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5 Senses: Seeing

Well, we have now made it through 2 whole weeks of school! This week we kicked off our 5 senses exploration by using our sense of sight. Since I only see each class once or twice a week, I split the 5 senses up and focus on 1 a week.

We began by playing a game I call "What's Missing?" This is a VERY easy game to set up and play and the kids really enjoy it! To prepare the game, find several different objects and put them on a tray. After students have had a chance to look at all of the objects, have them close their eyes and take one away. When they open their eyes, they have to try and remember what they saw on the tray and tell you what's missing. Here are two little cuties who asked to play the game again during workstation time. 

We also learn about some of the different tools scientists use when making observations with their sense of sight. Students practice looking at objects with magnifying glasses

and I give them Boogie Boards to record their work. If you have not tried these out, they are SO COOL and the kids really enjoy writing on them! You can find them here: Boogie Board Scribble 'n Play

They observed prepared slides using a microscope (you can find a newer version of the microscope here)

and learned about the tools that different kinds of scientists use on Sid the Science Kid - I want to be a scientist

Speaking of science tools, students learned how to use pipettes and practiced transferring water from one container to another.

We also practiced categorizing objects by color on the ipads

and the light table

These little scientist are off to a great start! I cannot wait to explore and investigate with them this year!

"Sun"sational Giveaway - Week 1

If you have been following me on Facebook, you already know that I am teaming up with an amazing group of teachers for the ENTIRE month of July to bring you awesome bargains and prizes all month long! If you are not following along yet and don't want to miss out on next week's savings and giveaways go here and click like! 

This week we are giving away 15 (that's right, FIFTEEN) $25 gift cards! We have 5 Teachers Pay Teacher cards, 5 Staples cards, and 5 Amazon cards!

If you would like to be one of the lucky 15 teachers to win an extra $25 to get ready for back to school, enter below! Good Luck!

How to make science is "snow" much fun! (no cold weather required)

Here in Texas, is seems like we get about 5 days of winter...total (and by winter I mean it gets below 65)! Now, we have read about snow in books, discussed it when talking about weather, and even sang about it in songs like "Frosty the Snowman" but  a majority of my students have never actually seen snow. If I could not bring them real snow, I wanted to at least let my deprived little Texans experience fake snow by incorporating it into a science lesson. It was a huge hit and an experience the students will not soon forget! 

We started the lesson off with a simple experiment about absorption.

I began by asking the students if they knew what the word "absorb" meant and while there were several guesses, nobody had a clue! I told them instead of telling them what it meant, I would show them with a science investigation.

Materials needed for the investigation:

-Paper towel
-Tray (optional but recommended)

First, I poured some water onto the tray and ask students where the water went. They all looked at me like, "Is this a trick question?" and of course answered on the tray!

Then, I pulled out the paper towel and asked them to hypothesize what would happen to the water when I placed the paper towel over it. Would the water move to the paper towel or would it stay on the tray?

Most students have cleaned up a mess before (or at least seen someone else do it) so a majority of them confidently guessed the water was going to go on the paper towel.

I then asked, "Where did the water go?" and they were able to explain to me that it was inside of the paper towel. I told them this is a perfect example of the word absorb! Something absorbs when it can soak up water! I then asked, "Can we get the water back out of the towel?" and they were all about to tell me if you squeezed the towel, the water would come back out!

Other questions:
  • Did the tray absorb any water?
  • Do you think the sponge will absorb water?
  • Will a (pencil, block, any non-absorbent object) absorb water?
  • How are the objects that absorbed different from the ones that did not absorb?
Now here comes the really fun part! I explained that we were going to use our new learning about absorption to make our own snow! Students helped me measure out the snow powder on a tray and we described the characteristics of the powder.
Then, students predicted what would happen if we poured water over the powder.

Just 1/8th of a cup turned from this

to this!

They were so excited to each get their own bag of "snow" to take home. 

As an extension or an independent activity, I put several objects in a muffin tin (some that absorb and some that do not) along with a pipette and a small glass of water. Students tested the objects to see which ones absorbed and which ones did not. Then, they recorded those objects on a t-chart.

