Marshmallow Shapes!

This is a quick post...because I wanted you all to know that, yes,
I am still alive and teachin' in good ol' Kansas!

We are wrapping up our math unit on shapes and thought 
I would share some pictures of an activity we did last week.

I saw this activity in a resource book I had, only it used
I thought it was cute, but I'm too cheap to buy enough
gumdrops for all 23 of my kiddos.
Marshmallows are much more economical. :)
Besides, that's what Clark Griswold would do and I often
ask myself, "What would Clark do?" to keep myself in check.

Ok, totally kidding.
Don't know where the heck this is coming from tonight...
but Christmas Vacation is one of my favorite movies EVER!

I'll just share the pics now. :)

First we traced solid figures and related the flat surfaces
to plane shapes.

 Then I set them loose to create solid figures...

They loved this activity and I bet your students would, too!

Gotta get back to the real business of the week...a Lorax themed
birthday party for my baby girl who will be 3 on Saturday!

Tonight I'm working on making truffala trees...wish me luck. ;)



Stoplight Paragraphs

 Have you seen this method of teaching
paragraph writing before???

I stumbled upon this idea 6 years ago here.
Then, I kind of forgot about it until now.
Maybe because the next year I moved to 4th for
one year, then to 2nd the following year and that's
where I've been ever since!
I guess all that moving around made me forget a few
things! :)
We've been studying main idea for the past several weeks
and I thought it would be the perfect time to transition
to writing paragraphs.
I remembered the stoplight method and it worked great
with my kiddos this time, too.
Now, their topic and closing sentences are not perfect, but
its a start...especially for those kiddos who had never even
heard the word paragraph before!
Since we've also been working on our space unit, I decided
we'd write paragraphs about the moon.
First, we read several books all about the moon and
then made this bubble map together.
 Next, I had the kids make a bubble map in their journals
and they picked 4 or 5 facts from our class map
to add to theirs...what they wanted to include in 
their own paragraph.

We went over the rules to writing a paragraph
and the stoplight method...
 Obviously, the green and red lights are switched
on a paragraph stoplight {as opposed to a real stoplight!}.
It just makes more
sense for the topic sentence to be green and 
for it to be at the top...like, 
"GO! Start your paragraph!"
We wrote a paragraph together first, to practice the rules.
I cut 1" strips of green, yellow, and red
construction paper, and I just chose
a color for the background that I knew the colors
would pop against.
I handed out only the green strips first and the kids
wrote their topic sentences. I demonstrated this
first, using the topic sentence from our class paragraph.
 I pointed out that they needed to start writing at the edge of
the sentence strip and one of the kiddos raised 
their hand and said, "But,  don't we need to indent???"
It almost brought a tear to my eye, thinking,
"Why, yes! Yes we do!!! But not yet!"

Some kiddos will need more than one green strip to fit
their entire topic sentence on and that is ok.
When everyone was ready, I passed out 1 yellow strip and the
kids got started on their supporting sentences, one at a time.
Finally, we got to the closing sentences and we used the red

The next day, I showed them how they were going to take their
sentences strips and turn it into a paragraph!
First, I had them lay their sentences out on their desk in order
like this...

{notice some sentences take more than 1 strip}
Cut off any excess on ALL of the sentences.
  I demonstrated how to lay their topic sentence on their paper
and indent. BEFORE we glue it down, we have to see
if the whole sentence will fit. 
If not, we cut the strip after the last
word that will fit and the rest will go down on the second line. 
My entire topic sentence did fit, but most will not!

{EDIT: A few people have left comments since I published this about
how my topic sentence is not really a topic sentence. I realize I could
have chosen something a little more simple, like, "There are many
interesting facts about the moon." as the first sentence. However, I also feel that mine is a topic
sentence, as I use the words, "The moon," at the beginning and state a simple
fact to grab the readers attention! Several of
our expostitory texts from our reading series included paragraphs where
there was NOT a cookie cutter topic sentence, yet my students were still
required to identify the main idea of the paragraph. This is just ONE
example of a paragraph I used with my kiddos. I also explain to my
students that the main idea is not always found in the topic sentence, but
also the closing sentence. Just thought I would clarily. :)  If you disagree,
then that's your own cup of tea!}

Here I am positioning the other sentences, and trimming 
after the last word that will fit on that line...

