Saturday, August 30, 2014

Five for Friday Week #2 (Saturday Addition)

I'm linking up a date late again with Doodle Bugs Teaching!  Here's why...

WOOSH!  That was the sound of my second week of school flying by, and Zzzzzz, was the sound that I made by 8:00PM last night!  I was exhausted which is pretty much the consensus of every blogger that has returned to school prior to Labor Day!  

 I'm still loving my new school and coworkers!  Everyday has been a confirmation that the move was a smart choice.  My new principal passed out a copy of One Word that will change your life to all of us during our preplanning week.  

One Word That Will Change Your Life, Expanded Edition,9781118809426

My word for the school year...Balance!  Which leads me to my #2 random thing for the week.

In order to maintain balance this year I scheduled a Mani/Pedi after school on Monday, a Message on Wednesday, and a Facial on Friday!  Repeat after me,
"Relax, Refresh, and Heal!"

Florida added a new Math standard to the Common Core standards on Relational Thinking and my school district decided it should be taught first on our new curriculum map.  This was a mind blower for my 4th grade team.  Thankfully, our wonderful Grade Chair went to several math workshops over the summer and brought back how to Transform Standards into Clear Learning Goals in the form of a Standards Wall.  Have any of you used this?  I loved it!  Here's what my wall looked like for the Relational Thinking Standards MAFS.4.OA.1a & 1b.

This is an example of implementation of "Determine if an equation is true or false by comparing, decomposing, and composing the numbers"  students are not to use calculations and must share/record their thinking.  

This is very exciting!  I have my very own kit and have started to build my Classroom's Reading Community!  I was also given the Vocabulary Supplement that compliments the program!  I love it!!

Making Meaning Grade 4 Materials

So far we have established our classroom Reading Community, routines & procedures for Class Meetings, Listening to our Partner, and how to share our thinking with making connections to the text!  Stay tuned for more sharing on how effective this program is for All my students!!  

Random Thing #5 is dedicated to my son, Erik.  He has completed 4 weeks of Marine Corps Boot Camp.  I have received 3 letters from him so far and he sounds up beat, motivated, and in good spirits!  This warms my heart.  He has 9 more weeks to go!  Next week he has Water Survival Training!  

I'm confident he will excel since he is a Florida Boy, Surfer, and an Excellent Swimmer!  

Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

First Week of the 2014-2015 School Year!


I'm linking up with my BBB Joanne from Head Over Heel for Teaching for the first Spark Student Motivation Saturday of my 2014-2015 School Year!

I love my new school, new classroom, new teammates, new students, and just about everything about the new school year!  I just have to show you my room first!

Of course I spent the week orienting myself and my students to classroom procedures and expectations.  I use a behavior clip chart to manage student behavior from Teacher Tools and Time Savers.

I feel that students have more "buy in" with a classroom behavior system if they help develop the rubric and expectations.  Here is a pic of what my students came up with for defining the difference between what a "Good Day", "Outstanding", and "Role Model" look like.

I have to throw in a little student motivation with this, so...when a student reaches "Role Model" they will receive one  of...

Scan To Win Reward Tickets

I also enticed my students to work hard all week to get rid of their "Summer Brains" with another one  of Joanne's fabulous Spark Student Motivation ideas.  FLASHLIGHT FRIDAYS!!  My students were busting at the seams on Friday afternoon when I FINALLY pulled out the flashlights for the last 30 minutes of the day!  Check this out!!!

It was a huge hit!!  My students can't wait till next Friday!!  Looks like I'm creating Wild Readers!!

I created a new product for my TpT store!  Editable Classroom Schedule Labels!  I have a freebie you can download to try!  If you like it and would like different colors then you may want to purchase the whole packet for only $2.00!!  Check it out!

Classroom Schedule Labels Freebie (Editable)

Editable Classroom Daily Schedule Labels

Last, but certainly not the least.  I received a wonderful letter from my son, Erik.  For those of you that don't know, Erik is in Marine Corps Boot Camp at Parris Island, SC.  I am a very proud Mom-ma!  He sounded great, like he is actually enjoying all the craziness!  I could hear his sense of humor and personality through his writing!  It warmed my heart!  He will start week #4 out of 13 on Monday!  I can't wait till Graduation on October 31st!  

Erik is the shorter one!!  

Thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a great weekend! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made It -Back to School!

It's the very last Monday before I officially have to report back to school TOMORROW!  Even though I've been working in my classroom everyday for the past week it is sad to me that this is my very last day of summer vacation!  I started several projects this summer and did not complete one!  I blame this epic failure on my weakness for the sun and pool.  They just kept calling my name to come outside and enjoy them, so I did!     

This is why I am so excited to FINALLY link up with Tara for her Monday Made It Linky Party over at 4th Grade Frolics!  I've actually managed to MAKE a few things for my classroom!  WHAT? 


I know, I know, I'm a year or two behind.  In my defense, I've wanted to make these for a couple of years, but when I moved out into Portable Land there just wasn't enough room to utilize them in my classroom.  Now that I am relocating into a nice spacious classroom I have room!  Here's what I did to make them!

First, I went to Home Depot and had two pieces of plywood cut down to fit on the lip of the crate.  I took the crate with me so it was easier for the nice young man to measure and test the fit of each piece he cut!

Next, I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a roll of foam!  I cut the foam into pieces and glued them onto the ply wood using an adhesive spray!

Once I had the foam glued onto the plywood I cut a piece of fabric and then stapled it to the plywood!  I did have to pull the fabric tightly and I tried to fold the corners like a present.  The good news is that NO BODY is going to look at the bottom of the seat!  Yay!



I've been on a Made It roll!  As I was moving into my new classroom I took note as to what I inherited and what I needed to bring.  My new classroom DID NOT have white boards and I had to leave a beautiful magnetic set at my old school since they were purchased with Title I funds...

Then I remembered Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching blogged about making your own set of white boards for CHEAP!  You know what that means? Another trip to the hardware store!  This time I went to Lowe's and had a piece of shower board cut into 12x12 inch squares!  My lovely daughter, Elizabeth framed the edges with duct tape! 

I've got ONE MORE!  I need a chair for my Morning Meeting/Read Aloud area, so I decided to paint an old wooden rocking chair that we have moved out of the house and onto the back porch.  It just didn't fit anywhere in our house, and my husband just couldn't part with it.  Too many memories...  I worry about this chair being exposed to the humidity outside.  It belonged to my husband's grandmother, and she, along with my mother-in-law, used it to rock my husband, his brothers, and my children when they were babies. It was perfect for my classroom!!  It stays in the family and it will be put to good use!

I was so excited to paint that I almost forgot to take a before pic...



Lastly, I MADE IT a whole week without my boy!  He left last Monday for Marine Corps Boot Camp.  He will be gone for a total of 13 weeks, and only 12 more to go!  Here is a picture of us before he left.  I am so proud of him and the man he is going to become! Love you Erik!!