Best Pencil Sharpener Giveaway!

My Fabulous Find from Friday just got even more fabulous because you have a chance to win one!


Remember the Quietest Pencil Sharpener Ever?


Now's your chance to win one.  All you have to do is enter below.  I have one ready to ship to you :)

There are a few ways to enter. 

1) Follow my blog (worth 2 entries)
2) Follow me on Facebook (worth 2 entries)
3) Leave me a comment- Tell me what you are planning on doing on July 4th. (worth 1 entry)
4) Blog about your own Fabulous Find and Link up here.  (Worth 10 entries!!!)

There are seven ladies that can already click on #4!  (As of the time of this writing.) Thanks ladies for linking up already.  It makes my heart smile :)

What are you waiting for?  You know you want one of these fabulous finds!!

Once you are finished with that, consider linking your blog to my Blog List page.  See right over there to the bottom right....



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fabulous Find Friday Linky Party

What have you found lately that you can't imagine living without?  For me, it has been the newest, best pencil sharpener ever!

The company, Classroom Friendly Supplies is just what it claims: friendly.  The owner of the company, Troy Decoff, is a teacher.  What better person is there to design a pencil sharpener that totes itself as being this:



I received my first one a few months ago when I won one from Misty at Think, Wonder and Teach:





Thank you, Misty! When I received it in the mail, I was so excited.  Here's what the experience was like:

It is, indeed quiet.  See for yourself:

video

This pencil sharpener is so fabulous, that my students last year would trade in a "warm fuzzy" (my managment system...kinda like "tickets") to have me sharpen their pencil.  This prize seemed better to them than a homework pass.  Now, that's saying something.

The best part of this sharpener is you can't mess it up.  Did you see in the video how you load it?  Well, that keeps it from getting jammed.  Then, once it is sharpened, you will feel a difference in the turn knob.  Then, it is the most beautifully sharpened pencil EVA!

The best part #2 is that it will sharpen those cheap, nasty plastic-covered pencils, too.  I've NEVER had a sharpener that could handle those pencils, have you?

So, there you have it.  The most fabulous find of all.

Do you have a fabulous find?  I'd love for you to link up and share.  I'm hoping to make this linky a little different.  Instead of a long list, highlight one terrific item detailing what makes it fabulous.  One more option (one that I may take next Friday) is to highlight a Fabulous Find for school and a separate Fabulous Find for home.
Frame from The 3AM Teacher


Grab the picture above and please consider linking up.  (This is my first linky and I'm nervous.)


Really Good Stuff :)

Hi everyone,

I am on cloud 9. 

Last night, I found out that I won this award:


The best part of winning is that I found out I won while participating in their "#TeachChat" forum on Twitter.  I found out in "real time".  It was like being at a ceremony and hearing my name called.

Except that my family was on the couch watching Sherlock Holmes and my dog was curled up at my feet.  (Which was kinda nice, too.)

Before I share with you the info about what I won, I want to take a second to share with you "#TeachChat". 

Really Good Stuff has a page called "The Teachers╩╝ Lounge, a Really Good Stuff blog" on their website.  Click here for the link. 

This is a screenshot of the blog:

As you can see (hopefully) it is very user friendly.  I found out about #TeachChat on this page. 

So, what is #TeachChat?  It is Really Good Stuff's Twitter Chat (which is why I'm purposely putting that hash-tag before the word) that is held every other Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. EST.  During the summer it is every week (except next week is a holiday).  It's like a "chat room" for teachers.  Brandi Jordan, Really Good Stuff's Managing Director of RGS's Teachers' Lounge is leader of the conversation.  She would pose a question and everyone that had logged on would answer her questions.  Yesterday, the questions were related to classroom management.  Stephanie from 3rd Grade Thoughts and I spoke about Whole Brain Teaching (of course).  That was another fun part...I saw people on there that blog.  People who are my "friends".  It was kinda fun to see and chat with them. 

Want to hear about even more fun?  After Brandi would pose a question, she would let us know which answer number she was looking for and that person would win a prize!  It was like Bingo, but better!

Here is the direct link to how you can be involved in the next TeachChat.  Brandi gives a very informative video at this link that tells you all about how you can join the fun.  The next TeachChat will be Wednesday, July 11th.  That gives you plenty of time to sign up for Twitter so you can join the fun!

So, what did I win?

First of all, I won a chance to write a column once a month for The Teachers╩╝ Lounge, a Really Good Stuff blog.  How cool is that?  I'm so excited.  Be on the look-out for that coming in August.

Secondly, I won a $75 gift certificate to spend on "Really Good Stuff".  And that's awesome, because everything there is "Really Good Stuff". 

