Monday, April 30, 2012

Time to Celebrate!

I love Milestones and I love my Followers!

Look over to the right. Yep right over there.  300 of you guys actually read my ramblings!

So it's time to celebrate!

Aren't those flip-flops adorable?  I downloaded them from Maree Truelove and had to use them! 

So here is what is up for grabs...

One person will win a $20 E-Gift Card to YOUR CHOICE!

Another person will win $25 Worth of Product from my Shop (You can use it until the end of 2012!)


Another person will win a Pinterest Inspired Magnet Board made by this girl! (In colors/designs of your choice)


So there it is...
3 prizes,
for 3 different winners
10 entries!
The contest ends Friday night at Midnight!

This is the first time I've used Rafflecopter, so hopefully it works!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Coffee and Crafts

1st...

Thanks for all of the postive feedback on my "ROADS" Testing Strategy!  It has been going great in my classroom.  I even had one of the bigwigs in the county come in my classroom on Friday during our Reading Test Prep time and she was super impressed.  She was glad to see actual instruction and thinking, not just "drill and kill."

2nd...

Thanks to all of those that commented on my Voicethread Post!  As promised, I chose one lucky person to win a $5 Starbucks Card!
Congrats to
 Jillian from


I'll be getting a hold of you very soon!!  

3rd...

I got my gift from the Pinteresting Teacher Blogger Exchange on Wednesday! I love getting mail!  Especially when it is this ADORABLE!

Check out this awesome Magnet Board!

Look around this blog...what are my favorite colors?  Hot Pink and Lime Green! Plus there are polka dots and stripes! I love it!  Plus, check out that magnetic lime green flower! So cute!  

It's from Holly in California! I tried searching to see if she had a blog, but I couldn't find her! So if you are the fabulous Holly or you know her, let me know!  If she doesn't have a blog, she should because anyone who can make something that adorable has to have great ideas! 

Thanks Holly!!!  

It's funny that Holly sent me a magnet board, because I made Leea at Set this Circus Down a Magnet board too! 

I made it out of a cookie sheet, scrapbook paper, ribbon and Mod Podge. (Don't you just love that stuff!) I hope you liked it Leea!!!

Be sure to head over and check out everyone's gifts!  


Thanks to Caitlyn and Sarah for organizing everything!

4th...

I had some requests for some more Math Lapbooks, so I'm hoping to get some of those started and finished over the next couple weeks.  Do you have any thing you would like to see in a lapbook?  :)



I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reading Test Prep with a Twist!

Yep, it's test prep time.  So why in the world did we have a field test today?  Yep, heard it right.  THE test is in less than 3 weeks and we had a field test today.

So not only do I have to get my little big third graders ready for their FIRST EOG (End of Grade Test), I had to lose one precious day!

Anywho...

I am not too stressed out about reading, My kids and I are both feeling great about it!  We have been rocking it out at Reading Workshop and it's going to show on that test. I still need to make sure they are ready for the test though! I am basing my reading test prep off of Lucy Calkin's Test Prep plan from her fabulous book!

So at the beginning of the week, I taught my kiddos how to "roadmap". (and thanks to Elisabeth for teaching me how to roadmap!"

It's all about annotating and jotting down notes as they read. Because honestly, when my third graders are told to underline, they underline everything.  So I loved the whole jotting down notes after each paragraph or section. My kids are loving it too!

My favorite thing about the Lucy Calkin's method is that students read passages on their level and the students are not given the answer choices right away!  They answer the open ended question and then they choose the best answer from the choices!

I had never thought about teaching it this way but I LOVE it! The students are really building up their confidence and actually thinking about the answer choices.

So, we are mixing it up.  Sometimes the students work with their partner throughout the whole process.  Sometimes they read it independently and work together to find the answers, and sometimes they do it all alone!  No matter which way we do it, they always meet with a small group of students at the end to discuss their answers.

So to help me stay organized, I made this nifty selections.

I took a large piece of construction paper and glued the selection and questions without answer choices on the front. 
Then I folded it in half and glued the questions and answer choices on the back.  

Then I laminated them and the students can use Wipeoff markers. Paper Saver and it's all in one place! 

So to go along with my new Test Prep Method, I needed a new Acronym! So R.O.A.D.S was born!  (You get it for roadmapping...)

I made a poster and bookmarks for my kiddos!  

You can grab them for free at my TPT Store or TN Shop!

