Saturday, June 29, 2013

Five for Friday - Last Few Hours of Giveaway

Hope your weekend is going well!  My BlogLovin giveaway is running for a few more hours.  You still have a chance to win a Lakeshore Learning gift card if you follow me on BlogLovin.  Scroll down to enter.  :)
You may have heard that Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday is going on hiatus until August.  So here is my last entry until then:
Last weekend I had two graduation parties to attend, and one was for a good friend's son.  Here is a pic of the "women's room" later in the eveing - we all ended up in the living room after the bugs got bad outside.
That's me in the chair on the far right! 
I took a class on Hmong History and Perspective on Tuesday.  The class was offered by UW-Madison but held in my city.  The even better part was that it was only $45 and you got a credit, and there was NO follow-up assignment. Oh - we learned a lot about the Hmong culture,too.
This bad boy is finally in the hands of somebody who can really appreciate him.
I sold it for $30 on craigslist to a guy who seemed overjoyed to get it.  I asked him what he was going to do with it, and he said he was collecting vintage computers for a"museum".  That was probably code for - "I'm going to clean it up and sell it for 10X what I paid you".
I subbed for summer school on Thursday.  The first class had 9 kids, and the other 2 had almost 15.  Most of the classtime was spent reading - what a different feel than during the school year.
I went to a friend's cottage for a few days at the end of the week. It was so peaceful.
We had a pretty intense domino tournament!
It may not look too intense in this pic, but I tell you it was!
Hope you had a great week!
Remember to follow me on BlogLovin and enter the giveaway down below.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

BlogLovin Bandwagon on the Move- Lakeshore Learning Giveaway!

Hi All -

I am jumping in with everybody to get the ball rolling on the BlogLovin movement. I am joining Collaboration Cuties (and many others!) for this super excellent linky!
You have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st. Well, Google Reader may be going away, but I don't want YOU to go away, so I hope that you will consider following blogs through bloglovin!  I know that change is thought I might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

I am doing a giveaway for all of my fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin. You may have already switched over! In that case, this will be an easy entry!
Lakeshore Learning has lots of creative products available in their stores and online!
Check out their site here.

If you have not yet switched or are not following my blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow. You can go to my sidebar (that's the column on the right over there that shows my followers) and you can click the button that says Follow this Blog with bloglovin. Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to my blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow me. Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry.

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps. BUT, please go to my bloglovin link and make sure that you are following me through bloglovin. To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of our bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five for Friday - Door County

Happy Friday Blog Friends!  I returned yesterday from a sweet getaway to Door County, WI.  If you look at a map of the state of Wisconsin, Door County is the peninsula in the "thumb" of the map.  The entire peninsula is made up of about 10 small towns that cater to tourists during the summer and fall months.  I've heard it called the Cape Cod of the Midwest, and it truly is a quaint destination.
I went with two of my closest friends and their mom, who is like a surrogate mother to me.  She is a great traveling companion because she is always eager to join in on whatever we choose to do.
We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast that had a grand piano in the front sitting room.  We met a young doctor and his wife the first night, and they played the piano while we chatted.
Here is a pic of the breakfast area, and also one of my yummy breakfasts.
There were plenty of boutiques and shops all around our hotel, which was in the town of Fish Creek.  One morning I spied a dog waiting for his wife owner to return from shopping.  The view cracked me up!
We visited some art galleries.  This one also had a unique sculpture garden.  The sculptures were selling for up to $12,000 -  a bit steep for a teacher's salary - ha!
We saw two different plays at a theater in the woods. They were both so funny, with lots of references to Wisconsin, and especially to the Green Bay Packers.
Just being by the water is so relaxing. The weather was perfect.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Made It - Choice and CCSS Math Boards

Happy Summer Monday! Hope you all enjoyed a nice Father's Day with family.  We took my dad out for a great brunch.  It was a beautiful day here so we also got some golf in afterwards.
I wanted to share two items for my first summer Monday Made It. 
First, I created a poster from an Instaprint board to give my students some choices on what to do when they finish work. Because we use the workshop model for reading and writing, there doesn't seem to be as much "when you're done time", but the chart still comes in handy when the need arises.
It may be hard to see the board in this pic, but the choices are:
1. Read a book
2. Continue working on a story your are writing (in the pic on the top left)
3. Sort this week's spelling words ( we use Words Their Way)
4. Do the Brain Quest cards (in the pic on the top right) or the Quiz Bowl cards (I have a fish bowl with trivia type cards in them)
5. Read the word cards at the Book Club table (I keep vocabulary cards from stories out)
6. Make super sentences with the magnetic letters (in the pic on lower right - kids love this!)
7. Do something from the Challenge Box (See this post for more info)
Second, I completed a set of CCSS aligned interactive Math Boards for Math Focus Walls.

