Thursday, September 29, 2011

Science Experiments and Activities

What a crazy day! I had to put myself in the hallway this morning because I had 27 students running walking around loud and aimlessly this morning, along with 4 other adults standing there watching and not helping manage them. My blood pressure sky rocketed through the roof!!! I put myself in the hallway to calm down and remind myself not to cry, save it for later, things could always be worse.

BUT, things started looking up this afternoon! I have a double special (when my little buzzers go to Gym and Art) so I went into a fellow first grade room to teach them how to do individualized spelling! It was SOOO good. Great therapy! My attitude brightened because I had to show off my mad teaching skills, ya know.

Anyway, onto Science! I have no pictures from this year. Remember, I am studying bees as a starter project since our theme in our classroom is Busy Bees! The kids LOOOOOVE it!

Since I don't have pictures from that, I want to share a project-based learning unit we did last year. I came up with this totally on the fly. Remember in I think October, when rescuers FINALLY reached the Chilean Miners that were trapped underground? I remember like yesterday. I found a live internet feed and showed my kiddos right away that morning of the first miner being lifted up in the capsule. They started asking these AMAZING questions, dealing with science, social studies, math, and much more. I started writing them all on the whiteboard because they were so engaged in the live internet feed. THANK GOD for smartboards!!!

They had to rush off to Art right after that, of course, just my luck. But I continued to do research to answer their questions that whole planning period. I found amazing news articles, more footage, etc. When they came back from Art, they wanted to know how many more miners had been freed while they were in Art. They took such ownership and showed incredible empathy toward each and every miner and their family. I literally threw out my lesson plans for that day and the next because we studies the miners and the country to Chile for the next two days.

The kids were anxious to know how big the capsule was that the miners were being rescued in. We researched, found the measurements, and "built" our own. My little buzzers then wrote notes on the capsule to the miners and their families. The messages were SO heartfelt.
They also were curious as to how big/small the mine shaft was. So, in true teacher fashion, we measured that out too (our reading buddies helped us this time). We did that on the playground and made a chalk etching of it so they could go back during recess and "play" miners.

 This was my first unofficial project based learning unit. I hate to call it official because it was totally on the fly. But the kids remembered that ALL year and I'm sure they will remember it FOREVER. I know I will. We even had two local news stations come out and interview us. You can find one of the articles HERE.

I hate to say I hope there are more national news things we can research, but it is such a great way to teach a plethera of subjects and "teach" empathy at the same time. I will forever watch the national news stories to gain more ideas on project based learning units!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Science Freebie!

We had a great day in this hive! I hope you all did too!
Today is Science Freebies and Science Unit Sales on TBA's Science Week agenda. Although I am not too creative and I do not have a TPT account yet, I do have one freebie!
It's for living and non-living things, which I do in the Spring. I have nothing for this time of year because I am stealing using all of your fabulous, cute, engaging ideas! Click to view my Window Box Wonder for what plants need! This was adapted from someone out there, so if it looks somewhat like something you created, please let me know, so I can give you ALL the credit!!! If that link doesn't work, please let me know. I can't figure out how to post a picture of it like all you techies... :(

busybeesandcupcakes at gmail dot com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Science Week...AUGH!

First and foremost, I must apologize for the second posting. I know it's against blog rules, but when have I EVER followed the rules? Let's be honest...

I love Science. I love Social Studies. BUT...(enter dun, dun, dun Halloween music) I actually teach them integrated with Math, Writing, Reading, etc. (GASP!?!) I know...I believe the latest terminology for it is project-based learning and I couldn't be more pleased! We'll get in to that more later. Let's get into Teaching Blog Addict's Science week, shall we?

Monday's favorite books (although there are a TON more):

I love using The Tale of Peter Rabbit to introduce our project-based learning unit on living and non-living things!

And I fell in love with this book for our bee PBL unit. The photographs and captions are fascinating!

 Tuesday's favorite websites (again, there are a TON more):

The Magic School Bus. Great videos, printables, games (GASP!) and more!

NASA Kid's Club. Amazing in general. A-MAAAAA-ZING!

That's it! I will try to keep up with the rest of the week on time!
Geesh...27 kids isn't a handful or anything. :)



My Bucket is OVER FlOwInG!!

Oh my word, you guys!

How sweet! Not only are my little buzzers amazingly quiet today, but Jennifer over at this cute little blog
 gave me the "I Heart Your Blog" award. I am in disbelief! I can't believe someone would love my random posts! Hot dog Jennifer! You are amazingly awesome, too!!!

