Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Super-Awesome week so far...

We are staying busy indoors while it's COLD outdoors!

We started our week by decorating our little classroom tree. It's blue! This photo makes it look like we pulled a charred branch out of the fire pit, but the tree is actually a very pretty shade of blue. (Maybe that pale, snowy light coming from the window messed up the color...???)

We enjoyed listening to this CD that I picked up on our trip to New Mexico. Robert Mirabal is an award-winning flute maker and musician.

We had some interesting discussions based on our "That's Debatable!" questions. This one was, "Trucking companies should have to pay higher taxes because they damage roads and pollute the air."

The kids quickly discovered that situations like these are complex and black/white/right/wrong thinking just doesn't work!

We played a few rounds of Animal Classification Go Fish. (I saved this wonderful felt gift bag from my birthday...I knew it would be perfect for something!)

These cards are yet another awesome Pinterest find. It was fun to hear the kids say, "Hey, I didn't know these animals were related!"

After playing the classification game, we compared reptiles and amphibians.

It's amazing how a few Angry Birds stickers can turn practicing fact families into a "game." I'm thinking of making some kind of bean bag toss for this to add a kinesthetic element.

Speaking of games, pop and potato chips make every game more fun! This is Three-in-a-Row from Lakeshore Learning. The kids found it to be way too easy (I guess they know their division facts better than I realized) so they changed it to "Five-in-a-Row." (And they tried placing their discs on the board tiddlywinks style. Which led to a lot of mayhem and lots of discs all over the classroom floor.)

We practiced spelling with a fun idea from Pinterest. For some reason, I can't find the specific post, but the original idea came from Hello Literacy. Anything to get Dude to practice those spelling words!

Here is my Spelling Stamps tub.

And here are the instructions. Really working on the "put it back after use" rule around here!

We also reviewed how to add -ing to words that end in -e. I had noticed a few errors in the kids' writing and wanted to give them some hands-on practice with this. I just wrote each letter of the word on Post-it Notes. The kids yanked away the -e and slapped down an -ing.

This is our Daily Puzzler box. I found the cute winter box in the dollar section of Target. I'm using Laura Candler's Daily Math Puzzlers for this activity.

The kids pick one and we work them together on the white board. After we solve the problem, the kids get to write "SOLVED" or "BTDT" or something similar in big red letters on the card. So satisfying!

This is our Quiz Bowl. (The polar bear container is from Dollar Tree.) As we move through our week, I'm jotting down questions about what we have learned. On Friday, the kids will pull questions out and answer them.

This is way more fun than an actual test! Plus I can keep the questions in the bowl for as long as necessary, or save them for a review later.

We spotted this garter snake in our flower bed. He was trying to soak up a few rays between snowstorms.

Remember our pale, dinky amaryllis? Just one week of TLC and it's almost 6 inches tall!

Hope you're having a great week, too!


The Adventurer said...

So many great ideas. I am now following you on Pinterest. I just started so unsure how it works exactly but I am pinning a few of your finds later today:) You have snow already? We don't but the kids are praying for it every night:)

Michelle said...

I love all the fun games you guys play. I'm going to check some of those out for sure. I haven't used Pinterest much yet, but I have so many friends that LOVE it.

So fun to see a garter snake this time of year - he looks pretty cozy. And, your amaryllis looks great!

Also, I answered your vegetarian Thanksgiving question as a reply on my blog, but thought I'd post it here too. (Just in case you don't get back to check...)

At Thanksgiving (and many other times during the year) we enjoy the vegan Celebration Roast made by Field Roast. - http://www.fieldroast.com/products/retail/celebration-roast

The vegan gravy by Tofurky is very tasty. We can get both products at our local co-op.

Hope you're having a Merry Holiday Season!

Sparklee said...

Anna-Marie: Pinterest is addictive, so beware! Can't wait to swap and share ideas with you!

Michelle: Thanks for the info. My kids have been "veggies" for over a year now and I'm still learning a new way to cook. Greg and I aren't strictly vegetarians; we do eat some meat. So finding things that we all enjoy is a challenge!

Karen said...

First of all, are you Sparklee on Pinterest? I must find you! I love so many of these ideas. I love the "That's Debatable" board. What a great idea. I also love the classification cards. Going now to check those out. That Felt owl is AWESOME. Keilee would love that. She adores owls. And the Quiz Bowl. Genius.

Love the snake and the snow I can see outside the picture of your tree. I wish we could get some snow. Great post with great ideas!