Friday, December 28, 2012

SNOW?! Buddy the Elf, Snowflake Pronouns

Snow? Really? This is what they are calling snow? My kids were all excited to see some snow falling from the sky..and this is what they ended up with...
 They were disappointed to say the least. I guess living near Chicago and it's Winter Break, I could go for some snow too... But you know that snow is just waiting until I have to get in my car and drive in it! Well there's still another week to wait for it to come down!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the movie Elf! It's my favorite Christmas movie. When Elf came out...it trumped allllll the other movies. We constantly quote it around the house. I even change my cell phone voice mail greeting to "Buddy the Elf, What's your favorite color?"

So, after seeing an adorable Pin on Pinterest with Buddy and the quote "Don't Be a Cotton-Headed-Ninny-Muggins"...I HAD to come up with my own twist!
I saw another idea using Pronouns on flower petals on Pinterest, so I combined two ideas into my idea and IT'S BEEN A HUGE HIT! The 4th graders stop, look, and read! Teachers have been stopping and reading...My students have been so excited about it, they've been telling parents! SUCCESS!

What I did was create Buddy of course...and I did it while students were working independently (because I was short on time)...well, they were so curious what I was creating...and WHY I was creating it! They mistakenly thought they were going to make a crafty elf...wrong! They had to WORK at this! The students had to take what we learned about pronouns and apply some knowledge.

I found 3 snowflake patterns and simply ran them off on blue and white copy paper.
We brainstormed the pronouns we learned in 3rd grade...I picked sticks and handed out pronouns and snowflakes to each student... 

The students had to put the pronoun in the center... and on each arm of the snowflake, they had to write a noun the pronoun took the place of... It wasn't as easy as they thought it was going to be. I had to reinforce using sentences to make sure the pronoun/nouns agreed and made sense...
Here's a pic of how the bulletin board started coming together...

Don't Be A Cotton-Headed Ninny-Muggins...Use Pronouns Properly
This is the only photo I took before running out the door leaving for break.
Imagine more snowflakes...24 to be exact...

You can see these two examples of how the students wrote on their flakes...

Just another idea to use! 

Also, if you have a moment, be sure to stop over at Bright Concepts 4 Teachers. Jaime is hosting a 200 follower give away! 

What fun interactive boards have you made?! Please share!
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Craze, COWBOYS, Freebie!!!

Happy after Christmas craze! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday! I did and I am so thankful Christmas is early in our break...now we have the next week and a half to do as we please...no rushing around! Of course, since the big rush is over and I can somewhat relax...I woke up with a cold! GRRRRRRR! However, I think this is my first cold of the season!
 
Kids had a great Christmas! They got what they wanted and appreciated everything! In fact...I haven't seen or heard from my children all day...ahhhhhhhhhh.
Loved visiting with family...we are
SO
LOUD.
ALL.
THE.
TIME.
Good times.
Lots of laughs!

My Cowboys NEED to win Sunday night! They need the WIN against Washington to advance. Please, please win.  A student bought me a Dallas Cowboys insulated cup and I'm so excited to use it...if I can ever get to washing it before I use it! I'll put that tops on my list for tomorrow!
 Go Cowboys! 
Although...I'm NOT jealous of all the snow y'all got in Texas! I got Nothin' in Illinois! Woo hoo! Easy driving on Christmas.

My hubby and kids bought me my GIANT fork and spoon from Pier 1 that I've been wanting for YEARS! Here's a pic of them leaning against my family room wall! They are about 3 feet tall.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

I also created a 12 Days of Reading activity for my students to complete over break. Big Kid, and Mid Kid said I was mean for making students do homework over break...but it's not a difficult assignment and I gave each student their own novel with points from Scholastic...Hold them accountable for their bright, shiny new book!  Here it is...It's on TPT. Since I'm working on my work laptop (my MAC went kaput 2 weeks ago!!!!! and I need to get it in to the Apple Store)...I can't get the screenshot right...sorry for the icky picture of it!
Feel free to use for next year...I meant to get it uploaded before break, didn't happen with the tragedies and soft lock down that happened (recall the 2 escapees near Chicago?!). It was a CRAZY couple of weeks.

that's all for now...
I hope you are able to enjoy some restful days...

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Liebster Blog Award!


Liebster Award! WOW! I've been nominated for my first blogging award! This is super exciting!

