18 days...and counting

So we are 18 student-days away from Summer Vacation...but who's really counting (LOL, we are in my classroom!)

Last year at the end of the year I was packing up my classroom and school in preparation for our students, staff, and school stuff being moved to a new building over the summer.  Although we were all very excited, I was not able to do a lot of the fun things I like to do with my students because everything needed to be clean, packed and on ON PALLETS that last day of school!  WHEW!

So this year, I am making up for it!  I found this fun Summer Countdown idea on one of the blogs I love...I can not find it now, so if this was your idea, please let me know!  I want to give credit where credit is deserved.

So first I decided to make this a 10-day count down, with the last day of school (technically the 11th day of the count down) being a special summer sendoff gift from me.  After about a week of brainstorming here is my list of surprises:

These surprises will be separated, folded, and placed in a blown-up, numbered balloon with fun confetti to be popped at the beginning of each school day as we count down to Summer Break.  Many of these surprises do not cost money :) some do cost a little though... but I think my students will just LOVE this, and what better end-of-the-year memory then daily surprises!

Quick descriptions of each surprise:
1. Bubblegum and Books: each student will get one piece of Bubblegum (flavors will be available to choose from) and we will take our books outside to read to self and blow bubbles!  At the end of our time we will have a bubble blowing contest! Cost...$5.00

2. Sidewalk Chalk: Students get 20 - 30 minutes to decorate the sidewalks and blacktop in the back of our school.  Cost...well I have chalk left over from last year, so free for me this year!

3. Tape Ball: click the link for this genius idea!  I can't WAIT for this one!  Cost: $10 for candy and tape.

4. Make your own Ice Cream: students will each make their own ice cream in a baggie :)  Science experiment/procedure/following direction activity all in one!  Cost: I have most of the stuff at home, but will need to buy half and half along with some toppings, so $10+

5. Use markers ALLLLLL day:  students get to use markers for all writing, drawing, math...everything they would usually use a pencil for :)  THEY WILL LOVE THIS  because I am pretty stingy with marker use :)  Cost: FREE!  Students have their own markers in their desks!

6. Paper airplane contest: two months ago in our Force and Motion unit we made paper airplanes for one of the activities and my students wanted so badly for just play with them.  I gave them some time to throw them around and just have fun so designing, decorating and flying their own paper airplanes should be a hit!  Maybe there will even be a prize for the best decorated airplane!  Cost: FREE!  Paper and decorating materials can be found in the classroom!

7. Lunch in the Classroom + a movie: YAY!!!  I have already asked my wonderful principal for permission to bring my students back to the classroom for lunch and she is A-OK with it!  Last year, at our old school, we have lunch in the classroom everyday, but at our new school we have a lunch room, so eating in the classroom should be a special surprise :)  Cost: FREE! I will miss out on my duty-free lunch time, but eating with the kids for a day will be fun :)

8. Bubble Party:  Each student will get a container of bubble to blow bubbles galore!  Maybe we can have a bubble blowing contest with these kind of bubbles, too!  Cost: $10 - 20  hopefully I can find small bubble containers or packs at a good price!

9. Desk Switch:  Basically students get to sit where ever they want in the classroom for the day.  They get to sit next to whoever they want to :)  Cost: FREE!

10. Guest Reader + Surprise:  my wonderful dad has come to my classroom once a week to read with my students all year (this is his 3rd year doing this!).  He helps me track student fluency throughout the year.  I am so thankful for this as it frees up so much of my time to focus on other reading skills at the same time.  My dad wants to come in and read to my class and bring them popsicles as a thank you for reading with him and a congratulations for improving so much throughout 2nd grade.  Cost: Free for me!

11. Have a KOOL summer (last day of school):  I will bring Kool-aide packets, crazy straws, and colorful cups for a last day of school treat!  Cost: $10 - 15

Some of these surprises will be weather dependent so the order may switch around a little.  I can't wait to start this countdown!  I will post pictures and updates as it begins!

If you would like the PDF document with the countdown slips send me a message with your email address and I would be happy to send it your way!


Hello Mrs Sykes - Resources for Teachers: 200 Followers Giveaway!! Thank you!!

Hello Mrs Sykes - Resources for Teachers: 200 Followers Giveaway!! Thank you!!:      

Oh my!!! Congrats to Mrs. Sykes for 200 followers!  To celebrate she is having an AWESOME 10-teacher giveaway!

I hope to one day have 200 followers, too!

My First Blog Award!!

I am so excited to post that I have received my first blog award... in fact, I received the Lovely Blog Award twice in one week!

First from my friend Darleen at Third Grade Love

and then again from one of my newest followers at Third Grade's a Hoot  (what a super cute blog name!).

So here is how blog awards work:

1. Follow the person who gave you the award
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award
3. Pass on the award to 15 new bloggers

This is a fun and easy way to make someone's day (just as the two ladies above did for me!), but this is also a wonderful opportunity to explore around for new blogs!

Below are fifteen blogs I am following and who deserve the One Lovely Blog Award:




12. helloliteracy.blogspot.com.png
13. hellomrssykes.blogspot.com.png
14. button-15.png
15. swimmingintosecond.blogspot.com.png


Check out these amazing, dedicated, innovative teachers and their ideas!  How lucky are the students in their classes?!



My very first blog friend, Darleen from Third Grade Love, invited me to be a part of her very first giveaway :)  She is celebrating 40 followers and 20, 000 page views!  Wow!!!  

Check out her blog for more details on how to enter and win!

Mother's Day

Mother's Day landed at the end of the perfect week for my class.

This is our big MSP week for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students which evidently means our regular schedule is goofy with needed planning time shuffles, no RTI and all SPED groups being cancelled.

This prompted my team and I to decided to take this opportunity when we have all of our students all day for the entire week to do a special Nutrition Unit.  I will be posting the Nutrition Journal I created for our students to keep track of everything they learned, soon!

This also gave us lots of extra time for Mother's Day crafting and preparing!

 We started the week with this super cute poem I found on TPT via pinterest.

Didn't they turn out super cute!?  Each student turned their thumb prints into mommy and child butterflies, bugs, or little people.  I laminated them and added heart ribbon.

These fun and beautiful hand-print flowers I found on pinterest, too!  My students LOVED making these!  I wish I had bought enough pipe cleaners for each student to make more than one flower!

On Friday we are taking the small cups of grass we have been growing and trim, cut, and/or braid the grass to the desired hair styles of each student... then adding googly-eyes and foam/felt mouths for one last gift.  Pictures to come!


Teacher Appreciation = happy heart

The simplest things make my heart happy these days...

Yellow tulips from a student, special water bottle with chocolate chip cookies from PTA.

water and "pop"ular popcorn from PTA :)

...flower seeds in the cutest package ever!  I saw the PTA mom putting her student to work on these little packages yesterday afternoon in the office :)  What a thoughtful family!

Cute and yummy!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, teacher friends!