Monday, February 25, 2013

A Cute Tote and Properties of Matter

This sister finally broke down and got a rolling tote. The bag(s) I carry to and from school have been causing my neck and shoulder a lot of grief [not to mention a few other reasons]. So I went on a search and found this really cute rolling tote at Garden Ridge [who would have thought!]. 

Not only is it stylish but it will cut down on my neck problems [fingers crossed]!


Our classes have been studying properties of matter.  We started by talking about our 5 senses.

We also made a 5 senses mystery book.  The students picked any place they wanted and wrote down clues about the place, illustrated a picture, and then wrote the answer on the back of the page.  We decided [since they turned out so stinkin cute] to bind them into a book for parents to look at during conferences.

Our students are really good at telling the difference between solids, liquids, and gases. I like to think it's not only our teaching skills but also the adorable activities that accompany! hehe  We made a flap book and played a sorting game. Both of these activities can be found here.

We also talked a lot about how we can sort different objects. Here you can see two of our cuties sorting hearts.  I set a Smart Board timer for 1 minute and told the partners to sort the hearts.  They thought it was so easy! So I set the time for 1 minute again and told them to sort the hearts a different way.  By the 5th time I told them to sort them a different way they were really challenged to think of yet another way!  Their brains got quite a work out with this activity. 

After they sorted the hearts we made a list, on the Smart Board, of all the different ways. Take a look at the list we came up with...

But by far the favorite lesson was on mixtures. Everyone was asked to bring in a sandwich baggie full of their favorite snack.  We suggested things like pretzels, M&Ms, marshmallows, chocolate chips, peanuts, Chex... We put it all together in a big bowl and made "Trail Mix"ture. 
An educational activity and a yummy snack!

We'd love to hear some of your ideas for teaching properties of matter!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reading's coming FAST!

I can't believe it, but I am so excited that March is just around the corner.  I am excited that March is Reading Month and the kiddos really get into all of the activities that we have planned.  BUT, I am most excited for March because I HATE winter. (pretty pathetic for a Michigan girl :))  Spring and summer are my fave seasons and I can't wait for some warmer weather. 

This year we have created many units for March that will excite your students and make your jobs can you resist that, right?!

First of all, we have a fabulous March Madness unit.  This is sure to get your kids pumped up for the NCAA tourney and also keep 'em learning at the same time. 

March Madness--Basketball Unit {Reading, Math, Writing, Re

We also have some packs that will organize a Reading Month unit for you with little to no work!  Each one also includes a Mystery Reader activity for parents that the kids and parents go wild for. 

Reading Month Made Easy {Pirate Theme}
Reading Month Starter Pack {Space Theme}                                                        Reading Month Starter Pack {Superhero Theme}           

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sub Packs

Sorry about our slight hiatus... The sisters and I are on winter break.
How many of you are on winter break too? 

I know the sisters started their breaks the fun way, skiing and whatnot! However, I spent the first half of my break writing papers for my masters program.  I'm going to end my week up north, snowmobiling!

Here's a view of my winter paradise.

I know we blog about sub packs ALL the time. But, I think we've found our niche.  We might be a little obsessed... but they are fun for us to make.  PLUS, They make days away from school easy breezy. 

We've prepped 9 days away from the classroom!  Each pack is centered around a picture book.  They include reading, writing, and math lessons.  Some include social studies and science however some books don't lend to that.  Check them our at our TPT store.  Once you've got your pack all you have to do is pull out the picture book and make the copies.

I like to keep mine in my sub tub. Each pack is kept in its own ziplock baggie, to keep everything organized.  This way if I'm ever unexpectedly out my sisters know where to find my plans. Quick, easy and worry free!  Our subs have left great feedback about them. You really can't go wrong.

Below are all the packs we offer.    

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8

Look for Where the Wild Things Are in our TPT store soon!

