Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Task Cards!

Quick & to the point post. Gearing up for a long week.

My blogger switched over to the "new" version. I used to be able to switch back to the old one, but I don't think I can anymore! Wah! Flashback when my facebook switched to timeline. Gr.

Does anyone watch Army Wives? It's amazing.

This week, I'm attending a PBS conference. I can't wait to let you all know what I learn!

I have a new product in my TPT store! It is another set of task cards. I currently have multiplication/division cards up for free and fractions cards up for $1.50.

My new cards are also listed at $1.50. They have to do with number sense, geared toward beginning of third grade or the end of second grade. There are 10 cards in the set, and the product also includes an answer sheet. Our first unit is third grade is a lot of review with working with numbers, like base 10 or expanded notation, moving within a 100 chart, and addition/subtraction.

Click either image to visit my TPT store to purchase, if you'd like! Or pick up my free multiplication/division cards. I know I love free.

I will also give this set away to the first three people who comment [be sure to leave your email address or blog link so that I can contact you!]

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Take that, TEST! & an Earth Day freebie!

A HUGE multiple choice several 42 paragraph passages long load has been lifted from my shoulders!

The first round of Reading Testing is through. And most of my kids ROCKED it! In their own ways, of course! How are your Tests scored? Like I said, my results are immediate because we test online [BLAH]. Students are given a score of 1-4, with these labels:

        1: Well Below
2: Below
3: Meets
       4: Advanced

To be in the clear [avoid summer school and count towards our AYP, as third grade is the only tested grade that counts at our school], the students need to have a 3 or a 4 by the end of the year.

We test four times. This is new this year, as last year, we tested three times. Today was our third reading test. If the student scores a 3-4, they do not have to participate in the fourth test. Out of my brood, only 6 have to retest! And out of those six, four of them went from a 1 to a 2! The other two did not try. [Don't get me started!]

I did a few things to pump my kids up this morning. Here are some pictures..

YEAH RIGHT. Do I ever bring my camera to school? Fail. But here's a list, think of it as a poor man's photo montage. Don't hold your breathe, but maybe I'll bring my camera tomorrow.

1. Two days ago, we made mustaches and magnifying glasses. We called ourselves Reading Detectives!
2. Yesterday, I made a small Tshirt template, and we made TEAM jerseys!
3. This morning, the students had to do a checklist for morning work. Their tasks included reading a short book and taking a Reading Counts quiz, getting a drink, having a snack [I brought bananas], wishing three friends good luck, putting their head down & counting to 100, and then coming to me for a reward [which was a piece of gum, seriously the best motivator. ]
4. I asked a different teacher to write a short letter to each one of my students. This was THE BEST! I had them open their letters [it was a surprise] right before we went to test, and my kids were SO excited to receive a letter from either a past teacher, a favorite instructional aide, or another staff member! I'm so thankful that my coworkers are so invested in the students, even when they aren't the homeroom teacher!

I know it seems like a lot of bells & whistles, but like I said, most of them ROCKED the Test, even though some have not "met the standard" yet! These six friends retest in about a month. There are a couple who are only a few points away, so it is totally do-able!

We test Math next Friday. And it happens to fall on a Pajama Spirit Day. FANTASTIC. But now that three quarters of my class know what success feels like, I'm pretty confident we'll do just as well on that!

I promised an Earth Day freebie!

I've been so wrapped up in testing that I'm just now getting around to planning Earth Day things. My B. As a school, we do a mile long walk called Walk To School Day, in order to promote exercise, so this is in the afternoon. As a grade level, we are going to collect trash around the out skirts of school property.

As for my classroom, we are going to complete this organizer and turn it into a letter to the earth, promising to do certain things. In the product, the graphic organizer is page 1. Upper grades can write in the boxes and lower grades can draw in the boxes. Or both!

Page two is a blank earth graphic. We are going to do a "teared paper" \slash\ mosaic earth craft. Click the image to pick it up fo' FREE at my tpt store.

Happy Earth Day and Happy State Testing! =)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Furry Friends!

