Sunset Silhouettes

A few years ago I was in a bookstore when a book cover caught my eye:
The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathmann

I should mention that it caught my eye for the illustrations, not the content.  In fact, I don't think I have ever read the book aloud to my class.

Instead, I use the book to show examples of how effective a black silhouette can be on a watercolor background.   When we look at the illustrations, we talk about the different colors they see in the backgrounds, how the silhouettes have a good balance of being high and low on the page so the background has a chance to shine through.

The first thing I have my students do is create a background using watercolors:

Next, we talk about how a silhouette is just like a shadow.  It doesn't show all of the details.  It only shows the outline of different shapes.  We also talk about how a good balance of high, medium, and low pictures really shows off your background the best. 

Then I show them how to draw a few different types of pictures on paper to see how they will turn out:

I have the students draw their picture on black construction paper using pencil.  Once their drawing has been approved, I trace their line using a silver Sharpie marker.  Then the student cuts out and the silhouette is ready to be glued down to their watercolor paper.

Here are some final projects from my little artists (the paper curled, so some of them were hard to take photos of):

The kids always act surprised when their silhouette is glued down.  It's like magic to them to see just how it will look in the end!

Tune Into Telling Time

I have been chipping away at this product for several weeks now and I am finally ready for someone else to take a look at it before I go cross-eyed!  There are four smaller packs, but when put together into one large file it is just over 100 pages long!

Not only does it have analog and digital cards that can be used for instructional tools, games, or math workshop centers, but I have also included a blank clock so your students can make their own clock for hands-on practice.

It also has six worksheets to provide extra practice for your students.  There are three different types of worksheets (draw the hands, multiple choice, and cut & paste) and I have included two different versions of each if you want to use one for pre and one for post assessment.

Common Core Standards Addressed with This Pack:
MD 1.3 - Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.

MD 2.7 - Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes using a.m. and p.m.

MD 3.1 - Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes.

Note - Common Core does not directly address telling time to the 15 min. interval, but I went ahead an tagged that set with the 5-min. interval standard. 

 Like I mentioned before, I'm at the point where I'm starting to go cross-eyed looking at this file and would appreciate a fresh set of eyes.  I'm not going to lie - it's just over 100 pages long.  I'd like to get it posted and ready to share by the end of the week.  If you're interested in reviewing the file for me, just leave me a comment or e-mail me.  Thanks so much!!

I am so blessed to have so many blogging friends willing to help me out.  I'll go back through my e-mails and comments and determine the first to respond.  If I need additional eyes I will certainly let you all know.  Thank you so much for your support!!

Keep on Rollin' 3 Winner & New Bundle

Hot Off the TpT Presses...

I had my hubby pick a number from the comments the other night.  The winner was Crystal Shepherd.  Congrats, Crystal - I'll be sending you the file soon.  In the meantime, I'll put this one on sale for a few days so grab it before it goes back to regular price.

Since a lot of people who bought Keep on Rollin' came back and bought Keep on Rollin' 2, I decided it might be a good idea to bundle the three packs. 




Click on any of the pictures above to learn more about these games.

Summer Bucket List

Ahhh, Summer...the time every teacher needs to recharge after a busy school year.  Teri, Hadar, and April are hosting the second annual Summer Bucket List linky and I just had to join in.  Here's what I would like to accomplish this summer:
1 - Toddler Adventures
This summer I want to take my little one on many little adventures.  We will try to hit the zoo, aquarium, pool, splash park, parks, indoor gyms, etc. I don't think she has a clue, but I'm pretty excited!
2 - Common Core Planning & Organization
Now that my district will be in full implementation of Common Core next year, it's time to buckle down and get serious about aligning our current curriculum to the new standards.  Since my district is cutting so many teaching positions as it is, we will not be getting a new adoption any time soon.  Luckily I have so many great blogging buddies out there who have been a great source of support!
My grade level team has been meeting to work on a yearlong curriculum map that aligns to the common core for literacy.  We are also putting together binders of math resources that can be used for common assessments and teaching.  It is a monster of a task, but it will be A-MA-ZING when it is all finished.
3 - Reading
Oh, Kindle how I have missed thee...
There just isn't enough time in the day to read as much as I want to. 
4 - Creating
I feel more balanced when I have a chance to access my creative side.  I love scrapbooking and miss it dearly.  Toddlers and scrapbooking just don't mix at this point since my daughter's version of helping and my idea of scrapbooking just don't seem to accomplish the same goal :)  Fortunately, creating products for my classroom and sharing them on TpT has helped.  I'm hoping to update some of my earlier products and add more of my book units to other popular series (Horrible Harry, Cam Jansen, Magic School Bus, etc.).
5 - Pinning
Enough said...

Optimum Organization


Hosted By:
Organization is one of my favorite things that I just don't have enough time for. I don't like a lot of clutter at school, so it is pretty easy to find out which systems are working and which ones aren't based on how messy areas of my classroom become.
 First up are my bins for each day of the week.  I have one parent volunteer who runs 80% of my copies for the week.  She usually finishes copying when I am right in the middle of my math lesson and just leaves the stack of papers on my desk.  As soon as I reach my next break time, I just take the papers and put each paper set into its rightful bin, depending on which day I need the papers to be used.  If I have a set of papers that I don't get to on a particular day, I just take them out and place them into the bin for the following day.  The bins are similar in size to the ones they sell from Really Good Stuff.  These are actually ice cube bins I buy from Target (they are found near the ice cube trays).
The second thing I made last summer was drawers to organize my desk supplies.  I contemplated making one of those cool teacher toolboxes, but I just didn't think I'd be able to justify having so many small drawers when some of the supplies I use most often wouldn't fit very well.  So, I created this using the smaller Sterilite drawers.  I have been really good about keeping things in place and it makes it very handy to find the supplies when my parent volunteers need extras.
The third organizational tool I have put to good use this year is the larger sized Sterilite drawers (just large enough to hold standard-sized paper).  I have so many of these around the classroom that serve various purposes.  I find these drawers look so much better when they have nice labels taped to the inside of the front.

A Chance to Win the Next Batch of Dice Games

It's that time of year where the kids are getting tired of playing the same old games day after day.  I have been busy thinking about adding some new games into the rotation.  I already have two dice game packs that my students use on a regular basis:
Keep on Rollin' (read more about it here)
Keep on Rollin' 2 (read more about it here)

Since the games have been providing extra independent practice and my students enjoy playing them, I thought it was time to create some more.  Here's what I came up with:



What do you think?  I'm just putting the final touches on the product and it should be ready in a day or two.  If you want a chance to win the file just leave me a comment and I'll choose a random winner when the product is ready.  Thanks :)
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