Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We're Getting Carried Away with Learning! Fun with Open House Themes

Open House is right around the corner for me... as in next week! To help prepare, I decided to look at some of the pictures I took from last year's open house.

I've never been one to have a year long classroom theme, but I LOVE creating a theme for open house. I think having an open house theme makes the evening feel like a fun celebration showcasing the students' hard work. In the past, I used to do an elaborate Hollywood themed open house. You can read about that by clicking here

Last school year was my first year in a new school and a new district and I felt like a first year teacher all over again. I had to simplify open house. I decided to go with a "We're Getting Carried Away with Learning" theme and use fun balloons as decor. It wasn't quite as a exciting as my Hollywood theme, but it still helped create a fun and festive evening.

This picture shows a general idea of what the room looked like. My sweet mother-in-law is in the background hanging last minute things to the wall (gotta love family members who are willing to help!).

One thing that I love to do to help make the room look nice is add inexpensive plastic table cloths to the desks. 

Each year about 2 weeks before open house, I have my students do a compliment project where they write a sincere compliment to each person in the class. The students wrote their compliments on each person's balloon. I hung the balloons from the ceiling. The parents and students love reading about what their classmates said about them. I always write a nice note on the balloon to each child as well.

As you can see, simple touches can go a long way in making your classroom look fun and inviting for open house or other classroom events.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I almost forgot how to log into blogger...

Has it really been that long? So long that I wasn't sure if I remembered how to log into Blogger? I'm not sure we even have followers it's been that long. Is anybody out there? Hello?

Like all teachers throughout the world, we have been busy. Here's a quick peek at what we've been up to since our last post (which was in July! eek!)

Our summer consisted of leisure and fun {sigh} . . .

This is us waiting for a showing of the Tonight Show...

where we met this guy! 

We even had some time to taste test some of the most popular cupcakes in the Orange County area. Casey's won.
I also threw a gender reveal party for my brother and sister-in-law. It was so much fun planning and decorating. They welcomed a baby girl in November.

Then, the fun and games ended with a screeching halt!

A last minute hire (literally 4 days before school started) in a new district, school, and grade left me feeling like a first year teacher all over again! I am super happy at my new school and love my group of 2nd graders. In addition to this big change, common core and new technology implementation has left us both with no time to blog! We hope to come back once and a while to share what we've been up to in our classrooms.
. . .

Before I sign off, I want to share a holiday gift that my students made for their parents. I know it's  late, but if you like the idea, maybe you can pin it and save it for next year! For the last few years, my students have been making their parents snowmen out of fence posts. The parents can use them to stick in their garden or yard as decoration.

First, I bought wooden fence posts at a local hardware store. They come in all different sizes. I got mine for about a dollar per piece. I used to buy them already painted white. I tried several stores and all they offered were fence posts in natural wood. My students ended up having to paint the posts, which was fun for them, but was an added expense to the project.

My students spent about 2 days painting each side of their post. Once the paint dried, they decorated their post to look like a snowman. I pre-cut fabric to use as the scarf. The nose is made out of orange foam paper and we stuffed a sock with batting for the hat. The final product turned out really cute.

We are wishing you and your families much love, joy, health, and peace this new year!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It...Party Invitations!

Whew! Summer has been in full force and we have barely sat down! Between traveling and family gatherings, this is the third day since school got out that I  have actually been home with nothing planned!

I am so happy to finally have the chance to link up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It! I haven't had a chance to make any teaching related things, but I think summer is a great time for teachers to unwind and explore other interests. With that being said, I am exploring my newest interest of party planning! My brother and cute sister-in-law are expecting their first baby. The minute they told me they were expecting, I was already announcing that I would host a gender reveal party. They are going to find out the gender of their baby in front of close family and friends. I am so excited to make this a special experience for them!

I searched all over for the perfect invitation, but nothing seemed right. I finally decided to make my own invites!

 I first typed and printed the wording for the invitation on nice 4 1/2 x 6 1/4" card stock. 

I also cut this cute grey with white polk a dot scrapbook paper slightly larger than the white card stock to use as the backing. 

Then I got ready to stamp!

I used these cute mustache and lips to stamp.

