Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine freebie AND an award! =)

I haven't blogged in a while, but I was SO excited to check my email last week to see that I received the "Favorite Follower Award" from Sandy over at:

Being a new blogger I did not think I would be receiving this award, so when Sandy handed this to me I was completely shocked and excited. I know it's probably not allowed, but if I could I would give this award back to Sandy because she is one of my favorite followers. She always leaves me sweet comments even though my posts barely ever say anything important. =) 

I want to give this award to one of my favorite 3rd grade blogging friends:

Amber has left me several sweet comments and I love that she is a third grade teacher. 
I am constantly stalking her blog for new ideas in my classroom.
If you haven't checked out her blog, you should! =)

Finally, since it is ALMOST February, I wanted to share one of the activities I have created for Valentine's Day. We don't have enough time to spend the whole day doing Valentine activities, so I try to incorporate things that the kids need to work on into Valentine centers, etc. My kids are still having trouble with ABC order, so I made a Valentine's Day ABC order worksheet. If you can use it, feel free to download it. If you download it, I would love if you would comment AND follow me on TPT. =)

Hope you all had a WONDERFUL Monday and check back later
this week for details on the rock unit we are finishing up! 
& As always, I would love it if you would leave some love! =) 

Oh, and I am LOVING this "tagging" game. I have been tagged three times! 
Whew. I will try to do that post later this week! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Short and Sweet!

Tonight is a short and sweet post! I just HAD to take a moment to share a hilarious story. =)

Today at school we were reviewing vocabulary words for our test tomorrow. One of our words for the week is "Concentration". I always have a student define the word and then we talk about it. I always like to relate the word to my students' lives. So I asked the question, "When is a time you might need concentration?" I got answers from reading, to taking a test, and even when playing video games. Can anyone guess where one brave student said you might need concentration?... the bathroom! I almost DIED. Kids say the most hilarious stuff. That is one reason I love my job. =)

Did you have any funny student moments at your school today?
I would LOVE to hear them! =)

On another note, I am SUPER excited about the rock unit we are doing this week in my classroom. We are talking about the rock phases and our lessons include making EDIBLE rocks. This is going to be so much fun! I can't wait to share it with you guys and I will make sure to take some pictures.

Do any of you teach your students about rocks? 
What types of activities do you do?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Week AND Two Questions

I always love Thursdays because that means Friday is super close. =) Yay weekend!

We have had a great week in my sweet little 3rd grade classroom for many reasons... 

1) My kids have had a great week. I am not sure what has happened to them but they have been working incredibly hard AND they have been quiet. We have a talking problem in my class and they have done a great job this week keeping the chatting to a minimum.

2) We got a NEW student. I love new faces. The kiddos were also extremely excited and did a great job making our new addition feel welcomed. My favorite was at the end of the new student's first day another child came up to me and informed me that they were now best friends. =)

3) We got a NEW pencil sharpener. We haven't had a decent working one since I took the job and I finally purchased a new one. It makes my life SO much easier. (It's the small things in life...hahah)

On another note, I have TWO questions for you! 

1) Do you guys post free documents with any type of clip art? Or do you only post stuff with the clip art you have purchased? For example, do you use the Word/Powerpoint clipart in your documents? I am super scared to post anything that is not all mine. I am new to this and don't want to get in trouble!

2) Where/How can I get a button for my blog. All of you have such CUTE ones & now I need one too. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday. Thanks for reading AND for (hopefully)
answering my questions. =)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

We All Need A Little Motivation...

Some students just don't seem to have it all of the time. 

This tears me up because if students have no motivation in elementary school, 
where does that put them in middle school, high school, and even beyond. 

          During my internship I was placed in a 4th grade classroom. Two of the boys in my class had a low reading level and despised reading. I made it my goal to get them to like reading. I would read with them every free moment we'd have and I would make myself available before school and during PE in case they wanted to read with me.  I made sure to get SUPER excited when something happened in the story and we would discuss each book they read. I would praise them when they read and tell them what a good job they were doing.

