Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Dead Computer and Some Sparkling Words


Last week, my poor computer kicked the bucket.  Yep, dead as a door nail.  Sot I can still get online and check out all your cool blog posts, but I can't save or print anything.  This is KILLING me!  I usually spend most of my summer printing things and getting ready for the new school year.  Now, we only have black and white printers at school, so I can't print anything in color.   GRRRRR!

On another note, I wanted to share an idea I had while I was sitting in some boring intriguing summer workshops this week.  Last year,  I had a "Sparkling Words" wall where we put the words introduced in our Making Meaning Vocabulary program.  These are those tier 2 words that kids will encounter in their reading.  After the words were introduced, I would write them on sentence strips and place them on our Sparkling Words wall.  When the kids used the words in conversation, they got to put a sticker on the word.  When they used the words in their writing, they got a jewel on their paper.  I used some of those sticky jewels I got at Dollar General.  You would not believe the way the kiddos would work for those little jewels!

So this year, we have both a new principal and a new AP.  Our theme for this year is "Wild About Reading!".  To tie in with this theme, I came up with some animal ideas for the word wall.  I thought I would share them with you in case you needed some ideas.  Most of these are jungle animals, but I've added a few others I've thought of.  Here goes:
                           Alligator/Crocodile: "Snapping Up Great Words" - add the words on the teeth
                           Lion/Tiger/Jaguar etc: "Words to Roar About" - add the words to the mane of the
                                                                  lion, the stripes of the tiger, or the spots on the jaguar
                           Parrot/Macaw: "Colorful Words" - add the words on feathers
                           Monkey: "Monkey-ing Around With Words" - add words to bananas on trees
                           Birds: "Words To Tweet About" - add words to the leaves on trees
                           Owls:  "Owl-standing Words" - add words to the leaves on the trees
                           Giraffe: "Spotting Great Words" - add words to the spots
                           Cats: "Purrrr-fectly Wonderful Words" - add words to balls of yarn
I hope you can use some  of these ideas!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Currently...It's Almost Summer!

Summer is so close, I can taste it! We made it through water day today, my memory books are finished, and report cards are in mailboxes waiting for the kiddos to take them home tomorrow. Let's kick off the summer with a Currently!

Listening - One of my most favorite summer shows is America's Got Talent. I'm just amazed at some of these acts!

Loving -  My favorite substitute teacher teaches a workout class.  I started last month and she is kicking my butt.

Thinking - We only have a half day tomorrow.  We'll spend it cleaning and watching movies.  Hey, if I made it through Water Day today, I can make it until 11:45 tomorrow!

Wanting - Hey, who doesn't wanna lose weight, huh?  I bought a bunch of clothes last summer and they already are too little.  I guess the stress of this year helped me put on some pounds.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some of it off before we go back to school.

Needing - My room looks like a tornado went through it.  Any of you who are out already for summer, feel free to come by and help me clean up!

Summer bucket list - 1.  Through the school year, I very rarely get to read for pleasure, but it is really my very favorite thing to do.  My goal this summer is to read a book per week.
                                2.  I really NEED to organize my files (both paper and digital).  I have things in too many places and just need to get them all together and organized.  I'm thinking this might be a project that takes the whole summer!
                                3.  I can finally see the light at the end of the renovation tunnel.  The only room left to do is the kids' bathroom.  We still have to add baseboard and trim throughout the house, and build a bookshelf, but other than that the rest is finally done!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

So Close...

Congrats to you guys who have already started your summer!  Only 2 and a half days left for us! I think I can, I think I can... Actually, these last few days are just fun days. Monday we have movie day and a math bee in the afternoon, Tuesday is Game Day (kids bring board games from home and we play all morning - well, they play while I clean up, lol) and Water Day, then the half day on Wednesday is just a clean up and get ready for summer day. I just finished my report cards and I've got the gifts ready for my son's teachers. I always try to find an unusual or personal gift for the teachers. This year, I made A to Z baskets for each teacher (he has 2). I started buying little items for the baskets a couple of weeks ago and I'm really pleased with how they turned out:
I got the idea from Pinterest (where else?)!  Here are the things I used for each letter:
A - apple
B - banana
C - homemade cookies
D - diet coke
E - eye shadow
F - folders
G - granola bar
H - Hershey bar
I - index cards
J - juice
K - kleenex
L - lotion
M - M&M's
N - nail polish
O - orange
P - post-its
Q - Quaker cereal bar
R - rainbow pencils
S - Skittles
T - Tic Tacs
U - University bumper sticker (for their favorite college team)
V - votive candle
W - spring water
X - Extra gum
Y - yellow highlighters
Z - "zigzag" (chevron) mini notebook

These were a lot of fun to put together.  I just put all the objects in a $1 summer colored bowl from Wal-Mart.  I had some alphabet stickers that I used to put on each item.  

The next time I post, I'll be free for the summer!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm never on the ball to link up with these weekly linky parties, but this week look at me!  I did it!
 

