Category Archives: DonorsChoose.org
I’ve purchased several (okay 9) of the Interactive Whiteboard CD’s they sell at Lakeshore. Here is one of them in use:
This is the Interactive Alphabet. The children tap on the letter or picture on the right side and then tap where they think it belongs on the right. The claw arm then picks it up and drops in in the column where they tapped. If it’s correct they get a message on the screen, but if it’s incorrect, the picture explodes and returns to the right side for the child to try again. After about two lessons on how to use it, my kiddos picked it up and can run the entire program by themselves. They love playing this game and sometimes we will play as a whole group, but I also use it as a Work Station. I really like this program because the kids have to listen to the sound or picture name when they tap the picture. It gives them a chance to hear the sound the letter makes and then they have to use the knowledge they have about the letter to place it correctly. I do have some kiddos who put the letter in the wrong column on purpose, but that seems to be happening less and less as the novelty of doing that wears off.
We are lucky to have a new Lakeshore store here, but if you don’t, you can get them online–or you could write a DonorsChoose.org grant and get them for your classroom! 🙂
It’s been a crazy week! I’m talking about my week that has now spanned from Tuesday to almost Tuesday. Last Tuesday, I went to school not feeling so hot. I went to talk to my principal and she said that I didn’t look so good and pretty much sent me home. She made me promise that I would visit the doctor for some meds before getting on the plane to San Francisco! That’s right San Francisco, where I was attending NSTA 2011. The plane ride wasn’t so helpful for my cold…I used a box and a half of kleenex on the way to San Francisco. We arrive around 9:30 pm their time and walked right past our hotel four times because it was being remodeled and we couldn’t find it. By then it was 1:00 am midwest time and we were EXHAUSTED!! Thursday, I was able to attend a full day of workshops and got some really great ideas! I’ll be sharing them in the next few months as I use them in my classroom. Thursday night, I got the thrill of a lifetime…we were invited to a VIP Reception through the Discovery Channel/Education people and got to meet….drumroll please….
I was so beside myself with excitement, that I eeked out a “HI!” and a “Thank You!” and that’s all I could come up with to say! That’s my hubby behind me…I took him along because he has family in California and thought he might get to see them while we were there.
Friday, I got some more workshops in and then that darned earthquake happened in Japan, so we were on Tsunami Watch 2011. I FREAKED! I was there and didn’t know where higher ground might be, so I did the next best thing….started shopping for tickets to Vegas for the day–you know to get further inland. After talking with my friends who were with us, I calmed down and we decided to stay put…good choice as nothing happened!
Friday afternoon, we toured the San Fran area by tour bus and then had dinner with the Science Companion President and some of her right and left hands. Saturday morning, I presented along with my friends Amy and Steve and we spoke about incorporating children’s literature into science or the other way around, incorporating science into children’s literature. I jumped on two planes after that to head home and was met with daylight savings time that put us not three hours back, but four!! Talk about jet lag!
I slept until noon on Sunday–I never do that and am slowly getting back into the normal routine! Whatever that is!
Today (Monday), I had the opportunity to attend the ISRA (Indiana State Reading Association) Conference. I got to meet a very special person (one who happens to read my blog…) maybe you know her??
Debbie Diller!! These have got to be my four most favorite books ever written!! I use them all the time. Debbie was kind enough to come over and through conversation, we figured out that she knew me because of this blog! Hi Debbie! 🙂
Her presentation was wonderful and I got lots of new ideas from the two sessions I was able to attend.
I ran right to the exhibit hall and purchased a copy of her new book Math Work Stations and am already half way through it! 🙂
So, it’s been the thrill of a lifetime for me to meet the MYTHBUSTERS and my idol Debbie Diller all in one week! Be still my heart! I don’t know how much more excitement I can take!
