Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Saw it on Pinterest

As you know I LUV LUV LUV Pinterest, so it is only natural that I join up on this linky party...
...and I will try not to let this post get too long, but I have found a ton of good classroom finds lately!


First I saw this table, and I would love to have it in my classroom! But I don't have a ton of extra room (and definitely won't next year!) but I do have a school issued circle table...so after a little convo with my mom I decided to do the next best thing...cover my circle table with black contact paper!  I am also making the crate seats like in the pic as well!

Source: etsy.com via Jessica on Pinterest
Love this idea!  Fill a straw dispenser with pencils, and students recieve one with a push of a lever...I have already located an acrylic one (so you can see when you are running low and need a refill!)  This will also be an excellent example when we get to simple machines! :)


How cheery would it be to walk into your brand new classroom on Meet Your Teacher Day and see a balloon with your name on it!!!  Wouldn't you be excited to get back for the first day of school!  I would love to do this but I am concerned about making the other fourth graders jealous. ;)

I love this both as a get-to-know-you activity and a parts of speech review...each letter of the name is filled with a different part of speech about you.  Too fun!

This is Math Taboo.  Now it could be beneficial as a teacher-created activity...but wouldn't it be even more valuable as a student created activity...not only in the math classroom but subject!
I will leave you with these...but if you want to see more of what "I Saw on Pinterest" be sure to follow me!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Shopping

Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged...I have been a very busy girl! :)  I have been to two two-day workshops: one on our new Science textbook adoption and one on Implementing the Math Common Core.  I finished the second out of three courses of my gifted certification/endorsement.  I have been an online lesson planning fool (and I thought up until today that it was getting quicker!).  Finally planning an adorable baby shower to take place the Saturday after the first week of school.  Combine that with all the things I want to get done for my classroom...and I will need a vacation from summer vacation!

I have done a little shopping for back to school and much of it arrived today!  So, I want to show you what I have gotten as part of...
One of my new online shopping finds is Fabric.com.  A box came today with supplies for classroom projects...
I am redoing the tags on my classroom library baskets.  When you re-do the tags, you of course have to get new ribbon too!  I love this Dippy Dots ribbon to accompany my new all polka-dot theme.




Another project, I am working on is making crate seats.  You know the seats made out of the filing milk crates?  Well the fabric for those seats came in the same box as the ribbon.  I love the colors...they make me sooo happy!

Next came a box from TeacherDirect...Amazingly enough I placed this order on Monday morning, and my box was on my doorstep Tuesday afternoon!  Wowee!

I get my students special math journals each year.  I like them to have composition books with gridded pages...but this year I found these cool ones...
As you can see below, they have a grid on top and ruled lines on bottom!  Perfect for math journaling!  And they cost about $0.80 less than the ones I usually get! 
While I was shopping on Teacher Direct, I stopped by their clearnance page and found some cool things to support our science...

Our second unit is Sun, Moon, and Stars, and I found this cool moon globe...
It has the landings of all the moon missions labeled, the seas, and the visible hemisphere of the moon...perfect for our studies!

Another clearance find was this little kit...
Light is our third unit of study...and we talk about the different kinds of lenses and reflection.  I love the lenses in this kit because they aren't glass, so no worries about anyone with a case of the "dropsies!"  I also love the mirror because it comes with a holder that allows you to show a convex and concave mirror.
I have some more shopping to do, but I need to wait for payday to do it...I will be sure to share my finds though! :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

More New Technology Finds

I have been scouring the internet for more technology to help me in instructing students online...and I am really getting into the Web2.0 craze!  (The new buzz word for the more interactive internet!)  I have found some pretty cool sites...some may be new to you and you will be just as super excited as I am... some may not but if you are like me, I can always use a good reminder!  Some of these I found on my own and others were shared with me at a school system inservice.

Glogster

Gone are the days of the plain old poster when you can make a virtual poster with animation, audio, and video clips!  Have you played with Glogster yet?  I did a little playing and here is what I created...
Now this is my first effort at creating one of  a glog, so please don't be too judge-y! :)


Popplet

Do you use concept maps?  Want to make them more interesting?  Then this is another cool online app!  It once again allows you to insert video into you concept map.  Here is a simple one that I created about multiplication...
I think my students would have a fun time creating one of these!


