Thursday, March 26, 2015

TONS of Resources for Launching Writing Workshop (PLUS Narrative, Informational, & Opinion Resources)

I took a course this year that had me implementing Lucy Calkins' Writing Units of Study.  For my end of year project, I made some Pinterest boards to help others find all kinds of resources for each of the units AND for launching a Writing Workshop in their own classroom all in one place.  I love the visuals for the resources that Pinterest provides and it is SO easy to find whatever you might be looking for! 

I figured I would share with you in case your school is dabbling in Lucy Calkins' Writing Program or if you, yourself are interested in finding out more information about it. The resources I have pinned are also general enough that they'd help anyone in the primary grade levels teaching narrative, opinion and/or informational writing, not only teachers following the Units of Study.  Just click on the pictures and you will be brought directly to my Pinterest page.  Of course, you will have to follow me in order to follow those boards and if you haven't been introduced to Pinterest yet, today is your day.  Seriously, it is my GO TO search tool for anything to do with school.  It is the best of the best stuff on the web with pictures to guide you (and entice you!)....I am such a visual person, that my searches via Pinterest are always so much more successful and fun than any other search engine!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Last Minute Pictures of Lucky's Visit (It's not too late for you to do it either!) With a Follow Up Freebie

I am home under doctor's orders, so I had to postpone St. Patrick's Day celebration with my students. Yes, I feel badly...but not quite as bad as I would feel if I couldn't be there to see their faces when Lucky's magic is, who in their right mind would put a substitute through that (not if you ever wanted them to come back, that's for sure!)??
I left some gold coins and Rolos for them, along with a letter that explains the delay,  so that should suffice-- don't you think???
I am resting, just as the doctor ordered (but, do doctors understand that teacher bloggers truly never rest??? shhh...don't tell), but I am resting making some pictures that might help you get through your St. Patrick's Day activities....remember, we teachers celebrate things all week (month?) long, so it is never too late to bring this magic to your classroom, too.
Be creative, it could be simply, Lucky was so busy this year visiting classrooms,
he saved the best class for last!  Sounds feasible, right???  They'll buy into it, especially if it involves magic and treats for sure!

I am literally chomping at the bit to do these Magical Leprechaun Rocks that I found on Gift of Curiosity's blog (click on link for more specific directions, it's soooo easy!).  You simply mix green tinted water (I used paint because I didn't have food coloring!) with a box of baking soda so that it is moldable but not too wet (start with a 1/4 of a cup of green water, but add until it is no longer dry and moldable like moon sand).  I just put a ball of it around a gold coin and flattened it, then added a little more as necessary so it looks like a green rock (with gold dust on the top of course!).  I made 21 decent sized "rocks" out of one box.  Let them sit overnight and they should be ready to go the next morning!
Grab a bottle of Lucky's Magical Solution at the grocery store (ahem....vinegar!), replace the label with "Lucky's Magical Solution" label that looks quite authentic if I do say myself, UPC code and all! He he!  Hang up the 12 shamrocks with a number and a word on it around your room to reveal a very special message from Lucky which is basically directions on what to do with their rocks and the solution he left them.  Watch the students bubble with excitement at they place their rock in the vinegar and it bubbles and fizzes to reveal a gold coin!!!!   I honestly cannot wait to see their you honestly think they will EVER forget this moment???  Magic rocks from Lucky that turn into gold coins!  Luckiest students EVER!
The below message is also included in my kit so that you can do the message around the room even if you don't do the magic rocks.  It is great for the vocab word LUCKY...ask your students what it means...they KNOW, but their explanations are always pretty funny!
 And, of course the hats!  Just a reminder to practice on non-student cups beforehand to find out what your oven's temp range is....there are many ways for the cups to turn out, as evidenced by the picture below.  Too hot makes them shrivel with a turned up brim and EXTRA tiny (still super cute though!), too cool makes the cups just turn into, well, miniature cups and JUST RIGHT temp and time will turn them into perfect little leprechaun hats.  But, the truth of the matter is, the kids never care what the hats look like, they are always perfect to them no matter which variation they turn into!
 Don't forget to deliver and read Lucky's note to them about shrinking their hats.  And some treats under their hats at their table/desk spot in the morning.  I always laminate their little souvenir poems and let them use them as book marks in their book boxes...but it depends what they want.  Now, teach them the words FRAGILE and DELICATE because that is exactly what these darling hats are!
Now, it's time to write friendly letters to Lucky....asking questions becomes a very easy task for students after they've experienced all of this magic from him on this day!
Click on the pic below for my organized shopping/copying and prepping list for these activities....You know MMMB is all about EASY SCHMEASY pudding pie!
and also grab this freebie for the science aspect of the project....students draw what cups looked like before and after Lucky's could also have your students creatively or higher orderly thinking of HOW Lucky could've possibly done this to their hats and share their responses!  This is REALLY funny because they take it oh so seriously and come up with the cutest ideas or hypotheses.  The product isn't this fuzzy either, I promise!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I Made Your Shopping/Printing/Prepping Lists for You to Prep for a Magical St. Patrick's Day FREE
Right click on this picture and save it to your phone lists right at your fingertips!  Or, click on the picture to download the PDF to your computer to print if you want the list in your purse or on your computer.

Alright, I did it. I did it for me, but I fancied it up for you!
If you all are anything like me, thoughts of grandeur can go as quickly as they come when it comes right down to it:
going from blog to blog to researching exactly what you need to buy, what you need to print out and what prepping needs to be done for the great activities you want to do can diminish any of the fun plans you had given a quick thought to!
I have taken all of that out of the equation for you by creating this St. Patrick's Day quick guide for you (and me!).  It lists out exactly what you need for the three magical activities I have listed here (and seen below) to make a memorable day celebrating St. Paddy's Day in the classroom with your students.

Make sure if you are one of the 1000s of readers who have already purchased my Legend of the Shrinking Hats Kit sooner than yesterday (March 10, 2015) you go download the newest version.  I've added some new items to make your day even more fun and magical for your students!


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