Royal Wedding Wishes!

Since the news people have all been calling it the Wedding of the Century I thought that we would mark the day in our classroom today.  So I had the kids write letters to Prince Will and Princess Kate congratulating them on their BIG DAY!

They each said what they would give them for a present if they could send a gift across the pond. We did “sloppy copies”, then I edited them, then we did brightly colored final copies. We had everything from a Lear Jet to a giant anaconda. My favorite was “a big yellow ball like those that hamsters run around in” only it could be for Will and Kate to run around in. Super cute. I made copies of the letters and told all the kids I’d mail them to Buckingham Palace. Maybe we’ll get a note back!

Then we made some Royal Crowns. A link for a tutorial on Medieval Crown is HERE at firstpalette. We just HAD to mark the occasion somehow. They will look back in their writing portfolios sometime when they are older, and remember the Wedding of the Century and how they kinda took part.  : D

What Did YOU do for Spring Break?

This past week was my Spring Break from school. We are so lucky as teachers, to have this week off to veg out, get rejuvenated and play with our families and get some good reading in.

Josie and Grandma at Easter time….

Marisa turned 4 on the 20th so we went up to Discovery Children’s Museum at Gateway Mall. It was fun to follow the girls all around taking pics of them playing in the construction zone, the supermarket and the water and magnet centers. They even climbed up into the helicopter. So cute! We saw a lot of my students present and former there too. It’s a great day for a day off!

In the construction zone… they loved shoving fake bricks down the slide…

Megan engrossed in the playhouse furniture…

Marisa and Tiff in building blocks…

What’s more fun than splashing in the water wheels?

Marisa loved the post office….
Megan loved the little cars…
And the magnetic gear wall…

I’m making a yummy concoction guys….wanna sip of it? mmm nope.

Look what I can do!

 I got to read a lot too. I am working my way through the Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” and also Cristine Northrop’s book on The Wisdom of Menopause. Don’t laugh. It could happen to YOU too! It’s a great book recommended to me by my friend and college roommate. Yeah. now we are both old. It sucks.

Johnny and I on Easter….

So John and I heard it was FREE week for all the National Parks. And I had told him months ago we should go back and see Old Faithful the geyser at Yellowstone. It’s probably been 30 years since I’ve seen it…(I went there with an old boyfriend hehe). So we decided to go up to our cabin at Bear Lake and stay the night and then get up (after making John’s famous waffles) and drive to Jackson Hole.

We had to stop and snap this gorgeous scene on the way to Yellowstone last week….
We saw water fowl…and beautiful scenery…

It is a fun touristy place with lots of beautiful (and very expensive) shops and museums. I guess a lot of celebrities have places near Yellowstone. John kept telling me Harrison Ford has a place nearby. (I’d like to go see Harrison….yeah…love him….didn’t he marry Ally McBeal?)  Anyway, we had lunch there at the Great Harvest Bread Company. We live high off the hog you know.  Then we took some fun pictures around town. They have lots of artsy sculptural designs in bronze. I’d love a bronze in my front yard…yeah…in another life. Those things are thousands of dollars!

Jackson Hole had neat bronze statues…
Don’t ya love it…Bruce just does his own thing…when we’re trying to take pictures!
Antler arches….some nice tourists took our picture for us!

I felt very confident in going to Yellowstone because I had made maps and gone on the Internet to be sure the gates were open and stuff like that.  I handed all that stuff over to my navigator husband….who left them on his desk at home. Um hum…..I shoulda left them in my purse.

Yummy lunch at Great Harvest….

Mark Twain is behind me….

 I distinctly recall seeing that the gates open on April 15th when I checked Yellowstone’s website. So why didn’t they tell us ONLY the west entrance was open. We drove to the South entrance of course. And all these cars were turning around in front of us. What the heck?

We saw a couple of Moose!

Johnny was so much fun to be with….he makes me laugh….
I shot a rainbow as it started sprinkling…you can barely see it tho….
Pretty lake in Teton forest just outside of Yellowstone Park….

Well, we decided to go take some pretty pictures around the Teton forest and around this lake, I can’t remember what it is called. We saw 2 moose, some water fowl, and a few rainbows as it started to lightly rain. We listened to that new country/crossover brother-sister band called The Band Perry. I decided that I LOVE all their music! We are going to go get tickets this Friday when tickets go on sale for Tim McGraw because they are his lead in band. And they are coming to the new West Jordan concert place. We had a great time hanging out together with Brucie our doggie.

