Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's Time for a NEW Year! and a few Linky Partays!

WOW! There are lots of fun Linky Parties going on and I'm going to join several in one exciting post!
First up...Hosted by Kickin It in Kdg...
Since I am a COMPLETE INSTAGRAM ADDICT...this is the perfect Linky for me!
Seriously...I check my Instagram CONSTANTLY. You can find so many ideas for your classroom by following fabulous teachers...and grow some "friendships" over IG. Sounds silly, but for real, you learn so much about them personally and professionally.
Celebrating at Buca di Beppo for the girls' great work in school, 
Oldest earning her way to Valecdictorian of her class.
 Pumpkin patch fun and photos (just ordered some of these for my walls!)
Snow fun! Love that my girls hang out with eachother!

 The "eggsitement"of learning about animal cells.
 THE bet thing I started ALL YEAR!
Click on my Genius Hour Label to check it out!
 Some partner work on a novel study of Velveteen Rabbit-
Students came up with lesson to use PicCollage to create
story maps on iPads!
Local Church brings the teachers goodies ALL. THE. TIME! 
So grateful.
Our final project of the 2013 year...
Parent gifts...painting snowflakes on canvas.

My IGs that always make me smile...

 This is funny because I'm allergic to bees and this one would not leave me alone.
My epipen was in the car (far, far walk).
All the softball parents were more nervous than me!
 Little kid donated her hair to Locks of Love...
HER idea!
 Drawing from a student.
 A former student's parent went to this concert 
and brought this back for me...
She kept tagging me in IG during concert
because Pink is my FAVE!
SO SWEET of her to think of me!
 This just CRACKS ME UP! 
So glad my kids have a great sense of humor!
This is from yesterday's visit to the Museum of Science and Industry.
We had a fabulous time there!

SO GO AND LINK UP YOUR IG PICS! And remember to leave some love for at least THREE people...and of course...don't forget to follow ME if you aren't already!

NEXT Linky...
My Truth Monday with Sunny in Second Grade...

Define Challenge...noun
(taken from Dictionary.com)
1.a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
2.something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.: Space exploration offers a challenge to humankind.
3.a call to fight, as a battle, a duel, etc.
4.a demand to explain, justify, etc.: a challenge to the treasurer to itemize expenditures.
5.difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.

I chose challenge as my one little word because I want to challenge myself personally and professionally.
I want to challenge my own children to use their skills to the fullest potential.
I want to challenge students to explain and justify all work and be challenged in new ideas especially through Genius Hour.
I want to challenge administration to stop focusing EVERYTHING on testing!
TOO MUCH testing..there's not enough time to learn if we're always testing!

I've already started challenging myself!!! Personally, I haven't had pop since Christmas (it was two days before that, but I felt bad my mom specifically bought me Diet Coke on Christmas and felt obligated to drink it-I'll tell her for next time).
With challenge...I'm NOT looking for a fight or battle... 
I'm looking to increase skills and strength of the mind
What's your one little word?

LAST LINKY...but it's so fun, right?!??
Love this 2014 New Year's Resolution Linky by:
Personally: I read...but I save it for breaks, summer, etc. I need to fit reading into my daily routine.
Prof: OMG I need to be better about grading things and planning. Better, not perfect. I bring WAY TOO MUCH HOME. And if you haven't discovered the professional development of Twitter...YOU ARE MISSING OUT! NOT LYING. It's the best thing I've found of 2013! I've always had an acct, but finally learned how to use it. HOLY COW, it's professionally amazing and supportive!
Classroom: We all have those couple of students that just wear us out or make our skin crawl, right? I have to erase the behavior memories of 2013 and give them a fresh start. I already give myself a pep talk daily before walking in the room...
Blog: OK, so I have 800 followers on IG. I block the junk ones...I do have a few of my students following (which is why I keep my very bad potty mouth clean)...but I need y'all over here following me too! I may not give away things all the time...but I have some great things to say! (so i think. lol)
JustForFun: I'd love to get away. Doesn't need to be fancy. But we need to put some money aside for a vacation. 
If you're still with me on this LONG post...YOU ARE AWESOME.

It's snowing like crazy here...southwest of Chicago and expecting to get 5-7 inches by Thursday...
I need it to stop for a few hours  (starting at 7 specifically) so my family can make our NYE reservation!!!!!!! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Snowflake Art!

