Sunday, April 24, 2016

1st Blogiversary Giveaway and FREEBIES!

It's hard to believe that our sweet "Peach" has been around for a whole YEAR already! Crazy how time really does fly, right?

What better way to celebrate a year at The Primary Peach than with a GIVEAWAY?!?!
In keeping with traditional anniversary gifts, we thought it'd be fun to give away something paper related - don't hold your breath on fine china, diamonds, or gold in the future - haha - so, we're giving away an ERIN CONDREN gift card!

If you don't know about Erin Condren and her amazing teacher planners (although she has so much more than that) you can read all about them HERE.

You can enter for your chance to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring into April - The Important Thing for Test Review

Hullo! Gary here from ScrappyGuy Designs. I get to write today's post for the Primary Peach. Good times, good times.

When I heard that it was for National Poetry Month, I started scratching my head. My brain is so full of stress Standardized Testing that it took me a bit to wrap my brain around turning to poetry. Then it hit me. Why not create poems for test review?

Fun, right? A perfect way to get the students to think back to material we've covered this year, especially in Social Studies and Science. It would require them to look carefully through their notes and come up with pertinent information to create a poetry piece.

I love using Margaret Wise Brown's book, The Important Book, as a  mentor text in my poetry unit. Her poems use a simple structure that the students can recreate with almost any topic. She starts off with a main idea sentence :

The important thing about a daisy is that it is white.

Then she lists a few details about the flower, or spoon, or rain. Then she repeats the main idea sentence again:

But the important thing about a daisy is that is it white.

Students love using this format and apply it to the various topics  we've studied this year.

Here's one I use with them about grass:

You can let them get crazy with the fonts, color, sizing, and stuff to really show off their creativity.

Here is one of the poems past students have created using our academic content:

The Important Thing about Ferdinand Magellan   By: Mike Lagat

The important thing about Ferdinand Magellan

is that he discovered the Philippine Islands.

He went to Spain to get boats.

He named an ocean the Pacific [Peaceful].

His crew traveled around the world.

So, the important thing about Ferdinand Magellan is that he discovered the Philippines Islands.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring into April - Using Found Poetry to Dig Up Main Idea

One of my favorite ways to have students connect with a passage or story is through found poetry. With found poetry students can identify the main idea and supporting details in a text.

Found poetry takes specific words and phrases from a piece of writing and organizes them into a poem.  This can be done numerous ways. Students can highlight or underline on a page that is copied. If the text can't be copied (such as a textbook)  students can lightly underline the words/phrases with a pencil (they can erase these marks when the lesson is complete).


Once the words or phrases are chosen, the students will cut or write the words.

Students will then organize the words into a poem. The poem will usually be a free verse poem.  

Sample Lesson Plan
Essential Question: What is the main idea? 
Objective: Students will create a found poem using the important words and phrases from a reading passage. 
Standards: RL.1.1, 2.1. 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 

1. Introduce the topic: "Today we are going to go on a dive to see if we can find some poetry. Everyone put on your scuba gear, grab your pencils, and let's go swim with the sharks!"
2. Read this Bull Shark Passage. (Just click to access the FREE download) 
3. Read the passage as a whole group, in partners, or independently depending on the level and purpose of your lesson.  Tell students to read for the purpose of learning the most important thing(s) about Bull Sharks. 
4. Then have the students reread the passage.  Have them underline or highlight the words/phrases they feel are the most important or those words really stand out to them.  
5. Students will cut out or write the words they chose.  
6. The words will be organized into a poem (free verse is typically the easiest for this lesson) 
7. Have an Author's Share.  I usually start with 2-3 students and then have the class break into smaller groups to ensure that all students get to share.  If you want to learn more about author's share time, read this post.  

Ticket Out the Door - What is the most important thing you learned about Bull Sharks? 
Here is the poem I wrote. 

Bull Sharks
By: Jessica Zannini

Zambezi, Slip-away
most dangerous shark 
head-butt snout
highly adapted kidneys
Atlantic, Indian, Amazon lake
fresh river
tiny eyes diving
close to shore
murky water

Looking for more ways to teach poetry?  Check out these posts:

You can also follow this Teaching Poetry Pinterest Board for more engaging poetry ideas.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring into April: Paper Saving Tips for Earth Day and Every Day!

Happy Spring, Everyone!  It’s Tami from Kamp Kindergarten.  Earth Day is just a few days away.  It is also getting to the point in the school year where supplies are running low and everyone is thinking of ways to stretch their meager store of paper until the end of the year. 

CVC Clip Cards in a Photo Album


I have found task cards to be a great way to save paper.  You do have an initial investment of copy paper or card stock, but once the cards are made, you have them to use year after year.  Many task cards utilize recording pages to provide accountability. I will be offering suggestions to provide accountability that require little or no paper.

A quick and easy way to hold students accountable for task card material is have them record their responses in their journals.  This uses paper that you already have in the classroom without making additional copies.  I also like that you can look back through the journal and note how the learner has progressed through the year. 

CVC Spell the Room Using an Individual Dry Erase Board for Responses

There are ways other than using journals for students to record student responses such as individual dry erase boards, but these are temporary.  If you want to keep a record, you can use a digital camera or your phone to snap a photo of their responses.  These photos can be used in digital portfolios. You will have them to reference when you are assessing student progress, for student/teacher or parent/teacher conferences, making comments for progress reports and report cards, and for data for RTI meetings. 

Pumpkin Seed Add the Room Response Page in a Dry Erase Pocket

You can print one copy of the recording sheet and put it in a dry erase pocket.  Learners use a dry erase marker to record their responses.  You may use a digital camera or the camera on your phone to make a photo of their work before they erase their responses.

