Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekly Cheat Sheet

Happy Monday Everyone!!! Last week was a toughie! We were back from break... PLUS, there was Report Card Monday, followed by Conferences on Wednesday and Thursday and Earth(Craft-Craziness) Friday. 

Luckily, today started with a work day – which I used to pull together our school’s writing night.

However, I just wanted to pop in and share something so little I didn’t think big… Until, about 80% of parents mentioned how much they LOVE it.

Each Monday I send home a “Cheat Sheet” for parents to hang on their fridge. This list has their spelling words, teaching objective for each subject area, and events for each day of the week.  So many parents mentioned how much this helped them juggle the craziness of having a 7 year old.

The image below will take you to the Powerpoint so you can modify it directly if it’s something you think you can use.

I have first and second graders in my class, so the attachment has both grades.

The fonts are ones I’ve found in various corners of the internet… so if the formatting looks a little kooky when you download it, just change the fonts!

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

11 Absent Fun Time!

Oh. My. Word! It was a half day today! The kind where you only come to school in the afternoon. In my in my classroom this meant 11 students absent! 11! What are you supposed to do with almost half the class absent?

WELL, I pulled out crafts that would terrify me any other day!

We’ve been working through our weather unit and have been spending the week talking about cloud cover and wind. SOOOO, we pulled out the glue/shaving cream combo to make a little text-to-self project about Eric Carle’s Little Cloud.

The idea is totally credited to Cara Carroll! (Sometimes I feel like she’s the fourth on our first grade team). The link will you take to her AMAZING cloud post!

We used the sentence frame, “Sometimes Little Cloud looked like _________________” and filled in the sentence with the shape they made with our glue/foam combo.


-          All recipes I frantically Googled called for equal parts foam and glue. However, we found that resulted in a liquid-ish cloud. So, our recommendation is that you use about a quarter of the glue than shaving cream.

-          Each kiddo got a little cup of foam and paintbrush to go to town.

-          After some creative minutes, we learned that a “patting motion” {Dakota’s words, not mine) caused the shaving cream to fluff up the most.

Below is the little cloud sentence my kids wrote in if you’re interested!

Two more days until I am kicking my feet up on SPRING BREAK (So jealous of you spring breaking it now!).

P.S. First graders just finished up their geometry unit. Love the kiddo for doing a rectangle! :) However, store was easier to spell... So, he had a last minute switch! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bunny Bag! {Craftivity FREEBIE!}

Look at me go! Two days in a row… I feel like the little train, “I think I can!”

Today I’m sharing a little craft-ivity that supports yesterday’s candy hunt post J.

These little babies are soooo easy to make and sooooo cheap!

The template included in this post matches the size of these white paper bags found in a little store called “Wall-Mart.”
All I do is trace this template on the bag and cut it out.

Then, students decorate the bags at school. We pull out the odds and ends and let the kiddos get inspired.

We also include fluffy cotton tails on the back.

The last step calls for us to glue/tape the handles together.

For the finishing touches we fill the bag with “Easter Grass.”   

Then students run around gathering their candy in these bags!

These babies are cheap, quick and easy! Plus, some of our sweet babes don’t have an Easter basket,  so these little substitutes really get them excited!

Without further delay... the download!

Will we be back tomorrow? “I think we can!” 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pre-Vacation Crazies! {Freebie}

Holy cow! How did Easter sneak up on me this fast?! Thank goodness this week is four little days long!! Then, we’re off for our spring break! WOO-HOO!!

However, most of my kiddos are just as excited for the break... This means they are 9 kinds of crazy from 8:30-3:30!

To combat this, my absolutely amazing team partner – Donna – has an amazing behavior incentive we use during this last week!

Each student gets this fancy little score card taped to their desk. From Thursday-Thursday students keep track of the points they earn each day.

Each student starts the day with 5 points. In our case, each time a student “moves his/her color zone” they lose a point on the sheet. 

In my case: 5= Green, 4=Yellow, 3=Orange, 2=Red, 1=Trip to the office, 0=Absent. At the end of the day, each student circles the points they’ve earned.

However, you might have noticed the blank spots near the bottom. Students have the opportunity for BONUS points! If our friends move up the color chart, show exceptional work quality, can read their wonder words… They can earn bonus points!

