Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Homemade Kidney Table

This is What I've Been Waiting For
I have been trying to get a kidney table for years.  There was an antique, horseshoe table with attached seats in my classroom when I first started teaching.  First I posted a project on Donors Choose.  I didn't have any luck with that.  I had mentioned to my daddy that we might need to build one. I was determined to get a table, so I got rid of the "dinosaur".  When a friend transferred to another school, I thought I would be able to get the one in her old room.  Someone else beat me to it.  I tried working at a rectangular table, but it was not effective.
Making a Template
 I priced the materials to build one, took measurements of the chair and carts that I wanted to fit under the table, and then checked the prices of assembled tables.  I found one that was about $50 more than what I had priced the materials for.  I placed the order, and then the shipping charges were applied a day later.  Because of the size and location, the shipping charges were over $100.  CANCEL that order!

I presented the original plans to Daddy.  We made a trip to Lowe's Home Improvement to get the lumber.  I wasn't happy with any of the legs that were available.  Daddy said that he had some folding table legs that he could cut down.  That was even better.  I really wanted a laminate table top, but we decided to paint it for now.  I can add the laminate later. 
Almost Ready for the Paint
I wanted you to see how Daddy signed the bottom, but I realized that he put his full name.  He's not ready for big orders yet. ;)  He added the date and put "For my no. 1".  I am his first child, so it works. LOL!
On the last day before we got out for Winter Break, I saw a familiar face at my classroom door.  I started jumping up and down, and screaming.  The students probably thought Santa Claus was coming.  Yep!! Santa came early.  The students had heard so much about my table, they were almost as excited as me.

Close-up of the Frames

The reading strategies were taped to the other table, but there will be none of that on this table.  The table is perfect.  My nieces helped me rearrange the furniture.  I will switch my leveled books to the bookcase behind the table, and make a few more changes on our workday.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winding Down

We only have a day and a half left before the winter break.  The benchmark tests and science fair are behind us.  We are having fun with math and writing.  This year, we stepped up our pattern block pictures a notch.  In the past, the students used 3-8 pattern blocks to make pictures.  This year, students used 7or more pattern blocks.  The pictures are awesome. 

Student-created Snowman

 Tomorrow we will complete a graph and writing activity to go with the pattern-block pictures.  We will also create gingerbread man glyphs. Hopefully, we can finish the parent gifts, before our celebration.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No Turkeys Here

After seeing the cute disguised turkeys on other blogs, I finally gave it a try.  To get the students thinking of ideas, I read Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini and T'was the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey.  Then I sent a letter home explaining that the students wanted to save Tom Turkey from being eaten for Thanksgiving.

Unfinished Bulletin Board
I had so many favorites for different reasons.  The most resourceful non-turkey was made from things found in the yard; gravels, leaves, and seeds.
Most Resourceful
The most original non-turkey was Sponge Bob.  I don't care for Sponge Bob, and the students know this.  Leave it to my students turn a turkey into an irritating sea sponge. LOL!
Most Original
The cutest non-turkey was Santa Turkey.
I think one of my students was still in the spirit of Veterans Day.  The most patriotic non-turkey was a soldier. We had just finished our Veterans Day unit and participated in our annual Veterans Day Parade.
Most Patriotic
Finally, my all-time favorite was the Carolina Tarheel non-turkey.  I don't know how they did it, but it looks like a Carolina napkin was folded into a jersey to fit Tom perfectly.  All Tom needs now are the Carolina pom-poms that decorate our ActivBoard.
#1 Fan
Rock Stars,  Princesses, and Spider Man will also be safe.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Scrabble Storage

I have organized and reorganized my word work station so many times.  I think I finally have it the way I want it. 

Thanks to Melissa at F is for First Grade for one option during word work.  Which Word is Worth More? is a favorite word activity.  The students choose which spelling words to make, and then do the math.  I've bought the Scrabble Apple, but there are not enough letters.  So I found some printable Scrabble tiles, copied them onto yellow paper,  and laminated them.  For storage,  I bought four pill organizers.  I painted the tops blue.  While the paint dried, I found some Scrabble tile printables.  

After the paint dried, I used Mod Podge to adhere the tiles.  I had two students put the laminated tiles in each compartment.  Another blogger gave me the idea to store each word work activity in storage drawers.  Now students can easily access the vocabulary maps, "Stamp It, Write It!, and Scrabble activity sheets and supplies.

Thanks to Mel at Seussstatic Classroom Inspirations for this idea.