Top 3 Thursday - Dr. Suess Week!



Read Across America day is on Dr. Seuss's birthday -March 2nd. At our school, we have a Seusstastic week all week long!



Here are a 3 of my favorite activities we have planned for next week.


All Dr. Seuss books are fun to read but I think that "Green Eggs and Ham" has to be my FAVORITE to read out loud to my class! 


There are many activities that we do with this story but the yummiest one has to be making and eating this sweet version of "green eggs". To make this, all you need is pistachio pudding and Nilla wafers (rainbow sprinkles are a fun touch). 

Photo credit: My Little Gems


Another Dr. Seuss favorite is Bartholomew and the Oobleck


After reading, we make our own Oobleck

Oobleck ingredients

1 part water

1.5 to 2 parts cornstarch

Small amount of food coloring (optional)



Mix ingredients

Start with the water in a bowl and add the cornstarch a bit at a time.
Keep stirring until it has a gooey consistency. You may want to use your hands.
When the oobleck is just right, slowly add food coloring, if you want. This can be a challenge to get it mixed properly.
Play with it!


This website has some fun ideas for activities you can do with your Oobleck: http://www.livescience.com/21536-oobleck-recipe.html 


And of course it wouldn't be Dr. Seuss week without reading "The Cat in the Hat"!


After reading, we make these fun "cat in the hat" rhyming hats out of construction paper and sentence strips.



*On the Seussville website, you can get all sorts of free resources to help celebrate Read Across America. (find them here

What kinds of Dr. Seuss activities do you do in your classroom? I would love to see them! Just link up below :) 

LINK UP RULES

1. Your top 3 can be a pictures, a few words, or even a whole paragraph! All I ask is that you stick to this weeks theme. :)
2.  Link back to this site so that other know where to find your fabulous ideas!
3. You can link up your Top 3 Thursday post any day of the week but Thursday will be the most common day.
4. Read at least 2 other posts that have linked up and leave them a little love on their blog!





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Top 3 Thursday - Black History Month


During the month of February, we celebrate black history and students learn about many African Americans who played an important role in our country's history. Here are 3 of my favorite resources: 


I LOVE read alouds and so do my students. We do at least 3 read alouds a day and picture books play a very important role in my students' education. 

When I was trying to find books that celebrate black history or non-fiction books that educate readers about prejudice, civil rights events, or important people in history, many books I found were geared  towards students third grade and up. 

Then, I stumbled on this collection of picture books by No Twiddle Twaddle. They are all perfect for my early elementary students!





During the month, we highlight several African Americans who have made a big impact on our country and our world. One person that I love to teach about is Rosa Parks.

If you have never read any books in Brad Meltzer's "Ordinary People who Change the World" series, I HIGHLY recommend them! 


The books not only talk about the people and events that changed history, but there is a big focus on character traits and how peoples' character helped them change history. Pretty powerful stuff for 5 year olds! 

 After reading about Rosa Parks and her bravery, we make a cute crafty inspired by A Tale of Two K Teachers

 (photo credit A Tale of Two K Teachers)

Brad Meltzer also wrote this book about Jackie Robinson.


After reading his story, the students come up with different facts they leaned about Jackie Robinson and write them on baseball cut outs. I put all of the "baseballs" together and make a baseball shaped class book.

What books, activities, and lessons do you use to teach students about Black History? I would love to hear your ideas! Link up below :) 

LINK UP RULES

1. Your top 3 can be a pictures, a few words, or even a whole paragraph! All I ask is that you stick to this weeks theme. :)
2.  Link back to this site so that other know where to find your fabulous ideas!
3. You can link up your Top 3 Thursday post any day of the week but Thursday will be the most common day.
4. Read at least 2 other posts that have linked up and leave them a little love on their blog!


Be sure to check back next week for a Seusstastical Top 3 Thursday filled with Dr. Seuss ideas! 




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Top 3 Thursday - Presidents' Day

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week before Valentine's Day! 

Even though this week I am sure you are all about cupid, hearts, and all things LOVE related, Monday Valentine's Day will be over and it will be PRESIDENTS' DAY!  

To help give you a few ideas for next week, here are my top 3 presidents' day activities! 


This extremely catchy presidents day video


Now I will admit, this probably is not the most informational video you can find about Presidents Day. It will however grab students attention, get stuck in their heads, and is a great way to introduce the holiday to students! 



Memetales has a great collection of President's day books. I spot a few a of my faves and some that I cannot wait to check out! 



Okay, how stinking cute is this George Washington craft from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits?


I cannot wait to make these with my kiddos sweet faces!!

Do you have amazing activities planned for President's Day? I would LOVE to see them! Link your ideas up below! 

LINK UP RULES

1. Your top 3 can be a pictures, a few words, or even a whole paragraph! All I ask is that you stick to this weeks theme. :)
2.  Link back to this site so that other know where to find your fabulous ideas!
3. You can link up your Top 3 Thursday post any day of the week but Thursday will be the most common day.
4. Read at least 2 other posts that have linked up and leave them a little love on their blog!

You can actually join the the top 3 fun all month long!


Hope to see you back next week for some great ways to celebrate Black History month!