THANK YOU---I was nominated by 
Stephanie Ann at Sparkling in Third Grade

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers by established bloggers (less than 200 followers), in order to recognize them, let them know that they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. The rules are:



You must post 11 random things about yourself.
Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)

11 Random things about ME!
1- My favorite number is 11! No lies! It was my number in any sports I played.
2- I am a HUGE Dallas Cowboys Fan! And since I'm from the Chicago area...this doesn't sit too well with people...I've been a fan since KDG, I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader when I grew up! (this is hysterical to even think about now)
3- I LOVE music. I enjoy just about any genre...except the heavy heavy metal stuff. I sing lots of songs in class (i'm a terrible singer) and I feel everything in life relates to a song...Love Song Pop
4- My favorite holiday is Halloween
5- I play "Smurfs" on my iPad...I have a village and everything that I keep up with 
6- I have a huge stash of cards that I've bought for people and never sent...It's a terrible habit, but I really do have people's hearts on my mind!
7- I like syrup on my ham (when it's a spiral/dinner ham)
8- I have 3 dogs, a cat, and a tortoise that I've taken in from other people or shelters...I have to force myself to say no to anything new...
9- I LOVE to laugh. I laugh at everything. I laugh at inappropriate times...and my eyes water when I laugh
10- I LOVE to talk...a lot...to ANYONE who will listen. I talk to random people in the store...anywhere. I strike up conversations with anyone near...again,  I like to laugh
11- I have a tattoo on my right foot of 3 daisies that covers my whole foot and plan on getting more tattoos! 

Stephanie Ann's Questions:
  1. How long have you been teaching and what grades have you taught? I've been teaching for 15 years...ALL IN 3rd Grade.
  2. What do you usually do on a Friday or Saturday night? Friday night...I do NOTHING. I watch TV and just chill. Saturdays are spent with my Husband and Kids...
  3. What do you like the most about the school that you teach at? I love my teacher-neighbor...and the fact that we can teach how we want as long as standards are taught/met
  4. What do you like best about being a teacher? Inspiring and turning those kids who didn't much like school into kids who love school...and laughing
  5. If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have been and why? I was originally going to go into accounting because I liked number crunching...THANK The LORD I did not!
  6. What is your best teaching memory? This is hard...I have over 15 years of memories... When I student taught...I met a kid in the office the day I was meeting my Cooperating Teacher...He was getting in trouble for picking up a girl over his head and throwing her to the floor...Turns out this kid was in my class...I started an after school extra help program and he stayed after every day. His behavior and grades greatly improved...I looked him up years later and he went on to College at Marquette University and played basketball for them! I wish there was a way to tell him how proud of him I am!!!! Go JM! 
  7. What is your worst teaching memory? Having to report a child and family to the DCFS.
  8. Who or what is your inspiration for being a good teacher? Dr. A. White at EIU...My cousin who I helped teach to read...JM...MAM...HO...my own children... So many people
  9. Chocolate or fruity? Fruity
  10. In the spirt of cyber Monday, what is your favorite store to shop online? Tough one...Love me some Fern, Deanna Jump... There's soooo many!
  11. What blog was your biggest inspiration when you decided to start your blog and why? I LOVE ME SOME FARLEY! Although I don't create tons of worksheets at this time...I feel like I have a lot to talk about and offer. I hope others can get something from my brutal honesty. I started off on my blog a little shy...but I will come out of my shell soon...Just like "autumn" is not my real name...I've been pretty secretive about location and names. ;)

Lindsey's Questions:

1. What is your favorite part of blogging? Any comments from others and  helping others
  • 2. What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie? ELF!
    3. What is your favorite topic to teach? Novel study...How To Eat Fried Worms
    4. Where and what grade do you teach? Suburbs of Chicago, 3rd grade
    5. What is the last great book you read? Great book???? Fifty Shades... I've read plenty after that...
    6. What is your favorite TpT purchase? (leave a link) Rockin' Reader's Workshop 
    7. What is your favorite pin on Pinterest? (leave a link) HA!
    8. What is your go to blog? (leave a link) Fultz's and Farley
    9. What could you not live without? My family and my iPod
    10. What is your favorite teacher tool? Elmo/projector 
    11. What is your favorite teaching website? (leave a link) This was a hard one...Super Teacher Worksheets for quick action

    I nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Blog Award:


    My questions for YOU!


    1. What's your favorite song?
    2. What's one thing you wish you could give up?
    3. What's the next book you think I should read?
    4. Who inspired you to become a teacher?
    5. What's your favorite app and WHY?
    6. What is your favorite go-to snack?
    7. What is in your top left desk drawer?
    8. What's the funniest or most embarrassing thing to happen to you?
    9. What time do you go to bed at night?
    10. Do you wake up by beeping alarm, music, or what?
    11. What's your favorite thing about teaching?



    THIS WAS THE LONGEST POST EVER...This one took the longest!

    Have a wonderful week!

    autumn

CURRENTLY!



HELLO! Linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade and her FAB-U-LOUS Currently!
Check her out and everyone else too! 