Bruce is bored…but he doesn’t want to miss a thing we are talking about….he leaned on my headrest most of the ride!
It was a really fun day hanging out with my 2 men. I LOVE time off. It makes life worth LIVIN!  Mmmhmmm…. Happy Spring!

EARTH DAY! Hooray! Let’s Recycle!


I see trees of green, red roses too

I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, “How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’, “I love you”
I hear babies cryin’, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

Earth Day Art! 

Earth Day is one of my personal favorite science/social studies units to do in whatever grade I’m teaching. I think it is sooooo important for kids to be taught awareness for how we are taking care of the living things of our earth.  We take so much stuff for granted don’t we? Things like clean water that flows and flows from our faucets and land around our houses for planting fruit and veggie gardens, and how easy it is to throw stuff in the trash and have the trash man haul it away. Kids are not aware of landfills, wasting water while they brush their teeth, or reducing the amount of garbage we throw out. They have fun realizing that THEY can become recyclers.  How GREAT is that? 

Teaching kids about the 3 Rs, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle….for Earth Day!

A fun contest is finding all the words you can make from EARTH DAY. A printable link from ABC teach is HERE.

So for Earth Day every year we start out by reading the book Michael Recycle.  It is a funny book that introduces simple recycling, reducing and reusing to minimize waste. We discuss the 3Rs Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and what they each mean. Then we do a fun picture/word sort on what kinds of things we recycle. A link to a cute Earth Day  RECYCLE SORT is HERE. Then we have previously asked for parents to help us find something to recycle into a pencil holder. Most of the kids bring in washed out cans, soup size or veggie size.  Then we put colored masking tape along the top rim (in case some are still sharp) and then we pick out some scrapbook paper Mrs. Moss has had donated.  I then have the kids choose a construction paper 2 inch ring to put around the top for writing.  We use thin black “gel pens” and they put the 3 Rs over and over “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” 3Rs.

Other Earth Day Crafts can be found HERE at Kaboose Website
Kids can recycle too!  
Each table sorted paper, plastic, glass and metal pictures into the 4 recycling catergories
Teaching Kids how to recycle…..

  Then I give each child a cheapie Bic pen and a Walmart or Dollar Store pansy flower (they come in bunches for $1.00) and a 6 inch long strip of green, floral tape.  They are to tape the flower to the pen as best they can by winding it around and around the pen.  This is for their pencil can but we have RECYCLED things and REUSED  too! OR they can  plant a small plant in their Earth Day decorated can with a small caption “Keep the Earth GREEN” This also might be a great gift idea for Mom’s Day. I’ve done that in the past. It is still teaching recycling!                                      
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
(Tune: “Three Blind Mice”)
Reduce, recycle, reuse.
Reduce, recycle, reuse.
Now’s the time to choose.
There must be no excuse.
 It’s up to each one of us to do 
our part to make the Earth clean, it’s true.
 So let’s work together, yes, me and you!
Reduce, recycle, reuse! 

bug jar
Next year I think I’ll come up with a recycling project to use with glass jars.
They could each make some new invention from a Glass jar they recycle.
I love doing those kinds of things… gets creative kids thinking! I found
lots of crafty ideas HERE at Planet Pals website.

Then we start a 3 Rs chart to use for a writing project later. The kids will add to it each day of the unit listing what kinds of things we can RECYCLE, what things we REUSE, and how we can REDUCE our trash. I pass out 4 inch round card stock badges to each of them to color and wear home.

Nova’s showing our brainstorming board before we wrote our Earth Day thoughts….


The next day we start by reading a Weekly Reader or Scholastic News on Earth Day and what it is around the US and what kinds of projects kids are doing to pitch in and help . Then we wash our hands to get ready for a fun song and art project. A link for printed instructions on this art project are HERE at DLTK Kids. I add peach paper hands holding the earth and glue it on black paper when dry. It looks pretty cool!. You can add a few a small rainbow to the bottom that says “Save the Earth”.  I’ll post finished projects after Spring Break.

I punched out some little peachy hands for the kids to glue over the world…
Coffee filters and watercolor made this cool earth art!

