Saturday, September 22, 2012

Drum roll please....

We have a winner for the Teaching Table app! 
And the winner is....
Congratulations Maegan! 
Check your email for instructions on how to get your copy of the Teaching Table App!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Fun New App!

First, I was so excited when I logged in today that...get this...I have had over 100,000 page views!  Wowwweee!  So exciting!  I love that you like what I have to say!  Thank you for looking, reading, pinning, and coming back!
 
Right this second, I really should be working on setting my beginning of the year goals...but I would rather tell you about a brand new iPad App that I was asked to look at called...
 
Here is a little video summary of what the app can do from their website...

 
This is a great resource designed for math teachers, and I think especially helpful for those teaching kindergarten through fourth grade. 
 
Here is what the Teaching Table app looks like when you open it up...  
This is a tutorial lesson, so you can learn all about the available resources and widgets that are inside the app...And as far as tutorials go, Teaching Table's tutorial is very helpful and interactive...just like the app!
 
The learning curve is not too steep...you simply have to learn all that is available to use!
 
There are counters, counting boxes, and quiz box widgets.  See how you can use Teaching Table to help your students move from concrete to abstract thinking...
Each widget is customizeable.  Look at all the color counters you can make...and this isn't all of the possibility of colors!
 There are fabulous fraction resources...see how you can even layer the wholes to compare fractional parts!
And since you can push out your lessons to other iPads with the app...look at the practice your students can get! 
 
You also get dice...and they even roll!  Oooo! Small group game fun! 
And shapes...I was reminded of The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns because you can add so many sides your polygon will look like a circle!
Teaching Table also includes base-ten blocks in units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. 
So you can create arrays for multiplying.  There is a limit to how small you can make your base-ten blocks, so this app is better for multiplying 2-digit by 1-digit factors.
 
But look at how you can set up for problem solving...
In the future, Teaching Table will have more online resources where you can share the notebooks that you create or download from others...more collaboration fun!  You can click on the picture below to go to the website...
I think there are so many possibilities for this app outside the math classroom.  I can't wait to see what else the developers have in store as the expand to a web-based version then hopefully in the future an iPhone/iPad version!
 
And guess what!!!!
When Teaching Table gave me a copy of the app to look at, they generously gave me a copy for a giveaway to my readers too!  So let's get a little Rafflecopter action going...
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends on Friday, so be sure to enter and spread the word! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

This year, one of my big goals is to improve relations between my students...no more snipping or snapping...voluntarily helping each other...generally just treating each other with kindness!  So when I heard the governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, declared August 22nd Random Act of Kindness Day, I decided to jump on board!  We were going to rock the school with RAKs!
 
First, it just so happened we were working on building the ideas section of our writer's notebook, and we were focusing on things that make us happy. To inspire some happy ideas, I read my writers the book, Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson.
This is a charming little book about a little girl who's simple deep of picking blueberries and giving them to her neighbor inspires a chain of kindness throughout her community and the world!  Well my ulterior motive in reading this book was to get my students on board with the RAK idea...and it worked!  They were set to go!
 
So, a couple of days before August 22, I brought each student in a little treat.  Attached to the treat I put this tag...

 
We also decided to start a chain to see how our kindness was growing using these strips...

 

Then, on August 22nd, we went on a RAK spree.  First we had to invite the other 4th grade classes to join in...
 
The other fourth graders were really excited to do nice things for others!  And so our chain of kindness grew...
 
Then we passed out some treats to staff members around campus...
(A little pack of drink mix attached to a bottle of water)
And our chain grew...
 
We decided to do some secret RAKs too...like placing nickels as a treat for other students to find.  My students were so cute as secret RAK spies!  Some even tried to "stake out" the spot where they "hid" their nickel to see when it would be found.  Here are some places...
on top of a girl's bathroom sign...
a bulletin board cork strip...
on top of the security "laser"-thing-y...
the handle of the fire extinguisher case.
 
