Monday, September 21, 2020

Apple Books & a Surprise

There's something about September that automatically makes me crave all the apple things. This past weekend, we visited an apple orchard in my hometown since the weather was finally in the 70s and so pleasant. We live in the deep south, so there's not an abundance of apple orchards....and for a reason. There wasn't much to choose from, but we did leave with some apples and my oldest had an absolute blast!

When COVID-19 closed the country (and schools) in the spring, I started the Playing Preschool curriculum from Busy Toddler. The first unit is about apples, and my (then) 3 year old was obsessed with it! There were songs, crafts, lessons, and book suggestions....we loved everything about it! Ever since, she's been asking me to go apple picking, so when I found this place in my hometown, we decided to visit. 

She had so. much. fun. 

These are the books about apples we used and still love! They would be great for your apple unit in the classroom/homeschool, or just for fun for your kids at home.

Apples, Apples, Apples, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace - a fun story about a family going apple picking. The illustrations are different but awesome.

Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg - EM laughs every single time we read this book! And has to count all the apples of course. If you're a fan of Seuss, you'll love it.

Apples by Gail Gibbons - seriously, Gail Gibbons is a nonfiction genius. She packs in so much information that's not too overwhelming for kids. I always learn something from her books...and I'm the adult, ha. 

And now for the surprise! EM loved singing this song when we did our apple unit, she even sang it at the apple orchard. So whether your picking apples, baking with apples, or reading about apples, this song will be perfect for your preschooler.

Now, off to bake with all the apples!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Hey Pumpkin...Fall 2020 Playlist


Happy Friday!

There's nothing like a good music playlist to get you in the right mood. Right now, my mood is Fall, Fall, and More Fall!! It made me especially giddy when I walked into my neighborhood grocery store yesterday and saw this:

As soon as I got home, I played my Fall 2020 Spotify playlist and burned my pumpkin spice's my Fall heaven!

If you need a light, happy playlist to listen to this Fall, click here

Now, excuse me while I go turn my AC down a notch so I can pretend it's not still 90 degrees outside.....

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

My Autumn Words Book

 I love absolutely everything about Fall! Some may say I'm a *tad* bit obsessed...

Not too much to ask for, right?! 

My 4 year old is very into seasons/holidays as well. She came home from preschool last week with a little booklet all about colors, and she is still carrying that little thing around the house! So, I made a little book for her with words about Autumn, and she is obsessed. She also feels soooo big that she is "reading" the book by naming the pictures. 

Here was her little creation:

We're also very into rainbow colors, can you tell?

I made it teacher and mama friendly so you can do it with your students/kids, too!

All you need is a copy of the sheet, scissors, and crayons! Your little ones will need some help with folding, but step-by-step photo instructions are provided for you! It will *maybe* take you a whole minute to fold. And take your kiddos minutes to color! WINNING!

Another option: You can also cut each page out separately (a paper cutter would make this faster!) and staple together to make a book. For advanced options, you could have the students put the words in ABC order before stapling. Or they could be glued on construction paper/butcher paper. Or they could be turned into simple sentences for beginning writers. The possibilities are endless! :)

Click here to grab it for $1! Be sure to tag me if you use it with your kiddos!

Instagram: @the_elementary_mama

Facebook: The Elementary Mama

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Out with the Old...

 What. A. Year. 

It's been a whole year since I stepped out of the elementary classroom and man, a lot has happened since then! For starters....

this little bundle of chunky cuteness is the reason I decided to stay home for the 2019/2020 school year. She was born September 25, 2019 at 8 lbs, 5 oz. and made me a double girl mama! We got in a really good groove with our new life as a family of 4 until....

March 2020 happened. My big girl came home from preschool for a week of Spring Break and never went back to school. COVID-19 kept us at home together for 5 months, and I had to figure out how to do preschool at home. Friends, there is a reason I did not major in Early Childhood! It's just not my jam, but my big girl loves school and is crazy smart, so we had to figure out something to keep her little brain engaged. 

This season of life helped me blend my love for education and my love for raising my babies at home. So, once my big girl was able to go back to preschool (her last year before KINDER....what?!?!), I decided it was time to dust off this old blog and revamp it to match my current season of life. So, I present to you...

The Elementary Mama!

This is my way to share everything education and home/family related. I'll never be able to shake off the elementary teacher in me, but I'm also totally embracing being home with my girls. I'm keeping my previous Mrs. Elementary content on here and TPT the same, just adding a bunch of new goodness to the mix. I'm also now @the_elementary_mama on Instagram. Hopefully I'll be getting some new content out soon!

Until then...

I'll be hanging out with my 3 favorite people! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Plants, Plants, Baby

4th grade seems to really step up the Plant Unit game and gets deeper into vascular/nonvascular, plant parts, and photosynthesis. Yikes! Luckily, I had these activities on hand to help me break it down for the kiddos.

5 days of lesson plans with all materials, objectives, and steps laid out and ready for me! 

This slideshow laid out everything simply for everyone to it comes with a handout for students to fill out notes. 

