Wednesday, November 9, 2016

All Science on board!!! Water Cycle posters, Weather, and Energy activities

Hello friends and welcome back!
Today's post is ALL about Science!! I have some activities for you that I have done in the past with my kiddos.
First is the water cycle (more of a review for 3rd graders) and each stage of it (we went in more depth to describe each stage). We created a foldable to write about each stage and we illustrated the water cycle on our journals. As an independent/assessment, students illustrated on a legal size construction paper the water cycle, and labeled each stage. I think they turned out pretty good, and I especially liked the one that had a wave.. :)

After reviewing and talking about the water cycle we moved into weather. We looked into different weather and weather tools... We have been talking about thermometers, wind vanes, windsocks, and rain gauges. As a lab activity, we created thermometers in our classroom. I started looking up Google and I found the activity HERE
Here are some pictures of how they turned out; my students were very excited and engaged while creating these. We ended up running out of time, so we created a thermometer for each tables group (4 students); However, it turned out to be perfect as a group project. Each student was able to contribute by doing something in this activity. I have some students that are very outspoken, so this activity really helped them to work on heir patience and skills as a team member.

After our unit of weather, we proceeded to Energy. We started this unit by introducing some vocabulary such as energy, mechanical energy, light energy, heat/thermal energy, and sound energy.
We looked into each source of energy throughout the week.
For sound energy I did a demo on musical scales; you fill each bottle with an amount of water and add food coloring to differentiate one bottle from another. After the demo a played the Magic School Bus episode called "The Haunted museum". I love this episode because it deeply explains that sound is produced by vibration.

For the heat/thermal energy, we baked a "Coffee Mug Cake," HERE is the link that I used. I did this twice. My first group of students used coffee mugs, but after cooking it, we realized most of them were not mixed properly and the mugs were too small for the mix. So for my second group we switched things around. We increased the amount of the recipe so we could use the lab's equipment; we used the Mason Jars (Quart size). These jars really helped my students because they were cleared glass, so they could see the bottom of the jar and make sure it was well mixed. Also, since we increased the amounts in the recipe, we heated the mix in the microwave for 7 to 8 minutes instead of 5 minutes.

I found this picture on this website to help me with the jar sizes.

Here are some pictures of my students working in groups. Since last activity was such a success, we did this activity as groups, too. Each of them had a task to do and they worked even better than  last time.

The weather has not been on our side lately, we have been doing a lot of the "indoor" recess at our school. So we decided to stay in our classroom to eat our cake during recess. The students loved it and were very engaged during this activity.

That's it for me friends! I hope I have inspired you to try one of these activities in your classroom. I also hope your students get engaged and excited as much as mine did! I hope your week has been not so hectic and that you have an awesome week!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thanksgiving Giveaway and FREEBIE!!

Gobble Gobble friends!!!
Welcome back to my blog! I know it has been several weeks since my last post, but I have been very busy with the kiddos and the house. However, I am back with our monthly link up so don't go anywhere! :)

We have come together to bring you some goodies for Thanksgiving! I would like to share with you what I used to do on that week before our days off. Every year my team and I would have outfits for our students to dress as Pilgrims or Native Americans. We would study all week about why we celebrate Thanksgiving and on Friday we would all watch "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" and have a big feast to simulate the movie.

We would make snack bags for each student. We would include popcorn, mini toasts, pretzel sticks, and M&Ms.

The kids always had a great time watching Charlie Brown and sitting to eat their snack "just like the movie"! We all enjoyed each other's company and had fun!

I would also like to share a Freebie I had created for you to use during these days. Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and share with others these special moments. I created a very simple, but cute Turkey bag where students can write what they are thankful for. This freebie comes in both English and Spanish! You can print the feathers in color construction paper or have fun with some Fall looking pattern paper!

If you would like to download this product, please click HERE

Last, but definitely NOT LEAST! We are giving away 5 TPT giftcards! Yes!! 5!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit my other friends to see what goodies they have for you!!! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pictographs and Monster Crafts!

Heellooooooo!!! Welcome back everyone!
Today I'd like to share with you some of the pictographs my students worked on their interactive journal. This was around Halloween, so I let them use my stickers to create their own :)
These pictures show when we were reviewing bar graphs and starting to compare them with pictographs....