Off to shop, but I wanted to say:

Frame from The 3AM Teacher



Facelift! I Feel 10 Years Younger :)

Did you notice?  Yes, you have to come on over officially from Google Reader.  Yeah, you. (I'm notorious  for that, too...but this time you must click over to see...)

See?  I told you.

I'm so excited about this new makeover.  I really do feel 10 years younger.

Isn't the look fun?  Like I'm pushing 30 instead of pushing 40.

The ever fabulous Kristen is responsible:


(You know I have a blog-crush on her.  I've admitted it before.  No, it's not weird.  It's like a man-crush.  Just with blogging....oh forget it.)

This is her blog design page.  You must become a follower of this blog so that you will know when she is accepting new clients.



She is taking two clients at a time so that she can devote her attention to you.  We have emailed back and forth quite a bit to work out all the features.  We are still working together to finish up a few things, but I couldn't wait to show you everything.

For those of you following my classroom makeover, you will notice that I chose the same colors for this blog.  (Holla Tara!)

Speaking of which, I was up at the school again today.  I'm crazy, people.  I feel like the other teachers at my school are going to begin labeling me as "one of THOSE teachers".  Yikes.  But, I want everything perfect for next year.

It hit me today WHY exactly I'm doing all of this.  My janitor came to the door to pick on me about being there, AGAIN.  He said, "Supan, why are you here again?" My response came so quickly that I had an "ah ha!" moment.

My response: "Because, I have to feel excited about returning here in the fall without my buddy.  If my room is cheery, I might not cry on the first day."

See, my teaching BFF got a new job. 

So-fresh new design at school= fresh new design on my happy, little blog.

I'm not loopy, am I?

If I am, I don't really care.

One more little bit of info:

I'm guest blogging over at one of my BBF's (Best Blogging Friend) blog tomorrow.  Head on over to Amber's blog, Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher to check it out!


I thought I'd go ahead and tell you today just in case I'm crazy and go back up to school tomorrow.  I'm working on next week's Monday Made It so I've got to get it finished to show you :)
 

Monday Made It...Week 4

I've been busy again. 

I'm really feeling like I need to stop.  Like right now.  But, I probably won't.

First off, I have been busy at the homestead.  I've removed all of the wallpaper in the kitchen and the half bath.  See this?



Gone...whew!

Here's how the wall in the kitchen looks at the moment.   Next week, hopefully, I can show you the new wall color:

Removing wallpaper can be rather satisfying.  If you are the type of person who likes to see progress (Hello, me!).  Here's a helpful hint.  You know all of those products out there for removing wallpaper?  Not worth it.  All you need is this:


 and home hot water.  Seriously!  I had spent about $7 on a bottle of wall paper remover and it worked OK.  A friend told me that all I needed was really hot tap water.  Put it in a spray bottle, saturate the wallpaper and it peels right off.

It worked!  It even worked on the walls that weren't primed.  That wallpaper came off in sheets, too!  I was amazed.

Next, I have to show you this:


I had a friend visit this week (Holla Sara!) and she wanted to make a toolbox for her classroom.  Didn't hers turn out BE-U-TEA-FUL?  Way to go, Sara...see you are rather crafty and you didn't know it :)

For my classroom, I made these:

I

I made 5 of them and plan on stringing them around the room.  I was inspired by Nicole's pennants {from Rowdy in Room 300...love her blog}.  She convinced me that I needed to make these out of  fabric.  I knew that I wanted to hang them from the ceiling and they would be visible from all sides.  So, I first cut two triangle shapes and fused them together with Stitch Witchery.  {Which, by the way, is my newest BFF...sorry Google.} 

This is what it looks like:  Go BUY some.

Even though I can sew, I chose not to for this project.  It would require more work and seeing as these were going to be hung high from the ceiling, no one would be the wiser that they don't officially have finished edges.  As my grandmother used to say, "You'd never be able to tell on a galloping horse."  So, I just cut three strips of this "magical tape" and placed it on the first triangle (the wrong side).  Then, I placed the other triangle on top of that with the wrong sides touching.  Ironed it and "Poof", done!

Once all of the triangles were finished, I used the ribbon to string them together.  I opted for a ribbon that was wide enough that I could fold over the tops of the triangles.

See:



That way, the ribbon is showing from both sides.  And, do you see the edge of that pennant.  It's not too bad, right?  Grandmother (who we called Honey) was right!  That's a cute story, by the way...

