Sunday, April 24, 2016

The FINAL Countdown: End of the Year Tips/Tricks!

Thanks for hopping on over from Marvel Math and welcome to stop #15! I hope by now you have TONS of awesome tips to help you get through these last few weeks of school!

Can y'all believe it's already that time of year?… The LAST quarter. I can’t believe it got here so fast. I don’t know about yall, but I always have a big mix of emotions at this point of year. I am EXCITED for summer… but I am also SO SAD to lose my kiddos forever. One year just always seems to short. = (

The last six weeks of school can be CRAZY. Testing. Field day. Assemblies. Year book signing day. Graduations. The list could go on. What do you do to keep both YOU and YOUR STUDENTS sane during this crazy time? Check out what we do in our classroom below.

1) Don’t check out…yet.
Yall… Structure is the most beautiful thing. This tip probably seems crazy, but I think it is the most important. I don’t know about yall, but I always seem to run out of time to teach and do everything I want to. Even though it is tempting to put in a movie or start cleaning your room during the last few days/weeks of school, keep the structure and keep teaching! I am excited to do some STEM projects now that test review and prep is almost officially over! EEEK. Can’t wait.

2. Implement a new reward system.

Have prize days. Set the tone that excellent behavior will be applauded! Things get crazy this time of year (as stated above). Encourage your students to continue to have excellent behavior. This time of year I like to do random prize days. My school runs on a 1 to 5 behavior chart, so on certain days everyone on a 3 or higher at the end of the day will get a mystery prize (beads, a piece of candy, etc.) New this year in my classroom (thanks to instagram) we have a V.I.L table for leaders who soar past behavior expectations. Throwing in new, fresh behavior during the last quarter of school will keep students working hard and behaving well!

3. Let your kids help get you ready for next year.
I like to have my kids help me introduce my new kids to my classroom through a letter/or survey. This year I am going to have them complete the graphic organizer above on our classroom i-Pads using PhotoGrid. I haven’t decided if I am going to print them out or leave them on the i-Pads for next year’s kiddos to flip through.  I might turn them into a PDF book so that they can flip through all of the pages at once. Check out my end of the year freebie on TPT for the printable/uploadable file so you can do this project in your classroom!

What is your favorite end of the year survival tip? 
I'd love for you to share it in the comments below!

Secret Letter: M

Don't forget to enter our giveaway below once you have figured out our secret phrase!
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Now...  hop on over to Two Little Birds for your next letter and for more GREAT tips!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Let's Make Some Inferences! (Part 2)

3 months later, here is the follow up to: Let's Make Some Inferences: Part 1!

Alright y'all, today's blog post is all about the 5 inferencing tasks I had my students complete. As I mentioned in my previous post, I used some fabulous task cards from Buzzing with Ms. B, along with some amazing video clips from Youtube, to create a 5 task assignment for my students. They simply worked through all 5 tasks in whatever order worked for them (My only rule was to not watch both videos back to back.) 

For tasks 1-3 my students simply read and completed three of Ms. B's task cards. I had them record their answer on a different answer sheet (included in the freebie below). These were great for discussion and practice. Thanks, Ms. B, for the outstanding resource.

For tasks 4-5 I used two awesome videos. There are no words in these videos, so students really have to make inferences. Watch each video below and download my free task sheet below to see the questions I asked my students to help them infer. There are TONS of additional inferring questions you could ask about these clips, but I just picked a few. 

Video Clip #1: One Man Band

Video Clip #2: Defective Detective
This video might be my favorite. This is about a detective who infers incorrectly. Love!

The task sheet I had my kiddos complete looked a bit different then the one I am attaching below. For you guys, I put all of the task card tasks on one page and the video clip task cards on another page. I hope this allows you to use both or just one in your classroom since they aren't all mixed together. 

These tasks were a MAJOR hit in my classroom and I was ohhhhh so impressed at how engaged my students were. I can't wait for my next hands-on technology lesson in my classroom... Of I go to start figuring out what I'll be doing (technology wise) next! = )

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mason Jar Succulents: Coworker Gift Idea!

