Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holly Bloggy Christmas!

Anyone else out there gearing up for Holly Bloggy Christmas 2011?!

Insert picture of the cute button here. UGH why can't I find it on my computer. Aaahh, there it is.

I'm going to do my crafting and send out my gifts this weekend! I can't wait to share my gift with my partner! I hope she appreciates my crafty nature. Funny that we were paired together, because she and I have a TON in common! Nice work, ladies! And my secret pal's blog is super cute, but I don't want to become a follower until after Christmas!

The blogger who has me probably can't see my blog, because I put my old blog URL on the original form I filled out, as it was right before I changed the name/look of my page. Ooops! But if there's any chance that you can see me.. Hi!!!

Have I mentioned I'm super awful at keeping secrets? I can't wait!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The picture is worth 1,000 words, but of course I'll add some more.

Not a teacher related post. Well, it kind of is. Because the following picture is the reason why I have gotten absolutely no school work done over Thanksgiving Break.

As stated in previous posts, I'm moving. And I picked Thanksgiving break to do so. Big mistake. I've spend every day since last Saturday either moving, thinking about moving, or procrastinating the move. Now everything is in my new apartment. Cue panic attack.


So now, I'll probably be unpacking, thinking about unpacking, or procrastinating the unpacking until Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Post Jam-Packed With Thanks!

So0o0o0o.. [I bet that o and 0 combo brought you back to the middle school days chatting on AIM. No? Just me?]

Tonight is my first night staying in my new digs. And I'm stressin'. Buggin'. So I'm still awake and bloggin'.

Parent conferences went fine today. I was supposed to have seven. Two didn't show up. So how many conferences did Ms. F have today? Five. And they were all productive. So I'm happy about that. Tomorrow is a day's worth of PD, and then my Thanksgiving break begins!

But let's go back to last week. We DCAS [state test, and yes, we use DCAS (pronounced dee-kas) as a verb] when we come back from Turkey Break, so I didn't have too much time to veer from the academia. But we did do two fun activities that I found via the blogosphere.

First, we used Denise's materials from Sunny Days in Second Grade. I was also kind of over hearing the typical "I'm thankful for.." shpeal. So we used her materials to come up with reasons we were thankful for objects that just don't get a lot of love, such as fire drills and potatoes. My kids had a ball with this. Especially when my challenging friend chose "baby wipes" out of the cup. Of course that would happen. I know thanksgiving celebrations are pretty much over, but this activity was so great, and even my most reluctant writers wanted to write and share! It's in my file for next year!

The other activity we did was Pumpkin Pie in a Cup. I saw this activity on a few blogs and on Pinterest. But I used the activity sheet from Teaching Heart. First, I passed out sequence graphic organizers to all students, and as we made this yummy treat, they filled in their graphic organizers with the steps. After they were finished indulging, they wrote a paragraph using their graphic organizer. I didn't use actual measurements for this, so next time, I'm thinking I need to tweak the canned pumpkin to vanilla pudding ratio! But the huge dollop of whipped cream made everything go down smooth anyway.

Of course, no pictures of either activity. I'm not that good.

Lastly, I'm going to link up with What A Teacher Wants & Oh Boy 4th Grade, using ms farley's sassy template!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Tomorrow brings conferences from 12-7. Tuesday is Professional Development. My holiday begins on Tuesday at 3:40.

But let's backtrack. Tomorrow is conferences. I know I can't be the only one who gets a pit in her stomach and major anxiety when it comes to conferences. On top of that, I took a 1/2 personal day on Friday to change over all of my utilities [I moved, whoooop!], so I don't even know my conference schedule. Parents are instructed to call the office and schedule for the school-wide conference day. The last I checked was on Wednesday, and at that time I only had two scheduled, one right at noon and the other was sometime later.

And these two students are doing just fine.

So not one of the conferences I had requested had signed up by Wednesday. As much as I'd LOVE to have all of this extra time to get stuff done in my classroom, these families REALLY need to come in and talk with me. But I guess we'll see what happens. If they didn't sign up, I'll just continue to write notes in planners and leave messages at home. Yep. So frustrating.

So like I said, I moved! Just to a different apartment complex in the same city. On Friday, I ran around to change all of my utilities over to my new place [which you can't do over the phone ahhh-noying].

I went to pick up my keys. Walk into my leasing center [wearing my school hoodie], and I hear "Why are you moving here, you could be  moving right next to school]. So I'm thinking that someone is just looking at my hoodie and trying to make conversation. So I smile and keep looking forward.

[Can you tell I'm socially awkward?]