Listening...Hubby just lost his job of 19 years with Hostess. BOOOO. He's on the phone with someone about a lead somewhere else...He has ALWAYS worked...since he was 15. He doesn't even know what to do with himself...although I'm happy with him at home...it's been clean, laundry done, and dinner on the table when I get home...Just missing that paycheck

Loving...Going to the zoo tonight! It's 61 degrees here! That's nuts for December! Usually we go to see Holiday Lights at the Zoo in the snow! This will be interesting. I'm so excited though!

Thinking...So we went to Sunday Mass and a family in front of us was very "coughy" and snotty and eating fruit snacks and rubbing hands on the pew and wiping noses with their hands and sucking thumbs and another was sucking his fingers and the daddy was wiping his nose with his right hand....and and and....so we get to the "Sign of Peace" and get to all shake hands...after that...cutie patootie little boy coughs right in my face as I was kneeling. People behind me go "eeeewwww, gross" and start giggling...I giggled too, but hope not to get sick.

Wanting...nothing I really "want" right now. I'd love some time to be able to create some games and worksheets I've been dreaming up but haven't had time to complete...

Needing...Hubby's unemployment check...we are on week 3 without any other income besides mine...oh, and it's Christmas...we've cut back...but I can't wait to get that first check... 

I'd LOVE some more followers! ;)

RAK-my family and I are big on giving. Well, since our income has been recently decreased...this season will be a little difficult... I found some great deals on clearanced  toys and inexpensive gloves for the local Toys for Tots and glove drive. I'm happy to be able to do SOMETHING. I also teach 6th grade RE (religious Ed) on Wednesdays, so we are going to make some Christmas cards and an old Oriental Trading craft I had laying around from years ago...and send them to the Elderly in the Assisted Living homes. I think they will enjoy! Besides, the 6th graders are THRILLED to do this!

I'll probably post again later because I was at the NCTM Conference on Friday in Chicago! Have lots to say about that!

Just wanted to jump on the "Currently" band wagon...before I'm "late" like last month!
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

A whole lotta nothin' but my thoughts

I was blog hopping and reading everyone's great ideas. It was interesting to read about Christmas. I have 2 students who celebrate Eid and the rest celebrate Christmas. YES I PUT UP A CHRISTMAS TREE in my classroom! YES I DO! It's 6 foot, nothing fancy...adorned with ornaments that don't quite make my home tree and any ornaments the students make me. I'm so disappointed that everything has to be so "PC" around the USA. Even though I put up a tree, I still acknowledge Eid, Hanukkah, and any other holiday the kids want to briefly discuss. I find it fascinating to learn about other cultures and religions...even if I don't agree. I don't preach anything and don't even bring up God or Jesus in class...unless it's an open discussion that involves all students.  SO YES! I WILL PUT UP MY TREE!

So, we had P/T Conferences last week. Monday and Tuesday. I had EIGHT students/parents go on vacation. Now, I'm all for family time and family vacations and thankful they didn't take time out of class time to take vacations...but that's OVER TWO MORE HOURS of conferences I'll have to "make up". Granted...they will be phone conferences...but that's MY time and I don't have enough time as it is! AND this is WAY TOO LATE to have the first conference. I was handing out 2nd quarter midterms at conferences! Insane.

Secret...we're not "supposed to" give food treats of any sorts in class. But how can I not? Let me briefly explain...So Hostess shut down (I'm sure you all heard-it was all over the news) and Hubby worked there...He brought home lots of stuff when he went to clean out his locker... I have those cute Hostess cupcakes to hand out to all my students! And guess what? I'm having them eat them in class. YES IN CLASS. I have no nut allergies this year...so we shall eat the last of the Hostess Cupcakes...the ones with the little white swirly curly design! That's right...I'm such a rebel. First a Christmas tree and now an unhealthy fun treat!

Hi Big Kid! I know you are stalking your mom and reading this!

Little Kid has made me giggle this past week... I woke her up before I went to bed to make her go potty... she finished... then climbed into the bath tub to go back to sleep. So cute, I snapped a pic. THEN my kids slept over at grandma and grandpa's house so hubby and I could Black Friday shop... Little Kid woke up and went to go potty...well my mom shut the bedroom door which has a full length mirror on the back of it....and Little Kid saw her reflection and thought it was Mid Kid! So she kept trying to dodge "Mid Kid"...BUT IT WAS HERSELF! OMG. So funny. I don't know how she finally figured out it was her and not her sister and made it to the potty.


Enjoy your week! I will have something of interest soon..

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Currently, Pencils, Gifts, Veteran's Day...


Currently...(late to the party this month)
Thanks to Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly currently!
My poor dog scratches and scratches and scratches. We've been to vet after vet, foods after foods, shampoos after shampoos. The only thing that helps him is the steroid prednisone...and you can only have them on that for so long. Kids and their bickering! Grrr. 