Need a quick, cheap coworker gift idea? 
I've got you covered!
If you are like me, you've got lots of coworkers you'd love to shower with some love this holiday season, but you don't have lots of money! I hate buying useless/cheap things for coworkers just so I can say I got them a gift. This Christmas I decided to get a little creative with my gifts by planting some mason jar succulents and I seriously love them.

Mason Jar Succulents (less than $5 each)

What do you need?
-Mason jars (pack of 12 @ Walmart for $8)
-Succulents (Walmart for $2.98/Lowes for $3.98)
-Potting Soil
-Twine/Ribbon (I had some of this in my craft box)
-Card (I bought these at Hobby Lobby at 50% off)

It get's dark WAY before I get home, so once I had gathered my items, I laid out some garbage bags on my hardwood floor and got to work. I LOVE gardening, so I found this type of gift making to be super stress relieving! I found it to be much more enjoyable then gift wrapping or shopping in the holiday craziness! I was super happy with the way they turned out, and I really hope my coworkers will like them! Hopefully they will brighten up their kitchen counters or classroom desks this holiday season! Happy succulent planting! = )

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Let's Make Some Inferences! (Part 1)

We have been studying all about making inferences for the last week or so in fourth grade. We started with the very popular "What's in Ms. Smith's bag?" activity, and we continued through several different passages, pictures, and task cards.

This year I've been on a quest to do a better job incorporating hands-on technology into my lessons. I've ways used my ELMO and my computer at the front of my classroom, but I really think its important for students to be interacting and manipulating the technology instead of just staring at it. In my classroom I only have three iPads and two desktops, so I have to get creative. I have awesome coworkers, so whenever I ask to borrow a set of iPads, someone always helps me out. With another teachers iPads, I have the ability to break my students into groups of 3 or 4, and so far that has worked best.

Ok, back to inferencing...
I wanted to come up with some way to incorporate some fun technology into my inferencing unit so I set off to Pinterest and TPT in search of ideas. There are TONS of fabulous short Pixar films that are great for inferencing. I have shown several of these short clips on my projector (and we have discussed as a class), but I wanted to take that a step further for this lesson.

Because I only had 6 iPads (I borrowed 3 from a coworker), I knew I would have to involve some non-technology aspects of my lesson as well. I stumbled across an awesome freebie on TPT's Facebook page on inferencing and it is a fabulous resource. It is by Buzzing with Mrs. B and it is a forever freebie! How awesome is that? Check it out here! I mainly used the task cards in this pack because we had already been studying inferencing for several days when I found this pack, but I am definitely saving and using the whole thing next year!

I decided to create 5 tasks for my students to complete. I laid out the 5 tasks on a worksheet. I told my students that they needed to complete all five task cards, working on whatever resource was available. I started each group on a different task, and I told them to find an empty task to move on to when they finished the current task they were on. Three of the tasks were task cards from Ms. B's resource, and two were short pixar films from Youtube. (I must say I was worried about not having a "rotate now" system, but it worked great. I did tell students to not do both video tasks back to back so that everyone could work with the iPads.)

Y'all, my students were SO engaged. It was amazing. I felt like angels should be singing and I wanted to do a happy dance. Technology won me over and I'm now trying to figure out how many different ways I can use it in my classroom. My goal for now is to try to incorporate at least one hands-on technology activity per week. With only three iPads (and having to borrow other teachers' iPads) I feel like thats a good goal.

[Check back for Part 2... coming soon.]
Part 2 will include the AMAZING Pixar videos I used for inferencing, along with the task page I gave my students. This will be a free resource. Woot. Woot!

Until then.. how do you use technology in your classroom? I'd love any awesome ideas that have worked for you! = )

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Made-It!

I'm not sure how or why summer weeks get so crazy, but they do! Somehow I still managed to get some things done, and even made a few things! Excited to link up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for the first time in a LOOONG while! If you missed my blog post from yesterday, I am committing to getting back into blogging after neglecting my little piece of the internet for far too long. Read that blog post HERE! 
*It contains a gift card giveaway so go check it out!