**********************************monkey**************************************

That's going to be my "random" word instead of squirrel.  I don't want to step on any squirrel's tail :)

My brother couldn't say "Grandmother" and my grandmother did not want to be a Grandma, Granny, MeeMaw or the like.  So, my brother overheard my Papa say, "Honey, will you ___________?" over and over again.  Or really, it was probably "Honey, you look so good in that dress."  He was that sweet.  So, my brother, naturally, just called her Honey.  So, that's how she got her name.  Cute huh?

**********************************monkey**************************************

I can't wait to go and string my pennants up in my classroom.  I'll be sure to show you the finished look as soon as I'm allowed back in the school (right now the floors are being stripped).


Summer Shopping

Somebody Stop Me...I feel like I say that WAY too much.

One of my absolute favorite bloggers, Kristen, from Ladybug's Teacher Files is having a fabulous linky party:


Let me show you some of my summertime purchases:

First off, I've created all of these things (of which, all of the materials needed to be purchased). 


Now, all of these are being put together to help make my new classroom color scheme come together.  My new colors are black as the background color and then hot pink, lime green, bright blue and purple.

So, I've purchased this from Amazon and I'm waiting on it's arrival:

That's 75 feet of black contact paper.  I'm going to use it to cover the side of my file cabinet, some shelves and come cubbies.  Who knows, if you get in the way, you might get covered, too.  There's 75 feel, y'all.

I've also purchased these buckets (I've got a bucket/basket addiction) for my tables:

Guess what colors I bought? 

I'm going to be using Kristen's labels for them...won't they look great?

OK, I think that's all I'm going to say for now (otherwise, I might make hubby upset).  Off to create more...

Guided Math Book Study-Chapter 3

Have you started reading this book yet?
I've read and reread this entire book already this summer.  You should see how OLD it looks from all of my highlighting and notes in the margins.  Maybe I'll show you with Chapter 4.  Maybe not.

Below is a picture I nabbed from My Second Sense which explains the focus for this chapter:


This chapter is being hosted by My Second Sense and Making It As a Middle School Teacher.  Michelle at Making It has a terrific video showing her reflection. 

Let's talk about Math Stretches, shall we?

My first thought is routine.  Routine, routine, routine.  Students need routine in order to feel comfortable in a classroom.  They need to know what is expected and need to know how to achieve the goals we set for them. 

So, knowing that I am going to have three separate classes of math next year, I began to think about how I would establish that routine with classes that come in and immediately need to get to work. 

I love the idea of having a daily data collection and analysis math stretch.  So, I will probably start the day with them coming into the room, setting up (dropping off tote bags, getting settled) and then they will go to the data collection chart and mark their response.  I am going to make the glass beaded magnets I'm seeing on Pinterest and they will simply take their magnet and slide it to the "answer" for the question.  For example, on day one the question will simply be graphing the attendance.  Slowly we will add more options so that the data collection will require more thought as to how to graph the data.  (Favorite sport, favorite ice cream, etc.).

The Number of the Day Math Stretch is great, too.  Somehow I want to incorporate that with the Calendar Math that I am going to be doing as well.  So, I'm not sure if I will have that become a math stretch or simply part of that rotation during our math rotations.  (I'm changing that up a bit and will post about that soon.)

The Calendar Board is explained beautifully in this chapter, too.  I found myself nodding throughout this chapter, too.  Lots of notes in the margin. I'm going to post more about Calendar soon, too.

I'm leaving you with a tip.  Did you know that the author of this book has a "Math Stretches" book available, too?

See:



Yes, that's in my online cart as we speak. 





Giveaway Winner and a Freebie for EVERYONE :)

Happy Tuesday :)

I'd like to announce the winner of the 400 Follower Giveaway: (but first, welcome to all 92 of you that are new because of this giveaway...stay tuned)


I've sent you an email. 


Now, for all of you who didn't win, I've got a consolation prize for you if you'd like it.  I just finished creating my Classroom Library Labels. 


You may download these labels for free from my TPT store until Friday night.  Hope you can use them. 

FYI-the blank labels are not "editable" as they are in a PDF that is not an editable PDF (I have no earthly idea how to make those...anyone??).  However, when I want to edit something like this, I do a little trick. I take a screenshot and then save it as a JPEG.  Then, I can insert that into Word or any Publisher and edit away.  My favorite screenshot tool is Jing.  I learned about Jing from Kristen, I'm sure.  Need any advice like that?  Go to Kristen's tutorial page and you will learn TONS.

See, another freebie hint for you.  I'm feeling generous.

On another note, I know this sounds like another desperate plea for your vote, but if you like what you read here, could you consider voting for me for this award?  I feel a little awkward asking this SO MANY TIMES, so this will be the last time you hear it.  There really are a ton of other fabulous blogs being recognized in all of the categories and I'm truly just humbled to have been included.