We use coffee filters and green and blue watercolor paint and the kids paint the world or their rendition of how the globe looks.  When they dry we glue them on black paper with 2 cut out peachy hands glued to the sides as if holding the earth. Under it we color a clip art rainbow that says “I Can Save The Earth”.  While they are painting I read them the book Earth Day-Hooray!  It is a great book because it is about recycling but it integrates place value math concepts too.

Some great Weekly Scholastic News that we read through…


Day 3
The third day we talk about “The Water Wasters” and we read a mini play about kids who waste water. I have a water waster wheel I show the kids where it lists water activities like washing the car, brushing teeth, showering versus tub bathing and how many gallons of water each uses or wastes. We brainstorm ways to reduce our water wasting. The play is really cute.I think I got it from the EPA. A link is down at the end of the post.  Then we do some worksheets in our “Earth Day Packet” I’ve made up for the week.

I got the beads from Oriental Trading over the summer…I added green beads and the kids made these
cute bracelets out of chenille stems cut to their wrist size and twisted when they were done.  SUPER EASY!
They also have Earth Day inflatable GLOBES
you can get for about $1.00 each. The link is HERE at Oriental Trading!

We made Earth Day bracelets…We’re Going GREEN!

Design Your Own Watch It Grow Seed PotsHERE at Oriental Trading
They also had a 24 pack of these cute pots to decorate and plant vegetables or flowers for a fun activity.
They were only $7.00 for the whole 24 pack.  Now that is some money I would spend in a heartbeat!

Some wonderful songs can be found on the First Grade Factory’s blog. A link to her Earth Day Songs is HERE. I will choose a few to put on the backs of artwork we do. I always link up art and music so the kids are doing shared reading practice while singing songs and they don’t even know they’re practicing reading!

Day 4 Take Me Out to the Garbage!
 We talk about “litterbugs” and how kids help by picking up trash at parks and beaches. We go outside on the playground and pick up trash in the corners and by fences for 10 minutes.  They are amazed at how much garbage they come back with. Then when we’ve come back in and washed hands I read them Where Does the Garbage Go? And the book Trash. Kids don’t usually know about dumps and land fills and how fast they are filling up. Time for more discussions!

I have another activity we do cooperatively. I have a role playing activity where they pull scenarios out of envelopes and come up with solutions to some problems that kids could most likely solve such as seeing other kids littering, etc.

The Stationery is from a Scholastic Book of Stationery.  The link is HERE at Amazon is Scholastic’s Stationery Book.  Another one I love is this one HERE at Scholastic is a Month by Month Stationery Book.. I think both of these books are around $12.00.  Both I’ve used
probably more than any other teacher resource book.  They are GREAT! 

Then we do an Earth Day Writing entitled….I Can Save the Earth By…  and the students free write from everything they have learned about Earth Day. The results are always amazing to me.  They really do “get it” and they have heart about keeping our earth healthy.


An activity they can do in my community is decorating brown supermarket bags with Earth Day pictures and messages. We only have to go pick up 20 bags and have the kids do the art and then return the bags. They also like us to make a few posters for the store. We may do that again this year.

A fun word search I made up for Earth Day can be found  at this link  HERE at Teachers Corner. I would
add some cute pics of the world to it. It is only text.

Children of the World Floor Puzzle
HERE is a World Floor Puzzle at Lakeshore that would also be a fun center activity for Earth Day! I think
it was about $12.99 and all my students absolutely LOVE floor puzzles! What a treat that would be! 

A free resource I got years ago that helped with learning activities for this unit was from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) I think they had Superfund money but they sent me lots of really cool and colorful books, color books, badges, crossword puzzles and printables for kids. They will send it to you too. It’s called the Planet Protector’s Club.  The link for you is HERE. This is where I made up my “packet” of worksheets from. There is a reader’s theatre in there too. Fun! HAPPY EARTH DAY!

The Stages of a Ladybug’s Life

Books:  The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Five Little Ladybugs by melanie Gerth
Are You a Ladybug? by Judy Allen Tudor

I love Eric Carle books. One way I love to introduce telling time by 5 minute increments is using the book “The Grouchy Ladybug”.  It has clocks on every page and they have incremental times listed.  It’s a good springboard for telling time.
We read the book and then we make a ladybug clock. I just found a basic clock pattern and copy it off on red construction paper. Then I add a half circle shaped, small, black, head and have the kids give it a face with white crayon. Then we add 6 black legs and we accordian fold them so it looks kind of funny. Here are our ladybug clocks.