GoAnimate

If your students love cartoons as much as mine do, then this is a great website to help you create some more interesting instruction.  And it was so much fun too!  Take a look at what I made...

Make a Video - Powered by GoAnimate.

I could see my student completing reading responses with this or any other types of reports!

I will keep playing and designing and show you what else I come up with...but for now do you see yourself using any of these tools in your instruction?

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Check is in the Mail

It feels like it has been a little while since I have written a "real" blog post about what is happening in my classroom...that is the trouble with summer vacation! 

This doesn't mean I have been hard at work...I so have!  Besides working on my online lessons and my whole other bucketlist of things to do, I have been starting to revise some things for next year school year...starting with lessons that I will start off with in August!

One big unit I do starting the first week of school ties introducing my classroom management/behavior plan into economics learning.  We learn about concepts like opportunity cost, income, expenses but also budgeting, saving, and spending.  Students get to put this into practice by earning Caught You Being Good Coins or CYBG coins!  These are just coins similar to these that I purchased from Oriental Trading.  I hate that they don't still have the ones that I have...luckily they last a while and I have tons!

My students earn them for class participation, on-task behavior, following directions, kindness to others...you name the good behavior, they can earn a coin for it!  (My one rule is you don't ask for coins...you have to get "caught"!)  They get so well trained that just a clink of the coins gets behavior to straighten up quick!  (And later on in the year...I use this as an example of a learned animal behavior, and they are amazed!)  I so often have coins on me that I find them in all my pockets, my purse, my car, my bookbag, my coffee table at home...my friends are used to seeing them now!

My students also can earn coins for other things including their classroom jobs.  When I pay my students for completing their job, I don't just give them the CYBG coins...no way!  This is a real job we are talking about here!  So I write them a check to pay them for their services...
well...not a real check...but one that they can take to the classroom bank teller to trade for real CYBG coins!  Jackpot! :)  My kids love to get their check on Friday afternoon...and clamor to be first in line to get it cashed and add to their coin stash...counting and figuring how many more coins until they earn their desired prize.

I have so much to share with you later about this unit...other ways to earn coins, classroom jobs, my coin catalog...but for right now, I can share with how to get your own classroom checks!  You can go to either...
My Teacher's Notebook store
   

or

My TeachersPayTeachers store
    

Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Currently in June

It is a new month...so that means a new currently from Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade!  Here is my currently...I had to think hard about thinking...brain has not been working so hard since school has been out! :)


How sad is it that my big "went" for the year is going to the Georgia Aquarium...especially sad since it is 40 minutes away, and I went with 26 fourth graders!  Wow, I need a vacation bad! 
Anyone want to sponsor me??? :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What Are You Reading?

For me, each summer break usually consists of a lengthy reading list!  Some are professional reads, and a bunch of others are children's literature.  Let me share with you some of the professional books that are on my summer reading list...

Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement

Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth, Christopher Lehman


In Georgia, the 2012 - 2013 school year marks the adoption of the Common Core standards.  My principal assigned our school's leadership team (which I am a part of as grade level chair) to read this book since we are will be influential in the transition to Common Core.  At 230 pages, this will hopefully be a quick read but also knowing it is co-authored by Lucy Calkins will hopefully make it interesting too!

The Daily Five and The Cafe Book

Gail Boushey and Joan Moser


I am jumping aboard the Sisters train!  Looking at a class-size of nearly 30, I really need to improve my system to allow me to get more small group/individual time with students while the rest of the class is also doing something worthwhile!  I am looking forward to the online book club on these books for upper grades teachers being hosted over at  We Read, We Blog, We Teach.   

Igniting a Passion for Reading 

Steven Layne


I studied this book in a book group at school.  There are so many great ideas in here to motivate readers and making good book choices.  With the craziness of the end of the year, I have forgotten many of the good ideas that I want to implement...so I want to reread this book to get back some of them like The First Read Club and Hot Reads and more!

And an endless list of children's literature!

What books are on your summer reading list???  I can probably squeeze a couple more of your ideas onto my list! :)

Looking for more ideas for your summer reading? 

Click on the picture above to take a peek at the other participants summer readng lists!
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