Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Vacay Adventure :)

 I just got back from my 16 day summer vacation about a week ago.  It was an adventure and experience of a lifetime!  I ventured to Ireland, North Wales, Scotland, and England with a tour group that consisted of some teachers, students, and parents from my school along with several other small groups from the US just like ours.  The 50-some of us traveled together with a tour guide and many scheduled events.  It was a blast!  Although I cannot upload the 900 photos I took, I shall try my best to pick/choose a few of my favorite highlights of the trip!  Sweet summertime! :)

The Cliffs of Moher, near Kilarney - County Clare, Ireland

View on the Ring of Kerry- Ireland

Blarney Castle - Ireland
At the Rock of Cashel - Ireland

St. Patrick's Cathedral - Dublin, Ireland

Conwy, North Wales

Conwy Castle, North Wales
Poppies with a buzzing bee - At William Wordsworth's Cottage, Rydal Mount

On our way to Edinburgh, Scotland, we stopped in a small town,
Earlston to see the Olympic Torch - awesome experience!
York Minister - York, England

Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Shakespeare's wife)
Roman Bath's - Bath, England

London Eye - London, England

Big Ben & British Parliament - London, England

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Origami Flowers with 1st Grade

I found this idea on Pinterest...yay for Pinterest!!! :)

I was a little nervous to try this with my 1st graders, but loved the idea of a fun spring project.  Origami can be very involved and complicated, but these folds weren't too tricky.  However, I was unsure how I would be able to get this project done with 15 1st graders in 30 minutes.  But the challenge was a success!

My 1st graders are quite a challenging group.  Many have low motor skills and behavior issues.  They are difficult to work with on most days.  I have 2 classes of 1st graders, both with about 15 students in each class.  Projects are either done in 30 minutes or last 1-2 weeks for my K-3rd graders.  My older elementary students usually work 2-4 weeks or so on projects.  Anyway I have 1st grade right away on Monday mornings...definitely not the most ideal time but I make it work.  One class comes and then I have a fast and furious 5 minute clean-up/prep time before the next 1st grade group comes in.  It gets a little crazy at times!!!

For this origami project I focused with small groups of 4-5 at a time.  By doing this I was able to work with each student and give them the help they needed on 1 or 2 of the trickier folds.  While I was working with 1 group, the other 2 groups were working on a free draw activity.  After their flower bud was folded, they got into my scrap paper and cut a stem and leaves for their flower.  Working with a small group was the only way this project was successful in 30 minutes.  This was a good idea but by the time I got to the 3rd group there was about 5 minutes of class left!  It was a little hectic and by the time I finished with 2 classes of 1st grade I was a bit frazzled.  But...the outcome was awesome and the compliments I received were wonderful!  Many couldn't believe that my 1st graders made these! :)