Five for Friday!

IT'S FRIDAY!! I hope everyone had a great week, especially if you were just returning from winter break. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly Fab 5. Here are 5 random things from this week.

#1: We started back on Monday after a 2 week break. Surprisingly, my kids were ready to go! I am so fortunate this year to have a fantastic class. Every one of my cuties comes to school motivated and ready to learn. I better enjoy it while I can, right?

#2:  I joined a winter project exchange with Maria at First Grade Carousel. My class had to create 20 identical projects and write about winter in our area. Living in South Florida and loving the beach, of course, I had to make something from the sea. I found a free star fish (the new name is  sea stars since they are not really fish) pattern and idea ✯here✯. (There are a lot of other cute crafty projects there, too.) I traced the pattern on paper plates. The kids cut them out, folded them, painted them orange, and I sprinkled a little glitter. I gave them a hole punch and tied a piece of twine. I created a form for the kids to write on. As a class, we wrote about our winter climate using what we know and a little internet research. The sea star ornaments really came out pretty & the kids did a great job writing about winter. I will mail them off to Maria in Pennsylvania and we will get back 20 projects from other classrooms around the country. Can't wait to share what we receive.

#3: While painting the sea stars I noticed that my 3rd graders, especially the boys, had a difficult time painting. They didn't seem to know how to hold the paint brush, they pushed too hard on the project, and used way too much paint. It seemed so awkward for them. It is almost like their fine motor skills aren't fully developed. Their cutting isn't so great either. I will be doing more work on this skill. 

#4: The week of January 14th is Children's Literacy Week. We were asked to make a poster of our favorite author. My class decided on Chris Van Allsburg. We have been using his books to practice inferencing, particularly Two Bad Ants and The Sweetest Fig. I created an "All About" poster for and author study.  We read about Van Allsburg online at his website and the students filled in their poster. We read a few more books I found in our media center. On Monday we will read a few more books,  finish the posters and I will put them all together in a display. I just couldn't get it all done today!

#5: Last...I'm thrilled to be "expanding" Beach Sand onto Facebook. I hope that you will come by and  "like" my page for updates, freebies, and just fun stuff! I'm also thrilled with my new TpT store banner. Misty at Honey Bunch Design whipped up the banner for me and it just dresses up my store. Please hop over and check it out. You can just click the buttons on this page to visit me around the internet!

Remember to link up with Doodle Bugs and check out TBA's Freebie Friday, too. Check here for a fantastic giveaway going on at Rockin' Teacher materials and be on the lookout for a giveaway from my friends at Sister Teachers.



  1. I'm going to have to find a copy of The Fig. I don't have it.
    I'm your newest follower!
    Mary at Pitner's Potpourri
    Pitner's Potpourri Shop on Teachers Notebook

  2. Hi Gina,

    I gave you a little shout out on my blog for your MLK freebie. I really like it and wanted to share.

    :) Jayme
    Trendy in Third

  3. I love those sea stars they are beautiful. I will have to try those out!

    Surfin' Through Second

  4. Hey Gina!
    I love those sea stars! How fun! And your boys are going to love working on their fine motor skills, especially if you let them paint some more! ;O)

    We just read a Chris Van Allsburg story yesterday called The Wretched Stone- it's a metaphor for watching too much television (it's a little...weird..but my kids understood the metaphor). He is quite an interesting author. I have not heard of The Fig. I'll have to check it out. I love Two Bad Ants!!

    Have a great weekend!
    Collaboration Cuties

    1. I'm going to look on Better World Books for some more of his books. We also looked at The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. I have the portfolio version. They LOVED the pictures. The Sweetest Fig has a great surprise ending. I have to add Wretched Stone to my collection. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I love your sea stars! Kids really don't do enough painting these days. If only we could get them away from those video games!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  6. The sea stars came out awesome! I think that exchange is a really neat idea-winter is just so different everywhere. I need to share more Van Allsburg with my kiddos this year-they'd love Two Bad Ants!



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