Truly.

Y'all, my Daddy just voted for me.  Does this mean that he's actually reading this blog now?  Wowzer :)

I've Got A Glue Gun, and I'm Not Afraid To Use It

What have you been crafting this week?  Have you been as nut-so as me?

I may or may not have burned my finger once or twice with said glue gun.  Both of my kids were at camp last week, so this chick has been BUSY!

Naturally, I'm linking up with my friend, Tara:



I made these for my shelves.  You know, I hate clutter.  So, if there is clutter, cover it, girl.  Cover it!


I love them!  My Momma helped me.  She's cool like that.

Next up- A Teacher's Toolbox:

Now, I know we are ALL making these, right?  Like everyone I know.  Everyone.

The inspiration comes from Create*Teach*Share:

Seeing as my classroom is now pink, lime green, purple and teal, I needed to create one that suited that color scheme.

Here's mine:



I've seen templates out there, but I created my own that I'm sharing with you.  Let me explain:

I'm type A.  Duh.

I needed it to have specific words.  I have a ton of Sharpies and needed a drawer to say that, you see.  So, I spent a while (hours, really) creating my own template.  I've got it for you in a Word document.  That means you can edit yours, too. 



Here's the kicker.  If you do not already have the font I used downloaded on your computer, it may download all wonky and then I'm not sure how to help you.  Maybe someone cool like Kristen or Michelle can, but not me.  I'm still a novice at this in comparison to those chicks.

The font I used was from Kevin and Amanda.  It was Pea Kylie.  I'd say go to this site:
http://kevinandamanda.com/fonts/fontsforpeas/ and download the font.  Then download my freebie.

I linked this up with Classroom Freebies.  If you don't visit Classroom Freebies Manic Monday, you are missing out on tons of great freebies and ideas:



Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

You can grab my Teacher's Toolbox Editable Template from TPT or TN.

One last thing before I leave you.  Today is the day to start voting for me over at Really Good Stuff.  See this post for details.


Please and thank you.  A LOT.

Shut the Front Door!

First of all, I'm so amazed at the new traffic over here.  I'm humbled that you like me enough to stick around. 

Remember, I still feel like this:

video
Like every single day that I open up my blogger and read my comments and see who is visiting.

When I started this adventure back in October, I had no idea how much blogging would change me.  I've "met" such wonderful new friends here that truly inspire me each and every day.

Tonight when I got home from a lovely dinner over at my parents' house for Father's Day, {Holla- Dad and super-hubby...they don't read this, so really I didn't have to "Holla" at them.}  I opened my email and was completely blown away with this from one of my ultimate FAV*OR*ITE teacher supply companies, Really Good Stuff:

Y'all...............SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

Seriously?

Me?

Yes, now I really do sound like Sally Field.  Somebody slap me now!

Here's a clip of the email:

Dear Elizabeth,
Congratulations, your blog Fun in Room 4B was nominated in the 2012 Really Good Education Blog Awards by Really Good Stuff and is now a finalist in the Middle School (4-8) category.  
Voting begins on Monday, June 18th and ends on Friday, June 22nd, 2012.  The blog in each category with the most votes will be the winner.
Winning bloggers get a $75 Really Good Stuff gift certificate, a unique badge for their blog, and a monthly column on Really Good Stuff’s blog, The Teachers’ Lounge.  

How incredible is that?

Like so super cool.  Now, if you vote for me, you know I'll put that right back into this blog for some type of giveaway ;)

'Cause that's how I roll......................

So, this is how you vote for me starting tomorrow:

Go to this link:  http://page.reallygoodstuff.com/ml_blogvote_2012.aspx


Here's what it will look like when you get there:

You will then need to click the tab for Middle School 4-8 and find me:


Click the button and then submit!

The email said the voting ended this Friday, June 22nd, but the website says July.  So, I'm not sure.  But, if you vote now (well, starting tomorrow), that would be fantastic!

OK-off to bed with tons of happy dreams!

I'll see you tomorrow with my Monday Made It and Freebies link ups!  I've been busy while my children were away. 

Guided Math Book Study

First though, I'd like to tell you how much I've enjoyed reading about your favorite summertime activities on my comments for my giveaway.  I feel even more connected to all of you because we share so many of the same favorites :)

If you haven't already done so, go and join the giveaway.  Up for grabs is a $25 gift certificate to either Target or Amazon.  Who doesn't love to shop?

Now, on to today's excitement:

I've joined up with Brenda over at Primary Inspired for her book study for Guided Math:



Photobucket
If you are new, click here and here to read all about how I incorporated Math Workstations into my classroom this past year.