Love my new necklace! So glad he bought it for me. I don't ask for many things...way appreciative of the necklace!

Wanting more time...yes, I am aware we have an extra day off in honor of our Veterans! 
Time...I just feel like I can't get caught up! I even TOOK OFF A DAY OF WORK as a mental health day...to GET CAUGHT UP ON GRADING AND ENTERING GRADES! Yes, I had to take a day off to get caught up...it was for my sanity and the sanity for those who encounter me! I had a FABULOUS sub who didn't leave ME any work to get caught up on upon my return.

TMI? We need toilet paper...we are currently using tissue boxes in each bathroom... (it's on the list for today).

Music...Have I told you I LOVE music? Although I'm not good at singing, I sing constantly in class...songs go with everything I do. The kids make fun of pay attention to me.

Pencils
I just placed my order with foronlyteachers.com for personalized pencils for each student as a gift for the holidays. I also order each student a book from Scholastic (with bonus points)...wrap it all up with a no-homework pass, red pen and candy cane! It's a little something that does not cost me a fortune.

Family Gifts
Ok, since I brought up the holidays, I might as well share what we make in class for parents. Last year (thanks to Pinterest), my teaching buddy and I made a set of coasters for each family with our students. It was FAB-U-LOUS! 

These are from last year. Sorry, had to blur out faces.

Each student made a set of four coasters. I had the students bring in TWO photos from home and I made photo copies on our photo copier at work--sent the originals back home. I went to HOBO (a discount home improvement store) and purchased enough plain white bathroom/kitchen tiles for my class and friend's class. I cut out each family's last initial on black construction paper from the Ellison in our teacher's workroom. I purchased black and white designed scrapbook paper and cut those 4x4 inches. We used Modge Podge Gloss as our sealer, glue & finish. 

I called 4 students at a time to the back table--covered in a plastic table cloth. The students used a paintbrush to apply the Modge Podge (MP) to the tile, add the scrapbook paper, layer MP, then the black initial..more MP on one tile....Then they applied MP to another tile photo, more MP...so on. We placed all the tiles on a covered table to dry/set. I applied 4x4 (slightly smaller though) of black felt to the bottoms of ALL the tiles with MP, so they don't scratch any tables.  The following day after students left for the day, I sprayed the tiles with a spray can of Clear Acrylic Paint...(Have someone else do this if you are pregnant and leave the room)...Make sure your windows are open and it's well ventiliated. The spray paint, as you can imagine, leaves a cloud in the air for some time...I didn't want to bring all the tiles home to do this in my garage, so I did this on a Friday afternoon before leaving for the weekend.

We wrapped them in tissue paper and placed them in inexpensive brown craft bags that were pre-decorated from the store.

My teaching buddy and I collected $2.00 from each student. We sent a letter home telling parents we were creating a gift and students were to earn the $2.00 from completing various chores around the house, so the gift was truly from them. This gift was perfect for all students with various religious backgrounds. 

Materials: 
4 tiles per student
Cut out initial for each student
Black and white scrapbook paper of various designs (I kept it non-holiday)
Modge Podge (about 2 16 oz containers for class)
Paint Brushes
1 can Clear Acrylic Spray Paint (1 for whole class)
2 Photos from home (copy them on B&W copy machine)
1 photo of student from class printed to B&W copier
1 Brown craft bag per student
Tissue paper 
4 4x4 Black felt squares per student
2 Plastic table cloths

We will DEFINITELY do this project again this year! We received lots of compliments from staff and parents.  I hope I didn't leave anything out...If you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below!

Veteran's Day
Our school had its annual Veteran's Day assembly. It's my favorite assembly. Students have family members attend the assembly and we honor them. There were so many this year! Our Librarian and Counselor had various students read pages from the book H is for Honor:  A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian.


It was moving. Various grade levels sang patriotic songs led by our Music teacher. Each Veteran's name was read aloud. The whole assembly was absolutely moving! I was moved to tears. The students with their guests went to the cafeteria for cookies and juice provided by our PTO. One Vietnam Vet said it was the first time he has felt recognized and honored since the war. I am so blessed to be part of a school who honors Veterans!
My brother in law will leave for his 3rd tour soon. 
Thank you to all Veterans and the time served or currently serving.

Enjoy the week ahead!
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Feeling Witchy...

Hello all! I know I don't have to tell all of you how crazy busy it always is!

Witchy...
I skipped a day of writing and Social Studies to do a craftivity with my class! There's never any time for the extra stuff and I haven't done this project in a couple years...
This isn't "my" project.  A teacher I used to work with did this one. It's an awesome witch I hang from the hooks in my classroom. The students LOVED making her! It was so quiet in the class as they listened to directions as we made her together!

