Easy Mother’s Day Card Idea

MOM, I love you to…. pieces.

With state testing this week, we were very busy. However, Mother’s Day is this weekend, so I had to think of a quick way to show “mom” how much we love her. Today we set out to work and had these cards made in no time at all!

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Just cut a heart out on card-stock and trace to create a heart onto each card. Next, have the students cut out small squares from tissue paper (regular paper works fine too) and glue them using a teeny bit of white glue. Easy Peasy! ❤

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms out there!

Celebrating Earth Day – April 22

“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.” ― Baba Dioum

Earth Day is an important time of year, that falls during an unfortunate time of the year for us – NJ Ask Test Prep. However, its central message is so important that it is one that simply cannot be ignored. With the obvious signs of climate change, the continued depletion of valuable natural resources, and the devastating effects we are beginning to see throughout the world as a result of both, educators must take the time to demonstrate their support for this cause.

Earth Day is an annual event that is celebrated on April 22. It is a day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 as a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. Today it is celebrated in over 190 countries worldwide.

One thing I have noticed in my classroom this year is the increase of students bringing in water bottles to the classroom. The classroom is littered with them, the recycling bins overflowing with them, and the spills from them are all too common. So yesterday I decided to show my students the trailer for the movie Tapped on YouTube, not knowing if the concepts would be too complex for them. Throughout the trailer, I did pause the clip so I could paraphrase and discuss each point brought up with them (in order to check for comprehension and clear up any misconceptions they might have). I am happy to report they were fascinated and enraged by the water bottle industries actions. They were curious about BPA and the chemicals in the plastics they used every day, and of course saddened by the animals being harmed by water bottle consumption (an injured animal always sways a kid).

My students, like many people today, thought recycling was the answer. We discussed the recycling process and how it was a better solution than allowing the plastic to enter a landfill, but how it still wasn’t a good thing! We then discussed what we could do to help the Earth in our classroom. No surprise here, they realized that they could start using reusable water bottles instead of buying water in bottles that were to be thrown away after each use.

Today, take some time to talk to your students/children about the importance of protecting our Earth. It’s up to us to make a change and make things better for future generations.

In the words of Dr Seuss: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’

Here are some Earth Day Activities we did together as a class, as well as the links to TPT that I got the ideas and activities from.

Happy Earth Day! PEACE, LOVE, EARTH!

Project shown below was inspired by: I Can Heal the World Activity on TpT  (My Version Free Here)

Earth Day Writing Paper Freebie (Seen Below)

 

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Read Across America Day 2014

Yesterday marked the 17th annual, NEA- Read Across America Day.
This annual event is geared to excite and motivate readers in every community, as they come together to celebrate reading on the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. Our school this year decided to also hold a door decorating contest to get the entire school into the spirit. The contest guidelines were to decorate your door with a favorite book/author.

My students and I adore the work of Peter Reynolds, and we chose his books as our inspiration. If you aren’t familiar with his work, I urge you to explore his website, as I know you won’t be disappointed.

Peter Reynolds Official Site

Peter is an accomplished writer, storyteller and illustrator, which is impressive in itself. He has many best-selling books which share a central message about protecting and nurturing the creative spirit. My favorites include The Dot, Ish, Sky Color and So Few of Me.

The kids had a blast creating the art work that went along with each book. However, what made me even happier was to watch and listen to their self-criticism change to acceptance and praise as they realized Reynolds was right, they art what beautiful-ish. As a teacher, sometimes these are the lessons that impact us the most!

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And of course, they had to go home with some goodies too! 20140304-215110.jpg

Peace, Love, and Giving Thanks

Peace, Love, and Giving Thanks!

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         Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and of course good memories and bad memories. We know this all too well, but how many times do we stop and reflect on this? I know for myself the answer is not enough. Life is a journey, and in order to fully enjoy each moment, it’s important to recognize and reflect on all it throws at us. This is why Thanksgiving for so many of us conjures up so many emotions; for once, we are reminded to stop and reflect on the journey, rather then just let moments fly by.

This year has been a rather trying one; the most pivotal event being Hurricane Sandy and all the damage she left behind. In an instant our lives were turned upside down and we were all left vulnerable. Our school was closed, our students homes and neighborhood devastated by flooding, and our futures uncertain. Fear, panic, and anxiety quickly ensued and it seemed as though no one knew how to proceed. Now, a year later, we have a lot to give thanks for.

Our school was reopened this September, and the “trailers” that we called our classrooms for months were whisked away. We returned to our classrooms with a renewed spirit of strength, optimism, and of course gratitude. It wasn’t a simple journey and I have a lot of people to thank for helping to get us there.

Thank you to the all the teachers and staff from a local H.S. who welcomed us into their classrooms and allowed us to take over their spaces, to allow our kids to return to normalcy as quickly as possible. Thank you to all the donors who flocked to help us replenish supplies, furniture, equipment, books, clothing… you name it, they had it covered!  A huge thanks to our family and friends who reached out to us to offer help, without even needing to be asked.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank and acknowledge my co-workers whose friendship carried me through a rather tumultuous year. Your unwavering support, compassion and respect have made all the difference for me this year. Whenever I began to falter, you were always there pushing me forward and encouraging me with your kind words and love. Without you ladies, this year would have been unbearable.

While life is unpredictable, and oftentimes unbearable, it is also incredibly inspiring and beautiful too.  For it is in these same trying times that cause us to feel vulnerable, scared and uncertain, that we realize how much we have to give thanks for. I know that this year as my family and I gather around the Thanksgiving table, I will have a lot of reasons to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!