Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday~Actually on a Friday~Please Don't Faint

Linking up with  Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday again! 

First off, I must show you the dingy fuzzies that I promised to link up from my "Spark Motivation" post earlier this week. See...dingy and dirty...but they still do the trick!  If you are just dying to know why I would put dirty balls on my blog, please head over to {this link} to read about how that is really totally appropriate.  {Lord, I'm probably going to get a ton of spam comments for that last sentence...}


Next up, a little field trip to our local science center to learn about the solar system.  This session was titled "Kinesthetic Astronomy"!  Loved it!


This was very hands-on and engaging!  We had a great day today :)

Next...

Have you heard of Goodies?

This little gem arrived this afternoon!  Score :)  I loved the little surprise in the mailbox after a long week!  This is a "box of the month" club similar to Birchbox or Ipsy.  However, it's snack food!  Ummm...OK :)  Best part~Only $7 a month.  That's a $50 wine gift card tucked in there, people.  For real. (I'm sure there is some little gimmick attached to it to have me buy wine online to receive it, but still.

Next....

Oh, darn.  That's not really mine.  It's my parents' picture from their glorious trip to France.  Did I mention that my daughter is going to France in June?  Nope, not me.  So, I'll settle for this on a Friday afternoon to launch summer "sit by the pool" season:

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Have you linked up with Kacey?  Head on over and link up now :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spark Student Motivation

How do you spark motivation in your classroom?  I've enjoyed reading all of the ideas on this cute linky:
You can find it at Joanne's Blog over at Head Over Heels for Teaching:
Head Over Heels for Teaching
I realize it's not Saturday....please forgive me.  It has been a crazy few weeks and I really don't even know what day it is.  Do you?

I've used so many different strategies over the years to try to motivate my students.  For years and years and years, I gave out tickets to students.  Who hasn't used tickets before?

Funny side story....I had a student, oh probably 8 years ago or so, whose mother was also a teacher (but not at my school).  The little stinker tried to pawn off some of his mother's tickets as mine.  Too bad she had bought her tickets from another store.  Busted!

Last year, I ran across a post (and sadly, I can't remember who wrote about it originally ...so if you read this and it is YOU, please comment or email me so that I can give you credit) from Mel D {Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations} about using pom-pom balls as "warm fuzzies".  I thought that "warm fuzzies" would be a cuter way of using "tickets".  Who doesn't love cuter? When you are "caught doing something fantastic", or answer a question, or are complimented by an adult, etc., I throw a "warm fuzzy" at you.  Literally.

Pom poms fly would across my room like crazy.  Students would earn them throughout the week and trade them in for a big fuzzy (worth 5 points) to save for later, or they could spend their fuzzies on prizes.  Two fuzzies= a trip to the treat box.  Five fuzzies (or a large one worth five) = passes (homework, 5 extra credit points on a test, sit with a friend for lunch, etc.).  It worked beautifully. 

Then, as my teaching assignment changed to departmentalization, I thought that it would be too difficult to keep track of this with three classes.   How could I manage with more than one class? 

I didn't do it this year.  {Sad face}

But, you know what?  I missed it.  I missed the beaming faces of students who had a pom pom pelt them in the face.  Seriously.  Sheer joy, people. 

So, back in January, right after Christmas break, I brought the pom pom back.  Oh the joy!  Oh the fun!  It was like Christmas never ended.

The only issue is that instead of keeping the pom poms in desks (in a safe and clean environment), I have my students keep them in their pencil pouches since I have three classes who travel to me.  They get a little dingy. (The pom poms, not the kids.)

But, you know what?  Even a dingy pom pom ball can make a kid smile.

And it makes me smile, too.

What makes you smile?  I'd love to hear about your ideas.  Consider linking up with Joanne :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Help Support a Great Cause

Hello friends,

My friend Jen from Runde's Room is throwing a fundraiser to help out a child in her daughter's grade. 
All of the profit from her sales at Teacher Pay Teachers this weekend will go towards Taten's cancer treatments.

Please consider shopping in her store this weekend to help this cause {click here to go to here store}.  I know that I will be.  Her products are amazing and I use them all the time!  Her most popular product is her Interactive Math Journal resource.  If you want to learn more about using interactive notebooks in math, you have got to get this fabulous resource.  The best part....everything is on sale!!!  It's a win-win!

Please consider helping Jen raise some funds to help with Taten's treatments.

Have a great weekend :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Flowers of Another Kind

The other day in BlogLand, I came across a beautiful post over at my friend, Barbara's blog: The Corner On Character.  You can read it {here}, but to summarize she was talking about some beautiful amaryllis flowers being worth the wait to bloom.  Please go and read it because she explains {more eloquently than I ever could} how our students are like those blooms.  They are worth the wait.  They may grow and bloom at their own rate, but they will bloom in their own time. 