 

Calming the Chaos: End of Year Blog Hop and a great Giveaway! 
I've been repeating this to myself a lot over the last few weeks.  We have 12 days left.  I have to admit, this year has been ROUGH!  So many changes - we switched to Common Core Standards, we got a new report card, we switched to a standards based grading system, we got new reading and writing curriculum, we departmentalized for the first time, we lost a teacher, and we just found out our principal is leaving as well.   Even though it's been such a tough year and I've been counting the days since spring break, there's still a touch of sadness at the end of every year.  Maybe it's just because (even though some of them drive me cuh-ra-zy) I've really gotten to know them and it's hard to see them go, or maybe it's the fact that I sit and think (for some of them), "If only I had a little more time, they might be able to catch up".  I get really reflective this time of year and try to figure out what I could have done differently to make an impact with those struggling learners.  Anybody with me on this one?




 We were enjoying the weather today at recess time, and I snapped some photos to use in their memory books.


 
 Tonight was our annual Night Under the Lights track meet for our elementary school kiddos.  It's not a competitive event (everybody gets a ribbon if they run), but the kids think it's a big deal because they get to run on the high school track!  My son has been talking about it since January, lol!

 


We've been doing math journals all year.  Last week, I was starting to get discouraged.  I guess it was just one of those weeks when the kids seemed to have all of their brains ooze out of their ears. Then, this week, I did the problem you see in the pictures above.  What I love about these journal entries is that each person solved the problem in his/her own way and they are all different, but they are all correct.  It's these moments when you see that they are getting it that make it all worthwhile!



This is completely not teaching related (unless you count it as a mental health break which every teacher needs this time of year).
I'm in charge of our ladies ministry at church and tomorrow we are taking some donations to our local Fisher House
For those of you who don't know about Fisher House, here's a blurb from their website:

"For members of our Armed Forces, retirees, veterans, and their families, the Fisher House program offers shelter and support during a medical crisis. Fisher Houses offer a comforting "home away from home" while a loved one is receiving care in an unfamiliar environment. This special support is even more important to a family during the most stressful time – the hospitalization of a wounded or injured service member involved in military operations like Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom."  It's like a Ronald McDonald house for families of wounded warriors. 


After that, we are headed out to lunch and then to the movies to see Mom's Night Out.
Watch the Trailer 

This movie looks so funny I can't wait!  Have any of you seen it yet?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has definitely sprung here in Florida (although today is cool and rainy), and it's about to spring up in our classroom.  We are beginning our unit on plants this week.  Usually with this unit, I buy small pots or cups for the kiddos to plant seeds in.  We plant flower seeds and most of them get to take home a small flower after a couple of weeks.  This year, I thought it might be nicer to plant some flowers outside our classroom and brighten up our campus.  Hopefully the kids have a greener thumb than I do!  I know the kids will be super excited to get outside and plant the seeds and since they get so crazy as we get close to the end of the year, I might be able to use tending the garden as a reward for those who have good behavior.  I'll be sure to post some pictures next week once we plant our flowers.  Until then, I made this KWL chart to kick off our study.  You can find it on Google docs here or in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop here:
 
I hope this is something you can use!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Countdown Has Begun!

24 days and counting!  We started this countdown bulletin board when we had 40 days left!   @Jennifer Thibault, we could do the petals of the sunflower instead of the seeds... "Countdown to Summer" sunflower door display

 You can find the pin here.
Each day we pull off a petal.  I have one little girl who, when I pull off the petal each day says, "I am soooo sad!"  It's so sweet!

When we get down to 15 days left, we start playing the "What's Missing?" game.  The kids think this is the best game ever and I get to start taking things down and putting them away.  Basically, you just take one item, bulletin board piece,etc. each day and put it away.  When the kids come in in the morning, the first one that can tell you what's missing gets a piece of candy!

Next week, we start our plant unit.  Although I personally have a black thumb and can't really grow anything...I love this unit!  So how about you?  When do you get out and what are your favorite units to do?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Fun








We had a very busy Easter week last week in our classroom.  Although it was a short week, we managed to squeeze in 2 field trips and lots of fun Easter centers. Here are some photos:
 One of our centers was sorting numbers on eggs into even and odd baskets.  This came from this freebie from Mrs. Leeby:
Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket (Spring Math and Lit 
Click here to grab it!
We also used tens and ones to help us solve the number sentences in this center - Easter Egg Scoot!  I found this one here (yep, it's a freebie too)!
Easter Egg Scoot! {Without Regrouping} Freebie!
Now, because we had FCAT testing this week which meant we did not get our specials classes this week (YUCK!), we had some extra time on our hands.  So, we tried out our Adventure to Fitness account.
The kids had a great time with this and begged me to do another one.  If we get the chance, I will try to work this in whenever I can.  It was really so much fun!  Go here to check it out!


And yes, you heard me correctly - we had a 4 day week and took 2 field trips!  Both of them were walking field trips (living in a small town has it's advantages).  The first one was on Wednesday when we walked to the city park to hunt for Easter eggs.  Here are some pics:
We make our egg hunt a little more challenging than an average hunt.  Each child brings in 12 eggs filled with candy.  We then label the eggs to spell out "Happy Easter!".  The students have to find the eggs to spell out Happy Easter to complete the hunt.





 Then, we had a nice picnic lunch and the kiddos got to play at the park.



I also got to be a mom on Thursday and went on an egg hunt with my own little sweetie:






I hope your Easter was wonderfully blessed!