Monday, March 31, 2014

Unbelievable Teacher Bargains and Folktale Mentor Texts

Hooray for Spring Break!  
I am so happy to have the week off but a little sad that I am not traveling to a warm place.
I am moving in 10 days so will spend the time packing.
And also........blogging!

This past Saturday a friend and I found unbelievable teacher bargains at a sale held by a local company to benefit Habitat for Humanity.  
Have you heard of School Specialty?  
They run this sale every year but it's usually in November.
There are always good deals, but this year seemed to be especially good.
When I got to the check out I pulled out a twenty dollar bill, and the clerk said, "That will be $6.75."
Here's an overview of my purchases:
Big Books for a quarter???
I picked up a couple extra for my Kindergarten teacher friend.
Yes! Those are complete bulletin board sets - 2 for 25 cents!!
I teach a class for beginning educators at Concordia University so grabbed some goodies for them, too!

I'm also happy to be joining Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky!

We worked on Folktales recently and I found some great reads for my third graders.
The trickster tales by Gerald McDermott have colorful illustrations and easily explain lessons that Folktales are know for.

These trickster tales are great for comparing and contrasting texts.
We also loved the illustrations in the book The Polar Bear Son - such a heartwarming book.

We used the Folktale Exploration Booklet from my Teachers Pay Teachers store to reflect on and analyze the Folktales.
One of my students said, "I love these books!"
That's an endorsement any teacher would love!
Check out the Collaboration Cuties' blog for more great mentor texts!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tried It Tuesday - Skype with Scientists at ExxonMobil and Sunshine Award

It's time to join Holly and other innovative bloggers for Tried It Tuesday!
This past week my class was lucky enough to have a Skype session with 6 scientists from ExxonMobil!
In 2012 I attended the Mickelson/ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, and as a result of that experience my class has been able to Skype with a group of scientists each year.
The kids are so excited to ask their questions - it really is an enlightening experience for them!
We were given bios of the scientists beforehand, and brainstormed questions for them.
They were given the list of questions two days before, and called students up to the camera/microphone to ask their submitted questions.
The students were nervous and excited to be able to talk to real live scientists!

I created an iMovie review of our and Skype and posted it on YouTube.
You can view it by clicking here.

Last week I was honored to be nominated by my sweet friend Alison at Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin' for the Sunshine Award.

The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award are:

1. Post 11 random facts about yourself

2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you

3. Nominate 11 bloggers you think bring sunshine to the world

4. Make up 11 questions for your nominations to answer.
Eleven facts about me:
1. I eat gumdrops everyday.
2. I like to golf!
3. I can't miss the shows Survivor, Amazing Race, Scandal, and Nashville.
4. I have taught in 4 different rooms in my school, and last year returned to the room I started in, although at a different level.
5. I bring my dog to school 2-3 times a year.  My students love it!
6. I have been to the Jimmy Fallon show twice - love him!
7. I was able to arrange a visit by one of our senators to our school.
8. My grandma loved teaching third grade, and I do, too!
9. Most of my family lives at least two hours away from me. :(
10. I am not a morning person.
11. I like the Big Apple as much as the Little Apple.
Eleven questions from Alison:

 1) How long have you been teachin' and what is your absolute favorite grade to teach? (I know that's two questions, but they go together) I have been teaching over 20 years, and I have loved every grade I’ve taught.  Right now I teach third, and love this age group!
2) If you had an opportunity to change one county, state, or national law about teachin', would you change anything? Wow- great question!  We’ve had some major change in education laws here in WI during the past few years. I would repeal the cap on our salaries which was put in place a few years ago.
3) Have you ever thought about teachin' abroad? If so, where? No – I have visited Europe and loved it,  but never really thought I would want to teach there.I couldn’t be away from home that long.
4) If you could go on a shoppin' spree for one day and buy anything you wanted(money would be no object), what would you buy? Right now I would buy new furniture for my new house!  I’m moving in a month!
5) What is your favorite "me time" activity to do? I love getting pedicures!
6) What is one food that you could eat every single day and not get sick of? Chocolate!!
7) What is your all time favorite children's book title and why should I read this book? I have so many favorites, but one I found in college was called “Sometimes I Worry” – it lets kids know they’re not alone in worries they have, and it explains this in a humorous way.
8) What is one app or piece of technology that you could not live without? I cannot live without my laptop.  It does everything!
9) If you were in charge of your school for one day, what would you plan for that day? I would plan for a little music, a little gym, and a little art – all related to academic topics.  All day long!
10) What made you decide to start bloggin'? I wanted to share ideas and connect with other dedicated teachers.  I have really loved the invigorating tone of the blogging world!

