Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Skeleton Hiccups

I wanted to do a fun writing activity that would be quick and easy and contain a craft for Halloween.

I found this story and basic idea over at the First Grade parade.  I decided I was going to make my kids write a story about how to cure skeleton hiccups, instead of just writing one sentence.  I found this cute skeleton outline/graphic organizer.  It was perfect for my story.  I started by showing them, Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler. On the back cover, it says "What is the best way for a skeleton to get rid of his bone-rattling, teeth-chattering, belly-laughing hiccups?"  So I posed this question to my students. I led them to the graphic organizer. They were very excited and ready to name their skeleton. (I have lots of Bobs and Franks).

Main Character Needs:
1. Obvious: To cure hiccups
2. Hidden: Something else he needs, such as a friend, etc

Inciting Incident: Then one day...

3 Complications:
1. First try to get rid of the hiccups
2. Second try to get rid of the hiccups
3. The Bleakest Moment: Or 3rd try, but the strangest one!

Help: Who has the idea to help him?
Lesson or Decision: What does he do to finally cure the hiccups?

Resolution: What will he do next time?

Next, they had to turn it into a story.  We are really working on word choice for this activity. So as I edit their papers I am underlining boring or over used words.  I am also showing them how much a few word changes can really improve a story, by reading examples of their work.
After most of them had come up with their own ideas, and I had a few struggling, I showed them this list 55 Ridiculous Ways to Cure Hiccups

Next, they wrote their final copies on this cute paper I made!

I could not for the life of me figure out how to insert the PDF and keep the font! So you just get to see the picture! If you would like the document, you can email me!

Then we made cute little skeletons out of Q-Tips and I read them the story. I didn't want them to copy the original Skeleton Hiccups story, I wanted them to come up with their own ideas! They loved it and some of them turned out really cute!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Little Mermaid

One of my best friends, Abbey, has 2 sweet little girls.  Harper, her oldest, is 3 years old.  She is obsessed with anything princess.  She also has beautiful red hair. So it was fitting that I make her an Ariel costume for Halloween.

Once we told her what I was going to make her, whenever I would talk to her on the phone, she would ask, "You making my mermaid costume, right?"

Yes, Harper, and you are the most adorable mermaid ever!

I'm not a huge pattern follower, so I looked up a few ideas, and went with my creativity to make this.

I think I'm going to let the pictures tell the story... 

Then, I went on a pink 3T leotard hunt. I went to...
1. Wal*Mart (only had 6X)
2. Burlington Coat Factory
3. TJ Max
4. K-Mart (had rhinestones on it and was a size 4)
5. Macy's
6. Savers
7. Old Navy
8. Marshall's
9. TARGET!!!!

I finally found one, it didn't have sleeves, but it was PINK, plain (well it had a rose, I cut off), and a 3T!

So I cut off the rose, cut out some circles that were hooked together with a little section, and sewed them on to the leotard.  I also sewed on some fabric that could tie in the back. I was excited about this part, I guess, and didn't take any pictures. 

Supplies: 2 spools of green tule- $2.50 each
1 sparkly green tule- $2.50
1 yard purple sequins- $1.99
1/4 yard purple sequin fabric- $6.99 a yard
elastic- in my stash
thread- in my stash
1 pink leotard- $6.99

Total: about $20 
Ariel Costume on $44.50 and not NEAR as cute! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Create * Cook * Teach iPhone edition

All of these are 1 photo iPhone pictures. Some of them are self explanatory. Some may get a post someday!
Zebra & Pink Tu-Tu

Photos from around KC turned into a name
Green Beans in the wok

Grilled Cheese

My Crimson & Blue garage wall 
Pork Chops with baked apples

Pickin' find- Old pie safe

Hydrangea Box made from scrap barn wood

Paint chip art 

Green City Market Bruschetta


This mac & cheese was amazing!

Potatoes & Zuch from my garden

Meatball Subs with Sneaky Meatballs

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Whooo's Cute?

Growing up, my mom almost always made our Halloween costumes.  I think homemade costumes are so much cuter, and original! You do have to be a little creative, and plan ahead, but in the end it is worth it!

Super Dorky April as a Hershey Kiss

These were the pics I could find at home. I think Tinkerbell was 3rd grade, and Kiss was 5th.

I have kind of taken over the role of "The Rierson's Halloween Costume Maker." Last year I made them Pebbles.

I saw this adorable owl costume this spring, and knew this was going to be Vivi's costume.  I was going to make it as a cape, but then thought what 18 month old is going to want to keep a cape on?

I bought a pink onesie and pants from Old Navy. I bought felt, and cut lots and lots of feathers. The rest, I'm going to show to you in pictures.

