Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Valentine Equivalent Fraction Poke Game

Happy Wednesday everyone!

We were told to leave our building by 3:15ish today due to terrible weather heading our way (rain, wind and possible tornadoes).  You didn't have to tell me twice to get out of there.

I'm home safe and sound and was able to finish yet another Valentine's Day item.  What?  I know, right?  I'm shocking myself and might keel over now.  How can I possibly be this far ahead?  Something is aligning correctly for me these days, I guess.

I started this little project last week.  I was able to get some awesome clip art and game pieces from the wonderful Tabitha Carro from FlapJack Educational Resources.  {Y'all she's from South Carolina, too.  If you don't know her already, you should.  Head on over ASAP!}
My kids have loved her Poke Games and now I was able to make my very own Valentine version with the skill that we still need to review: Equivalent Fractions.

For this game, students practice finding equivalent fractions.  They can either play by themselves, or with a partner during work stations.  My kids are going to be so excited to have a new "Poke" game!  I can't wait to show them :)

So, you know the drill by now.  I'd love to give this away to 5 people on Friday. (I sent EVERYONE who commented the file.  If you didn't receive it, I didn't have your email.  All you have to do is email me and let me know you didn't receive it and I'll send it right over.) Just leave me a little comment and let me know how you would use it.  Would you use it in stations, individually, small group or something else?  I'd love to hear how you could use them.

You can pick up a copy by heading to my TpT store TN stores for only $2 if you can't wait.

Have a great rest of the week :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Valentine's Day Freebies

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and will be here before you know it.  Doesn't it seem like just yesterday we were prepping for Christmas?

I've been busy making the heart-shaped crayons again this year.  Check out this post to read about what I did last year.  I learned a few things since last year. 

#1- Don't try to make the rainbow colors.  They turn into a big blobby mess.  Yes, I made that word up.  I'm good that way.  This year, after seeing Tara's success with only "Valentine's Day" colors, I stuck with only pink, purple, red, and white.  Much better!

#2- Don't overload the tray.  Oops!  What a mess! 
And...do you see that little bite mark on the top of one of the trays.  Well, that leads me to...

#3- Don't reuse the same trays from last year, or reduce the oven to a lower temperature .  Whatever the reason, these trays were D.O.N.E.- done!  Guess I'm heading to Target later to pick up more trays to finish. 

They did turn out OK.  Not perfect, but they'll do :)
See, he's a little wonky.  It doesn't matter, because my kids are really more after the other treat I have planned for them.  Yep, a homework pass. 

Which leads me to my freebies for you.

I updated these a bit from last year and bundled them together as one download from Teachers Pay Teachers

Here are the three freebies that you can download:

#1~ Gift Tag for the Heart-Shaped Crayons.  (I taped my crayons to the center with a sticky glue dot.  I use the kind you use for Scrapbooking.)


#2~Class List Stationery.  Each year, my parents want the names of the students in my class way in advance (As a mom, I always liked the names early, too.)  So, in our folders this week, I will be using this stationery to send home our class list:

 And finally...
#3~Perhaps the gift my students will appreciate more than my wonky crayons:

And to think...I'm ahead of the game!  Woo Hoo!

You can grab these freebies for yourself by heading on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I'm linking up with Laura Candler's Corkboard Connections February Freebies:
You should head on over there for tons of great freebies for February.  You can find items for Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day and more!  Click on the heart above to head over!

Happy {almost} February, friends!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Giveaway Reminder

Hey all,

Just wanted to pop in tonight to remind you to enter my 1,000 follower giveaway. 


Click on the picture to head over to the giveaway!  You don't want to miss out on this one :)

Off to date night with the hubs!

Then, Saturday school tomorrow. 

See you on Sunday with the winner!!


Monday, January 21, 2013

My Gift to You Giveaway!

1,000.
Frame: Print Candee

It's a number that I never dreamed of reaching when I first started blogging a little over a year ago.  I started out blogging because I needed a hobby.  Who knew that this hobby would lead me to over 1,000 new teacher friends?  I truly can't thank all of you enough for sticking around and reading what I have to say.  Especially during my times of "drought" when I'm not feeling particularly "blog worthy".  But, do you know what I love most about blogging?  We are all in this together.  Yes, each day might not be rainbows and sunshine, but each day is a new day, right? And an opportunity to be a little better than the last.

And this is why I blog.

And this is why I appreciate all of you so very much.