So the other people in the office are like what are you talking about. And the man says, "That's my son's teacher."

Yep, then it clicked. It was one of my special-ist of little friend's father! Funny how when you are completely out of the context you usually see people, you don't make the connection. Kind of like when a student sees you at Walmart. But anyway..

So apparently, he works there. Nice guy, don't get me wrong. But there's a reason I live 35 minutes from school! Well many reasons. I'm not sure of his job title, so every time I call maintance, walk into the office, etc., I need to make sure I'm on my game. Ugh!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yo! Check out Class Dojo!

I've seen tons of bloggers out there blog about Class Dojo! It is a classroom management tool where you can award and deduct points based on behaviors. The site has behaviors already in place, but you can add your own. Positive behaviors already include hard work, participation, and following directions. Negative ones include disrespect and out of seat. I added calling out, which is a huge issue in my room!

Each student has their own avatar, which is a critter or monster. [This image is not my class; it is from Google Images!] Their avatar has their name next to it, and all of you students can be seen on your Smartboard. Click on their name, click on the behavior, and it adjusts the point total. Easy! There is a sound option, but i opted out of that. The kiddos' eyes were already glued on the board every time they heard me tap it, so the sound probably would have been more distracting!

And, you can print your data at the end of the day if you'd like. If your school is as hooked on data as mine is, this is an awesome tool.

At the end of the day, I gave the students their point amount in train ticket punches. In a previous post, I explained that we use train tickets in our PBS system. Each train ticket has 20 points, and a full card can be traded in for prizes and entry into PBS events.

So tell me, have you used Class Dojo? Am I missing any fun features that would be beneficial? I'm thinking about ways to use it, and I don't think I could use it everyday. My thought is that it would lose its effect if used too often.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Bookshelf

Sorry for the non-teaching blog post, I've read a few books over the past few months that I'd love to share with you!

Stay: I'm currently reading this book. Got it at walmart. It's about a girl who accidently buys a dog online from overseas after too much wine and a Rin Tin Tin marathon. This dog is more than she bargains for, but the story is about how her life is changing. Cute book!

You Had Me At Woof: Read this book in a few days. It is a true story about a woman who starts fostering out of her love for Boston Terriers. It leads us from when she owned her first dog, through starting a family, and to the present, where she is a foster mom and volunteer.

Long Division: A novel about a teacher who's boyfriend is away at war. Light hearted, but not for the easily offended. There's some language. But I loved this book!

32 Third Graders: Love Mr. Done! Very cute, quick read on the hilarity that ensues in a third grade class room lead by a veteran teacher.

I'm obviously not into grand, profound literature, although I wish I was. I love reading books about my two passions, teaching and animals! This year I'm trying to make time to read for pleasure, as last year I couldn't find the time. Anyone have any recommendations?!

Oh right, this is a teaching blog..

I'm doing a fun activity tomorrow having to do with sequencing. We read a passage from a scholastic book about how ink used to be made, using berries. So we will be actually completing this and making ink from berries. It's worth a shot, right? Stay tuned for the results!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November's Currently!

I'm linking up with a majority of the teacher blog world with Farley @ Oh' Boy 4th Grade! She provided this wonderful little image, and I couldn't resist! Head on over & join her!

I edited this in Picnic. Anyone have a different way of customizing things like this?

To explain a little further, the boy is a Ravens fan, so I feel obligated to try to care about the game that is on TV now. But I'm not going to make it to much longer. I feel some kind of grossness coming on, but I'm determined to make it through this 4 day week. We have a field trip on Wednesday, and I will not subject a poor substitute to my crazy-ness, especially on a day like that!

Have a great week everyone! <3

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bear With Me..

So this is my first attempt at posting something I've made, so as my title asks, bear with me! I found the outline to this game online somewhere, but I can't remember where. So if it is yours, PLEASE speak up! I added to it & made it my own. I thought the game was great, so I wanted to make an easy to work with recording sheet to go along with it.

This game is great to reinforce the concept of multiplication, and my kids are loving it. You can play in pairs or small groups. Each group needs two dice, but the dice need to be different. One dice stands for the number of groups, and the other dice stands for the number in each group. Player 1 draws their picture, writes the equation the picture stands for, and writes the product. Player 2 takes their turn, following the same steps.

When it is player 1's turn, they roll the dice again and fill out their sheet. This time, they add their product with their previous product. All players take 5 turns, and the person with the highest total wins! It also helps my students practice addition with regrouping, as some of them need all the practice they can get.

Is this something you would use in your classroom? Let me know!

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