Friday, November 11, 2016

Student Moving Away {FREEBIE Memory Book}

When I taught at my old school, it was common for students to move mid-year. Military parents would receive orders mid-year, and off the kids would go! This also meant I had an new students arriving mid-year at times.

But at my current mid-west, middle-of-nowhere school, it's very uncommon for students to move away. It's very rare for them to leave mid-year. So when a parent contacted me a little while ago to let me know that her daughter's last day would be November 15, I knew I had to do something special to send her off.

As I thought through the things we could do for her, I decided upon a memory book. I gave a page to each of her former teachers in the school, the principal, and all of her classmates. Once the pages are returned to me, I'll bind it and have it ready to present to her on Tuesday.

That left me with the question: Where could I find a memory book that would work for this purpose? I searched and searched. I found a few things, but none quite suited to my needs. So, I created one, and I'm giving it away to you for FREE, just in case you have a similar need. You can grab the freebie here, or you can click on the image below.
We'll Miss You Memory Book

Looking back, I wish I would have done this for every student moving out of my classroom, even when it was common! It's easy, cheap, and means a lot to the person receiving it.

Because it's uncommon in my school, our class has also collected some new school supplies to give to the girl who is leaving. We figured that if you have to start a new school in the middle of the year it would at least be nice to have some fresh new supplies!

We've also decided that her desk will stay "Abby's desk" all year long, even though she won't be here with us. We'll sure miss her!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spider Craft Tutorial

So for Spider Day each year, I make these fun creatures with my students. 

For each spider, you'll need the following: 
1 pipe cleaner for the body
12 beads for the body
4 pipe cleaners for the legs (I found animal print pipe cleaners one year at Meijer, and I've never turned back! The kids love them, and they make really cool spiders!)

Take the pipe cleaner for the body, and string 6 beads onto it.

Fold it in half. 

Take the two ends of the pipe cleaner, and holding them together, string a bead onto both of them together.

Then, pull the two sides apart and string two beads onto each side.

Finally, take the last bead and put both ends through in opposite directions.
Pull to tighten it, and then take the two ends, twist them a couple of times, and cut off the excess.

You've now made the body of the spider.

Next, grab two of the pipe cleaners you're using for legs.

Place them under the spider's middle section. Grab the pipe cleaners, twist them together once, and lay the legs out to the side.

Next, turn the spider back over so that the top is facing you. 
Take the remaining 2 pipe cleaners and feed them through the holes in the spider's body from the top, down. 

Then, flip the spider back over on its back. Pull the pipe cleaners all the way through, and twist them a time or two.

Then, just arrange the legs so there are four on each side.

All that's left is to bend the legs....
...and trim the excess length.


Happy spider making!


Spider Day!

It was spider day in 4C today! Since our school doesn't celebrate or embrace Halloween, I choose to take the opportunity to have a "Spider Day" instead. And since tomorrow is Reformation Day (a big deal at the private school where I teach), I elected to have Spider Day today. 

We started our day reading this book:
It's a fantastic cautionary tale written by Mary Howitt in 1829. The kids love it because the pictures in this book are phenomenal, and because it doesn't have a happy ending. The spider eats the fly. It allows for some amazing discussion about the types of friends we choose and how sometimes flattery is sincere, and sometimes it's not. Not everyone who speaks sweetly offers sweets. 

Then, we spent some time in small group reading. We read a few books about spiders. 

We watched a spider video. I have a subscription to Discovery Education's United Streaming, and we watched the video called The Incredible World of Spiders by Discovery Education. In case you care to look it up, you can check it out HERE.

We did a spider craft. 

You can find my tutorial on how to make these little arachnids HERE. The kids really enjoy them, and they're anatomically accurate enough to go along with learning the parts of a spider. :)

We still had time to get in our math test, some handwriting, and other essentials as the quarter gets ready to come to a close. It's always fun to do something a little different for a day. I really enjoy watching the students' excitement as we learned about arachnids. 


Monday, October 28, 2013

Conferences are coming! {Student Self-Evaluations}

And it's just about that time of year again.... you know what time of year I mean! ......

Dum, dum, dum...


I always feel like I'm unprepared for parent teacher conferences, particularly at my current school. The way that our school operates, I have very little interaction with most parents prior to our conferences in November. Also, my school doesn't allow student-led conferences (bummer!). So, I needed a way to have students lead the conferences without actually having them sit at the table with us.

This year I vowed that I would be more prepared than I was last year. And, by George, I think I am! Thanks to having a student teacher since school began, I found that records day didn't need to be spent frantically grading and entering grades, so I took Friday morning and developed a student self-evaluation tool to use with my students.

If you'd like to use it, hop on over to my TPT store. I made it for my classroom, but it's just a perk if you can use it in yours and save a little time. It's in Word Document form, and fully editable. Enjoy!