Monday, February 25, 2013

Five for Friday - Is it number 8 already??

Hi Friends,

I am only three days late on Five for Friday this time - at least it's better than last week.  Thanks Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting!
1. On another blog I saw a great idea for rewarding responsible behavior on a weekly basis.  I am so sorry I did not pin the photo that I got the idea for this from.  Please let me know if it is yours, so I can acknowledge your unique idea!  The students' names are on the snowflakes and if they forget to do one of the tasks on the list, their snowflake is taken down. They earn a small reward (a candy bar and a school "buck") if they remember all their responsiblities and their snowflake is still posted at the end of the week.

2. My class created an impressive list of ways they could become better readers.  I was so happy to find out they've been hearing me! When I conferred with them last week, they had to tell me what they are currently working on to improve their reading skills.
3. Our spelling words were contractions this week so my students made Contraction Snowmen during our RTI time.  The contraction word was written on the hat, and the two words that made the contraction were written on the mittens. Then, the students had to write a speech bubble sentence that contained the contraction word.
4.  We finally got a Snow Day on Friday!  It was kind of unexpected because we only got about 5 inches of snow.  The last storm was double that, and we still had school - go figure!
5. My bestie and I went to see Safe Haven on Saturday.  Yes, the ending is a little odd but we predicted it about halfway through the movie.  It was worth the money just to see Josh Duhamel.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fables App - Techy Teacher Tuesday


I am making a very late entry into this week's Techy Teacher Tuesday linky party hosted by Katie King at Queen of the First Grade Jungle.

I just had to share the great iPad app that I discovered, and my students used this week.  This app contains over 15 Fables that are easy enough for K-4 students to follow and understand. The app costs only $1.99 and is well worth the money.
As you can see from the number labels on the bottom of the page, this is the first set of Fables that can viewed and read in this app.  There is another page of more Fables along with this one.
This is a page from "The Dog and His Reflection".  I like this app because the stories are read aloud while the text is shown on the bottom of the page.  There is also simple animation to the stories which the students like.
Each story ends with an explanation of the moral.  The Common Core Standards include references to Fables, so this app is a great one to add to your iPad collection!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Five for Friday Seven (on Tuesday)

Hello Friends-

I am a few days late with my Five for Friday post because of a weekend trip to Chicago (stay tuned for details).  Thanks to Kacey for hosting this linky!
1. I found this idea on another blog, and if it's yours please let me know! I searched but could not find the inspirational source for this great idea. It was Random Acts of Kindness week so I asked my students to make a heart with kind wishes to place in random books in our library.  We have a media specialist who is a bit of a stickler about her books, but we sort of did it on the sly - she may or may not have been gone that day.  ;)

Even our building engineer made a heart to place in a random book.
2. We've been working on reading fables, and I made a Valentine Venn Diagram for my students to compare and contrast two fables on Valentine's Day. 
3. I finished my pack of partner/buddy sheets. This pack includes sheets for establishing classroom partnerships while learning about spelling words, learning syllables, and identifying place value.  You can find the pack on my TPT site.

4. We had a Jump Rope for Heart extravaganza on Friday.  Our school raised over $4,000 for the American Heart Association, and many of the students put together jumping routines to perform for the student body.  I was so proud of a large group of my girls who worked together to create a fun routine.

5.  We do not have off on Monday, but I was able to make an overnight trip to Chicago to see some family.  I love the city!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Five for Friday Six

Thanks to Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting this weekly linky - it motivates me to look back on the week and what we've accomplished.
 1. We use Handwriting Without Tears in our district and my third graders love perfecting their cursive.  I don't always put as much time into it because of reading and math demands, so I decided to hit two birds with one stone, and have them write their unusual past-tense verb spelling words in cursive at a station this week.  Luckily we have access to the HWT website, and I can create my own practice sheets.  Do you use a cursive writing program?
2. I am piloting a new FOSS unit with my third graders called "Measuring Matter". I love FOSS and the way they incorporate the inquiry method into all of the investigations.  This week the students measured their heights with meter tapes and recorded their data.  Then we lined up from lowest to highest recorded height measurements, and they were so surprised that the tallest girl (and others) were not in their predicted spot.  It is such a good activity to encourage accuracy when recording data from experiments.
3. We are working our way towards the BIG day next week - Valentine's Day!  My students decorated their valentine bags.  I know - definitely not as creative as cute boxes, etc. that are out there, but with all the curriculum changes in our district this year I had to go with easy.  They enjoyed decorating though!

The arrow cracks me up!
4.  I am a secret shopper for a local financial institution.  I get assigned different "shops" each month in either the lobby or drive-up of these places, and then fill out an online worksheet to evaluate the customer service.  I get paid very little (but hey - it adds up).  Anyway today the worker screwed up my transaction and I had to go back in to get it corrected - uh, oh....

5. Is he not adorable?

Hope you had a great week!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Currently - February

Here is this month's version of Farley's Currently.  I am a couple days late to the party  - oh well.
I am watching the pre-game festivities just because I want to see Brett Favre.  We Packer fans are bit fickle when it comes to Brett, but it's still interesting to see what he's going to do next.

I'm (hopefully) joining friends and family for a little get-away to Chicago in a couple weekends.  Can't wait!

I ordered some pendant lights for my kitchen, and am patiently waiting for a friend to install them. There's something about a small change that can cure the winter doldrums.

My pet peeve has to do with those people that sugar coat things on report cards.  As I finished the cards for my class of 28 last week, I took a peek at their previous reports.  There were some who had glowing report cards, and that summary didn't seem to match the collected data we had on them.  In one case, I referred a student for further testing and she scored in the CD range. The psych and LD teacher keep asking me how she got this far with such blatant needs.  I have had no answers. 

I wanted to give a shout out to Ashley at The Resource Room Teacher - I won a copy of her Touchdown Number Sentences Pack, and I'm sure my students will love this Super Bowl follow-up activity.  Thanks Ashley!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Five for Friday Five

Thanks so much to Kacey for hosting this fun linky at Doodle Bugs Teaching.  It's a great way to review and share your week.
1.  If you read my blog you know that we got a huge snowstorm on Wednesday.  They had predicted only 5 inches of snow but we got double that.  Now it's so cold here that they cancelled an event called Freezefest - it's true!
2.  Our third graders study Russia, and one of the small group stations my students did this week was "Reference True or False?"  It was a follow up to a reference lesson our media specialist did with them last week. They had to use an encyclopedia (how old school!) to read and find and facts.  They could change a fact slightly to make it false.  They read these to the group during Social Studies.

3. As part of our study of Russia we talked about matryoshka dolls. My goddaughter is from Russia (my good friends adopted her), and this special cutie is a gift I received on her baptism day.  My students loved seeing the 9 more dolls inside!
4.  Here is a completed copy of the heart buddy sheets I created.  The students use these for establishing partnerships for math work and reading discussions.  You can get yours free at my TPT site.
We made heart creations and apparently this girl (who is generally a poor speller) knew how to spell heart from using the buddy sheet - bonus!
5. I'm in a book club and we met this week at a restaurant to discuss Sisterhood Everlasting.  It's a sequel to  Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  The girls are 10 years older in this version.  The beginning chapters are sad - just to warn you!
Hope you had a great week!