Sunday, August 31, 2014

Classroom Reveal 2014-2015

The first week of school is finally over!  It's definitely been a busy one.  I'm spending my 3-day weekend at my parents' house visiting my two-week old nephew, Liam, and I finally have a little bit of down time to update the blog.  So, first things first, time to reveal my new classroom:

I went with a black and neon accent color theme this year.  I really like it, and my fourth graders do, too.  I also ditched my teacher's desk (mainly because I just didn't have any room for it with my 28 students).  So far it's working out great.  I added crates and caddies at the ends of my table groups to store our Science and S.S. books, kleenex, hand sanitizer, highlighters, post-it notes, and other odds-n-ends.  That's working out great, too, because the desks are already SuPeR crowded.

There's still some work to be done, especially in the library and on my bulletin boards.  We'll get there, slowly but surely.  I hope you like what I've got so far, though.

Classroom Reveal Linky Party!!!  Click the picture join the par-tay!  

post signature

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made-It: Second Edition

Here's to a second successful edition of Monday Made-It with Fourth Grade Frolics!

Before I share what I've made for this week, though, I wanted to share my back-to-school supply haul.  I laid it all out last night to get organized and it looked so beautiful.

School supplies give me the warm fuzzies inside.

Ok, without further adieu...

My "No Name" Hanger

I took some of the left over pencil clips from last week's Monday Made-It and hot-glued them to a ruler to make my "no name" hanger.  I just hot-glued a piece of ribbon onto the back of the ruler so that I could hang it up in my classroom.  I made a simple sign out of colored card stock that I plan on laminating and posting above it.  Very simple, very quick.  Literally cost $.39 (price of ruler).  

Missing Homework Binder

At my school, students get "infractions" for missing assignments, but I want them to feel more of a sense of accountability when they are missing assignments.  I'm hoping this homework binder will help.  Students will have to fill out a page (inspired by the one found here) each time they are missing an assignment.  This will also help me keep better track of repeat offenders, and have data to discuss with parents, as needed.  You can grab a copy of my binder cover and student sheet HERE.  

Desk Numbers/Home Base and Word Wall Letters

I'm going to be trying out a new seating design this year (hopefully).  Right now it's still just an idea in my head.  I'm moving into a new classroom, and I'm not completely certain of the size/layout availability.  I'll be able to get into my room at the end of this week, so hopefully I'll be able to know for sure if it will work by then.  AnYhOo, what I'm wanting to do is have my desks in groups of 5-6, each group being assigned a color.  Each desk in a group would then be assigned a number.  I would use those numbers for various management things, and the table colors, too.  More information on my table groupings will hopefully be coming in a later post.  As for the home circles, my class is a 1:1 iPad class, and we will have our iPads on our desks all day.  That being said, we will not necessarily be using our iPads all day.  The home base circles are where our iPads will rest when not in use.  Those circles will be positioned in the top left corner of the desks, opposite the numbers.  Finally, my bright and lovely word wall letters.  Simple circles on colored card stock.

I finally got to use my new EK Success Pro Circle Cutter and it was Ah-MaZiNg!  It was a little strange to get used to at first, and I did do some practice cuts on scrap paper to be sure I didn't mess anything up, but boy did it same some major time.  I have to admit, my pages did slip maybe two or three times, but I just fixed them up with my scissors and no harm done.  love LoVe LOVE!    

4th Grade Survival Kits

I'm currently in the process of making my "4th Grade Survival Kits" (inspired by Molly Malloy's Survival Kit for Life) that I'm going to give to my students on the first day of school.  I made all of the tags today (grab yours here), but I'm still missing a couple of "ingredients" before I can complete the baggies.  I still have to get pennies from the bank, hugs (bc Target didn't have any ?!?!), and I have colored rubber bands at school because I couldn't bring myself to buy the boring beige ones.  

Well, that's it for this week.  I hope you've enjoyed!  

post signature

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Alphabet Line

Check out my new alphabet line for my 4th graders courtesy of Ladybug's Teacher Files.   I absolutely love it!