First I laid them out to get a feel for what I wanted. 

Then sewed them on, row by row.

Around the collar, I tucked them in and sewed a top stich.  

Detailed picture of the wings. I sewed smaller feathers to ribbon.

Vivi' has a big head, so her mom had to buy a hat. I sent the accessories to sticky velcro on, when she found a hat.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Zucchini Bread

This summer, for about 2 weeks, I had a TON of zucchini! I went out of town and they grew this big! One zucchini made 7 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini. I needed something to do with it, so I decided to try bread. I polled my friends on Facebook, and Jessica sent me this one! I had never made it before, and I am not a baker, but I think it turned out ok! 

Zucchini Bread

Serves 2 Loaves

2 cps sugar
1 c veg oil
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cps shredded zucchini
1/2 c applesauce
1/3 c orange juice
3 cps flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cinnamon

Preheat over 350
Combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla
Add zucchini, orange juice, applesauce
Combine dry ingredients and add to mixture
Pour into 2 greased 9 inch loaf pans
Bake for 55-70 min

Then I had bread and muffins coming out of my ears too! I delivered this to my friend Kris. She took a picture of the final product, I forgot to! 

Student Led Conferences

I love doing student led conferences. this is my 3rd year doing them. For the past 2 years, my students have had a Power Point to present.  They are much more relaxing and really open a dialogue between the students, teacher, and parents. I feel like they do most of the talking and it takes some of the pressure off me!

 The week before conferences, I start off by having the children rank their academic and life skills. 

5- Excellent, This is my best work

4 -Good

3- So-so/ Could do better

2- Need to improve

1- This is a challenge in my life   I ususally give them some guidance, such as if you have this grade, rank it as ..., if you have turned in no late work, then  you can give yourself a 5. I tell them that it is ok to not have all 5's.  We want to have room to grow!  


Life Skills

Then they identify 2 life skill and 2 academic strengths and 2 life skill and 2 academic challenges.  Then we turn each of these into a goal that is measureable and make a plan. 

Then the students take this Power Point and turn it into thier own by adding their life and academic strengths and challenges.  Then they make a plan or goals.  The students will click through this asking their parents and I what they think about each slide.  They love designing the Power Points, but I always tell them the words are the most important part!

Fill in the Blank Power Point

I also send home a sheet with the parents for them to bring to conferences, so they are ready when their child asks them questions.

    Parent Goal Sheet
After the student has given their presentation, I ask the parents if they have any other questions or concerns.  I also show them the students test scores. 

I only had 2 students out of 20 not show  up for their conference! I feel like I get a much better turn out when I do student led, because the children are excited to show their parents their Power Point!

In our district, we are only required to have fall conferences.  However, when I was student teaching, the spring conference was a portfolio conference that was student led.  It was sort of set up the same way with goals, but they also showed off their work.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Chili

This chili is one of the easiest ever! Most of it involves opening a can and dumping it. If your name is Jessica Smith, the whole thing involves opening a can and dumping it in, more on that later!

I got this recipe from Niki, a colleague at Pawnee. Not only is she a great teacher, she is funny, stylish, and has such a huge heart for her students.  I think the original email that she shared with us, said I'm almost embarrassed to share this with you, because it is so easy! 

I have made this for new moms, Grey's dinner, and shared it with my friends who don't like to cook. It freezes great too!
So here it is.....

Niki Neal’s Chicken Chili

  • 1 can chili Ro-tel
  • 1 can Mexican Ro-tel with cilantro
  • 3 cans of any white bean (pinto, butter, navy, great northern etc…) Drained
  • 1 rotisserie chicken (Jess likes to use canned chicken, because it is easy. She LOVES her canned chicken!)
  • 1 can of Stagg chili*…this adds thickness.
Mix together and simmer for 30 minutes. SO easy!! Serve with sour cream, cheese, and any other chili toppings you like.  This chili is kind of spicy! 

*Stagg Chili is the chili in the can, if you can't find Stagg any bean-less canned chili will do!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Create * Cook * Teach In iPhone Pics

All of these are 1 photo iPhone pictures. Some of them are self explanatory. Some may get a post someday! 
Fancy Sleeper for Riley

Basil Pesto in heart ice cube trays, ready to be frozen.
Rag quilt for baby Isaiah. Tutorial to come soon! 

Kindle cover 

Catching up on scrapbooking!

The Help Quote for my room

Trader Joe's Asian meal

Burlap Wreath

Banana Nutella Pie- Kent needs to guest post this one!

Cornbread muffins with Paula Dean toothpicks!