I call mine Math Rotations because we "rotate" through four different stations each day.  I meet with every child in a small group every single day.  It has completely changed my ideas/thoughts/beliefs about teaching math.

At the end of this year, our principal approached the 4th grade (and 5th grade) teachers about departmentalizing next year.  Yes!  So, I will be teaching three periods of math with 90 minutes per class.  I am so excited :)

I asked her to buy the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons.  Funny thing is, she had already bought it for the teachers in grades 3-5 for us to use/create a book study/love next year.  Score!

Everything I am reading is "justifying" what I had already started this last year.  Double score!

Now, even though I've already read this book from cover to cover, I'm a little late linking up (remember all of the summertime activities...).

So, let me go back and re-cap my thoughts about Chapter 1:

This chapter titled "Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction" explained how Guided Math is set up.  I found myself nodding furiously with each paragraph. (My husband was thinking I was a little bonkers, I'm sure.)

Here are the components:
1.  A Classroom Environment of Numeracy-  Think Guided Reading.  When you walk into a room where the teacher is using the literacy model, you know it.  Right?  The same should be true about Guided Math. (Explained more below.)
2. Morning Math Warm-Ups- For me, this will be where I incorporate Calendar Math (Yes, in 4th grade!).  I'll explain more soon, but most of what I'm planning on doing I learned from Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6
3. Whole-Class Instruction- Yes, there is a time for this even with Guided Math.  Using the same procedures I used last year, I will used Whole-Class instruction on the day that I introduce a new topic.  
4. Small-Group Instruction-  Ahhh!  My favorite part for thousands of reasons.  Just as a classroom using Guided Reading would differentiate instruction, so too can a math teacher!
5. Math Workshop- For me, this means my rotations.
6. Individual Conferences-Yes!  There are times when I am finished with a small group before the next rotation, I have a few minutes to conference with individual students.  I used to NEVER have time for this when I taught math "traditionally".
7. An Ongoing System of Assessment-For me, this is what guides my grouping of students.  I found it much too difficult last year to group my students for each topic. I grouped my students based on their MAP scores, teacher judgment, classroom assessments, etc.  I kept the same groups for about 4 weeks or so. They were fluid, too.  If I saw that students needed to move to different groups, I moved them.  Next year, I'm going to group students at the beginning of a new set of topics (between 4-5 Topics or Chapters in our book).  I will use a pretest to determine these groups (but with teacher judgment in there, too).
Can it all work?  Yes, yes it can.  

Now, this week is the review of Chapter 2:
********************************Update*************************************
This chapter is being hosted by Dana over at 3rd Grade Gridiron!   Head on over there to read more about Chapter 2 from other fabulous bloggers.

This chapter titled "Using Guided Math to Create a Classroom Environment of Numeracy" was another head-nodding chapter indeed!
 See #1 above?  Well, this chapter explains it completely. 

Here's how I see it.  When students walk into my room next year, I want them to feel as if they can recognize that I am their math teacher.  The walls should "scream" math.  You know what I mean?  

*CalendarS-Yes, multiple calendars.  Why?  Well, don't you have several calendars of your own for different purposes?  I sure do.  The same will be true for my students.  Not only that, but I'm going to treat their agenda as a math tool, not simply a place to jot down homework and tests.
*Math Word Wall-I'm excited about this one.  It is one of the projects I'm tackling soon.  I'm going to align my wall to the Common Core Standards.  I've already purchased the vocabulary words from Ginger at Ginger Snaps.
*Manipulatives- Hello- Remember this?
They are neatly organized and waiting to be used.  By the way, you can grab my labels here or here.
*Small-Group Area-I scored a wicked-cool U-shaped table at the end of the year.  I'm so excited.  I found some great stools at Hobby Lobby when they were 1/2 off, too. 
*Station Materials- These materials are organized and easily accessible:

*Charts-These will be created with students and shown prominently around the room.  (Just as you would do with reading.)
*Math Journals-I'm going to have my students keep two notebooks for math.  One notebook is where we will complete all of our "notebooking" activities (think foldables) and complete notes and work.  The other notebook will be for journaling.  Yes, math can easily incorporate writing.  The whole idea of "thinking mathematically" requires students to be able to communicate their reasoning.  What better way to do this than in journals?
*Math Related Literature-Yes!  I've been accumulating so many great books and can't wait to use them for the purpose of explaining math concepts. 
Now that last one is where YOU come in.  I'd like to create a linky party just for Math literature.  Would you be interested?  If so, leave me a comment below letting me know you are interested and I will create one soon if enough people are interested.

OK-There you have it.  My take on Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.  If you haven't linked up with Brenda at Primary Inspired, do so.