My fantastic team partner gave me this idea... After talking and comparing the two types of bars, students did their own poll... They created their topic, their options so others can vote... Then, they went around the room to ask their classmates and record their answers by creating a tally mark chart... After they finished with the Tally Mark Chart, they proceeded to create their pictograph (including a key), and their bar graph....



My students did have a great time creating their own graphs. There were very engaged and had a great time working on their own bar graphs...

I would also like to share with you my new product! I am so excited to show you these little fellas! You probably would say I have a lot of favorite things.. so just to add more favorite thing to my list... monsters are one of them! 
I have a whole unit about monster on my to do list that I promise I will get to finish sooner or later, but for now I am very happy I was able to create these monster crafts!

I also included a writing sheet with a title "My monster" and "Mi monstruo" for students to write about their own monster! These are available in my store, so click HERE to take you there...

HOWEVER, I am having a giveaway my friends! YESSSS!! I am giving away one copy to the lucky winner! All you have to do is go to my Instagram page, follow me, like the picture of the monster crafts, and tag a friend in the comments!!!
Don't have an Instagram account? NO WORRIES!! Leave me a comment on this blog post and I'll make sure I include you in the giveaway! :)
I will be closing the giveaway on October 13th at 9pm CST while the babies are asleep! Good luck everyone and good luck!

This is all for me my friends! Hope you are having a good week! Hope to see you back on my blog! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Money and graphs

Hello everyone! :)
These weeks have been so very busy and nonstopping, my kids have decided to be awake and shining together... even baby boy seems to be too busy for a nap time! I am trying to get it together friends! In addition to my busy mommy life, I got severe allergies (thank you Texas). I am exclusively bf so medication is limited y'all and if you suffer of these great allergies, you know my pain!!!

Anyways, I would like to share with you a past blog post that I haven't post in a while. I figured I could share it with you again. It is very simple, but if you are a new teacher this might inspire you to start something with money and graphs skills :)
Before I continue, I just want to say these two topics are some of my favorite to teach! I am not sure the reasons, but I do enjoy teaching them. Especially graphing skills :)

Here we go!
1. We have been talking about money and reviewing the value of coins by making a foldable. This is a picture of my journal; however, instead of stickers, you can always use the front and back coin stamps that you can find at teachers stores :)

We also wrote word problems in our journals that included money concepts, so we wrote a list of words that refers to money

On the same week, we started talking about bar graphs and their scale. I brought three different types of candy for students to eat and to vote for their favorite to create a bar graph with sticky notes. This was our result:

I was surprised three students liked the Jelly Beans the best, I personally dislike Jelly Beans... like a lot! I only bought them to get to know their taste and apparently most of them have the same as me ;) They absolutely loveeeeeedd the skittles! I would have bought snickers (because they are my favorite candy of all!), but I couldn't bring them since it contains peanuts :(

Anyways, after finishing our bar graph and talking about strategies on how to represent information on bar graphs, I asked students to get in partners and create their own bar graph using their Chex Mix bag. I simply placed some Chex Mix in a zip lock and pass it over to each partner so they could create a bar graph to represent how many of each type they had in their bag. These are some examples of their hard work, I was so pleased to see their work and see them so engaged on this activity :)

Alright friends... When I did this, I was pregnant for the first time and after I reviewed this blog post, I could swear I shared the bar graph I did with my students about the sex of the baby... Apparently, I did take pictures, but I never blogged about it (LOVE GOOGLE PHOTOS FOR BACKING UP ALL MY PICTURES SINCE FOR EVER!!). So here we go!

During my pregnancy I shared with my students as much as I could about being pregnant. They all were so excited about it and so was I. we did different things, like shared names, things I felt when baby moved, some of them wanted me to let them know when baby moved so they could feel her, and some of them even used to bring me food! Anyhow, among all the above, I tried to use it as MUCH AS I COULD as learning activities. We found out the sex of the baby the day we were leaving for Christmas Break, so they actually had to wait until we were back to find out! So before we left, we had to vote (of course) whether they thought it was a boy or a girl.