So, to thank you...no one is leaving this party empty-handed.  Promise :)  At this party, everyone leaves with a goody-bag.

All you have to do is enter with the Raffle-copter-thingy-ma-bob below and you will see how YOU can receive your very own goody-bag. 

But, wait....there's more!

One of you will recieve a $50 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers.  I listened, and the majority of you who voted wanted TpT.  We are all teacher-nerds after all.  Just another reason why I love you all so much :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! Have a terrific week, blog friends :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Equivalent Fraction Task Cards {Short Giveaway}

Before the real 1,000 follower Giveaway later this week...

I just finished these task cards and can't wait to have my students practice with them during stations next week.  We have FINALLY finished equivalent fractions along with adding and subtracting fractions and will be moving on to multiplying fractions.  Ahh, I'm almost tired of fractions.  So, these task cards will be a great review during station time. 

Even though I'm tired of fractions, my students aren't.

Here are a few lines I overhead this week in class:

"I used to be terrible at fractions, and now I get it."

"I got it, I got it, I got it!!!  Give me another one."

I know, I know....I sound like a commercial.  But, I have to tell you, both of these lines were spoken by students who struggle.  It was pure music to my ears.  Truly.

So, here's the little pre-giveaway.  All you have to do is pin this little guy from this page.  Did you notice my new pin button when you hover over my picture?  So easy to pin.  Click {here} for Charity's post on Classroom Freebies to see how I learned to do it.  It was so easy, even I could do it :)

Or, you can pin directly from my TpT store by clicking on the image itself (in the middle) or click {here} to go to my store.

Once you've pinned, come back on over here and leave me a little comment with a link to your pin.  Easy!  I'll send these task cards to 5 folks on Tuesday night.  That's when I'll be checking back in with all of you to share my BIG giveaway!

Once that giveaway is over, I'll be hunkering down for some real "meaty" posts.  We are gearing up for state testing, so I'll be busy preparing my students.  I'll be sharing with you some tips along the way.

See you soon, friends :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mid Winter Mad Money Giveaway!!

I am very excited to be a part of the following giveaway!   These ladies are awesome and I'm so glad to be in their company!  This giveaway is amazing.  You have a chance to win $75 of Mad Money.  Don't you want to enter?  Read below for all of the details.


Sometimes you need to just get a little crazy and go shopping in the winter to chase away those winter blues!  I am so excited to team up with these amazing bloggers to bring you the Mid Winter Mad Money Giveaway.  We are giving away 2 gift certificates of $75 each to 2 lucky winners!

All you have to do is use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  If the widget won't work for you, please email Adrianne at:  thetutorhouse@hotmail.com and let me know you would like to enter.

This giveaway starts right now from 
January 18th and goes until 11:59 PM CST January 21st.

Take a minute and visit all of these outstanding bloggers!  I have really enjoyed getting to know all of them and I know you will too. 


Please use widget below to enter the contest.  If you need help with this contest, please email Adrianne at thetutorhouse@hotmail.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 14, 2013

The "I Just Can't Decide" Giveaway

I haven't been neglecting the fact that I have surpassed 1,000!  I just can't begin to tell you how much that warms my heart. 

Little over a year ago when I started blogging, I really just jumped in with both feet not even knowing what I was doing.  I really just wanted needed an outlet to help me through a time in my life when I was just needing a focus of some kind.  Boy, did I find one.  And, I haven't looked back. 

I have "met" some incredible people blogging.  {And, I've acutally met some for real, too.} 

I know you've heard me say this before, but blogging has made me a better teacher, mother, wife, daughter and friend.  I've found my focus.  I've gotten my groove back (even though my name isn't Stella).  Well, you can call me that if you'd like.

Anyway, as a thank you for following me, I was wanting to try to come up with something new and creative.

Well, guess what?  I haven't been able to think of a thing.

And, because my OLW this year is balance, I've decided that I just have to let that go and ask you for some advice.

What type of giveaway would you like for me to have?

Please fill in this Google Form and I'll go with the majority.


Thank you for taking the time to help a girl out. Remember the $$$ I was trying to accumulate by bribing you for comments back in December? Well, I haven't forgotten. I've been banking that money for this giveaway. The more suggestions and comments, the more money I'll add to the pot :) Thanks, friends!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Textbooks...Who Needs Them?

That's a loaded question, isn't it?  
For me, it really depends on the subject.  If we are talking about reading, I'd lean towards....who needs them?

But, for math....well, I have mixed feelings about textbooks.
 