One thing that [I think] that I've made clear on this blog is that I love animals! Way back when when I introduced myself to the blog world, I let you guys know that I work with local rescues as a foster mama.

So I'm linking up with Soaring Through Second!

In case you aren't sure of what fostering is, here's the low down. Fostering is when you take an animal into your home until they are ready to enter their "forever" home. These animals may need time to socialize with humans, they may need to be nursed back to health, or there just may be no room for them in the shelter that you're working with. Some rescues are foster-based, meaning that they do not have a "shelter" per se, all of their animals are in foster homes, and they use events and websites to market their animals. No matter the situation, fostering saves a life by helping to make an animal adoptable or opening up another spot in the shelter for another needy animal.

I "preach" about this because it is very easy to go to a pet store or breeder and buy a dog. But until you become educated on the issues of puppy mills and poor breeding practices, you are making a really uninformed decision! Go to a shelter and save a life. You can find any breed, any age, any size in a shelter or rescue, I promise! Sorry-- OFF OF MY SOAP BOX! =) I could seriously go on and on about fostering and adopting. It is a true passion of mine. If I didn't work with kids, I'd work with furry kids!

Anyway, I'm going to highlight a few of my foster babies, starting with my current foster spaz---

This is [big butt] Baja. She is large & in charge & currently up for adoption! She has been very slow in adjusting to home life. She has a condition that limits her vision to only a few feet, so understandably, she needs to get comfy in an environment. I took this picture today, and she is starting to come around! She is a Tonkinese, which is a beautiful breed. I fostered a male Tonk prior to her! I'm actually getting another foster tomorrow, who is deaf. I'll update!

This is my little monkey, Newton! I had him for around eight months, which is the longest I've had a foster. He had issues meeting new people,  so he wasn't the master of first impressions! But, he was adopted out in September 2011 to a couple who live on the beach in Delaware. It was very hard to let go of this little monster!

This is Anthony. He was a black lab, and this was taken on one of the first days that I had him. We had a water main break at school, so I got the day off. Obv we went to the dog park! He was super skinny, and was bouncing around from foster to foster to try to find a good fit. He fit perfectly with me, and he came a long way! He was adopted in Nov of 2010.

These two were ridiculous. They were owner turn-over, so they were "sisters", and their names are Pebbles and Daisy. All they wanted to do was sit on your lap, and they would growl at each other for the best spot. They were paper trained, and the little one HATED going on walks. Such a princess. They were adopted in Sept 2010.

This wild woman's name is Vixen. She was a eight month old pitbull. She wanted to be all up in your business, 24/7. Ay yi yi. She was definitely a handful and was very tough to adopt out. She was adopted in Sept of 2010. The day I adopted her out, I got the two little ones above!

This, my friends, is the porkiest Puggle ever, and her name is Peanut! I was very close to adopting her! I loved her so much. She was great with people, house trained, etc. She lost 5 pounds when she was with me! She adopted out in Feb of 2010. She was with me when we had like 2 weeks off of school in Delaware because of all the snow. She LOVED it!

And this was my first foster, Lyssa. Such a sweet heart. I only had her a month. I'm not sure if you can tell, but she liked belly rubs. She also got to move to the beach. Lucky girl!!

Like I said, this is just a snap shot! I've fostered somewhere around 15-20 dogs/cats all together. To quote Will I Am, "I got it from my mamaaaa." My mom fosters dogs and cats of all ages, included litters of puppies and kittens.

Sorry- this posted ended up waaaay longer than I thought! If you have any fur babies, go link up and check out Soaring Through Second! I'm her newest follower!

Soaring Through Second

One last thing-- Today is my dad's 52nd birthday! Happy Birthday to the best dad in the WHOLE world! <3

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just Poppin' In..

to say that my trip to Jamaica has come & gone. Snookie Waaaaah.

After all of the arrangements for my PopPop, I left for my trip to Jamaica the next day. Not ideal, but the trip was booked like six months ago. I'll update with pictures when I get around to uploading them onto my computer.

