Saturday, July 27, 2013

Five for Friday ....August 2, 2014

This past couple of weeks have been wonderful. Seeing family and friends is salve for my soul!
1. Traveling ---- miles and crossing a couple of time zones is always refreshing! (NOT)

2. The minute I get off the plane I go straight to the OU store! The OSU one is next door !

 3. Being in my dad's house and looking at my mom's knick knacks makes me happy !

4. Going on the Fort Reno ghost tour under a full moon....woooo!

5. Going to the museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City is fantastic! I can see it being a great place for a field trip.

I have only 5 more days here in Oklahoma : (  and then it's back to real life!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Setting up my classroom...Day 1 and 2

I am having so much fun setting up my classroom for the coming school year! I picked a color theme and with the help of teacher blogs, Teacher pay Teachers and Pinterest, there are plenty of cool ideas!
The beginning...........

 I am starting on my classroom early because I will be visiting Oklahoma the last couple of weeks before our return to school. Since our keys are checked in at the end of the year, the only time to get in the building is when our hard working custodians are there. Of course, summer school cuts into this grand plan! It leaves me 2 days to get in.

new borders!

It was bulletin board prep, laminating, cutting and adding magnets!
They work great by the way!

Furniture was moved around a bit.  The tile part of the room still needed to be waxed, so nothing could be placed on that section, but that wasn't a concern.

This school year I will have a student in a wheelchair, he needs lots of space for equipment, a mat to provide physical therapy and wide pathways to navigate around, in and out of the room. He has limited vision and I want him to have easy access to the promethean board. There is so much to think about!


This was my last day to work in the classroom before  leaving, I  was hoping to get a lot done, however, the day was filled with omens that I really should have stayed home!

I got the "Book Nook" started, I want it to be open and accessible to a wheelchair. It will include a listening center.

There is still A LOT to do! I really wanted to move my desk back to it's spot, but the amazing desk mover wasn't available at the time.
Here's the bulletin board that will be above my desk..... I love the border, it's called deco dots.

Made a "To do" list for when we return........
I do like this board....this border has more colors then the "theme" allows, but I already had it and it goes with Clifford.

Well that's all that's ready, but it's a start!

The omens included the room being hot, stuffy and there was no breeze today and of course, I didn't bring a fan. I spilled my coffee on the newly waxed, shiny floor! I stubbed my toe so hard that I had to stop and administer first aide. I was barefooted to stay cooler. My stomach was a little wonky. I began to question the wisdom of leaving the house today!

However, it's all good! AND I will be heading to the flat lands of Oklahoma, family and friends very soon! Wooooo! 

I will post more articles from summer school in the next 2 weeks while I am visiting!

Enjoy the remainder of your summer,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Purple Kool-aid Play Doh Fun!

I am catching up on sharing some activities from summer school.

This lesson was inspired by a freebie from
The Autism Tank, thank you Hailey!!!

We have been learning to spell color words using Frog Street Press' program which includes a song for each color! A new color is introduced each week. This week was
Coloring the purple song book

Reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
The kids were fascinated by the concept of drawing your own world.
Reading and correcting the daily message ( repeat after me, "Every sentence begins with a capital letter.")
At last! The grand finale.....purple play-doh!
The recipe is easy to follow and laid out very nicely by Hailey at The Autism Tank.
It was a great day, lots was learned, fun was had by all!

It looked like Spilt and art lesson

There is nothing better then taking a good book and matching an art activity to it! This was an easy and quick lesson, the kids liked the book and were creative with the art project.

I read the predictable book, It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.

I have this great art book.

blue paper
glue sticks
cotton balls
Ideally, we would go outside and lay on the ground and find shapes in the clouds. Our weather wasn't cooperating. It didn't matter, the kids took off with this project!
1.Ask students to think of a shape they would like for a cloud. Some of them picked one from the book and that was okay, most of them thought of something completely different.
2. Draw their chosen shape and cut it out.
3. Cover the paper cloud with glue using a glue stick.
4. Using a cotton ball, dip it in powder, dot it all over the cloud until it looks just right.
(The turtle is mine)
The cotton stuck just a little to the glue to give it a fluffy cloud look! I brought baby powder and the entire classroom smelled so good!
I wrote up the statement: "Sometimes it looked like a _______. But it wasn't! It was a cloud."
They each told me what their cloud was.
Overall, this was a very successful lesson. The students didn't hesitate or complain, the book seemed to help them understand exactly what their cloud could be.


Binoculars Art Project

This is a quick and fun art project, every kid loves binoculars and the price is right on these!

  • empty toilet paper rolls (2 for each student)
  • stapler
  • duct tape (it comes in many colors and patterns!)
  • yarn or string
  • stickers
  • hole puncher

Prepare in advance:
  • Staple toilet paper rolls together.
  • Make dots where the holes for the string/yarn should be.
  • Cut string or yarn a length that will go over their heads. Tape one end so it is easier to thread through the holes.
  • Make a demo model to show off

1. Give each student a pair of stapled TP rolls.
2. Instruct them to hole punch the dots for the string. Give each a hole puncher. Depending on your hole puncher and the student's hand strength, you may need to help them.
3. String through the holes. Tie together.
4. Give each student a piece of duct tape that will wrap completely around the pair of TP rolls.
5. Apply stickers.

