Sunday, 30 November 2014

Tie a string around your finger...

Cyber Monday is upon us. We both have so many treats hanging out on our Wishlist.... so we are loving the next couple of days :) Nothing better than purchasing great classroom products, from hardworking teachings around the world!
Join us on MONDAY, DECEMBER 1st and 2nd

All products are 20% off..... but enter the code TPTCYBER at checkout for an additional 8%.
Here are some of our new products that we have recently used, and LOVE :)

You might want to check out these 100 Word Clubs (for K-2) that have made such a difference in my students reading and writing. In just 2 short weeks you will see an improvement, I did!

These package include:
10 Envelope covers with 10 sight words
1 Blank envelope cover
10 Flash card sheets with 10 sight words
1 Blank flash card sheet
10 Reading Club Certificates
10 Writing Club Certificates
1 Bonus Reading Certificate
1 Bonus Writing Certificate
1 Master 100 Sight Word Sheet
2 Teacher Record Reading Club Sheets
2 Teacher Record Writing Club Sheets
1 Sheet of color Reading Club Tags
1 Sheet of black/white Reading Club Tags
1 Sheet of color Writing Club Tags
1 Sheet of black/white Writing Club Tags
Instructions for Use of Package

Or how about a sampling party for your grade 5-8 classes?
The Summary Sampling Party is a Coffee House for kids. Students read, summarize and then share their summaries in their "Classroom Coffee House".

This pack includes:
*How to run a Summary Sampling Party/Coffee House
*Anchor chart on how to write a summary
*Fiction Summary Checklist
*Fiction Summary Checklist -mini-version for students
*Non-Fiction Summary Checklist
*Non-Fiction Checklist -mini-version for students
*What to include on the "day of" your summary party
*Success Criteria & Learning Goal Printables to display
*Peer Feedback Summary Sheets (Sampling Cards)
*Pictures from my Summary Sampling Party/Coffee House

We hope you had a great weekend and are reading to shop tomorrow and Tuesday!
Christine & Kaitlin :)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Remembrance Day or Veteran's Day

Easy Remembrance Day or Veteran's Day Crafts for 1st Grade

I am always looking for crafts that are amazing and easy for grade one students. They have small hands, and are just beginning with scissor, drawing, coloring and painting skills.

I found these easy tissue paper poppies on pinterest.
I had to do some prep for the flowers, but the students were able to do the rest. 
I did the accordion fold of seven pieces of tissue, trimmed the edges and held them together with a pipe cleaner. The students took their time pulling each layer of tissue apart until they could see the flower forming. They were so proud of the hard work they had done. What a beautiful finished product for such tiny hands.

(The secret is to be gently and don't rush)

Here are some beautiful Canadian Flags that are so easy to do and fun. The students drew lines with a ruler on each side of the paper and painted the sides, leaving the middle white. They put one hand in red paint and placed it in the middle to make the maple leaf. 
Gorgeous and they did it all by themselves. 

Who can believe December is just around the corner?

Hope you stop by for our sale on Dec 1st and Dec 2nd! 


Have a Great Friday! 
 I know I will! 
I have been looking forward to the week being over. Things have been so busy working over time with getting December centers ready for next week and still planning for each day. 

I have also been working on a wedding cake for a friend's wedding this Saturday. 
 I will post a picture of the finished product. 


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Mrs. Edmunds Class- Anti-Bullying Week in Review

This week is "Anti-Bullying" week in Ontario, Canada. My students started off the week with discussing what bullying 'truly is', as the term is often thrown around, losing it's purpose/true call for help.
During literacy, we engaged in perspective writing. Each student chose to step into the shoes of "The Bully", "The Bullied", or "The Bystander". Using Runde's Room outline, the students wrote an "I Am" Poem through each perspective.

These poems were read aloud in class. The students did a phenomenal job! It's truly amazing what they see and how many of them are able to relate to at least one or more of the perspectives. After being read, the students voted on the one that stood out most for them. These 3 students read their poems as a "PSA Announcement" for the school on the P.A. the following day.

Very powerful lesson and reading.
From there, these poems were edited and revised and written in good onto a pink t-shirt cut-out. For those of you unfamiliar with the use of the 'pink shirt', it began in 2008 as a response to two boys in Nova Scotia who took a stand against bullying by supporting a boy who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.  These two boys saw the incident and went out and purchased 50 pink shirts to distribute to other boys at the school to wear.  You can read more about pink shirt day here at Now we have "National Pink Shirt Day" to bring awareness to bullying in all of it's forms.

In addition to the poems, I also encouraged my students to think of negative words/names/actions/mean words that they hear in and around the school/schoolyard. I broke the students into small groups and had them write down these words. I brought the class back together and we reviewed the terms, calling attention to similarities, why these terms are used and what we can do. I teach at a Catholic School, so our discussions also involved befriending and helping those who are or feel marginalized, just as Jesus did.