My classroom decor is going to be black with bright color highlights, and this alphabet is going to be perfect.  I LoVe the Zaner-Bloser cursive font, too.

There's still a few hours left of the TPT Back to School Sale.  Click on the picture of my alphabet line above to grab your own set of these AwEsOmE alphabet letters from Ladybug's Teacher Files.  Don't forget to check out my TPT store, too, by clicking on the picture below!    

Monday, August 4, 2014

My First Monday Made-It

I'm so excited!  I'm linking up for my first Monday Made-It!  :D

I've kept pretty busy this summer with classes and summer school and haven't spent a lot of time crafting or working on school things.  Now that I've got a whopping 13 days free I'm getting down to business.  It's time to start getting organized and ready to head back to school.  Gulp.  

So, for my FiRsT eVeR Monday Made-It I have four projects to share with you.  I hope you enjoy...        

My first "made-it" are these book stands I'm going to use in my classroom library.

My mom found these old, ugly beige frame stands in her basement so I ToOk ThEm!  I wrapped them in skinny duct tape and viola!  I think they look better than the three wire ones I bought from Michael's for $3.99ea.  They are so perfect for book stands; just the right size for chapter books, but picture books fit, too.  I even put my iPad in one while I was cooking the other night so I could read the recipe easier.

My second "made-it" are these pencil name clips. 

I use these clothes pins in my classroom to call on students for various things.  I prefer clothes pins to other sticks because once I call on the student I can clip the stick on the side of the cup/basket until all of the clips have been used.  I decided to jazz up my clips this year by decorating them like pencils.  I had some paint left over from another project so I simply painted the clips then added the details with a brown Sharpie.  SuPeR EaSy to do, and it only took about 15 minutes!  I love the way they came out.

This is the BiG one!  My "NeW" rocking chair!

I've actually been working on this for a few weeks.  This is an old rocking chair that another teacher gave me last year.  Last year was my first year teaching, so I figured I had enough on my plate without redoing the rocking chair right away.  So this summer I brought it home and gave it a make-over.  I sanded it down as best I could, taped it off, and got to painting.  I still think I'll put some sort of top coat on it, and I'm looking for a cushion of some kind, but that's it ladies and gentleman.  

Last, but not least, my Washi Wall.  

I live in an apartment so I'm somewhat restricted when it comes to decorating (because this girl is not painting and then repainting when she moves out).  I have a coat closet right when you walk in, so there is this little 3.5 ft wall facing into my living room.  I thought it looked like an extra large canvas, so I looked up some geometric designs on Pinterest, bought some gold metallic washi tape off (way more than I need; I only used about 1.25 of a roll), and when my tape came I got to work.  I didn't draw out the design and I know it's not perfect, but I love it and it looks AwEsOmE in my place!  

That's all I've got for now.  Hopefully I'll have some more stuff to share next week.  School starts on the 25th, but we have PD on the 12-14 and 21-22.  OMG.  Where did this summer go?!?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

EC Teacher Planner 2014-2015

Summer just started but I've already got my teacher planner for next school year!  It came in the mail earlier this brand shiny new BeAuTiFuL Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner book.

 I love love LOVE it!  

All Good Things Must Come to an End

The school year has ended.  I already miss (most) all of my firsties.  
I hope they're having a SuPeR summer so far!

My end-of-the-year gift this year were sunglasses for everyone with tags (courtesy of Lessons with Laughter) that read "My Future's So Bright I Have to Wear Shades!"  They kids LoVeD them!  

So, of course, we had to take a "cool" picture.  :D

You can download the tags for free from the Lessons with Laughter TpT store.  
(click below)

A HUGE thank you to Molly Maloy at Lessons with Laughter for the *Bright* idea!  

Lessons with Laughter

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tacky Craft Coming Soon to TpT!

Do your kids love Tacky the Penguin as much as my firsties do?  During our investigation of penguins these past couple of weeks I think my class made me read every Tacky book there is.  They just could not get enough of the odd little guy.