Tomorrow, it’s back to school for a few more weeks, then Spring Break! 🙂
I’m linking Debbie’s wordpress blog here and in the blogroll on the right, be sure to check it out and her new puppy Atlas too! 🙂
P.S. I’ve got a new Donor’s Choose.org grant posted…check it out if you’re able to help! 🙂 (I’m in Indiana) It’s for an iPad for our classroom so we can do some wireless teaching and learning! 🙂
We are fortunate enough to have another one of our grants funded through DonorsChoose.org! This grant was mainly to get a new copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear for our classroom because we had one OLD copy that we were sharing among four classrooms! Here are some pictures of the other things we received within that grant:
We also got these cool color tubes. Each tube has two colors in it and when you shake them, the colors mix to make another color.
I saw this can in the Lakeshore catalog and decided it went along with Brown Bear because of the color activities inside. This can stays in our Science Work Station and the children can mix colors using color paddles, use the flashlight and shine it in the mirrors or thru the color paddles, or they can try one of the simple experiments included on the task cards.
This is a sight word game that we have been using during Work with the Teacher time (within Literacy Work Station time). The children can repeat the simple sentence structures in Brown Bear and manipulate the words and animals on the tiles that are included. I’ll eventually put this out at Work/ABC Work Station so that the children can complete it independently.
Here are some more new pictures from my classroom:
Our Meal worms…
Meal worms are really easy to keep and you get to watch the life cycle happen over and over again. I just put corn meal in the bottom and some apple slices and carrots. You also will need to add some water in a dish that the meal worms cannot get in to keep the humidity up.
I got the 2 tanks, lids, a gram scale (for weighing the meal worms), 2 microscopes, and a hand held microscope from a Donors Choose grant in May.
Here are some new pictures of my Literacy Work Stations.
This is the ABC/Word Work Station.
Right now, we have letter cards on a ring in the bag with Wikki Stix. The children make the letters with the Wikki Stix.
The children also have the opportunity to put Wikki Stix on each others names at the ABC/Word Work Station. These are laminated.
Here is our Listening Station. The black and white bags hold the books and CD. The headphones are stored in a cleaning tote. I am using the head headphones from my non-working leap pads.
I also have several books and their CD’s available on the ledge just above the books. I try to put the newest titles on the ledge and the older ones in the bags.
The is our Pocket Chart Station. Last year, I used a full size chart, but this year, I decided to make it more kid-sized and used these pocket charts from the Dollar Spot at Target.
I took all of my kids pictures and glued them on sentence strips next to their names and then laminated them. The children sort the names by “Boy/Girl” or Alphabetical order. I’ve also added a poem about Pets (you can find it in the Interactive Charts Book that goes along with Building Blocks).
This is my Drama Work Station with the Chicka Chicka Tree in the top bag. Two other bags also now hold the drama props for Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Mouse Paint (I got them all through a Donors Choose grant).
A look inside the Chicka Chicka Bag. There is the large tree, the velcro letters, and an copy of the book.
The Brown Bear, Brown Bear bag. The book is missing…! 😉
Overhead Work Station
These are the overhead transparencies I made to go along with Brown Bear and Chicka Chicka. The children use the pictures of them I printed on transparency sheets (see two posts ago) and put them in the blanks. They then read the words and then put a new child’s picture in.
I also made some to go along with Cookie’s Week and I’ll post those soon.
Big Book Work Station
I found these cute pointers in the Dollar Spot at Target and we use them for pointing to words in Big Books and for reading the names and words at Pocket Chart Station.
Now for a few random things! 🙂
I got these puzzles at Wal-Mart for $3.00 each. They show the life cycle of a frog and a butterfly. We’ll be using the butterfly puzzle next week, when we learn about Monarchs. I’ll have it in my Science Work Station.
I also found these cute signs in the Target Dollar Spot. They are great for using signals rather than trying to talk over all the children! 🙂 I use them as reminders when we are sitting on the floor. They work really well!
