Saturday, June 28, 2014

O' Canada!

School's out for summer!
We officially finished school yesterday and you might be wondering "why is she awake so early on a Saturday morning of summer break?"
I know, I guess my internal clock isn't ready to change yet, and also my two little ones here at home are up bright and early!
In honour of this Canada Day long weekend, I wanted to share some great products out there, in case you are teaching summer school next week or perhaps you will be doing a focus on Canada next school year.
Click on each picture to take you to the item(s).
I have included a mini booklet all about Canada as well as a Write the Room Literacy Centre.
Here's a great product for anyone who teaches Grade 3 by Tina's Teaching Treasures that focuses on Canada's earliest communities.
This fabulous bundle has everything you need to teach geography and money by The Third Grade Zoo!
If you are looking for something on Canadian elections, Mrs. Beattie's Classroom has a wonderful resource!  It's even ready-to-use on a SMART board!
My good friend, Jennifer Runde from Runde's Room, has this amazing Lapbook Project available, focusing on Canada's provinces and territories.
I'm always looking for Canadian money's a great one by Emmy Mac Shop.
Another great money resource with QR codes by Secondgradealicious.
This product is packed with everything you need to teach a primary social studies unit on Canada by Grade One Snapshots.
If you are an intermediate teacher (grade 7-8), you might want to check out this resource which highlights government and citizenship by Coach's Corner.
It's always great to plan ahead and this is a fabulous product to use when we discuss Remembrance Day in November by Diamond Mom.
We celebrate Canada's National Flag in February - here's a fun resource for you by
Mrs Mathis Homeroom.
Your students can learn all about explorers to Canada with this activity created by Diana Bailey.
This next activity targets map skills by Addie Williams.
Playing games is so much fun...why not have your students play this fun money matching game while learning too, by Hanging Around in Primary.
Here's a great Canadian emergent reader by Reading with Mrs D.
Lots and lots of fabulous activities to help you celebrate our beautiful country, Canada!
Happy Canada Day everyone!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Final Countdown to SUMMER!

I am literally singing the song "The Final Countdown" everyday (it's stuck in my head!)  because, yes, in just 3 short days my summer holidays will officially begin!
I am so looking forward to that!
It's been a fabulous year and I am so sad to say good-bye to my Senior Kindergarten students but, at the same time, I just love summer!
All of my students have grown and matured so much this year.
The Junior Kindergarten students will be in my class next year again for SK and I am looking forward to them being the leaders in the classroom for the little ones coming in. do we keep busy during the last week of school?
(I made this "drying rack" using a large branch and fishing wire with clothespins attached to the bottom for the students to hang their work above the Creative Table.)
By painting, of course!
Who doesn't love watercolours?!?!
We have also been experimenting with using natural materials (such as these translucent beads) on mirrors.
The children have also been creating with these small coloured tiles to make different patterns and pictures.
Next year, my goal is to use more found materials throughout the classroom.
My DECE and I decided to fill the sensory bin with lots and lots of soapy water and then we added yellow and blue food the children had a great time mixing the colours to make green!
Our creations using blocks are still going strong...this is a "project" that the students have been working on for over 2 weeks!
See the sign "Please STOP! We are still thinking..." -> it's not ready to be put away just yet!
(Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post all about preserving our work with a FREEBIE!)
Our Hot Wheels Inquiry is still going very strong...the students continue to experiment with the tracks by creating ramps, tunnels and targets.
And, of course, we have all been having so much fun taking turns and playing games with each other.
It's not about winning or losing, it's about having a good time!
What a great way to end a fabulous school year!
Happy {almost} summer everyone!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

All About Butterflies!

A couple of weeks ago, we got a delivery....and the children were excited to see what could be inside!
We read the box for clues and brainstormed what it could be.
Once we discovered that there was larva inside (or very small caterpillars) we were so excited!
We read about what they needed for a home, how they would grow, what they eat and when they would be ready to make a chrysalis.
The tiny caterpillars quickly grew in their new homes.  The children drew and wrote about our new friends.
We watched them transform and build a chrysalis in their plastic cups.
We built a butterfly pavilion (this idea is from my good friend, Tanya Solano) and now we were just waiting for our friends to complete their chrysalis' and move them into the pavilion.
We waited and watched our pavilion closely for over a week and a half, documenting and recording any changes we saw daily, until the other day, during the lunch block, we spotted our first butterfly!
Later on in the day, we saw 2 more emerge and the next day they were all nearly flying around!

We sliced some oranges for them because we learned that butterflies like sweet things and use their feet to taste!

The children loved drawing, painting and writing about butterflies.
The above images show how we can use our creativity and talent to show just how beautiful butterflies really are!
We decided to release our butterflies today so we went out to our yard and formed a circle.  We all made a wish as we opened the mesh.
My Educational Assistant, Ms. Katz, helped me as we watched them fly!
Everyone was amazed and surprised to watch them fly away!
We had an amazing experience watching the transformation of these creatures and they will truly be missed in our classroom!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Father's Day FREEBIE!

It's almost Father's Day!!!
Before you continue reading this post, YES...we are STILL in school....for 11 more days!
I know, hang in there, right?  We are trying!
With Father's Day just around the corner, we decided to make something new and fun this year.
My teaching partner, Mrs. Visconti, made BBQ sauce in the past years with her students.  This year we decided to try a spice rub instead and were the kids every excited to make it!
Mrs. Visconti is such a creative teacher!  I love all of her ideas!
This morning, I brought in a new cookbook I recently got and showed the students all the wonderful recipes and pictures that were inside. 
We talked a lot about ingredients, which tied in nicely with list making (something a lot of students love to do!), and how to follow instructions in order for a recipe to come out the way it's supposed to.
I passed around small jars filled with various spices that we would be using and had the students guess what they could be.  They also described how each one smelled and which was their favourite.
The spices we used were pepper, salt, chili flakes, paprika, onion flakes, and garlic flakes.
We recorded all of the ingredients on a chart and discussed how we were planning to make our spice rub.
When the children came over to the table, the discussion focused around how much of one spice to use because they liked it, and how full our jars should be.
Then they got to work!  With the guidance of our ECE, the children measured, scooped and counted the number of scoops they put in the large bowl.  They mixed everything up.  Then they estimated and counted how many scoops it took to fill their jar.
Once everyone had a turn mixing and filling their jar, we gathered back on the carpet and recorded the steps we took to make the spice rub so that we could deliver it to Mrs. Visconti's class who would be doing it next.
The other day we took the students' pictures wearing a white chef hat and striped apron holding a wooden spoon.  Didn't these gifts come out adorable?!?!
On the back of the container we added the ingredients.  If you are still in school too and would like to create this for Father's Day with your class, you can click on the above picture for your FREE download.  All you need to do is take your students' pictures!
Happy Father's Day!