Kids at the Beach Subtraction Center Response Page in a Sheet Protector

If you don’t have any dry erase sleeves, you can print one copy of the recording sheet and put it in a regular sheet protector pocket for binders.  Use a clipboard to provide stability. 

Using an Individual Dry Erase Board for Apple Dice Add the Room Responses

When using dry erase methods for recording responses, provide learners with an inexpensive black glove to use as an eraser. Putting on the glove and getting the thumb and fingers in the right space adds a fine motor opportunity to the activity.

Pirate Domino Add the Room Cards in a Photo Album

Many task cards will fit in dollar store photo albums for 4X6 photos.  Add a dry erase marker and you have a quick and easy write and wipe activity.  As an added bonus, learners who are overwhelmed by a large amount of material at once are confronted with only one task at the time before turning the page.

One last tip…

Cutting CVC Spell the Room Cards with a Paper Cutter

This one will not save paper, but it will save time.  If the cards have straight edges instead of irregular shapes, use a paper cutter to cut out the cards.  You will have nice straight edges without hours of eyestrain and tedious cutting.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Be sure to check the Primary Peach for other posts in this series.

Happy Earth Day!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring into April- Quick and Easy Outdoor Learning Ideas

Happy Monday! It's Stacia from Collaboration Cuties, and I'm excited to share some quick and easy outdoor learning ideas with you!
Make sure to check out all the great ideas in our April series!
I love the month of April and the warm weather, but it always seems to be the time when the kids start to get antsy and even a little off-the-wall (especially if you have state testing going on!). One thing that I loved doing with my students was taking them outside for some fresh air and outdoor learning. Sometimes, just getting out of the classroom can make a huge difference with behavior and attention! :)

We wouldn't go far- on the sidewalk or on the blacktop or around the playground or in a grassy spot on the field. It just depended what we were doing. And we didn't stay out forever- just 10-25 minutes or as long as the activity required. There are so many learning opportunities outside, but here are a few ideas for math and science.
My students loved doing outdoor math activities! Usually, I had the students bring their math journal and a pencil. Sometimes they brought whiteboards, markers, and erasers instead. You can also have them bring an iPad or camera if you have one to take photos (depending on the activity).

-Fractions- Let students find fractions of a whole and of a set outside around the school. Have them record their fractions in their math journals. Then, practice simplifying the fractions, adding the fractions, comparing the fractions, etc. 
Examples of fractions they may find: number of girls or boys,  colors of flowers, types of trees, colors of cars in the parking lot, number of students playing soccer vs basketball, number of adults vs kids

-Measurement- Have students bring rulers or yardsticks or other measuring tools out with them. Let them measure a variety of objects and areas. Then, have them compare their measurements and convert them. 
Examples of measurements: width of the slide, height of the slide, width of the track, height of a plant, width of the sidewalk, length of the jump rope

-Area and Perimeter- Students can calculate area and perimeter of different areas by measuring around and multiplying the length times the width or adding up all the sides. 
Examples: basketball court, playground, sidewalk section, bench seat, garden, picnic table, four square board, hop scotch square

-Geometry- Have students identify geometric figures. You can even let them take photos or draw pictures of the figures they find. 
Examples: lines and angles making up the building or playground, polygons and solid figures

-Estimation- Let students estimate the number of various objects outside. Then, have students discuss and compare estimates to determine if they are reasonable. You can have students add and subtract their estimates as well. 
Examples: flowers, cars, trees, balls, students, birds, squirrels, clouds, blades of grass, bricks
Outdoor science activities are so much fun! Again, I usually had students bring their science journals and a pencil (sometimes crayons or colored pencils too). And, you can also have them bring an iPad or camera if you have one to take photos (depending on the activity).

-Light- Have students investigate light with prisms. They love seeing the "rainbows" they can create. Then have them draw and label the colors of the visible spectrum in their science notebooks. 

-Ecosystems- Let students explore the ecosystems and habitats found all around the school. You may have forest ecosystems, pond or creek ecosystems, garden ecosystems, etc. Students can draw the ecosystem and label the parts. Key vocabulary they can include: living and non-living, organism, predator, prey, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, food chain, food web

-Water Cycle- Show students that the water cycle is all around them. Let them observe evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. Have them draw and label the different parts. 

-Clouds- Let students identify the different types of clouds and draw what they see. Then, discuss how the clouds affect the weather. This is a quick and easy activity to do when you are walking back in from the playground after recess!

-Adaptations- Talk with students about the plants and animals they see around the school grounds. Discuss why certain plants and animals make their homes there. How are they able to survive? What would happen if they were moved to another habitat? Students can record the different plant and animal adaptations they see in their science journals. 

I hope some of these outdoor learning ideas may work for you and your students! 

For even more ideas from The Primary Peach be sure to follow us on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook to catch all the latest news and updates.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring into April: Earth....Be Water Wise

Hey, everyone! Earth Day is just right around the corner and we've been trying to give you some tips on how you and your class can celebrate Earth Day. One of the things I really like to focus on in my room is WATER! Mainly because it is something students can really relate to. We all need water. I love this amazing short video called  I am Water on YouTube that explains just how precious this resource is and why everyone needs to work together to save water. Your students will realize just how lucky they are to have clean drinking water.

Then we read lots of books!

After that, we talk about the practical things we can do at home to help out. Here's a few little resources I use:
Happy Earth Day Friends! We hope you'll be back soon! There are so many exciting things coming on The won't want to miss it.