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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reads and Seeds Week 4: Reading Takes Flight

What do you get when you combine rockets with butterflies? You get week 4 of Reads and Seeds!

Our focus text was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Mrs. Kapp had a variety of stations for students to explore, but three of them focused on the topic of flight.

Create Your Own Butterfly!
Either with pipe cleaners and tissue paper, or with paper plates and toilet paper rolls

Build Your Own Rockets!
Mrs. Kapp found directions for students to build their own paper rockets using paper, pencils, tape, and straws. It was Rockin' awesome! The goal was to see how far students could make their rockets fly. After their first flight, they could change their rocket's length, direction, and trajectory. 

Build and Taste!
Using different fruits, students made, and ate, their own butterflies. Needless to say, this was the favorite of the activities today. Great idea, Mrs. Kapp!

And of course, we had our usual stations that everyone loves each week. Looms, Lincoln Logs, and Legos.

Garden Time
After our snack and story time, it was time to get to the garden. We now have 6 of our 8 garden beds made and planted. Mr. Evans also took it upon himself to get potting soil so we could fill in the side garden area. (not sure how to describe it- but you'll see it in the pics)

 This is the "Barn", also known as our outdoor classroom. It gets plenty of sun and is perfect for our garden. 

The side area. It's already blocked off with paving stones, so we just filled it in with dirt. We planted watermelons today. Next week we will add some more veggies.

Our first 4 vegetable beds. Corn, squash, tomatoes, and cabbage.

 Here's the squash we planted just last week! They've already sprouted!

 Our two newest garden beds. Two more squash and cabbages.

My kids posing in the Barn.

We hope to see everyone next week!
Next week Reads and Seeds will be traveling Around the World using stories and costumes!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tips for Student Blogging

I found the blog "Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension" when I followed a link that a fellow teacher showed me. The original post I read was about doing away with behavior charts, but I saw a post at the bottom of the page that caught my eye.

I've used this blog to share what happens in my classroom for 3 years now, and I've thought about having my students blog, but this post helped me see how (relatively) easy student blogging could be. I'm thinking would be my best bet since it's free, doesn't require any student information or email, and is private. 
So, watch out world! This upcoming school year might just be the year I unleash my soldiers into the world of blogging!

Also, check out these related links:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reads and Seeds Week 3: Book Tasting Menu

This week we decided to host a Book Tasting in the library.

Students visited 3 different tables, appetizers, main course, and desserts, and filled out a "menu" at each table. The "menu" is really a book review. Appetizers are picture books, main course is for nonfiction picture books, and desserts is for chapter books. The hope is that students will find books that interest them and they'll check out at least one book from their "tasting".

When their menus were complete, students filled in a Featured Selection review of their favorite book from their menu. We will display their completed menus, Featured Selection, and pictures on the bulletin board in the hallway. Here are some of the Taste Testers of today!

After the tasting, students could choose a center to visit: watercolor painting, bracelet making, Playdoh, and tangrams.

We got to add 2 more garden boxes today, but I didn't get pictures. Let's hope the garden gets plenty of sun and rain this week!

If you'd like a copy of the Book Tasting Menu, you can download it {HERE}!!
Don't worry, it's generic!

Reads and Seeds Week 2: QR Codes and Planting

This week, Mrs. Kapp and I set up stations for students to complete. We had coloring, weaving, bracelet making, blocks, and QR code Tic-Tac-Toe.

At the QR code station, students could choose between the science and social studies Tic-Tac-Toe boards. Each code would take students to a different website and there were tasks to complete. For each 3 in a row students completed, they could receive a small prize out of Mrs. Kapp's goody basket.

If you'd like a copy of the QR Tic-Tac-Toe, click on the link {HERE} to take you to where you download it for FREE!!

This week, students were able to plant some seeds and we got to play in the dirt outside.

Gloves donated by Lowes in Ft. Oglethorpe. They also donated a big bag of potting soil! Thank you!

Don't you love the garden bed? My hubby made it! He promised me 8 total. This bed has corn planted in it. It's one of the seeds that survived from TCAP week!

Pumpkin and cantaloupe from TCAP week. Not sure if the cantaloupe will make it, but we have plenty of seeds to take its place.

Our gardening superheroes!

The 8 garden beds will go around the "Barn" that is located outside our school. It's really a barn-shaped shed that classes can use as an outdoor classroom. I thought it would be fitting to have the garden there. :)

Reads and Seeds Week 1: Read 20

This year, Mrs. Kapp and I decided to co-host the summer reading program at out school.

We called it Reads and Seeds because there are 2 parts to the program: reading activities in the library, and planting a school garden. 
Mrs. Kapp has worked diligently to plan guest speakers and activities for the Reads portion. I have gone around to area stores and businesses, and had my class do pre-planting to plan for our Seeds portion. 

Week 1- Read 20 comes to visit!

To start the program, Mrs. Kapp asked of Read 20 would come and read to the kids. Of course Mr. Payne was happy to oblige!

Here's the fabulous Read 20 Readmobile!

We were happy to see around 20 students, with their parents. Students were allowed to check out books and enjoyed their time with Read 20.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the first week. My daughter decided to catch a stomach bug. :(

However, I did have things started already towards planting our school garden. During TCAP week, my students got to sort, predict, and plant seeds that would eventually be replanted into our garden.

Checking out the seed notebook to see if they can find their seeds.

Putting the seeds where they need to be

Covering the seeds

In the weeks after TCAP, we noticed that the bean seeds grew extremely fast. Most of the seeds sprouted, but not all of them survived by the time we got to planting. :(

Never fear! I have a ton of seeds and week 2 will allow students to plant some more!