It reminds me of a little book that I always read when I taught younger students.  Maybe I should bring it out again.  Even my older ones could be reminded from time to time, that we all bloom in our own time.

Here's the book, Leo the Late Bloomer
Have you read it?  Leo does bloom...but in his own time.

My comment on Barbara's blog was simply,

"Beautifully said (as always), Barbara. I think I will bring some flowers to school this week to visually remind me of this as we are cramming in the last little bit before testing. It will remind me that with the right care, they will all bloom in their own ways."  ~Elizabeth

I forgot those flowers today.  I remembered them in spirit, though, and it got me through a pretty chaotic day.

I haven't shared with you yet, but I am in the running for our district Teacher of the Year.  I eluded to it when I spoke of all of the observations that I will be experiencing during the next few weeks. 

I'm truly honored to just be in the running.  And, I owe that to all of you.  I referenced blogging in my "on camera" interview today.  {Yes, I broke out in hives....not lying!}  I explained that blogging has truly made me a better teacher.  I referenced {this post} and shared that I look at what I DO in the classroom and decide BEFORE I do it if it is "blog worthy".  If it isn't, then what can I do that will be?

Another way that I've grown and "bloomed" this year is through my connection with Really Good Stuff.  Last summer, I was lucky enough to win a blog award from the company.  With that win, I became a monthly columnist for their blog.  {You can read about that win here.}  Writing for another blog is different than writing for yourself.  It makes you more self-reflective. Meaning, I was given a prompt or theme for each month.  I had to explore my own philosophy and feelings about that topic before I could sit down and WRITE about that topic.  It really helped me reflect upon my own thoughts and feelings about teaching and the direction on education in general.

I am grateful for that connection, too.

Which leads me to the connection between all of this and the blooming story above.

Look at what Brandi from Really Good Stuff sent me (and was at home waiting for me at the end of my chaotic day):
 
So, there are my flowers.  Ready to remind me to wait patiently while my students bloom.

Thank you, Brandi.  Thank you Really Good Stuff.  Thank you, blog friends.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Our Measurement Skills Are Blooming

Happy Sunday, friends.

As I wind down my week of spring break, I am looking ahead to all of the things that will be happening in my classroom over the next few weeks. 

*Finish Measurement and Geometry
*Get ready for testing

In that order.

That's a lot to jam pack into three weeks.  But, we can do it!

I'm happy that I'm going back to a nice, clean and "springy" classroom.  It makes going back just that much easier.

I shared with you a few little snapshots of the bulletin board I threw up the week before we left {here}. 

I'm happy to show you the final bulletin board!

The picture isn't the best, but I love the way the pennant banner turned out!  It reads "Our Measurement Skills Are Blooming"!

And, boy are they.  We are starting Metric measurement tomorrow and I'm pretty excited about a song I found.  It's called "Meters, Liters and Grams" and it is sold {here} at EducationalRap.com

I actually found it on (where else) YouTube first.  However, the version on YouTube was ripped off from this site.  I bought my version for only $3.99.  I feel like it was totally worth it.  With the digital download, I received four different versions of the rap (different tempos).  I also received the song lyrics, a crossword puzzle, a worksheet and an answer sheet.  Totally worth the $3.99.  (And, no, I am not being paid to promote the site, I was just excited to find it and thought you might like it, too.)

So, we will be starting with a new song.  We love songs/raps in my classroom.  Totally love.
 
Speaking of that, have you heard of Flocabulary?  

 
Yes, you are reading that correctly...Hip-Hop in the Classroom.  It's cool, y'all. And, if I read (somewhere) correctly, I believe that EducationalRap.com has partnered with Flocabulary to bring even more fun into the classroom.  Flocabulary requires a membership, but it is worth it, too.  If I could sing and write music, I would.  But, I can't.  So, yep, I won't.  Instead, I will play the music and lip sync all the way.  

Music works, people.  It does.  I see my little kiddos lip syncing while taking their tests.  To me, that's enough.  Their test results prove to me that it works, too. (And, no, I'm not being paid by them, either.)
 
We will also be completing the flipbooks from my Metric Lapbook.  But, because we are pressed for time (you read above...testing in 3 weeks), we will not be making the actual lapbook.  Instead, we will be creating the flipbooks and interactive notes in our math notebooks.

So much to do, so little time left!

But, at least my room is pretty.

Do you want your room pretty, too?  Well, you can Pin It to Win It :)

My pennant banner might read "Our Measurement Skills Are Blooming" {'Cause they are!}, but I made this file editable.  Well, the pennants are editable.  That way you can say whatever you want!  

