Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

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Monday Made It

Hey y’all!  I’m back!  I finally get to participate in the awesome Monday Made It linky by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  This is not school related but it was crafty.  So I’ll share.  I actually did this at the beginning of the summer the day before I had my son.  I knew I wanted to join up with this great linky that I even took pictures of how I did it.  Go me!  And here it is…

I wanted to find white letters, but Michaels didn’t have enough of what I needed.  So since I only needed the outer edges to be white I decided to go with the natural wood and paint them myself.  Plus I was able to get all the letters I need.  Lol!  Then I picked out some cute scrapbook paper, grabbed a bottle of Modge Podge, and some brushes.  I was all set!  So basically my process was as follows:

I turned the scrapbook paper to the back and flipped the letters backwards and traced them.  I set the paper aside and painted the edges white with acrylics I already had.  While the paint dried, I cut the letters out.  I then coated the front side of the letters with Modge Podge.  PLEASE NOTE: I had never used Modge Podge before this and yet figured it out!  I was always given the impression that it was tricky to use.  Well if it was then I got lucky!  Lol!  I then stuck the paper letter on top with the pattern face up.  After that I coated the top of that with more Modge Podge to seal it.  I made sure to over the edges too.  This way the paper will not come off at all.  Once all that dried I put 3M velcro strips on the back (I did have to cut them to make them fit the letters) and stuck them on the door.  That’s it!  Several hours after completing this I headed to the hospital for baby time.  Yay!

Now I have to say I’m not usually very crafty/creative.  I learned this from Pinterest or somewhere.  But I was proud of myself for doing it.  My mom was impressed!  <insert cheesy smile here!>  But if I can do this then ANYONE can!  Now click the button below to go check out other fabulous Monday Made Its!

Happy Teaching!

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Bugs and Blossoms in Math

Warning- lots of photos!

Testing is done!  Yay!  Now specifically ITBS is done.  Next up, TPRI.  Bring it.  But anyways…I got to take down all my wall coverings and have my room back.  Yay!  The kids were excited as I took down the paper off the Word Wall.  You’d think I had unwrapped a giant Christmas gift.  Too cute!  So life is slowly coming back to normal.  Today is a take-it-easy day as we take care of make-up tests and just finish the week out.  Since we have not been doing formal reading lessons, I’ve got something fun planned for my kiddos.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  😉

So the math stations.  I got them from this great pack I got from SunnyDays.  You can get it here.  You’ll love it!!  Anyways I’m just using the math stations in the pack right now.  We’re getting back in to addition and subtraction real heavily again and I wanted some stations that got my kiddos in full adding and subtracting mode.  Well when I saw the first math game in this pack, I was like, “Yes!  Perfect!”  Then I kept saying it 2 more times when I realized I could use all 3 stations.  Score!  What I love best about these stations is that, while they may have been geared towards second grade specifically, it gave my first graders the challenge they need without discouraging them.  I have several GT kiddos and I’ve been wanting to amp things up and this was perfect.  Oh and so sorry for the fuzzy pictures!  I guess I moved around too much when I took them.  So here we go:

Math Station Bucket #1- Capture the Crickets

The kiddos sort cards with number pairs by their sums- less than 20, equal to 20, and greater than 20.  To help them out (and test their determination to get their hands on a new toy…more on that later) I included a calculator.  After they sort the cards, they fill out the recording sheet.  Love it!  I’m so into the accountability factor with recording sheets.  It just really helps me know what they are really doing while I’m working with my small groups…

Math Station Bucket #2- Buzzing by Tens!

They pick a bee, add 10 to the number, find the flower with that number.  Perfect!  We had already learned how moving up and down a 100 chart moves you by 10s.  We’ve also been practicing counting by 10s starting at different numbers (i.e. 7 or 3) during our math meeting.  So I put a 100 chart to give them a hand.  They are loving it!  I have them work it together first, then they see who can do it the fastest.  It’s really great practice.

Math Station Bucket #3- The Great Snail Race

Very simple game- roll a sum of 7 or greater, move 1 space.  Less than 7 stay put.  You should hear them when they don’t get that 7 or greater!  “Oh man!”  They are figuring out why it’s called a snail race.  🙂  This was the last activity in the pack.  I’m telling you, go check this pack out and say hi to Denise while you’re there!

Math Station Bucket #4- Geo Boards

So simple yet so much fun!  Since we finished our shape unit a little bit ago (and quite frankly I needed a new idea) I pulled these out.  They are loving creating shapes and pictures with those rubber bands!

