Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Invention Convention: Physics {FREEBIE}

It is time for another freebie! One of my FAVORITE I.B. units of the year is How the world works! We have the pleasure of focusing on forces, motion, and simple machines. There is so much learning that occurs and the students become completely engrossed in it. From playing Angry Birds physics to a roller coaster workshop, it is non-stop action! One of the home experiences during this unit is The Invention Convention.  During the coarse of the experience, students design and build an invention that solves a problem. After the inventions are built, they bring them to school and we create "infomercials" to promote their products. At the conclusion of the unit we host the International School of Monterey's Invention Convention. This showcase gives the students an opportunity to demonstrate their inventions, explain how the forces work, and which simple machines were used in building their inventions. Here is a little promo video from last year's Invention Convention:

I created this using Glogster. If you haven't made a Glog yet, you have to give it a try. It is super-dooper easy and quite impressive! If you click on the images you can watch a few of the infomercials the students created. They are a so cute! If you would like to learn more about how to use Glogs in your classroom, check out this Tech Tip Post!

If you would like some additional physics resources, check my blog regularly and LIKE my Facebook page. I will be adding lots of great resources over the next month!

Lastly, I have a FREEBIE for you! Click the image below to download a sample from my Invention Convention Home Experience for FREE! After you download it, go to the comments and let me know what ideas you have for forces & motion or simple machines!



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meaningful Morning Meetings! {FREEBIE}

     Morning meeting is one of my favorite daily activities. Not only is it a great way to build a classroom community, but it also provides an opportunity for students to practice the things that they are learning in class and to introduce new concepts. Each student has a morning meeting journal. I created three different journals (one for each trimester). The layout of the journals are consistant, but the activities increase in complexity as the year goes on. For example, in the beginning of the year students will record the analog time and then write down the correct digital time. By the end of the year students are calculating elapsed time.
     Our morning meeting typically lasts 20 minutes. I have everything written down on my easel and organized on our meeting wall prior to the beginning of the school day. Below are a few pics of my meeting area:


     When the students come in the door, they get their journals and begin going through the routine. After I quietly take roll, we go through each component together, working from the top left of the page across and then down, allowing for pair-share, share out, etc... During this time we cover a host of 2nd grade standards including time (and elapsed time), money, base-ten, expanded form, written form, sentence editing, word analysis, etc... For sentence editing, the student complete a "fix-it" sentence. I write a sentence containing errors that they then need to correct. They write the sentence as they see it on the easel (errors and all) in their journal and then use proof-reading marks to show their corrections. I teach them to use traditional proofreading marks at very beginning of the year. You would be amazed how, with daily practice, these littles are able to apply these. The great part is that when they are doing writer's workshop they are able to use them for self or peer editing and they also understand my editing of their work. I will be posting about writer's workshop soon and will explain this in more detail. After the fix-it, the students do a fluffy sentence. For the fluffy sentence I write a simple, BORING, skinny sentence. It is their job to add "delightful details" to make it fluffy! For example, I would write "The dog sat." The students would then create their own sentence from this base. They absolutely love this activity! I always draw a few "cards of destiny" so that the students can share their amazing sentences. At the end of the morning meeting we have the "Math Minute." This is where I introduce the primary concept for the math lesson that day or have them do a quick mental math reflex activity. This is truly a meaningful, jam-packed meeting! 
     Every time that I have visiting teachers (even the Everyday Math trainer), they beg to get copies of these journals! So, I thought that I would share them with you too! Just click on the picture above to download the file. Each file includes three full color journal covers, b/w covers, and three leveled journal pages. *I typically print 50 journal pages (the same page) per student journal and bind them or place them in a binder so that they stay together until the end of each trimester. At the end of the trimester I send that journal home and they get then next journal with the new page.

    I would love to hear about what you do for your morning meetings! Comment below and let us all know.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Let's Get Aquainted Linky!


Since it is Spring Break (and because I am trying to avoid doing the laundry for a few more minutes) I thought that I would do one more quick linky. This one comes to you from LaToya Reed at Flying into First Grade. This week she is focusing on nouns and would like us to include our favorite person, place, thing, and animal. This is easy!

My favorite person:

My amazing husband John. Yes, in case you were wondering, he is the bald one in the middle. He is a pastor and is blessed with leading the global outreach ministry, care, and connections at Shoreline Community Church here in Monterey, CA. He is living his dream, loving on people both close to home and at the far ends of the Earth. He truly is da'bomb!

My Favorite Place:
I would say my classroom, but that is way to predictable, so I am going to go with Chiang Mai, Thailand. We spent several weeks in Thailand a few years ago and I was truly captivated by Chaing Mai.


My Favorite Thing:
Probably my Silhouette. It is a dream machine! My computer would not be this cute without it!

My Favorite Animal:
This is another easy one. My teacup yorkie, Lola. She is the sweetest, smartest, silliest dog I have ever known. I can't imagine my life without her!


That is it for me! If you would like to join in on the fun, click on the image at the top of the page and it will take you to LaToya's page. Off to do my laundry...