Alright... on to what I made this week...

[1] Positive Notes Home
In my classroom, I LOVE sending happy notes home. 
(More on this subject coming SOON in another blog post.)
Last year I wrote them on whatever I could quickly find at the end of the day. That wasn't the cutest or most professional option, so I decided to make a fun post card I could copy, store, and easily fill out and use. Now I won't have to use a random piece of paper or sticky note to send home a happy letter. 

[2] Blog Twitter and Blog Pinterest Accounts
Even though I didn't make it to Vegas, I feel like everyone who went has been posting about the importance of a presence on social media. I'd love to connect with some of you guys on both of these new (to me) social media outlets!

*On a side note, does anyone else have a super long blog name that is too long for usernames on Pinterest, Twitter, and Periscope? SO frustrating. And, to make it even worse, my blog name can't be shortened. I had to get creative with my usernames for my new accounts. Ohhh well!

Well, thats it for this week's Monday Made-it! Can't wait to read along and see what all of you guys have made this week! 
Happy Monday! It's going to be a scorching hot week in the South!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back at it! (Stop by for a giveaway!)

I was one of the sad Teachers Pay Teachers sellers that was stuck at home last week. Even though I didn't get to attend, I have been truly inspired by the information and ideas people have been sharing from the conference.  Because of that, I have been inspired to start this ole blog back up. It is my goal to be more consistent on this little blog of mine! I have really enjoyed it in the past and I am pumped to get started again! I have also heard about how important social media is for us, so I created Pinterest and Twitter accounts that are connected to my blog and store.

I figured as a proper I'M BACK, and as a way to launch some of my new social media accounts, I should have a fun giveaway. 
In order to celebrate, I am going to giveaway a $10 gift certificate. 
The best part is that the winner gets to choose which store...
TPT or Target.

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends next week.

I am SO looking forward to getting back into the swing of blogging and getting to know some of my fellow bloggers. I'd love to connect with some of you! If you want a new blogging friend, let me know. = ) 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The COOLEST online consignment boutique.

I LOVE a good deal.... 

I love good deals SO much that I don't buy things unless they are on sale or cheap! Hah! The thing is... I like nice things, so I don't just buy things because they are cheap. A while back I stumbled across a fun website called Twice. It is an online consignment store that sells brand name women's clothing. I LOVE consignment stores so I knew this website would be perfect for me...
and it is.

All you do is head to the website and search under the different categories. Load up your cart and purchase brands like JCrew, Gap, etc. for super deep discounts. I just purchased three fun tops that I will have to show you guys once they come in!

Ways to save even more on Twice!
1) Download the app and receive a $10 credit. (This promotion was going on a few days ago and hopefully it still is for you guys!)
2) Refer friends! You get $10 for every friend that purchases something off of Twice!
3) Use the code "trendsetter" at checkout to receive an extra 15% off. (I am THAT person that always googles coupon codes. I found this one and magically... it worked! Woot!)

Another thing I LOVED about Twice is you can also sell your clothes!

The Twice website has an interactive "sellers" portal where you can search specific brands to see what amount you might receive for an item you send in. Twice sends you a back to put all of your clothes in and it ships FO' FREE. Once they receive your bag they send you an email with how much cash they will send you for your items.
***I sent in my first bag on Friday. I'll give you guys an update once they process my bag. I sent in 9 items. It included brands such as JCrew, Loft, Banana Republic, Anthro, and Theory. We will see how much money they are willing to give me for it! = )

Here is my first package getting shipped of to Twice! =)

Have any of you tried Twice? If so, I'd love to hear about your experiences. I am a newbie to this fun website so I'd love to hear from someone who has used it before. I will come back with an update when I receive my fabulous new shirts and again when Twice sends me an evaluation of the clothing I sent in! Happy Monday! =)

**Twice did not ask me to write this blog post. I just enjoy informing the online community of cool things when I find them! = ) I also can receive a store credit for each person that orders something through my referral link!