Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday

It's Friday! And no school in San Antonio! I am short one pic....state testing and Fiesta! 
What can I say, but Viva Fiesta!
This is my 4 for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Science, science, and more science! That was the focus of most of this week as we reviewed for the state science test, but throw in a visit from the king! 

We live in a community with a huge tie to FIESTA. We are fortunate to be able to have King Antonio visit our school. Completely surprised as I go called up by the king for a certificate and little present for "Teacher of the Year."
What I love is, there is always a message that he shares with the students. 
This year it was on staying fit.
King Antonio and the Texas Cavaliers dedicate their time to raising money for charities around the city. 
I was thrilled to see that one of the charitable honoree's for this year  is ... Girls' Inc!

For Earth Day, I read the Human Footprint book to my students. I shared this book in the mentor text linky.  My students sat in disbelief as a read the statics to them about their everyday actions. After reading, I told them that they were now t-shirt designers. Their job was to create a t-shirt that would persuade people to make a change ... front and back. I had them glue a string between the front and back so that I can post them on the bulletin board and flip them back and forth. I didn't do it yet, cuz I'd just have to cover them due to science test! 

The buzz is that these Roasted Coconut Chips from Trader Joe's are fantastic! So I had to try them! I love coconut! These are a nice little treat for a sweet little snack. Yum!

A friend of mine has a booth at NIOSA. I help every year. It is the best place to be ... behind the booth. Good people watching!!!!!! 2 nights in a row ... thank goodness no school today! I'm tired.
(Left-me, middle-my daughter's 3rd grade teacher(love him), right our p.e. coach...unbelievable.)

Not that tired ... just got back from a long lunch with my husband. Firebirds .... so yummy and some fun people. to see 2 of my students play baseball ... against each other. I think I will stand between the two sides!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mentor Texts, Earth Day Cupcakes and Testing Pencils

I love mentor texts! Anything to "hook" kids! I'm linking up with Amanda and Stacia over at Collaboration Cuties. The topic this time is science related mentor texts. My favorite!

Head over to see all the other mentor texts, but not yet! Keep reading! 

This is one of my favorite read alouds. Timing is perfect for Earth Day. 
This book has colorful pictures about statics on everything we
use, eat, throw away, and wear in our lifetime. 
It shares ideas on how to shrink your footprint. Perfect for any age. The visuals in the book will definitely make an impact on awareness. 
It gives statics on how many diapers worn by a baby, an unbelievable visual of rubber ducks equally the number of showers you will take in your lifetime and 
how many plastic bottles Americans throw away in 1 second!

I found these really great free Earth Day task cards by Danielle Knight. She has them for grades 7-12, but there are several that 3-5 could complete.

Made these this evening with my daughter! Some for her class and some for my class!

Little Happy's for Testing
State testing round 2 starts on Tuesday. My daughter has reading and math and we have science!
I made these little good luck pencils for my class and my daughter's class.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five for Friday

We have had some crazy weather this week!  
The weekend is starting of beautifully! 

Nonfiction Mats...
Each group is reading a different book about animals and their adaptations in their environment. The one thing they all have in common is the key concept.
The rectangle in the middle has the key concept. The outer trapezoids have textual evidence (5) for the key concept. Once everyone was finished, they shared the information.

A new set of Greek and Latin word parts...Poseidon style from the Reading Olympians.
My attempt at Roman columns for an anchor chart. 

Totally borrowed this from Fourth Grade Racers!
I read this on her test prep post! 
Love it!
See the 2 orange sticky notes at the top of the board? At the very end, I had one student pick a sticky note. It had an H or an L on it. H = High score and L = Low score. This determined the winner of the game. We've played twice this week.
Once for inherited traits/ learned behaviors and long division/3 digit x 2!
Thanks, Fourth Grade Racer for such a fun game!

My new favorite pens for grading! They smell and they change colors as you write.

Ok ... My daughter and I went to Orange Leaf for an after school treat!
I would have taken a picture, except I left my phone at home. (Felt lost all day!)
So just imagine...coconut, banana, birthday cake and peanut butter yogurt with a few gummy bears, a piece of Snickers and fresh coconut thrown on top! YUM!

Happy Friday!
I'm off to watch my daughter play softball!
Head on over to Doodlebugs to see other Fives for the week!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies for...

(What a challenge! I will do my best to be wordless about our first grade buddies!)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fashion a Fish!

Continuing with the Interactions in Ecosystems...
My students are finishing up their Fashion a Fish project! This is another activity from
Project Wild...Aquatic.
It just so happens that someone has posted the lesson...(not me!)

The scenario...

Each table got a set of cards. We talked about the different adaptations. I just happen to have 2 resident fish experts in may class! Seriously, these brothers (both in my class) are fanatics about fishing! They speak a different language when they talk about fishing or the fish they own. They are amazing!

My students then designed their new found fish! I explained that their fish needed to be realistic, not some alien fish.  My students kept going to the brothers to see if what they were drawing was realistic! It was sooo cute!
Today, they finished up their fish picture and started a scientific write up. 
Here are a few finished fish!
This one is from my little guy that has been in the country for 4 months!

