Friday, April 25, 2014

Five for Friday--bursting with excitement!

I'm linking up the Doodle Bugs

At an assembly on Monday I was surprised to be awarded a Century Link Technology grant for $4700! 

I was so shocked I couldn't even speak. My little darlings were cheering for me and all I could think of was how happy they'll be when I can get 10 more iPads for my class! 

We're working on fractions this week. Here's a peek at what my student teacher did with them on Monday. Have I mentioned how awesome she is? She was being observed by her UNM supervisor on the first day back from spring break, after a really crazy assembly. Bless her heart!
Activities from the Teacher Wife. Click here to get it!

Tuesday, we used an activity from the fab Amy Lemons. They were so excited to make these pizza fractions! Again, I forgot to take a picture until it was in the hall. Sorry for the icky quality.
Isn't it adorable? It's only $2!! Click here to get it.

It couldn't be all fun and games this week...I had to start DRA testing, which is a reading test we have to do three times a year. Don't get me wrong, I hate testing, but I think this actually gives some good information and is fairly reliable (unlike our district math test, gag). Unfortunately, it is very time consuming and must be administered one on one. At this point in the year, most of the kids have to write their answers instead of orally retelling and answering comprehension questions. I try to make it a little less painful by letting them sit on comfy pillows or the bean bag to work. 
I've been a little concerned about my daughter's bruise. She is a beast of a soccer player and was kicked really hard a few weeks ago. It made a huge, nasty bruise. She got kicked there again the following weekend and again last weekend. She is icing it frequently (even at school) but it is still swollen. She has some games this weekend at which college coaches will be in attendance and wants to be in tip top shape. She says it doesn't hurt. I'm not sure how it can't. Ouch! I would be the biggest baby if this was on my leg.
Left is the first week, right is almost four weeks later. 
We have a big soccer weekend! My daughter is playing several games in front of college coaches and my coed rec team is playing for first place in the (last) division! Woot woot! The winning team gets a t-shirt! We are seriously out there to have fun, but when there is a t-shirt on the line....things are going to get serious on Sunday morning! Wish us both luck (and nice weather this time)! Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I'm having a sale!!

Just a quick note to let you know I'm having a sale in my TPT store! Everything is 20% off through Monday. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday--Spring Break Style

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!
I've had a very nice (but kinda busy) spring break. Here are a few highlights:

First off, my hubs and I decided that our patio furniture cushions were getting kinda yucky so we started the search for replacements. We are blessed to live on the golf course right by the pond so we actually see water here in NM. When people come over they are surprised that there is actually water here.

We love hanging out on our covered patio so we felt that buying new cushions would be worth the investment. I'm telling you, we went everywhere! Nothing really struck my fancy until we got to (believe it or not) Walmart. I actually never shop there, but it was right next to Home Depot so my sweet hubby dragged me over there. I'm the kind of girl that can't explain what I want but I know it when I see it. Sadly, we had to go to three different Walmarts to find the cushions I liked and I'm still one short.

Last summer I cut 11 inches off my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. I really enjoyed my short hair but decided to try to grow it out again. I just couldn't deal with it anymore so I cut it off again.
I was also really looking forward to having a couple of lunch dates with dear friends this week. That is one of the best things about spring break: eating lunch slowly instead of shoveling it in as fast as you can so you can still get to the potty and maybe even make a last minute copy of something before your 29 minutes is up.
I did get some work done too! I have been working on some multiplication task cards with QR codes (check them out in my TPT store). It is really nice to actually have the time to work on something when inspiration hits. I also started some cutesy task card sets but haven't figured out what to put on them yet. I bought this awesome product to get me organized by Shroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and it has really helped nail down some of my ideas that are usually swirling in my head.

I've been so busy this week and it was brought to my attention (by my sweet hubby) that I haven't really done anything special with the girls. They are busy teenagers but still want to hang with their mom so I'm going to take them to a movie this evening and finally see Divergent.

I can't believe it is already Friday. Boo hoo! My spring break is almost over but we only have 4.5 weeks left! Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Do you have Friday Fun in your classroom?

When I first started teaching I didn't like the idea of Friday Fun. I though it was not educational and a waste of time. Then, I became friends with a veteran teacher and she showed me how important Friday Fun can be. This is a picture of a pattern block design one of my students made during Friday Fun.

My principal gives me a ton of freedom to do what I want in my classroom, but IF she were to ask me to justify having Friday Fun in my classroom I would have no trouble. I use this block as time for students to catch up on work they didn't finish during the week. I can also work with this small group of students because the rest of the class is happily engaged. I have 3 student computers and 3 iPads for students to use and those are always 6 stations. I always have a creative station (art, book making, coloring pages, etc.), a board game station, and a building block station. Believe it or not, the most popular thing to sign up for, at least for the girls, is to be my helpers. These helpers set up the class store and run it independently, put mail in boxes, tidy up, organize papers for me and sharpen pencils. They are my sweet little minions and they love it!

Everyone knows that CCSS is rigorous and with all the testing, we feel the pressure to have these little kids working bell to bell. Normally I do, but for 45 minutes each week the kids that have worked really hard get to have a little down time. The amazing thing about Friday Fun is when they have the time and freedom to just be creative, whether it's designing intricate pattern block designs or creating books and writing stories, or just building a block city with a couple of buddies. They are working on social skills and, more often than not, having a chance to apply what we've been learning in class to a new situation. Last week I overheard conversations about symmetry, 3-D shapes, telling time, and two students who were cowriting a mini book were talking about characters and setting. The kids enjoy Friday Fun so much that they usually work pretty hard during the week to earn it. Talk about motivation!

Do you have Friday Fun in your class and what activities do you set up?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for my first Wordless Wednesday.