Very Grouchy Ladybug Clocks
Then we read books on Ladybug Lifecycles and I also have a few Weekly Readers/Scholastic News that I save if they have any Science in them.  I also save the Science Spin magazine if they are good ones.


“Five Little Ladybugs”

Five little ladybugs climbing up a door, One flew away and then there were four.

Four little ladybugs sitting on a tree, One flew away and then there were three.

Three little ladybugs landing on a shoe, One flew away and then there were two.

Two little ladybugs looking for some fun, One flew away and then there was one.

One little ladybug sitting in the sun, She flew away and then there were none.

MUSIC: I found a cute song called Ladybug in my Soda on the website K-8 Kidstunes and got a copy for 99 cents in an MP3 download. The link is HERE but you do have to sign up a “kid” to get the cheap version. I have kids and grandkids so it’s easy now that I have signed up. It’s a funny song with a real catchy beat and easy to learn.

Peter is making his Grouchy Ladybug Clock


A fun printable with black dots on individual ladybugs to print out can be found HERE
at A Kids Math. You can print off a dozen of these to place in a center with a key. Kids write down their answers on an answer sheet and then check with the key.

We kept these in our desks for a week and used them to practice telling time….

Here is a link for a telling time worksheet HERE at ABC teach.

Andrew is proud of his cool clock!

Every day for a few weeks call out different times and have them put the hands on their clocks. Be sure to also introduce half past, quarter past, quarter till. These are really difficult concepts for young children to get so I introduce it in first grade. I also have a magnetic clock I keep on my white board. I draw 4 lines on the fact to “cut” the clock into “quarters” or fourths. I point out that 3 and 9 are the quarter past and quarter till numbers.

Fun Game: Find a partner and use both of your ladybug clocks. Decide to do “o’clock” or “thirty” for doing elapsed time. Then decide how many hours difference there is going to be and make up a sentence. Example:  3:00 is 2 hours later than 1:00. 12:30 is 3 hours later than 9:30 etc. Elapsed time is another very hard concept for young kids to get. This is higher level but some of your high kids will get it and you will be differentiating for those who can do it.

We played this Bug Bingo and then I left it out for a center game….great for insect vocabulary development!

The next week after doing our life cycle books we painted our own ladybug beetles!
Attach a poem or a Sodoku math to the back for fun!
Another cute poem I found online…Use it on the back of your clocks!

SCIENCE: Do a Life Cycle of a Ladybug wheel on a paper plate divided with a criss cross. The link can be found at A Kids Heart HERE. Color the life cycle and then glue it down. OR….Write the 4 steps to the life cycle of a Ladybug. We decided to do a 4 flap book and used macaroni, dried beans and rice for the stages.

Here is the top of our flip book. We folded it into 4, cut just the top layer.

         Another fun center I do is I have 2 classroom microscopes and insect slides. I put those out with a bin full of dollar store plastic insects and 4 little magnifying glass viewers and insect books. I took a picture on my classroom camera and then left it in the classroom! I’ll post pics of that next week too. The kids LOVE LOVE LOVE this center. I’ve collected about 2 dozen insect books so I put a new batch out each week and we switch from ants, to ladybugs and dragonflies, and next week is grasshoppers and caterpillars.               

WRITING: I love to do a minibook describing the life cycle of a ladybug.  I use yellow construction paper and give each student one large piece I have folded in half the long way. Then fold that in half 2 more times to make the 4 folds. Then I cut 4 slits evenly in just the top half of my paper. It will give you 4 pages to lift up and write.

Here is the 4 stages (art from Enchanted Learning) writing from a first grader!
Then we do our own Ladybug Life Cycle Flap Books. Inside the top flap we paste a picture of the life cycle stages. On the bottom of the inside flap we draw pencil lines with a ruler and write 2 sentences depicting what is happening in the stage in the picture above the writing.  A link for the clip art stages is at Enchanted Learning  HERE for Ladybug Lifecycles. They always turn out really cute. Don’t forget to watch the utube video before doing the writing.

