April 29, 2013

Instagram Fun! Teacher Talk Tuesday

So...new obsession...  INSTAGRAM!

Can I just say I never really tried it before last night and now I'm already hooked?  Love.  It.  Dare I say possibly more than Pinterest?!  This is trouble for me since I already take WAY too many pictures.  Anyone else fill up their memory on their phone a lot?

If you would like to learn more about this head over to What the Teacher Wants and Apples And ABC's and link up!

If you'd like to follow on Instagram, click here! Instagram

Here are a few I've taken in the past day or so!  So fun!  Can't wait for next week!

We hatched 17 little chicks!  So cute!
The beginning of a new obsession...


April 28, 2013

A Little Plant Freebie!

Hey all! 

Alison and I just got back from the trip to visit Maria Walther.  Wow!  I absolutely LOVE getting to see other teachers’ classrooms.  It makes me feel so revitalized.  I came in my room today to rearrange my desks and to post a little plant freebie for you!  I hope I can get back in the blogging swing of things.

My kids and I planted seeds in a Ziploc bag with cotton balls and water last week.  I actually have had good luck with dry lima beans, from the grocery store!  When the seed starts to crack and sprout, they can see the changes through the bag.  I've been doing this trick forever so I really don’t know where I found the idea originally. Here is a picture of their bags:

While I was gone on Friday, the kids wrote some observations.  I love seeing them use the plant vocabulary we've been using in our discussions!

If you would like the freebie, click here.  After we see them sprout, we plant the sprouts in a cup filled with potting soil.  They get to water them and watch them grow a little more before they take it home.

I would love to know what you all are teaching in the last few weeks of school!  We are going to delve into some poetry writing (thanks to Maria Walter’s inspiration!) and learn about bugs and arachnids.  Thanks for reading!


April 24, 2013

The Mother of All Professional Development and a Giveaway

I am SUPER excited about the professional development day we have planned on Friday.  Caroline and I along with another collegue and great friend(Amy) are headed to Naperville to see Maria Walther in her first grade  classroom.  If you are not familiar with her then let me introduce you to some of her work.........

Product DetailsProduct Details
I was introduced to Maria a few years ago at the Illinois Reading Conference in Springfield and I was totally inspired.  We have since been fortunate enough to have Maria present  at our school but I think you would all agree that there's nothing better than watching a great teacher in action!  I hope to post this weekend with details of our trip. 
In other news  last weekend I posted another pre-blog unit, Scoopin Up Math and Literacy, Ice Cream Fun.  Here's a peek: 
I will give away at least two copies of my new unit.  Here are the requirements:
*If you are already a follower leave your name plus email address and have a friend become a follower.  I will send both of you the unit. 
*If you aren't a follower become one, it's that easy. 
If you visit my store the odd and even activity that goes with this unit is free. 

April 22, 2013

Math Station Accountability and Manic Monday

Math has not always been one of my favorite subjects but math stations has totally changed how I feel about that.  Math use to be a subject I taught  in my classroom without much excitement.  Our district uses a math book my teammates and I don't care for, so it has always just been a struggle, UNTIL I implemented math stations.  I absolutely LOVE math station time and so do my kiddos. 
I would have to say that my students take math stations very seriously and don't like it when something interferes with their math station block of time.  I have tried several methods over the years of  keeping students accountable with their work;  math journals, papers at each station to turn in when  completed and  finally clipboards.  Well let me tell you that hands down clipboards are the only way to go.     There is something about a clipboard that makes everything super official and serious. 
Is she OFFICIAL looking or what?
My kiddos take their personalized clipboard with them to the two math stations they go to each day and they are all business.  90 % of my math stations require a record sheet as evidence of learning.    Students are required to keep the record sheets from each station on their clipboard until Friday; on  Friday I staple all  of their papers together, check them, and send them home.   