I'll post more later this week as they finish up. I'm trying to come up with a really cool bulletin board to display their hard work.
There are some really amazing drawings.

Thoughts and prayers to the people of Boston. Such a tragedy...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wabbits, Webs and What am I?

We have been studying living organisms! My very favorite activity to start the unit is Quick Frozen Critters from Project Wild. A ba-jillion years ago I attend the Project Wild workshop. Loved it! Attend again! Loved it even more...attended Project Wild - Aquatic! Uhh, love that also! When you attend you get these massive books filled with incredible lessons. Again, that was a ba-jillion years, they probably have it in an electronic format.
 I borrowed the equipment from our pe coach! Cones for boundaries, hoops for thickets, and flag belts for rabbits. This simulation is much like "freeze tag" only you have coyotes/rabbits or squirrels/hawk or  any other type of predator - prey relationship. My students LOVED this!

I actually found the whole lesson posted on this site.

The goal is for the rabbit to get to the other end, grab a piece of food and successfully make it back home without getting eaten by a coyote. The hoops are "thickets" or safe zones. The must make it down and back 3 times in order to survive!
Here they are in action! Don't ya just love the lounging rabbit?! Let's just say, eventually, he perished! 

Food Webs with Inspiration
The next day we talked about food webs and food chains. They came with a pretty good background on food webs. What they seemed to have a hard time understanding was the reason for the arrows.
I puffy heart Inspiration software! I put my students in groups of 3. Then, they created a food web! They used the clip art in Inspiration. I think this really helped them understand the flow of energy.

What am I?
I have these amazing pictures of animals. I attached string to them and then hung them on each their back. The guidelines were to only ask yes or no questions and they could only ask one question per person. They could not ask what particular animal they were until they had sufficient evidence.  Some pictures are blurry because my students didn't want to slow down to humor me with a picture! (cough-cough...both boys)

So, check out the Project Wild website and see if there is a workshop in your area! It is soooo worth it!
What until you see our adaptation project! Posting those Monday.
Happy Sunday!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday

Oh my... another week gone by... wow!
I was in the copy room...makin' the copies...when one of our 3rd grade teachers stopped me and said she had something for me! Me?...little-o-me? 
She found me later that day and said that she had been in a shop and found the cute mustache button and thought of me! Back in August, I had conducted an inservice for our staff in my room. She had seen my Mustaches in a cup. They were from Farley's mustache linky. Here's the post. 
So...8 months later, she saw the cute button and bought it for me. I have to admit, I got a bit teary. You see, her husband is very ill, but she thought of me. She is an amazing person. Very kind, loves teaching, and tech savvy!

Tuesday, was the district strings concert. We have an amazing string program. It starts in 4th grade. Any 4th grader that would like to be in the strings program can! It is part of our specials (p.e, art, music, strings) rotation. In place of music, they take strings. My daughter plays the violin!
What you see here is just a portion of our strings students! Each grade level takes turns playing. The yellow shirts are 4th grade. The final song is played by all grades...4th - 12th!
Goose bumps and tears! Amazing!

Our last Girls Excelling in Math and Science meeting! Awww!
One of the rotations was making lip  gloss! Sooooooo cool!

It is Fiesta time in San Antonio! Viva Fiesta! Thursday, Rey Feo "ugly king" the LXV came to visit our school. He is appointed Rey Feo due to the fact that he raised the most money for the education platform. I got a pin! Oh...guess I should say why I'm in the picture with Rey Feo...for Teacher of the Year recognition. :-)

During the last April Currently, I mentioned how crazy this month is and the start of May. 
My official invitation came in the mail! Exciting... yet scary! 
I am one of 5 finalists in the HEB Excellence in Education Award for the Leadership category!
(Finalists in the Leadership category have 10 to 20 years classroom experience. One elementary and one secondary winner will each receive a $10,000 cash prize plus a $10,000 grant for his/her school.)
Thursday, May 2nd I have a 40 minute interview and then they pick! Winners are announced at the dinner Friday night.
Notice the key note speaker!

Now head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to see everyone's 5!

This has been a wild ride!
Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

From Covered Wagons to Ecosystems!

For the state testing, the covered wagons were removed. If you missed the covered wagons, super awesome! After the testing, we needed a bit of suedo down time and some creativity! The challenge was to turn the pvc pipe structures into ecosystems!

I let each table pick an ecosystem. Then, they had to do a bit of research. With the research they had to create a diagram of the ecosystem before designing!

Holy Mother of Pearl!... talk about engaged students! the pictures do not do the ecosystems justice! I tried to get the best angle for you to see the animals underneath.
Arctic: Seals, whales, penguins and an iceberg in the back.

 The strips hanging are the grass of the prairie.

On to the Rainforest...

Now, the desert...

Ohhh...the ocean!

Anyone notice the Nemo scene?

Now, we are on to food webs and adaptations!
What do ya think?