Cute painted ladybugs with their chenille stem antennae!
Completed Flip Book. Oops, he forgot to color the pupa macaroni!

 On the tops I use brown and green crepe paper to make twigs and leaves. Then I add macaroni for the life cycle. A few pieces of rice for the eggs, then a kidney bean for the larvae worm stage. Then a piece of shell macaroni for the cocoon stage. Have the kids color the macaroni with markers.  And finally a clip art ladybug to color for the final adult beetle stage. I found another lip art ladybug I liked for the cover and I typed up the 4 words of the stages. Then I copied the Enchanted Learning page with these additions. That’s the life cycle!
Then we watched the life cycle utube video from the top of my post.
A fun website that has lots of ladybug facts is called Ladybug Lady and her link is HERE. She also has lots of good ideas for classroom teachers.

I got a larger one of these and 5 smaller ones. I’ve used the large one for larva.

Get some ladybugs from your local Home Depot or Lowes. I bought some individual butterfly garden holders from Oriental Trading a few years back and we put one on each table for kids to observe with hand lenses. It is fun to see how different their colorings and sizes are and to see them close up. They only last a few days though so I’d set them free in your garden after a day or so.

We traced small and large paper cups for the spots….

ART: Paint a ladybug on art paper. When dry use black markers to make the line down the middle and dots on his back were traced using the top circle and bottom circle of a dixie paper cup. Add 2 wiggly eyes. Paint yellow, orange and red. Wait for color to dry. Then add black painted spots. Dry and then Cut out. Add some black chenille stems with tape for the antennae and 1/2 inch by 6 inch legs (we accordian folded the legs)..  On the back type up this poem and read for a shared reading activity.

We read Scholastic News on Ladybug and Dragonfly Life Cycles and did a Venn Diagram comparing them.
Did you know they come in 3 colors? Red, orange and yellow!

Here is our finished Ladybug Life Cycle bulletin board!


Add a fun Sodoku to the back of your ladybug pictures or clocks!

I hope you have fun seeing what we have learned about LADYBUGS!

We’re Going to College Week!

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Sunrise Elementary April 15th 2011!
Here we are in our colors, with our pennants and  mascot; The Banana Tech Monkeys!

Our PTA hosted a week of fun called We’re Going to College Week. It is to encourage the students to plan for and to get excited about college in their futures. On Monday we all wrote essays entitled, “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up and How I’m Going to Get There”.  My kids had some interesting ideas about that. I never knew so many wanted to be paleontologists! Oh the power of 1 first grader’s suggestion on another first grader….

Emma, Allie and Joe won prizes for their Essays on Going to College

Tuesday was Career Day and we had all these cool people come and share their jobs with us. We had dental assistants, pharmacy techs, CPR & Emergency Medicine, Flower Gardening, Haircutting and Computer careers represented.  These were really technical educational opportunities in our district. It was cool when Addie ran into her step grandma! What a coinkidink! 

Addie’s grandma showed us lots of jobs we could learn as early as high school!

It was fun to see some of the gear they wear in different jobs!

Here’s some high school kids explaining their engineering projects to the kids…

We learned some Engineering thing kids in Technical School do….

Our PTA ladies did a cute skit about our Fun Run Fundraiser coming up on May 5th!

We got to grind beans with a morter and pestle! Just like a pharmacy tech grinds pills…

We got to make “flour capsules” and count the flour pills like a real pharmacist tech!

Be a Paramedic or EMT! Or do landscaping! We got to see the CPR Doll too!

Or learn hair design,  or house building  or computer training at the Canyons Tech Center!


Then on Friday was the big day. Every single classroom had to come up with a mascot, school colors and a NAME for our college. My class chose  THE BANANA TECH MONKEYS! . They made it up, don’t blame me! Here are our school pennants. Aren’t you just SO PROUD!

So we went to the gym on Friday to see everybody else’s college colors and mascots. The fun comes when our surrounding colleges show up to represent. We get to see Swoop from U of Utah, and Cosmo from BYU, and many others.  It is a really fun day.  Here are the ladies behind College Week at our school.

Our PTA Rocks BIG TIME, as I’ve said before!  They did it again! Here’s the College Week Committee. I’ve taught 2 of their kids! So they let me take pictures with them.  LOL. They are celebrities around here. Oh Yeah! Mrs. Anderson has her own blog too! It’s called “Off the Wheaten Path”.

