5 tips to end the school year successfully!

Hello friends!

The end is near! The end of the school year is here! I am on my day number 176 of my 180 days with students. This is the time when our stress levels are running high and everything seems to be due like, yesterday!

Throughout the years I've developed a system of 5 things I do to have an end of our 180 school days as smooth as possible and stress free (or at least reduce the stress).

Plan ahead and delegate. This has been my sanity saver throughout my teaching years. I set aside one day during Spring Break to think and decide what I will do for the end of year celebration with my students.  Once I have my plan, I enlist my classroom volunteers, and those parents who help form home in tasks that would lighten my work load.

Consistency, consistency, consistency! Did I say consistency? Yes! I work really hard in providing a consistent learning environment for my students. Yes, we have specials and special activities we do, but we maintain our routines and expectations daily. This has minimized behavior issues and maintain a sense of predictability in our day.

Be prepared! Have your lesson plan and always be prepared, even on the last day of school. I tend to prepare easy activities the children can do independently. This will give me opportunities to spend one-on-one time with my students and interact with them individually. By being prepared it also helps minimize behavior issues in the classroom. During my last days of school I enjoy playing large group games we have learned throughout the year, as well re-do of activities they really enjoyed.

Reflection time. Although I constantly reflect on my teaching strategies and approaches, specially after assessments, this is a special time to reflect on the entire year. I'm not talking about analyzing data, but reflect on ourselves and teachers. This reflection time helps me plan for the following year and implement new activities and strategies. This is the time we realized how confident we are in our teaching abilities and how far we have become. 

Celebrate! Celebrate the milestones that your students have reached and all their accomplishments during the school year, as well celebrate all you have learned and grew as a teacher. I think that is very important to celebrate the end of the first year of my students, especially because is their first year in school, period. Not graduation, but acknowledging this huge milestone, along with their parents. Out of my 24 students, 19 are either only child or the oldest child - that means this is also their parents first year in school (as parents!).

Keep learning and celebrate, maybe with an Art Show Celebration ;)!


Art Show!

Hello there!

The end of the school year is finally here! This year we've decided to do an Art Gallery Celebration. This celebration highlights how hard the students worked, how they have developed in all area and their overall growth throughout this wonderful year.

At the end of this day, my students will be going home with 10 pieces of unique art they have worked so hard on and loved throughout the year.

I'm not going to lie, an event like this required dedication, organization, and time. I see this like the timeline when planning a wedding. Two months before the bride needed to decide on the flowers for the venue and the menu, a month before the event invitations were sent, etc.

So, let me share with you the timeline I used for this event.

These invitations are the cutest and easiest to make. On cardstock paper, I traced and cut the shape. The splatter paint is a hole punch I have and used on various construction paper. I purchased the thin paintbrushes at the dollar store and came 12 units for a dollar. On the back side I included all the information for the celebration and the details.

Composition A from Piet Mondrian is always a hit. It is very easy to make and each piece can be different and unique. Tracing first with pencil, draw random lines on a piece of white paper. Once the student paints some of the squares and its dried - place black masking tape on the lines.

I just love portraits and their perspective on themselves. These portraits are very easy to make. On a gray or light color paper have students trace themselves with a black permanent marker. Then will paint their pictures using water colors. The portrait will be cut around it and painted a white border. I wrote on bright paper special qualities of each one of my students. I wished them the best in their future and basically I just wrote about how amazing each one is.

Go Away Big Green Monster is one of our all time favorite! Using empty tissue boxes we decorated the boxes based on their interpretation of the green monster and its facial features. 

We learned about 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes this year. My students were really interested on creating insects out of everything they got their hands into. It gave me the idea of creating 3-dimensional insects using leaves, sticks and twigs. For the base, some students chose to place a wooden disk under the cork and some didn't. The cork had a small how power drilled in and with a dot a hot glue gun they stayed secured inside. 

 This is one of my favorites! I just love how creative their imaginations can be. Using only nature elements found in our environments we created these masterpieces. I used wood glue to secure the pieces into place.

 This abstract piece of art was one of the most time consuming pieces we created for the art show. We used different materials and mediums for it. Starting with spring and the top and going all the way to winter. Each student gave us dictation of what they do in each season.

 I LOVED how this one turned out. We always read this book at the beginning and at the end of the school year and compared how much we have grown. Giraffes Can't Dance is one of our favorite books! Once they cut the giraffes body parts, they glued them together, add a bit of hair on neck and tail and traced/wrote how special they are because they have learned it this year.

This piece is hard to believe it was created by 4 and 5 year olds. The vase was a piece of white paper and teared yellow paper glued on top. For the sunflowers, they drew a circle and triangles for petals, painted it and cut it. 

