Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lunar Cycle T-shirts

Don't you hate it when you find something amazing, usually on Pinterest, and it's too late for that school year...and you have to wait a whole year to do it? That's what happened with these amazing Lunary Cycle T-shirts from I first saw them last year and knew we had to use these as part of our study of the Phases of the Moon. These t-shirts are only $5 each and come blank, ready for students to color in the phases with glow-in-the-dark fabric paint and add their own style to the rest.

So, this year I was ready! 4th quarter is my favorite because we study my two favorite topics in science (space) and social studies (the American Revolution). To learn about the Moon Phases we created Phases of the Moon Wheels that we put in our interactive science notebooks, stuck our heads through our moon board model, listened to the Phases of the Moon songs from Songs of Higher Learning, and some watched some Bill Nye the Science Guy. 

Then it was time to get crafty! The students colored in a rough draft and then we clipped our shirts to white boards, used sharpies to shade and label the phases, and then got creative with the fabric paints. 

Last week we took the entire 5th grade to the Science Center and Planetarium and we all wore our amazing pieces of science art! Our kids had a great time exploring the different areas of the science center and we were treated to a Tour of the Solar System in the Planetarium.

We got a lot of great photos of my kids in action, but unfortunately the photos didn't really show off their shirts.

I didn't have a chance to finish my Lunar Cycle shirt, but wanted another occasion to wear my "Back in my day, we had NINE planets" shirt that I picked up from SnorgTees that I had ordered just for our study of space. 

I'm still smiling - and this is after the field trip - maybe because I survived! is a bonus video of one of my girls being hilarious on the bus ride back to school.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Free Clothes

Check out some of the fun clothes I got to wear, for free, for the past month! 

A few months ago my BFF started posting photos of herself in some great outfits and she kept saying they were from "Gwynnie Bee". I thought this must be some brand that she was purchasing from, but it turns out this is a clothing rental service for curvy girl clothes. It's just like Netflix, but for clothes. You add clothes to your online "closet" just like you would add movies/shows to your queue. These clothes come from a variety of designers and most are in sizes 10-32. Every few days they add new clothes to the site. Gwynnie Bee ships you some of the items from your closet and you keep them for as long as you like. When you are done wearing them you stick them in the provided envelope and send them back, no need to launder them - GB does that for you. They immediately send you another item from your closet and in a few days you have something fun and new to wear. 

Gwynnie Bee offers a free 30 day trial and I couldn't say no to free clothes. I had a lot of fun getting the boxes and trying on different clothes. About half of the clothes I received were way too large, but that was more my own fault for not carefully reading the size chart or reviews.  The clothes I've loved were comfy and I got lots of compliments on. If there is something you just absolutely love and must have, the clothes are also available for purchase at a discounted price. I've decided to pay for another month because it has been a lot of fun, and takes out a lot of the workday outfit drama that I tend to have.

Here is a snapshot of my closet right now. Look at all the great dresses and tops!

This is a great time for teachers to try out Gwynnie Bee. Why not have a new wardrobe for the last part of the school year! And, it's totally free for your first 30 days! You'd be crazy to say no to free clothes!

This post was NOT sponsored by GB, but I do get a referral credit if you sign up for your free 30-day trial with this link. Please let me know if you sign up and I hope to see some of the fashions you get to rock!

Next week I get my first Stitch Fix box, so I'm hoping to have another fun fashion post soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

100 Cupboards

Earlier in the school year my new teammate insisted that I read aloud 100 Cupboards to my class. She was in the middle of reading it and her class was enjoying it. I had a copy on my shelf and so we dove right in, and our class loved it too. It's definitely in the same genre of some of my favorite books (Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Wizard of Oz) and we had many opportunities to discuss literary reference and homage.

The basic premise is that Henry, whose parents have gone missing, must live with his aunt and uncle. He discovers a wall of cupboards, each of which leads to a different and strange place. There were funny moments and times that we were on the edge of our seats, and our class really enjoyed this book.

My teammate also came up with a wonderful idea to have the students create their own cupboards. Using construction paper they made cupboards that open out. Students decorated the front, drew what world would be seen when opened, and then wrote a sensory description of that world. My students were so creative and had different ways that their cupboards opened and one even devised a working latch out of paper!

I love this cupboard that has multiple doors, and multiple places that it leads to!

A Hunger Games inspired door, key included. 

Look at that impressive paper latch!

Many got creative with the shape of their cupboard doors!

Monday, April 14, 2014

*FREEBIE* A Gift for Volunteers and Awesome People

The past couple of years I have been teaching our intervention math class. This group of students includes those with IEPs and ones that just struggle with math. It's a small group, and we have the pleasure of getting extra help from teachers/paras during the week. Last year, my students and I made these calculator thank you notes at the end of the year to show our appreciation. I found some fun calculators that were bright and flexible to attach. The students wrote a sweet note on the fun calculator cards (that say things like "all your help really adds up") and I used our binding machine to put them together in a cute little book.

The calculator cards are free in my TpT store...go get them and make some fun gift of appreciation for the awesome people you know!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Special {new} Student

I have been a very, very bad blogger. I have a draft or two sitting idle in Blogger, and even more than that sitting in my head. These just keep piling up, but remain unwritten. I'm sure many bloggers have been in such a pickle and know how hard it is to just get back into it again. So, I'm going to try to get some old and new things posted, and get some drafts completed and scheduled to post!

First, a brief look into my past month. In early March we had our spring break...two glorious weeks. I had a blast taking my hubby on a surprise mini-trip for our anniversary, babysitting my nephew for a few days, hiking, spending time with friends/family, and was treated to a spa day by my BFF. I think it was one of the most relaxing and fun breaks in...forever. And then we went back to school for a week. Things were going smoothly, and then I was informed on the first Friday back that I would be getting a new student the following Monday. He had just been adopted from Haiti and spoke no English and had little education. I spent the weekend in a panic. I hadn't had a non-English speaker in years and I wanted to make this kid feel welcome and do all I could to help him with some of the new changes in his life.

Monday morning came and I was introduced to a happy young man. We had a volunteer who spoke French come help him acclimate, and it was this person who discovered he knew almost no French, and that his native tongue was Kreyol. This also led to the discovery that he actually knew a little bit of English. My students, were all amazingly kind and helpful with our new friend. While Monday morning was still new we had a visit from our dean, she stopped in to do my formal unannounced evaluation - oh joy!

His arrival was two weeks ago and it has been an interesting two weeks. Arizona is an English only state, we can only teach in English (not that we have many people who can teach him in Kreyol!). I was worried about how I would be able to divide my time between him and my 27 other 5th graders, but I have had some great support from teachers/paras at our school and from the district. The best part has been getting to know our new friend - he is outgoing and has grown so much in just two weeks. All of the 5th graders have been so kind, caring, and helpful to him and it melts my heart. "Role-model" is a word you'd hear many times a day if you were a fly on our wall.

Although it has been stressful, and my counter is now overflowing with tons of new resources, I wouldn't have it any other way and I am so thankful that he was able to join our class.

I have been trying out some different websites/programs to help my new student and was recently asked to try out K5 LearningK5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students. I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program. If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.