You will need the following for each student:
1 2 x 18 inch white for face
1 2 x 18 inch black for hat
1 2 x 18 inch orange for hair
1 1 x 9  inch green for nose
1 1 x 6 black for mouth
2  1 x 6 white for eyes
2 1x 4 black for eyeballs

First we glued big white in circle for face (bottle glue works best for this project), next we glued the two eyes and two eyeballs into circles to sit and dry, then we glued the nose (make a u shape and glue to top of face), add the white eyes to the top of nose, insert the black eyeballs and glue...then accordion fold the black for mouth and glue the 2 ends...glue orange hair to outside...glue on hat...cut the hair into strips and decide if you want them curled with a pencil or accordion folded...leave on desk to dry...hang (yes-ridiculously long run-on sentence)! 

With the typical craziness at school...downed system for report cards, paperwork that has nothing to do with teaching, etc...I, myself, have felt a little witchy lately!

AND I am truly excited for Halloween on Wednesday!!! I hope schools never take that away! Our staff  is dressing as super heroes on Wednesday. Does your staff dress?! Last year we were Smurfs! I'll have to dig up a staff pic to show. We were AWESOME!

The Babe and I...fact and opinion

We read the story The Babe and I by David Adler. We worked on fact and opinion. I had the students work in pairs, search the story for facts and opinions, and write them in a T-chart. After checking a partner's work, the students got a bat and ball and wrote the fact they found from the story on a baseball bat and an opinion from the story on a baseball.  I hung them on a bulletin board labeled "Hitting a Home-run with Fact and Opinion".



6-Traits
Since we are working on 6-traits and I have a Rock Star Theme this year...I made iPads/iPod Touches to display each trait and skills to go with each. As we learn them (yes I'm off to a SLOW start), I will add the skills or things to remember as "apps".


SO that's some of my updates! 

My family is carving pumpkins today. My hubby is so ridiculous...he wants me to take pics of the pumpkins and have my class vote on the best one! I will and I will not cheat and tell them which one is mine...because that'd be an automatic win for me. I've gotta take 5 pics...there are 5 of us and we each have our own pumpkin. Winner takes all (bragging rights). Hubby even stooped real low this year! He's trying to appease the tastes of my 3rd graders... We'll see. I can hear a lot of bickering downstairs between the kids and the hubby. Mine was finished first...I've got too much to do!

Enjoy Halloween! Hope you get more treats than tricks!
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

CURRENTLY and Sweatpants

Linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the monthly Currently!
Here's mine:
Don't know why the cat is meowing at me...never wanted a cat...got it because my neighbor had to move and couldn't take her with...but she's a total cool cat...she's like a 4th (yes I said 4th) dog in the house! Big kid is watching the LMN Movie I started...I'm not in the mood for the debate...so. not. interested...and I'm big into politics..not thrilled with election

Loving my students' parents (most of them anyhow)...they already get my humor. One dad even made his kid make me a meanie pants "Sorry Dallas" poster with "Go Bears" on the other side! Even tho it's a meanie poster to tease me...I just HAD to hang it up...it's cute. It has blue Dallas stars around the words "5 interceptions"...too funny. 

So so so so so glad we have only ONE thing to do this weekend...it's the last football game that Mid Kid has to dance Poms at half-time. Then nothin' else! So thrilled!

Want a daisy necklace from Tiffany's...hoping hubby gets it for me for our 15 year anniversary on Oct 18th!!! And I want another tattoo...I have 3 big shasta daisies on my foot (to represent my 3 kids)

Need hair colored...blonde is not-so-blonde at the roots...my new girl is still working on getting my color right...

I LOVE HALLOWEEN! and I love Seinfeld's Halloween book...it brings me back to my own childhood and I love to share it with my class every year!

SWEATPANTS. I never, ever, ever wear sweats or anything like that out of my house. I just don't. We had a "Fitness Parade" today at school...so I wore some pink capri style sweats for the 1st time in 15 years...I was the most uncomfortable in my most comfortable clothing. That'll be the last time I wear that to work. Not my thing. I can do jeans easily, but didn't feel professional in sweats. I never do the PJ days either. On the fun side, the 3rd grade was in charge of being the strength component of fitness...so I stuffed my arms with paper towels for big muscles...took apart a chart stand to use the bar....and cut out 2 black circles-labeled them 1000 lbs...attached to ends of bars..and wah-la! I looked barely like a weight-lifter! Kids got a kick outta it. They also dressed the part with balloons in their arms and mini weights and sweatbands and towels and other fun props. The PE teachers at my building are 
FAN-TAS-TIC!!! Love them to death and they organized this big fitness week (you'd think that'd motivate me to get off my butt and trim down). 