You could even say something like, "My Room Is Prettier Than Your Room".  Or, "Pinterest Just Might Have Thrown Up All Over This Room". Or, "Me So Pretty".  

Well, maybe not that last one.

It wouldn't look right.  

Because the letters wouldn't be symmetrical.


That wouldn't work.

      
So, leave me a comment with a link to your pin and I'll pick a winner on Tuesday night.  
 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday~See How I Wasted My Spring Break :)

Yeah, you read that right.  Wasted.
Like...poof, it's gone :(

I had such grandiose ideas about how I would get so many things accomplished.  Welp, nadda. nothing. zilch. was marked off of that ever-growing "To Do" list.

So, what did I do?

I spent half of my time sick in the bed.  You don't need a picture of that...

Instead, for Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday, I will show you what my family did.



We have a little golf tournament in the neighboring town.  You might have heard of it.  It might just be on your TV right now.  Or not.

My husband, his parents, and my daughter went on Monday to the practice rounds.


Later this week, when we were hanging out outside, my son decided to show us just how much of a monkey he truly can be.  He decided to hang out in the beautiful Dogwood tree between my house and the neighbor's house.

See, he truly is a monkey:
That little monkey is now sick on the sofa :(  Poor baby.

Now that I'm feeling a little better, I'm scrambling to get things ready for next week.  I am expecting four different observations.  One of those is from our local business partners and they will be video taping me. Yikes!

So, I've been working on plans, laminating, cutting out and putting together Ashleigh's new Earth Day Math Centers.

And, I found the cutest little video that will explain the difference between mass and weight a whole lot easier than I can.  Don't you just love You Tube?  Someone else can sing for my kiddos, and I can just lip-sync.  Score!



Do you show videos to help with Metric Measurement? I'd love to have more to add to my list. 
Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up what you have been up to this week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

April Made It :)

I've been creating some things for my classroom again {finally}.  It's been a long......slow............winter.  It just bogs me down.  Does it do that to any of you?

Here are a few things that I've made for my classroom:

We worked hard the week before spring break on Customary Measurement.  When we return we will be working on the Metric System.
Here's a preview...I haven't added it to my store yet, but I will link it up as soon as I do:  It is now available in my TpT store:

My students made these:

And they look so nice on what was a very empty bulletin board {gasp}!


At home, I finally sewed some curtains for the kitchen.  It has been painted since October and I finally finished:

So there you have it. 

Go check out all of the other creativity out there with my friend, Tara:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Five for Friday...I mean Saturday :)

This is my first EVER link up with the cute and creative Doodle Bugs Teaching:



I have been meaning to link up FOR.EV.ER.  But, I just forget to take pictures.  I'm terrible that way.  I usually depend on either my dad or my friend, Beth, for most of my pictures (as they do a much better job than I ever could). 

Anyway, this is what I was able to capture on my iPhone (see, I told you). 

First up....my kids.  They may be *almost* grown, but they can still tear it up looking for Easter eggs (especially when the eggs are full of money).


The next day, my husband warned me that he had taken our knives to be sharpened.  He said, "Be careful, these are very sharp."

Apparently, I didn't listen {again}.

On Wednesday, we had our monthly half-day PD.  Complete with learning objectives and everything....notice:

By the way, fourth grade totally won.

I spent the majority of the week anticipating observations.  About half-way through the week, I realized, "GASP... I need something new on my bulletin board!"  So....I whipped these up pretty quickly.  I will show you more about it later:

And, last but not least....It's finally Spring Break, baby!

But, what do I wake up to??

What?

Poo.

Head on over to Doodle Bugs and link on up.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Currently~and Giveaway Winners :)

First up...it's April already.  Well, I really don't mean "already" because I've been dying for it to get here.

How about you?

Spring break is still a week a way and, well....check out my thinking:


Listening:  I've missed you sweet, sweet birds :)

Loving: Oh, to be outside again.  I might be on my computer, but at least I'm outside :)

Thinking:  'Nuf said

Wanting:  Who doesn't love spring clothing?  Finally able to put the drab winter clothes aside and pull out some fun, colorful spring clothes...which means, I'd love to get a few new things.

Needing:  'Nuf said

Advice:  The advice was for blogging/ selling/ creating, etc.  I only have one piece of advice and it's something I've been saying a lot to/with some of my favorite bloggy buddies.  I blog because I love it.  If I keep that in mind then everything else that comes along with it is just "gravy".  {Or icing on the cake...whatever.}

Now for my winners:

Over the weekend, I finished an item for my store {finally}.  


I posted that I would give it away to 5 people on Saturday.  Well, Saturday came and went....so if you commented {here} already, I'm sending it to you.  Thanks for being loyal followers and for commenting often :)

Happy April everyone!

Head on over to link up with Farley :)