America the Beautiful!

A while back, my class studied American symbols. We talked about the Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, and more. We even got to focus in on some of Texas' symbols, such as the mockingbird and the bluebonnet. It was a fun unit of study. I thought I would share a craftivity that the students did during their Art workstation time. This wasn't an original idea. I believe Mrs. S. from next door found the idea on Enchanted Learning...or something. Sorry I can't source this!

Each child got to create their own bald eagle! They had to trace their foot and both hands for this activity, so it kept them REALLY busy. Some had their workstation partner help them out with the tracing. It took a while to cut out, and some got a bit frustrated after they cut off a finger or two from the hand tracing. (Nothing a little glue can't solve!)

It turned out really cute. I loved how each child did the project just a little bit different. I had a completed one hanging on the wall at the station so they had an idea of what they were trying to accomplish. It was amazing to see all the varieties on the same idea!

If you haven't heard of BrainPop Jr., you should really look into getting access to the site from your school. It is a fantastic learning tool! My students love to watch the videos on there. During this unit, we watched the video on the American symbols. I wish the site was free, but it's worth the cost.

I hope this gave you an idea for a future patriotic art project for your class!

How do you teach the American symbols? Let me know in the comments below!

I'm linking up with KindergartenWorks for her Kindergarten Show N' Tell linky! You should go check her blog out if you haven't before. She's fantastic!



I'm Back! (Summer Bucket List and Lessons Learned)

Can I just say... WOW! I've been gone for a long time. Sorry to all those who were following me here and enjoying my blog posts. It's now summertime, so I have more spare time than before. I finished my first year of teaching and LOVED IT!

Here are some of the things that I learned:

  1. There will be challenging times, but talking to a veteran teacher about problems or concerns really helped me get through them. I am blessed to be working alongside a veteran teacher and dear friend (she taught me in 4th grade!!) that really understands me and wants to guide me.
  2. Don't be afraid to be firm. I had a hard time at the beginning of the year with classroom management, but once I stepped up and was very firm, the students responded well. I had one girl who cried daily for almost the whole first semester. When I stepped up to the plate and was consistent with her, it was almost like magic!
  3. Saying goodbye is hard. Enough said. :(
  4. If you don't have a good organizational strategy for tackling the constant paper flow, you have to spend an eternity cleaning your classroom at the end of the year.
  5. I take way too many pictures of my sweeties. Seriously!
Obviously, I've learned a whole lot more than that (like don't-trust-email-to-inform-parents-about-field-trips-because-it-will-go-to-junk-mail-and-the-parents-will-be-confused-the-day-before-the-field-trip), but I want to get to the fun part of this post. The linky party!! 

--- Sleeeeep! Waking up at 5:20 everyday is NOT COOL.
--- Start grad school to begin the path of getting my Master of Education - Reading Specialization
--- Train for the Run or Dye 5k
Run or Dye
--- Clean the horrifying mess of a classroom that is left after this whirlwind of a school year. Here's a terrifying, horror film picture of it. I hope it makes you feel better about your own classroom and/or gives you a chance to share your awesome organizing tips to help me out... It's a bit embarrassing to post this, but the first step to fixing a problem is owning up to it!
Messy classroom fail
--- Use up all my awesome gift cards from super sweet parents.
--- Buy and label some Sterilite storage shelves and ACTUALLY USE THEM FOR SOMETHING this year. The one you see hiding in the corner back there in the picture? See it? Yeah, it just held all my junk and didn't even help me out this year. Woe is me!
--- Go shopping for new teacher clothes! :)
--- Read for enjoyment and for professional development. Mainly for enjoyment.

So that's it! I've missed all the interaction that I received last summer from you guys. Your advice helped me out tremendously this school year. I will post some cool stuff I've done and some ideas that really worked later on.

What's your favorite way to manage paper flow in your classroom? Is it even possible!?