My friends, I am telling you! I still remember their faces of happiness while doing this. I can't explain what it was, they just loved to talk about the baby and my pregnancy as much as I did. We all had fun making this graph. It still cracks me up that there were a few that actually thought they were twins! I actually had one student who would keep saying "I think they are twins Mrs. Nicolau!" Even when we knew it was only ONE and it was a girl. He would keep saying "Well, my aunt was supposed to have only one and when she delivered, guess what, they were twins! That could happen to you too Mrs. Nicolau!" Thank God he was not right! Having one at a time is enough, so I take my hat off to you ladies who have delivered twins or more!!! :) LOL
Anyhow, Both of the pictures above are from my two different groups. In both groups we talked about the graph and analyzed the results. I just didn't take pictures of both. I took a picture of just the votes and then the other has results of the graph.

Ok friends, that's it for me today! I will be posting about pictographs (still my favorite!) next week, so stay tuned! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Parent-Teacher Conferences Letters and Tips

Hello everyone and welcome back!!
I hope your days in school are becoming smoother and your students are falling into a some kind of routine by now! :)
Today I want to share with you a simple, but very helpful product with you! I know parent-teacher conferences are coming up so I am sure you started working on those letters to send home.

I want to share with you the way I sent my conferences letters. I basically sent this letter with a time and date already set up for my student's parents and an answer slip so they could tell me whether they could make it or not. Easy peasy right? RIGHT! Well, let me tell you... I always had at least three parents that misunderstood the answer slip and they would send those back with confusing answers, like both answers marked off: "yes I can make it" and "No, I cannot make it, let's schedule for another day." (sigh)
Sooooo I decided to make some changes on my letters and I even added a reminder bracelet (you could also staple it to the student's backpack). I made these letters cuter and I added a color version for those that have access to a color printer. But remember that you could always just use the black and white and use pretty color paper!

As always, it comes in both English and Spanish :) On this case, the two languages come in one product! So if you have parents that might need this letter in Spanish, there you have it! :) But that's not all! I included a blank form if you want to do these by hand OR if you would like to edit the text, I also made it editable!! Click HERE to take you to my TPT :)

Now, if you are a new teacher (or not) and would like some tips on what to say to your parents, these were things that I used to do and it helped me in a great way for my conferences to go a little bit more smoother! These are 5 simple, but important tips! :)

1. Keep your grade book handy during these conferences: At my school you could hold on to your student's report cards so parents could come and pick them up at the conference. Regardless of this, it is a good idea to show parents why "Pepito" got a 70 in Reading, but a 90 in Math. I liked showing parents the different grades that their child received to give them an idea of how much daily work and tests are given throughout the week. I also showed "Pepito's" parents that he was doing great with daily work, but when he took that comprehension test, he got a 40. Therefore, his grade average went down. That was a great opportunity to discuss ways to help him and to point out that "Pepito" needed to work on comprehension skills or/and maybe talk to him about the importance of taking his time while taking a test.

2. Show parents the main activities that are done in class and your expectations: I always pointed out to parents the importance of reading groups, math facts, and interactive notebooks in class. I showed them the kind and level of books that were given to their child and that it was expected to take those home to read. In addition, I mentioned the importance of practicing their math facts and what they were expected to master based on their grade level (add/sub OR multiplication). Lastly, I showed them the interactive notebooks. I showed parents how we used them in class and why they were so important. I reminded them (or for some, this was the first time they heard of it) that I let my students take their Math Interactive Notebook home. In that way, they could refresh their minds of what was learned in class so they could do their homework. It also helped parents to see what was done in class so they could help them as well. Yes, this was tricky move because they could lose their interactive notebook! Fortunately, I only had one student who lost his whole backpack so he lost his notebook, but it happened at the end of the school year.

3.It’s always a good idea to have some kind of sign-in sheet to prove that you met with the parents: At my school we were required to have a log-in sheet. Even if your school doesn’t require it, it is good idea to have a copy for your own reference. Not because parents would lie about meeting with you, but just to have a proof that you met and discuss with them about their child's academic and behavior status.