I was inspired by a Pin on Pinterest…
this one---

For Christmas/Holiday/dontcelebrateanything gifts, my students made Snowflake art on canvases!
And let me tell you…
They turned out fabulous!
Here's my sample I created…

**Edited to add: I just realized that blue tack is deceiving… that blue tack is one of those GIANT tacks. HA! The painting is on an 8X10 canvas.**
-Went to Michael's and bought 3 packs of 10 8x10 canvases for $20 each (if I decide to do this again, I'll be purchasing each pack separately with a 40% coupon on each plus teacher discount).
-I also got silver crafting paint, assorted shades of blue, and a purple… I bought the medium sized paints (got the cheapest).
-Bought two colors of ribbon…light and dark blue for hanging.
-Used a staple gun to attach the ribbon/
-Bought two rolls of wrapping paper.
-Borrowed the paint brushes from the "Art/PTO room" shhhhhhhh ;)
-Used masking tape from school
-Used giant bulletin board paper for floor

First thing all the students did was put their name on the wood frame of canvas on back.
I called the kids to the long paper on floor in groups and spaced them out, since it was going to be a multi-step painting process.
And they painted a coat of silver to cover the canvas.
 Once that dried, students used masking tape to design the snowflake…

I modeled each step on the Elmo, then invited students to the paper…
Then students chose their paint colors and began painting…

SO MESSY! haha, but i loved every moment of it! and besides…that's what the paper was for…

Next, they carefully peeled off the tape. I don't think you should let it dry overnight…I'm thinking the tape would stick too much.
Here are the results! ALL IN ONE DAY (the painting part of it).

After school, I did go back and use the silver paint to touch up the bleeding parts on all the kids' paintings…it didn't take long. I didn't take a picture of the paintings after touching up…these are the "before touchups".
I let them dry overnight and the following day, the students chose their ribbon for hanging (I stapled the ribbon to the wood on back with a staple gun).
Then they wrapped the paintings up and attached a card!
I was and still am…SO IMPRESSED!
And I have to tell you that the kids were so excited over this gift!  I hope the parents enjoyed the art as much as the kids enjoyed making them!

And while you're here… stop over at Fab and Fun in 4th!
She's giving away this adorable Scentsy Warmer for New Year's!
Click on the pic and it will take you to her blog!
Enjoy your day!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

13 in 2013

Linking up with some lovely ladies and reflecting on 2013! It's been exciting reading others' posts…hope you enjoy mine! (it took forever…but fun)

I love jeans and a comfy sweatshirt. My sweatshirt is so so so ratty and sewn in all kinds of places…it's currently in the wash…no photo (be happy).
We don't go out to movies much… We did go out and see Despicable Me 2 and that was funny!
I watch Elf several times a year….
My 12 year old daughter has recently taken an interest in Mean Girls, so I'm reliving that movie…over and over and over...
I love me some good TV…Here are just three of my MUST SEE TV…
Chicago Fire, Law and Order SVU, Scandal
Love me a chopped salad from Portillo's!

OMG! My have new thing is GENIUS HOUR!!!! Read all about it here and here … HEY, just go to the side and click on all my Genius Hour tags! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! and YOU will too!
This is tough. I am always grateful for everything I receive. 
Here's a pic I created and posted to Instagram…
This is a calendar my 4th grader made in school for us. 
There's a different poem each month!
Love it!
Haha! I realized that I never pinned this…I took a screen shot! 
Anyway… It's pinned now and we made these as parent gifts…
I'm working on a blogpost after this one…
about our classroom paintings!
They turned out FABULOUS!
I seriously have no "favorite" from the year. I love all my posts! For real. 
I love any of my posts that help others! Lately it's been my Genius Hour posts!
My best accomplishments from the year have all to do with my children…
First…My oldest was Valedictorian of her 8th grade class…
Um, that's number ONE out of over 420+ kids!!!!!
 She also pitched a no hitter in a tourney...

Middle kiddo sang the "Cup Song" and blew everyone away! 
(i was in tears)
And she was Student of the Month of all 6th graders (last school year, this calendar year)
Not only did Little kid have PERFECT ATTENDANCE,
She chopped off all her hair to donate to Locks of Love!
She did that all on her own thinking!

UGH, DO I HAVE TO PICK JUST ONE?!!? I'm always taking pics!
But I'm getting sleepy, so this is the one...
Although you can't really see my kids…this was a huge special moment for our family.
My husband has been a life long White Sox fan, so for Father's Day, we got him 
tickets for all of us to go to the game.
It was family day too, so the girls got to run the bases!
It was the first time! SO EXCITING!
THIS is it! A former student asked me to be her "Role Model"
for a Girl Scout meeting.
It was the most fabulous evening!
 I drove home that night feeling energized, inspired,
honored, humbled, and refreshed.

take it all in…all the time