Monday Made It, Classroom Pictures, and Craftivities!

I just finished up my second week of school and I'm exhausted already!  It's always rough starting up the year in AZ because we usually have heat advisories and the kids can't go out to play for recess.  The energy has to come out one way or another and it's usually tough to teach during these days.  The weather has eased up a little and they are going outside now, thank goodness!

I missed the last Monday Made it but I'm back :)
Lots of things were made for my classroom recently and I had to share some pictures!
First off my objectives board:
Objectives Bulletin Board from Learning in Wonderland
I made the headings using my Cricut. The objectives are in page protectors so that I can easily slide them in and out.  They add a nice splash of color to my room.
 ****Update July 2014****
I received many requests for this bulletin board so I created a set of objective headers that you can use to create a similar display.  I have several designs in my store :)  Click HERE for the set that resembles my bulletin board the most. 

Up next is my compliment jar: 
 Each time we get a compliment for walking in a nice life, or doing a great job in specials class etc they earn a star.  When they reach 15 stars, we will have a small celebration (early recess, puzzle time, computer lab time)
I also made these with my Cricut and the faces are stamps form Peachy Keen Stamps.

Even my kids have a Monday Made It this week:
My goal is to do lots of writing.  We have writer's workshop every day and we have guided writing in the afternoons.  They worked on their Bird writing all week and they got to make their craftivity on Friday.  They couldn't wait to make their bird!! 
This poor bird's teacher was real mean apparently... LOL!
Too funny!
Do any of you have trouble teaching science every day?  I have in the past but I found something that has been working for me.  I've been using Evan Moor's daily science for the past few years and I LOVE it.  It's something that you can incorporate within your existing science program or use instead of a science program.  Our basal is not too great so I use this instead.

With this program you hit all the major concepts for your grade, the students like it, and it's flexible in the way that you can either teach in a quick lesson or stretch it out as long as you'd like.  When I first started using it, my science time would last about 10-15 minutes.  I've incorporated journaling with it and now my science block takes about 45 minutes to an hour.  Again, the beauty of this program is that you can fit it into any schedule whether you have a little or a lot of time available and cover all your science standards no matter what.

My science runs something like this on a daily basis:
  • Activating prior knowledge: Schema chart
  • Science lesson: We complete the page together and go over the vocabulary 
  • Adding today's learning to our schema chart
  • Journaling: teacher model (about 1-2 minutes of teacher writing for students to see)
  • Journaling: Students write (8-10 minutes)
  • Shared reading: I choose 5 students to read their journal entry to the class
I have loved seeing what the students write after each day's lesson.  They have been truly comprehending the concepts much better than in previous years thanks to the journaling.  They are also using the key vocabulary from their science lessons throughout the day as a result.  I love it when they use words like "adult" and "liquid" in their conversations and other writings.

I've always taught life cycles during the spring but life cycles are the very first thing you hit in their science program.  So right now we are in the middle of life cycles.  We learned about the life cycle of a kangaroo (a good way to tie in a social studies unit and learn about continents/Australia) and butterflies.  We read the very hungry caterpillar and even though they all heard it in first grade, they are still in love with this book.  We also started up an illustrator study and they were so curious about Eric Carle's illustrations.  They love the caterpillar!  I decided I needed to have them make a very hungry caterpillar of their very own!  I made this mini-unit for butterflies.  It includes two cute craftivities and activities to use with a butterfly unit.
It's on sale 20% for today only.  You can pick up a copy HERE at my TPT store if you are interested.
Now it's your turn to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!

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