Oh and be sure to check out my last post for a chance to win a Starbucks Card!

The week is halfway over friends! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tech Savvy Tuesday- Voicethread & Mini Giveaway!


Well I missed Tech Savvy Tuesday last week while I was on my deathbed, or I at least felt like it!

I'm back this week though! (Stay tuned to the end for a chance to win a delicious treat!)

When I share something on my blog, I only share things that I use or plan to use.

One of my favorite technology collaboration tools to use in the classroom is Voicethread. It's free, easy and a very useful program for all age levels!


Has anyone used it out there in blog land? I have been using it for three years.  You know how when you use something so much, you just assume everyone else does??  So, I wanted to make sure all of my friends knew about this nifty program!

Here is a description of Voicethread from their website,

"With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install.
A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too."

Simply put, it is a live slideshow of images or videos and students/parents/colleagues can comment.  In my classroom, we usually use the microphone and record our voices.  The kids love hearing themselves talk.

Here is an example of the one we started last week about the Titanic.  It's not complete yet, but we are working on it!


I have used Voicethread in lots of differents ways.  Here are a few of them
    • Pictures from a field trip
    • Working out math problems (explaining thinking)
    • Drawing pictures from different chapters in a book and summarizing/commenting
    • Any content specific project
    • A-Z Slideshow
    • Student written poetry or stories
The possibilities are endless! I have seen Kindergarten students all the way to teachers in professional development using Voicethread. 

One of the coolest things is that you can collaborate with other classrooms at your school, county, state, country, etc!  Students are able to comment back and forth! 

If you are interested in step by step directions, visit here for a short, to the point handout I found online. It really is super easy and you know how quickly kiddos catch on!

You can pay for a subscription, but I use the free educator account. The only downside is that you can only keep 5 slideshows at a time and you can only be logged in to the account on one computer.

Answer one of these questions in a comment below and I'll choose 1 person to win a $5 Starbucks gift card! :)

Have you used Voicethread before and How did you use it your classroom?  
Do you have an idea on how to implement Voicethread in your classroom?

I'll use the random generator on Friday to choose a winner!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ships, Shapes and Traits

Thanks for all the well wishes! I feel much better.  Not really feeling like going to school tomorrow, but that has nothing to do with sickness.  Getting ready for this test is stressing me out, but I'm really trying not to focus too much on it.  I did have a fabulous weekend though.  You know my love for movies, well I also have a love for Nicholas Sparks.  So I saw the Lucky One.

Zac Efron 

+

Nicholas Sparks 

=

A Good Time!

I mean have you seen Zac lately?


My point exactly. 

Anyway, this is a Teaching Blog, so let's move on. But before real teachery things....

We have this phenomenon at our school.  Is it true other places? Ice cures everything.  Seriously.  Bee stings, skinned knees, any playground mis-hap.  It's a miracle worker.

So, one of our constantly injured third graders had a bee sting on Friday during recess.  He goes to the office to get some ice.  This is what he comes back with.

Check out that bag of ice. We laughed for about 10 minutes.  That bag of ice is bigger than him! 

Now, on to actual teachery things.  

Like I said, we are getting ready for the big test.  I can't just bring myself to do reading and math all day.  I love my content too much. 

Well, a few of my little ones have been enthralled with all things Titanic.  So, since last weekend was the 100th Anniversary, I decided to do a little mini-unit.  

Luckily, my dear friend Elisabeth created a nifty little lapbook and I found this awesome resource on Pinterest from the Primary Junction.  So I used their resources and we set sail on our learning journey. 

Elisabeth created these Passenger Cards, so each student was given a real Passenger and at the end of the week each student found out their Passenger's Fate.  My students loved it! One of my students refused to answer to her actual name all week, we had to call her Molly Brown! 

We created these "lapbooks with a twist". 




We have also been hard at work trying desperately to finish up our Math Curriculum before the test in three weeks! I can't believe that I am so far behind!  Normally I am always done before Spring Break, but I know it's because I have taught things more thoroughly with a much more hands on, problem based approach.  So we have been working hard on our Geometry Unit.  

We have gone on shape hunts, worked on our geometry lapbooks and created Solid Shapes out of Marshamallows! 



Well you have stuck with me this long, here is a freebie!

We have been reviewing our character traits that we have been were supposed to be working on all year!  So in place of spelling, we have been working on Character Trait Booklets. 


