Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blizzard in the Little Apple & Give-A-Way Winner

Greetings from the Frozen Tundra -
My cute, white dog is well camouflaged!
Well - I am not exactly in THE frozen tundra, but I am about a half hour away from Lambeau Field, and we are in the midst of a snowstorm, so close enough.  The snowstorm started around 4:00 A.M. this morning, but did we have a snow day??  Nooooooooo!  Most schools in our area were called off, or let out early, and a parent remarked to a colleague that we were "ripped off of a snow day".  So far we've gotten 8 inches and it's STILL snowing. 

Oh - and the superintendent happened to pick today to make his rounds at our school.  Before today he hadn't stopped in my room all year, and I'm surprised he was out and about what with the roads being snow-covered and all. There are over 20 schools in my district so it's a rare occasion to see him.  Word spread like wildfire once he was spotted.  Luckily my third graders and I were working hard when he popped in.

My 100 Followers Give-A-Way ended on Saturday night, and the winner was Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper (love that name!).  Thanks to all who entered - I am so happy to have reached my goal of 100 followers.  I am still in awe of those people that have followers in the thousands.  And a big thanks to Nichole at The Craft of Teaching, and Heather at Kickin' It With Class for helping with my give-a-way.  They are the best blogging friends!

You may want to check out Holly's Fourth Grade Flipper site as she having a give-a-way for one of THOSE pencil sharpeners. That hot little item would be a welcome addition to my classroom.

I was going to work out tonight but my health club is closing early because of the snowstorm.  Darn (sort of).

I am so jealous of you people in warm climates!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Five For Friday Four & Give-A-Way!

Thanks to all who have stopped by my blog to check out the give-a-way I am having.  And, a special thanks to Nichole from The Craft of Teaching and Heather from Kickin' It With Class for being supportive in my quest for 100 followers, as well as all the bloggers who joined up.  I am so close, and am really hoping to make my goal before the give-a-way ends on Saturday evening.
Here is this week's version of Five For Friday:

1. On Mondays we do a PBIS activity.  This week my third graders were asked to think of a classmate that they could show more respect and consideration.  They wrote about things they could do to show that person more respect.  We then put everyone's slip of paper into a box that was visible in the room.  Luckily a coop student I had years ago gave me this very appropriate box.  I encouraged the students to look at the box each day and think of how they could be more respectful to their selected person.
One boy's secret note for being respectful
2. One of the small group activities my students had to do this week was sequence the lines in our weekly poem. This week's poem was about the seven continents.  I cut the poems apart differently for each student  - trying to match the difficulty of the sequencing to the student.  Here is the copy of our poem, as well as a student's final copy after sequencing.

3. This is one of the products you could win if you enter my give-a-way!  It's from Lakeshore Learning, and my students used it a station this week. It's called "Can Do" and includes a card game review of contractions, compound words, and multi-syllabic words. All the supplies are stored in the can, and the directions are on the side.  The spinner is on top.  This is a fun learning game that can be stored easily!

4. My students need so many reminders to capitalize letters correctly!  I decided to do an M&M challenge to encourage them to step it up with capitals.  I gave them a bag of snack size M&Ms on Monday, and said I would be watching to see if they used capital letters correctly.  If they didn't, I was going to record it, and on Friday they would have to give the same number of M&Ms back to me from their bag.  They were all for it at the beginning of the week, but of course there were tears later in the week when I pointed out to some that they had forgotten capitals. They all seemed to be aware of proper use of capitals for most of the week, though!