We are very excited about how long our chain has gotten...
A secret RAKer even returned our Random Act of Kindness by purchasing the whole class ice cream from the school ice cream cart...that surprise definitely hammered home to my students how when you do good things for others that good things happen to you!  (RANDOMNESS...remember that Jason Lee show, My Name is Earl????)
 
We are working on September's Random Act of Kindness...we designed bookmarks and are hiding them in books in our media center.  It touched my heart when one of my students said she was putting hers in her favorite book so another student can enjoy that book as much as she did!

 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Come in and Make Yourself at Home!

Welcome to my made-over classroom!  I decided this summer to do a little redecorating for a couple of reasons
  1. There were some things that after 7 years had not been replaced...and looked like it!
  2. My rough on everything bunch last year had made other items need to be refreshed!
  3. I am The Polka-dotted Teacher, and I had very few polka-dots left in my room!
So here is what my room looked liked before Meet Your Teacher Morning a month ago and before a single child stepped foot inside...

This is the view of my classroom from my door. You will notice many of the walls look kind of blank because we fill them up with anchor charts, vocabulary, and such as the year goes on...
Here is the view from the other side of the room...
Pictured here are my social studies and science boards...yes I made the banners myself...well I did get assistance from my new Silhouette Cameo.
Here is a closer look at the Social Studies board...(do you see the cute pencil dispenser???? A Pinterest idea!)
Now a close up view of the Science board...Don't you love the triple border???  A trick I learned from SchoolGirl Style!  And yes I did hang the banners on polka-dot ribbon!
Now here is my small (very small) group table...with crate seats (Shout out to my crafty daddy for helping me with these!)...the kids actually fight over who gets to sit on them...a schedule is in the works!
Here is a peek at my desk area.  This is really a look at D.O.T. Books waiting for their new owners...what are D.O.T. Boos do you say?  I will tell you about them later!
I'm sorry but I can't give up my teacher desk like some of you can!  The bookshelves are new...I had a different set up before with less actually storage space and way more clutter space.
Here is my classroom meeting area...I was surprised I could find a set up with 30 desks plus lots of floor space too!  Lots of new polka-dot pillows...and the best deal I have ever gotten on a rug...87.50!
And here are some more comfy chairs that the students enjoy...
 
Finally here is my CRAFT (free from Ladybug Teacher Files) wall ready to go and redone book basket labels...
 
We are not quite looking so fresh anymore...but that is just evidence of active learning going on, right?  Anyway I hope you find my classroom as cute and fun as I do!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm BA-A-A-CKKK!!!

Oh my goodness!  Oh my goodness!  This has been a totally unintended blogging break...I didn't mean to stay away so long.  But...my gifted certification will be officially complete this upcoming Thursday, I'm done planning online lessons, SO as the sweathogs would sing..

 "Welcome Backkkk."

I have so much to share with you!  And don't worry I will...but to get back into the swing of things, I thought I would start small with....

 
 from
(click on the button above to go check Meghan out!)
 
Let me tell you about my favorite things...
1.  Scentos Funny Face markers
How cute are these???  And yummy smelling too!  I don't have all of these colors (but I want them!).  And I haven't brought them to school (I'm kind of scared they will disappear) but, as a school supply snob, I love the marker point!  Perfect!  The colors are bold and bright, but you have to keep them moving on chart paper or you will have a color blob!  Ewww!
 
2.  Hummus
Where has it been all my life?  But I just discovered it!  Oh Hummus and Pita Chips...I love you!
 
3.  Clip Art
I have been going a bit clip art crazy!  I caught myself actually planning a lesson around the possibility of cute clip art  Shhhhh--Don't tell my principal!  I don't think clip art is part of Common Core!  I'm getting a bit of a reputation around school.
(Which by the way...if anyone knows of cute wrestling clip art send me a message...I have a major need!)
 
Happy September!  I will be back very soon!
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