Two more days until a 3 day weekend! Yay! Thanks Chris Columbus!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crazy, Squiggle, 7000 Points, AND HICCUPS

Craziness. I haven't been able to keep up with life in general (as you can see I haven't posted in almost a full month!). I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about! I've been running my kids to all their activities with the help of my husband...but it's been NON-STOP. Seriously. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Poms for Mid-Kid is done this week. That'll free up one day on weekend and two days during week (sort of). Religious Ed started for kids on Wed. night. Small-Kid and Mid-Kid are both in dance 2x a week...Big-Kid has softball...all.the.time. Looking forward to x-ing one activity off the list...although I really enjoyed the football half time games and Mid-Kid LOVED Poms.

Work. Crazy. We tested non-stop in September...AimsWeb testing...then Discovery testing...then Terra Nova Testing. I JUST started guided reading LAST WEEK! I JUST started guided math LAST WEEK! BUT I got my newsletter up and running for my class. Made a group list to email all class parents at once...so that's good! Finally to a somewhat "normal" schedule. Looking forward to getting to REALLY know my students!

In the midst of all this nutso stuff...I made a digital copy of an activity I've done for 15 years. I can't remember where I got the idea from (Mailbox, Highlights...something like that)...but nonetheless...here's a digital copy you can purchase at TPT for $2.00. It's the first thing I'm putting a price on...everything else has been free. It's 30 pages! The two samples below will link you to my TPT store...just click on one of the photos. These were made last week by my 3rd graders! I thought these two were very creative!
 Mustache
Pelican


I used Laura Candler's Scholastic Book Orders Kit to push the $350 order for 7000 bonus points...It worked! I only had a week and a half and made it to $375! Scholastic is offering 7000 bonus points for October also! Here's Laura's link...use her ideas...The visual stars...letter...everything! http://corkboardconnections.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-earn-7000-scholastic-bonus-points.html

I am making a goal to post sooner this time...I am feeling fantastic that I have grades caught up, graded papers caught up...

My class even has Halloween stuff hanging!

OMG! So let me tell you about my hiccuping student today...He is the sweetest student...works hard, well behaved...everything you'd want in a student. Students were taking a Science test today and he could not stop hiccuping! I was working with a student at the back table on her test...I casually walked over to where he sits...and yelled "WHY ARE YOU HICCUPING?!" Well I scared him and most of the class to death! BUT IT WORKED! His hiccups went away. I apologized for scaring him out of his seat. I went back to the table to continue to help my other student and Mr. Hiccup made eye-contact with me and gave me a cute thumbs up! So sweet and I helped cure him. Made my day (especially after the Cowboys big loss last night)!

**Anyone want to share a fun/cute/funny student story that's happened this school year?** Please comment! I'd love to hear your stories!

Enjoy your week!
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just...CURRENTLY...

Hooking up with Oh' Boy Fourth Grade and her CURRENTLY Linky!

Here's mine!


So difficult for me to fill out! I have LOTS of things to say for all the categories!
But, I always have lots of things to say in general!

From my previous post...
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO REMEMBER 9/11 WITH YOUR CLASS?

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Zoo?, September 11th, Target SCORE,

OK, so why do short weeks feel like they are the longest weeks EV-ER?! We only had a 4 day week (Labor Day) that would NOT end!

On Friday, we were supposed to go to the ZOO to celebrate kids who read 100 minutes per week over the summer...well...I told my class over and over....rain or shine, we're going...be prepared! I get prepared...it's raining...get to work only to find out it's CANCELED! So the kids are saddened that they didn't get their promise (who can blame them) and to REPLACE the LIVE, real-LIVE animals...they watch Madagascar 2 in the gym...on the floor. I felt so sad for the kids... I know disappointment is part of life...but IT WAS SUNNY OUTSIDE! THEN at recess time it was INDOORS???????!!!!! Why you ask??? I HAVE NO IDEA!


So, Tuesday is September 11th. What do you do to remember with your class? Our Third Grade reads the book
Then we have the students trace each hand. On one hand, they write THANK YOU (to either police, fire, armed services, etc.) and on the other hand they write My hero is.... They can fill in anyone who they believe is their hero. We (that's the teachers) take ALL the hands of Third Graders and assemble them in the cafeteria windows...which face the front of school and the main street...into a GINORMOUS American Flag! It looked Spectacular last year! I will remember to take a picture when it's finished Tuesday and share!

Went to Target today! Their Dollar section is 70% off! So I SCORED on more packs of bookmarks ($.30 each pack), Various flashcards (zoo animals, USA Landmarks, Presidents, etc. $.30), MORE pocket charts ($.30)...AND a HUGE, red bean bag chair at $9! WOO HOO! Of course I already paid full price for the dollar spot stuff earlier...but couldn't resist such a great deal! 