I really like this activity because it's a hands-on approach to writing
a paragraph. I think this helps some of the kiddos grasp the
concept, "Oh, if there isn't room to write the next word, I go
down to the next line and it's no big deal!"
This also helps those who want to always start on a new line
at the end of each sentence. They can see that they should
use the rest of the space available on the line they are currently
on to start the next sentence. "Don't waste any room!" I tell them. :)
I can literally see that lightbulb turning on over and over again on
their faces!
The kids worked VERY hard on these so I decided to display it
out in the hallway.
 I split this lesson into two days and I would highly recommend that!
 Here's a anchor chart displaying the stoplight paragraph
if you'd like to use this in your clasroom. Just click the pic
to download.

I hope this all makes sense...if not feel free to email me if you
have any questions!


Freebie...as promised!!!

Have you seen The Lorax yet???
Seriously, one of the best movies I've
seen in a while. So so cute.
I didn't know I could tear up about
trees, but it happened.
And I may or may not have laughed out
loud at a few parts by myself,
but that's pretty much normal for
me in a movie theater.
My little babe is turning 3 this month
and has now requested a Lorax themed
birthday party so my party planning wheels
are a turnin' fast!
Back to business....
here's a little treat for ya.
Click on the pic to download.
Are you sick of seeing
these 3-D shapes?!? Ha!
I can't promise it won't be the last cause I do have
a little extra time on my hands this week.
Thank heavens for spring break!!!! :)


3-D Shapes Book!


I'm officially on spring break and it came at
the perfect time.
Here in good ol' Kansas this week we will be having
highs in the 70's...pefect flip-flop weather! Winning!!!!

So...this afternoon I have to trudge down to my
basement and find all my spring and summer clothes
and so the switching out of the winner clothes begins. :)

We are getting ready to begin a unit on shapes which is why
I made this book for my kiddos to work on during math workshop.

The shapes included in the book are a cone, cube, sphere,
cylinder, rectangular prism, and pryamid.

They cut out the shapes and
paste them on the correct page. Then they
 write a sentence about the shape.

This file is for sale in my TpT shop for here.
These are super easy and fast to make. I copy the pages front-to-back and set the
copier to staple twice on the left side. Then I can cut them in half
with the paper cutter and the booklets will already be stapled and put together!

This book goes perfectly with my 3-D Shapes Poster Pack...check it out here!

I left my jump drive at school, but luckily its open all week so I'm
going to swing by tomorrow and get it so I can share a freebie
with you all tomorrow!
It's a worksheet to review edges, faces, and vertices
of 3-D shapes.



3-D Shapes Poster Pack!

Here are some posters for your math
wall of 3-D shapes!

Since I had such a great response to the money
posters I shared here, it was plenty of motivation
for me to keep on revamping my math wall!

There is a sign for six 3-D shapes...here are a few
of them...

I also made one that fit all the shapes on them for
my small group table!
And, just for fun, mini posters perfect for students
desks. :)
 I know a lot of name tags have these included,
but this year we ordered a different style (unknowingly)
and it didn't include the shapes so these will be perfect
for my kiddos' desks.
You can pick up all these things in my 3-D Shapes
 Btw, everything comes in a black-and-white version, too!
It's regularly $3.00, but
since I'm having a 20% off sale, you can grab it
for $2.40! The sale lasts through this Saturday:)

On another note, I've never really "celebrated"
Dr. Seuss' birthday.
I think I just heard you all gasp. :)
I don't know why, its just not that big at my school.
I think Kindergarten has had someone dress up as
The Cat in the Hat before, but we really
don't do much in 2nd grade.
It's tempting with all this super cute Seuss stuff I'm seeing
all over blogland lately!
I guess there's always next year {sigh}.