          At my school we have a big emphasis on A.R. and whenever they would make a 100 on a test I would break out into the "hundred's dance". I became known for this dance and students would tell me that they made a 100 at the worst times... in the middle of the lunchroom, walking down the hall, and in front of parents and teachers. No matter where I was... I would do a little jig and sing a little tune about how awesome it was that they had made a 100. I truly think they worked hard just so they could watch me a make a fool of myself, but hey, whatever works! I will seriously do anything to get a student excited about school, reading, and working hard! =)

I need some new ideas. 
What do you do to encourage your struggling or unmotivated students?
I would love some new/creative ideas!
Thanks and have a wonderful MLK Monday! =)
-Ms. Smith

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Freebie: Multiplication Concentration

Can you tell we are focusing a ton on multiplication right now? I made this game to put in a math center. Everyone loves a good game of concentration, so with this game my students will be reviewing their math facts as they have some fun. This game of concentration includes the two times tables and the three times tables. As we continue reviewing other facts I will upload them as well if their is interest.

Please follow if you download. =) 
Have a wonderful three day weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Multiplication Scoot (Freebie!)

I am always looking for FUN ways to help my students learn their multiplication facts. This year we are using “Go Math”, which makes students think about how they are getting a certain fact. It has really helped some students, but I still believe that multiplication facts are something you just have to memorize. Most students don’t study flashcards at home, so I use whatever few minutes I can find during the school day to review them.

One of my favorite (quick and easy) ways to review multiplication is:

Multiplication Scoot!

       I love this game, but I can in NO way take the credit for it. I found it over at an awesome sight called Proteacher during my internship. If you know the person I can give the credit to, let me know because they deserve AWESOME credit! =) The amazing thing about this game is that you can alter it for ANY type of review. Below I’ll explain how I use it for math.

1.       1.  Label each desk with a number. In my classroom, the desks are in rows so the children know that the desks are numbered 1 -20 starting at the front of the room and going across each row all the way to the back.

2.       2.  I have a set of multiplication cards handy pretty much all of the time. If we ever have an extra ten minutes I stick a flashcard face down on each desk.

3.       3.  I then have each student stand up behind their desk and push their chair in.
a.     At this point I always remind students about behavior.
b.     I also remind them they will only have 20-30 seconds to answer each problem.
c.      Finally, we all point to the way we will rotate because someone always forgets. =)

4.        4. We then start the game. I set a timer to 20-30 seconds. Each time the timer goes off everyone rotates quickly and quietly. Since I have 20 desks in my room the game lasts about 10 minutes.
a.     At each rotation the child writes down the multiplication problem AND the answer.

5.           5.  Once everyone is back at their original seat, we check our answers quickly. Each student reads flashcard at their desk, and the class responds with the answer.

            The students LOVE this game because they can get out of their seat and move around. They also
like that they must think fast so they are ready to move on before the buzzer sounds. There’s never much
time for anything fun since we are always rushed with our normal math, but if we ever have a light day
and happen to finish early, we try to do this.

           The worksheet below has enough spaces for four Scoot games. My students keep this in their
math folder so it is ready to go at all times.  I also LOVE this game for review for other subject areas. I
used it for history during my internship, and the students loved it. They had 3-5 minutes to complete a
question (they were allowed to use their textbooks) and they forgot that they were completing boring
questions and actually had a little fun. If you want the template for history/science reviews let me know.

           I am a newbie, and couldn't for the life of me, figure out how to attach a google document. Any
tips would be greatly appreciated for my next post. For now, you may download "Multiplication
Scoot" on my empty TPT store. =) If someone helps me figure out google docs, I will change the upload
format to that. If you download, please leave a comment! =)

          Do YOU have any fun, easy ways to review multiplication with your kiddos? I am always
looking for new ways to make learning and review multiplication fun for my students! =)

                             Download Multiplication Scoot Here!

                                Hope ALL of you had a very Wonderful Wednesday. 
                                          Two more days until a LONG weekend! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade is having a fun linky party AND giveaway. 
Of course I have to link up!

