Friday, March 28, 2014

Five For Friday- Two Weeks in a Row???

Last week and this week? I may be on a roll, but it's too soon to tell. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five For Friday.

 Signs of spring are everywhere! Trees are blooming, the weather is warming up, and the grass is getting green again. Also, the kids are restless. We have two more weeks until spring break! Just keep swimming...
I have a lovely little patio outside the back door of my classroom and I can't help but smile when I walk by these beauties.

This is also the time of year when kids really start to enjoy reading. They are allowed to find a comfy place to read and choose their own books. Often they are reading more complex texts such as chapter books and science texts. I love to see the variety of books they are choosing to read independently. 

I have a little guy in my class that is just so wiggly and unable to focus. I have tried various methods to get him to complete tasks in a timely manner. He has a bungie cord tied around the legs of his chair, lightly weighted lap pillows, and other sensory tools. He also is VERY smart. He is capable of doing the work, but just can't focus long enough to finish it. One thing he is pretty motivated by is computer time. He also has some trouble with social skills so I combined those two things as a reward. If he completes 10 tasks, he gets 15 minutes of free time on the computer with a buddy. He also can't stand to have things on his desk, so I hung this chart on the wall across from where he sits so he can see it. He is pretty motivated this week. Let's hope it lasts longer than the other strategies I've tried. Here's a picture of my latest attempt (sorry for the poor quality):

I'm trying my hand at close reading lately and it is pretty difficult sometimes. I found this awesome freebie packet Close Reading Passage Freebie for Spring by 24/7 Teacher.

It is an awesome pack if you are interested in trying it with your class. Let me tell you, we're struggling to do this deep thinking. I don't know if it's the warm weather or what! Here's a picture of a student working on the questions and flipping back to the text to make sure she is citing evidence!

My students are just so cute! One of them wrote a note to each student in the class inviting the students to a class meeting (at recess!) to discuss my birthday! It is just too precious! I tried really hard not to notice. I found a note while they were at art to take a picture of: 

Well, that was my week! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sunshine Award

I got nominated by Amy at Albuquerque Amy's First Graders for the Sunshine Blogger Award.
Here are the rules: 
1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers you think bring sunshine to the world.
4. Make up 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

Here goes my randomness:
1. I have been playing soccer since first grade.
2. I love daffodils.
3. I'm obsessed with salted caramel anything.
4. I love coffee and tea, sweetened and with cream.
5. I have attended three different universities (NMSU, UNLV, UNM) but all my degrees are from UNM.
6. I would wear flip flops everyday if I could.
7. I hate snow.
8. I'm a good cook, but a not so good baker.
9. I've been on 5 cruises and wish I could go on one a year.
10. I'm an early bird.
11. My dog has at least 20 nicknames.

Now for Amy's questions:
1. If was it was your birthday and you could do ANYTHING you want, what would it be? I would go on a Hawaiian cruise. See random fact #9
2. What’s your #1 favorite book? The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
3. If you could play any sport, what could it be? I've always wanted to try Roller Derby. I think I'll settle for coed rec soccer, though.
4. Could you not watch TV for one month? If I had enough books and internet I could.
5. Who is your biggest role model in life? My parents because they taught me to work hard and try to be the best at whatever I do.
6. What are your nicknames? My husband calls me Princess and my sister calls me Squeesties but most people call me Suzy or Suz.
7. What did you want to do with your life when you were 7? I wanted to be an archaeologist. My grandfather had a subscription to National Geographic and I always loved the issues with archaeology. The problem is that I don't like to get dirty. Or go without plumbing.
8. If you could have ANY superpower, what would it be? I would like to be able to fly so I can get places faster. 
9. If you had to wear pants or a dress for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Pants for sure. Things could get awkward if I had to play soccer in a dress. 
10. Why do you think there are SO many women teacher bloggers but not a lot of men? Women don't mind sharing their thoughts. Many men have trouble with this concept. 
11. What or who made you want to teach or work with children? I have always loved school and would play teacher with my little sisters. I used to hang around after school and help my teachers. I just love to spread the joy of learning.

Now for my Sunshine Blogger Nominees (I'm sorry if you've already been nominated):
4. Appsolutely April (a great tech blog)

And now for my questions:
1. What is your favorite meal?
2. What is your favorite vacation?
3. What is your best childhood memory?
4. What was your favorite toy/game as a child?
5. What do you think you'll be doing in 20 years?
6.What is your biggest fear?
7. Would you rather be blind or deaf?
8. What is one thing you wish you could have a "do-over" on?
9. What is your ideal day off from work/chores/etc.?
10. What would you do with $1,000,000?
11. What is your favorite flower?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five For Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for the Five for Friday link up, which I rarely do because I'm so dang tired by the end of the week. I decided to start early in the week, and spend just a couple minutes each day writing about what we did. What a concept, right?