Thursday night I set aside all grading and planning...to relax and watch the MTV VMAs! They are one of my fave award shows to watch! LOVED LOVED LOVED Pink's performance of Blow Me One Last Kiss... Can't wait to download her new album coming out! 
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This is a picture of Pink I took at her concert...I was THIS close! FUN RIGHT?!
So excited she'll be on tour again soon!
I listen to Pink on the way to work when I wanna kick butt!

Enjoy your week!

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Reading Benches, Success, Reward Freebies

Second week of school, SUCCESS!
Students are getting used to the routines, things that make me tick, and how to behave properly. I downloaded the "Rockin' Student Behavior" from Babblin' Abby.
Loving the clip up, clip down system! I was so sick of pulling tickets and am enjoying the fact that kids can still clip up and save themselves from a minor clip down... I'm having the kids add a sparkly jewel to their clothespin if they clip up on one of the top two colors. Once they get 5 jewels, they can pick out of a reward jar... My rewards are non-tangible. I've used these for the past 15 years since meeting my mentor teacher...I've modified throughout the years. I took some ideas from First Grade Fever with the "stinky feet" and "line jumper"...but the rest I've used FOR-EV-ER.

Here are the cards if you so wish to use them---just click on the pic! My daughters helped me come up with some of the creative titles...along with some giggles making them...



My brother in law gave my hubby some cabinets since he was remodeling his kitchen...Hubby mostly hung them in the garage and some in the basement...I saw two left over in the garage...and said..."um, hubby...what are you doing with those two (the kind that go over a fridge or oven/range)? can I have them?" After a strange look...he said..."whyyyy"? I told him my plan to turn them into benches for my classroom...he still looked at me like I was nuts, but he just goes along with my insanity since...I'm always right...*wink wink*.

SOOOOO, I went to Home Depot, where they KINDLY cut some thick plywood to the sizes of the tops of the cabinets...I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics where I picked out some fabric and fluffy batting, purchased *with teacher discount*...brought home... I took the plywood and wrapped it up with the batting and fabric...like a present...used a staple gun to staple the fabric to the bottom... THEN hubby helped me attach the fabulously wrapped plywood to the tops of the cabinets with "L" brackets and

WAH LA! I have 2 benches for students to sit on AND THEY HAVE STORAGE!!!! Soooo great, RIGHT?! The kids LOVE to sit on them! The cute little pillows were sewn by my oldest daughter (I can not sew...Grandma taught her)!

~close up of one reading nook
~bench with storage
~other bench with more storage

Curriculum Night (when the parents come in, I present a Power Point about expectations) was a SUCCESS. Only 4 students' parents didn't show...One of them had surgery earlier that day and another was at a family member's wake... So that was a FANTASTIC turn out! It's just easier to explain everything in person... and it's so nice to see parents face-to-face AND realize how "THE APPLE DOESN'T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE"!

So behind on grading papers and lesson planning...hoping this LONG weekend will help me get ahead.

Yay! Successful week!
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Freebie, catch up, snowballs

HELLO! I'm back from beyond! I survived the first week of school!!! It was exciting and chaotic!

I love, love, love meeting my new students! I already have a few who are choosing to push my buttons right away...So I pulled one student up and said "I can't believe what a great student you are! I hope you are a terrific student all year long!" Ummmm, he grinned a BIG-OLE grin, and has been an angel all week! I'm hoping it worked... a little reverse psychology?

Can't spill the specifics (privacy and all), but I have a celebrity's child in my class! How exciting is that?! I'm star struck pretty easily...but this is so fun!

Don't remember where I saw this...but I had the kids fill out an "all about me" paper. When all were finished, I had them all stand up and told them to make their papers into a "snowball". *GASP*! You want us to crinkle up our papers?!?!?! Yes! So they crinkled their papers into snowballs and they got to throw snowballs in class 3 times...below the shoulders... Then we all sat down with one snowball in hand...I called on students by pulling sticks...the student shared 3 things from the paper and the rest of the class took 2 guesses to see if we could guess whose snowball they had. It was a blast! They were shocked that I had them crinkle a school paper...then actually throw it in the classroom...let alone *at* a student!

Chaotic?! Bus mess ups, all week with no student health info (just kinda important, seeing there are peanut allergies and other health issues), scheduling...

I am going to display ELA and Math Standards I am teaching for the day in a pocket chart. So, I made some little Rock Star Themed Headers... Enjoy a FREEBIE! This *should* link up to my TPT store.