11) Where should I go on vacation and what should I do there?  I love San Diego!  Of course go to the beach, but also hit the Seaport Village shops right near the ocean.
Eleven bloggers I nominate for this award:
Eleven questions for these bloggers:
1. What's your favorite snack food?
2. What was your favorite class in college?
3.Is anyone else in your family a teacher?
4. Would you change the length of the school day if you could? How?
5. Do you eat lunch in the teacher's lounge or somewhere else?
6. What's your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
7. Do you have a nickname?
8. What's the last thing you bought at a store?
9. Have you ever met a celebrity? Who?
10. Would you change your birthday month? If so, to what?
11. What is the most important tip you would provide to others who blog?
Thanks friends!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five for Friday - CTP Responsiblity Board

It is sunny here today and the temp is above the freezing mark, so I'm celebrating by hooking up with the Five for Friday linky, which I haven't done for ages!
I updated my "Be Responsible" board.
Each student has a small shape with their name on it.
The black sheet lists weekly responsiblities.
If the students forget one of the responsibilities, his or her shape is taken down.
The students whose shapes are remaing at the end of the week earn a Behavior Buck (our version of PBIS bucks) and some other reward (this week it was a 15 minute technology pass).

I love the look of the new letters I got from Creative Teaching Press!  I had the chevron border from CTP, and have a black, gray, and lime green color scheme in my classroom.
I updated this last week to reflect some responsiblities students had been forgetting lately.

We started a unit on Fables this week, and l love using this book!
There are such great word choices and dialogue.
Make sure you change your voice for each of the characters when reading!

Our district used FOSS Science, and I really love the lessons.  We are currently doing the Earth Materials unit. Although it was a pain to make the mock rocks for this unit, the students loved chipping away at them to find the minerals.
The safety were glasses were a huge hit!

Our PTO organized a fundraiser to obtain more laptops for our school.
It turned out to be fantastic!
Each class had a theme basket, and the families donated items to put in their child's classroom basket.
My class's theme was chocolate - oh my!
(I may or may not have snuck out a dark chocolate candy bar after school one day!)
Someone even donated chocolate lotion!

My nephew plays college basketball and they made it to a championship game last weekend.
It was a very exciting game - they were ranked 7th but made to play the team ranked first.
Unfortunately they lost, but we are all proud of him and the team.
Can't wait until next year!

Check out Doodle Bugs' site for the Five For Friday linky.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently March and Hockey Science!

It's that time again - a new month brings Farley's Currently link-up!
I am praying (as the snow falls here) that Spring will come soon!
I couldn't live without Sirius XM - I hardly ever listen to local radio anymore.
Yes - I bought a new house and move in mid April.  I can't wait!
My nephew's college basketball team is playing a tournament game tonight in a city about 45 minutes away.  Word has it that the gym will be packed, so they're advising people to get there early.
My whole family sure loves watching him play.
I've had my eye on a bench at Target that is on sale this week.
Do I buy it now, and store it until I move?
I really don't have a place for it in my current house.
I still haven't made Spring Break plans but have an airline voucher that's just waiting to be used.
I may have to stay here and pack for the move though.
Can you guess the question to my answer??
Last week we did a fun science experiment that had the students really engaged.
We learned about the physics of hockey through an inquiry experiment.

Students use small sticks (like craft sticks) as hockey sticks, and small disks like buttons and/or coins to try different attempts at hitting a goal.
They experimented with angles, weight of pucks, and amount of force from the hockey stick to see which achieved the best results.
If you have hockey fans in your class, or need something for a "fun Friday" activity, you can try this  with your students by checking out this product in my TpT store.
It includes a reflection and data booklet, and links to a video as well as suggeted book resources.