First off, I love nice feedback, but I got the B-E-S-T feedback on one of my products this weekend! It really made all my hard work pay off. Check it out:

Monday was St. Patty's day and I threw our normal routines out the window for a little fun (and learning!) Leprechaun style. I have been fighting a cold so I just didn't have the energy to do the leprechaun traps and messing up the room business, but I found a bunch of great (FREEBIE) activities to do with my class. I started out with this one I found from The Teacher Wife. They had to write about someone who is worth more to them than gold. Honestly, all of their answers were precious, but I just loved these:

My students have been working on their space research reports and most of them are finishing up. Today I gave them some sentence starters so they could write a 3-5 sentence speech to go along with their reports. I used the sentence starters because no matter how many times I tell them to use sentence variety and no matter how many times I have made them rewrite those sentences that start with the same word, they will still write, "Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun. Jupiter is a gas giant. Jupiter has a giant storm on it." BORING! I was very pleased with their work today because they had 7 choices of sentence starters and almost every kid had some great writing. Next, I'll record the audio of their speech and make it into a QR code to attach to their reports. They L-O-V-E to hear their voices when they scan the QR code. Here's a picture of one of their reports, minus the QR codes, which will be added next week. I got these Solar System and Planet Flipbook Reports from Creative Classroom Lessons.


I have had this stupid cough for an eternity (it seems) and my hubby finally convinced me to go to the doctor Wednesday. Well, it turns out I have bronchitis and he gave me a mess of prescriptions to take and amazingly, I feel so much better! He was concerned that if I waited any longer it could have turned into pneumonia! Yikes. I guess I will have to start listening to my hubby, at least once in a while. 

Finally, spring is in the air! We are finally having some nicer weather and I'm really hoping it will stick around. I've been hearing about other teachers going on spring break next week and I'm so jealous because ours isn't until April 14th, which seems so far away! Three more weeks? Can I make it? I'm ready for flip flops right now!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm curious, when is your spring break?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

St. Patty's Day Math Task Cards {SALE}

I'm not sure why I like St. Patrick's Day so much. Maybe because I just love this time of year, with the temps warming up and the daffodils popping up (my fave flower!). It's also my birthday month!!! I've been wanting to make a new St. Patty's Day product for my math block to help keep my kids fresh on some previously taught skills. I decided to make two smaller task card sets and bundle them together.
 My kids go crazy over QR codes so, even though it took a little longer to finish, I included them on these task cards. I normally set up an iPad as a checking station but sometimes I'll let the kids grab an iPad and scan the cards.
Sorry for the blurry pic, but you can see a student scanning a QR code on a task card to check his answers. They are very excited when they get the answer correct! 

Our math units since Winter break have been measurement, time, money and word problems. I've been sneaking in practice of addition and subtraction during math stations, but they need continued practice. I also have a little problem of kiddos not checking the signs on their problems so I mixed it up and put both addition and subtraction on one set of task cards. 
I also want them to keep practicing those coin counting skills.
Each task card set comes with a student recording sheet and answer key. 

Get on over to my TPT store to grab a set while they're still 50% off!!!! Don't forget your green on Monday!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Currently {Guess My Question and WIN!}

I've been so flippin' busy lately that I haven't blogged much. I decided to take a break from grading/report cards/laundry/thinking about dinner to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th grade for the March Currently. I have to say that I just love her new blog design and feeling a little jealous...

It's already 5:30 so I better get my tushie in gear. Here goes:
My honey has been wanting to watch this movie forever! I can't explain why (I do love Tom Hanks), but it just doesn't sound that interesting. Knowing that I'd be slaving away over report cards, he decided that today would be the perfect day to grab it at the Redbox. He's cuddled up with my 13 year old while my 16 year old is "doing her homework" (aka playing with the dog and tweeting/snapchatting/whatever she does on her phone). 

The regular season of soccer started up today. Of course we've had lovely weather in the 60's all week but today it rained (only during the game of course). Yes, here in the desert, we actually got rain. To top it off, it was also windy. Seriously, tumbleweeds were dancing across the field. It was seriously yucky. Luckily, I was armed (like all good soccer moms) with a plethora of blankets, gloves, scarves, and a giant umbrella. I know we've been lucky to have escaped all the really crazy weather, so I shouldn't complain, especially since BOTH girls won their games. All is well in the Palmer household. 

I guess the next three all go together. The little darlings don't have school on Thursday and Friday so we can hold parent teacher conferences. I have 24 kids plus 2 that come for inclusion (science, social studies, specials, lunch, etc.) so I have to attend 26 conferences. I've done the math: 26x30 minutes each=13 hours of talking. I never talk that much. To top it all off, I've had most parents request Thursday and being the accommodating teacher that I am, there will be 18 conferences on Thursday. Yes, the fun will start at 7:30 and won't end until 6:30. The upside? I will be done by noon on Friday!!!!!! 

Can you guess my question for the answer "6"? If you can (or even get close) I will give you one item from my TPT store. By the way, there are 2 possible questions that will fit and if you paid attention to what I said, you might have a better chance. 

Enjoy your weekend!!