Math Station Bucket #5- enVision topic starter game

Kicking our addition topic off with the opening game.  Love the easiness of these games!

Math Station Bucket #6- Sprouting Fact Family Flowers

So this is something I’m particularly proud of.  My doormate, another teammate, and myself loved some of the roll and create number sentence stations.  Earlier this year I did it with turkeys and tail feathers (see that here) and then again with Christmas trees and ornaments (look here).  So we were thinking it was time to do another one but with a spring theme in mind.  So we decided they should roll, color flower petals, and then write the number sentences on leaves.  Got it!  So I said I would make circles and try to find leaves we could use.  Well I did more than that.  I made the leaves AND I made petals (of course I did that after we decided and had copied the turkey tail feathers from Math Wire– hey you can’t tell they’re feathers!).  We also wanted a directions page.  So I decided to have some fun with some of the clipart and digital paper I’ve acquired from some awesome teacher stores for free.  Then I got the bug.  The creating bug.  After I fiddled around with some things, I managed to make the leaves and petals like I said and the pack just… just… made itself.  Now I’m starting to see what the big fuss is with all these teachers creating all this awesome stuff!  So here it is:

Now I’m not going to sell this.  You can get it for free here.  Please let me know what you think.  My kids are loving it because we are doing it with a 10-sided die with the numbers 0-9.  The flowers look great and they are going on a bulletin board in the hall.  I’ll post a picture as soon as more flowers get added.  But here’s a picture of my example for the kiddos:

Oops!  Didn’t realize my toes were in the shot!  Glad I painted them.  😉  Anyways I hope you enjoyed this.  These stations will be staying put for a while as testing has not allowed us to use them that often and I need to make sure all the kiddos get through them.  This weekend’s project is to revamp all my reading stations and finally share that.  Plus I’m working on another project that I hope to be sharing.  Until then…

Happy Teaching!

Freebie Fridays

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Ups and Downs

Wow!  What a week!  It was only 4 days but it sure felt longer!  This week has been a true journey.  It started with great sadness and ended happily.  It drained me and encouraged me.  Quite frankly though, I’m glad it’s over and that my 3-day weekend has started.  So to fill you in just a bit…

The great sadness was the loss of a beautiful family in a bad accident.  We lost 2 sweet students who were taught by my wonderful doormate.  It rocked my school’s community.  But instead of falling apart, we just banded together.  The community my school is a part of quickly joined hands and has done nothing but take care of the family members and the sweet kiddos affected by this.  It’s been an emotional roller coaster for many around me and I know this weekend will help many get back on an even track.  Please join me in praying for the family and friends who are mourning this big loss…

Thank you for that.  But like I said above, while we started this week in sadness, it ended with smiles.  Thursday was our Easter celebration and we had loads of fun!  We did an Easter Egg Hunt and then capped off the celebration with popsicles.  Yum!  Then (as always) I sent kids on sugar highs home for a nice 3-day weekend.  🙂  My parents really love me!  😉  Below are some pictures from the festivities:

Eggs numbered and ready to go!  In this picture there are 12 per kid.  I numbered 4 more sets the next day and then found 2 MORE sets just before we went out to hunt.  Yep.  They left loaded with eggs.  🙂

A hunting we will go…A hunting we will go…

I numbered the eggs to go with their classroom numbers.  They had to find their numbers and help others around them.  It was funny watching on student be called by 3 different ones in all directions saying they found their number.  They couldn’t figure out where to run to first!  Haha!

Earlier this week my kiddos did a little project to get us in the Easter spirit- painting paper eggs with shaving cream and paint!  One of my parents helped me set it up after she saw my doormate’s class do it.  So she loaded me up with cans of shaving cream and pre-cut eggs while I pulled out my old paints.  Now I learned some valuable lessons in all this:

  1. Older acrylic paints clump up and clog the lid of the bottle.  After some almost paint explosions I figured this out managed to keep the spatters very small and contained.  New paints are on the shopping list for next year.  😛
  2. While it’s great having choices of colors, don’t let the kiddos pick more than 2-3 really.  I had 6 colors.  Some picked all 6.  You’ll see why below in the pictures.
  3. Make sure you demonstrate how to swirl the paints around in the shaving cream- not stir.  Fortunately I did this and most of them got the concept.
  4. Make sure they scrape off ALL the shaving cream.  Some eggs didn’t turn out as good as they would have if I had seen early on that there was still a fine layer of shaving cream.  Once it dried it was stick.  This leads to a side lesson- use fat popsicle sticks to scrape.  Easier that way.

