A few weeks ago, I had an idea to hold a small lemonade stand at my classroom door with my students for some extra end of the year fun (and learning). I first went to the blogs to see if there were any wonderful ideas already out there. I found this inspiring post by Sarah Cooley from First Grader at Last. After reading her post, I went HERE and quickly realized this was no longer going to be a "small lemonade stand at my classroom door". I e-mailed my principal (who's amazing) and she gave me her approval. Thus began our Lemonade Stand for "Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation" to raise money for pediatric cancer research. I am so excited to say that our class was featured on the front page of our town's newspaper this morning!
(special thanks to Mr. & Mrs. M & family for building this amazing stand)
Meet Alexandra "Alex" Scott a brave young girl who may have understood more about life in her short 8 years on this earth than any of us. Shortly before her first birthday, Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer. On her first birthday, the doctors informed Alex's parents that if she beat her cancer it was doubtful that she would ever walk again. Just two weeks later, Alex slightly moved her leg at her parents' request to kick. This was the first indication of who she would turn out to be - a determined, courageous, confident and inspiring child with big dreams and big accomplishments.
By her second birthday, Alex was crawling and able to stand up with leg braces. She worked hard to gain strength and to learn how to walk. She appeared to be beating the odds, until the shattering discovery within the next year that her tumors had started growing again. In the year 2000, the day after her fourth birthday, Alex received a stem cell transplant and informed her mother, "when I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand." She said she wanted to give the money to doctors to allow them to "help other kids, like they helped me." True to her word, she held her first lemonade stand later that year with the help of her older brother and raised an amazing $2,000 for "her hospital."
While bravely battling her own cancer, Alex and her family continued to hold yearly lemonade stands in her front yard to benefit childhood cancer research.
In August of 2004, Alex passed away at the age of 8, knowing that, with the help of others, she had raised more than $1 million to help find a cure for the disease that took her life. Alex's family - including brothers Patrick, Eddie, and Joey - and supporters around the world are committed to continuing her inspiring legacy through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Friday, April 27 my class held a lemonade stand in honor of Alex. It was a bigger success than we could have hoped for. My entire school came together to support our cause, it was touching to be a part of. Once we announced our plans to the school, I was overwhelmed with support. So many people went out of their way to share their personal stories about cancer with me and to tell me how thankful they were that we would raise money for this. Countless people offered their time to help with anything that we needed. I lost track of how many people donated lemonade and volunteered their time. Without this flood of support, we would not have been able to maintain the lemonade stand throughout the school day. We would have been closed after the first hour!
As we opened our stand, the hallway was full of customers. Additionally, we had special visitors from the newspaper there to watch, take pictures and interview us. Not to worry though, my class was ready! One student explained to the newspaper reporter, "We've trained for this". He was right, I approached this unit with my class as a business. It was my hope that through some of our lessons I would be able to teach them some life skills as well. We based our unit on a sweet book about Alex titled "Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand". You can watch it online HERE.
From there we learned about Alex, wrote about her life, completed a craftivity, made predictions about our future sales, tested our product, graphed whether we liked pink lemonade or yellow lemonade better and made a work schedule for our lemonade stand. I told the kiddos that their uniform for the day would be to wear yellow. They were to report to work (school) on time and be ready to work their shift. We held a mock lemonade stand 2 days before where we perfected our customer service skills and practiced working together.
The classroom discussions and the effort the children put into getting ready for the big day isn't something that I could have never written down in a lesson plan. They took ownership of this project and it became bigger than I could have ever predicted. I have never been more proud!
Before we opened for business, we had already raised $25.00. We sold over 800 cups of lemonade raising a total $462.85!!! Exactly how many cups we sold is hard to determine due to so many generous donations. Many of my kiddos couldn't wrap their minds around why people would just hand us money and not want lemonade in return. These were truly teachable moments where I was able to explain human kindness and compassion.
We hung posters around the school to advertise the big event. So adorable!
Who knew? Pink lemonade won!
We set a class goal of $60.00.
We wrote about Alex's story.
We completed a "How To" writing from First Grader At Last's unit.
We discussed what kind of person Alex must have been to start something so important.
I am lucky enough to already have a document camera in my classroom. Trust me, I'm grateful. The problem is, it's HUGE and HEAVY. Don't get me wrong though, I've lugged that beast around proudly for 3 years. I am thrilled to let you know that this will no longer be a problem for me. I have fallen in love with my new lightweight, sleek, easy to use, functional projection camera!
The Luna Interactive Projection Camera is so easy to use. Do you see the one cord above? That's all there is to it. You plug in the one USB cord pop in the CD and you are done. It's that easy. If you need to, you can also plug in the microphone cord. I have to admit I went back into the box looking for a power cord. I thought that there was no way this would work with just one cord!
My old beast had at least 4 cords and about 6 buttons. I should mention, I only know how to use 1 of those buttons anyway. Such a waste. The Luna Interactive Projection Camera also features a light. This makes it easy to turn out the lights while still allowing my kiddos to see what I am doing under the camera. The neck of the projection camera is also flexible like a bendable straw. I was able to easily move it around to position it right where I wanted it. It's so small that I've actually moved it behind my laptop and bent the camera over the screen. It literally takes up no space.
I may or may not have told the kiddos that the new camera has a live feed to their parents cell phones so they could watch them at all times. I also may or may not leave the camera lens facing out towards the class when not in use...I call it end of the year classroom management!
Hands down, this is the easiest piece of technology you will ever use. It retails for $199.00 which is a deal. Most projection cameras are at least double that.
One lucky winner will be able to experience first hand how wonderful this projection camera is. All you have to do is enter below to win your very own!!!
