I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I cannot believe that I haven't posted anything since Farley's March Currently! Yikes! Well, I suppose I can believe it. I've been sick for almost a month, I have followed the high school basketball team all to the way to the state final four (wahoo!), I've celebrated with our leprechaun and was busy finishing up the third quarter at school. Whoa! When I look at the calendar and realize that I only have NINE more Monday wake-ups until summer break, I just cannot believe it.  At the same time, I look around at how crazy life has gotten, and I realize that I am ready! I need to slow down and regroup. Who else is feeling this way?  I'm sure I am not alone.

I am sure that many of you had a little green visitor last week that may or may not have caused a little chaos in the classroom.  It got crazy and I had to stop, relax, let the kids have a little fun, and let it go.  It is so hard when we try to keep routine, control, and order in the classroom on a daily basis to just let it go once in a while.  I have to remind myself that this class full of second graders have only been on this planet for eight years.  They deserve a little fun. If they can't have fun now, how are they going to feel about school in junior high, high school, and beyond?  We need to just relax and know that everything will be ok.

With that, we had a little green visitor.  Now, every year our visitor causes different degrees of chaos based upon what the kiddos can handle without completing getting out of control. When the kiddos came in, this is what they found.

So, you can see it wasn't too chaotic.  No desks overturned. No streamers hanging from the ceiling. No footprints all over the classroom.  But, they did get some Magic Leprechaun Dust, a necklace (what was I thinking), a shamrock on their desk, and some confetti. Not terrible but I knew it would be enough to distract most of my class.  But, like I said before, they need to have a little fun:)

A few days before St. Patrick's Day, we completed a directed drawing.  If you are on Instagram I'm sure you have seen a plethora of teachers posting their kiddos' version of First Grade Blue Skies directed drawing of a leprechaun. Here are some of my kiddos creations from the beginning to some finished products.  They were so proud of themselves!  She now has directed drawings of rabbits and birds, just in time for spring and Easter.  You can check those out {here}.

 Along with the directed drawings, I found a great freebie from Simply Skilled in Second for one of her fabulous flip flap books.  You can find it {here}.  We have done several versions of her flip flap books this year.  They really enjoy them and can almost do them independently at this point. LOVE.

So. Let's talk about Magic Leprechaun Dust.  This was such a good bribe incentive for the entire day! The magic dust was on their desk when they arrived.  They knew they could not 'play' with it or it may lose its magic.  They didn't know if it was a science experiment or snack.  They were told they just had to wait and see.  On the top label it says to Just Add Milk.  Of course, since the leprechaun delivered these, I told them I would have to go out and buy milk during their lunch/recess, therefore we wouldn't be able to see what this magical dust would create until the afternoon.  Clever, huh?  In reality, I had to tape a reminder to myself on my door to the garage so I wouldn't forget to bring the milk.

Surely I am not the only one who needs to do this, right? I hope not.  It's the only way I keep my sanity:) It's my own type of 'list'.

Anyway, the kiddos so badly wanted to find out what the magic dust would turn into so this alone helped to keep their craziness in check during most of the day.  This was not my idea.  I have to give credit to Jennifer Drake.  She has a fabulous freebie in her TpT shop that gives you all of the information to make this Magic Leprechaun Dust. You can find this freebie {here}.

One small revelation that I did have during my compilation of the magic dust was to adhere the label using rubber cement.  If you have the kiddos slowly peel off the label before they add milk, it peels right off. Therefore, you can easily reuse these containers year-to-year.  Can I get an Amen for that!  I love when I think of ways to save money before it's too late:)

Here are a few pictures of my compilation and of the kiddos shaking their creations.

 Just when they thought they had shaken their creations long enough, I told them I had to count back from 50 in silence in order for the magic dust to take effect.  If they started talking, I had to start over. Ha! It worked! I had 50ish seconds of complete silence while I watched their smiling faces of anticipation! When they were done shaking, it looked like this.

Well, I'm sure you can all guess that their magic dust was pistachio pudding!  Although, one of my sweeties wanted to show her reading teacher her creation.  After school, I spoke with this teacher and was told that it was 'cinnamon jello'. What?!?! Oh well. She ate it and said she liked it.  Hmm. I wonder if she went home and told her parents that I gave her cinnamon jello? Like it said before, some things I just need to let go:) 

The last thing we ended our day with was a little treat to go home with.  I found this great idea from Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants. Now, it shows that she used it as a First Day of School treat.  I just put my own spin on it since I found St. Patrick's Day Lucky Charms. I thought it was perfect to hand out some gold and shamrocks at the end of the day.

My kiddos love getting treats during the day but they will never turn down a snack to bring home either!

We had great fun learning and celebrating St. Patrick's Day in my classroom.  I definitely relied upon some great resources from some great teachers! Hopefully you can find a way to incorporate some of their creations in your classroom on St. Patrick's Day next year! All of these finds are also on my St. Patrick's Day Pinterest board {here}.  

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