Check out this super cute Tacky the Penguin craft we did this past week with our 6th grade buddies.  This was the perfect way to wrap-up our whole penguin unit. 
I'm going to put a template on TpT soon for anyone who wants to recreate Tacky for themselves.  Stay tuned! 

Penguin Research Projects

First off, I have to say how extremely proud I am of everyone for doing such an awesome job on these research projects.  This was not a simple activity.  This project took a while (longer than expected, too, because of our "cold days") and had multiple steps that built upon one another.  I knew these kids could do it, though, and they did amazing. 
 The class was split up into 5 groups of three and 1 group of 2.  Each group was then assigned a species of penguin and given an information sheet about their bird. 

On the first day the groups read through their information sheets and highlighted important facts.  After they finished reading each section and highlighting, they recorded their key details on a graphic organizer.
 After their graphic organizers were completed, the groups could begin on their posters.  Each poster had to contain: a title (what species of penguin they researched), the names of everyone in their group, and  all of the information that had been recorded on their graphic organizer (appearance, enemies, food, and a cool fact).  Mrs. Gordon, our ELL teacher, had also printed off information sheets for each of the groups once she found out about the project.  Some of the groups used that information, too.  A couple of students even brought in information they printed at home to share with their group.

For pictures, the groups had the option of using printed photos from the internet, or illustrating their own images.  Each group was given a picture on their information sheet and on the sheet from Mrs. Gordon.  Some students brought great pictures they printed at home.  A couple of groups drew some wonderful pictures, too.  

Chapter 7 is a Wrap

We finished Chapter 7 of our math series this week.  We have learned so many new math things this year it's amazing! 
Chapter 7 was all about Geometry

We reviewed our basic 2-D shapes like a square, rectangle, circle, hexagon, rhombus, and trapezoid. 

We learned about attributes and how to describe our 2-D shapes by their different attributes (name of shape, number of sides, number of corners, size of shape, its color (if it has one).  We even learned a new game, called "Attribute Train," where you have to see how long of a train you can make with our attribute blocks by matching up shapes based only on one attribute (pictured above). 

Then we learned about polygons and how to tell whether a shape is or is not a polygon (there are rules if you want to be a polygon, you know). 

We also learned about new 3-D shapes like a sphere, cube, pyramid, cylinder, rectangular prism, and cone. 

Finally, we learned about symmetry.  We made our own symmetrical shapes with patterns blocks and traced them during one of our math centers (pictured above), we identified whether or not different images contained lines of symmetry, and we also made perfectly symmetrical paper hearts by folding our paper in half first then cutting out half of our heart. 
All along the way we continued to practice our math facts, both addition and subtraction (and we're now working on facts up to 20).  One of the favorite ways to practice facts is by playing with our "Power Towers" (pictured above).  Facts are written on the bottoms of cups, and if a student answers the fact correctly they keep the cup; if not it goes on the bottom of the stack.  The player who builds the highest tower (or who has the most cups) when all of the cups run out, wins. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What We've Been Up To...

We made goals for the New Year. 
Some of us want to play video games ALL DAY, and some of us want to try to read 2 hrs every day.
Oh, boy.  :D

We've incorporated math games into our daily mathematics lessons. 
The games are fun ways for the class to practice and tone their math facts, greater/less than, tallies, graphing, and more along with working cooperatively with partners and in small groups.  During this time I am also able to meet with small groups to reteach skills and practice with students who need more assistance.  We rotate new games all the time, and most days students get to choose what they want to play.  In the pictures above, the class is busy playing various "Dice Games."  Each "Dice Game" requires the student or partnership to practice a different skill.  

 These SUPER dice games are from Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies.
My firsties just LOVE these games!

We learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and how he helped to get equal rights for all people, no matter what they looked like.  We watched Dr. King's "I have a dream..." speech, and the class was stunned by how many people were there to hear the speech.  We wrote our own dreams about bad things that happen we wished would stop.

"I Have A Dream..." craftivity from Just Wild About Teaching

Just Wild About Teaching 

How-to-Draw MLK from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business