DIY Teacher Appreciation Thumbprint Flower Pot

We had a silent auction last week and each class was given $15 from the PTO to come up with something to be auctioned off from their class.  This project was inspired by a Mother's Day flower pot I saw on Pinterest.

This is an easy to make project that I make with my firsties for the auction.  I think it would make a great teacher appreciation gift or room mom gift.  It is pretty enough to keep for yourself!

I took a plain terracotta pot and painted it light blue with water-based craft paint.  Then I used a student's fingers to make the grass and added bugs, birds, and flowers with the rest of the class's thumbprints and fingerprints.  After the paint dried, I used a Sharpie to add the detail to the bugs.  I love how it turned out.

Leave a comment to share class gifts you have made with your class or other teacher appreciation ideas.

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3AM Teacher Big Event Giveaway

Michelle is having a Big Event giveaway. Click on here blog button in my blog roll to check it out. I am out of town and posting on the go, so I am sorry for not having a direct link today.
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I just love teaching in the spring.  We are getting ready for our school-wide science fair this week and I have been working on making our classroom shine with all of the science we have been doing - rocks, plants, animals, and silkworm life cycle.  Here is our tear art "parts of a plant" bulletin board.
Below the bulletin board are our lima bean plants we are growing - no stems yet but we are waiting anxiously!
Click on the picture below for FREE directions.

We made "what plants need" handprint plants.  The five stems are labeled, air, water, sun, soil, and nutrients.  If you would like to make this in your classroom, you can get the pattern HERE from my TpT store.

I hope you are enjoying spring teaching as much as I am.  Leave me a comment on how do YOU teach plants?
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Lorax First, Next, Then, Last & I'm Doing A Giveaway

Wow!  The weekend has flown by.  This was a very busy weekend for us.  We had kid's football, baseball, and diving games/practices, a friend's wedding, church, and my son's baseball team's "Little League Day at the Diamondbacks" game, including a parade with all of the little leaguers at the game.  My son was on the edge of his seat the whole time.  He LOVES baseball.

I am doing a giveaway with Teaching My Calling for her 300th follower!  Yea, Cara!  I am thrilled to be included in her giveaway.  I am giving away any item from my TpT store.  Click on Cara's blog button below to enter.  I thank all of you who have already entered and are following me on Facebook or my blog.

Teaching...My Calling

Now for what's happening in my classroom.  This week we wrote our fourth quarter book report on "The Lorax".  This was a bit of a challenging book for us compared to the other book reports we have done.  We stepped up from Beginning, Middle, End to First, Next, Then, Last.  We started with a full read aloud the first day followed by a bubble diagram about the Lorax and drawing pictures of First, Next, Then, Last.  Here are the graphic organizers we used for that.

The second day we worked on writing the First and Next part of the book report.  I gave them a starter sentence and then we webbed with group discussion things that happened in that part of the story.  Here are group webs we made:
The third day we worked on writing the Then and Last part of the book report.  I gave them a starter sentence again for the Next section and we webbed with group discussion things that happened in those two parts of the story.  Here are group webs we made:
I am very proud of the kiddos.  They did a great job.  For fun, we ended by drawing what we think the Once-ler might look like and describing him and watching the movie.
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Rock Cinquain Poems, Earth, Our Home Books, and Silkworms

We have been writing and reading poetry this month, during Poetry Month.  Earlier in the month we wrote a five senses poem about Spring.  Last Friday, we wrote cinquain poems about rocks as the last activity of our rock unit.  We practiced writing cinquain poems a couple of times with other topics and then I cut them loose to write their own on rocks.  I let them work in pairs to write them (my class this year just works better in pairs) and they did a great job.
solid, hard
shining, erupting, moving
Volcanoes are rocks.
hard, volcanoes
moving, changing, layering
I like to climb rocks!

We finished our Earth, Our Home books today.  We created them as both an appreciation of the Earth and its wonders and as an introduction to habitats which we will be studying soon.  Here is one student's book that I loved.
And...we are on week 2 of our silkworm observations.  We are keeping a lab book.  Right now we are writing observations once a week.  Starting next week the worms will be changing fast enough to do observation writing a couple of times a week.  Our silkworms are currently 1/4" long and have started to turn from black to white.  They are really hard to see right now but maybe you can pick them out!
We are having fun with science in first grade!

Link HERE to Charity's "The Organized Classroom" blog for more teaching ideas from teachers sharing great ideas for their classrooms.
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Lorax Cause & Effect - Earth, Our Home

Today we started writing our book report on The Lorax.  Our school is doing a school-wide project on Environmental Awareness.  Each grade level decides how they want to interpret the theme.  In first grade we are using The Lorax as our launching point for our project.  I made a Lorax/Earth Day Unit to use for our book report and environmental awareness project.  

While we were completing a venn diagram comparing the Land of the Lorax before the Once-ler arrived and after the Once-ler arrived, I was struck by the fact that NOTHING was the same before and after.  So I made this Cause and Effect graphic organizer to use.  You can download it HERE.
There is a great new little paperback called "How to Help the Earth - by the Lorax".  In Seuss-style verse it covers ways to reduce trash, energy, and other things we can do to protect the environment.  Here is one of the webs we filled out after reading it.
Tomorrow we are making our Earth, Our Home shape book.  I can't wait to share it.  We will be combining my shape book and My Earth Day Poem FREEBIE.  I'll post pics.
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After Spring Break Sale, NASA eClips and Rock Investigations Freebi

I am linking up with TBA's Friday Freebie today!  This week we did Rock Investigations.  Don't kids just LOVE rocks?  The kids came up with some fun questions this year like "Do rocks come from outer space?"  That led us to watching an online NASA eClips video "Our World:Lunar Rock"  on moon rocks.  We also watched NASA eClip "Our World:The Rock Cycle" to introduce the 3 types of rocks.

