Saturday, April 19, 2014

Five For Friday!

It's Friday! I am joining many blogging friends across the globe with the traditional Five for Friday post! The idea is to post five random things about your week! 



Have you heard about Destination Imagatinon? It is an amazing program that promotes problem solving, teamwork, and creativity. This past weekend was the Kansas State DI tournament. These girls took home the 1st place trophy for the Improvisation Challenge! 
The girls had to: - Create an original five-minute Improvisational Skit
- Develop the interaction between a character from the past and a contemporary character.
- Show how those characters work, using the time period, their occupations and skills, to deal with Pandemonium.
- Use stage makeup to create, develop, and/or enhance one skit character.


 I am SO proud of these girls! Four of them have been part of DI for three years and they just get stronger each year in this challenge! We are heading to GLOBAL FINALS in Knoxville, TN the last week of May! 





 This year 4th Graders in our district have been SO BLESSED with some pretty amazing field trips! This past week we went to the Hutchinson Cosmsophere and spent the ENTIRE day there! We took a tour of the Rocket Museum! We actually got to see REAL spacecrafts and just hear some amazing stories about space. We also got to build a rocket and LAUNCH THEM! At the very end they actually launched a TRASH CAN up in the air...it was priceless! 


It was my birthday this week and this sweet little one made me the CUTEST sign ever! I LOVE all things chevron and Natalie knows that! She also gave me a big old bottle of glitter! Glitter is a bad word in our classroom since SOMEONE knocked it all over the floor and then forgot to tell Miss Z about it. It ended up in ALL parts of the school! I told the kids that NO GLITTER until 5th Grade (I get to loop with these kiddos up to 5th grade next year)! They love teasing me about glitter! I just love moments when you can tease and laugh with your kiddos. 


ME, JEN HATMAKER, and my dear friend Wendy

 
#43 on my BUCKET LIST got crossed off! I got to hang out with Jen Hatmaker! Oh how amazing this woman is! Jen is the author of books such as SEVEN and INTERRUPTED and just the kind of person I want to be! We had a wonderful women's conference. I got to be the person that picked her up from the airport. I was SO excited about this...my friends kept teasing me about how I would react when I saw her! So much so that my dear friend Zach sent this text...


I just might be a pretty huge fan of Jen! It truly was a dream for me to meet her. Her words and her life have greatly impacted my life over the past few years. You should check out her blog at www.jenhatmaker.com 



 Friday was a perfect day! Starbucks with Ellie, shopping, and Olive Garden for lunch. The best part was that Ellie had never had an Olive Garden bread-stick before...she was in LOVE. 

Happy Day Friends! I hope you will check out all of the links over at Dooddle Bugs!



 

 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easy Fix for Ugly Brick Walls and a Freebie!


Don't you just LOVE those ugly brick walls in schools? I never know what to do with them! Parent Teacher Conferences were  getting ready to happen and I knew I wanted to add something to the walls, but I also knew it needed to be EASY! 


I picked out some Chevron Solids 4" Designer Letters from Creative Teaching Press and got to work! 

Can I just say how much I love these letters? I love that they are a "light" chevron, but in GREAT colors! I thought they would be the perfect ACCENT I needed for the boring brick walls! 

 

 I LOVE how this wall turned out! Students used words and illustrations to depict their favorite learning experiences of the year so far. It was SO much fun to see what the students chose as their "favorite" moments! 

 

 Love the fact that this kiddo loves Moby Math! I happen to think Moby Math is the one of the best things "since sliced bread!"  


I love that this kiddo wrote about Collin's Bus! We had a great time learning about how school buses were made at the factory. 


On the other side of the wall I used the same letters to make a bold statement with our class "Instagram" wall.  I printed out pictures (in black and white)  from the quarter and then each kiddo wrote a caption for that pictures. This wall was a BIG HIT with kiddos and parents alike! 

Two super simple hallway displays that just honestly make me HAPPY! (BTW don't you just love Pharreell's HAPPY song?)

UPDATE-I received a few emails asking for a copy of the Top Ten Learning Experiences. I posted it on Teachers Pay Teachers! You can find it here for free! Enjoy!

Thanks Friends!







Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Week of Football Fun!

I have a group of kiddos that are PRETTY excited about the SUPERBOWL that is coming up this next Sunday! I promised the kiddos if we finished up all of our projects then I would plan out a FOOTBALL lesson plans throughout this next week. 
 The kids were up for the challenge! 
SO here is my round up of some wonderful products that we will be doing this next week. I.CAN'T.WAIT! 


Okay let's get started!

Who doesn't love a FREE writing packet from Clutter-Free Classroom. I love Jodi's products and use them on a weekly basis! My kids are going to FLIP that they get to write out any aspect of football this next week. Last year I had kiddos that chose to write about SUPERBOWL SNACKS! I thought that was hilarious! Others wanted to write about the teams, while others wrote about what it is like to be at a football game. This packet has so many pages so that you can differentiate so easily!  It is truly one of my favorite products! Check it out here! 

 Up next is the PERFECT bulletin board packet! I was SO excited when I discovered this product a couple of years ago! I actually have every single one of "A Cupcake for the Teacher" craft products. I changed this one up a little bit this year. We actually made these this past Friday. Some of you may know that our beloved PE teacher was in a serious car accident the first day of Christmas break. Mrs. Stockman is still in a coma (five weeks later), but is making progress! She ate some chocholate ice cream the other day! Well, Mrs. Stockman is a HUGE Denver Broncos FAN. SO we made all of ours in Denver Bronco colors and instead of a writing piece on who we think will win the big game, we wrote a note to Mrs. Stockman, "4Z Loves Mrs. Stockman!"  We are going to mail all of these awesome wishes to her on Monday! 