I spent the day today at our local textbook caravan for our math textbook adoption coming up this spring.  Do you have to go to these? 

Basically, teachers, instructional coaches and administrators are given a "sales pitch" by different textbook companies.  Then, we go back to our home schools and try to "sell" the best textbook to our faculty.  It's not a fool-proof plan, but one that I guess helps the process a bit.  If you get too many teachers in one room trying to make the decision...well, I'm sure you know how that would turn out. Right?

I appreciated the chance to go today, but I am in information overload.  My brain hurts.  I also feel like some companies tried to "sell" me a little more than others (not naming names here).  I'm not too sure how I feel about that, either.  I think the product sells itself, don't you?  I can see/read/analyze the textbook myself.

Anyway...I digress...I guess it's the information overload.

As many of you know already, I use "Math Workshop" in my classroom.  One of the components is "Independent Practice" and for me, that time is used practicing the lesson that I taught my students in small group the previous day.  Our math textbook has provided that "Independent Practice" because...well, it's free.  It's not something I have to create, run off, staple together, laminate or cut out and oh, it's free.  So, for me, the textbook is a resourceful tool.  Does it completely fill all of my needs? No.  Do I have to supplement?  Sure.  But, does it come in handy?  Yes.

Here's my loaded question for you.  I need your help.  How do you feel about textbooks for math?  Do you have a particular textbook (yes, we are naming names here) that you use that you LIKE?  Dislike?  I have a favorite as of right this minute, but I could be persuaded to feel a different way.  {Not that it's my decision to make for my district, but I'd like to be able to share with my faculty at least what teachers like you think.}

Please, please, please leave me a comment sharing with me your favorites and why.  If you'd like to share what you DON'T like, that's fine, too.  If you'd prefer to email me (rather than leave it in my comments), I'd appreciate that, too. **Funinroom4b@gmail.com

Thank you, my dear, sweet readers for always being a great spring board for discussion.  I've enjoyed my own personal/professional development that I've received through blogging this last year because of all of you.  {Sure wish I could count it for my official PD!!}

So, let's get started...

Ready?

Comment....


Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Made It~January

Oh, how I wish I were about to bombard you with a gazillion pictures of all of the things I made during Christmas Break.

Instead.

Well, I was a bit lazy and loved every minute of it.  

But, I did manage to complete a few things before heading back today!  Today!  Yikes...

So, I'm linking up with my friend, Tara.



Here is one thing I'm claiming as my "Home Made It".  My husband painted the wall behind my sofa (since I spent a LOT of time there these last few weeks, I began to notice that it needed a change). 

I then had some pictures of the family enlarged at Staples and put them in frames that I found at Goodwill!  Only $10 for each of the large frames! Holla :)

Sorry for the awful picture.  I took it with my iPhone.  I really need to upgrade.
By the way...not sure how that picture got next to the text, but I like it.  Anyone know how I "accidentally" did that?

Now for some "School Made Its"~

First up, I laminated and cut out these cuties from Tara.

That counts, right?  By the way, you can grab your copy {here}.

I revised my Poetry and Figurative Lapbook...that counts, too, right?

And...I was hoping Id' be finished with what I was working on all weekend.  Well, most of the weekend, anyway.  But, I really want to test it out in my classroom before I post about it.  I needed to come up with a curriculum for fractions.  Why?  Because my current math book stinks and only covers about 1/2 of what is in the Common Core.
We already completed these.  This lapbook covers the first two standards for fractions.  I have about 3 more fraction standards to go.

I sure wish I had a ton of more things to show for my break.

But, I don't.  I had the best time being lazy.  How about you?

Go link up with my friend, Tara.





Friday, January 4, 2013

Video Converter-Jackpot!

I feel like I've stumbled across a jackpot of video possibilities. 

While planning for next week {yeah, right}, I came across a video from Mimi over at 5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules.  It's a video for PEMDAS.  It originally came from Mr. Q-U-E.  I don't need this video for next week...see I told you I was successfully avoiding planning for myself.

Anyway, I loved this video and wanted to save it for later.  So, I went my normal route.

Let me show you what I usually do to save videos from YouTube.  Because, if you are anything like me, YouTube is blocked at school.  Therefore, I have to save the video as a MP4 video that I can then view with Windows Media.

Here's a picture of what I do on KeepVid.  Click on the picture to enlarge it so that you can read it better.  The two places where I said "Don't click here" are because I think those download buttons are for ads for something else.  (But, I'm not 100% sure.)


