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!


  1. The Mystery Animal Project is so cute. Very clever! I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Love the mystery animal project as well.
    Good luck with the conferences. You'll have to post and let us know how they went.
    Have a great weekend.

    School Is a Happy Place

    1. Are you ladies on instagram?

    2. No, we aren't. Not sure we will take that plunge! We see a lot of bloggers are on it now though!

  3. Oh so much testing to get done at this time of year-- at least it makes you feel good about all the progress your little friends make! Those "see how my writing has grown" samples are SO cute and such a great idea-- it looks so amazing to see the progress right next to each other like that-- pinning for next year. :) I can't wait to hear about the Learning Celebration- good luck!
    Learning to the Core

    1. We agree, at least you see great things when you are done with the tests! We will let you know how it goes!

  4. Love your post as always! Love the student lead conferences and the students' work samples!!
    Ms. Shope's Class

  5. I so enjoyed looking at your kids' wonderful creations!

    Have a great weekend--
    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  6. That puppy is so cute!! Your end of the year pack looks like fun!!

    Enjoy the long weekend!
    A Sunny Day in First Grade

    1. Doesn't it?!? We hope it goes well next week; our kiddos have been pretty wild lately so we think adding organized fun will help.

  7. The mystery animals are adorable! Love that idea. :)

    From a big dog kinda gal,
    Teaching Maddeness