I had a few questions about the kind of hooks I use to hang all the bags up around my room in my Work Stations. Here is a picture of them.
Here’s a close up of them.
I’ll be updating with more pictures in a little while! Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! 😉
I was hard at work at school today arranging my classroom in a new, totally different way. After re-reading Literacy Work Stations, some changes were needed and the most important thing I did today was add a Science Work Station. Can you believe it?? Me, All things Science Girl, did NOT have a proper Science center! Done! I do now!!
Here are some before pictures, what I walked into today. They go from right to left around the room. I was standing in my door way when I took them:
Below is what I was able to get done today:
Here you see my mailboxes (far right) and the kids tables that I moved closer to the carpet. My drama station will be on the closed door next to the blue cabinets. I will hang the drama props in bags that I got from the dollar spot at target. I will put one or two books out with the props in the bags and hang them on the wall with hooks. I think that will help get the props back into the right spots and with the right books. I’ll take pictures once I get that more established. The table that you see will house my “Social Studies Work Station”–still in progress!
This is a better view of where the kids tables are. I have six of them, five rectangles and one circle. I moved my horseshoe table under the television so that I can use it for small groups. I’m starting my grad classes later in August and will need this table for many of my “projects”. My degree will be an M.A.E in Elementary Education with a Reading Focus.
Here is a long shot of the room. It looks so open here! And narrow too! I pushed the tables all over to the right side and saved the left side for our whole group area, writing, computer, science, library, and listening work stations.
In the very front of this picture you can see my sand table (piled high with big books because the tub I had them in busted into 12 pieces when I moved it off the table). You also see the back of a tall and short bookcase which serves as a wall to my library work station. It used to be back in the corner by the window you see.
Here is another look at part of the library. The books you see in magazine holders are my read aloud collection that I sorted out last year. I wrote a grant to get the bookshelf and the magazine holders in January.
This is another look at my new library work station.
And another view. I will be putting black baskets on a few of the shelves and after I label the books, they will go in the baskets. I’ll do that tomorrow.
This is a picture of the backside of the library work station. The back of the book shelf you see (smooth, brown) will have small pocket charts hanging from it for the Word Study Work Station. You can also see the blue, red, and green shelves that house my baggie book collection.
The table you see to the right is my new Writing Work Station. I used to have a writing desk there with cubbies, but decided I needed to create one to suit my needs. I’ll be making a table skirt for both of these tables and my science table with fabric I got at Wal-Mart (5 yards for 5 bucks). I spent $20 and got 20 yards of fabric that will be more than enough to cover all three tables.
Here is another look at the Writing Work Station.
This is a shelf that holds more materials for the Writing Work Station.
This is a picture of our large group space.
Calendar area–still unfinished! I can’t bring myself to put up August yet! 😉
This is my new Science area. Looking un-finished still, but I need to figure out what to put here first! I’m going to make a skirt for this table as well.
Here is my small group teaching area, covered in all the back to school goodness of paper work and binders!
Here is another view of the room from the opposite end of the door.
One last view. I’m going back in tomorrow to work on it some more, but this will be the basic layout this year.
We’re enjoying our Spring Break so far and this year, it’s truly going to be Spring like weather!! 🙂 80’s by Friday! 🙂
I don’t have much in the way of new things to share with you, I’ve been working on making some new cards in my free vacation time and you can check them out here. If you’re interested in purchasing any of them or becoming a Stampin Up! demonstrator and earn some easy extra money…shoot me an e-mail and let me know, or if you would like to purchase some of your own materials or a kit with pre-cut materials, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!!
Today we took a trip to the zoo and saw the most adorable baby goats…they were born yesterday (March 29th). Two mommies gave birth and they each had 1 girl and 2 boys, so triplets for both!
I think I need a Meerkat as a pet!! 🙂
Dog Sharks you can pet in the tank…not for me! 🙂
I received some more books from the last grant I posted on DonorsChoose.org: