Sunday, April 29, 2012

Little of This and Little of That!

State testing is behind's amazing how stressful it is! You don't realize you have been "holding your breath" the whole week until Friday rolls around and you are EXHAUSTED!

As the next week approaches May Madness begins. The emails are filling my inbox...Field Day, Awards Breakfast, Awards Day, EOY party, Report Card Timeline, fill this survey out for the EOY, don't forget to update your perms, all day planning (to plan for next year), Relay for Life...and I could go on and on.

Not to mention trying to keep the students from going CRAZY! The few things I have planned are: cursive, health lessons, benchmarks (yep got to give those a week after testing), a new potato unit (a little fun, but I'll fill you in later)...which includes a read aloud and activities, and because of the common core change we have to work on the math "gaps"...meaning the lessons and such the students won't get next year because those skills are moving to other grade levels. Overall I am not too concerned about keeping them busy.

This week we have Field Day, which brings me to THE Hole update. Sorry no pictures, but it is filled, and they spread that gravel type stuff over it (to help control the mud. So as far as we know Field Day on the actual field is A GO!!!

So the next thing on my agenda tonight is a little Q and A session. There have been a few questions asked that I thought I would try and address in the next few posts, mostly about my classroom some of you are beginning to plan and think about next year!

My outside displays:

This was my first one...

This was my second...

I simply laminate the paper I want to use. When doing the leaves I drew them cut them out ad then laminated them. I use nothing BUT hot glue on my outside's the only thing that stays. Which means I also have a paint scraper handy for when I take them down.

The clothespins were pretty easy. I cut the scrapbook paper I wanted to use to the width and length of the front of clothespin. I then ran them through my sticker maker (if you don't have one of these and you craft or love to make your own is a HUGE time saver).

Once I run them through this, I simply stick them on to the clothespin. As for the sign it is hand made. Another huge time saver is my Cricut machine. Most of the lettering you see in my classroom is cut from my Cricut. I LOVE it!!! The cartridge I use the most is called Feelin' Groovy. By using the Cricut I can also get the shadow or two/tone colors on my letters.

Which brings me to my next and last follower question for the night, my Pinterest inspired sign:

You can find the entire tutorial here. But the specific question was, once again, about the lettering. I used my Cricut...shocker I know! It is simply black, self-adhesive vinyl. I used different cartridges that I have to make the different fonts...probably a total of 6 (Feelin' Groovy, Billionaire, Ashlyn's Alphabet, All Mixed Up, Cherry Limeade, Cuttin' Up). By using the different settings: shadow, regular, and size I was able to get different looks for the sayings. I will admit that this was not an easy thing to make, but really really worth it to me.

Watch out for my reading unit and more answers to YOUR questions!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

UPDATE: Hole..

Well things didn't get better...

I headed outside to go home after yet ANOTHER long day of testing to find the hole being excavated! I, of course, quickly grabbed my camera...because I knew some of you might want an update (I just didn't think it would come this quickly)

The new "rumor" is that there was an old large pipe that ran under the playground (don't know why or where it came from or any details like that) BUT it corroded and a hole formed, after the rain we had last week the ground couldn't "hold it together" any longer and collapsed...causing this sort of "man-made cave".

And seriously it is HUGE. The previous pictures showed that they had sort of patched up the hole, we all thought it was fixed, but it was just a temporary patch until the real work could begin. Now take a look at the recent pictures and what they were having to do...

This is the dirt that came OUT of the "erosion hole"

 This is me... "sneaking up on the hole", don't want to raise any suspicion or get in trouble

Close up of the dirt,I mean massive ROCKS that came out of the hole

Me daring to get a little closer to it....

A little closer...if there had been no one there, I would have gotten really close, but (no joke) ALL the workers (3-5) were IN the hole, I held the camera as high as I could and you still can't even see the tops of their heads!!!!

Part of the pipe that came out of the hole

I was dared to go closer to the hole this of course I did!

It's not as deep as yesterday, because they have laid a layer of gravel, but it is still pretty deep!!

Here is the pile of dirt again...I just wanted you to get a visual at how MUCH dirt there is...that pole comes up to my nose, you can also see it in relation to the CAT machine.

And I thought this testing week was going to be a slow, boring blog week!!!!

Side note: Has anyone read Leon and the Champion Chip??? Ideas? Lessons? Activities????

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

There Was A Hole... the middle of the ground, come know the song!

In all seriousness there is really a the middle of our playground, and during testing week to top it all off!

