Tuesday, July 30, 2013

iPad Agreement

My mind is running at full speed of all of the things I need to get done before school starts back. I am lucky enough to have a classroom set of iPads, thanks to a grant through my school system. I am beyond excited at the opportunities that my students and I will have this year. I created this agreement that my students and their parents will have to sign in order to use the iPads. More documents to come, but off to bed because I start pre-planning tomorrow!

Click here

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Just wanted to share my new goodies!

Target planner, with a little monogram thanks to one of my good friends!

New monogram t-shirts, I think I have a slight obsession.

Check out my Pinterest board - A Slight Monogram Obsession

Friday, July 26, 2013

It'a about that time again...

I can't believe that I go back to work next week! Pre-planning begins Wednesday! I have been working a little here and there all summer, but my beach vacation has come and gone and now it's time to get ready. I stopped by Target for a couple things (non classroom related) and this is what I ended up with...

Not my intention, but look at all the fun red and black stuff I found! We were told to take our Christmas lights down that we had around our rooms for decoration (fire hazard), so the lamps were on my list for next year! And they were on sale...woohoo!

I went to work in my room a little and here is what I accomplished in two days: Day 1 - cleaning and putting furniture back, Day 2 - reorganizing my "second home"
I can statement board 

Reading area....still have more to do

AR boards - my kids have magnets that they place on the boards 

Data Board - I update this weekly with their data scores

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I can statements

We are required to post our "I can statements" which are derived from the essential questions and standards from our units. I usually designate a place on my white board in the front of my room to write these statements. I wanted to add a little more organization to this area. My plan is to put border around this area and put up the labels I just created. (My OCD has the best of me today!)

Classroom Signs

As much as I hate to say it, summer is beginning to wind down and there are only a few weeks of summer break left. I go back for pre-planning on July 31....CRAZY, right?!

I have found that as much as I love my black, red, and white polka-dot theme, it has been very difficult to find things that match my theme. I decided to make some things since I can't find much. It has been raining here for days...and is finally sunny again, which means I should be working on my tan and not on these, but my couch and I are good friends so far today :)

My first project was labels for my AR corner in my room. I use metal pizza pans that I spray painted black (see earlier post) and my students use a magnet with their classroom number on it to tell me what they are doing. Here are the labels I created.

I use this label on a bucket where my kids can place their folders to be signed and checked. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Teachers Pay Teachers additions

My Teachers Pay Teachers store is looking SAD, so I am also trying to update my store as well.

It's getting late, so just one for tonight and I will do some more tomorrow. I know that most every other teacher in the world has started incorporating Common Core into their curriculum, or implementing it all together (like me!) and it has been crazy! With our math units, I have tried to create centers or activities that I can use as a small group and then incorporate into centers. The worksheet below will take you to my TpT Store where you can find a mental math activity.

Have you ever heard of or seen cup stacking? Well I applied this concept to teaching missing addends and mental math. I have pictures somewhere....of my students working on this and I will upload them as soon as I find them. I prepared small disposable cups with a series of numbers and symbols. The students had to stack the cups and draw the symbols and numbers on the worksheet. Then they were asked to find the missing numbers and show how they found them. I had to model this several times before they understood. The numbers generally started small at the bottom of the stack and became larger towards the top of the stack. I used it with addition and subtraction facts, but the possibilities are endless as to what else you can use it for. I promise to upload pictures of my students using them and the cups themselves as soon as I locate them.

Did I mention that I LOVE my kiddos?

I had an awesome group of kids this year and we had some ups and downs, but we learned so much together. They were hard working and always made me laugh. Here are some of my favorite random pictures from throughout the year.

Because of Winn_Dixie

We begin our school year by reading Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The students thoroughly enjoyed reading this text and we were able to create many great activities to go along with our unit.

While in our Winn-Dixie unit, we were teaching a unit on heating and cooling in science. We found several activities via Pinterest about making candy that went along with the text. For those of you who have never read the book, there is a candy discussed in the book called a Littimus Lozenge. We are lucky to have a classroom on our hall that is not being used, so our 3rd grade team converted it into a science experiment room of sorts. We were able to take several classes in at a time to make our version of Littimus Lozenges. The students voted to make Root-beer and grape flavored candy. It was a success!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edible Science Experiments - Cupcake Rocks

Early in the year we do a unit in science on rocks and minerals. One of the best ways I have found to teach this is using cupcakes with several yummy ingredients. A student teacher I had several years ago came to me with this idea (she found it online) and we ran with it.
The cupcake of course represents the rock and the ingredients are the minerals (hence rocks are made up of minerals). We made a list of the things (ingredients) it takes to make a cupcake. We made an anchor chart, then I had my students picture a cupcake and pretend it's a rock. We discussed what it took to make a cupcake (rock) and the students were able to make the connection that the rock is made up of minerals, just as a cupcake is made up of ingredients.
The students are given a mini cupcake that I made with vanilla cake mix (I tried marbled, it didn't work well), chocolate chips, sprinkles (MANY, MANY sprinkles of all different kinds). The students have a graphic organizer where they predict what the inside of the cupcake looks like, then they take a "core sample" of the rock using a clear straw. This allows the students to see what is inside the rock. Next they make another prediction of what is inside the rock, they draw a picture and explain for both predictions. As a class we cut the cupcakes open and discuss the minerals, the ones that we can see and the ones that we can't (eggs, flour, etc.). The students then discuss with their partner or groups how the rocks are made and make connections with the cupcakes and write them down on their graphic organizer. I have used a graphic organizer I found online and have had the students just fold a sheet of paper in fourths, and fill in each space accordingly. It is ALWAYS a success! Let me know if you try it and how it works out for you and your kiddos!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sweet Summer Time!

So it has been FOREVER since I have blogged, so my goal this summer is to get back at it. Incorporating Common Core and getting my Gifted Endorsement made this past school year super busy! I plan to recap this year and upload some pictures and graphic organizers, then get started on my summer projects and keep y'all posted along the way! Here goes nothing....

Today's goal: organize the pictures to get myself ready to update everything :)