Saturday, May 25, 2013

Boomerangs, Palm Trees, Fairytales and more on this 5 for Friday!

This week was all a blur!  Wow, did it fly right on by!  But I definitely have 5 fab things to share with all of you so I am linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for this Five for Friday on SATURDAY! YAY!

We had a district grade level meeting on Thursday and besides the little tedious tasks, it was very productive!  My dear sweet friend Miriam shared that her team is ordering a set of Boomerang folders for next year.
She had me at Boomerang!
This is a fantastic buy at Really Good Stuff and if you have their Back to School 2013 catalog, they are offering a coupon worth 10% off your order.
I approached my principal with this idea and she gave us the green light!
So thanks to a little team sharing, and a very supportive principal, we hopefully will be on the same page with our take-home system for next year!

How do you get your kids to celebrate recycling and create fun recycling art projects by themselves over the summer?
I teach them how to make RECYCLED PAPER PALM TREES!
That's my title and I'm stickin to it!
I found this original idea from one of my Teacher Created Materials manuals and have implemented the project at the end of every school year.  I usually slot an hour and 20 minutes for it and it's perfect for the last few days before school gets out... The kids are squirrely and this keeps them so engaged and focused!
On May 1st, I start adding a supply list to my weekly newsletter and Homework sheets.  Each student is asked to bring in a clean, empty coffee can with lid, and a few newspapers.
Here are some "photo directions" on the process!

 The end result: A forest of Recycled Paper Palm Trees!  Aren't these just awesome!  The kids were jumping up and down EXCITED with this project!  And, they were even more happy to know that they could make more at home!
We brainstorm a list of art projects and other activities that students can create from home using recycled materials.
I then type the list up and send it home with the kiddos in their summer folders.
I also handed out these cute Awards for my darlings!
Got them from the Dollar Tree!

I save my most favorite teaching unit for last...
So I can still LOVE teaching these last few weeks of school... and not go crazy from the summer madness count-down!
Each year, I organize a Fairytales Readers' Theater Production that will happen on the second to last day of school..  June 3!  We have our First Grade Awards ceremony early that morning and since the parents and families are already here, I thought why not have them come down afterwards and join the fun!  
I was one happy teacher when I found the Scholastic's Folk & Fairy Tales Plays along with the puppet sticks!  Used bonus points to buy most if it.  This year we are doing 5 plays-
The Gingerbread Man
The Three Little Pigs
Little Red Riding Hood
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Usually the second week in May, I introduce the idea to the kids and lay the puppet sticks across the reading table.  I ask each of them to think about which character they would like to play.  I use my behavior clip up system in many ways and I call the students who have earned the most greens and up for the month to pick a puppet stick first.
Then I distribute the play scripts and students are grouped in play pods around the room. 
 This script travels between home and school everyday because it is their LAST reading homework assignment for the year!
Parents are also informed that their child can design a simple costume or head apparel and bling to really get into character!
Every day, I slot 20 minutes of play practice.  Gives me enough time to travel around the each group and listen in.  

I completely got weak in the knees when my extremely talented teaching friend Sarah shared her FAIRYTALES unit with me.
This is, by far, the greatest Fairytales unit you will ever want to own for your classroom! 
She has thought of everything!
So after my daily read aloud of a famous Fairytale, I would use Sarah's extension activities and push these in to our Daily 5 rounds.  The kids LOVED it and asked to do more!
Yes, really!

See that pretty black binder at the top left?  I took Sarah's unit and gave it a very special home!  I adore her creativity and the way she thinks out everything.  She makes common core learning so much fun!  Here is a look at what we did yesterday during rounds.
 If you are interested in adding this wonderful unit to your collection, click here to visit Sarah's TPT store!

Bought this t-shirt to show my kids how much I adore them!
And yes, those are hot pink Crocs on my feet.
I wear the most hideously comfortable shoes at school during the day.  Then, when I travel outside for bus duty, I change back into the cute strappy numbers so the other teachers won't see! But this is my secret to keeping good looking feet at 37!

One year from today-
The wedding extravaganza of the season begins!
I get to marry my prince charming!
May 24, 2014.
Have a fabulous 3 day weekend friends!
Hugs to you all!


  1. Julie your T-shirt is precious! You and your fiancé are cuties! Congrats and have a fab weekend!!

    One Fab Teacher

  2. What a fun blog! Love those trees! The t shirt is adorable! Have a great long weekend!

  3. Loving your shirt! No shame...we have a teacher who walks around in slippers by the end of some days! Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to stop by my giveaway!

    For the Love of First Grade

  4. We're working on Fairy Tales right now too! So fun and perfect for the end of the year! Hope you're having a nice weekend!

    :) Tamar and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  5. Really enjoyed reading your post this week! Love the Readers' Theater Fairy Tale Production idea, and Sarah's unit looks fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing!

    All the best--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  6. Love everything! How cute are you with your shirt??!! I like the idea of those Boomerang folders!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. You are adorable!
    I love your hot pink crocs! Half the time I am teaching, I am just wearing socks. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! So much fun!

  8. Hi Julie,
    Love your blog! I am getting my new blog design June 22 and cannot wait!

    Your recycled palm trees activity sounds very interactive and engaging for your students!!

    Thank you for following my blog and I look forward to hearing more about your wedding countdown this next year :)

    Tina Parker

  9. Julie, I'm loving your forest of palm trees! What a fun activity! That shirt is priceless. I'm sure your kiddos were so excited about it. :) You are just about the cutest thing ever!
    You and your fiance look so happy. You are glowing! I'm so excited for you. That year will fly by. :)
    Thank you for the sweet shout-out! I'm so glad you are enjoying the unit my friend. :) Your reader's theater looks like so much fun. I bet they turn out so cute and the kids probably love them! What a fun way to wrap up the year.
    Hugs Julie!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  10. Your shirt is awesome! I got mine today (but mine is gray) and I LOVE it! I'm thinking about comfy shoes for next year...

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  11. Julie,
    Can't believe I'm just reading this now! Would you be willing to let me share your adorable t-shirt picture? I'd like to feature it! And I'd be interested in giving one away to your readers if you're up for a giveaway in exchange {wink}. Just let me know!


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