My freebie includes a Rock Investigations graphic organizer with example and a flip-book design for igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks (I just love flip-books and foldables).  You can get it HERE.

I'm having a post Spring Break sale!  We are in the home stretch of the school year and Spring Fever is high!  Grab some fun science, math, or literacy units from my TpT or Teacher's Notebook store to keep your kiddos engaged.  I have more science units in the works for what we are finishing out the year with - insects, habitats, and the desert.  When I upload those units I will initially offer them at a discount.  So check back and enjoy the last weeks of school!

Thank you for following me. Sharing ideas with other teachers is the best reward!

Happy Teaching!
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The Lorax and a 5 Senses Spring Poem

I am really enjoying our April bulletin boards.  We are using my Lorax Unit to learn about the environment and Earth Day.  We are also doing our fourth-quarter book report on The Lorax.  

For our bulletin board, we wrote ways we can help the environment on truffula tree tops and made draw-along Loraxes with legs, arms, mustaches, and eyes from the craft in my Lorax unit.  I also have a coordinating Lorax and Earth Day shape book set, a Lorax Environmental Poster Set and a Lorax paper bag puppet freebie. (click on the picture)

If you would like an Earth Day and Lorax unit, this 84 page unit (on TpT and Teacher's Notebook) is packed with great graphic organizers, writing activities, poems, and literacy and math activities and centers. 

 Following my love of shape writing paper and books, we wrote Spring 5 Senses poems on tulip-shaped paper.  We brainstormed ideas for each sense and then the kiddos wrote their own poems.  They did a great job!  I love this time of year when they start to be come good little writers.

It has been a great week!  We are working hard on our Rock Unit and our silkworms have hatched and we are starting our observations.  I will be posting a couple of Rock Unit investigation graphic organizers tomorrow on TBA's Friday Freebie.  I'll post pictures of them on my blog.  I love Spring!

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Earth Day Freebie Linky!

I'm linking up with Sunny Days in Second Grade's Earth Day Freebies Linky!  I have a huge Lorax & Earth Day unit  and a huge Rainforest Unit on TpT but this freebie didn't make it into either unit so I want to share it here.  I love lift-the-flap poems.  The kids use so many skills when they make then - reading, sequencing, and illustrating.  It is a great way for kids to make meaning of the poem and relate it to themselves.  I hope you enjoy this poem freebie!  Click on the poem picture to download from google docs.  It is also available on my TpT store HERE.

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Happy Easter! Follow the Crumbs to A Cupcake for the Teacher Giveaway!

We had a wonderful Easter service this morning and at the end the congregation was invited up to add real flowers to this cross.  The cross was bare and wrapped with chicken wire in the beginning.  Look how beautiful it is now!  I hope you all had a blessed Easter today.

A student gave me this really cute gift last week that is the cutest teacher gift I have ever received.  It is an insulated cup filled with different shades of green jelly beans and topped with flower lollipops.  It is so cute I am using it as spring decoration in my home!  Definitely one to Pin.

A Cupcake for the Teacher has reached 1000 follower!  She is having a great giveaway with 10 prizes, 10 winners, and 10 chances to win.  Follow the crumbs....

Have a great week!
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Lovely Blog Award! and a Giveaway!

I was awarded the Lovely Blog Award from Jenny at Luckeyfrogs Lilypad.  Thanks Jenny!  I am excited to receive this award and to pass it on to others whom I admire, follow and want to be sure you notice!
Here are the Lovely Blog Award rules:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you ~ Jenny at Luckeyfrogs Lilypad  
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2. Pass the award on to 15 other Lovely bloggers ~ see below!

3. Follow the person who sent it to you ~ I already follow her blog!

Mrs. H at Once Upon a First Grade Adventure is overflowing with great ideas. If you teach first grade, you need to check her out! I was recently a winner of her giveaway and I got her Snip, Flip, and Fold printables for Reading Comprehension and they are great!

Fun in Room 4B
Elizabeth's blog Fun in Room 4B is just that FUN!
Sweet Seconds
Brittany at Sweet Seconds is a very talented teacher. Be sure to check out her great ideas at her blog.
Melissa at Dilly Dabbles has lots of great April Poetry Month ideas including her Jump Rope Rhymes series!
Lyndsey at A Year of Many "Firsts" has some awesome spring ideas! Stop and visit her.
Teaching Little Apples
Judy has a super cute new blog design. You have GOT to see it!
Wild About First Grade is a fun blog and she is also celebrating 100 follower with a giveaway!  Go see her fast!
Michelle is one sharp cookie and a Pinterest enthusiast.  She's a must to check out!
Teach 123
Another Michelle who has taught all over the country - I mean ALL over the country and has alot to share with primary teachers!
Stacey at Third Grade Times is a new blogger on the grow.  Check her out.
Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

Teresa has taught for 27 years and has taught everything but 1st and 8th (the grade I teach now and the one I will teach next year)!
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Little Miss Middle School has great ideas for elementary and middle school science.
Rebecca at The Teacher's Chatterbox has taught 3rd grade for 14 years.  So you know she knows her stuff!
Kids Cog Works
Lots of great ideas and technie know how!
Thinking Out Loud
Carolyn is a K-3 master teacher and has also been a literacy coach.

Plus...Finally in First is on day 5 of her 5 day = 5 Giveaways!  You can enter them all still today if you hurry.

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