4. Always say something positive along with a struggle/negative comment: I am sure you all have heard this before, but it's true! Even when "little Johnny" seems not to get anything in class, can't focus, he's below grade level, etc. there must be something good and positive about him! As a parent now I think about these conferences, that statement can't be any truer. As a parent (even when my baby doesn't go to school yet) I would like to hear good things about my child besides the negative. I understand that these are the beginning of school conferences, so you might not know your students very well yet... but that makes it even better, because they will bloom with your help! Think about this, would you like to be told by your principal all your deficiencies or all the things you need help with and no positive feedback? EXACTLY! It is the same for parents; they always want to hear at least something positive about "their babies”!

5 Always end your conference with a positive and encouraging thought about the student's academic level: I always liked to end my conferences with an encouragement for parents to work with their son/daughter at home regardless of their academic level (because things get much, much harder throughout the school year).  Along with that statement, I reassure them that I would do the same on my side. I pointed out that it was the beginning of the school year, so there was time for them to improve, but that improvement will happen with hard work and dedication starting NOW. I always felt that parents left our meeting very optimistic, no matter if they received good or bad news. They all left with positive thoughts and felt encouraged about working hard TOGETHER.

That’s it for me my friends! I hope you find my letters to be a good addition to your class and my tips helpful in some kind of way! Thank you so much for stopping by today.. I hope you have just a minute to leave me a comment below, I ALWAYS love to hear from my readers!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Community Helpers Freebie and Science

Hello everyone!
Can you believ we are already in September?! OMG!
I hope your school year is going well and that you are getting SOMEHOW some kind of resting time (I know is easier said than done..).

I wanted to share with y'all my a freebie I have had in my store for a while, but it is definitely a goodie! It is a matching game for community helpers. I have a friend who used to teach younger students and she gave me the idea to create this activity :) I created this in both English and Spanish, and for those that teach DUAL LANGUAGE Classrooms! This can be useful for a Dual Language Classroom if you print both English and Spanish word versions and they have to match the community helpers in English with the community helpers in Spanish :)
Click HERE to take you to my store you can download it for free :)

I also wanted to share some freebies and ideas on what to do for states of matter in Science :)

We created a tri-foldable to show the different states of matter and how the particles/molecules of each state looks like. The difference between this idea and mine was that we didn't draw the pictures. We used Fruit Lopps to represent the molecules inside each state. Now, I sadly don't have pictures, because some uninvited guests came to my classroom and chew on them (YESSSSS!! EWWWWWWWW.. After that I never hang or left anything with food in our classroom. I always had my kids taking it with them home...)
Click on MY PINTEREST to see where I got the idea from :)

We had a weekly lab day in my school, so we were able to do lots of different experiments...
I found the perfect way to do easy soda bombs!!! We talked about soda being a liquid and combining it with Mentos (which are solid) will create a chemical reaction by producing gas, making this gas exploding from the bottle. My students had so much fun doing this as an experiment.
I got the idea from the following blog: PANCAKES AND FRENCH FRIES

Also, during Science Lab, we did Oobleck (I obtained the recipe from a mailbox book, but you can always look it up on Pinterest) :)
I created this recording sheet to record our observations

Lastly,we did some sorting activity on our Science journals to classify matter in solid, liquid, and gas.

If you would like those two sheets, Click HERE to download your FREE copy :)

Remember I am on BlogLovin' and if you would like to get my posts through email so you don't miss the fun, you can sign up on "follow me by email" (click HERE for instructions)!

That is it for right now! I am starting to work on a new craft these days! I am getting all excited on how the one pattern is turning out into so many different options! Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you back soon! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

New Unit - Complete Sentences with a Free Sample!

Hello everyone and welcome back!!!
Today I want to share the AWESOME NEWS (at least for me)!!! I have finished a small unit, YAYYY!!!!! I am very happy and I feel very accomplished that I finished this unit on time and by the date I wamted to finish it!!
Sooooooo I would like to share with you what I have created, and of course, I will not leave you empty handed.. I have a FREE SAMPLE to go with it!!

This is a peek of what the unit contains. I just created one for English, because the one in Spanish is THE WHOLE SAME THING, except for the language :) This is a perfect unit to do during these weeks! Just the beginning of school these babies need some reinforcement! :) If you would like to check it out click on English or Spanish.

