Tops and Bottoms Envelope Books


I’m linking up with Amanda from The Teaching Thief to share a project that I really intended to post about months ago.

One of my favorite projects from this last year was our envelope books we made after we read Tops and Bottoms.  We were able to cover a boatload of skills and we had fun doing it!



These are the same basic book as the map skills books I posted about here.  This time we added reading skills. They turned out really cute.



One of the things I love about this project is the ability to get multiple grades from it.  I graded each skill separately so ended up with 5 grades from this project.



I adore the kids’ illustrations!  They do such a great job.



And…there’s a pocket to put junk really important stuff, like vocabulary cards, in.

If you haven’t made envelope books with your class yet, you should.  Really.  It’s not hard and you can find step-by-step directions here.

UPDATE: I have now added the Tops and Bottom Envelope Book templates to my TpT store. You can check them out here.



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Throwback Thursday – Envelope Books

Hey everyone!  I’m joining up with Cara Carroll at First Grade Parade with my 1st Throwback Thursday post. 

I like to add some umph to my lessons by making paperbag books, envelope books, and lots and lots of foldables.  We do so much cutting and gluing in my class that some kids ran out of glue last year.  Anyway, here’s one of my favorite activities that I posted about in September 2012.



I love creating interactive notes with my kids!  I’m not sure why, but folding, cutting, and gluing can make any topic more interesting.

My kids created these envelope books last week to keep their notes from our map unit in. In addition to learning map skills, our map unit included a lesson on an explorer and his impact on the present. Many of the pages we added to our books are from our mandated curriculum but I tried to spruce things up where I could.


This is a timeline that we accordion folded into our books.

This is the foldable I had planned to add to our books. I forgot to make copies so I had to improvise – oops!

The left side shows the notes we took instead of using the foldable. The right side shows a pocket we created using a map. The map shows the route Juan de Onate took. The folded paper inside the pocket is information about Juan de Onate and his journey.

The left side shows notes that we took on the outside of the folded pocket we made. We stored the maps we created inside this pocket.
These books are so easy a caveman 3rd grader can do it.  Here are the instructions if you would like to give it a try.

Start with a manila envelope of any size. I used 9 x 12 envelopes to make the map books.

Shave off the edges so that the envelope will open up.

Open up the envelope and turn it sideways. This is the inside of the envelope. The clasp should be on the left.

Fold the left side over until it meets the center crease. You will now be able to see the metal clasp.

Lift up the edge you just folded over and place glue at the top and bottom edges.

Fold the flap back down and hold in place until the glue dries. You now have a pocket.

At this point, you can see the 3 panels on the inside of the book for you to fill up with notes and foldables.

To close up the book, fold the pocket over.

Fold over the left side again.

Fold the flap over. I use this as the front of the book. That’s it – you’re done!You can add velcro dots to the flap if you want your book to stay closed. 
I love making these books. They are so simple to make and there is so much you can do with them. My 3rd graders made their own books with me modeling the process. I heard several kids comment that the books were really cool and they couldn’t wait to take them home.
If you’ve made similar books before, I’d love to know what topic you created them for.
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Humor Me

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Please excuse the random html code at the top.  I'm claiming my blog through bloglovin so I can see what all the hype is about.

Since I'm being random anyway, here are some of my favorite humor pins from Pinterest.  Have a great Wednesday!

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Monster Wreath

It’s been awhile but I’m back with another Monday Made It post.  I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest but the Monday Made It linky is what gets me motivated to get stuff done.  Thanks Tara! 
It seems like I just got out of school yesterday but I’m already working on my theme for the next school year.  After seeing all of Amanda’s (Teaching Maddeness) monster themed posts last summer I caught the monster bug. 
I saw this monster wreath on Pinterest and decided to make one myself.

I had so much fun making this one that I decided to make another.

I plan to hang these critters in the hall with students’ work but I need a really good slogan.  Anyone have ideas I can mooch??
These wreaths were super easy to make.  I cut about 75’ of tulle into 12” strips and tied the strips into knots around a foam wreath center. The teeth are made from craft foam that I attached using sewing pins.  The eyeballs are stuck on with toothpicks.
I’m off to plan next week’s Monday Made It!
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Bye-Bye Google Reader, Hello Feedly



Google has decided to pull the plug on Google Reader.  As of July 1st, we will no longer be able to enjoy our favorite blogs through Google Reader.   If you are like me and depend on Google reader, I have found a solution for you.  Drum roll please…

It’s Feedly!  I’ve been using Feedly for a little while and what I like the most about it is the ability to change the way you view your feeds.  Check out these options:









I’m a visual person so magazine and card views are my favorites.  With both options, you get a small preview.  If you’re interested in reading the entire post, click on the title and it instantly pops up.  If there are posts you are not interested in, click on “mark as read” and they disappear. There are a lot of options with Feedly and it’s easy to use.  The best part is it’s available on iOS, Android, and through a web browser so you can use it on your phone, tablet, and computer.  If you’re interested, import your Google Reader feeds into Feedly Cloud and you’ll be seamlessly moved over.
When I first heard that Google Reader was retiring I was not at all thrilled.  However, I think Feedly will fit my needs perfectly!
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