Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pet Peeve Linky

OK, OK.  Maybe I'm going overboard on the Linky Parties, but really, this is bothering me, and I want need to get it out there.  So I'm linking up with Mrs. Stanford's Class for her Comment-a-Holic and Pet Peeves linky.
So here it is.  Lately I've noticed a couple of my favorite bloggers have changed there settings to only include a partial post in their "post feed."  I don't know what the reason for this is.  If you do, let me know.  But I follow a million blogs (give or take) and only have a small amount of time to read all the posts in the morning.  I often don't click on these 'half posts' and probably miss some good info!

I hope this doesn't offend anyone too much.  That is not my intention at all.  I just don't want to miss out on posts because I can't read them quickly and all in one place! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Yay, it's Monday Made It!!

I have been waiting all week to share what I've been up to, and now's the time!

First up, I finally completed my Math Stations that I got from Becky at dots-n-spots.com and my favorite math guru, Scipi over at Go Figure!  Check out their sites for amazing resources!


Nothing too taxing here; just cut, laminate and trim.  But I wanted to share a trick that I used to make my pockets.  Let me preface that I bought the manila envelopes from your favorite dollar store and mine, and some of  them didn't have the little claspy thing on them.  After I rolled my eyes thinking, "You get what you pay for," I had an 'A-HA' moment!  Without the claspy things, I can safely run these envelopes through my laminator!  (OK, if you already knew that, just remember how cool you felt when you figured it out!)  I'm pretty sure you can't see it in the pictures, but the laminating sleeves I had didn't fully cover the envelopes.  I just left the top open.

For the envelopes to hold the number tiles, I laminated regular envelopes with matching squares on the front.  The pouches I used were again too small, and I just cut the short end of the envelope off to make a pocket that should last a good long time. 

September down.  Only 8 months to go...  Thank God for TpT and creative people!

Next up, the BIG project for the week.  Earlier this month I was inspired by The Meek Moose to create storage seating of my own.  I enlisted the help of my dad, and voila!  The hardest part of this whole thing was making decisions in Joanne Fabrics.  Many, many thanks to the ladies who helped indecisive me!


{Please note: I did actually help more than just snapping pictures!}

I love this and am thrilled with how it turned out.  I have the perfect spot for it under the windows, and can't wait to get to school this week and start setting up!

Up soon ~ pictures of my room.  I think most people will be shocked to see how small it is!  

What great things have you been up to this week?  Can't wait to see what you've made!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Picture Book Picks ~ D5: Read the Pictures

Remember this linky party we all participated in a few weeks ago? Well there were so many great books suggested, I just had to go check out some of them myself!  So I sat in the library for a LoOOnnnng time on Wednesday with my iPad and my notebook reading post after post and any of the books that were available.  Then today, I did it all again, but at a different library.  {Hi. My name's Lynn, and I'm a book addict.}

I've decided to do a series of posts to highlight the best or most useful books I've come across.  Many of them I found through the linky, and some I found out of sheer luck!

First I want to share two great books I found that are perfect for read the pictures.  If you've been reading my posts, you know I just finished and decided to embrace Daily 5 this year.  One of the questions I had while reading D5 was about including the three ways to read a book in a 5th grade classroom.  Do 5th graders really still read the pictures? or is that just in primary?  But as I read on, the sisters showed me how to incorporate read the pictures in upper grades as well. (Chapter 4)So I went on a hunt, and came up with these guys!

This first one is brand new and oh, too cute!  Oh, No! Not Again! by Mac Barnett was released just last month, and I can't wait to read it to my class.

When the narrator doesn't earn an A on her history test, she builds a time machine to remedy the problem.  The text is very simply written in thought and word bubbles with limited narration.  I can imagine reading it to the class and have them draw the pictures they hear one day and then reading it again and show the pictures the next day.  (The opposite of the suggestion in The Daily 5.)
Next up is a book that's been around a while, but I've somehow I've missed it until now!  Bamboozled is an adorable story of a young girl's weekly visit to her grandpa's house.  She knows something is wrong, but can't quite figure out what it is!  The cover hints at what it could be:
Bamboozled is very funny and not at all subtle.  Once again, I read the book without looking at the pictures, and I got the gist of the story.  But it is much sillier when you look at the pictures of paintings drinking off the kitchen table with aid of a really long straw or the marble statue chiseling away at his own lower half!  It's really, really cute!  (Note: As I was writing this post, I realized this book is out of print.  It is available at B & N and Amazon through their community booksellers. Sorry, but I couldn't just leave it out; it has a ton of potential.)

I created this Things to Think About card to include in the kids' book boxes this year.  It's kind of like a mini anchor chart.  I print them on bright colored paper and expect the kids to read the prompts before they begin reading.  Last year, we kept them in their reading folders, but book boxed for D5 will be much better; the kids will have no excuse to forget.  You can get it free by clicking the picture!