Here's the story behind this award:

I Heart Your Blog Award: A dear friend of mine taught me a profound lesson several years ago when she shared her personal mantra, "There is only love." Since then, I have realized that by adopting this mantra in my own life, I have changed my whole approach to everything I experience. That being said, as a total newbie to the teacher's blogging world, I discovered this gold mine of amazingly creative and talented teachers out here in cyber space. There are so many of you spreading the teaching LOVE around the globe by sharing your ideas and experiences. I just had to create a blog award to celebrate those of you who touched my heart and inspired me, increasing my LOVE of teaching.

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world!

When you are awarded the I Heart Your Blog Award, you are asked to do the following things:

1. Give the "I Heart Your Blog" Award to your favorite Top 10 blogs that have touched your heart and inspired your teaching by listing them on your blog.
2. Contact that person and let them know of their heartfelt award.
3. When you receive the award, copy and past the graphic on your blog and give a shout out to the person who nominated you.
4. Spread the LOVE by passing the "I Heart Your Blog" Award on to your Top 10.

That being said, in no particular order, my top 10 favorite blogs are:
I really do LOVE you all! It's always so hard to choose just 10. Go check them out and keep me posted with more great blogs! I can't ever get enough!!! :)


P.S. I'm totally blowing the whole 1 post per day thing today. I can't wait to post about science week!YAY!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hodge Podge

Does anyone else say "hodge podge"? Because that's what this post is all about...

We had a GORGEOUS day for our apple orchard field trip! Holy was beautiful! No wind, 70 degrees. Perfect South Dakota field trip weather, I tell ya what!

Here's a picture of my cute little buzzers at the apple orchard. They did such a good job!

I mentioned yesterday that one of my fellow 1st grade teachers turned 40 today! I should have taken a picture of her. She LOVES flamingos and someone had given her pink flamingo sunglasses to where all day today. They were A-DOR-A-BLE!
We made 40 flamingos for her classroom door area. They turned out so cute!

Hope you had a great week at school! It is going to be gorgeous here all weekend and I saw OODLES of garage sale signs, so guess what I'll be doing tomorrow?! ;)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Inside My School Bag Linky Party!

My favorite Abby, over at The Inspired Apple, is hosting an Inside My School Bag Linky Party! And if you know me, I LOVE a good party! :)
Here goes:
My bag, as of now. I received this with some cute little numbers at my bachelorette party last summer. ;)

Cold Sore Gel...left in there from early in the year. Too much stress causes this girl a cold sore.
Also, my Victoria's Secret Mint Box to keep the Ibuprofen in!

My favorite colored pens go with me everywhere!

Hobby Lobby gift card from one of my sweet little buzzers! Can't wait to go spend that!!

Postcards that have been in my school bag all week waiting for me to put names on them...

Prescription sunglasses. Guard those bad boys with my life!!! Can't go to recess without them!

Camera charger. Also, goes with me everywhere!

I LOVE these binding clip thingys.

A candy bar...just received this morning from one of my sweet little buzzers!

D.D.P. Can't get through a day without it.

A jump drive, zip drive, whatever you call it. I could leave this at school since I don't have a computer at home anymore!!

There you have it. A look inside this girl's school bag. I hope you enjoyed every minute of it. And every picture. Since apparently I can't take one picture of everything. That would be WAY too easy.

OOOOOH, and stop by of my fellow 1st grade teachers is turning 40 tomorrow. We're going to get her kids made the cutest little animals to surprise her with. 40 of them, of course. :)
AND we're going to the apple orchard for a field trip, too! YIPPEE!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Something Positive!

I said I was finally loving my kids the other day...well, today was not their best day in the Hive! Wow, were they ever chatty today!!! What do you do with a group of 27 little chatter boxes in a confined space? Seriously! I'm in awe....This might be reason enough for a shopping trip this weekend!

Jennifer, over at Rowdy in First Grade, is starting a positive movement! I need some positive in my life, so I thought I would tag along and play copycat! Go check her out if you haven't already!

My SCHOOL positives:

One of my sweet buzzers brought me an apple today.

My class is amazingly generous and ordered well over the $275 amount in the
September Book Order! We earned 5,000 extra bonus points! :)

I had one of these bad boys while my buzzers were at Gym and Art. I chugged it...stressful day. :)

My HOME positives:

My sweet Cougar will be waiting for me to come home!

My mom and I have had some amazing conversations the last few nights,
since my hubby has had to work real late!

One of our kindergarten teachers reminded me today that summer will come. :) This picture was from our vacation this past summer and I LOVE it. I can't wait to go back.