Our principal calls it  "just some erosion", but we (the teachers) know a little better. Now the playground has been off limits until further notice, and we don't have many other options as to where the kids get burn off some of that testing, we've been sitting for 140 minutes, energy! Therefore I have implemented jumping jacks, running in place, sit ups, and all sorts of stretches into my daily routine. We are also waiting on our wonderful "system" to possibly even have to do more ground testing to be sure our entire playground won't end up underground!

On the plus side it gave my students a text to world connection of erosion, how it happens, how caves form...and all that great Science content that we talked about earlier in the school year.

So enjoy the pictures


And now that the kids don't roam the playground the geese have taken up permanent residence there, which means goose poop EVERYWHERE!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This post brought to you by...

my new iPad!

Those that know me, work with me, and such can't believe that I have the phone that I do or use the laptop that I do. I am a techie in my classroom. I LOVE and can't live without my interactive board or document camera. I'm always looking for the newest tech thing, website, and such for  my classroom. BUT when it comes to personal technology I was always fine with what I have/had.

My husband couldn't stand it any longer! I really do think that it bothered him more than it did me. He's okay with the simple, sort of out dated phone (it saves us money, and I really don't need the fancy stuff...really). But he just couldn't understand how I didn't really, really want an iPad. With all that I do from home on the laptop (blog, business, etc.) he just didn't get why I wouldn't want the be more mobile, to have it all at my fingertips....and so on!

So needless to say, this past weekend he came home with one for me! Now I am trying to figure it all out.

Therefore, do any of you all have app suggestions? iPad suggestions?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Here We Go...

Pencils are sharpened...

Lesson plans are written...

Desks in place...

All displays are down...

We have reviewed, reviewed a little more, and now it has finally come....THE test! I hope they will remember all of their strategies, take their time, and work hard. BRING IT!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Must Read!

If you haven't MUST read this book to your class! Now that most of us are about to be done testing, it is the perfect time.

I'm not sure if I loved this book so much because of my huge military family or if it was because this story was so heartwarming and AMAZING! Who knows, maybe both.

I think my students might have loved it even more! They were hanging on to every word and picture.

I read this book as one of three the students could choose to write their response to literature, and the ENTIRE class chose this one.

What was even more exciting was when we had one of those awesome, teachable moments that you can't plan for, and you just roll with.

Amidst our reading review, we were revisiting drawing conclusions. I had found this passage titled "Bringing Books to Life" ( note: if you are not a member of this page FREE you MUST, it is amazing and FULL of great passages!!!

Okay back to our moment....they really got into the article, discussing even more current books that have been turned into movies. Then I hear a small discussion going on about the book Nubs...the students were talking about how that book should become a movie. So I ran with after CRCT the students are beyond thrilled to get to make movie posters for the book Nubs! They are going to try and persuade others to see the movie and maybe even someone to actually MAKE the movie.

I will keep you all posted on how these turn out! I can't wait to see them.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Movin' On Up

I have my placement for next year....and as of right now (things may change, you never know), I am going to 5th grade! Yep...Movin' On Up!

I've taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th before...I did enjoy teaching 5th, but that was probably about 9 years ago. I have nothing in terms of unit binders, guided math/reading items...nothing, the little bit I do have is (of course) not aligned to the curriculum! So I will be blog stalking, internet surfing, pinteresting, and so much more...of course after CRCT :) And guess all get yet another classroom reveal next school year!!!!

Which brings me to the question of the day, I want to learn a little more about my let me know:

1. Where are you from?  2. What grade do you teach (if you are a teacher)? 3. Are you having to make any changes next school year?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What I did for Spring Break

Obviously I didn't do much blogging over the break, like I wanted. Nor did I add things to my TpT / TN stores. But I did something semi related to teaching...I made a TON of teacher buckets, specifically the popular caddies.

Here are a few sets that I made

Can't you just picture all the great classroom themes/decor????

We also did the usual Spring Break things...and my daughter spent a lot of time pretending! Check out a few pictures. She was a superhero...using some of my clothes as I cleaned out my closet:

She was a teacher to her best buddy, "baby Charlie"...reading her favorite book to her Brown Bear

We spring cleaned the outside toys, what better way than to do it while playing!

We were backyard explorers!

She had me draw her a castle on this box....she was the prince, I was a princess, and the mouse was a friendly dragon! 

We went to a strawberry patch...she loved picking them, but doesn't like to eat them.

And finally the Easter Egg Hunts!

Daycare Egg Hunt:

Small morning Egg the La La Loopsy School Bus:

 Mega Family Egg Hunt!

One of the eggs had a harmonica in it....she loved it!!!

 Too much fun!