St. Patrick's Day Mystery- Welcome to the Shamrock Detective Agency!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Welcome to the Shamrock Detective Agency! Our detectives were highly engaged as they solved the Case of the Tricky Leprechaun through math, literacy, science, STEM, art, and more!

Creating the Magic: The students walked into a crime scene where Finnegan O'Malley, the leprechaun, had ransacked the classroom. They had to uncover clues that would hopefully lead them to the capture of that tricky leprechaun.  Our students 
received their detective badges and became part of the Shamrock Detective Agency. The "detectives" immediately began working through different investigations to uncover clues in order to lead them to the tricky leprechaun.  

Building the Excitement: We read several leprechaun books in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, so that the students would be familiar with how mischievous and tricky leprechauns can be.  Our favorite book to read on the day before St. Patrick’s Day is How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace.  It’s the perfect set up for what is going to happen the following day.  We also sent the students home  with a “Breaking News” note for their parents to read to them the day before St. Patrick’s Day
The scene of the crime

"Oodles" of 100's Day Ideas

Sunday, February 4, 2018

If you are still looking for ideas for the 100th day of school, or you're collecting ideas for next year's 100th day, check out this blog post over on the TPT blog.  They have gathered a collection of practical and engaging learning activities and resources sure to make your 100th day of school a day to remember.  

You may even see our two favorite 100th day adventures, Construction Day: Building to 100 and 100th Day of School Mystery: Rescue Zero the Hero, featured. ~wink-wink~  If you want to learn more about either one of these fabulous days, see our blog posts below.

Happy 100th Day!

Hugs, Kisses, and Valentine Wishes

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hugs, Kisses, and Valentine Wishes!

What kind of Valentine's Day party do two chocolate-loving teachers create?  A "Hugs, Kisses, and Valentine Wishes" party  --- of course!

Aren't these shirts adorable?  A mom in our class made them for her daughter and her best friend!  
We tried to steal them to wear ourselves. :)

Before our fun day, we sent out a Remind (an amazing app that texts parents without showing your phone number) asking for a few donations and parent volunteers.  We also had a paper sign-up sheet outside of our classroom door. We only begged asked for a few items:  Hershey's Kisses and Hugs and crescent rolls for the snack and shaving cream and cocoa powder for the chocolate puff paint.  We either already had the other items or bought them ourselves (foil, white glue, white bags, and construction paper).  We were even lucky enough to have a parent offer (well, after we got down on our knees and begged her) to make the chocolate play dough!

100th Day Construction Day- Building to 100

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We are ready for our day!

Welcome to the 10x10 Construction Company!  
Building our way to 100!
We have to start off by saying that much of our inspiration for this room flip (transformation) and all of our room flips come from Kim Bearden (co-founder of The Ron Clark Academy) and Hope and Wade King (educators from the Ron Clark Academy).  They have truly inspired us to find ways to make our teaching full of rich and rigorous content and incredibly engaging.  Our kiddos are always so engrossed in their learning during flip days like this.  
We teach a transitional kindergarten/ kindergarten combo class, so we are always looking for different ways to celebrate special days.  Since we have some of the same students two years in a row, we don't want to repeat any celebrations.  We rotate what we do for 100's day (and other special days) every year so that it isn't a repeat for any of our students.  Last year, we did our 100's Day Mystery and it was one of the BEST. DAYS. EVER!!  We knew that we wanted to try and create something as unique and engaging, so Construction Day was born.  Our "construction workers" spent the 100th day of school building to 100!  This could actually be done anytime of the year to reinforce numbers to 100.

Father's Day- It Only Takes a Minute to Make a Memory!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

We wanted to do something special for our kiddos' daddies (or special person) for Father's Day.  We have done a couple of different things in the past, but none of them were as engaging as our "It Only Takes a Minute to Make a Memory" Father's Day celebration. Just look at those faces!

We set up different "Minute It to Win It" games we found on Pinterest.  We have said this before, but seriously folks what did we do without Pinterest?  We chose games that we thought the dads would have a good time doing.  Some were a little silly,  and we wondered if some of the dads would really do them. BUT, every "dad" did every single one!  It was hilarious and precious all at the same time. 

We kept it super simple, but it was so amazing seeing the kids interact with their special person.  We were lucky and were able to get someone there for almost every student (dads, grandpas, uncles, friends, older brothers).  We had the dads RSVP so we knew ahead of time who would not have someone.  Then, we paired up those kiddos with other dads (we asked ahead of time).  It worked out SO well. There was nothing but happy faces!

My Mom is a STAR!

Saturday, April 22, 2017
The entrance to our classroom!
***Please disregard our submarine door and pier piling posts.
We were in the middle of studying the ocean, and we turned our room into a "submarine!"
Last year, we decided that we wanted to do something a little bit different for Mother's Day.  We have always made sweet presents to send home, but we wanted to make the moms feel extra special. SO...  we rolled out the red carpet and did a special Hollywood-themed Mother's Day!

The first step was to have the kids take home an invitation to give to their mom or other special person (grandmas, aunts, big sisters - we even had one dad) couple of weeks before the event. We wanted to give everyone enough time to make adjustments to their schedules, so they could attend.  We had a couple of moms "adopt" an extra kiddo too.  We made sure every student had a special person with them.


Superhero Training School

Thursday, December 29, 2016
Attention Superhero Trainees!!!

We wanted an engaging way to kick off our school year as we focused on learning classroom procedures and routines. We also wanted a fun way to tie in content such as learning letter names and sounds. What better way than to kick off our year with a Superhero Training School!

At our Meet the Teacher Day which happens before school starts, parents were given a special note with superhero confetti attached to read to their child the night before school. This could also be mailed home, given out to parents, or however your kiddos find out who their teacher is.

Superhero note to students with superhero confetti 

Now it was time to turn our classroom into Superhero Training Headquarters! We painted cardboard boxes black and stacked them together to create towers of buildings. We cut squares out of yellow construction paper and glued them on to the boxes (although another student said we could have used yellow sticky notes!) Then we drew kid-sized silhouettes of flying superheroes on black butcher paper and cut them out. We used plastic tablecloths from a dollar store and cut them out to look like capes. The superheroes were hung from our ceiling to create the illusion of them flying through the air in our classroom. We hung four, but the next time we do this, we will add one more layer of boxes to the buildings to make them a little taller. 

Superhero skyscrapers and "flying" superhero 

We wanted to be in costume when we met our superhero trainees, so we made a design on the computer (Superhero Training School), printed it on t-shirt transfer paper, and ironed it onto our shirts. We ordered our capes from Amazon, but we could have also made them out of Dollar Store plastic table cloths. We were officially Superhero Training Instructors!

Our TK/Kinder Superhero Training Instructors