These boards are an easy way to review tested math concepts at the beginning of your math lessons.  Students write responses to problems on the boards that can be changed daily. My third graders used small spiral notebooks, small whiteboards, and even iPads or devices to record answers.  A student leader guides the students through the exercises, which take about 10 minutes to complete.
Here are samples of the boards.
Check out my TpT page for more information. 
Also check out Tara's site for more Monday Made-Its!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Five For Friday - Summer Style

Ahhh......I just love summer.  It's just so nice to have the freedom to do whatever and to do it whenever.  This week's Five For Friday is lite on the school stuff, and heavy on the whatever stuff.
1. We did have school meetings this week, and on Monday we had something our district called an "Unconference". This basically meant we had no speaker, and we had to walk around and share ideas about posted topics on RTi, Family Involvement, and Collaboration.
They also had an early optional session for those who wanted to learn about using Twitter to comment on the "Unconference".  We even had our own hashtag.  I don't think it took off they way they wanted it to - only about 10 people of the 200 attending tweeted.
2.  I finally got to put together some potted plants.  My class had given me a gift card to one of my favorite local gardening centers. 
3. I got some reading time in.  This is the book we'll be discussing at Book Club next week.  A sad topic, but it's written in an entertaining way that draws you in.
4.  Speaking of "end of your life", it's time to say good-bye to this old friend.
Yes, this is an Apple IIe, and you probably remember playing Word Munchers and Oregon Trail on it.  It's been in my room since I moved in, and it still works.  But my students have rarely used it, as they've been lured away by the laptop and iPad I now have.
So, I put this dinosaur on craigslist for $40, and have had multiple interested buyers.  Yay- extra cash.
5. I've been part of Miss V's big giveaway.  There are MANY awesome prizes.  Check it out!
Oh, I've also had to time to golf, have a couple lunch dates, enjoy beverages outdoor with friends, and attend a local summer concert.  Ahhh....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Miss V's HUGE Giveaway and Fractions Mentor Text

I am so happy to be spending my first Sunday night of the summer NOT worrying about all the things I have to do at school tomorrow.  Instead I am able to blog about a HUGE giveaway, and the Mentor Text linky hosted by Collaboration Cuties.
First, Miss V at Miss V's Busy Bees is having ginormous giveaway this week in honor of her blogiversary.  I have an item included in the giveaway, and I am so happy to be a part of it! Welcome to the new followers who have stopped over here as a part of the giveaway. 
 Next, I am joining the Collaboration Cuties for their weekly mentor text linky.  This week the mentor texts are related to fractions (ugh).  We worked on fractions during the last three weeks of school.  It was really challenging, and I plan to tweak the timing of these lessons next year.
One of the books I used to introduce fractions is Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta.
Through this book students learn about identifying parts of a whole as fractions, adding fractions with same denominators, and they also learn about the many different kinds of apples.  It's also a great book to use in the Fall to get students thinking about fractions (which I will probably do next year).
One of the things I did to get my students to connect to fraction concepts was to catch one of them making a "profound" statement as we reviewed.  Then I made an enlarged picture of their head with a speech bubble including their "profound" statement, and placed them on our math focus board.  They loved it!
Hope you'll check out both Miss V's giveaway, and the Collaboration Cuties Mentor Text Linky.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five For Friday / Camp Learned-A-Lot Freebie

Happy Friday and Hello Summer!
It is our first day of vacation and I am finally posting a Five for Friday - I haven't been able to link up since before Memorial Day.  There has been so much going on!
1. There were lots of special events during our last week of school.  One of the greatest highlights of the week (and the entire year) is when my dog Berkeley comes to school.  All students' parents complete a permission slip okaying the visit, and he only comes for the last hour of the day. I live within 5 minutes of school, so I run home while the students are in a special to get him.
We take him outside for a walk, bring him in for simple tricks, sometimes do writing activities about him, and all get a chance to sit in my rocking chair and hold him if they'd like.
Berkeley has been visiting my classroom since he was a puppy so he is very comfortable with all the attention.
2. I was so excited to find out that I received a grant for an iPad mini for my classroom.  The even better news is that my principal said he would upgrade it to a full-size iPad OR give me two iPad minis!  What would you pick?  I already have one regular iPad.
3. We went bowling for our end of the year field trip.  The students seems to be really impressed with my score - 138 (with bumpers).
As you can see in the picture below - the mountain dew was flowing freely - yikes!
They wasted their spending money on soda, slushies, and fake mustaches.
4. I received so many nice gifts on our last day.  I will really miss this group, they were a wonderful group of kids.  One of my creative, sweet girls brought this up to me with tears in her eyes.
It's a keeper.
5. We've been doing Camp Learned-A-Lot for the last two weeks.  It is always a huge hit!  Among other things, we turn the lights out and read with flashlights while listening to a nature sounds CD.
We also do a scavenger hunt outside in teams for a variety of items.  The last item on the scavenger hunt is to make up a cheer about our classroom and/or Camp Learned-A-Lot.  The cheers always crack me up.
You can download a free copy of the scavenger hunt by clicking here.
The clipart on the sheet is from
You can link up with Five For Friday here.
Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Currently

Hurray!  I just finished my 28 report cards and feel like I have reentered my life.  I have been holed up all weekend entering grades on the computer.  I'm sure I'll check them again before going to bed tonight.
Anyway, it's June and time for Farley's Currently!
I just happened to turn on the Women's Concert for Change, and they've got some heavy hitters performing, like Beyonce and John Legend.
I am ready for Summer Vacation, but will sincerely miss my class. My principal and other teachers have commented on what a nice group they are.  I can only hope I'll be saying the same thing at this time next year.
A group of us are looking into seeing Huey Lewis next Friday to kick off the summer.  Should be fun!
I have not blogged for over 10 days!  My life has been consumed with school stuff, and I can't wait(like all of you) to have time to do whatever.
My coworkers and I have commented that everytime we go to our e-mail there is a reminder about something else that has to be done before school is out. 
I love going on vacation - my must haves include my iPad (I seem to be severely attached to that thing lately), cute clothes for all those vacation outings, and a credit card! I went on a trip to Europe years ago, and I recall our tour guide saying (as he was trying to sell us on another excursion) - "It's only money, you'll make more of it" - which was spoken with  a New Zealand accent so it was hard to resist.
Check out Farley's blog to join in on this month's Currently!