I have to say, spending all this time at home [when I say home, I mean at my dad's house], makes me miss living in PA. I miss being minutes from my friends and family. I can't say that I regret moving to DE, being that I've met people who are extremely important to me. And I'm so thankful for my job. Moving on..

I'm on the Spring Break downslide. I'm so anxious to go back to work, in a good and bad way. Being away for a week with my kids have a sub has seriously stressed me out, especially with the reading portion of The Test being this week. Along with a handful of meetings. Then the math portion next week. Yikes. But I'm excited to see my kids. Maybe they've matured over their spring break.

Maybe not.

So many posts about The Test. Ugh. I've noticed that most of you still do the paper/pencil version of The Test. I'm jealous. We do computer based, which means instant feedback. Which means anxiety attacks for me. Does anyone out there do computer based testing and feel my pain?

Like I said, just popping in. I'll be back with a more substantial update once I get back into the swing of things.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I'm linking up with Farley for Currently, April style! I'm still feeling down in the dumps, achy all over, just not good. But again, trying to keep my spirits up & keep my mind on other things.

Like praying my classroom isn't falling apart without me there. Things of that nature.

So I filled this out last night, but the internet here stopped working [typical], so I had to hold off on posting it. I totally forgot to make my DWTS prediction on here, but I would have been wrong anyway. If you're a viewer, what do you think about the new judging rule? They announced that now, the bottom two couples would have to "dance for their life". Okay, I stole that phrase from another one of my fave shows, SYTYCD. [So You Think You Can Dance for all of you less pathetic that myself!]

To explain a few of my answers:: Like I said, I've been out all week, then I'm really on Spring Break. I'm petrified to enter my classroom after spring break.  I'm still going to Jamaica on Sunday, and packing for that has literally been the last thing on my mind. I haven't had the time or internet connection to read the other blogs that linked up, so if I have the same super power as you, lo siento! My magic mute button would work wonderful on many people in my life at times [mom sister boyfriend, etc] But it would be especially helpful in the classroom. Picture this.. I'm working with a small group during centers. A noisy group is at the Read to Someone center. They are doing what they are supposed to be doing, but they are just. too. loud. MUTE. Problem solved!

I've realized that I've previewed/edited/won a few products that I never posted about, so I'm going to post about one now!

I won Mandy's Area and Perimeter Tic Tac Toe! I was so hoping to win this, because my class was testing out of this unit this week, and it would have been a great review for them. Well, life happened and I didn't get it ready, so we'll have to play in review for the DCAS coming up. I LOVE Mandy! She always has little giveaways, and she is SO generous! Go visit her blog & her TPT store! =)

Mandy's Tips for Teachers

Monday, April 2, 2012

Odds & Ends..

I wish I didn't have to start this post like this. I'm currently in Pennsylvania with my family, as we lost my Pop Pop early Sunday morning. He had been battling dementia, an ugly condition that I wish didn't exist. Then recently, we found out that he also had cancer. I was supposed to have a four day work week this week, but I took all of those days off. I don't deal with grief well; I'm a very emotional person. On top of that, I needed to be with my dad. He is THE most important person in my life, and I can't imagine not being right by his side during every step of this. This first picture is of my pop pop, sister, & I at my dad's surprise 50th birthday party that we threw for him 2 years ago. The second is of him & I at my college graduation about 3 years ago. So many happy memories that will be with me forever. =)

So, as most people do, I'm trying to keep myself busy. I wrote subplans for Monday, and had planned on driving the 1.5 hours to school to prep for the rest of the week. But my team is taking care of that for me. I am more grateful for them than they even know right now. But, like any other teacher who is out of her classroom, I've been checking my email [even though the internet here is so patchy. I doubt I'll even be able to post this on the first try]. Anyway, when I checked my personal email, I found out that I won a giveaway!

I am so excited. I've entered every single giveaway I've seen for one of these, and I won! I won a

Thank you so much for the giveaway, Denise! Yearn to Learn was actually one of the first that I started following when I entered blogland. Go stop over & check it out!

That's all I have for ya. Hopefully I'll be back within the week to link up with Farley.