Beginning March (Freebies!)

I can't believe tomorrow is March! EEK!

Well, we have been super busy doing some fun Dr. Seuss stuff for Read Across America week! Check out some of the fun things we're doing HERE.

One of the first things we did this week, was our newest window clings. I was just so in love with our February ones  that I decided to do them EVERY month!

See how I do them HERE and click HERE to download the templates for each month. I'll be adding templates each month, as I do them. So be sure to come back for the others!

And tomorrow.... we'll be getting everything for March ready!

Homework Folders (see what's in my homework folders in THIS post)

I'll be back to (hopefully) share more of what we've been up to!

Make sure to check out my Reading Week post!!


Valentine's Week Wrap Up.

Valentine's is DONE and OVER!

Woohoo! Honestly, I can't wait to pack it all up and move on.

I know... I'm so "heartless." haha!

But, here's a recap of what we did the last few days/week to get ready for the "big day."

To start with, we made our heart window clings... which I'm in LOVE with.

Then we started on our Valentine's cards. I can't even say enough, of how cute they are!

And while I was out sick, my kids did a day of Love, Splat! They LOVE Splat. So it was a perfect book to leave for sub plans for the day. 

We also made our class book for the week - Who Will Be My Valentine? which goes perfectly with Who Will Be My Valentine This Year?  My Kids LOVE making Class Books! Check more out HERE

Something else we did today was one of my favorite poems for visualizing and using details in a text... Monster Love! This poem comes from DeeDee's February Poetry Pack.  We practiced it a few times, then talked about what words describe the monster to help you visualize...

Just look at all these awesome looking Love Monsters.... they're all so different and so creative. 

Sometimes we do a walkabout after we do illustrations to match our poems...they BEGGED to do a walkabout on this one so they could see everyone's monsters. 

And finally... we did our Candy Heart Math!! They kids ALWAYS love this.

When they finished their booklet, They had to see how many hearts they could stack... They got pretty high, but with all the desk bumping going on, not sure who got the tallest stack. ha!

FINALLY, it was time to hand out the Valentine's! woohoo!!

Look at this amazing creation one of the parents made!! So amazing!!

and look at these amazing HOMEMADE Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Not ashamed to admit... they didn't make it home to share with my husband. Woops!

And finally... One of my students gave me this little gem. It's so I'll remember him forever....and forever I will remember him.... but aside from that, I think this is my new classroom mascot. haha! It's perfect, right??


Sub Plans in February

So, these last few weeks, our whole house (minus the husband) has taken their turn at being sick. Thankfully, with Ron's job, he's home most of the time, or he can easily call out last minute, with no problem...BUT he can only do that so often. So, last week I had to take off because Autumn was on day 3 of being sick still.

Luckily, I had some things from Love, Splat that I could just print, prep, and be done! And THIS is where I had my epiphany....after 15 years if teaching. haha!

Don't try to make the sub be ME while I'm gone... just give them a bunch of activities that don't go with the lessons I'm actually doing... so it won't bother me that I have to come back and reteach or fix what I left for them to do...because let's be honest. As teachers, we are CONTROL FREAKS... no matter how awesome the sub is, they just aren't me. Right??

So that's when I decided to just take one of my book packs I have for February, and turn it into my all-day sub plans! Super easy to plan that way, too!

(note - these are NOT laid out as sub plans in the pack... you still have to write the sub plans and pick and choose the activities you want to leave for the sub.)

My kids LOVE Splat. He's one of their favorites, so I knew that he would keep their attention while I was gone.

I just printed up a bunch of different activities and told her to pick and choose which ones that she wanted to do - I explained each one (and already had examples from last year, so that was convenient!) on the sub plan sheet that I had prepared and put in the box...and let her have it. 

She did the summarizing page (which I didn't take a picture of for some reason)... where they wrote and illustrated part of the summary.

She also chose to do the sequencing activity.

And I'm so happy - she chose to do the connection writing! 

Because that means, she did the craft, that I get to hang up!!