I have found that this is also a great way to keep papers handy for those that do not finish their work, this way they can grab their clipboard when they have free time and I don't have to hunt down an incomplete paper they put who knows where. 
Since spring has sprung I am super busy with my own kids and have to get home pretty quick each day for baseball and softball practices, not to mention my husband is a farmer and it is planting season so I'm kind of  a single mom.  This week I didn't have a lot of time to get my math stations together so I put together several station game boards that took me no time.  Let's just call it "SpinOrama Week" because all of them require spinning.  I don't know how your kiddos feel about spinning but when I told mine that all the stations this week would require spinning you would have thought they won the lottery! Who would have thought a paperclip and a pencil could be so much fun!!!!! It only  made since to make this super fun, super easy pack of math station game boards my Manic Monday Freebie. 

April 15, 2013

Manic Monday Freebie Link Up

Here's the scoop:

Life is CRAZY busy right now!  I hope to post more on Fairy Tales and Geometry later this week. 

Here's today's Manic Monday Freebie.....

Copy laminate and there you go.  I have my students use paperclips and a pencil as a spinner.

Get it? Got it? Good!!!  I'll check in later!!!!
Off to Softball Practice for my littlest.  Enjoy

April 8, 2013

Manic Monday Classroom Freebie Link Up

Do you remember my "want" from last weeks "Currently" post?  Well if you missed it I was wanting the temperature to actually feel like spring rather than winter, it was a mere 43 degrees.  I said I would like it to be 75 and look what  the temperature showed today at the bank........

It was actually a beautiful weekend as well. 
  I am telling you if linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade is all I have to do to get what I want, I'm going to ask her to have weekly Currently link ups. 

It's Monday so I'm sure you are here for the MANIC MONDAY FREEBIE not to hear me talk about the weather.  I thought that since spring if FINALLY shining through I would post a "Spring into Subtraction"  math station, center , or pocket chart activity.  I usually use this type of  activity on the pocket chart first and then put them in a math station.  Click on either of the pictures to enjoy your freebie. 


April 3, 2013

April Currently

Listening-I am listening to the Black Eyed Peas as I wait on my middle one at baseball practice.
Loving-The first day of baseball practice, it is my middles favorite sport and so much fun to watch. 
Thinking-Will I have to go get my littlest from another sleepover attempt?  She is on Spring Break so she is going to "try" to spend the night with a friend.  A few weeks back she thought she was going to spend the night with a friend and me and my pajamas went to get her at 12:30.  I have to say I was a nervous wreck all evening and I'm pretty sure I sprinted to the car to go get her. Her first words were "Can I sleep with you?" Well absolutely!!!! 
Wanting-It to be at least 75, I'm a fair weathered friend and hate being cold. 
Needing- A Snack , I didn't have time to eat before practice. 
Advice-Spend every sweet minute you can with your kiddos(the ones at home) ha!  They grow up so fast.  Mine are 9, 14, & 16 and I feel like I'm already getting the empty nest syndrome , they are so independent and don't need me like they use to :( 
If you would like to link up with the April Currently hop on over to  Oh' Boy 4th Grade. 

April 2, 2013

Shout Outs and a True Story

There are so many AMAZING blogs out there in blogland that it was hard to decide on which ones to put on my Shout Out list. 

My criteria became  WOW!  Which of my favorite blogs seem to WOW me every stinkin time!  Well even though Amy Lemons is a Blog rock star I just can't get enough of  her story and inspiration.  I honestly think my mouth drops to  the floor each time I read her blog because of  how incredibly amazing she is in every way.  Her FAITH, FAMILY, TEACHING, GENOROSITY, ALL WHILE GOING THROUGH SO MANY TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS. (LIKE YOU ALL DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW THAT)  KUDDO'S AMY!
I am sure you all also know Krista Walden but I continue to say WOW everytime I see her latest creations, I mean this gal is sooooo talented and generous as well.  Have you seen her latest summer clips and free font?  They reassure me that summer will be here and I won't have to wear socks and a coat soon! 
Ok, now off to a shout out for a newbie.....
Ok so she's not a newbie but I REALLY, REALLY, tried to find someone who had less followers and came up empty handed.  TRUE STORY! Can I get an AWWWW?  or better yet click that cute little follow button. I love Brenda over at You Might Be A First Grader.  We have been talking math common core lately and she is so incredibly sweet.  I love, love, love her blog. 
You Might Be a First Grader
If you would like to link up and SHOUT OUT hop on over to........
 Growing Firsties