Monday, February 13, 2012

Chasing Away the Winter Blah's

I love winter and I love snow...especially this year since it took it's sweet time getting here! But even I can sometimes forget that I love them when I am freezing cold and scraping my car off after a long day at school... Anyways, after discovering Pinterest I discovered a site called Teacher's Pay Teacher's. It is a genuis site where teachers can post cute things they have created and other teachers can buy it from them.

This site makes me feel incredibley excited and super uncreative all at the same time. I can barely function on a computer enough to run this blog. I don't know how/have the time/ have the patience to come up with these things myself, so TPT is a godsend...even if I do sometimes feel a little bad about myself in the process. :)

One person who I particularly love is Amy Lemons. She is a 2nd grade teacher in Texas and she has a REALLY great blog. You can follow it here and an equally great TPT store which you can find here And that is where I found this adorable winter writing craftivity for Project Friday.

A hallway shot

An up close view

First we created the people. The template that I needed was included in the download. I had the kiddo's cut out and color their winter person and glue it on to their choice of colored construction paper. Then we did a writing activity. There were 4 different topic choices which were all about winter. There was: My Snowy Day, In the Winter I..., My Winter Story, and I Like Winter Because... We did a quick writing process activity with it and I had them do a pre-write and edit because I wanted their best work for the hallway. They did a great job with them and they really brightened up our little corner of the school.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Simple Machines Projects Are Simply Marvelous

5 years ago when I first started teaching we had the kiddo's do these great simple machine projects for our forces and motion unit. They needed to create a working simple machine of some kind. It needed to have at least one simple machine system ( wheel and axle, lever, screw, pulley, wedge,  or inclined plane) but could definitely have more than one. Then we got new textbooks the year after that and the forces and motion unit got changed.

Enter this past summer and our schools yearly teacher institute. My teaching partners and I decided to revamp our science and social studies curriculum into project based learning. And, yay!, in the forces and motion unit we included a simple machines project. My kiddo's really outdid themselves with these. Here are a few photo's of some of the projects.

J's inclined plane ball toy ( made from a ruler, a paper towel roll, and tape).

A's original pulley/wheel and axle. Then she made a bigger pulley system on her bunkbed so her sister could pass things up to her! This was one of my favorite projects.

J's tinker toy pulley system.

M's screw and pulley system. Of course it is pulling her favorite thing...horses!

J's pulley table.

L's car ramp. This was another very original one.

A shot of a bunch of the projects in the hallway ourside our room. I love this unit and can't wait to see what the kiddo's create next year!