Swoop from University of Utah came….
Cosmo from BYU came too!  With silly string!
Big Dee of Dixie College in St. George came!
So did Dr. Doty, our Superintendent of Canyons District

California Teachers ROCK! Utah Teachers do too!

There were 13 college attended between these 4 teachers…Whew!

Our Going to College Chairwoman, Margo Andersen! She rocks!


Swoop loved playing the obstacle course against 6th graders!

The PTA made up this College Chutes & Ladders Game for us to take home! Thanks PTA!


Every class stood up, waved flags and yelled a cheer!

Here is our class doing our cheer…..”Banana Tech…..Banana Tech….Go Monkeys! Eek eek  eek!
Cosmo autographed this picture for Allie and Andrew! Woo Hoo!

We are the proud  Class of 2022! The Banana Tech Monkeys!

Surveys and Graphs in 1st Grade

One of the best math lessons from the Scott Foresman 2nd grade textbook was having the kids do a simple survey.  It was such a fun lesson and the kids really enjoyed it so much, that although we have adopted a new math series this year; Envision Math, I want to be sure I don’t ever throw the baby out with the bathwater. I will keep those good lessons I’ve done in the past and reteach them every year.

Surveys and Graphs in 1st Grade

Another thing I’ve learned as an “action researcher” was one year I noticed on my 1st grade testing across the whole grade (a Title 1 School I used to teach at) that nobody’s class was doing very well in the section of the end of year testing on “data analysis”. That means 1st graders can’t read graphs and tables. 

Our Bar Graphs

So we, as a grade, decided we would do a monthly graph as a whole class and see if that helped. We graphed favorite apple flavors, favorite Halloween Candy, favorite turkey dinner item, you name it, we graphed it.  But that year the scores were in the gutter again. Even though all our cute monthly graphs in all their butcher paper glory lined the halls of first grade, it didn’t help scores JACK SQUAT!  I realized that until the kids used the vocabulary words and really played with graphing a lot, they wouldn’t know what to look for and how to manipulate the information on their own. 

 I wanted them to be able to follow a bar graph across to match up the correct number with the top of the bar and then follow it down to what information it graphed.  And I wanted them to be able to converse in the vocabulary of graphs. The other thing I added to my classroom that has made all the difference was a “weekly graph”. But the  key is this; the kids after graphing must sit down on the rug and each child must tell me one thing they see in the graph using math words.

Weekly Picture Graph
Weekly Graph Pocket Chart

 They have learned to describe a graph. They use “greater than, is equal to, less than, most, least, greatest, zero votes, is 2 more than, is 8 less than, etc etc”. This has made all the difference.  It is the same principle as teachers who do calendar math. The kids learn the thing you want them to learn when you routinely do it again and again and make them describe it for you.

Trace surveyed us on our favorite sports…

Last week I introduced some new math vocabulary; surveys, pie charts, bar graphs and pictographs and tally marks to 5 to go along with Section 18 in Envision Math which is graphs and tables. We all decided on something to survey and then wrote out 4 choices. We folded a paper into 4ths and wrote the 4 choices at the bottom. Then I gave the kids 10 minutes to go around trading surveys and checking off their favorites on each other’s papers using tally marks. Then we added up our totals and made the bar graphs on fat, 1 inch size graph papers.

Some of the surveys kids came up with were; What’s your favorite soda flavor, ice cream, fruit and candy. Some wanted to know your favorite video game or sport. Others wanted to know your favorite color or movie. The hard part was coming up with only 4 choices.  And my only rule was that nobody have the exact same survey. So 2 people who wanted to survey favorite soda flavors had to compromise; one student changed hers to favorite juice flavors and added chocolate milk to the drink choices.

Emma asked what kids’ favorite books were?


The kids were really good at doing their own bar graphs.  We used different color markers for each bar. The hard part came when they had to fold a circle into 12ths and then graph their bar graphs onto the pie chart using 12 pieces. We have only 12 in our gifted class so it should have been easy. It wasn’t. (if you do this activity, fold a circle in half, then that half into thirds. Then fold one more time. It should net you 12 pie pieces). Or maybe just draw it out and kids just cut it. Shoulda woulda coulda!


