Hot Chocolate, Whipped Cream and Peppermint – Oh My!

Slide1.JPGFreedom Friday, Fun Food Friday, Fresh Food Friday, Fabulous Friday – this was the topic of conversation Friday morning in my classroom.  I had promised the students that we would make Homemade Hand-Whipped Cream and Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix for Taste It Tuesday.  Tuesday came and went and we had an unexpected special, two 12+ hour days with parent teacher conferences (this teacher is TIRED.) so everything got moved to Friday afternoon and we decided we needed a new name for Fridays. (I love those teaching moments that just happen and this was one of those as I explained how a Thesaurus works)  We decided on “Fresh Food Friday” and added it to our schedule for 2:00 p.m.

I love to use recipes from Ree Drummond’s website,  The Pioneer Woman they are so consistent, taste great and these two are really easy for kids to make.  We used her Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix and her Homemade Hand-Whipped Cream recipes which you can link to from the names above.  I have to say, I am always sorry that I don’t take more pictures during these cooking adventures.  I need a go pro attached to a head lamp because my hands are always full or sticky so I don’t pick up my phone often enough.  Let’s just say it was fast and furious and fun!  We had sore arms from whipping the cream, I had 4 batches going at our four table groups.  Two tables made it using the ball jar method and two were whipping with a whisk.  We made the hot chocolate mix together and then right as we were running out of time, I couldn’t find the electric kettle – sigh – picture a crazed 2nd grade teacher opening cupboards looking for pots and pans and trying to boil water as quickly as possible… yep, that’s pretty much it.  (We are very lucky to have a stove in our 2nd grade pod, in a dream classroom, I would have one in my room!)

I added the water to each of their jars, I used ball jars which we are going to use for our snow globes we make in December (so fun!).  As the students were stirring, I showed them how to put unwrapped peppermint candies in a plastic bag and then, using the side of a hammer smashing them gently to make a yummy, unique and pretty topping for their cocoa.

The bell rang and it was as mad rush to make sure everyone got to try some but they all left with BIG smiles on their faces. Happy Fresh Food Friday!

Voting Day, But First, A Big Coffee, A Big Green Drink And An Even BIGGER Cookie!

img_1133I was caffeinated, greened and sugared up with a big latte, an even bigger green smoothie and… a BIG cookie.  I had planned to talk about voting in my classroom, the election, how it works, a brief overview of the electoral college, I even downloaded the great election resource from Amy Groesbeck  but… I just couldn’t do it.  My audience is 7 and 8 year olds and I just knew where the conversation would go and wanted to keep it a really positive day in my classroom.  So… we did vote but, we voted for food, Zucca The Zucchini!  I host “Taste It Tuesday ” in my classroom because it makes me crazy when my students say, “Yuck” when they have never tried something.  The day before our school kitchen had prepared roasted zucchini with parmesan cheese (we have a great school kitchen that makes amazing healthy food for our students, most of it locally sourced) and there was a lot of “yucks”.  They should have known, I came to school the next day with a bowl full of zucchini for us to taste.   fullsizerender-1We smelled the spices, took apart the pepper mill (talk about minds blown – they had no idea how it worked!) tasted the olive oil, measured ingredients and worked together.  The big win was they liked it, they really liked it!   I love, “Taste It Tuesday” and the teaching moments that arise.  In the end, Zucca The Zucchini won the election in our classroom and it was a good day for everyone.

Rain, rain and oh, more rain…

It has been raining here a. lot. like every day, all day, like we live in – Seattle.  Yes, I know we need the rain, but seriously, enough.  Then, it stopped and it was so clear and so beautiful that I instantly forgave Mother Nature.  Recess duty on a day like this,  yes please!  (the first picture is the view from my classroom on the second floor, it is pretty spectacular, but shhh don’t tell anyone!)

Happy Weekend to you!

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Halloween on a Monday…oh my.

