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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Stuff!

Christmas break has been wonderful. Ive spent a lot of time with family and enjoyed every minute of it. Ive also been hard at work creating some new games and activities to use in the new year. Here are just a couple of recent additions!
And a new freebie!
Pop over to my TPT store if you would like to snap these up!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Great Frog Race! Measurement and Graphing Task

Wow...this year is FLYING by. Its hard to believe that we're a week out from Christmas break. Needless to say, the curriculum has NOT been put on hold for the cutesy-artsy Christmas crafts. We're having to squeeze those in wherever we can. This week my kids are working on graphing and we whipped out some toys to play with while learning about line plots. Common core now requires that measurement be integrated into EVERY math unit. It's been hard to do that, but this week we were finally able to! We held a classroom frog race using some plastic frogs that have been in my treasure box for seven years.. They just never got chosen..poor things.

Anyway, for this fun little activity, my students were given a frog, a ruler, and a recording sheet to record their data. With a partner, they worked to make their frog hop down the length of the ruler and record its distance. They did this twenty different times and recorded their data. Once they finished, they had to create a line plot showing the frequency of distances that their frogs jumped.

Sure it was a bit loud, and sure some kids got off task just playing with the frogs, but overall, they had a ton of fun with this one. Definitely putting this in my file for next year.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Products in my TPT Store!

Hi everyone! I thought I would pop in and let everyone know about the most recent (and FUN) little projects I added to my TPT store. My kiddoes absolutely LOVE these things and I cant wait to start using them! Want a set? Pop over to my TPT store and check them out!
Click here!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hands On Science! Pollution Lessons to Remember

So this week, we are finishing up our unit on Pollution and Conservation. As a rule, we always do a demonstration of the effects of pollution on the environment. Up until this year, we have always just read The Lorax book by Dr. Seuss and then wrote about the effects of his factories on the animals and plants in the areas. This go round, I wanted to make things more interactive and hands on for my students. After reading the book and focusing on the aspect of water pollution, we went online to check out some pictures of recent oil spill disasters and discussed the different methods and amount of money it took to clean things up. Most of my students just thought that they could scoop all of the oil out of the water with a bucket and everything would be okay. I wanted them to know that it is not as easy as it sounds.
To set up the experiment, students were given a plastic tub of water. I went around to all of the groups and "polluted" their water with both cooking oil and glitter~ They were given bags of cleaning materials (paper towel, cotton balls, and Q-tips. The different groups had to use their materials to get the oil out of the water the best they could. Most of my groups figured out fairly quickly that all of the oil was not going to come out. Here are a few snappies of the day's activities~ The kiddoes really enjoyed this one!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Common Core Reading Units

Well..Common Core Standards have begun to take up every bit of my free time. Planning out these units and integrating all of these new standards has required me to create all of my own material. I have spent every evening for the past week working on the next unit for our Reading segments. Our frameworks say we are supposed to use the text "And Then What Happened,Paul Revere", so I took hold of it and ran with it. I had to make everything for this unit, including the clipart..which was an undertaking all in itself. But I have to say, after finishing this one, I am quite proud of it. Feel free to run over to my TPT store and pick one up if this is one of your units as well. Click here to hop over and pick one up!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grading has got me down..So I got busy..

So before the common core standards, my district used a standards based report card. Now, we are unsure as to what our report cards will look like and how we are expected to record grades. I had no clue as to how to go about documenting all of these new standards and strands that go along with them. I sat down with the trusty laptop and pulled something out of my hat trying to get myself organized. Maybe its something that you could use as well. If you are interested, or know a third grade teacher in the same boat as myself..hop over to my Teachers Notebook store and pick up this little doozy. It covers all of the core subjects-Reading,Writing, Math, Language, Math, and Speaking and Listening.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Best Pencil Sharpener EVER!

Just like any other teacher, the classroom pencil sharpener has evolved into the bane of my existence. I despised the thought of kiddoes lined up at the sharpener, trying to sharpen pencils, over..and over..and over again. Ugh..so much time wasted! I have bought about ten sharpeners over the years (Ive only been teaching for seven) and every single one lasts a couple of months and then magically, on a day when Im absent..they tear up. I was on the prowl for something sturdy and economical and then I ran across this little gem.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this sharpener. The kids learned to use it in no time flat, and it sharpens to a perfect point EVERY SINGLE TIMe!! Ive only had mine for a little over a week and it has probably sharpened 500 pencils..most of them by me! Just because I like to use it! These sharpeners were created by a TEACHER, so they are definitely designed for classroom use. You can get one over at www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com for only $24.99..with Free shipping too!! You will not be disappointed!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Da Da Da Da Da..Im loving it!