These are designs done by a couple of students during Friday Fun last week. My question is: Do you have Friday Fun/ Self Selection in your class? How do you "justify" it?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Flip Flap Book Report Project--50% off

After some internet struggles this morning, I was finally able to upload my newest product:
click here to get it

I assigned this project to my students and they were so excited to make all those flip flap books. They were also excited to make their own lapbook about their book. In order to make all the flip flap books fit, I added a page to the inside of the file folder. If you cut off the shorter side of a file folder (I used some old folders that had writing on the tab) and glue the "bendy" part to the inside, you can make extra pages. The "bendy" part is the part that is usually at the bottom of the file that allows it to expand. It makes a PERFECT page inside the file folder. 

If you don't have enough file folders, you can also give the students poster board or staple sheets of construction paper together to make a book, which is what I usually do for our lapbooks. This product contains everything you'll need, except of course, a book! My students were really enthusiastic about this project because they got to choose any chapter book, as long as it was a fiction book. Here's what you'll find in this product:

Oh, did I mention that it is 50% off right now???? Run over to my TPT store and grab it up!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five For Friday- I made it to Spring Break!!!!!!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday...and then I'm getting myself a tropical drink!

This week was a wild one with my little wild ones! I barely had a chance to take pictures, but I did manage a few. Most of my kids finally finished their Polygons with Personality stories, whew! Some of them were really awesome/funny/silly. Check out Clutterfree Classroom's lesson here. I'm sorry about the yucko pictures. I completely forgot to take pics until they were up on the hallway wall. 
My awesome (have I mentioned this before?) student teacher did a great lesson on area with our kiddos. She had different sized squares and asked kids to cover their desks with them. They discussed why there had to be more of the smaller sized squares. I think it took her FOREVER for her to cut them out! I really hope she can find another use for these perfectly cut squares.  

We've zoomed through our spelling program and are on our last week of spelling tests and homework! Woohoo! It is way too early to quit giving out homework so I came up with a book report project for them to do over the next three weeks. At first I was going to throw it together, but 5+ hours later, I had a pretty good project that I'll be posting to my TPT store this weekend. My colleague and I put the packets together on Wednesday and I have to say that the kids are pretty excited about it. They'll read a chapter book and make their very own lapbook about it. I'll blog about it when I get it uploaded. Make sure you follow my TPT store so you'll be notified when it has been added. I'll offer a 50% discount for the first couple of days. Here's a sneak peek:

Have you tried GoNoodle yet? OMG, my kids are obsessed (and so am I) with this awesome brain break site. They absolutely love the Happy song with the Minions. They broke into a spontaneous conga line today! It was so cute. If you haven't checked it out, do it right now! There are also calming brain breaks and the best part is that it is free! 

Last Sunday I took my daughter to Alamosa, CO to play a couple of soccer scrimmages with the teams from Adams State and Otero Junior College. She's a junior in HS but is looking to play soccer in college so her coach set up these scrimmages so the girls can see the level of play that will be expected of them. It was an eye opening experience, especially the weather! Ummm, to say it was cold is an understatement. It was freezing! Luckily, I had my trusty sleeping bag, down jacket, gloves and scarf in the car. A soccer mom is always prepared! I had to take a picture from my little peephole in the sleeping bag so that people would believe how much it was snowing!
The green "grass" is actually turf. This is the beginning of the snow.
My daughter is #26 :)

Spring Break starts today after the kiddos leave and I can't believe how busy my break will be! Between lunch dates with friends, a haircut, a visit to my grandma, Easter, and a couple of meetings, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to make products and blog, but I'm going to try! I actually crave being busy, I'm weird like that.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five for Friday

What a crazy, windy, sneezy, fun week! This week's Five for Friday linkup with Doodlebugs is truly random.

First, we started the week with a new math unit: Geometry. My fab student teacher went all out with her lesson. She found this idea and some other great Geometry products at The Clutter-free Classroom.
Monday was my birthday and when I fired up Google Chrome, I saw this:
I thought, "Oh how cute all those desserts are!" so I hovered over it to see what it was all about and it said, "Happy Birthday Suzy". I just about fainted! I swear I didn't know it would do that on my birthday. It was so cool, I had to call over all my colleagues and show them.

Over the next 5 years our school will get a complete makeover! I get to be on the building committee and we took a field trip to see a couple of schools that are about our size and have newer, two story buildings. I fell in love with one of the schools. Let me tell you, these classrooms had so much storage!!!! They each had a huge closet and these adorable cubby/coat/backpack hooks built in! My classroom has no storage and I hate all the backpacks, coats, and lunches along the wall because they never stay on the dinky little hooks.

Now I just have to wait 5 years to get a new classroom. *big sigh*
Our school carnival, The Husky Howl, is today so we had to come up with a booth as a grade level. We're doing an Estimation Jar booth this year and so we asked parents to save jars and send them in so we could fill them. The kids get 4 guesses per ticket and we can only give them hints such as "higher" or "lower". The kids L-O-V-E this booth because if they guess correctly they get a big ol' jar of stuff! I didn't take a picture of the complete mess as we were elbow deep in jars, candy, toys, gum, and other stuff, but I did snap a picture of the table with some of the jars on display. Thank you to my lovely 2nd grade team!!! Love ya'

Spring in New Mexico means wind, wind, and more wind. Wind means allergies. Allergies mean lots of tissues. Lots of tissues means a red nose. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I am personally responsible for using 3 entire boxes of tissues this week. NONE of the allergy or decongestants really work for long so I'm either kinda fuzzy-brained or always on the verge of a sneeze. I'm quite afraid that I have THAT face. You know the one? The one that is about to sneeze. Yep, any second now. Almost it's gone. That's my face. All.Day.Long.