But most of them transferred the totals on the bar graph successfully to the pie chart.  I was very proud of them. Then they colored the pie pieces a corresponding color to their bar graph colors. Then they labeled each pie piece with words that matched the bar graph words.

When we did our vocabulary test on Friday on the 4 vocabulary words, everybody got 100%. Talk about real world applications of math. Oh YEAH! 

Vera asked what everyone’s favorite color was?

These kids understood surveys and how to graph them. But the fun part was discussing why business owners of places like McDonalds and Chuck E Cheese or Boondocks  might want a survey done to find out customers’ favorite things in the first place.   I think we’ve got “Future Business Leaders of America sitting right in room 6 in the great state of Utah.  mmmmhmmmm.


I LOVE to plan an Easter Egg Hunt for my students. So every year I organize a fun classroom hunt. This year I found plastic eggs at Hobby Lobby for 77 cents for a dozen. And the day I got them they were 50% off! Woo Hoo! What a deal! So I bought about 10 dozen; 8 for my class, 2 for my 3 grandkids.

We HAVE to sing Peter Cottontail before the week is up!

Here we are with our Easter bags all ready to go….

I put up my April Weather Bears….it might rain today but I hope not! Keep fingers crossed!
The anticipation is killing us! The moms are out there hiding eggs!

So my students’ parents send candy in for a week or so and we fill the eggs as we go with wrapped candy of all kinds. We filled up about 100 plastic eggs. That would have been a nice photo. Wish I’d thought of that sooner!

Addie’s and Allie’s moms were so cool to come help out!

Then we make our Easter Baskets out of Costco white lunch bags. I buy a giant package of them about every 4 years and they last through all the crafts and yearly parties I use them for. (we also do a pirate party the last week of school and it’s another “loot” bag. Looks cool with a black skull and crossbones on it.

Here they are a half second after I blew the whistle to go! They left me in the dust!

I usually let the kids add their own art projects to their bags. This year we did bunnies, chicks and lambs and then we put Easter grass inside and fake green grass with hidden eggs all around the bottoms.

This is about 2 minutes later….the rush is over really fast!

A little more frantic running around……

Then we get a few of the parents to hid the eggs the last half hour of school.  And we come out and we all say, “ready, set, go!” and the kids scamper all across the school grounds looking for eggs. It’s all over in about 3 minutes. 

And we did some Hula Hoops and Sidewalk Chalk bunnies….

Then we do some sidewalk chalk and hoola hoops. I forgot to snap some pics of their cool pictures and their wishes to all the Sunrise Elementary kids to have a fun Easter break. !   It’s a fun activity just before Spring Break. The kids love it! 


Kites and Diamonte Poems

Today we wrote our Cinquain Poetry for our tissue paper kites we had made last week. These are the poems that start out with 1 word, then 2 describing words, then 3 “ing” words, then 2 more describing words,  then 1 synonym to match the 1st word.  They are fun to do. A website for a Cinquain Poetry Lesson Plan HERE.

Spring Kite Art and Cinquain Poems
Flowers reaching…
Butterflies flying….

 The kids did everything from t Easter and Flowers to Soccer and Insects. Matt even did a hunting cinquain.
I had a Cinquain rough draft form they wrote their sloppy copies on. Then I took them and typed them up on the computer in a diamond shape.

First Grade Poetry

I will have to add Matt’s when I snap a picture of it. It was a hunting poem. He wasn’t quite done with his when I started taking pictures at recess. I’ll post his cute poem and Kate and Saige’s poem tomorrow. 

Cinquain Poems

Some were about flowers, some about Easter…

Then we cut them out in diamond shapes and glue them on a white kite form with a flower and a sun to decorate. Then we glued them to the back of our tissue paper kites.

Tulips swaying &  flowers dancing! 
Blooming flowers…

We did tissue paper art last week using the ” half glue, half water” painting on tissue paper method. Then we let them dry and placed a heavy literature book on them over the weekend to make the kites lay flat.

And growing flowers…

Hanging from the ceiling…don’t they look cute?

 Last week we had also written our spelling words 3 times each on little leftover strips of paper from our Spring flower project.  We made them into spelling chains and stapled them to the bottom of our kites for tails.  They look pretty cute!