These pesky little words are always in our EOG reading selections and questions.  Some of these words the kiddos do not know and their lack of vocabulary amazes me every single year.  

So every day during class, we define 5 words from our list.  Then for homework, they write an antonym, a sentence and draw a picture for each word. 



At the end of the work they had a quiz on the words.  

So, I have the list for you and 4 quizzes to match! There isn't a theme with the clipart, because I have so many cute little sets, I just wanted to use them all! haha!  

It's at my TPT Store. It isn't thing too fancy, just quizzes, but I thought someone out there might find a use for them! 

 


Well have a great Monday! Oh and I am close to 300 followers! I have been so out of it this week, I didn't even realize how close I was! You know how much I love giveaways, so I'm already planning one for my big 300! Spread the word and be on the lookout for it. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MIA

So going back to school after being off for a week did about kill me.

Hence the reason why I have been MIA since Sunday.

I was so sick on Monday night and Tuesday.

I mean I was too sick to blog/blog stalk/pin.  That's serious.

I even took a sick day Tuesday.

I hate taking sick days.

If I am going to be away from my classroom, I'd much rather be able to enjoy it.

Plus, I wasn't prepared.  I left in such a rush on Monday because I felt so nauseous so my room was not ready for a sub.

Luckily I had a fabulous sub, who could read my non detailed, fever ridden, nauseous stomach, gotta get done plans I sent her from my sickbed.

I still can't really make myself eat much, but I'm feeling better. Today when I was back with my kiddos I had that horrible fear of mine almost come true.  I'm scared to death of vomiting/passing out/anything that would make me rely on 8 year olds happen.  I started feeling nauseous.  Luckily I had a Dum Dum to help calm my stomach. haha.

Well on to other things.

Thank you so much to everyone who has left a comment at one of my stores.  I have had so many sweet comments and messages lately, and it just makes my day every time I get an email from you guys! :)

I have lots to share, but I'm awfully tired and I haven't taken pictures of anything we have done at school.  I have only been there two days, so I think I can forgive myself.

We are in full TEST PREP mode. Ugh.  I really can't stand it, but it has to be done.  In NC, third grade is the first big state assessment.  So we really do have to teach them even how to take a test, along with reviewing our HUGE curriculum.  (so looking forward to Common Core next year).

Our third grade math test is always heavy on figuring out which operation to use to solve a word problem, so I always drill in Clue Words with my kiddos.

So, I started pulling out my stuff and realized I needed to jazz things up with my new skills, clipart and fonts!

So, Voila, here ya have it...some freebies for my bloggy friends!

It includes...

A study guide  for your kiddos. 

A Cut and Paste Activity

2 Word Problem Pages

You can download it for free at my TPT Store and TN Shop.  Leave a comment pretty please! Let me know what you think! :)

I didn't create posters for each operation because I already had some from my lovely friend Elisabeth.  You can get them at her shop for a  great price! Plus she's having a sale right now! Don't know for how long though!

Have a great Thursday!  We are half way done with our week friends!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Geometry Freebie!

Spring Break is over. :(

It is so very sad.

39 Days Left.

I can't believe it!

This year really has flown by.

I have soooo very many things I need to fit in during those 39 days.

Even so, it was all I could do to even get lesson plans done for this week.  It was certainly a struggle.

I had planned on creating some Geometry Games over Spring Break.  That didn't happen.  I got one game done.  So instead of making it into a pack that isn't going to get done any time soon, I just decided to give it away for free.

It's really simple, easy way to review Geometry Terms, It's a Geometry Quick Draw Game!



Here is the lowdown...
Students work with a partner & take turns.
2. Lay cards facedown in a stack.
3. Partner A chooses a vocabulary card and reads aloud to Partner B. (They could also give clues)
4. Partner B draws the vocabulary word.
5. Partner A checks the drawing.

You can also play whole group or in a small group! It includes 36 Terms. 

You can download it for Free at my TN Shop and TPT Store.  I'd love if you left some feedback or a comment! :)

Oh and I know that I just finished a sale, but I had to give in to peer pressure and feel like I belong, so


15% off at my TN and TPT Shops until tomorrow!  

I had fun shopping today. I spent way too much money.  I just couldn't help it! 

Oh also, tonight is the last night to enter my first giveaway on Teacher's Notebook! Be sure to enter! 

Have a great Monday! (I think I can, I think I can.....get up that is)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Teacher's Notebook Makeover

So I know that I already posted today.  So what.  I'm a rule breaker.