Somewhat ironically, none of these books were mentioned in the posts I read from Lindsey's linky party.

I hope this post is helpful to someone out there.  Keep an eye out for future Picture Book Posts!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fonts are like lipstick.

I'm linking up with Miss Nelson for another linky party.  Fonts are like lipstick.  I use a font for everything for a while, grow tired of it and find a new one!  So I'm always on the lookout for the next best thing.  This is a great linky for a font freak like me; I can't wait to see what everyone is currently using.  And in a couple of months, I'll look back at my post and wonder what the heck I ever saw in these fonts!

I added my own category just so I could use veggieburger on my list!  I really only use it if there are g's in the word!

That's it people - link up!  I need a font fix!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Blast from the Past!

Remember this from last summer?

This year's commercials are ok, but nothing beats "so much glitter!"

My first Google Doc! (It's a freebie!)

I recently got a help request from a fellow blogger that I couldn't answer.  I have never used google docs except to download pages from other people.  So I played around a bit today and want to share the fruit of my labor - for FREE!!!

On the first day of school, I have the kids complete this scavenger hunt.  It's a nice brain/body break in the middle of the morning for the kids.  And, after talking all morning, I need a break, too.  This is the first time I get to see who follows directions, how they relate to each other, and their personalities in a less formal setting.  While they are completing the activity, I am on the lookout for positive behavior like quiet feet and voices, and respectful and kind words.  When nearly everyone is done, I call them back and acknowledge the good behavior with stickers for their stickers charts.  I have been doing this so long, I have no idea whose idea it was originally; if it was yours, please comment so I can give you credit!
Click the picture to download from Google Docs.   

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Daily 5. Yay or Nay?

So I just finished reading and rereading The Daily 5.  I have mixed feelings about implementing it in my classroom.  In bullet points, here's what I see as strengths and weaknesses (for me).   **Warning!  This post is a bit 'stream of consciousness' (i.e. - rambling) as I sort out my thoughts.

  • I love that the students are taught to be independent and the responsibility for success is put in their hands.  This is something I always strive to do - sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
  • It's a proven plan.  I know many teachers who use it and love it.  None of them are near my school.
  • The book is set up to be foolproof.  The sisters guide you through nearly every aspect of every lesson for the first 5 weeks of school!  I feel like if you follow their steps, you will succeed!
  • Oh, to not have to create and manage centers anymore!
  • I'm not sure how to fit it into my day - and still teach everything else I have to teach (math, ss, science, religion, specialty classes, etc.)
  • My room is S.M.A.L.L., y'all!  I have no idea how to add a gathering space, anchor charts, an easel for creating anchor charts, listening centers, etc.
  • We have a new P this year.  No one else in my school does The Daily 5.  Will the new P be ok with me doing something completely different than everyone else? (Not that we teach reading the same way now...)
Well.  How about that?  Writing out these pros and cons has solidified my decision.  I can see now that my 'weaknesses' were just excuses.  I am going to do it!  I have a meeting next week with the new P.  I'll clear it with her, and then I'm going to figure the rest out!  I don't really think I have time to do a true Daily 5; probably I'll do a Daily 3 like the sisters suggest at the end of the book.   It's been a long time since I changed up my plans so drastically, and it makes me a bit nervous, but I know it's what's best for my students - so bring it on!

Meanwhile I found this ridiculously cute owl themed set of D5 posters for free!  Nancy at Joy of Kindergarten offers these on Scribd.  Plus she's from Ohio - just like me!

Click the picture to go to Nancy's blog and grab your set, too.

It's a Lottery!

Recently, I posted about making my lottery tickets for Monday-Made-It.  One of the commenters was curious how my students can earn a ticket and what is on them, and I thought I would share it with everyone!

In a frenzy of creation, I made tons of  business cards on Vistaprint a few years ago, then realized I had no plan to get them into the kids hands!  Last summer, when lottery tickets were the rage, I knew right away they were the perfect solution!

 Each day students who break one of the classroom rules get "warnings."  One warning is just a reminder to get back on task.  Two warnings equals loss of half of recess.  Three warnings: no recess.   And so on...

Each Monday, each student with no warnings the previous week is entered into a drawing.  To keep it quick and simple, I use raffle tickets like these.

The student who wins gets the candy bar of his choice.  (This is the only candy/food reward in my room.)  Then a student suggested that the students who do not win the weekly drawing be able to keep their tickets and after so many, get a special prize.  What a great idea!   So now, students who have earned (and kept track of) 5 tickets get a lottery ticket.

The rules are this:
  • If I find a ticket on the floor after school, I toss it.  
  • If someone finds a ticket with no name on the back, it goes in the trash.  
  • You may not share or pool your tickets.

Since they are harder to earn than anything else in the room, the lottery tickets have really great prizes on them.
And, since I am super sneaky, out of the 50 or so cards I made this summer, only two of them were homework passes.

