-neko to represent. They LOVED writing in Japanese!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Black History Bulletin Board

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. This month, as I've stated in previous posts, my class and I have been learning about many figures from Black History. I have three guided reading groups, so I used Reading A-Z to find books to use. I had my below grade level group read "Good for Thurgood," my on grade level group read "Martin Luther King, Jr." and my above grade level group read "Harriet Tubman." After reading about these figures, each group created a character trait poster using text evidence to support the character traits that they chose. I displayed this in the hallway so other classes could see who we were learning about and what kind of people they were. I love it! What are you doing in your classroom for Black History Month?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sentences and Fragments

Happy Hump Day everyone! I hope you all are having a great week so far! I have a new product to share with you, which focuses on developing sentences. Many of my students have trouble developing sentences, as they are writing fragments. What a perfect way to get rid of this habit...a few printables and a center that focuses on sentences and fragments! These activities could be used from 1st  grade to 4th grade, depending on the needs of your students. I teach 3rd grade and I created this for my class, although it can be differentiated. This awesome bundle includes 3 printables and a center! Click here to grab this at my TpT store!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Freebie!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend! This is an exciting week because Valentine's Day is on Friday! I'm excited for many reasons: 1) Mini-Valentine's Party at school 2) Working my second job which will score me the big bucks (waiting tables) and 3) Celebrating my husband and I's first Valentine's Day as a married couple--which we're doing on Sunday :)
I literally made this product TODAY. My co-worker( Kindergarten teacher and good friend) called my room and said, "Hey, can you make me a quick Valentine's Day card that I can print out for my kids?" I quickly made it and e-mailed it right away. I printed out a copy for myself--I thought--why not kill two birds with one stone? Then another teacher saw it and asked if I'd make her a copy. Well, then the obvious hit me...I better put it on Teachers Pay Teachers for the rest of my teacher friends! So please enjoy this freebie, which wouldn't have been created if it weren't for my friend Jessica :)
Grab this freebie at my TPT store by clicking here! 

Don't forget to follow my TpT store and blog to get the latest updates! :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Classroom Library Organization

Happy Friday everyone! I was lucky enough to have a half day all to myself in my classroom on Wednesday! We had an in-service the first half of the day and then it was organization station in my room! My library before Wednesday included great books, but they weren't organized or showcased, so I don't think my students took the time to look through them. I went on Teachers Pay Teachers and found an AMAZING freebie from Jessica Tobin's store: Book Tub Labels! They were owl themed which is my classroom theme so I had to download these. There are so many labels included with this product. I laminated all of them and only used a handful because I don't have much space in my classroom for a large library. I picked a few genres I wanted to stick with and organized it that way.
Check out my library BEFORE I organized....
Look at the heaping pile of books falling off the shelf! Makes my head spin just looking at it!
I can breathe now! This makes me happy just looking at it. And I must say, my kids were actually looking in the library this week! Organization really is an important component in a successful classroom.

How do you have your classroom library organized? Don't forget to head over to Jessica's store to grab this awesome freebie! :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Currently February

Today I am linking up with Farley @ Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for Currently February. I stumbled upon her amazing blog and thought this would be a great chance to get to know other bloggers out there! It's nice to see who the person is behind the "teacher blog". Can you guess my two truths and one fib? :)
I'll give you another second to think about my fib...
I am always watching Lifetime. I absolutely love it. I don't like the early 90's cheesy movies, so don't judge! I am constantly made fun of by my friends for watching Days of Our Lives and Lifetime movies :)
After watching The Butler, I am even more excited about celebrating Black History with my students. I have several products that I created just for this purpose. So excited!!
YES. I have to write a 40 page paper :( wahhhhhhhhh. It's a research proposal. This is my second grad class. Harsh, huh?
Testing is coming up and I just would LOVE a blizzard. A safe blizzard, but something to keep us out of school and cause us to call a state of emergency so we don't need to  make up the days :)
Who doesn't need to clean their house? Enough said.
Here we go with my truths and fib.
1. TRUTH. I'm going to Vegas for spring break! I'm so excited. I went last spring break with my husband and we had such a great time we decided to go again. I do love to gamble...
2. FIB. I was not an extra in a movie in NYC. I would have LOVED it though :) So it was more like a dream, not a fib.
3. TRUTH. My husband and I got married 8-2-13 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was AMAZING. Highly suggest destination weddings. Beautiful and way cheaper than weddings at home!
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to leave me your link :)

Black History Month Part II

Happy Hump Day everyone! I am so excited to share my new Black History center! After watching the movie, The Butler, I became even more intrigued about Black history. If you haven't seen it, you need to watch it (not with your kiddies of course). It gave me a new insight on history and what African-Americans went through. I was hooked the entire time. I thought having Oprah in it would throw me off, but she did an amazing job. I want my kids to learn about Black history and appreciate what they have now. Check out the trailer below, then go to Redbox and get it! :)
And now for my center, called "Who Am I?" Click the photo below to grab this awesome center!

 This easy to assemble center on requires laminating and cutting! Use this as a literacy or social studies center, whole class activity, or differentiate it and have students research the figures.

-Cover page
-Answer sheet
-Recording sheet
-9 character cards
-27 facts
What are you doing in your classroom for Black History month? If you'd like to see a similar center for President's Day, click here. Happy blogging, teacher friends!