Using embossing powder and an embossing gun, I embossed the stamps to give them a more raised look. 

I then glued the invitation to the polk a dot scrapbook paper. 

But I couldn't stop there! The envelope needed to be cute as well! So, I printed this question mark paper and cut envelope liners. 

I also found these plastic cups in the Dollar Spot at Target. I think I might fill them with candy and use them as some sort of party favor. 

I will be posting more things that I make for this party on our instagram account @therealteachersoforangecounty. We hope to be back soon with some teaching related posts!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Come follow us on Bloglovin!

Well... we finally made the switch over the Bloglovin just in time! We hope that you will continue to follow us! :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Social Thinking (it doesn't stop now that school is out!)

The majority of my students have goals for social skills.  Practicing those skills in a natural setting is important.  Here are just a few ideas for the summer that my awesome speech teacher gave me...
  • Encourage a journal, diary, or scrapbook of the summer or a vacation.  This is great for summarizing, because no one wants to spend the effort to record every detail!  For a student who doesn’t like to write, they can provide captions for summer photos.
  • The scrapbook idea can be fun and silly, too, with a regular spiral notebook.  The student can cut out pictures from magazines and make up captions, either individual snapshots or an entire story.  If your child tends to be highly literal (“I don’t know why she is sad because I don’t know her.”), encourage them to guess, because there is no wrong answer.  If your child is highly imaginative, encourage them to make up a story and stay with the context of the picture, rather than turning the story to be about their own interests (volcanoes, snakes, Power Rangers, etc.).
  • Watch a movie your student has seen, so they don’t have to focus on following the plot.  Help them notice the emotional reactions—pause the movie and explain it if they don’t get it!  You can ask: “How did he/she feel?" "How do you know he/she was happy/angry/etc.?” “Why was she angry/sad/whatever?” or “Why did he say that?”.  These tend to be really difficult, so help your student work through them.  
Social thinking goes into everyday life, and it makes life more interesting.   These activities will work best and be most enjoyable when you remember that the point is to relate to others and understand what’s going on around us.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Five for Friday!

Oh, Five for Friday, how we've missed you! I'm so happy that I have an extra few minutes this evening to whip up a little Five for Friday! I hope everyone had a great week!

My Attempt at Being Creative

You may remember my sewing disaster from a previous Five For Friday post. Well, I signed up for another sewing class and made these little t-shirts for a friend's daughters. I'm excited to try more projects this summer!

Instagram Fun!

We recently got an instagram account and we're having a blast! Come follow us @therealteachersoforangecounty. 

Face Math!

I did a fun, simple math activity to help my 2nd grade math intervention group practice addition/subtraction with regrouping. It is called Face Math. If you haven't read the post already, you can check it out here


I made these, "pup-cakes" for a friends' birthday. Yum!

The Immature Kid in Me... and no, I didn't do this

While walking through a sports store, I came across this. The immature kid in me thought it was hilarious and immediately took a pic.

Go link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let's "Face" it- Math Can be Fun!

There are only 2 weeks left in the school year for me, but I am still working hard with my reading/math intervention groups.

My 2nd grade math intervention group needed some practice with addition/subtraction with regrouping. Instead of the same old boring worksheets, I whipped up this little activity called, "Face Math." It is a fun activity for them and an easy assessment tool for me.

 Basically, I typed up various 3 digit addition and subtraction problems for the students to solve. Once the students were finished working out the problems, they looked at the bottom of the paper to see an answer key and color code. I gave two possible answer choices for each problem. The students colored the blank face according to the answer they got. The blank faces came from Creative Clips.

For example, if their answer was 160 for problem 1, they had to draw blue eyes on the face. If they got 150 for problem 1, then they had to draw green eyes.

 The coloring of the face/body makes this activity a simple assessment for me. In the picture above, I can see that the student that drew the yellow dots and blue shirt, answered the problem incorrectly as those were not the colors that went along with the right answer. I know that I will need to go back and review some of the problems with her. I made a girl version and a boy version for this activity.

The students had a blast with this and I am in the process of making more as they've requested! Even if you teach a different grade level, you can still do something similar with whatever concept you're working on in class.

You can download this for free right here!


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