Five for Friday {5.31.13}

It's Friday...which means linky party time!

This week we had our Student Led Conferences (which we called a "Learning Celebration").  We could not have asked for them to go any better!  We were worried about how they would go because we had never tried them; I don't think we will ever do end of the year conferences the other way again!!!  We offered an evening session and a morning session.  Parents were able to choose which one worked best for their schedule.  We had almost 100% attendance (which is better than regular conferences)!  We made sure the students knew that they were leading the conference; there was an agenda to help them which worked great!  The kiddos were SO proud to show off their good work.  They were very thorough and made sure to go over every last detail with their family members present.  

Proud Kiddos and Families:

Some of the work they showed:

After doing these Pinterest inspired projects, we are ready for SUMMER!!!  We still have about a week to go!  

To thank our parent volunteers, we tried these simple (also Pinterest inspired) gifts!  Aren't parent helpers GREAT!?!   
Tamra's Volunteer Gifts
The cards said: 
"Thank you for your commit"mint" to our class this year!"  
and the baskets were full of different types of mints.  

Sarah's Volunteer Gift
The cards said: 
"Thanks for 'beeing' so sweet to help our class this year!
and the baskets had a jar of Savannah Bee Co. honey and chocolate from a local Raleigh chocolate factory.

Something that we haven't ever blogged about is Star of the Week.  I'm sure many of you do Star of the Week in your classrooms.  We have always enjoyed it and we think it's great for the kiddos to have a week to shine.  One of the things we have our star student do during their week is invite a guest reader. This past week one of my students had his grandma come to read and she read a book that she wrote and published!  How neat to have a real author there to read to us!  The kiddos were very excited to ask her tons of questions about being an author!

We have our Star of the Week packet for sale in our store which gives you all the things you need to do Star of the Week in your classroom if you're wanting to try it out next year!  
This packet is our donation to Hoot's and Holler's Giveaway...
head on over to their site to enter, there are some great prizes!  

Students were loving our End of the Year Fun  activities this week!  They were working so hard and loving it!  We were even able to get last minute assessments completed during this time! 

Have a GREAT weekend! 

Manic Monday 5.27.13

Wow!  We are glad to have an extra day in our weekend!  Although, we'll be busy working on grading end of the year assessments and report cards.  At least we can find a cozy spot around the house to do it!  Here's a beach themed freebie for you!  We're starting to use our End of the Year activities this week.  We're setting them up so our kiddos will move around to different activities independently.  We're adding this freebie into the mix.  Enjoy!

Mentor Text Linky (5.26.13)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all of you!  We hope you are enjoying it!  We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky!  This week the theme is Social Studies.   We selected a book that we use when we are studying our Family Traditions and Celebrations unit.  

"What do you do when you loose a tooth?  Do you put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy?  Not if you live in Botswana.  In Botswana, children throw their teeth on the roof."  
Quote from, you can buy this book here.   

This book adds to the excitement of young kiddos loosing their teeth and is very relatable for the students we teach.  It explores the varying traditions different countries and cultures have when a tooth is lost.  This book is sure to capture your students' attention!  

We do this activity following the book to look at how each of our families celebrate when a tooth is lost.  If you'd like a free copy, click HERE

See you next time! 

Organizing and Summer Bucket Lists

Whew!!  It is so easy to get caught up in this end of the year rush!  Thankfully, Tamra does a great job keeping on top of Five for I am doing my part in catching up with some linkys!  It is so nice having Monday off...I feel I can be so much more productive.  Hope you're all off to a great long weekend as well!  Looking forward to those carefree summer days!
:) Sarah

LOVE this linky!!  Here are some of our favorite organizational tools.

With Common Core we've been digging through our old resources to find what we can still use and adding LOTS of new resources!  We definitely have some organizing to do after the kiddos leave!  We ready to get inspired by the posts to this linky!

And now, our Summer Bucket Lists!

Five for Friday {5.24.13}

TGIF!!!  We had a busy and productive week!  We are definitely ready for a 3 day weekend.

This week we worked on our Habitat Dioramas and Mystery Animal Research Projects.  Each student selected an animal and completed both projects using that animal.  For the Habitat Dioramas the students used all sorts of "nature inspired craft supplies;" we had everything from moss to cotton balls to sand available for them to use.  They made the animal out of Model Magic and painted them prior to putting them into the diorama.  There was a great "buzz" in the room as they worked.  I think we had some of the most productive students in the school while they were completing these...

Their animal reports consisted of a research question page (if you'd like a copy of this activity, click here for your freebie)....

which was attached to the back of their mystery animal project.  Each student drew the habitat of their mystery animal on the front of the paper; only showing the eyes of the mystery animal.  The inside of the project revealed the animal...  

Here are the eyes (any guesses?!?)...
It's a moose! 

 Another set of eyes (any guesses?!?)...

 It's a chimpanzee! 

We were pleased at how it all turned out.  

Speaking of animals; we both happen to be little dog people!  I have 2 Papillons and Sarah has 2 Dachshunds.  Sarah happened to find a picture of a Papillon /  Dachshund mix in a magazine!  We thought this was very cute and gave us a good smile during a stressful time of year!!!  What do you think?!?

We are in the middle of assessments!  We are crossing things off our to-do lists at a rapid pace, but still have plenty to do.  Running records, sight words, AimsWeb...

This year we decided to try Student-Led Conferences, which we are calling a "Learning Celebration."  We are excited to see how they turn out.  They are next week so the kiddos have been busy getting ready and we have been busy selecting work to highlight while the parents join us.  We will have writing portfolios out, math games for the kiddos to play with their parents, Daily 5 books to show off their great reading skills, and our habitat projects (above) out for the parents to look over!  

It's so fun to see the growth the kiddos make (first day of school writing sample on the left, end of the year writing sample on the right)

Can you tell this little guy is excited for his parents to come?

We have 2 more weeks of school left; next week we will hit our End of the Year Fun packet hard.  We have been preparing all of that this week too! 

If you're looking for activities to keep you kiddos entertained, but review skills at the same time, our End of the Year Fun packet will help you with that goal!  

We hope you have a nice, relaxing Labor Day!

Let's Get Acquainted and a Freebie!

Some of our Bloggy Friends:  This was a hard decision and we are cheating a bit!  We thought that since there are two of us, we could each pick two blogs and so we have four blogs to share about!

 We've just recently gotten to know Amber!  She has great ideas and freebie she shares on her blog.  We love how 'homey' her classroom looks!  We enjoy seeing her linking up with lots of the same linkys as us!  We're loving Amber's Father's Day Booklet: My Rad Dad!

 We love how these girls always post a common core standard for an activity or lesson they share in their blog posts!  Also, they have lots of great technology ideas!!  And they are blogging partners like us!  We just grabbed this fun Summer themed dialogue activity.  We're excited to see what our kiddos come up with!

We love Molly's enthusiastic comments to our posts!!  It is so nice to see such kind comments!  She has started a monthly freebie linky.  We just linked up this month!  Check it out!

Julie has great ideas!!  We love getting a peek into her classroom and seeing what activities her kiddos are working on!  

And we have a freebie to share too!