Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Techy Teacher Tuesday

I'm linking up with Katie at Queen of the First Grade Jungle for her Techy Teacher Tuesday linky! WOO!  I've been wanting to join this linky for a while- but I finally have some great ideas to share!

I went to an iPad workshop with a friend last week, and I got some new ideas.  Boy- did I wish that I had 1:1 iPads in my classroom- oh the possibilities.  It made me a little jealous, I'm not going to lie.  But- after I got over that, I tried to see what I could still use in my classroom.  

Great Classroom Apps

Sonic Pics 3.99
Let students be able to record their voice along with pictures.
This could be used to access student background knowledge, create projects, and assess!  Oh the possibilities!

Drawing Pad  $1.99
Doodle Buddy is free, but this app is well worth the money.  It has everything you need.  Students can draw their visualizations while you read to them, they can mark their thinking instead of using post it notes!  How about that!  

Comic Life  $1.99
Have students create comics or graphic novels.  AWESOME!
Don't have ipads- see below for my version of this on a regular computer!

ebook Magic  $2.99
This is a publishing tool for students.

Want to track student progress?  Have them take a screen shot and email it to you!  Set up a separate email account for the class to send so it doesn't clog up your home or school email. To take a screen shot- click the home button and the power button on top at the same time.  That was a new thing I learned- hope it helps someone else out!

Classroom Projects using Technology

Book Trailers
One thing I'm going to try with my high reading group this week is creating book trailers.  Here is one on Stone Fox, which we are just finishing up reading.  Here's my plan.  I'm gong to show them this one and we will talk about it.  Then, I will show them a few for some possible new books to read and let them choose their new book based on book trailers.  Then, I will have them work on a book trailer with a partner for a book they've read.  I'm really excited about this!  I think an important mini lesson in this will be the power that music can have!  I'm not sure if we'll use iMovie or photo story.  Like I said, it'll only be about 6 kids to start out- so we'll see! :)

This is obviously for older kids, but check out this Number the Stars book trailer. Makes me want to read it!

Comics (Graphic Novel Style)
Ok, so I fell in love with the Comic Life app.  However, like I said, I don't have 1:1 iPads in my classroom.  Let's be honest- I don't have any.  I have my one personal iPad that I have to make the most of!  So- why not create comics or graphic novels in power point!!  I was so excited when I had this AH-HA! moment.  Put the pictures in and then have students use the speech bubbles to create their own comic or graphic novel style!  This could be used as a new project, writing workshop project, or even a book report! :)

I know this isn't a new one, but I was reminded about it.  Let students share their thinking with each other.  Having someone (besides the teacher) respond to their thoughts makes it a whole new world.  Start small- just your class.  Then, expand the blog to include family members.  Next, find classrooms around the countries to share your ideas with!

Now- what I realized is just so important for kids by using the internet and some of these apps is that kids now have a huge audience for their work.  What a fabulous thought. Kids really love the fact that they can share their work not only with their peers, parents, but now...the world!  HOW POWERFUL!

I'll be back next week with some more great apps, but for now it's time to relax and watch the snow continue to fall!  :)  So pretty!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Five for Friday and a Freebie {On Saturday}!!

I'm exited to be linking up with Doodle Bugs to wrap up my week!  What a week it's been! We were expecting a big snowstorm on Thursday night into Friday and what a bummer- we got about 2.5 inches!!  Everything seems to be missing us this year!

1.   St. Patrick's Day is coming. WHOA!  So is Easter!  Holy cow!    Here is a little making word freebie for St. Patrick's Day.  My students are obsessed with these making words activities and I hope yours can enjoy it as well!

Freebie Fridays

2.   As a behavior reward/science experiment, we made root beer floats! Oh.my.word.  If I could capture the excitement on their faces- it seriously made my week!  I did have one student say that his mom didn't allow him to have beer.  HAHA! :)  We had to go over that this was just pop.  I'll go into my positive classroom behavior rewards in another post- but this was a great way to reward them and bring in matter (solids, liquids, and gas).  They did have to fill out a paper and make observations and draw what the observed.  Man, were they speedy so they could enjoy the deliciousness!

3.  I went to a workshop after school on Thursday about using iPads and technology in the classroom.  I don't have iPads for my classroom (just my own personal one I bring in) but I am all kinds of jealous of those that do! Oh, the possibilities!  anyways, I learned some great ways to incorporate more technology in my classroom.  I'll link up with Teacher Techy Tuesdays this week for a great long post with lots of ideas!  Have you heard of the sock puppet app?  It's so adorable.  It's also free!  Check back Tuesday for some awesome tech tips.  It's always great to be inspired!

4.  I was so disappointed that Nashville wasn't on tv this week.  BUMMER!  I have also been missing Parenthood.  Now what am I going to do now that Downton Abbey Season 3 is over?  HAHA...I have major life problems here you can see! :)

5.  So excited to hang out with some great friends tonight.  It's much needed, and well, my friends rock! :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Tiny Seed and A Freebie!