Suggested Activities:
  • Indoors or outdoors, take a walk around and take turns announcing "I see a ____". Great expressive language practice!
  • Call out something such as "I see the letter E". Everyone looks through their binoculars and repeats it as they find it. Skills: shapes, letter names, letter sounds (I see the letter that says /b/), numbers, high frequency words, classroom vocabulary......
  • Call out "I spy with my little eye something (color word)". Take turns with students.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ocean week

This week we are camping out in Seward, Alaska. We are focusing on sea life because Seward is located on the coast and  has a fantastic sea life center!

The kids really loved this book! It  opened up lots of discussion, they were very excited about the sea life described in the book, especially the sharks. This led me to remember that I had a video of a shark tunnel from the Oklahoma Aquarium! So I brought it the next day to show them, they were mesmerized. Great fun.
As a follow up activity, they did a camp notebook activity which had them finish the sentence: "I see ___________________ under the waves." To finish they drew a picture to match the sentence.
Art Projects
Do-A-Dot pictures

Fishing for letters!
Before the students arrived, we taped all the letters around the room.

They walked around the classroom with the worksheet on their clipboard and dotted the letter when they found it. Some of the students could do this independently, some needed an assistant to help them find, name and dot each letter.
The fishing worksheet is from the camping unit I purchased from teachers pay teachers!
Making an Ocean Scene
The first day: painted a piece of paper blue covering completely. Sprinkle sand for the bottom of the ocean.
The second day: using lots of liquid glue, place the seaweed and fish.

Let dry for a day and display!

Materials we used: plastic greenery, goldfish crackers, glittery foam stickers, Swedish fish candy (yum).
The Octopus song was introduced, it is a well known tried and true preschool song, I was surprised to find that the kindergarten/first grade students hadn't heard it before. They loved it! It is the most requested song now.
It is also called the "slippery fish" song, I have the Charlotte Diamond version. There are lots of references to this song, including videos online.
This theme is extremely inspiring, we were reluctant to leave it and extended it for another week!

Star Gazing in a Camp Theme Classroom

Put some stars on the ceiling, program them with whatever you want to practice....

Cover windows to darken the room, my awesome assistant provided black sheets and the big dipper...

hand kids a flashlight, turn off the lights....

a fun and motivating lesson!
The first week we wrote individual letters and basic sight words on the stars.
The second week we added pictures with the words from our camp words. We discovered that some of our kids needed help recognizing letters by name and we wanted to give them something to call out that they knew independently. Other skills: naming shapes and numbers.
Many of our students are working on verbal expression, so an expectation is to have them shout out what they see as they point their flashlight beam on it, I write it on the whiteboard as they say it. EVERYONE can participate, the child with the communication device can push a button to share his finds!
Each student has a pencil zipper bag with a flashlight, pencil and crayons. I found the flashlights in the Target dollar aisle! The most expensive part was buying the batteries, but it has been totally worth it!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday...July 12, 2013

It is time to link up with First Grade Parade! I have so many that it is hard to choose which ones to share!

I did some turtle pinning this week.....

This one didn't have a source website that I could find, but you know, the original source is obvious!

Turtle floor tiles! So cool! Find more at Tiles with Style.

I am obsessing over decorating my classroom using a consistent color theme, to make it simple, I decided on black, white and red!  I shopped Teachers pay Teachers and found the just right packet from First Class Teacher Resources! One of the drawbacks to buying materials on TpT is that you use a lot of ink! It usually is out of my pocket too because of the colors, this color scheme can be printed in black ink, so I can print what I need at school! There IS a pretty cute birthday graph set included that has colors and I'm thinking about printing it out at home, it will be worth it.

Next, a clever idea in helping kids to learn how to use those scissors! It's from Miss Mancy's therapy help blog.

Yep! I am a Supernatural fan! I'm thinking about buying this t-shirt from Café Press!
And that's it for my week of pins! Come back later to see how my classroom décor pans out!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday!

I am linking with First Grade Parade this week! The most difficult part is choosing which pins to share! I am a pinterest addict!
So here goes.....

My latest project is that I want to have a color theme in my classroom this year. I know this sounds crazy but I haven't ever tried to actually stick with one theme before! I started a new board labeled "classroom décor" and starting pinning! Here's my favorite from Dragonflies and Dandelions.

There's one more I want to share! It's from Another Day in First Grade, a post titled "How I decorated my classroom for under $25". That really caught my attention! She has good advice.
So! All this plotting and planning made me ask myself...Why is my classroom neat, clean and organized, but my house is NOT? My daughter replied "Because you are too put all your energy(and money) into the classroom". Sad, but true. I think I have more control over my classroom then my house, I share the house with people that have a way different take on what is clean and organized!  I decided to organize and have a color theme in my house too! My daughter and I reviewed my inclinations toward color and stuff. We decided on sand/tan and blue! So I went looking!
Here's one that looks comfortable, it was found on But honestly, I will just dig around in the crawl space and try to put something together with what I already have! Which is what I'll do with the classroom, but with lots of paper, duct tape and laminate film!
For a teacher related idea, I found this on Autism Tank which is one of my favorite blogs! This is for sale on Teachers pay Teachers and is well worth the 1.50!
Inspiration from the Wellness Warrior.......
and that's what I'll leave you with! All this copy/paste/link stuff is wearing me out! Thank you for visiting.
Until next time,