So, this works for most videos on YouTube.  However, some files are FLV files.  Whatever the heck that means.  I think it means {thanks, Google} flash video of some kind.  Well, my trusty little KeepVid would have worked, except that I got this message:
"The website you are trying to download from (teachertube.com) is not supported by KeepVid."

Luckily right on TeacherTube, you can download the files directly.  Unfortunately they were the pesky FLV files again.

Well, poo!  So now what? 

Back to Google....

I found this:

Click on the picture to go there if interested.

Anyway, once I downloaded this converter, I was able to convert my FLV video to a MP4 (which will play on my computer at school).  This converter will also go the other way, too.  It will convert most video files to the type of file that you need.

Here's a screen capture of how it works.

Now, if only I can spend just as much time creating my own plans, I would have been finished an hour ago :)

Hope you can use this tip!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Poetry and Figurative Lapbook Update

For those of you who have been only following me this school year, you are probably like...what-the-what?  I thought this chick only teaches math.

Well, that's true this year, but last year I taught everything except science.

One of the very first things I made for Teachers Pay Teachers (besides some labels) was my Poetry and Figurative Language Lapbook.  I was so super proud of that lapbook.  Up until about mid-summer.  Then, I began to realize some of my "rookie" mistakes when making products.  So, this winter break I decided I'd edit this little puppy. 

As time escaped from me, I began to panic rethink it.  But, I promised myself that I really needed to do this. And, take it off of my "to-do" list from H-E-Double Hockey-Sticks.

So, I did.

Here you go:


I added idioms to the "Figurative Language Terms" flipbook (Thanks to buyers who suggested it).  And, I also changed the font to a more "readable" font {which took a lot more time than I thought}.  Actually, what took the longest time was converting it from Word to PowerPoint. ---Rookie mistake #452.  I will N.E.V.E.R. use Word to make things again.  PowerPoint is the way to go!

Go check it out {here} if you want to know more.

Anyway,  if you are interested, I will give this product away to 5 folks who can correctly answer this question:

What is the name of my favorite TV show right now?  I'll give you a hint...it requires tissues during every episode.

Now, off to go watch TiVo'd episodes of that show....good luck :)



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Currently January

Wow...If I'm lucky, I'll make it in under the 250th link up this time.  And...it's only January 1st.  I think everyone joins this linky for one main reason.  It is a way to reflect on what we have going on in our lives and to look forward to the coming month.

December truly has been a month of self-reflection for me.  I'm hoping that January will be as empowering and allow me to take time to live in the present. 

Here goes:

Listening:
John Mayer...love him for some "calming music".  I usually listen to Josh Groban, of course. But, I've been switching it up.  Plus, I'm anxiously awaiting Josh's new album in February and I'm taking some time right now to branch off because once the album comes out, it will be FULL ON JOSH :)

Loving:
I can't tell you how much this time off with my family has helped me.  We've been needing some time to decompress and to bond as a family and this week has been wonderful.  I'm so glad we have a few more days of this bonding time :)

Thinking:
I really didn't have it in me to tackle the ever-growing To-Do list.  I haven't spent much time in my office during the last week.  (See Loving).  However, I have a list that needs to be tackled tomorrow.  You won't believe this but I've agreed to teach Saturday school when we return.  Shocking, I know!  I was really suckered into it with the lure of 3 new iPads for my classroom. It's only 7 Saturdays total and I get paid $25 an hour for 3 hours each time....so, I agreed.  {Really because of the iPads...they are like crack for a teacher, right?}

Wanting:
I really couldn't think of anything that I wanted.  Certainly not any more food......ugh, I'm so disgusted by all of the food I've consumed.  So, I guess the only thing I want is something we all can't really get and that's more time.

Needing:
See above...food consumption overload = need to run again.  I really do miss it.  But, it's so cold and I'm such a wimp.  Maybe some Just Dance 4 is the key???

OLW:
I've seen this on a ton of blogs yesterday and today.  BALANCE.  If someone finds the trick to help me find it, would you please send me the answer? 
Last year my word was JOY.  I wanted to only do the things in my life that truly brought me JOY.  I think I did a pretty good job of that this past year.  So, this year, I'm going for some BALANCE.  I hope to find that I can learn to balance all aspects of my life.  I'm going to have to learn to prioritize. And....learn to let go.

Who's with me?

Happy 2013, my sweet blog friends!