Each day ends with an interactive notebook activity so they could practice what we learned about.

Anchor charts also helped us organize the differences in vascular and nonvascular plants...NEW vocabulary for 4th graders!!

We're also able to do a fun and easy science lab to see how vascular plants use stems to "drink" water...thank you blue food coloring!

We'll get to review with a Magic School Bus viewing that has comprehension questions before we take the unit test to wrap everything up.

Whew!! It's a lot to pack into one unit but we'll be plant experts by the end of it! See more of this unit by clicking HERE!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Classroom Reveal 2018

Here we go, Year 6! It's my 4th year in 4th grade and honestly, not much has changed in my classroom over the years. This year I added some lamps to make the place more "homey" and some new words I'm pretty excited about. 

You should know that my school was founded in 1884, and my building was built in 1955. Needless to say, everything is old. We still use a boiler as our heating system! So I tried using a black background with bright colors that pop when I began decorating my classroom four years ago. Hopefully it looks inviting and cozy!

I added these words to the front of my room to be the basis of every classroom rule/expectation this year. We made a chart on the first day of school to discuss what this would mean for us. 
We're also reading Wonder as our class read aloud for the beginning of the year and I can't wait for us to really get into it! Grab a copy of the book HERE.

I teach at a Catholic school, so prayer is a big part of our day. I made these prayer posters to hang on the wall so my students could have a visual when they pray. You can grab these HERE.

I might be one of the only 4th grade teachers that still uses a rug to teach whole group, but it creates such community and allows me to have close proximity to my class when introducing new skills. It's also great for Turn and Talk time to get them talking about concepts! The rug is pretty old-I took it off the hands of a teacher that was moving schools 5 years ago...and it just happens to be our school colors! I also have a Math and ELA focus bulletin board that will be filled as we get into our curriculum. The Focus Wall is from Reagan Tunstall's EDITABLE Objective Signs. They are ADORABLE! I laminated them so I just have to write with an Expo marker and wipe away when it's time to change. Easy peasy. 

Also, did you spy my new lamp?? It's from At Home and I love the brightness it adds to the front of my room. The quote posters above the ELA board are from Hope King HERE.

Now onto the back wall:
1. Do you remember the store Dry Ice? These fuzzy chairs were from that store and also in my teenager bedroom. They are OLD but the style is still around! You can find similar ones at Target and Walmart. The rug is from At Home and was on clearance.

2. Here's where I house my reading and math centers. I will go more into their organization at a later blog post, but besides my rug this is the most used area of my classroom!

3. A better look at the back wall with the centers. The word wall will be used for math vocabulary and the long table is just an extra work space for the kids! There's also a black bookshelf for extra supplies as needed.

4. JOBS Board: Magnetic name cards that get changed every Monday. Easy and low maintenance! Also, a 1,000 chart!

 My door! Sweet friends gave me the apple and pencil over the years. 

The look when you walk in my door. I have an ENTIRE WALL of windows and it allows so much natural light and I looooooooove it!

Here's what our student desks looks like this year. The "My Math Helper" is from Amy Lemons Math Desk Topper: 3rd Grade. I decided to go with these because it has a lot of the basic skills that I really need my students to remember as we get into the hard stuff this year! The name tags (and any other labels in my classroom) are from Hollie Griffith Farmhouse Flair Editable Labels.

Most of my classroom library books stay here, but there are also some by the reading chairs on the back wall. Fiction is labeled by last name; Nonfiction is by category. Labels are from Hollie Griffith.

So here we are! My home away from home. I hope that it makes my students feel safe and welcome and loved and is a place where they are excited to learn! We don't change classes, so we spend a loooooooooooooooot of time in this room together! It's time to let the fun begin!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Christmas in July GIVEAWAY 2018

*Scroll to the bottom of this page for the giveaway*

About 7 years ago, my mama and I started a new annual tradition-Christmas in July! Most people get really annoyed when they see Christmas goodies out before the weather drops below 70 degrees, but I LOVE it because I love everything about Christmas! This week the Hallmark Channel is starting their Christmas Keepsake Week (see the movie schedule HERE), so I decided to bring to you a little taste of Christmas in July + a GIVEAWAY! During the week of July 16-20, check my Instagram @mrs._elementary to see what celebration sales and events are happening for that day only. Click on any image to be redirected to my TPT store!

Monday July 16: 20% off all 4th grade Treasures products (Click HERE)

Tuesday July 17: 20% all 2nd grade CCSS morning work (Click HERE)

 Wednesday July 18: 20% all Back to School related products (Click )

Thursday July 19: 20% off all holiday themed products
Click HERE for Christmas
Click HERE for Fall/Halloween
Click HERE for Spring/Easter

Friday July 20: 20% off my entire TPT store (Click HERE)

In addition to these amazing sales, I'm sharing a fun freebie - Christmas Sleigh Sorts! You can find it HERE in my TPT store or click the image below.

Now let's talk GIVEAWAY! It starts Monday, July 16 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 20. Use the entry box below to use up to 10 entries to win.
Happy Christmas in July, everyone!!

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