Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day!

Our first day of school was today and I have a great group of kids.  It was only a half day, but I am exhausted.  Another half day tomorrow then a full day on Wed.  Whew!  Time to get back in the swing of things (and to Sonic for their $1 large Diet Cokes! Mmmm caffeine!)  Here are a few pics of my classroom.  For the coconut tree, I have some great friends who own a printing shop.  They gave me the end rolls of the vinyl they use.  Then I cut the leaves and had my WONDERFUL (6'5") husband hang them from the ceiling.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today it's my birthday and here is something for you - it's my absolute, all-time favorite playdough recipe. Yes, I know you probably already have one or have seen one like this, but one ingredient seems to make all of the difference. It's pretty much your standard cooked dough recipe, but right before it sets you add 1 tablespoon vanilla. When the dough is done it seems smoother than the other dough recipes I've tried and it smells wonderful.

Play Dough Recipe
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp oil
liquid food color
1 Tbsp vanilla
Mix the dry ingredients. Add water, oil and color. Cook over low heat. When it starts to set add Vanilla. Cook until set. Knead until smooth.

I just loved this picture when I saw it.  This image is from minieco.  The colors are made from natural ingredients.  Her site has some wonderful ideas.  Check it out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's Almost Here!

My birthday that is. OK, really I have hit the age where I no longer count birthdays - I don't really remember them. I forgot my birthday was Friday until my mom called wanting to visit. Oops. Anyway, here is a birthday present to you. When the children in my class have a birthday we make them a picture present book. I give the birthday child a piece of cardstock to decorate and we make a poster of things the birthday child likes: favorite food, favorite movie, favorite color, etc. Then each child gets the paper below. They write the birthday child's name at the top and their own name at the bottom and draw a "Picture Present" for the child in the middle. Then my WONDERFUL assistant Mona (I cannot say that too many times - I am blessed) puts wrapping paper over the picture - like a lift the flap book - and binds the book together. I'm going to my school today, so I will try to find my copy that a class made for me and take a picture. Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy! (I am trying scribd now - let's see if it works)


Friday, August 5, 2011

Take Home Folders

Every day the children in my class have take home folders.  I use frogs for my classroom theme, so our folders are F.R.O.G.S. (Fully Responsible and Growing Students).  This is not original, buy I'm not sure where I got the idea.  Here are the labels I use (2"x4").  This year I have poly folders, so I'm not sure how well the labels will stick.  I will report back.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back to School Ideas

My mind is starting to think about crayons, folders, games, letters, numbers ... it must be back to school time.  Here is one of my favorite links for back to school ideas.
Mrs. Nelson's Class
She has some great ideas for the first day of school.  I use her survival kit during our open house.  I include a laminated picture of me on a little business sized card that says "This is my teacher Mrs. Long."  It helps the kids on the first day remember that I'm that nice lady they met a few days ago.

I also use her classroom management system.  It is similar to the green, yellow, red system except it uses frogs staying on a lily pad.  The kids love it and they work very hard to keep their frog on the lily pad.  At the end of the year I send the magnet home and parents have told me they use it on their refrigerator for behavior management.  Here's a picture from her site.

frog behavior chart
 Here is the link for her classroom management page. Mrs. Nelson Classroom management

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Went to DC last week.  We took our boys to all the usual sights, White House, Captital, Archives and we went to a few unusual sights like the "International Spy Museum" where I picked up this CD.

Music to Spy By® CD

I'm going to use it when we go on a hunt for letters and words in our room.  Can't you just picture a bunch of K's looking for letters to the "Mission Impossible" theme.  I can't wait!

I also got this:

Einstein Talking Bobblehead

I couldn't leave the Smithsonian without it.  I will use it to remind my students how smart they are!