Back to school season is my favorite season of the year, especially since I became a seller on TeachersPayTeachers! Sales today have been higher than they have been since I joined in January. So far Ive banked 380 dollars for the month of August! WHAAAT!! Im dancing in my recliner right now, while checking my sellers board at the same time.

On a more serious note, this year my baby (the only one I gots) started Kindergarten. She attends the school where I teach and I'm not sure who was more excited on that first day. I'm excited that she is entering into a new world of learning and excitement. And she's excited that she has a nametag and a cubbie!  Her teacher and I went through elementary school together and she is going to be a wonderful person for my mini-me to spend her first full year in school with. She already loves her and made her a birthday card this afternoon. That first day walk to class had me leaving the room teary-eyed and Aubrey with a grin as big as a Cheshire cat. She was just that happy about being there.  Here are a few shots of my girlie on her big day! Isn't she beautiful? 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

One Step Ahead!

Well folks, its time to sit back and relax..just for a minute! Schools here in my district go back into session on August 9th, so that means teachers here head back the 7th! After a sit down with my grade level the other day, we came to realize that planning for the new common core standards is going to be BRUTAL! In four hours, we planned two subjects...for ONE WEEK! Is that not insane? Well, one week wasn't quite as prepared as I like to be so I sat down this evening, and most of tonight and churned out another eight days worth. I have seriously been sitting at my computer since around 5:00 p.m. and here it is nearly midnight. It's a good thing I have an understanding husband and a patient five year old. Teaching math has never been a strong suit of mine. It is not the subject that I particularly enjoy. I love writing though! Our curriculum map says we teach place value and rounding as our first unit. Last weeks meeting took care of the place value, and tonight's workout took care of the rounding. I worked SOOO hard on this one! Its eight days of instruction, with actual lesson plans, attachments, and an assessment for the end. Granted, the attachments took forever! There are 18 pages of them.. And no, they are not worksheets! Well, except for the test. There are graphic organizers, dice games, partner activities, and even a gallery walk activity. Everything is in there. I will be so glad not to have to scrounge for things to fill in my lesson plans. I made everything myself! If you teach third and are looking for some rounding materials, take a look at this packet. Its in my TeachersPayTeachers store for only $8.00. I absolutely love it and can't believe that I actually created something that is this useful! Please take a look and let me know what you think! http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/3rd-Grade-Common-Core-Math-ROUNDING-8-Days-of-Lesson-Plans

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I want that!! Worked on a Saturday for that!

I left my sweetie, well the biggest sweetie at home alone today while I went to the school to continue working on my classroom. I have decided that I should not have become a pinterest addict because seeing all those beautiful classrooms makes me want to do that too... Only the wallet wont allow me! The beautimouseness (is that a word..i think not!) is stemming from the ClutterFreeClassroom website. Her stuff is so beautiful and personalized and that is all things good for my OCD! Ive been drooling over her stuff for awhile now, and went out and bought a bunch of matching bins and things. Now I just have to organize and label everything. I want my classroom to look like that! So my TPT sales and Teacher's Notebook sales need to spike. I want some money for all that cool stuff! I love it!
Check out her site! http://clutterfreeclassroom.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Teacher From the Black Lagoon

As I sit here flipping through last year's lesson plan book, I still wonder how I was able to bring my kiddoes so far in such a short period of time. I will admit, some of my "friends" had some serious behavior and home issues last year. It is very sad to see a kid constantly in trouble when there isn't much you can do about it. We had office referrals, ISS sessions, identification sessions while watching bus surveillance videos, the whole nine yards. It was very disheartening to try an get some of them to see the value in their education, instead of the thrill they get from negative attention. My goal for this year, is to refrain from giving negative attention as much as possible
. Many kids in our district come from high-poverty homes and are quite often latchkey kids at the tender age of 8.How much can I expect from a child whose parents aren't at home until eleven at night? I hope to bring a little sparkle to my teaching instruction and interactive demeanor so that my students feel more welcome than before and more excited to be learning the curriculum. New standards, new programs, new everything will make this year very unlike the last. But one thing stays the same from year to year...the kids. No matter how mean, or unlikable, or poor, or rich these kids are, I want them to all feel equal. By the end of the school year last year, I felt like the teacher from the Black Lagoon. And personally, I didnt like it one bit. This year will be a change for me, both professionally and personally. I am going to attempt to set aside the demeanor that last year's fiasco engrained into my personality and create a new one, a gentler one, a smilier one, and a more enthusiastic one. Will I be able to change my personality that easily? My demeanor? My way of teaching? I do not know...but I know one thing..I WILL TRY.