 This is a new product I found and I can't wait to use it this week! At this point in the year our spelling routines are a bit boring! I am so excited to  CHANGE IT UP this with the kiddos. I am guessing we are going to all get 100% on our test this week!

 I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait to pull out this center for my kids this week! They are going to have a blast! Who doesn't love NACHOS! In this activity students are picking different cards to build their nachos. There are SO many ways to play this amazing center. You can give students a certain amount of money to spend to build their plate of nachos. You can limit the amount of toppings they can buy. You can let them build the biggest plate of nachos they can! Every time they play it is a DIFFERENT result! The great thing is that each time you are working with money, addition, subtraction, and even some multiplication! Top Secret! On Friday I am going to actually have the REAL nacho ingredients that go with the cards! The students will use the center as normal, but then I will pull out the REAL stuff! I can't wait!
 How perfect is this Main Idea and Summary unit from the amazing Lindsay Flood at Primary Polka Dots! I LOVE this unit! Included are all kinds of sports fun, so I will just pull out the football articles and worksheets to use! My kids won't even know they are LEARNING! As a side-note if you have not checked out Lindsay's CLOSE READING packets... GO DO IT NOW! They are AMAZING!

Last up are these just wonderful math task cards! I LOVE that they use college teams! How great to "talk college" with my kiddos throughout this activity!


I can't wait to come back on Friday and share pics of our week! What is your favorite football activity to do with your kiddos?


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Blues....

This is not easy to talk about, but I have a feeling that I am not the only one in this "blues" feeling this time of the year so I thought by blogging it would help me and as well maybe help someone else!

This is a hard time of the year for me. I feel very lonely. My parents and brother moved all the way to South Carolina this summer. My sister moved last January. The rest of my family is spread all over the place. Christmas to me means FAMILY & FRIENDS!

I am a learner-a researcher, comes with being a teacher! So, I decided to take a proactive role during this season. I am so tired of being sad, no energy, no smile.

I found this definition of "Christmas Blues"
"A popular term for depression which is most common in those who are alone—without family, friends—or otherwise ‘disenfranchised’ during Christmas, a holiday traditionally shared with family members"

I realize that for everyone "Christmas Blues" looks like, sounds likes, feels a bit different. This definition truly encompasses my feelings right now. 

My personality needs people around me, but I also need my own down time. I am not married and don't have kids so I have the blessing (or curse) of deteriming my own schedule. Taking into count the definiation and my needs I came up with this plan for the holdiays!











So this is where I am at right now....it is with much hope that the "Blues" will go away and JOY will come.
  He wants me to help those in Zion who are filled with sorrow.
I will put beautiful crowns on their heads
    in place of ashes.
I will anoint them with oil to give them gladness
    instead of sorrow.
I will give them a spirit of praise
    in place of a spirit of sadness.
They will be like oak trees that are strong and straight.
    The Lord himself will plant them in the land.
    That will show how glorious he is.

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas!







Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sandy Hook-We Remember * We Heal * We Act

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.
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Monday, November 11, 2013

We are thankful for TIME-SAVERS


I am SO excited about participating in this fun and THANKFUL linky party! 



Today is all about T- TIME-SAVERS. 

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why they call it the present.“ – Kung Fu Panda 

For me it is all about technology!  

DropBox is a way to store your documents “in the cloud” so that you have access to them wherever you are. You can even access your documents from any computer that has an internet connection, regardless of whether the app is loaded on the computer you’re using or not. Here is the best part...you don't have to worry about loosing or damaging your jump drive! You don't need it anymore! You also don't have to worry about having something on one computer and not on the other. All you have to do is save things to Dropbox! Yahoo! 

I love being able to plan out my lesson plans online. I love that my lesson plans are stored from year to year. I also LOVE that I can print the plans out either by day or by week. As well PLANBOOK just came out with an app for the IPAD. So now I don't even have to print out my plans as I can just access them on my IPAD. I love, love this app so much. 

This is the most amazing IPAD app ever. It is a GRADE BOOK and oh so much more. One of my favorite bloggers out there is Kristen from Ladybug Teacher Files. She has created a fantastic, wonderful, awesome post about her love this app as well! Enjoy it here!   

Grading spelling tests...ain't no one have time for that! Spelling City takes away that job from me as well as photocopy the tests! Spelling City has so many wonderful options for saving lists including creating child specific lists! 

What are your go to apps or web sites to help you save time? 

Hope you will check out all the time saving ideas back at Blog Hoppin

Blessings friends! 










Friday, November 8, 2013

Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead

I love, love celebrating holidays from other countries in my classroom. I think there is nothing better than helping students to open their eyes WIDE to the world around them. 

The Day of the Dead, is particularly special holidays to me as I lived in MEXICO for 10 years!

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. 

We started off by reading this wonderful book!
 
I love this book because it is in English and Spanish! I love any chance I can to speak in Spanish! There is a wonderful Audible version available as well! 

We talked about the similarities and differences between how Americans and Mexicans pay their respects to people who have passed away. 

We also used some wonderful activities from Teachers Pay Teachers! 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Day-of-the-Dead-Informational-Writing-Craftivity-367166

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Day-of-the-Dead-Literacy-and-Writing-Craftivities-157495


We had a blast creating our own CALAVARAS (SKULLS). Calavaras are usually made with sugar and they are used to decorate the graves and altars with during the celebration. We used black paper, chalk, water colors, and crayolas.

 

The High School Spanish students came over and celebrated with us as well! I love, love having the "big" kids come over and help encourage our learning!






We decorated skull cookies, I just love how they turned out! 





Oh and the local paper came out and wrote a great article about our celebration! Gotta love living in a small town!


As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a 
life well used brings happy death.  
~Leonardo da Vinci

Happy Day Friends!