Writing Notebooks

I have a little teacher-hack for you . . . 

My kids love to write in their notebooks but often don't use the entire piece of paper and then it gets wasted.  This is especially true with young kiddos who are only writing a few sentences.  

The solution . . .
I have done this in the past but I used regular notebooks and they were a pain to cut.  You had to use your paper cutter and then use wire cutters to get through the wire ring on the side.  
This is SO much easier.  
My co-worker figured out that by using composition notebooks you can take them to Office Max (or your local office supply store) and they will cut them in half for you in no time.  The best part is that it only cost less than $4.00!  Also, if you plan ahead you can buy these notebooks in the summer when their 50 cents each, and since each kiddo only gets half you only need half as many as you have students in your class.  

I have used them as reading response notebooks or you can use them for free writing or Work on Writing time in Daily 5.  The possibilities are endless!! 

Snazzy Snacks!

Last week we finally did our first round of Snazzy Snacks!  This is something that I have done for the past couple of years and the kids love it!  I first heard about it from Mrs. Bainbridge.  At Open House Night I have parents sign-up to bring in ingredients for our snacks throughout the year.  About a week or so ahead of time I send home a shopping list of ingredients with the parent(s) who signed up.


The first step in Snazzy Snacks is writing down the recipe.  I make a set of classroom cookbooks that the students write each recipe in.  Then at the end of the year they will get to take it home and can make any of our yummy snacks again at home.  I print the covers on colored cardstock and usually also laminate them for durability.

After everyone has written the recipe (a great handwriting exercise) we all get to make the recipe.

*Click on the image to get a free copy.

Calendar Math

This year I started incorporating a more involved calendar math time.  We always discussed our calendar math but now I have the students write about it as well.  Last February I attended a seminar given by guided math guru Dr. Nicki Newton and she said that it was critical to have this be a part of every student's day.  

After using it for about a week or so they have picked up the routines and get started as soon as they hit the carpet.  It is a great way to reinforce written skills as they practice writing the days of the week and the month and but it also increases their math awareness and ability to manipulate numbers in a variety of ways.  

This is the sheet I use, click on it to get a free copy!

Apple Week

The end of September brings Johnny Appleseed's birthday (September 26th) and with that comes apple week!  We had so much fun with all of our different apple activities.  We have apple math centers (courtesy of Sarah Kirby) that the kids are really enjoying!  They love working with their friends on these fun games and activities!

We also had an apple tasting day and even made crock pot applesauce.  The kids told me that I was a fabulous cook :-)


We are also still in the process of working on our apple science books from Regan Tunstall. These suckers take awhile but are worth it at the end because we are learning so many different things about apples.  I can't wait to start the pumpkin version!