Such pretty colors!

Here are our finished Spring Kites! We are really SOARING HIGH!

April Showers Bring Spring Flowers

My spring book selections for the kids to read….they love the bird nest the best…

Today it started raining, hailing and thundering. And yesterday it was so nice, nearly 70 degrees! I was kinda bumbed out! I thought it was time for a little bit of Spring!  What the heck! Well I’m still hoping to see Spring. A link for a cute Spring Crossword Puzzle is     HERE at Kaboose.    They do have an easier version too.

I love tulips and daffodils, and in my neighbor’s yard there is a triange on the corner of his lawn, filled with bright yellow daffodils. Super striking!  And in a few days down  at Thanksgiving Point (April 15th) will be the Tulip Festival. They plant thousands of tulips all around the acres of gardens in brilliant Spring colors. So in honor of Spring we did some paper flowers.  Our bulletin board says, “April Showers Bring Spring Flowers”.


In my class we do paper flowers using 12 inch long strips that are thin, like 1/2 inch. Then I have the kids loop them into a teardrop loop shape and glue the ends together flat. Make 8 teardrop shaped loops.

 Then when all 8 are made and semi dried, we glue 2 together at the flat glue spot so they are in a figure 8 but flat in the middle. . Then glue 2 more together. Then criss cross glue those together. It should make a + plus sign shape. Do the process again with the remaining 4. Then glue those 4 in a diagonal shape across the + sign shape. It will look like an X going over a + sign. That is the bottom layer of the flower. Then do it again with 8 more strips. You can count 16 loops above. The more layers the puffier and more 3D the flower will look. Finish with a pom pom in the middle, a green stem and leaves. It will end up looking like these.                                                     

Sing the song “What a Wonderful World” when you are done. The Utube video with lyrics is What a Wonderful World HERE. 

April Showers Bring Spring Flowers….

A fun Spring Bingo game I found was at DLTK the link is HERE. You can make some up with words or pictures or a mixture of both.  My kids like the words. It’s a great reading center too. I choose the grid that has 4 x 4 so it is more challenging to get a Bingo.  I have Bingo games for most holidays done this way. I back them with pastel cardstock and have them laminated so they will last.


We did some rain poetry using our 5 senses for writing workshop. We brainstormed things you see, smell, taste, hear etc. when it rains. Here are some of our finished rain poems.

Now if we can just move past all these April Showers I’ll be happy. I want to plant my flower garden!!! I think I’ve got Spring Fever!  Mmmmmhmmm.

7 Things I Love!

In entering the blogging world we bloggers do what is called a “Linky Party” where we just get on each other’s blogs and talk. So here is a fun one I wanted to enter called “7 (non-teaching) Things I Love!”

1. I love my grandbabies. I thought for sure when I had grandkids that they would be boys, so I made up a grandkids room with a car theme, legos, action figures and hot wheels. Then I had 3 granddaughters! Go figure. But they are the sparkle in my life right now.

2. My Bear Lake cabin. I love to run away to my beautiful 3 bedroom cabin on a lake and read, refresh my mind and get peace from the hub bub world.

3. Reading. My favorite are usually biographies or memoirs. I love learning about other people and how they live their lives.But I love blogs, magazines, and fiction too.  It is one of my favorite pastimes.

A museum exhibit I loved made up of a gazillion BOOKS!

 4. Decorating and remodeling. I have to go in stages because it does get old, but I have been continually updating our house now for about 2 years. Next thing is making a headboard out of a door or shutters and knitting an afgan for the great room after we finished the wood floors! EEK!

Bathroom remodel…granite sink & countertop

 5. Flower gardens. I’m not saying I like gardening, I just love to SEE beautiful flower gardens. I aspire to having one but I’m currently a black thumb. But I do try. I love flower shops for the same reason.

My wannabe garden…

6. Cooking and trying out new recipes. I love the website because each recipe is rated and that way you know you are getting a good one if 500 people said so. I love to cook too, but mostly I just love to eat good food.

Super Bowl party food I made…Brie with puff pastry and black bean salsa

 7. I love PEOPLE!  I love my family, my friends, kids, coworkers, parents, and people’s comments on my facebook posts and my blog. It’s fun to have lots of people in my life.

My family biking on dad’s birthday