Since it was soooo crazy and we have Curriculum Night for the parents this upcoming week, I forgot to take pics of my new craftiness! I will take some pics of my classroom, post those this week, and show you my new craftiness that I am THRILLED about!

I'll talk to you sooooner!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Teeth, Birthday Treats for Students

TEEEEEETH! I finally get into my classroom, have my daughters helping me like crazy...we're accomplishing lots...until BOOM! My youngest falls flat on her face! She knocked 2 permanent teeth loose and 1 baby tooth loose. Blood everywhere...lip cut open...so leave work...go to immediate care...then emergency ortho (she just got braces)...then to emergency dentist.... Both dentist and Orthodontist said the braces saved her teeth...WHEN WILL I GET BACK IN MY CLASSROOM?!?!?! Today I take her back to dentist for x-rays. Praying there's no extensive damage...


Well, I  my youngest daughter finished the little bday treats I give to students. Here's a look at everything in one pic...
I save toilet paper and paper towel rolls (cut those the size of toilet paper tubes). I wrapped tissue paper around the tube...attached a small piece of tape...tied off one end with ribbon...

Youngest daughter stuffed in each one...
some confetti (not pictured)
one bouncy ball (kids LOVE these)
small sheet of rock star stickers
rock star homework pass
one mini mechanical pencil (pack of 3 for $.50)
one eraser topper
and two suckers!!!
I tied off the other end with ribbon.

All the little gifts go into a "Birthday Basket" (a basket with various colors of ribbon at top) and on the student's birthday, we sing a quick version of "Happy Birthday"...and the student gets a little treat... These have been so successful! They love the little trinkets...I've helped make their bday special...and it barely cost me. For summer birthdays...We do the "half birthday"...you know, half way til their bday!

Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Freebies...Rock Star Chair


OK so I've been a little busy. BUT not busy enough considering I only have 6 work days to have my room up and running! AAARRRGGGHHH! just a little bit stressed

And I haven't even been in my room since the beginning of June!

Since being home, I've created Party Like a Rock Star Birthday passes. I make each student a little birthday treat to enjoy on their birthday. I'm going to add these cute little passes...something about not having to do homework that the kids just eat up! 

So, enjoy if it works for your class!

I am NOT buying desk plates this year! I am going to use the ones below to go with my Rock Star theme that I created! Yay me! Feel free to use this too! It *should* open in Google Docs for you to print.


NOW THIS I AM SOOOOO PROUD OF!!!! I made a Rock Star chair for my classroom! I got the idea off of Pinterest (of course). I stole took a chair from my girls' crafting table in the basement...sanded it down...painted it (two coats)...added all the fun details! Took me about 5-6 days. I even let the girls paint a section on their own... with my "constructive criticism".

Here's the front!

Here's the back!


To continue my LONG list of things to do...I *plan* on making my children assemble those birthday treats/trinkets tonight and will post the finished product. They are always a big hit in class!

I'm going to attempt to be motivated enough to trace guitars on cute metallic shiny poster board I bought at the teacher's store for ceiling decor! AND to top off my trip to the teacher's store today...I ran into a friend! HI FRIEND!!!! It was so fun chatting with her! She FINALLY has her own classroom all to herself...and 28+ second graders!

Yeah...we'll see how much more I can get done tonight.

back to "busy"ness...

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ARRGH IT'S ALMOST AUGUST! (in one hour)

So, tomorrow is August 1st! Where the heck did summer go? I could have logged in hundreds of hours looking up ideas for my classroom and making crafts for the classroom!

I've been saving toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls to make my usual birthday gifts for the students. They always turn out cute and are filled with little inexpensive trinkets the kids love.  I will post a pic when I finish (whenever that may be).

Besides a busy home life of taking the girls to their activities on a daily basis and *trying* to keep up with house stuff, I've been one hard working teacher! I say HA to those people who say..."you have such a nice job with the summers off...must be nice".

I want to get started on a master math journal. My teacher friend has done this for years in the way of vocab words, define, small description. I need (yes, still) to make a master copy for myself. If I don't, I WILL NOT STICK TO IT! Same with Reading Workshop...I need a master copy. I start out strong every year...then it just gets busy and...you know what I'm talking about!

Well, here's to getting my rear in gear! I should be actually posting HELPFUL stuff soon!
Gimme a break, I'm new at this!

Laters baby ;)
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blog Learning

Well, I am learning a whole lotta stuff about blog design! It only took a few minutes  HOURS. I'm hoping what I just accomplished was adding a little signature to the post! I also added an anchor to my header!!!! With the much needed help of the blog..."The Cutest Blog On The Block"! Thank goodness for tutorials! Now I need to learn to add buttons and other bloggy things! But I'm thinkin' it'll have to wait until tomorrow...I'm wiped! Until next time...
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