One note: Monitor the kids when they scratch these or you will have silver stuff everywhere.  And if you have carpet like I do, you will never get it off the carpet if they aren't careful!

I hope this is helpful!

P.S.  I'm linking up with The First Grade Derby's linky.  Check it out here or click this: 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It

I'm excited to link up with Tara again this week and share what I've been doing!

First, I created new VistaPrint stuff and got a free 7 day shipping deal.  Opening up those boxes and looking at my creations 'live' never gets old!

The t-shirt is a reward for my version of Mrs. Renz's Mastery Club.  (The link to her club is broken, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.  If not, just let me know.  I'd be happy to share.)  The poster is for outside my door and has the same QR code as the brochure: my contact information.


The other thing I've been working on is this year's lottery tickets.  These were a big deal on Pinterest last year, but I don't know who originated the idea.  My kids LOVED earning these and scratching off the ticket.  Many a 5th grader was late for recess as they watched a classmate reveal his prize!

Sorry it's hard to read.  "It's time to paint. Silver paint with a bit of dishwashing soap. Hint: lay all your cards facing the right way."

I have been completely distracted tonight by The Bachelorette.  But I know many of you understand because I read your Guilty Pleasures posts!   And now it's late, and I don't feel like fixing it.

So there you have it.  I am happy to be able to cross this off of my {very} long list of things to do this summer!  I can't wait to see what you all have created this week!  (Of course, I'll regret looking as I add more to my list!)

Yay!  She chose the right one!  And who doesn't love Peter Cetera circa 1987?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

...but I have a good excuse! & a Blog Hop

I have been a very bad blogger this week, but I have a good excuse!  My aunt is visiting from Tennessee, and my sister brought my nieces up for the weekend.  It's been fun!  Yesterday, after a great P.E.O. meeting, my sister and I took the girls to Amish country where we went on a buggy ride through the woods.   The highlights for the girls were 1. the free ice cream after the ride and 2.  the horse poop.  'Nuff said.

This morning we are going to a friend's house to swim.  Meg has been taking swim lessons this summer and can't wait to show off her skills!

So.  As I don't really have time to blog this weekend, I am joining in on the Newbie Blog Hop hosted by Janis at Grade Three is the Place to Be.

All you have to do to enter this blog hop is answer the questions below:

    1.  what state you are in - Northeast Ohio

    2.  your current teaching position - 5th grade in a Catholic school
    3.  your teaching experience - I have been teaching for 12 years - all in the same position
    4.  when you started blogging - If you look at the sidebar, it says I've been blogging since 2010, but only in the last two months have I actually done anything with it!
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource - Comment - share the love!  I know I love it when people comment on my blog.  I feel like it's important that we show our support to each other.  Collaboration is amazing.  Every day, I strive to be a better teacher because of the bloggers who I am inspired by - and I want them to know it!

There you have it!  I have so enjoyed blogging this summer, but I know I'm going to need to make blogging a priority when school starts.  So I created a planning sheet to keep me on track.  You can download it here from my TpT store.

New signature! What do you think?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guilty Pleasures!

Yes, it's another linky party, and yes, I'm linking up!  But really, how could anyone resist when it's so fun and doesn't have anything to do with school?  It's nice to think about something else for a minute. Come on, you know you want to link up, too.

TV.  I love it.  I watch way too much.  My favorites are reality shows  - currently Real Housewives, Dance Moms, Big Brother, and The Bachelorette.  And to go along with that, I love, love, love my DVR!  The only thing I watch as it's happening anymore is the local news and the Today Show in the morning.

This one is going to be obvious!  Blogging.  I have been reading blogs and writing posts at the cost of almost everything else!  In fact, a few days ago I realized at like 8:30 at night that I hadn't eaten the dinner I made (in the microwave) nearly 3 hours before.  I seriously need to limit my time on the computer and DO some of the great things I read about.  Here's the wordle of my blog so far!

Linky Parties are obviously my favorite thing!  There are a ton out there right now that I am resisting. (And let me tell you, it's H-A-R-D!)

Iced coffee.  I make my own by brewing really strong coffee and then keeping a pitcher of it in the fridge.  My day just starts better when it begins with delicious, cold and creamy iced coffee.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Liebster Love

Thank you so much to Sailing Second Grade Seas for giving me this great award!  What a great surprise!

I have loved blogging this summer  and am so excited to be part of such a giving community of teachers.  I have been inspired, humbled and awed!

Below are the five new bloggers I am nominating for this award.  Check them out and share the bloggy love.  All of them are 5TH GRADE BLOGS!  When I started, I thought this was just a hobby/obsession for primary teachers, and I worked hard to find upper elementary blogs.  (For the longest time, I thought Farley and Jordon were it!)  But this summer there has been an explosion of 5th grade teacher blogs!  So I'm sharing so of the ones I've found recently.

Mrs. White's Fifth Grade Class

Fifth Grade Blog

OK ladies, it's your turn!  Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.