In the last hour of the day, we take our students outside and throw tons of candy in a field (candy donated from our parents). Students get to hunt in the order of points earned – the highest scoring students have the most time!

Clicking this following image will give you a download for:
- A parent note (Explaining and begging for candy)
- The score card

Oh well! I hope your week is off to a fabulous start! It’s my mega-late Lenten promise to update this chickadee more regularly! So don’t forget us! BECAUSE I WILL BE BACK J!

OH! And a super amazing happy birthday to the fabulous Mrs. Lizak!  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Not-So-Amazing-Race/Website FREEBIES Galore!

What up bloggy friends! Long time no post….. But, we’re back! And we’re living it up BIG in Grand Rapids this week! We’re here for the MACUL Conference and Lisa’s sticking around for MRA! Big time PD hours hereJ.

It was quite a road trip! Three cars left our school district at the same time…. Except, we stayed back to socialize for 40 minutes… Surprise, surprise! Well, once we finally hit the road, we needed gas – and in true GPS fashion we found a gas station in the deepest corner of the roughest neighborhood… BUT! Gas was cheap! So, win? We also met a sweet lady who was having a great day! She shared her saucy story with us and the gas station attendant—since this classy establishment only took cash! 

WELL, we were finally on the road! It took us 2 hours to go 40 miles… TRAFFIC, accidents and TRAFFIC! At 7:30 we gave up on driving and decided it was dinner time. Unfortunately all of Novi decided it was also dinner time and headed to the same restaurant. After an hour and 15 minutes our meal was served (our waitress informed us our soup was holding our order up – really?!). 

As we walked out of dinner, the other two cars arrived in Grand Rapids…. We, however, were only 40 miles deep in a roughly 300 mile road trip. Worst. Amazing. Race. Team. EVER! BUT, probably the most entertaining! 

We’re here though and made it through our first day of MACUL! We attended a great session featuring resources for Interactive Whiteboards! This session was hosted by the fabulous Pirate Truger. She has compiled 45 fun websites for your classroom’s interactive board! All websites are free! Her site can be found here:

We’ve been playing at since we got back!! This is website designed for ages K-5 and allows you to access content by grade level. We found activities that were supportive across the curriculum!

This is a picture of sight word Bingo (I can’t wait to share with my crew!). 

On the left panel, she has broken additional resources into Promethean options and SmartBoard options! There really are many resources to take advantage of!

We'll be back more frequently! Enjoy your Friday and have fun playing on these sites!! We are!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Egg"citing Contractions {FREEBIE} :)

WOW!  Have I missed you guys :)  Remember that plague I mentioned last week, well it turned into pneuemonia and quickly put a damper on all of my big plans for last week...yikes!  That on top of all the craziness going on at school, and I was one wiped teacher!  But, I'm sooo glad to be back!  I have truly missed talking to all of my fave bloggy buddies :)

I made you a super cute "Egg"citing Contractions Memory Match Game that you can download {HERE} or by clicking the pic below :)  Hopefully you find it helpful, my kiddos have really struggled with contractions this year so we're just gonna keep on working on them.  I can't wait to share all of the super cool stuff that we have going on this week, so stay tuned and see you tomorrow my FAB friends!!! :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We're Still Alive!

Hey bloggy friends!

Just popping in to share a little secret....

You may have noticed an unusual absence from our Made in The Shade Duo --  YUP! It’s been kind of sporadic lately. And, it’s a little undeniable.

Lisa and I have been SWAMPED with PD and the race to complete Data Walls. (We’re at different schools…. So this is serious! Data Wall War). 

Lisa will have had a sub 4.5 days this week. I had a sub 2.5 days + I've been staying late making graphs that will make Lisa’s look like crayon drawings (Just kidding! Or am I?).

As you can tell, this week is kicking my tail!

BUT!  We have not stopped thinking of you and here is a sneak peek of a super AWESOME and probably the best piece of work we’ve done to date…… Seriously, this thing is going to be MASSIVE, SUPER cute, and a Reading Night Program!! GET EXCITED.
Hmmmm.... What are we up to!?

Alright, I’m off to complete my super long to do list (which is scribbled across my hand…. and wraps around to my palm!) How did I let things get so CRAZY?!

Lisa and I will be back shortly! {Hopefully not sporadically!}