I'm putting the finishing touches on it tonight. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Daily 5 CAFE

Our favorite time of the day is our Daily 5/CAFE block. I'm sure, unless you live under a rock, you're heard of Daily 5/CAFE. What we love about this set up is that we are teaching strategies in a meaningful way.  Our students are able to practice the strategies while engaged in self selected tasks.

Like all of you out there we customize programs to fit our needs.  Our kids are social butterflies... and are also really into writing this year!  So we decided to created a 6th choice, that falls under Work on Writing, called Collaborative Writing.

You might be wondering, what is Collaborative Writing?

Collaborative Writing in a nutshell...
1. Students partner up
2. The partners write on "special" chart paper
3. They have to listen to each others ideas and compromise
4. Both partners have to take turns writing
5. They must help each other to write complete sentences with proper punctuation and capitalization.

Needless to say... It's a HUGE hit.

Grab a copy of our CAFE posters here.

Speaking of cafes, my mom and I were out [doing what we do best] shopping when we discovered a new store/tea bar, Teavana.  Have you heard of this place?   

For all you tea drinkers out there you must visit this store!  

While browsing we tried 5 different hot and iced teas they had brewing right in the store.  What was cool is how they brew the tea because it's bag-less. The loose leaf tea is sold by the ounce [warning: it is a little expensive... but totally worth it].  But what's great is that the employees will make you any flavor you want to try before you purchase it.  


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching.  Our Valentine activities have been underway for the last week and will be in full force this up coming week.  One of our favorite character's is that sassy Junie B. The kids can't get enough of her.  We just finished reading Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime!   We completed a literature study on the book last week (really quick read).  Check out the pages below.


Our Junie B. Jones pack also includes a Solve It! game.  

 And... a Noun, Verb, or Adjective? sort. 

Sister 2 created this cute contractions match up.  You can find it here
On Monday we are going to introduce contractions.  Later in the week we are going to group kids up to play this lovely matching game! 

This upcoming week we are going to be doing the activities from our Very Valentine Pack. We are really looking forward to the Candy Heart Math! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Super Sunday (and Monday) Sale!

Hey everybody!  Who doesn't love a great sale?!  We all sure do.  We've been filling our carts and looking forward to emptying this Sunday with the fabulous 28% off on most TpT stores.  Make sure you enter the code SUPER at checkout! 

BUT, we didn't want to leave any of you football superfans out of the big party, so our Sister Secrets TpT store will be 20% off on Monday, too.

Come get a little retail'll feel better. :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Did you ever have one of them days?

Well... today was my day! The cherry on top came about 3 minutes after pulling out of the school parking lot. Yes, that's right! I got pulled over for speeding in our school's subdivision. You might be wondering... "What was she thinking?"  I wasn't, or maybe I was too busy thinking to even realize how fast I was going before it was too late.  I'm pretty sure ALL [which is probably a HUGE exaggeration] of my students saw and if they didn't ALL see then the one or two that did will tell EVERYONE on Monday. But a teacher can only hope that they will forget before then!  Yeah. Right. Wahhh


Check out this great Pinterest idea. I found some old pant hangers and put them to good use. Now I can see all the poster I have at one quick glance!

Here is an activity from our Perfect Penguin Pack!

Our pack includes informational cards about many different types of penguins.  We printed, laminated, and passed them out to partners.  We also, on a whim, decided to print out extra information about each penguin to help with the research.  The partners then had to fill out the "Penguin Report."  They thought that was really cool because "high schoolers" do reports!  The best part was a lot of them asked for another copy of the report to bring home and do for FUN.      

I'm sure that Tacky is not only a classroom favorite of ours but also yours. Who doesn't love that strange bird!?!  After reading the book, one of my students raised her hand and said, "Wouldn't it be fun to be Tacky's companion?" Which gave me an idea. I whipped up this writing paper [gotta love a printer in the room] and pulled out the scrap paper basket and we each made a companion for Tacky!