5. Today we had a PBIS celebration.  The students in our K-6 school were mixed, and went to different rooms for Minute-to-Win-It activities.  The challenge in my room was to build a tower of paper plates and cups.  The kids loved it, and our PBIS team did a great job with the organization of it all.
Here are the details on my 100 Followers Give-A-Way.  For entering you are getting a chance to win:
$25 Lakeshore Learning Gift Card
$10 Starbucks Gift Card
Nichole's Quadrilaterals 2-D Shape Sort Unit
Heather's Snow Your Multiplication Facts Unit
Click this link to enter before Saturday eveing at midnight.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Techy Teacher Tuesday and Give-A-Way

I am linking up with the fabulous Katie King at Queen of the First Grade Jungle for Techy Teacher Tuesday.
I have only one iPad in my classroom, but have used other computers as a learning station in my room for years.  I took a class on using iPads in the classroom last summer, and gained lots of great ideas.  One app our instructor told us about was "Appshopper".  In this free app, you can be notified of apps that are on sale or free for a limited time.  The developers may offer apps at discounted prices to generate users and (hopefully) positive reviews.  I have often found free apps that I download to try, and then you can always delete them if you don't like them.
This is what the Appshopper icon looks like.
Here is what a page from tonight's offers look like.  The offers change constantly.
Thanks to everyone else involved in this linky for the great ideas! 
Hope you'll also take a look at the give-a-way I'm having this week. Thanks!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Heart Buddy Freebie and 100 Followers Give-A-Way

Hello Friends,

Unlike many of you lucky people, I have school today.  We were hoping for a "cold" day since our temps are below zero, but we Wisconsinites can be pretty senseless hardy, so I bundled up in my cutest parka and headed on out to school.

I am leaving you with a little freebie, though, as we look toward February and Valentine's Day.  This is partner building sheet, much like clock buddies.  But in this activity, students have a buddy for each letter of the word heart.  Through this buddy sheet, students are not only establishing partners, but also learning how to spell the word heart.  Use it to establish partners for reading or math work.  The students will get an h buddy, and e buddy, an a buddy, an r buddy, and a t buddy.  They sign each other's sheets to set up the assigned buddies.  I usually keep the same buddies for about a month.

You can nab it for free at my TPT site.  This sheet will be free for this week, but then will be a part of pack of buddy sheets that will be available on TPT next week.

Also, take a peek at my 100 Followers Give-A-Way for some great prizes!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fabulous Finds in 2013, and 100 Followers Give-A-Way

My friends in Fluttering Through First Grade are having a Fabulous Finds in 2013 Linky.
I just scored these beauties on Friday.  I was looking for a nice pair of comfy boots at a reasonable price, and Macy's answered my prayers.  They were on sale for about $80, and I was lucky to find a pair in my size.  The cute ones are really picked over.  I wore them most of the day yesterday.  Ahhh...

I'm trying not to spend too much money on school stuff, but did find some really nice holiday borders that I bought on TPT from Anna Robertson yesterday.  Here's a link!
I hope you'll check out my 100 Followers Give-A-Way that is going on this week.  There are some great prizes you don't want to miss!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

100 Followers Give-A-Way! NICE prizes!

Hello Blogging Friends!

I am so thankful for all the help you've provided me since I started blogging.  I have learned so much through you, and as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I would like to offer some great prizes as we sit down at the computer of teacher sisterhood (and brotherhood for all those male teacher bloggers out there).
For becoming a follwer of my site you could win:
$25 Lakeshore Learning gift card
$10 Starbucks gift card from The Craft of Teaching
The unit "Quadrilaterals - 2D Shape Sort" from The Craft of Teaching

The unit "Snow Your Multiplication Facts"  at Kickin' It With Class

A big thank you to Nichole from The Craft of Teaching, and Heather from Kickin' It With Class for supporting me in this Give-A-Way.  You are the the greatest!

To enter this give-a-way you must become a follower on my blog.  For more entries, leave a comment on my blog, as well as Nichole and Heather's blogs.  Thank you!
Enter through this rafflecopter widget:
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Entries will be accepted until Saturday, January 26, at midnight.  Winners will be notified on that Sunday.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Five for Friday Numero Tres

Happy Friday!

Here are my entries for this week's version of Five for Friday, hosted by Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching.
1.  We finished a non-fiction writing project that we started in November.  The students selected a topic, did research, and then wrote, edited, and revised an article about their topic.  Next, they made their final copies on the computer, complete with inserted images.  It was quite an accomplishment and they were so excited to take them home today!

