Thursday, June 8, 2017

OTC Presents: Learn365 for STEM Lovers Like You and Me!!!

Happy Summer Friends!!!!
Now that I am officially on summer break, I have made it a point to do some reflection on how my year went overall.  What did the kids LOVE?  Was there anything I can change and do better next year?
One thing that was a HUGE HIT this year with my first graders was our Explore Tubs.  These tubs would be open to students after their Reader's or Writer's Workshop commitments were completed each day.  Our Explore Tubs have a mix of STEM related materials inside that I have purchased over the last two years.  For a trial basis this year, the tubs were simply stacked under our focus wall.

 The tubs contained many building materials, 
Legos, matchbox cars and even army guys!

 The board games provided problem-solving and strategy-learning for students as well as being able to follow rules and taking turns. 

I bought a ton of block sets because this was a huge favorite with students!
 It was so exciting to watch their imaginations come to life building tall sky-scrapers, castles, towns, you name it!

After the 100th day of school, we voted to keep the cups available for additional building materials!
Not very pretty,
 but the kids kept them organized like this:
 The ceiling is the limit!!!!! :)

 Games like Mastermind and BrainFreeze really take critical thinking skills to the next level!!!

I am so happy to report that my friends over at Oriental Trading have reached out and shared some new STEM materials that I am so anxious to add at the start of the new school year!

Learning Resources® Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin' Monkeys™ Building Set

 Let your imagination run WILD with this!!!
 Dive into Shapes will be fabulous for hands-on Geometry practice too!
Now if you are like me and want to shop around for new and exciting STEM activities to try in your own classroom, click on this link:

Our friends over at Oriental Trading have a new shopping experience called  LEARN 365 with tons of great teaching materials for a very affordable price!

Now how will I be spending the rest of my summer?
Moving Classrooms!
That's right folks....I had the opportunity to finally move into a bigger classroom and I am beyond thrilled to see how I can create my ultimate "dream classroom!"  So stay tuned!  I will take a ton of pics to share this exciting journey with you!

Disclaimer: This post may contain sponsored content, affiliate links or review products. Regardless of this, these are 100% my own opinions.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Inspired by this lesson on Perseverance!

Happy 3 day weekend friends!  This was a milestone week for me.  I reached a very important personal goal on my teacher evaluation. Many believe it is unreachable feat, but I am the stubbornest teacher on the planet and that gave me the fuel and fire I needed to persevere. It worked!  And I feel proud and honored to be recognized for my hard work!
(very happy teacher below!!!)
Of course, we need to model that hard work and dedication to our students each and every day.  Light-bulb!!! Let's take this teachable moment and expand upon the topic of perseverance!

My incredibly-talented teaching friend, Tara West, shared a video on Perseverance that she demonstrated for her kinders.
At that moment of watching her video, back in August, I knew, without a doubt, I would find the perfect lead-in to use this lesson with my first graders.
Well here it is.  Thursday, February 16, 2017.
This week we adored Valentine's Day! Definitely feeling the Love, Friendship, Kindness, and how kids can use their passion to change the world.
It was the perfect trifecta!
I grabbed the iPad, hit record, and here it is!
Room 102's lesson on Perseverance!
What do you think?
I am still very "green" at videoing myself but the teaching message outweighed my nervous-nellies.
Never give up.
Always persevere.
They got it!

We then made a ton of great connections to our Reading topic this week~

The kids were so compassionate and responsive to making connections with Ayanna's sit-in" being an example of Perseverance! 

Then we used my unit on RUBY BRIDGES and are working on making those same "connection bridges" to model how Ruby persevered at school.
click on the image above for more details on the unit!

My heart is full friends.
It was one of those special, special weeks in teaching. Thanks for sharing it with me!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bring on the SWEETNESS from Oriental Trading!

Happy New Year Friends! 
January 2017.
Can you believe it?
This school year is going by with MAJOR lightning speed and before you know it, 
Valentine's Day will be here!
Last year was so hectic, that I missed out on so many sweet deals and great finds for Valentine's Day (insert sad face)....  But not this year!
I have just spent the last 30 minutes shopping over at one of my favorite online teaching stores (#orientaltrading) and WOWZA friends!!!  Do they have an amazing collection of Valentine's crafts, stickers, and classroom decor that will make your dear teacher heart so happy!
Are you just a tiny-bit curious as to what I put in my shopping cart?
OK, maybe just a peek......

It is a must have!  My students loved the fall-themed scratch art so this will be an extra treat on Valentine's Day!

During the days leading up to Valentine's Day, we make cards for parents, family, friends, and teachers!  I thought these self-adhesive foam sticker sets would definitely SPICE UP our card-making skills to a new level of cuteness!

Foam Heart Stickers!

Fabulous Foam Self-Adhesive Love Bug Stickers

Valentine Stamper Assortment

After a HUGE SUCCESS this year adding other holiday-themed stamper sets (from Oriental Trading) to our Word Work and Work on Writing time every day, the kids have been BEGGING for new stampers....  I think I hit the jackpot with this great find!!!

Of course, I couldn't stop there when I saw this pop up on the next page!!!
(I am putting these away until Spring!)

And with all this fabulously-fun stamping going on, I need some stamp pads that will get the job done every day!

Super Giant Tropical Color Stamp Pad Set

How amazing are these tropical colors!!!  My first graders are going to have so much fun this year  creating some super-sweet Valentines 
thanks to my friends at Oriental Trading!
Now I hope that got you motivated to get your Valentine's Day shopping started early this year!

PS: Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading? Visit their coupon page for the latest in sales.


Disclaimer: This post may contain sponsored content, affiliate links or review products. Regardless of this, these are 100% my own opinions.
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