This unit contains the following:
1. Foldable to sort sentences.
2. Sorting sentences between complete vs incomplete.
3. Game board to identify complete and incomplete sentences.
4. Identify complete and incomplete sentences using a cloth pin.
5. Scramble sentences.
6. Subject and predicate puzzle to create complete sentences.
7. Answer questions with complete sentences.
8. Mr. Pencil craft to go along with writing topics OR preview sorting activity (from #2)

As I mentioned, I wouldn't leave you hanging! So I created a FREE SAMPLE for you to take a look and see maybe you would like to purchase the whole unit :)
This freebie contains two posters with a definition of a complete and incomplete sentences. PLUS an activity for students to keep in their ELA/SLAR interactive notebook. It comes with sentences for them to cut and sort between complete and incomplete sentences :)
Click HERE to download it!

Now, I was thinking I have not done any giveaway for a long time! Since this is a new unit, why not?! Head over my FACEBOOK PAGE to enter for a chance to win a copy of this unit! 3 simple steps: like my post, share it, and tag a friend! :) I will announce the winner by tomorrow night (Sunday Sept 18th)!

This is it for me my friends! I am very pumped for my new unit and how I am meeting my goals so far! Please check back with me next week because I have more freebies (oldies, but goodies!)

Remember I am on BlogLovin' and if you would like to get my posts through email so you don't miss the fun, you can sign up on "follow me by email" (click HERE for instructions)!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September Linky Party and Giveaway!

Once again, I am really excited to be back for our monthly linky party and giveaway!! :)

Since most of you know, I'm staying home with my 2 year old baby girl and my baby boy of 4 months old. When "pollita" was almost 2 and I was pregnant, I did some volunteering at the school I used to work when I was teaching. I got a chance to volunteer during the best time of the school year, book fair! :)
I got to see so many new books that I couldn't resist to buy them! I don't know about y'all, but I just LOVEEEEEE Caldecott books! I love them so much, that I wish they all came in Spanish (could I translate for them one day? haaaa! I wish THAT!)
For some of you who are not really familiar with this award, The Caldecott Award (click on the link to take you to their official website), is a medal that is given to the illustrator of the book every year.
Anyways! I saw this caldecott medal winner of 2015 (they always get my attention!), named "Beekle." The front cover "was starring at me" and whispering to me "take me!". So I asked my friend, who is the librarian about it and she couldn't say anything bad about the story! I automatically started to read it and I could NOT just leave it there by itself! So I brought it home with me :)
I am telling you people, if you have not read it or own it yet, don't wait! The illustrations are AMAZING (Duh! Caldecott winner right??) and the story just melts my heart every.time.!!! It's about an "unimaginary friend" who does not have any friends in his own world, so he goes to our world to look for one! He is sooooo cute I could just squeeze him!!! :) This is a great story for ANY TIME of the school year, but I think it suits EVEN BETTER at the beginning to teach those little fellas about making friends!
Here is a peek of a few pages of the book:

Long story short (not so short at this point though), I decided to do a reading response booklet along with a Free Sample :)

This sample DOES NOT INCLUDE THE CRAFT... You will get a taste of what's inside the Reading Responses Booklet. The first two pages of this set is for you to enjoy and try it...

The free sample comes in both English and Spanish in one whole document. So if you would like to download it, please click HERE

If you would like to know more about the rest of the booklet, here is more information :)
The more I looked at it, the more pages I had to include! I am really happy with it, I hope you also find it cute AND useful!
Here is what it's included in the booklet:
Favorite part of the story (Free Sample)
B, M, E foldable (Free Sample)
B, M, E graphic organizer
Invent an activity
2 things you and your best friend
Making connections
If you met Beekle
What would you have done?
Beekle Character traits
Your imaginary friend character trait
Beekle Booklet Craft

Click on ENGLISH or SPANISH to take you to my TPT

I hope you find all this useful for your class, Thank you all so much for stopping by my blog today!

Don't forget this is the best part of my post! Click on the Rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win a TPT giftcard!
ALSO, my blogger friends and I have come together to do this linky party and offer you awesome freebies!! Make sure you stop by their blogs to see what they have to offer! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway