Adventures with Mrs. Key

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy Sunday, Seed Plantings, Instagram Fun Linky, and a Clip Art Sale Worth Checking Out

Sunday is here. That means tomorrow is Monday. The school year is winding down quickly. We have 20 school days left. Only 19 of those are with children. Among those days, we still have award ceremonies, a talent show presentation, a field trip, and field day. Plus, the "big kids" have testing the second week of May. As a teacher, I just have to make sure my kids aren't running and hollering in the halls. My students wouldn't do that anyway! :) As a mom, I have a 7th and 3rd grader who will have to test. I really feel bad for them. Testing is stressful!

Last Thursday, my class planted Spelt Grass Seeds. I gave them a cup to draw a face. The seeds will grow to look like "hair". I hope they have sprouted by tomorrow. We need something to take our minds off the tadpole incident. I would also like to plant our Lima Bean Seeds next week. I've done that every year, so I surely can't skip it this year. It will add to our already full days. 

What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABC's will host an
 Instagram Linky every Tuesday. Fun! 

Linky rules:
link up with a blog post,
 sharing this image 
link back to this linky party
  your user name
 and a couple of your favorite Instagram photos!  
(don't just link up to your instagram account)  ;)

You can follow me @dawnmkey

A few of my favorite photos:
 Crazy sock day during Read Across America Week
Read Across America Week with my girls
 Ocean Adventures
Frog Fun

Now, about that clip art sale that is definitely worth checking out. Sonya DeHart is having a $1 sale on her website. She is super talented! Click on the picture to go to her website and do a little shopping. 

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Frog Fun

Hey peeps! Are you all as sleepy as I am? Man, I'm feeling drained! It has been a very busy week. I have a feeling the next four weeks are going to be just as busy! There are so many fun things that happen at the end of the year. I can't wait for our field trip and field day. Yeah!
A few posts ago, I talked about how I took tadpoles to my classroom, so we could watch them grow into frogs. Then, I talked about how they all died. So sad! Well, I went ahead and finished teaching about frogs. 
We started our learning with the famous KWL Chart. I think my little kiddos had a few great questions. We were supposed to fill out the 'L' part today, but I took the day off to go on a field trip with my 3rd grade daughter. That will have to be done next week. 

We also filled out a Frogs: Can-Have-Are Chart. I don't make the neatest anchor charts, but they work for our learning. :) The big books below are a couple of the books I inherited when I moved into my classroom. We read those, and they have some really great pictures in them. Kids love the nonfiction text! There were a lot of Oohhhs, Ahhhs and even some Eewwws over the pictures!

After reading and talking about frogs, you know writing comes next. All of my students are on different writing levels, but I am so proud of how far they've all come. Some of my children weren't able to write one word in their journals on their own at the beginning of the year. Now, my babes can write paragraphs. We may still be working on how to start a sentence with some of them, but there is SO much improvement. Some of my others can write an entire page and stay on topic. 

This is my example of the little frog craft. It is quite simple to put together. I showed my kids that you can make paper and ribbon curl by using their scissors. They thought that was the coolest thing.  

Everything here along with so much more is included in Frogs~A fun Science Unit for little learners. 

Click the links to check it out. 
Teachers pay Teachers
Teachers Notebook

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Ocean Adventure Paintings with a freebie

This has been a long week. My kiddos have been great all year long. Almost all of them have an A in conduct. They're just that sweet. For some reason, they've gone a little coo-coo the past two days. I think they have spring fever. Well, I sprang it on them that we have 5 weeks left of learning! ha 
On top of them being a little coo-coo this week, ALL 10 of our tadpoles died. The kids and I left school on Tuesday, and they were all alive and swimming just fine. We came in Wednesday morning, and ALL 10 were dead. I don't know what happened. FAIL :( It happens...right? 
As if that wasn't enough for the week, when we got home yesterday, we realized that everything in our large stand-up freezer was defrosted. We were able to save a few things, but a lot had to be thrown out. Needless to say, I went to bed at the same time the kids did last night. 

On to better news...
Can I tell you how much I love doing this ocean painting and writing activity? This is the second year I've done it, and it is fabulous. The kids loved it!! After talking about oceans and ocean animals for several days, I had my kids draw ocean animals on a long piece of construction paper that was been folded in half. They drew their pictures with a pencil and then colored them in very very dark with their crayons. Some colored so hard that their crayons broke...oops! Once they were colored in, I had them paint over the ocean scene with watered-down blue paint. Then I had them complete a descriptive writing about their ocean adventure. Once their writing was done, they glued it to the top half of the long construction paper. 

I love how they all turned out so pretty! The darker they color, the more vibrant they turn out. 

You can snag the Ocean Adventure paper for free by clicking on the picture if you'd like to do this activity with your class. 

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tracin' and Eatin' 3D Shapes

Wowzers! We've been so busy in first grade. Of course, I know you all have been. It's crunch time to be sure these babies are ready for second grade. Right now, my biggest fear is that they aren't ready. We've learned so much, but there's so much left to learn/review in these last few weeks. 

We have been working with 3-D shapes. Here, my kiddos are working on building and repeating their shapes. My trick to help them remember that once they built the shapes, they couldn't come apart was to sing "Stuck Like Glue". I'm thankful they don't remind me how horrible my singing is. 

 To make things fun, I headed to the Dollar Tree. You know, that place teachers can afford to shop at. I searched for 3-D shaped snacks. Then, I headed home to make new sheets to match the snacks I was able to find. This was a hit, and I only spent $6 on the candy! That's a win-win in my book!

You can click either picture to snag a free copy if you're able to use it. If so, I hope you enjoy! 

Before I go, I want to direct you to a great giveaway. Kelly from First Grade Fairytale is having her fabulous 400 follower giveaway. 

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Ouch! We wore band-aids all day!

Last week and this week, we have been working on the /ow/ as in cow and /ou/ as in ouch sounds. Fun...huh? Yes, I think so! 
This morning, I got out some band-aids and wrote 'ou' on all of them.  Since we focused on the /ow/ sound last week and quickly talked about the /ou/ sound, my kiddos knew exactly what to expect today, and they read the /ou/ words like super stars! Wearing the band-aids were just a fun little touch to our learing. 

Can I say that the Color Run was Fan-tas-tic!!!! It was so much fun. Partly because I was in great company.

This was me before. I'm all nice and clean!

 This is me after. I was very colorful! Can you see the excitement on my face?!!

 This is my best teacher friend. She's the one who talked me into doing the Color Run! I'm so glad I let her talk me into it. 

This is the whole group of "Dashing Darling's".

The colorful socks made it even better. My best teacher friend and I have on the wild zebra socks. 
We definitely want to do it again!

There are some amazing giveaways going on by some of the sweetest bloggers I've "met". Click on the pictures to check each one out. 

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Real Live Tadpoles

On Easter weekend, I talked about our trip to the pond after the egg hunt. My girls were scooping tadpoles out of the pond. See that post {here}. Well, I had a bright idea to bring them to school. It's a win-win at school. My school kids and my own kids get to watch them grow. My kids even took them to their classrooms to show. They were so excited to share them. So far, they are all still alive, so we have 10 little tadpoles. Every time we leave and reenter the classroom, my kiddos are checking them out. Real Science people! We are all loving it. :)
Along with working on insects, this is what we started this week. It's our KWL for frogs. My kiddos had great questions about frogs. Those babies can ask good questions even if they forget to put a question mark on the end! They know they are asking a question, but most of them put a period anyway. Is there a magical way to get them to break that habit??!!
I created a Frog Life Cycle pack to help us learn. Of course, I haven't gotten it "TpT ready" yet. Maybe one day. 

Have you seen the FAN-TAB-U-LOUS giveaway from the amazing Khrys at Keepin' It Kool In Kinderland? If you haven't, you definitely want to click the picture and go enter. I'm so proud to be part of her giveaway. 

There is still time to enter the fabulous giveaway from Sara at Polka Dot Kinders. I love that I get to be part of this giveaway, too! Hurry before the time is up.

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