There were a few other activities she did with them, but I didn't get pictures of them.
But, doing sub plan THIS way just makes life so much easier.  It doesn't matter how good the sub is, they just aren't YOU, so you always have to go back and fix things... or reteach. This way, she wasn't really teaching anything that I was doing - so I didn't have to worry about if it was done correctly or not. I have just succumbed to the fact that I can NOT expect subs to keep going the way I do, so this even make coming back from being gone less stressful.  

(note - these are NOT laid out as sub plans in the pack... you still have to write the sub plans and pick and choose the activities you want to leave for the sub.) 

Click the picture below to get it from my TPT Store!


Candy Heart Math

It's about that time again!!

Like I said in my Valentine Card post, I'm NOT a Valentine person. I'm just not. 

But one of the things I do every year (for the last 10 years or so) is Candy Heart Math.

I get these little boxes of Candy Hearts each year... and every year, the colors inside the boxes are different. haha Oh well, my class always knows that sometimes we just need to be flexible. 

Most of the time, the boxes have blue in them. This year, the boxes I got didn't have blue. Sometimes they have white instead of blue. Oh well, we make it work. 

And every year, when my kids see me buy the boxes of candy hearts, they beg to have some... and every year, I make them do the math for them. haha. 

Since C has decided that she no longer wants to take naps, there's no real good time for the girls to do it, without C trying to steal their candy... even though she already had her own box. haha

So... first we sort...and count them - write the number up top!

Then they write them in the hearts, so we have a starting recording sheet.  There's a sheet for fractions, if your kids are ready for that too.

Then graph and answer some questions....

Ten frame fun...and then answering 10 more and 10 less questions.

Adding... there's also a sheet for multiplying, if your kids are ready for that! I always had a few 2nd and 3rd graders who were ready for it.

Then we do some comparisons....

One of the last activities we do is Estimating! How many hearts do you think will fill up the heart? 

At school, I like to turn it into a book and put a cover on it. 

Here is a preview of everything that is included. Click the picture to check it out in my TPT store. And you check out my post from last year HERE


Valentine Cards

I want to share with you one of my new favoritest things to do for Valentine's Day.

Let's start off... Valentine's Day is my LEAST favorite day of the year... as a teacher, mom, and wife. haha
(isn't my husband lucky??)

I never really do anything for Valentine's Day. I might take A day to do something... I really only usually do Candy Heart Math and Love, Splat.... because I love Splat the Cat. lol. You can read about those activities HERE

But THEN, I saw my friend, Stacey's post on Instagram. She blogs over at Funky Fresh Firsties. Her Valentine Cards were SOOOO cute... so I knew I had to do them. 

The very next day, we started on it.

They painted just the bottom half of a piece of white cardstock paper. I didn't really give them any direction, except to not paint any specific designs, because they were going to get covered up in the end. But I gave them pretty much free reign. 

Then I took their picture and went home and printed them up in color on regular paper.

The original pose from Stacy was blowing a kiss... it was SO cute.

I did have a boy that didn't want to do that, so I let him choose between the blowing the kiss, or making a heart with his hands. 

I used a heart hole puncher, different sizes (5/8", 1", and 2") to punch hearts out of different color paper and scrapbook paper. I got mine from Michaels, but I'm sure you can find them at JoAnns or Hobby Lobby, too. I was bummed that I couldn't find good Valentine Scrapbook paper, but these worked. 

I didn't know what to put in the card, but I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do a "friendly letter" lesson. lol. I wanted them to write what they loved about who they were giving the card to.

I started off by reading "The I LOVE YOU Book" from Todd Parr, one of my favorite author/illustrators.

Then I had them brainstorm ideas. 

We did a quick lesson on Friendly Letters (and by quick, I mean I'm going to definitely need to revisit this and reteach it. ha!)

I feel, as a mom, I would love to get these cards. They are SO super cute.

You can grab the letter templates for free - to use with or without the cards. Click the picture below to grab your letter freebie. 

Happy weekend!!

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