C is for Classroom Tour

Here's a peak into my classroom before school started this school year...
Sign In Table- email address and room mom sign ups
Welcome Bunting
Welcome Bunting
View from the Door, sorry it's blurry
Reading Group Bulletin Board with Thirty One Oh Snap Pockets
Reading Group Table
Back Wall and Counter
Classroom Library
Focus Board
White Board
Above White Board
White Board
Super Improver Board

SMORE Folder
Welcome Treats- Hand Sanitizer, Fruit Snacks, Stickers, Slinky, Pencil

Merry Christmas from Virginia!

We wanted to share a little bit of Virginia Christmas with each of you this Christmas season!  Merry Christmas from all of the authors at Virginia is for Teachers!

From Bedford, Virginia
Elks Home Lights

From Roanoke, Virginia
Hotel Roanoke 

From Virginia Beach, Virginia
Boardwalk Lights Lights

From Richmond, Virginia
The Jefferson Hotel

From Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

And we wish you a 

Using Clock Manipulatives to Explore Math Curriculum

I know many of us are spending the day with family and friends to celebrate the holidays and enjoy winter break...so I am going to keep this short and sweet. 

I recently discovered and great clock manipulative that is a great addition to any Pre-K or primary grade classroom. It is the Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock found on Amazon for only $10! It is a nice large wooden clock, about 9 inches in diameter. It is fantastic for teaching fine motor skills, numbers, colors, shapes, concepts of time and much more! 

Here are a few ways students can use the clock to explore numbers, shapes, colors, time:
I love that students can use the numbers on the clocks to sort, make number sentences, and order numbers! To extend, students can sort by even and odd numbers, number of sides or corners on a shape, build patterns, and much more! I had students even use Post-it Notes to write addition and subtraction sentences but you could use Post-in Notes to compare numbers with greater and less than symbols too. 

These math clocks are great for a math center or even a guided math group with the teacher.

I would love to hear how you see your students using the math tool or if you already have one leave a comment about how you are currently using it!

Happy Holidays and enjoy every second of your winter break!

C is for Chesapeake Experience

I grew up in North East Pennsylvania, kayaking, boating, and swimming along the banks of the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers. I have many fond memories as a kid in my own backyard exploring and learning about nature. Needless to say, I couldn't pass up an opportunity for my students to experience their own backyard in this manner.

My school division is nestled in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay, which means we have numerous opportunities for hands on outdoor enrichment! There isn't any thing that gets our kids more excited than actually getting down and dirty in their own backyard.

Chesapeake Experience is a Field trip program designed around the SOLs to foster real life hands on experiences for our kids. Over the last few years, the Ecology club and our fifth graders have been able to partake in his experience.

I worked with Jill from Chesapeake experience who tailored a trip for our kids. Our grade level was split up over a few days. Two classes going each day. Each day was broken up into 2 sessions: Land and water. The water session included the kids actually getting into and paddling their own kayak. At first, I was so nervous with such a large group of students in kayaks and on the water. They took to the water like ducks. It was amazing! While paddling up the river students observed wildlife such as Osprey, a Grey Heron and some Ducks.

During the land session students were actively crabbing. They tied RAW chicken wings (yuck) to a string and pulled blue crabs up and caught them with a net. Each crab was measured and students recorded whether each crab was male or female and each length. We did catch and release, so neither crabs nor children were injured during either session.

It was certainly an experience that my students and I, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

You can find more info here at Chesapeake Experience

See you next month!


C is for Christmas Cards

Hope you are reading this from the comfort of your quiet home, cup of coffee in hand,  no papers to grade, and you slept til 10:00...

Yeah, me either!  Even though I'm on break, it's been a busy one so far!

I've stopped by today to share with you a quick and simple way to incorporate a little recycling into the holiday season and to answer the age old question..."What am I gonna do with all these Christmas cards?"

Every year, my mailbox is bombarded with Christmas and holiday cards from friends, neighbors, and loved ones close and far away.  While it is such a blessing to receive notes and catch up with friends, after the holidays, I always wondered what to do with the cards!  I hate to throw them away.

I began saving the front of the cards by cutting them apart on the fold.  In my file cabinet of seasonal goodies, I stash all the old Christmas card fronts in a large storage bag and save for my students to create a few Christmas/holiday cards of their own.

The kiddos love creating and designing their own cards.  They pick out the fronts they like, glue them to a folded piece of construction paper, and write a sweet message on the inside.  Easy-peasy!  And, the best part, they have a personal gift to give to friends, family, and even teachers.  I wish I had taken a few pictures of my students who made their cards, but pics of my own kiddos will have to suffice :)

Not sure why they are hiding their faces (sorry about the flash!)... and the 2 year old wanted to make her card like big sister!

So, start hoarding and stash them away (in a place you'll remember!!) and pull out for next year.

Have a wonderful break!  Happy Holidays!

Animals Animals Everywhere!

My students have absolutely loved the study of animal adaptations that we have been doing and boy have they learned a lot.

One of our most favorite activity had to have been the blubber bag. We put some Vaseline in a bag and then put another bag inside the vaseline bag. We put a thermometer inside the bag that was inside the vaseline bag and read the temperature after it was submerged in ice cold water. We also put a thermometer inside a plain bag and submerged that in ice cold water and then compared the two. It really worked! The bag that represented the blubber measured in at about 20 degrees warmer than the plain bag! Whoa!

Here is a picture of our blubber bag for you to check out!

I got this idea from a fellow VA blogger, but I did modify it just a tad bit. You can find her post on it here. Head on over to Third Grade Thinkers because she has a lot of great ideas to teach animal adaptations!

My students have also been having an amazing time creating animal habitats you can check out those below:

This snake project is so cool. The black rat squeaks every time you walk past it!

The blue bottle above the poster is actually a jellyfish she put inside the bottle! Cool!

What great ideas do you have for teaching animal adaptations?

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