2.  We started to read one of my favorite books this week (after making a side trip to read Balto).  This is such a great book - if you prepare yourself for the ending (sob, sob).
3. On Tuesday, a friend and I went to a staff development presentation on Science and Drama put on by our local Performing Arts Center.  Our PAC received a grant for this through the Kennedy Center.  We acted out different kinds of landforms, as well as simple machines.  We enjoyed it, and we were reminded how much the kids really enjoy processing content through the arts.

4.  The students had a half day today so we could have the afternoon for report card writing.  It was so nice to have the time to go out for a quick lunch at
5.  I am preparing for a give-a-way with two very kind and creative blog friends to start tomorrow!!  Hope you'll stop back to enter my 100 Followers Give-A-Way!
Thanks to for the background!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Free Math Glossary Activity

Happy Monday -

Each week I put together small group station activities that my third graders do during our afternoon RTI time, which we call WIN (what I need).  During this half hour period I meet with small groups or individuals to work on literacy skills.  This week I am doing the next round of running records with my 27 students while the students work at these activities.

Here is what my chart looks like.  The students go to one station each day.

The five stations are: listening to a story about Balto and doing a follow-up story chart, playing a prefix card game that I got from Really Good Stuff for less than a dollar (I have daily parent helpers that help with literacy games), the math glossary words activity explained below, practicing skills on the Interwrite Board, and using the computers and iPad in my room to review skills.

I created a sheet to review math vocabulary using the glossary in the back of our Math Expressions workbook.  We are finishing Volume 1 of these books, and will send it home soon.  I wanted my students to review the terms we've covered, so I came up with this well-received activity.

The students write their names down the side of the sheet, then find a word in the glossary that matches each letter in their name.  Next, they write the definition of the word from the glossary.  The front side sheet is for the child's first name, and the back is for the child's last name.  Here is an example from today:
You can download this activity for FREE at my TPT store here.

I am planning a give-a-way next week as I make my way to 100 followers.  Please leave a comment if you would like to include one of your products in this give-a-way.  I would so appreciate any help you could provide.

Have a great week~

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Five for Friday 2

It's time for the second installment of Five for Friday, brought to you by Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching.
Here are five random things about the past week in my so-called life.

1. We started a new unit on writing realistic fiction.  We talked about story arcs as part of the prep work leading up to the writing.  I found this pretty simple arc on the web. Please click here to go the website where I found it after a google search.
2. Before Christmas the third and fourth grade teachers in my school were given the option to pilot the new state computerized test with our students. We were told we wouldn't be given the results of the test, but we would just be giving the test to our students so the test makers could get some feedback on how it went.  What would your response be?  Duh - yeah, of course we said we would pass (especially given the fact that we already give MAP tests and would still have to do those).  On Friday we got an e-mail saying we had to do these pilot tests, and the window would be the last two weeks in April.  Which is two weeks before we'd be giving the year-ending MAP tests that now play a part in our salaries. Did you hear about those teachers in Seattle - I hear ya people - loud. and. clear.
3. We've had warm (40 degree) weather here the last few days, and the snow that was about a foot deep is now melting.  It's ugly.
4. Last night one of my bestie girlfriends and I went to UNO Chicago Grill to hash over the week.  It was good to vent over a couple of Blue Moons. 

5.  We Wisconsinites are all about the play-off game this weekend.  I put this pic on my personal FB page, and everyone kept asking if it was real.  Yeah - it's real!!  I didnt' take the actual photo - it was shared from another friend's FB page.  You have to admit  - they are pretty hot.
Let's Go Packers!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thank You Shout-outs

I have been lucky enough to win some items from two great bloggers recently, and wanted to give them proper recognition.

First - Lindsay at My Life as a Third Grade Teacher put together a research unit that will be perfect for February.  I have had my first grade students do projects on a President, and this unit will give me some updated ideas to do with my current third graders.
Along that same patriotic theme, Michele at Run, Miss Nelson's Got the Camera has created a unit on American Symbols.  Your students will learn lots about various U.S. symbols in this great unit.  I also won a camera strap from Miss Nelson, too!
Hope you'll check out both of their blogs, and their stores at TPT to get these great units!