So below are the pictures of the eggs as they were drying.  Some of them swirled quite nicely.  Others are obscured by the shaving cream.  If you were in front of the eggs themselves and could look closely, you would see the swirled design under the shaving cream clumps.  So it did work.

See the swirls?  That’s the good part.  🙂

I really did like this project and plan to do it again next year.  But this time with fewer colors, new paints, and more diligence.  🙂

So that’s all for now.  I’m working on some other posts that will be popping up soon concerning stations and a neat link up.  I can’t wait!  See y’all soon!

Happy Teaching!

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How it all turned out

So I know that Thanksgiving is all done and everyone is moving on to Christmas.  Believe me I am too!  But I really wanted to show you how those turkeys came out.  You know…the craft I was sooooo nervous about because it involved PAINT!  You can read about my apprehensions here.  Well I’m pleased to say that my students did AWESOME!  They kept things as neat and tidy as possible and their turkeys came out sooooooooo cute!  I’m so proud of them!  Okay I’m about to bombard you with pictures!

So here is how the turkeys started out.  I tried gluing the toilet paper roll but that didn’t work so I just did tape on the top and bottom.   Much better.  Then you just paint, add googly eyes and a beak, and you’re set!

See?  Cute right?

Here is a student turkey.

And another.  Isn’t this one neat with the mixed colors?  I love how each one is unique!

And another.  His beak makes me laugh every time!

And another.  And that’s the last one.  Promise!  🙂

Now here is my whole bulletin board.  Thank you panoramic feature on the iPhone!  I’m still kinda shaky with it but you get the idea.  I just left the spiders and jack o’ lanterns because it’s all part of the fall season and I love having a FULL bulletin board.  🙂

Okay I have one more thing to share that I’m rather proud of.  So if you haven’t discovered Math Wire you really should go there.  It has got some awesome math games and ideas and it’s all FREE!  They have things organized by skill and even seasons.  So I went looking for some fall/turkey related things and found these turkeys feathers.  It’s simply called a turkey mat and you can get it here.  Just scroll down to Seasonal Counting and Addition Mats.  Now there’s no real directions so here is what I did.  I printed out turkeys and sheets of feathers for each student.  Since there were 12 turkeys to each page, I simply had the students roll a die.  That told them how  many feathers to color red.  They rolled the die again and colored that many feathers orange.  They then cut out the turkey and colored feathers and glued the feathers to the turkey.  They then had to write 1 addition sentence and 1 subtraction sentence about their feathers.  Below is an example.

See?  Very simple but the kiddos loved it!

So anyways that’s how things went for me with Thanksgiving.  It got really hectic towards the start of the break as my team had teachers out sick and lots of subs so at one point, I had 4 classes in my room for a quick social studies lesson.  Yep.  You read that right.  4.  Why?  Because the lesson was mainly via PowerPoint and it was easier if I did it all at once rather than try to set up 3 others classes separately.  In the end it all worked out.  So I hope you enjoyed this!  Stay tuned for my Christmas plans!

Happy Teaching

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My hopeful plans

So I’m being adventurous in my Creation Station.  Are you ready for this?  I’m letting my students use paint.  And not just one color.  But several.  Gulp.  I hope I know what I’m doing!  But it’s such a cute craft that I can’t help myself and a personal teaching goal for myself this year is to work more creativity in my stations and class time.  I know I can do it if I get started.  It’s now or never!

So what am I doing?  Well after trolling all over Pinterest, I think I found the cutest turkey craft!  It doesn’t look that difficult to do as long as I have all the items (which as of now I do).  So if you go here you’ll see what I pinned.  And you’ll see why I’m a little apprehensive.  But once again I’m sure I can do this.  It will have to be done in 2 parts.  One to paint and the other to assemble.  But won’t they look cute on my bulletin board?!  I’ll post pictures of the board once it’s done.  🙂  It’s a fall board that currently has homemade jack o’ lanterns that I’ve decided to leave up and add the turkeys around it.  Basically I’m trying to just completely cover my wall.  We’ll see how it looks.  The board was initially set up by a great room mom.  But come November 30th it all comes down for the Christmas holidays.  Fun stuff!  🙂

So what are you all doing for Thanksgiving crafts?  Are you being adventurous as well or are you an old hat at crafting in the classroom?  Share with me please!

Happy Teaching!!

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