 It's always easier to do the wrong thing, than the right thing.....
How can we do more to help those around us and create a happier place for everyone to live?
I then gave each student 1 coloured card. On this card, I asked the students to write down the word that they wanted to be remembered by in the future. Each student then walked up to the charts of negative/mean words (specifically one that they hated the most) and placed their word overtop of it.  

 Today we listened to "Mean" By Taylor Swift.

My students have been working on Author's Purpose and Audience, as well as using text support. In keeping with this, my students were provided with an "EQAO-Type" question, in reference to Taylor's Lyrics. You can pick this up HERE.

This song sparked some great conversations about why Taylor Swift wrote this song and it's purpose.

I have also been stressing the use of 'Evidence Base Terminology' when referencing text. Here's some of the lingo we've been discussing (and avoiding).
 Overall, we had a great week, evoking some great conversation!
Wishing you a great weekend!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Miracles do happen in first grade!

I finally found something that works with my class. I have mentioned in previous posts that my students are very weak in reading and writing.  I needed a miracle to happen because here we are in the middle of November and they still are not benchmarking past books at level 1 or A.
I started this 100 word club November 3rd and I have to say the miracle I was hoping for happened.
The students just love this program. They are so excited and driven to do well and move to the next level of words. I am using it as a homework program  and the parent feedback I am getting is all positive.  This package could be used in your word centres as well, and if the students stop progressing as the words get harder I will use these club words in my own centres. I dont need to do that right now because every student is working hard at learning these words.

I mentioned that it feels like a miracle-- The reasoning behind that is I just started testing my students again and so far every student has moved up 2 or more levels. That is a huge improvement from just 3 short weeks ago.  This improvement is definitely due to a multitude of factors, the parent support at home, my great LSST teacher working on sounds and word recognition, the students becoming more confident and of course, their excitement of the 100 word club.  All of these things play a role in the incredible gains the students have made in just 3 short weeks.
Hope everyone loves this package as much as I do.
I made the grade one package for my own classroom, and my colleagues have asked for packages for their classrooms. So due to demand I made 2nd and 3rd grade packages. 

Thank you for stopping by.  I would love to hear about any ideas in your classroom you are using to improve on your students' reading.

Hope to hear from you.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Easy-Peasy Visual Arts Lessons

Visual Arts is definitely not my forte, but I do however enjoy it. I know some teachers hate glue and supplies and anything that can make a little mess, but we all know, that's what the kids love! LOL. So there are two lessons-- One for the neat and clean teacher and one for the teacher that doesn't mind getting a little messy.
For the past few weeks we have been working on various elements of design. We started off with an easy lesson handed down from a colleague, which I tweaked a bit. It's easy, but turns out lovely.
This is "Fall Inspired", but you could definitely adapt this for any season (using various colours). Our focus was the effect of warm and cool colours on a piece of art. We also reviewed various lines and shadowing, in order to create a specific effect.
Lesson #1

Below is Step 1 and Step 2.
* Using a white sheet of paper (this paper is a little thicker than regular printer paper), trace a circle in the center of the page.
* From there, the students are to draw a tree. The branches are to stay within the circle and the trunk can go below.
*Students then create a grid using their ruler (the width of their ruler).
*Using their eraser, they are to erase the grid lines that go through their tree (ONLY inside of their tree).

Step 3 and Step 4

*After a review lesson about shapes, lines and shadowing, students fill the tree.

* Inside of the circle will contain 'warm colours'. Students review what colours would be warm and colour the squares within the circle (alternating between colours).

* The bottom squares (up the bottom of the circle) are coloured with various shades of green.

* The remainder of the squares will be coloured with cool colours.

Here's a look at our finished products:

Lesson #2
This coming week, my class is putting on a primary and a junior intermediate November 11th (Remembrance Day) mass for our school. I decided to get a head start on some d├ęcor for the mass this week.
This art piece was inspired by Huichol Art, which is folk art and craft work created by the Huichol People of Mexico.  The Huichol have a long history of beading, making the beads from clay, shells, corals, seeds and more and using them to make jewelry and to decorate bowls and other items. Although we didn't make our own beads etc., we viewed pieces of their work and drew ideas from them.

To begin, my students each brought in a piece of cardboard. They drew a poppy on it and cut it out.
I used thick neutral-toned cardstock for the background. The students cut small (quarter-sized) pieces and glued them on.
They did the same thing using black construction paper, black tissue paper and tin foil, creating a layered effect. Liquid glue seemed to work best for us. Modge Podge or Tack Glue is probably the best, though (but definitely more costly).

Using foam balls (that fill flower decorative vases-- purchased at Dollar Store), yarn, pom-poms, and red and black tissue paper, the students filled in their poppy cut-outs.

 Here's a few looks at the finish product. Very eye-catching and makes a statement.

 Here's a peak at the art my class created last Remembrance Day.... and here.
I would definitely do both of these Visual Arts Lessons, again.
Have a fabulous week ahead!