Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday

It is OFFICIALLY Summer Vacation!!!!!!  Now that deserves an "Amen" in itself!  

1. This is the moment I have been waiting for ALL YEAR!  My End of the Year gift to my kiddos... I created a DVD.  And yes, I used your typical song that everyone else probably used on theirs, "You've Got A Friend In Me" from Toy Story.  But I don't care because it's such an awesome song!  The best slideshow to use for these is the scrapbook option that comes on Mac computers.  I love it because it shows several pictures at once, so I can put a TON of pictures in it, without it being too long.  My DVD was only 7 minutes, but every kid was in it at least 15 or so times, probably more than that!  I'm good about taking pictures all year long, so I got everything in there (first day, writers workshop, daily 5, book buddies, field trips, recess, pics with me, us working on projects, us being silly, etc...)  Here was my cover:

2. Here is the End of The Year gift I gave my team.  One of my teammates found this at The First Grade Parade so I decided to take it upon myself to try it out because I am a natural artist wish I were an artist!  (Don't tell my kids I'm not because I lie to them and tell them I's the only time it's ok to lie!)  It was very cheap!  The pots were $1.29 each and the paints were $0.69 each.  

3. My End of the Year Gift to my room mom was similar to the one I gave my team.  Kecia found Cara Carroll's pots, so we decided we would paint our Room Moms each a pot. Maria is extremely artistic, so she helped make she fancy designs around the letters. (After doing this I decided to make them each one, the ones I showed above.)  Here are a few of our pots.  

4. This little gem was found after my kiddos left school for the summer.. apparently a survery went around finding out which name they liked better, "Kaite" or "Svetina".  Notice the "ai" in my name... I like to think it's because she remembered that long can be spelled "ai".  I feel a little responsible! :)

5)This made me laugh....

  Happy Summer! :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Independent Research

Yes, it's me again!  I am still alive, believe it or not.  This week I had one of those "Aha!" moments.  The kind where your lesson went so well that you can't believe you haven't been doing this ALL YEAR! I was really excited about how this turned out!

We have been doing individual research projects.  Have you ever heard of Pebblego?    Anyways, with Open House coming up, we decided that each 1st Grade classroom would research a differnt habitat and display our for our parents.  As soon as I heard that, I jumped all over the rainforest.  Not only is it my favorite habitat, but there are so many cool things you can do with it!  Who wouldn't be excited to decorate their hallway with all those cool animals?  

Jessica, one of my teammates, found this amazing Sticky Note Research template.  She also introduced me to Pebblego.  We took an ENTIRE day on laptops researching our own animals.  This was like heaven for my kids!  There were huge gasps when they found out we were going to be on the computer ALL DAY! Lucky us, the rainforest has EVERYTHING!  It has insects, gorillas, birds, wildcats, poison dart frogs, etc.. Once they picked their animal, they used the sticky note template and found all their answers.  Its designed for K-2 so it was at their reading level.  

Once they finished their research, they wrote it into a report.  Here is the kicker!  They literally had to copy their sticky notes in order and their writing flowed nicely!  The very first sticky said, "Attention Grabber".  Some of them wrote, "Have you ever been to the Rainforest?  If so, you may know that a _____ lives there!"  Then it led them into describing what it looked like, what it eats, etc...  There stories were AMAZING!   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mothers Day

I know, I know, I'm late again!  I wanted to post about Mothers Day, and was super busy these past couple of weeks so here it is.....LATE!  I hope all of the mommies out there had a FAB Mothers Day!!  I'm so excited about the gift I had my kiddos make and just wanted to share it with other teachers.

If there is one thing out there that ALL moms like...what would it be?  RECIPES!!!  When my sister was in Pre-K, her class made a recipe book for my mom, and my mom STILL has it!  And guess what, SHE STILL USES IT!! Sooooo, (sneaky Ms. Svetina) tricked the parents!  Ok, so they probably knew.  But I'm pretending they didn't.  I sent out a letter with a really cute template my 1st grade teammate and I Maria made asking for their FAVORITE recipe.  EASY!! I made a really cute cover on cardstock and laminated it.  The back cover (also on cardstock) said, "Meet the Illustrator".  I put each child's picture on it and they wrote about themselves.  It was PRESH!  

Once they were in spirals, I had them illustrate each page.  Let me warn you, this takes a little bit of time.  I am a perfectionist, and I wanted each picture to actually look like the product.  I recommend starting the illustrating a week in advance.  Just do like 3 or 4 a day.  I literally was giving art lessons, but they turned out AWESOME!  

I can't include all the recipes because they have names on them, but it turned out awesome!  I'll post a sample of the "Meet the Illustrator" page tomorrow.. Have a great week! :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Five for Frunday..little late!

Ok, it has been a SUPER long time since my last post.  I have been so busy between going out of town, being sick, sub plans, watching the news like crazy.... the list goes on.  I'm going to catch up tonight so I can post new things this week!

1. I have never mentioned this on my blog, but  I actually have two jobs.  I am a teacher, obviously.  But I've also had another job for almost 7 years.  It started out as a summer job during college, but the money was so good, I couldn't give it up!  I drive the beverage cart at the TPC here in North Texas.  One of the perks about working there is I get to meet celebrities!!  There are several that I know because they come often, but others will just come play as they're traveling through.  Last weekend... one of my FAVORITES came out golfing.  Not only do I LOVE his music, but he always gives me backstage passes to his concerts and STAGE seats!  CLAY WALKER!!!  