I hope you're finding a little bit of sunshine among all your chaos, too!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Hey y'all! How has your Monday gone???

I have to share a random personal post...sorry bloggie friends. I have to brag! I finished my first and only FULL MARATHON yesterday and I can walk today! Here are a few pictures:
I'm on the right. My cousin-in-law is on the left. Run a mile...walk a minute!

Run time! Most of the run was through corn fields and plains...welcome to South Dakota!
Feet from the finish line!! Running with my friend Randi!

Getting told they ran out of does that happen? They claim they will mail it. They better.

Here I am (in the pink) with Randi....marathon finishers! Add that to the resume....

I am so incredibly proud to say I finished. I have been battling what I thought was a bad cold for the last two weeks. I ran through mile 15 and couldn't breathe. So, I walked/ran as much as I could for the next 5 miles. After mile 20, I couldn't take running so I had to walk. I'm not so happy about the amount of walking I did, but oh well. I still finished! After a big lunch at Burger King, I went to the Acute Care. Waiting 3 hours for some random doctor to tell me I didn't have a sinus infection, even though I know my body and that's what it is. Called my doctor this morning and I'm now on a z-pak for a sinus infection.

My students were SO excited to hear about the marathon this morning!! They are even more excited to see my medal when it arrives on my doorstep!!! :)

Hope you had a great Monday!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

WOWSA!!!!! What a Week!

Oh my goodness gracious! What a week this has been! It's only been four days, but did it ever fly by?!

First of all, the sweet Barbara at Grade Onederful you are too sweet! To be on someone's Top 10 Blog List?! I am honored! Thank you-- I love your blog, too! And Mrs. Wyand over at Keeping it True in K-1-2 nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Awesome, more on that award tomorrow! Go check both of those awesome ladies and their blogs right away! They are too amazing!!!!
Secondly, this week has been awesome. I finally started LOVING my kids this week...yes, all 27 of them. They are amazingly good at chatting, but I have come to terms with that. At least I do not have the extreme throwing chairs kind of behaviors that I had last year! Waiting for them to stop talking has been extremely effective for me this week. I was yelling and that was not working, so I switched gears after getting sick and decided to wait, patiently, for as long as it takes. They caught on fast!!!

Today was the dreaded individual school picture day. We've been talking about them all week. I LOVE drawing their school pictures the first week of school, but never got around to it until this week. Without the chatting, we accomplished a lot in this classroom this week! Here's a glimpse of a few school pictures:

I just adore them. I keep them hanging up all year. At our poetry coffeehouse at the end of the year, I take them down and hang them in the hallway outside our classroom. Each buzzer writes an "About the Author" page. Also, very adorable.

Today was the first Friday I tried Math Stations. It was a success. I almost can't wait until next Friday already. :)

We also watched a clip on 9/11 today. Most of my buzzers knew about it already. I love that their parents have exposed them to history at such a young age! We wrote about why we love being American and they turned out darling. Some, even wrote about the World Trade Centers. And Sunday is my big race day. My first ever and last FULL marathon! I am running on Sunday in memory of 9/11. If our soldiers and military personnel can make the ultimate sacrifice, I can at least run 26.2 miles. God Bless America!

Wish me luck! One of my sweet buzzers came today with a good luck giftcard to The Juice Stop. In case you don't have one, they make the most delicious smoothies. I can't wait to indulge in a big fat juice chocolate smoothie after running 26.2 miles on Sunday.

See, we had an awesome week! I hope yours was as good as mine!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Well, I'm back to school today after a short four day hiatus from school. I was at home SICKer than a dog on Friday! That nasty head cold came to get me and put me under! Holy cow...I haven't taken a sick day in THREE years!! I guess it's my turn again...

So, today was interesting getting the little buzzers back into the groove after a substitute and the long holiday weekend. I was trying to remember patience as my 27 little darlin's were so chatty and needed many reminders about school in general today!

I thought I would be trying to frantically find time fillers this afternoon, but that was not the case. It took nearly an hour to get calendar done and I CRUUUISE through calendar on the SmartBoard and just get our graph assembled.

Since I'm running the Sioux Falls Marathon on Sunday, the buzzers have been asking so many questions about running a marathon and exercising in general. I love it! They are learning all about being healthy through my crazy experience. We completed a graph on our favorite exercise. Hopefully tomorrow we can finish the discussion and extension activity with the graph I had planned for today!

Here's a picture of the graph as it stands right now:

Maybe tomorrow I will have enough energy to make it a little bit cuter...any suggestions on the cuteness front???

Hope y'all are feeling great and don't catch the nasty cold bug that's going around!