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100th Day Hacks - What I have learned over the last 5 years!

This week I had hands down the most successful 100th day of school celebration in my classroom to date! 

Like most teachers, how I teach looks a little different from year to year. There are lots of reasons for this and while it  mostly depends on the group of kids I have, learning from past experiences plays a big factor! I keep what works, throw out what doesn't, and try a few new things in between! 

Here are a few things I have learned over the past few years when it comes to  celebrating the 100th day of school! 
I let kids choose how the want to dress. 

Want to hot glue 100 small objects to a t-shit? FABULOUS! Want to dress up like you are 100 years old? HILARIOUS!  I really don't care how they are dressed just as long as they wearing something fun to celebrate the 100th day of school! 

About 2 weeks before the big day, I send home a letter that looks like this: 


(aaaand I just saw that it says 2018! lol Glad all the parents knew what I meant ;/)



I have found that when given a choice, I have had much better participation.


Pony beads instead of cereal necklaces. 

I think students making 100th day necklaces is a great activity! It helps them practice fine motor and they count to 100 twice! (One on a mat and once while stringing the necklace)

So what's not to love you ask? 

I really DO NOT like it when the kids chew on their necklaces all day and are just left with a soaking wet string around their neck at the end of the day. 

If that doesn't bother you then by all means, Fruit Loop it up! But if you are like me, pony beads are pretty cheap, the kids don't put them in their mouth, and they really really like them!! I have lots of kids wear their 100th day necklaces to school for weeks after they made them!


*Bonus hacks for this activity*

 Put out a mat for them to count on (this freebie works great)


TAPE ONE END TO THE TABLE! I cannot stress this enough. If you do not tape the end that the students are not stringing the beads on to the table, they are likely to string on 95 beads before the other end slips off the table and the beads go EVERYWHERE! (voice of experience here) 


It is a FUN day! Learning should definitely still be taking place but make it flexible! 

I always plan WAY more activities on special days like this than the kids can possible get done. I plan lots of fun and engaging stations and have the students rotate through them in about 15 minute increments. Sounds well thought out and organized right? Welllll....

The biggest problem with that is not all 100th day activities are created equal. One student might LOVE the 100 cup challenge while another student can't wait to move on to the 100 pattern blocks. A hat doesn't take the same amount of time to make as trail mix. NOTHING takes as long to make as the 100th day necklaces! 

So here is what I did differently this year and it worked like a charm!


Set up a variety of stations around the room. Brooke Brown's STEM for the 100th Day of School challenge pack has great ideas for hands-on activities for students that is essentially little to no prep for the teacher, and it is FREE! 


On activities you want to make sure everyone gets to (hats, this is me when I am 100, necklaces, trail mix, etc) print off several class lists and put one at each table. As students complete the activity, they can cross their name off the list and move to another station that is open. 


This gives students the freedom of choice, you the freedom to walk around and help those who need it, and most importantly, lets you know who has done what!


*I also made sure to end things about 10 minutes early so that as a class we could clean up the whole room since everyone was EVERYWHERE today!*

Have you already celebrated the 100th day of school? What are some of your favorite activities to do? 




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Top 3 Valentine's Day Activities


Is your classroom d├ęcor working in lots of extra pink, purple, and red this month? Is it covered in hearts? Have you started sending home notes about certain cards that students will be passing out?

Valentines day will be here before you know it!

I am getting excited about planning a fun filled Valentine's day for my kids! Here are my top 3 favorite things to do with my kids in February!


LOTS of candy heart fun! Candy hearts are one of my favorite manipulatives to use in February. It is CANDY so the kids are excited (even if they taste like chalk) and there are soooo many ways you can use them!

I have been using these measurement ideas from Mom to 2 Posh Divas for a few years now and it is a hit with the kids every time! 

They can use the hearts to practice estimating and determining height, length, area, and perimeter of a shape using the hearts

Weight

Here is one of my students using a balance scale to determine how many candy hearts equal the same weight as a given Valentine (a decorated envelope with objects in it) 


Sort and Graph

There are a ton of really cute sort and graph candy heart products on TPT! I am using this freebie from Sarah E Masters with my kids.


You can also use the in science:

Dancing Candy Hearts
click picture to see original post and directions


Candy Hearts Reactions
click picture to see original post and directions




http://www.firefliesandmudpies.com/2015/01/06/rainbow-heart-suncatchers/


and this





Last but not least, I couldn't get through February without these workstations full of L*O*V*E




These activities (and more) can be found in this Mega Math and Literacy Pack 




Okay so I will admit, that was more like 3 categories instead of 3 things. I am sorry, I just LOVE this holiday!!!

Now I want to see YOUR top 3 Valentine's Day classroom favorites! Link up below!

LINK UP RULES

1. Your top 3 can be a pictures, a few words, or even a whole paragraph! All I ask is that you stick to this weeks theme. :)
2.  Link back to this site so that other know where to find your fabulous ideas!
3. You can link up your Top 3 Thursday post any day of the week but Thursday will be the most common day.
4. Read at least 2 other posts that have linked up and leave them a little love on their blog!

PS: Here are the upcoming Top 3 Thursday themes for the month of February!




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