I am Currently,

to the train outside chug by outside.
that Alabama just won their 14th National Championship. =)
about what I am going to do with my extra day this weekend. Yay for MLK day. 
a Cafe Mocha from Starbucks!
Finish (Strong!)
Am I allowed to have two little words? =)

Check back later this week for an actual school related post. 
Have a wonderful Wednesday. Three more days until the weekend. =)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Seriously? An Award?

Wow! How is this tiny, little blog worthy of TWO awards? 
Gosh, I was so excited to see the sweet notes (and awards) left on my last post.

The first award I received was the Versatile Blogger Award from Erika at The Honey Bunch AND from Tammy at Forever in First. Thank you ladies SO much for this award. You two have been two of my biggest supporters during the short life of this blog and I really appreciate you. 

Okay, Here are The Versatile Blogger Award Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them (see above).

2. Tell 7 things about yourself.
  • I am a first year teacher and I started in November. It has been crazy.
  • I am a HUGE football fan. LOVE LOVE LOVE football season. Roll Tide! =)
  • If I wasn't a teacher, I would be a Strength and Conditioning Coach (random, right?)
  • In college I was on the rowing team at my school.
  • I am a soccer coach to sweet little 6 and 7 year olds.
  • Chocolate is my weakness.
  • I LOVE country music.
3. Pass the award on to 15 other newly discovered blogs and let them know they recieved the award.

First off, I will never get to 15 blogs, that's a ton. So lets do three. =)
Kimberly at Creative Teaching
Shellie at Teach to Impact

The second award I received was the Liebster Award from Ms. Smartie Pants. I absolutely adore her blog and was so excited to receive this award. 

Here are the rules for this award:
1. Show your appreciation to the bloggar who nominated you by linking back to their blog (above).
2. Nominate other happy bloggers (200 followers or less) by posting a comment on their blogs.

Okay this was difficult. Both of these ladies have ALMOST 200 followers, but I chose them anyway because I LOVE their blogs. =)
(She almost has 200 followers and I feel certain she has probably already won this award before because her blog is amazing.)

(I also feel certain she has received this before because her blog is SO wonderful.)

3. Post the award on your blog.

4. Make sure you check out what these up-and-coming blogs have to offer.

Thanks for all of the support ladies. I really appreciate you and the amazing ideas that you are constantly posting on your blogs. Have a WONDERFUL weekend, and Roll Tide Roll! =)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

They're Back! (& Our NEW Library)

            After two teacher workdays, my students finally returned today. This morning we took some time to talk about our goals for the New Year and we did an awesome New Year’s activity that is all over Pinterest. I used the “Glyph Girls” free download on TPT... You should check it out!

First, we talked about our class goals. I thought this was important to do since I started in the middle of the year. I see 2012 as a fresh start for us as a class, a new beginning. My students really did a great job of picking some great goals. I put them on cute pieces of paper and put them on our classroom door.

Next, I gave each student the chance to reflect on a goal they would like to have for 2012. They came up with some GREAT ideas. After we all had a goal in mind, everyone shared, and then we made our cute people.(Once again, this project came from the Glyph Girls!)  =)

We spent most of the afternoon checking out our NEW classroom library. I was SO fortunate to receive a ton of donated books from a sweet Girl Scout Troop and members of my church. I also love going to garage sales, so I had stocked up on a pretty good amount of books.

Over the break I painted bookshelves, bought new baskets, and organized and labeled every single book in our classroom library. (Do you know how long it takes to put the AR level and quiz number in every single book? Actually, most of y’all probably do. Haha)

We talked about all of the genres, how the books were organized, and how to go about checking out books in the classroom library. Everyone was super excited about the new library and I was super excited that they were so excited! =) After we discussed rules, etc., I gave them a chance to pick out a book and we had some quiet reading time so that they could really enjoy our new addition. 

            I hope you guys have all had a great first week back. I love that tomorrow is already Friday!