If you would like to make snow with your students, you can find the snow I used by clicking the image below.

This bag makes 10 GALLONS of snow which is enough to send some home with students and have plenty left over for a sensory table or have students "finger write" in workstations or centers.  

Meet the Teacher: Printables, Ideas, and Tips!

We all know that first impressions are important and Meet the Teacher is no exception! A well thought out and organized meet the teacher gives parents a wonderful first impression and helps reassure them their child will be in good hands.

For meet the teacher, I like to do stations this has parents spread out around the room as they trickle in instead of clustering around 1 area. When parents arrive, I hand them a poem that leads them through the stations.

Next steps
I know how hectic back to school can be and there is a lot of pressure on making a good first impression during meet the teacher. To relieve some of that stress, I have created a product that has EVERYTHING you will need for a successful Meet the Teacher night!

With this pack you can print and go or use many of the editable pages to customize signs, forms, etc. to meet your classroom's needs.

This product includes:
-A parent handout
-Station Signs
-Sign in sheets
-Transportation sheets
-Student information survey
-Teacher information card template
-A family project for students to turn in on the 1st week of school
-Volunteer sign up forms
-Apples for the teacher's wish list
-And several more ideas!

To check out this product, click the image below!

One more tip: During your presentation, encourage parents to sign up for Remind. Remind is an app you can use to text parents (either individually or as a class) without giving out your cellphone number. It saves time, paper, and is a great tool for parent communication!  There is a sheet on the website you can print out with your classroom code on it and you can include that in your folders at station 2 so parents can easily sign up! You can find out more about it here https://www.remind.com/

One more suggestion: Meet the teacher is a time to meet your students and their families, ensure students that you are not a big scary monster, and ensure parents that their child is in great hands and will be getting the best education possible this coming school year. That being said, meet the teacher is also a time to set expectations with both parents and students. While explaining all of the things you are going to do this year, don't forget to take this time to be very clear about what you expect from the students as well the parents.

7 Engaging Ways to use Pool Noodles in the Classroom

Right now is the perfect time to stock up on a fun, versatile manipulative for your classroom... POOL NOODLES! Here are the top 7 ways I have found to promote engagement and learning using pool noodles!

Letter ID, Uppercase to Lowercase, and ABC order

WOW - with just ONE pool noodle? Such a great literacy tool. Make a Pool Noodle Alphabet Basket for Learning Letters

All you have to do is cut your pool noodle into sections and write capital and lowercase letters on them with a permanent marker.
  • To practice matching capital and lowercase letters, students can build towers stacking the capital letter on the lowercase letter.
  • To practice ABC order, students can string pool noodles on a rope in the correct order.
  • To practice letter ID, students can go "fishing" for letters. They can use a skewer, wooden dowel, thick plastic straw, or even a pencil as a rod.  Students will then try and "catch" a letter by putting their rod through the center of a noodle and lifting the letter out of the basket. Finally, students must identify the name of the letter they caught.

Building Words

For this activity, cut 2 different color pool noodles into equal sections. Write several different letters on each pool noodle section (vowels on 1 color, consonants on another) so that students can spin the letters to form new words.

Pool noodle patterns

To do this activity, gather several different colors  pool noodles and cut them into sections. Students can then copy patterns, extend patterns, or create their own patterns by stringing the pool noodle sections onto a rope.


Matching colours with pool noodles - fine motor activity and colour recognition.

To create this activity you will need a pool noodle cut into sections, toothpicks, pompoms, tweezers, and either dot stickers, markers (to color the toothpicks) or the dot printable pictured above (click the word source under the picture to access the printable). Using the tweezers, students can have fun sorting the pompoms into the pool noodle with the cooresponding color. An extension would be to count how many of each color they had or to graph the pompoms by color.

Pool Noodle Catapult

This fun activity only requires 2 pool noodles, a few rubber bands, and a pompom to catapult! Depending on the age and ability level of students, they can either design and build their own catapults or they could help give you ideas and guide you, the teacher, through creating one.

Students can modify the design, make predictions, and test different catapults to see which one makes the pompom fly the furthest. Students could also test catapulting different materials and see which one goes further.