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How on earth did Halloween happen to fall on a Monday – yikes.  Mondays are a big day with us, we launch our new weekly unit for reading with lots of new words, stories and writing projects.  With costumes, parades, classroom parties and dreams of trick occupying little minds, I will be honest, it was tough to feel very effective as a teacher that day.  But, I had a plan…. (insert evil witch/mad scientist laugh here)

To practice parts of speech we play MadLibs a lot in my classroom.  We love it and I think it is such a great way to learn parts of speech, as well as make our other friends laugh and laugh.  My students just love them!  I pull sticks to fill in the blanks and there is always that deer in the headlights moment when you know every noun, adverb, adjective, etc. they have ever known flies out of their minds.   To help remedy this and get a little more interaction with our new words each week, I made these “Parts of Speech Booklets”. Since they are monster themed it was the perfect project to start this week.  We went through our new words and any that we particularly liked we wrote down under the appropriate headings.  This made the game go a bit faster, less deer in the headlights looks and lots of laughs.  We cut the pages in half, glued them in our composition notebooks or they can also be used as a stand alone booklet with just a few staples.  Here is a peek at the cover page, click on the cover and it will take you to my Teacimg_1104-1hers Pay Teachers store.  Enjoy the rest of your week, we are almost there!

Spelling and that horrible lined brown paper…

journeys-spelling-sheets1We started a new reading curriculum this year, Journeys 2017 by HMH.  I have spent a lot of time organizing the different elements and creating documents and forms to use with the program and organize myself.  The spelling segment has 3 sections, a pretest, a word study list and a weekly assessment.  Using all that brown lined paper was making me nuts so I created these sheets.  There are 12 weekly words, 2 review words and 2 challenge words. Day 1 starts with a pretest which if the students pass, they move onto the advanced list which focuses on a more complex spelling rule.  After the Spelling Pretest, I post the spelling words on the whiteboard and have the students copy them down on the Spelling Words Study Sheet to take home. Then on Friday we take our weekly assessment on those words on the Spelling Test Sheet.  No. More. Brown. Lined. Paper. #happyteacher

I’ve just put these up over in my TPT store so head on over and check them out.  The set includes 9 sheets, one set with a place for a student number, and one set without and a set with review and challenge words and one without.  Let me know if they work for you in your classroom!  Bonnie

Do you Osmo?

We do and we Ldonors-choose-ipad-with-osmo-and-logoOVE our Osmo station in our classroom! I originally heard about Osmo on Facebook…I think.  It may have showed up as a sponsored ad on my page but honestly, I can’t remember.  It was during Christmas break last year and to be honest, I originally thought it was a Google game because of the colors in the logo.  It isn’t but I bought one and am so glad I did.  You need an Ipad to put in the base and there is a little red mirror that sits over the camera.  This makes the table, or any hard surface, the playing field, ergo, no touching the screen and multiple players, win. win.  There are several games, Numbers, Words, Tangrams and recently Coding. There is Masterpiece and Newton which are also included but I don’t use those as often.  I use Words as a center during reading and Numbers (which has both number and dot tiles)  for a center during Math.  Lately we have been focusing on our new game, Coding.  I love how this game is all about sequencing and uses pieces that have magnets that easily snap together.  To keep track of who has been on the game and who needs to have a turn, I made some sign in sheets.  I keep one for each game on a different clipboard and keep it at the game station.  I’ve just put these up for sale in my TPT store and this is the preview photo.  The Osmo website has great videos of all the games that you can watch here.  You should seriously check it out and this is my personal opinion of a product that I have in my class, no one is paying me.  Let me know what you think or if you have any questions! slide1

Chromebooks, the birth of the Tech Team and a Freebie

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Last year our school became a Google school, yeah!  All of our email domains changed and each student was assigned a login that stays with them until high school graduation.  (My district has one elementary, middle and high school – did I mention I live in a smallish town?)  We also received sets of Chromebooks, not 1:1 but we share the carts among our grade levels.  Again, yeah! Continue reading