Who doesn't love Eric Carle?!  Right?!  I know!  It's always great fun when The Tiny Seed comes up in our Treasures Basal.  Not only do we do a bunch of activities with The Tiny Seed but we explore other Eric Carle books as well throughout the week.

Here is a glimpse at a fun project that the students LOVE!  After reading the story, we work on sequencing.  Students write about what happened first, next, then, last in the story.  We talk a lot about going through the seasons and the order in which the seed becomes a flower.  The students write out the order.  Then, they get to create a picture collage to go with their writing.  We talk about Eric Carle's style of illustrations and we use scrapbook paper to create similar collage like pictures.

The students have a blast and always shout out compliments to each other.  It's a win-win! :)  Here are some of my students' works in progress and finished products!

Click here for some reading response freebies that you could use in your classroom to create this project with your students!

Do you have any other great Eric Carle lessons or ideas?!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tell Me Something Good, A Freebie, and A Giveaway, oh my!

Do you follow Aimee at Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks?  I love her blog.  If you haven't already been there- go check it out.  She is having a 400 followers giveaway and I am beyond excited to be a part of it.  I'm giving away my Cause and Effect packet along with my Be A Contraction Mon-Star pack!  WOO HOO!!  There are so many prizes- go check it out!!! :-)

I'm also linking up with Jen at Rowdy in First Grade for her Tell me Something Good Linky party!  It's always a great way to start the week by focusing on something good!

Something Good at School- I feel that my students are really progressing in their writing.  I have loved watching them grow as writers.  I'm really proud of how far they've come and that they are just loving writing workshop time!  I love hearing their little groans when it's time to stop.  (And we even stop because it's time for lunch!) haha  Right now we are working on opinion writing and are using Susan Moran from TGIF's Opinion Writing Unit.  The ideas are great, it is well planned out, and even comes with a rubric!  I highly recommend it!

Here is a sentence from one of my lovelies:  Santa has a harder job because he has to come down the chimney.  Santa is big and the chimney is small.  The tooth fairy just has to fly through a window. EASY!

Hahaha...they are cracking me up! :)

Something Good at Home- My auntie turned 94 last week and we had a big family party to help her celebrate.   It was a lot of fun.  My mom's side is a big, crazy, loud family and we always have a blast when we're all together!!  LOVE THEM! :)

And now for the freebie!  

Here is a little student reflection sheet that I have my students fill out for conferences.  They have a lot of fun with it and it gives them time to reflect.  I made one for 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd grade!  Click here to get your copy! :)

I hope you had a great Monday!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A-Z Teacher Me and Valentine's Day FREEBIE!

I'm linking up with The Polished Teacher for her A-Z Teacher Me linky party!  How fun!  Here we go...
A: App
Sock Puppets and Learn Cursive
B: Book Character-Really?  I have to choose?  I love Gooney Bird Greene, Junie B. and Arthur.  Oh, I could choose a million more....
C: Clip Art
Creative Clips Monsters
My new fav set!  I love Creative Clips for all my clip art needs!!
Lately though, it was the 100th day stickers and bookmarks! What a bargain!
E: Essential To Start DayDiet Coke.  I am obsessed.  
Although, I'm drinking much more water nowadays!
F: FontCT Chunk Dot created byErin at Creating and Teaching.  It's just such a fun font.  I love it! :)
Check it out!
G: Game
Spelling Silent Ball and Math Jeopardy
I've talked about my love affair with Jeopardy before HAHA!  but I also love Spelling Silent ball.  Get it...SILENT is the key word!  They throw the ball around and have to spell a word, but if the talk, they are out!  O-U-T- out! :)    I used to love Sparkle but since I have 3 different spelling lists, this one works!
H: Holiday- Christmas. Hands Down!  There is just so much happiness in the air and so many fun things to do!
I: Ice CreamCookies and Cream!   Yum!  I am a huge ice cream junkie.  It is my absolute weakness.  I love going to Cold Stone and Dairy Queen in the summer.
J: Jewelry PieceMy Godmother made me a necklace with some of the diamonds from my grandma's wedding ring.  It's the best and means the world to me!
K: Kid-ismWhen we were taking about Martin Luther King Jr. we were comparing ourselves to him. 
Me:  How are you similar to MLK?
Student:  Well, we kind of have the same nose.
HAHAHA!  I guess he didn't understand what I meant exactly, but points for effort... :)
L: Location To TravelDisneyworld!  :)  LOVE.
M: Management Technique- I love having the students use number signals for drink ,washroom, sharpen pencils.  It really saves my sanity! :)
N: Nail Polish
Margarita OPI (I think it's Margarita something...)
I'm not Just a Waitress by OPI

O: Open House Idea
We only have one open house right in the beginning of the year.  But, I love to give the students a check-list on their desk.  They can go around showing their parents and "entourage" all the different aspects of our classroom and tell them about the first week of school as they do it!
P: Pinterest Find
What a great and simple idea! LOVE!
Q: Quote
Thank you, Mother Teresa.
R: Read-Aloud
Sideway Stories from Wayside School- all 3 of them.
Your kids will be rolling with laughter and begging you to read more.
Your'e welcome.
S: School Supply-Markers.  Smelly Markers, Sharpie Markers, Dry Erase Markers...just markers!  Fresh new markers make me so happy!
T: TPT/TN Product- Oh, there are so many to choose from.
However, right now my favorite is this Opinion Writing Unit.  It even comes with a rubric!  It's from Susan Moran at TGIF.  Check it out here.

U: Un-Official Hobby- well I love to craft and I used to knit.  Does that count?  I'd love to start knitting again.  Maybe over spring break?
V: Video Brain Break- There are some fun kid yoga dvds that are great!
W: Way To Spend A Day Off- On the couch in my PJs cuddling and watching movies with my husband!
X: X-tra Special Blogs You 
Y: Yummy Dessert- Strawberry shortcake (some angel food cake with fresh strawberries and cool whip.  BEST EVER!)
Z: Zoo Animal- I love giraffes and zebras. I'm not sure why, but I love them!

And now that you got to the end of my post, here is a fun little Valentine's Day Freebie-  A Valentine's Day BUMP game board!  Ahh- my kids will be stoked to play this game this week!! Click here! ENJOY!

Don't forget- my Be A Contraction Mon-STAR packet is on sale through tonight!!

Happy Sunday!  I just found out Downton Abbey is two hours tonight, so I am stoked!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fantasy vs. Reality and Contraction Mon-STARs!

This past week we were working on fantasy vs. reality in reading.  The students had a lot of fun with this.  At first, they struggled coming determining reality in a story we were reading, but by the end of the week they were pros!

On Wednesday, the students each wrote one Fantasy and one Reality statement.  Then we folded them up and but them in bin.  Then we pulled them out and had to decide if they were fantasy vs. reality.  The students had a blast!  There were a few that really made them think but through some discussion we figured them out!

Here is our bin of reality and fantasy sentences.

Here are a few of their sentences.

I just had them write on pieces of white paper, but here is a quick template if you'd like!

I also pulled a bunch of books from the library.  Groups of students had to put the books in piles of fantasy vs. reality.  This was a Friday activity and they did a great job!  Sorry I don't have any pictures!

This week, we also had a blast with "not" contractions. It was a blast!  I created a contraction MON-STAR unit and wanted to test it out with my kids first.  I think their favorite activities were SCOOT and BUMP!  Again, I'm sorry- I really need to get better at taking pictures.  That is my goal for this week coming up!  Here is a preview of my contraction unit.  It's one of my FAVS for sure!!!
This 35 page unit includes...
-scoot game and recording sheet
-scavenger game and two recording sheets
-build a contraction
-contraction match-up/ memory (2 different options and recording sheet)
-contraction bump game
-3 contraction worksheets for practice
-contraction MON-STAR certificate

Have a great weekend!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Currently February

Of course I'm linking up with Farley for the oh so fun- Currently!  I can't believe that it's February already!  I'm so glad that good ol Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow and it's going to be an early Spring!  HECK YES!! :) :) 

If I had the money, I'd hire someone to do all our laundry.  I just hate having to do laundry!

Pet Peeves- It really bugs me when people aren't appreciative.  I love helping out, getting surprises for people, etc and it just bugs me when people aren't appreciative.  I also think that so many of my students take things for granted and are definitely not appreciative and it just drives me CR to the AZY!

I'm going to try and get some work done on this cold and snowy day so I can enjoy the Super Bowl!  :)  I'm getting excited thinking about all the yummy snacks we'll be having.  I think that warm  chili cheese dip is my favorite!

Go link up and don't forget Farley's rule of 3! :)  Enjoy the day, my friends!!

Friday, February 1, 2013


I am all kinds of exhausted- HOLY COW!!  I've haven't blogged all week- I can't believe it, but holy cow, I'm beyond ready for a nap!!  :)  I think I just might curl up with a warm blanket on this freezing cold day.    I promise I'll have some better posts this weekend- but I wanted to make sure you knew about the awesome SUPER SALE happening over at TpT on Sunday.  My entire store will be 20% off.  Then, when you enter the code: SUPER at checkout you get an additional sale which will equal 28% off your purchase!! WOOO HOO!!

Go fill your wish lists now.  I know that mine is stocked.  I have some new clip art I've been eyeing and   have some great units in my cart!!!  SO PUMPED!!!

While you're shopping, check out some of my favorite units that'll be on sale in my store!




HAPPY SHOPPING!!  I love football and can't wait to watch the game, but not sure who I want to win.  I hope there are some great commercials though!!!