Me and Clay! :)

2.  The next day (Sunday) I was working a tournament. As I was digging through my cart to get this guy a drink, I hear in a VERY DEEP country voice, "M'am can I have a Diet Coke?"  I look up and guess who it was... TOBY KEITH!!! Of course, I start FREAKING out!   I was like telling myself, "Ok Katie you got this, just start singing Red Solo Cup!" Then I decided I was going to tell him that I used to teach on the air force base next to the town he lives in.  Well, I came to the realization that... HE DOESN'T CARE!  How awkward would that have been if I'm like spilling the beans about my life and he just walks away in the middle of my rant! That probably would have happened. Thankfully, I just pretended to not know who he was! Just for the record, I KNEW WHO YOU WERE TOBY!!

3.  I wrote a couple weeks ago that I was going to Billy Currington and I promised to post a photo.  Although I didn't get a picture with him .. here is the one I do have!  It's fuzzy but he puts on a DANG good concert!! 

4.  I just got back from DISNEY WORLD!!!  We took my nephew on a surprise trip for his 4th birthday!  It was so much fun!  We met everyone from Captain America, to Pooh, to Patrick from Spongebob.  What a perfect birthday! 

5.  The Boston Masacre has weighed heavily on me this week, as I'm sure it did every other American.  All I can really say is that we need to pray for the families involved.  Not just the families of the victims, but anyone who was there.  That was a traumatizing experience..very sad.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Nonfiction Research Writing

In ELA this week, our focus is on research.  If you have read some of my previous blogs, I am really into Writer's Workshop lately.  This was really exciting for me because not only am I conducting a research project with my kiddos, but it helps them when they want to create nonfiction stories.  

I started the unit by letting them know we were going to create a nonfiction book as a class.  In order to write a nonfiction story, we need to learn how writers go about doing so.  I told them they first have to figure out what they want to write about!  (I always tell them, a huge thing for writer's is that they need to be interested in what they are writing, or it will just turn out to be boring!)

I made an anchor chart for the steps in the writing process.  It read: Choose a Topic, Thinking Map, Research, Write Story, Table of Contents, and Glossary.  Once we completed a task, we crossed it off the list.  

Step 1:  Choose a Topic (here are the topics my friends picked)

We voted on Dolphins!

Step 2: Thinking Map- I asked them what important information we wanted to find out about dolphins for our nonfiction book.  

Step 3: Research-We read several dolphin books and watched a video about dolphins... every time we learned a fact that we wanted to know, we wrote it on our thinking map in blue.

Step 4:Write/Illustrate 

Step: 5-Table of Contents
I spread out all of our pages and had my students rearrange them in a logical order.  Once we did that, we numbered our pages and created our Table of Contents.

Step 6: Glossary- We went through and found all of our underlined words and defined them.  

Tomorrow, we are creating the back cover to be "About the Authors".  Then I will cut the top and laminate the book.  I figure since I can't put their pictures on my blog, I might as well go ahead and post this without that page.

Next week, they are doing individual research with a partner!  I am so excited, I'll post some samples! 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!!

I need to call this link party week!  Today, I am linking up with Latoya at Flying into First for her linky party!  This week, we are linking up for her favorites survey.

Favorite place to shop

I have several places I'm addicted to, but my all time favorite store besides Nordstrom is Cotton Island.  Ugh just saying those words make my heart start racing!

Favorite T.V. Show

I LOVE THE VOICE!!! Secretly I want to be on the voice.. I have seriously been contemplating going on the show, but then reality sets in and I remember that I am the only one that enjoys my singing.  (Except for my students of course, but they only enjoy it because I TELL them that I'm good..yikes)
Every time we sing in class I remind them that we are practicing for our auditions on the Voice and American Idol.  It works.  They think I'm great!

Favorite Sweet Treat

Chili's Molten Chocolate Cake!  Please go try this right now.  I'm serious, you will not be disappointed! 

Favorite Food

Brisket Tacos! Holy Guacamole....delish!!!  I dated this guy last summer who introduced me to the BEST brisket tacos on this planet.  He's a foody, and I promise you he took me on like this tour of Dallas. If you live here, e-mail me and I can tell you where to go!  It's ridiculous how many local places have insanely good brisket tacos.  

Favorite Restaurant 

Any Hibachi restaurant.  TO. DIE. FOR. 

Oh, and of course, Happy Easter!!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mentor Texts Linky Party

Two in one week....Go me!! 

I am linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their mentor text linky party!  I am excited about this because I LOVE BOOKS!  I have THOUSANDS and I'm a new teacher... I'm scared for my future classroom actually!  Fear that I won't be able to fit my actual students in my room! SOrry kids, your teacher is a HOARDER!  You will see me on hoarders someday, books just piled everywhere and then I have to go do interventions! (There are pictures of my classroom on my blog and you will see I'm actually very organized...I'm talking about the FUTURE if I continue buying like I do!)

Anyway, this is their first time doing this linky party so I hope everyone will go check it out and join in because I think it will be really cool!  Getting new ideas for books you may already have! 

So many books...which one to choose....hmmmm.. drumroll please.....

This is an AWESOME book!  It's about a girl that is writing a story for a contest, so she wants to make it THE BEST!  She gets advice from family members and they convince her to change her story a little bit.  One person says the best stories have humor, so she changes her story to make it funny.  Then someone tells her the best stories have romance.  So she changes her story and puts a wedding in it.  Then someone tells her the best stories have action.. so she changes it again.  In the end, her mother convinces her that the best stories are the ones that come from YOUR heart...not someone else's.  

It's great! When I use this book, there are actually multiple reasons behind it.  First of all, I use it for writer's workshop.  When I'm done reading, they cannot wait to go create their own story! My biggest thing in Writer's Workshop is allowing them to create whatever they want.  I don't ever give them topics.  It helps to show them that they have to love what they are writing about...and if they don't they probably should choose another topic.   I also use it for multiple perspectives.  If you use depth and complexity in your classroom, you can aways pull out the multiple perspectives icon and have your students write the different perspectives on what makes the "best" stories. 

Have a great weekend!