This Claude Monet's Lily Pond is very sweet. The students were given a cut out bridge and the stamped and dabbed using specific colors. Once it was dried, we removed the bridge from the paper.

This art was about individuality and symmetry. Using their favorite paint method: fingerprint, dabbing, paintbrushes, stamping, etc They painted half of a folded white paper. When finished, the paper was folded towards the painted side leaving a symmetric trail of paint. The letters of their names were traces and cut turning into beautiful pieces of art!

Ways for Art Display

This is just one part of my classroom!

I am just exhausted! But I would do it again in a heartbeat! This year has been tough but extremely rewarding. This is a celebration of al of our accomplishments and we're moving on to kindergarten!!!

Keep learning!


May Readings

May Readings are here!

May is the longest and busiest month for many teachers....including me! During May, we generally have yearly observations and evaluations, we celebrate Mother's Day with our students' moms, we finish up assessments, we start planning our end-of-year celebrations while thinking about what changes we'll be doing for next year......and these are just some of the happenings of this month.

May is also a month to reflect and celebrate out big milestones achieved and start the transition to the next grade level, in my case, kindergarten.

As we prepare to Move On, we truly enjoy these titles for our future kindergarteners. 

My personal favorite of this month is Leo the Late Bloomer. It begins as Leo not being good at anything, not writing, not reading, not eating properly. As the time progresses, Leo bloomed and was able to draw nicely and neatly, eating properly, and ready for his next life chapter - just like my kiddos.

Learn more HERE about how Learning Genie can make your teacher life easier with assessments and incorporating quality literature into your students' daily reports and individualized based on their needs and interests. 

Keep learning!


Glasses Giveaway!

Hi there!

When I was approached by GlassesShop.com to review and give away a pair of their fabulous eyeglasses, I knew I had to do it. Although I had never order glasses form this company, I have some friends who had and they love it. The websites had many options to chose from, even prescription sunglasses!

The process was very easy and simple. I selected the frame of my glasses online I liked and added my information. And look at the price, isn't it great?!

These are the glasses I selected.

From when I made my selection to the time I received them at my door, it was around 14 days. This entire process with GlassesShop.com was very convenient and painless! Perfect for a busy teacher, mom, and full-time grad student.

....and here they are!

I love how conveniently packaged it was when I received them, 
and the glasses sturdy case was an added bonus!

.....now, are you ready to have the opportunity to win a pair of these fabulous glasses???

Use the code: GSHOT50 to get 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses 
(sale frames excluded).


The winner is...


Mother's Day Keychains

Hello fans,

Mother's Day is around the corner and in the middle of parent teacher conferences, classroom observations and walk-thrus I was able to find a very personal yet budget-friendly way for my students to celebrate their mothers. 

Personally I like to use the Crystal Clear pack. 
I am ale to use one sheet for 6 students. 
You can purchase these sheets on any craft store.

I like to use 3" hole punchers in different shapes, I specially like the 
circles and hearts for special occasions.

VERY IMPORTANT! If you decide to use the shrink dink as necklace or keychain, hole punch it before it goes in the oven. The cut and punched shapes will go in the oven for 3 minutes at 325 degrees. 

I've decided to make keychains this year. I used small rings and 
keychain rings to complete the present.

We'll place the keychains in white jewelry boxes my students all decorate.
Happy Mother's Day!


My BIG World

Hi friends!

Today, I want to share with you a wonderful Scholastic My BIG World magazine especially designed for our youngest learners. My Big World with Clifford is the fun nonfiction magazine for early-childhood classrooms. Each issue brings your themes to life with colorful photos and simple nonfiction. In addition, the playful activities focus on early-learning essentials like vocabulary, social development, movement, and languageWhen I received my first box, I was amazed at everything that was included. I received magazines for each student in my classroom, posters, a glass jar, cotton balls, and seeds!

Instantly my teacher brain started thinking of all the learning 
experiences I could provide my students with! 

The very next day, we started working with our 
magazine and learning about plants.

 We did an experiment with our seeds and placed them inside the 
moist cotton balls  using the jar as well in our mini green houses on our classroom window. These seeds sprouted fast!
While learning about plants, we also continued  taking care of our classroom plants and garden, as well created our own plants and labeled its parts.

One of the big posters was All About Rabbits. Judy Hops is one of our students' pet and she visited our classroom. It was the perfect ending to our lesson on rabbits. 

These magazines have been a great addition to our curriculum and expansion on our students interests. My students did the activities on the magazines. They counted eggs, went on an egg hunt, sang songs, and continued the learning at home with the magazines.

Subscribe HERE!

Keep learning!