Well, it's a rainy gloomy Sunday here. I'm actually pretty excited about that. It gives me some time to work on the computer and get ready for next week. I wanted to quickly post and let you know that my May Daily Sentence Editing is on Teachers Pay Teachers for those of you who are ready for May.
Let me tell you a little bit about them in case you're not familiar already. I love having quick warm up activities for my kiddos that don't take a lot of time or create more work for me in the long run. These mini booklets are the perfect solution.
In the past, I have tried cutting little strips of paper and gluing them into notebooks....that never works! It usually results in me trying to check over them while ripping apart many glued together pages. Which results in me ripping half of a notebook apart while the proud notebook owner stands there in tears because I've destroyed their hard work. My Daily Sentence Editing Booklets fix this problem and many others!
Why I love them....
*They work. Editing sentences each day helps reinforce countless skills.
*No messy glue.
*They are ready for 5 days in a school week. My little ones know if we didn't have school they are still responsible for completing the days in their booklet.
*At the end of the week after all of their hard work, they can color the B&W clip art pictures featured on each page.
* Great to have on hand when your day doesn't go quite according to plan...these are ready for a mini lesson when you need them.
*Since they are themed, you can throw some factual information in during the lesson. (Sample sentence: April 22 is Earth Day.) *They are only a half page in size so this saves paper!
*They can be done guided or independently.
Today a student left my room and moved to another school. I will miss him and it has me reflecting…
I don’t remember learning to write my name or when the jumbled up words on a page turned into stories. I’m not sure if I struggled in school and I don’t remember that much about it. I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a teacher. In fact, I know that I didn’t.
I wish now that I could recall these memories of where my learning began but they just aren’t there. What I do remember are the faces and voices of the teachers that made a difference. I can hear my kindergarten teacher’s voice and see her smile. I remember my first grade teacher and a field trip we went on to a swimming pool. She played in the water with us. I remember my third grade teacher used to give me Triscuits and let me read under her desk.
I have no doubt that the memories I do have from elementary school, combined through the years, make me the teacher I am today.
It is because of this, I am always wondering what memories my students will take away from my classroom. There is no doubt that academics are important but we all know there’s more to it than that. I wonder if they will remember that I filled the room with 100 balloons for the 100th day, that I let them throw water balloons at me or that I can’t carry a tune in a bucket but I sing anyway…
It is my hope, that one day they will look back on first grade and remember me. They may not remember that I taught them to read (which is no small task) but it is my hope that they remember how I made them feel. Maybe, one day they will stumble upon my end of the year letter to their parents and just for a minute, they will remember…
This could possibly be my favorite unit ever! I have thought of teaching with pickles before but I was never quite able to pull it all together. Any chance I get to teach with food I'm all over it. You see I love love love to eat pickles. They are pretty much a staple in my refrigerator. One time I even read about a diet that required you to eat one pickle before every meal in order to lose weight....Don't believe everything you read right??? So I was browsing the children's section at the bookstore and I stumbled upon this book:
NOTE: You do not need the books to use everything in this unit.
This is an adorable story about a boy who loves pickles. His mom tells him to stop eating so many pickles because he's going to smell like vinegar. He tells her he'll smell "picklicious". His dad tells him that he's going to turn into a pickle. He laughs and tells him "They'll call me PICKLICIOUS!" The ending to the book is super cute too. I won't spoil it for you but I was laughing out loud as I read it. I think the boys in my class are really going to think it's great.
Then, I found this book that is equally adorable...
My favorite part is that I was able to include some poetry in the unit. Don't tell my students but I really don't like poetry. I'm just not a huge fan. When I don't love a subject, it's hard for me to get excited about it - the children can of course sense my weakness. So, I'm proud to say I am excited to teach poetry using pickles!!!
This 78 page unit includes a little bit of everything. For a full description, head over to my store to check it out. Don't forget to grab your free pickle graphing while you're there. Click the picture below to head that way.
The first person to purchase the unit and leave feedback in my TPT store with the keyword "PICKLICIOUS" will get to choose any other item from my store FREE. BOGO!!!
(leave your e-mail address so I can find out what you want).
I'm hoping that the Easter Bunny was good to you but just in case he wasn't, grab some of my FREEBIES below :)
Graphing is a skill that we revisit ALL year long in my class. This year I created some themed graphing activities that my little ones really seem to enjoy. I have also found that in a pinch, I am able to use these picture cards to teach other skills (patterns, probability, vocabulary, memory matching). Print as many of the cards you need and you instantly have another activity! Click each picture to go directly to the download.
Don't forget to enter my Door Decor GIVEAWAY~ click here to go directly to the post.
I can't think of a better way to start off Spring Break than with a GIVEAWAY! My first grade teammate Janah and I have teamed up, so I hope you're feeling lucky. She has just opened her Teachers Pay Teachers store and she is quickly filling it with adorable door decor. The most exciting part is that she is super talented and can customize just about anything for you! Truly she has a way with some burlap :)
Here is a sneak peak.....
Let's talk giveaway...
There are 4 ways to enter and there will be 4 winners. The first winner will receive any item from Door Decor by Janah FREE. She will personally work with you to customize something just for you! The second winner will receive 50% off of any item from Door Decor by Janah. The third and fourth place winners will receive any 1 item from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. In your comments/entries, we would love to hear some of your ideas about what you would like to see customized just for you!
My name is Randi and I have spent the last 5 years busy teaching 1st grade. This year I will be looping with my students to 2nd grade! I am passionate about teaching and thankful for this little corner of my world so that I can share my passion with you.