Not really.

I always follow the rules.

Blog Rules don't count though.

I just had to talk about how much I adooore the new Teacher's Notebook site! Have you checked it out??? It's awesome!


Tamara at TBA wrote a great post about all of the new changes and features.

As a seller, there are so many new features to build up your shop and promote your items.

As a buyer, it's so much easier to navigate, not to mention much easier to find sales!

My favorite part....Giveaways!

You all know I love throwing giveaways, (well and winning them too).  As a seller, you can host giveaways on any item in your store.  To enter, all you have to do is check three boxes saying that you're over 18, a US resident and that you agree to the rules.  The winner gets to download it off the site!  Plus you can go to one place and find all of the Giveaways!

Oh and of course, I had to throw my hat in and host a giveaway.
I think if you follow me long enough, you may just end up winning everything in my store. I think I have giveaways way too much.  Is there something against that in Blogger Code?  Oh well...

So be sure to check out the new TN Look.  (Plus tomorrow is the last day for my 20% off sale!)  :)
(Insert shameless plug here)


I truly do appreciate you guys!  Sometimes I really do struggle to make ends meet.  We all do!  I can't imagine having kids too!  So, I really do appreciate this community!  Plus, I really like making quality items at affordable prices!  You guys rock!

Have a great Friday evening!! :) 

If, Then, So, What, Because, Therefore

Spring Break is almost over! WAHHHH!

I don't think I can handle going back to school. The thought of everything that needs to happen in those 39 days is giving me hives.

  • Finish teaching my math curriculum before the test, geometry, graphing and combinations. 
  • Review everything we have learned this year in math and reading (I'm sure they remember EVERYTHING so this won't be a big deal)
  • Take down everything fun and cute in my room
  • TEST, TEST, TEST.
  • For my kiddos that didn't pass, REVIEW AND RETEST.  (Do other states do this, or is it just NC?)
  • Actually have some fun before school is out. 
  • End of the Year Paperwork (YAY. My Fav....)
Why am I thinking about this when I only have three more precious days. I think it's because I am a glutton for pain. 

Well, on to other things. I found a picture on my phone and realized I didn't blog about it! The week before Spring Break was super short for us, 3 1/2 crazy days.  So I wanted to teach a reading skill that would be eazy peazy.  So I decided to teach a little bit of cause and effect. Plus, I saw this super cute anchor chart on Pinterest. 


The original pin doesn't link back to a blog or anything, so if you know who it belongs to me, let me know.

I just thought it was too cute! I had a problem though. If I tried drawing that, it would look a hot mess.  So I used my technology skills.  I use Google Chrome, and there is a free Angry Birds App, so I took a screen shot and blew it up in Microsoft Publisher and Voila!


My kiddos thought it was the coolest thing ever!!

I was feeling awfully uninspired that week before Spring Break and I just couldn't bring myself to make anything new.  So, I googled, I searched and I didn't come up with much.  But, I did find  a set a of Cause and Effect Game Cards.

They are FREE HERE. It is from a wiki from a school district in FL. Lots of goodies! You could use them with a game board or whatever you would like.  I wanted all of my kiddos involved, so we Played Scoot.  They numbered their paper 1-22 and they scooted away.  The task cards were fairly easy for the most part, but it got them thinking and moving.

We also looked for cause and effect in our read aloud, independent reading and some test prep reading selections. Yeah and I have to say we did some boring cause and effect worksheets. This teacher needed some grades. 

If anyone has some cause and effect activities geared toward the upper grades let me know, because like I said, I couldn't find much. 

Maybe I'll put it on my to-do list for the summer. 

Enjoy your Friday! I'm going to meet my mom and brother for some Mongolian Grill and a Movie! Yum and  Fun! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Giveaway Winners and a Guest Blog



The winners are...

 Denise from

and 
Jackie from 

Congrats ladies! 

No worries! If you didn't win, everything at my shops is still 20% off  until Friday!  Thank you to everyone that entered and a big thanks to everyone who has purchased something.  :)

Also, since I'm on Spring Break, I am taking a little vacay.  Although I am still on my comfy red chair at home.  I'm guest blogging for Misty at 


Head over there to read about Math Instruction in my Classroom. Plus you can grab a brand new freebie! :) 
See you over there! 

(I mean it, see you over there. I've never guest blogged before, and I'm nervous no one will like it.  So seriously go check it out. Plus Misty is fabulous!)  


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