Some Bunny Loves Your Blog Mrs. Lemons!: Linkin' Up with Mrs. Bainbridge


I was so excited when I saw that Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge was having a linky that focused on bloggy love! There are so many blogs that I absolutely adore, but the blogger that I am simple taken with is Amy Lemons at Step into 2nd Grade. Not only does she create adorable, meaningul teacher resources, but her adoption story has truly captured my heart. It is amazing to see how God works to bring lives together that were forever meant to be! If you haven't followed her journey I recommend that you grab a cup'o joe and head on over to her blog. While you are there, check out her Egg-Citing Writing Craftivity. It is too cute for words!! Hmmm... I wonder where she got the bow idea from? Could it be her adorable daughter? I love it!


If you would like to join in on the linky love, click the graphic above and head on over to Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge to join in on the fun.

Falling for Humpty Dumpty



Falling for Humpty Dumpty is one of my new clip art sets. This set includes Humpty Dumpty in three positions and, of course, his wall from which he can fall! They are high resolution images in both full color and line art form. I created this set when I was developing my Physics is Egg-Citing home experience. I searched high and low, but couldn't find a set that had the look that I was after. Being a resourceful teacher, I just sat down and made them myself. If you would like to purchase this set,  check out my TpT store or click the pictures above to be taken there.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Physics is Egg-citing! It's a FREEBIE!!

With Easter upon us, I thought that it would be a great time to share a fun home experience with you. As part of our forces and motion unit, the students create an invention that will (hopefully) distribute forces and protect their sweet little egg. Every year I get some of the most interesting contraptions. From "nests" to loads of marshmallow cream stuffed into a diaper, I think that I have seen it all. The kids absolutely love this activity! Most years about half of the eggs break, but this year only 2 eggs out of 22 broke.  It was quite a successful day. :) In this mini-unit, the students practice writing step by step instructions, elapsed time, predictions, descriptions, and (my favorite part) reflection. There is even letter writing paper for a note to the teacher detailing their experience. I always love to read their letters. If you would like to try it out, just click on the picture above and download the file.

P.S. The Humpty Dumpty clip art was created by yours truly. I will be posting it on TpT this week.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Goldilocks Glitter Complete Clip Art Set FREE!

In honor of my new Facebook page, I will be offering the ENTIRE Goldilocks Glitter clip art set for FREE! That's right, it is completely free (in color and line art)!!! Just head on over to Facebook, like my page, and download your graphics set. Be sure to let your friends know too so that they won't miss this fabulous freebie! It is only going to be available for 48 hours. As a bonus, blog about my freebie, add the link to the post in the comments section below and I will send you an additional free clip art set!















BONUS FREEBIE!






Confessions of a Teaching Junkie's Birthday Bash & Giveaway

Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

Confessions of a Teaching Junkie is celebrating one year of bloggy goodness. It is a fabulous blog, so be sure to check it out! While you are there, enter the giveaway. There are some fantastic items and all grade levels are represented.
Have fun!
CONFESSIONS OF A TEACHING JUNKIE


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Getting Crafty on Spring Break!


It is hard to believe that Spring Break is already here! It seems like just yesterday the nuggets were coming through the door for the first time, now the year is almost up. I was definitely looking forward to break this time around. I have spent the last month fighting every stinky bug going around. I have had the flu, the cold, and the icky yickies. I am so glad to get a chance to fully recuperate and get my energy back! I am trying not to do too much school stuff, but I couldn't help knocking a few things off of my list. Today was a crafty day. I pulled out my sewing machine (it has been way to long), got through the mending pile that has been collecting for months, and appliqued a hoodie for next school year! I have seen similar ones floating around on Etsy and Pinterest, but wanted to make my own.  Best of all, it was less than $20 to make (hoodie and materials)! It was super easy. I didn't even have to haul out my embroidery machine!

I was thinking about doing a quick tutorial, but didn't know if anyone would be interested. Comment below if you would like me to post one! Now I am off to complete some additional Pinterest projects that I have been dying to try. Have a happy day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

WRAD was rad!

World Read Aloud Day was, again, an amazing day! We had the pleasure of Skyping with author Erin Dealey. She was a hoot and the students were completely engaged. It was all that they talked about today! Now most of them want to be writers when they grow up.  During writer's workshop today they had a chance to write a thank you letter to Ms. Dealey. I read some of them at the end of the day. Their letters always bring a smile to my face, but today they made me giggle. When we were Skyping with Erin, she showed them the lift a flap potty book that she had written. So, much to my surprise, next to the cute little Goldie Locks graphics on the letter writing papers, were hand drawn illustrations of toilets. Apparently it was a trend that caught on, because it was definitely a common theme of the letters the students gave me. One even had a floater! Yikes! It is kind of like Christmas morning when your kids play with the cardboard boxes and forget about the thoughtful gifts. I spent all of this time making cute Goldie graphics and the kids draw toilets next to her. Who would've guessed! Anyhoo, I thought that I would share the thank you note that I sent to Erin.

On a side note, I have a playground funny that I have to share. We just launched an inventions unit and the kiddos are very curious about inventors and inventions. The other day on the playground one of my nuggets, whose mother is a colleague, came up to me and said "Mrs. Houseman, who invented the penis fly trap?" It took everything I had not to start laughing. Of course I then asked her if she was talking about the plant to which she added "yeah, the one that likes meat." Oh how I love my job!


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