When Irish Eyes are Smiling…


We had a “golden” week here at school…the leprechaun came and made a mess of our room. Here is the message he left…


He was  a nice leprechaun and left us green-wrappered Andes mints and gold-wrappered mini-roll’s to say he was sorry (Several kids commented about what bad handwriting the leprechaun had!). The kids were wild with excitement and we all had a fun time.

Our themes this week were, of course, St. Patrick’s Day and also Weather. We began our unit talking about the 3 States of Water – steam, liquid & solid.

Then we performed an experiment to see how rain forms in clouds. Can you guess the ingredients from the picture?


No, not green beer, ha, ha (oops, am I allowed to say that on a teaching blog?). It was water, shaving cream and food dye. The dye (because it was heavier than the shaving cream) dripped down into the water and made those great swirls. Fill a glass 3/4 full with water. Finish the rest of the glass with shaving cream. Drop about 10-20 drops of food dye on top and wait for the dye to fall. It takes about 5-7 minutes so be patient.

It was by chance that I only had blue, green, & yellow dye available. It turned the perfect color for St. Patty’s Day!

Our first Math Center was a play on the game “Hi-Ho Cherry-O”. I call it “Hi-Ho Shamrock-O”. The kids spin the spinner to find out whether they get to add 1,2, 3 or 4 shamrocks to their card. They can also Lose 1 or 2, Lose all, or Spin Again.



Our second Math Center took another old game – “Tiddlywinks” – and incorporated our Money Unit plus tallying. The kids had to flip counters with each coin on their sheet – penny, nickel, dime & quarter – then tally how many they got in the shamrock.


I did not give them a set amount of counters to flip. I just let them do as many as they could in the time allotted.


We decoded St. Patrick’s Day sentences for our first Literacy Center. Here is a sample of the worksheet…


The kids worked independently at this center which gave my assistant, Mr. Dustin,  and I time to help others.


Finally, our second Literacy Center involved Golden Eggs.


I was so excited to find golden Easter Egg at my local Harris Teeter. I’ve never seen them before. I thought they would be perfect for a little Word Family exercise. Each egg had a different word family on one side (-en, -op, -ap, -it, -it, -ug). On the other side were consonants or blends that make real words. The kids had to rotate one side to create a new word. (I’m sorry that it’s so hard to see it from this picture – I didn’t realize golden eggs were so shiny and reflective!)

Maybe this picture will give you a better idea:


And here’s a picture of one in action:


Well, that’s it for our week! Hope you found something inspirational to “scaffold” off of (ha, I found a way to use one of those fancy teaching terms that we all learn in our first classes).



We Are the Dinosaurs…stomping, stomping…

It is Friday the 13th and I have finally been able to finish a full week’s lesson plan. Yay!

We have had so many SNOW days!!. I think we are at 11 or 12 at this point. And we don’t even live in a snow belt state!

Peek at My Week

This week’s theme was Dinosaurs. My little paleontologists were busy on Monday with our K-W-L chart (see below).


I think we all agreed that there are a lot of things we do not know about dinosaurs.

Tuesday and Thursday, we indulged in some Dinosaur fun in our Learning Centers…


I created this center based on the boy sitting in a dinosaur footprint (inset). The kids were amazed to see how big the footprint was.

The “footprint” is a Halloween cauldron to which I added a few taped-on dino footprints. The measuring tools were cardboard blocks, skeins of yarn and Duplo blocks.

This is our recording sheet. You can download and print it for FREE by clicking on the picture below.


I found the easiest way for them to count was to fill the “footprint” up first and then count as they remove each object one by one. I had one “un-filler” (their word, not mine) and one “counter” who changed with each measuring tool so everyone had a turn.




Here I expanded on an idea I found from Reagan at Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits. I gathered paper raffia, pompoms, buttons and aquarium rock and placed them in water bottles (labels removed). Inside each bottle I hid 5 sight words (I kept them simple because I didn’t know how hard it would be to find all of them). They had to find the words in 3 out of the four bottles.

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The kids had no trouble finding at least one whole bottle of words. Most found all three. There was a lot of shaking and rolling to find them, but as you can see in the picture, the kids were engrossed.



Because of all the snow days, I have not been able to teach a solid unit on Money. So I’ve been sneaking in lessons here and there to cover everything. Here we are counting the coins on the cards to find their value.



Some could do it by themselves but the majority needed help from my assistant. That’s okay…we’ll continue to practice money counting and they’ll get it eventually.




Rhyme Time! The goal of this activity was to match the rhyming words posted around the room with the ones on their worksheet.



Finally, our craft for this week involved using our “Sparkle” words. We are trying to use better descriptive words for our projects. Here’s my sample:


The baby dinosaur graphic is courtesy of Pink Cat Studio. I tried using toothbrush flecking but that was a total mess. So I had them do pointillism by stamping dots with the bottom of a paintbrush.

Blog031315Pix12Thanks for stopping by!