Pool Noodle Structures

1-Engineering STEM Activity for Kids Using Pool Noodles May 20, 2015, 5-23 PM

This STEAM activity is easy to prepare and is always a hit with the kids! All you need are a few pool noodles cut into sections and a box of toothpicks. You can challenge students to build the tallest structure with a set number of pool noodle sections or just let their imaginations run free!

Pool Noodle Marble Run

Pool Noodle Marble Run Gravity Activity

With a marble, a roll of painters tape, and a few pool noodles, students can practice all kinds of problem solving and critical thinking skills! Cut pool noodles into different size sections then cut the sections in half length wise. Challenge students to use a certain number of section, start from a certain height, or see who can build the tallest or longest marble run!

I don't know about you but I cannot wait to hit up Dollar Tree and stock up on pool noodles to try out  these activities in my classroom! Have you ever used pool noodles in your room? Comment below, I would love to hear how!

Cheap and Easy End of the Year Gift for Parent Volunteers

Are you looking for a fun yet inexpensive way to show appreciation to parents who have dedicated their time volunteering in your classroom this year?

I have SEVERAL parents that I wanted to thank at the end of the year so I needed something that was cute, simple, and wouldn't break the bank!

My solution...movie night on me!

First, I created this cute FREEBIE tag that you can download here. Then, I bought some Redbox movie codes, wrote them on the tags, and attached the tags to a bag of popcorn! Voila! Instant movie night for a little over $1 a parent!

Now if you are just doing this for 1 or 2 parents and want to go all out, you could even create a whole "movie basket" with popcorn, soda, movie theater candy, etc.

Hope you enjoy the freebie! If you create your own movie themed thank you gift with the tags, I would love to see how you use it! Just tag me @teachglittergrow on Instagram so I can admire your handy work! :)

Awards Day

This week we had our big awards day!
On awards day, I invite all of the students' families into the classroom, perform a few poems and a song, watch a slideshow full of pictures taken throughout the year, and of course - hand out awards!

After I welcome all of the families, the students recite this poem:

I looked all over for the original source of this poem and couldn't find it anywhere. We have been saying it for so many years now I have no idea where I originally got it!

Next, the students sing a song. I usually switch the song from year to year but this year, we sang "With my Own Two Hands" by Jack Johnson. If you have never heard it before, it is a great song!!

Finally, the students recite a second poem: The ABC Farewell. This is probably my favorite thing that the students do because each person gets their own part to say and it gives every student a "time to shine"! I am not sure who the original author of this poem is either but here is a cute printable with the words that I found here.

After all of the performances have come to an end, I call the students up one by one to receive their awards.

My kiddos work so hard throughout the year, so I like to give them each several different awards representing all they have accomplished this year!

Here is a little preview of some of the awards I pass out.

If you are interested in using some of these same awards in your classroom, you can find them at my tpt store here. These awards are completely EDITABLE! :)

To save time while handing them out, I place all of the awards the student has earned (I usually limit it to a given number - this year I did 9 per student) in a large envelope and glue this on the front.

This cover is also included in my awards pack.

To close the ceremony out, we take a trip down memory lane and watch a slideshow of pictures throughout the year. A few songs I like to include in my slideshow are:

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Count on Me by Bruno Mars
Celebration by Kool and the Gange
Graduation by Vitamin C
You've Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman
The Climb by Miley Cyrus
My Wish by Rascal Flatts

I also burn a copy of the slide show to give to parents as a keepsake.

Here is our backdrop for awards day

I found some cute graduation "photo booth props" at Walmart (which I forgot to take a picture of before sending them home with kids) so I made this "photo booth" area for kids to take pictures.

Here are all of their goodies to take home after the awards ceremony

Graduation bubbles from the Dollar Tree

I completely forgot to get CD cases for the slide shows (whoops!) but these cute toppers that I found here helped make the baggies I stuck the CDs in much cuter ;)

The ring pop "class rings" are always a huge hit

I also put out some peppermints with this cute sign for the parents.

I cannot believe that awards day has come and gone and that the school year is almost over!

Do you do an awards day or any kind of special ceremony at the end of the year?

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