Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday - Cute Chart Paper!

Today I'm linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for her What I'm Loving Wednesday Linky.
It's my first time linking up this summer, and one of the few times I've blogged two days in a row!
That's just one of the many things I love about summer - having the time to blog and check out fun linky parties.

I stumbled upon these unique chart paper collections while scrolling through Instagram this morning.
I immediately ordered two from Staples, and will pick them up at their store.
As you can see it measures 24" by 32" and has ruled lines.
There are only 25 sheets on the ring, so I ordered two. The black was $11.99.
They also come in green, blue, and red polka dot, but those are colors are a bit more expensive.

I'm also loving all the cute items I got from Lena at 4th Grade With Glitter!
She somehow knew that I needed colorful new dishrags for my kitchen!
And I love the yellow flower details (a daisy and seeds) she added to the box.
There are some fun glasses I hope to have my students use for close reading.
She also included gum, snack bars, nail polish, vitamin water, post-its, a notepad, and an inspirational book.
I tell you people - she was on a yellow bender!
It made me so happy to go through the box.
Thank you Lena!

Check out all the SLANT box love at Lessons With Coffee's blog!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Tuesday "Twofer" - QR Codes and Haiku Deck

It's Tuesday, and I am going to to join up with two linky parties to share technology tips.
Yesterday I attended the EdTech Teacher Summit on Navy Pier in Chicago.

It was a fabulous place to attend a workshop on using iPads in elementary classrooms.
I heard lots of practical, can-use-it-tomorrow ideas that I plan to share today and in future posts.

One of the apps I am going to share to link up with Holly's Tried It Tuesday linky is called Haiku Deck.

Haiku Deck is a free app, but it's also available for Chromebooks!
In this tool, students can create short powerpoint-like presentations to share info about a topic.
This is a sample presentation I was preparing about penguins.
This tool is really easy to use - even for primary students.
You do not have to sign in to use this app/website.  You can use up to 7 slides for free without an account.

The presentations are actually called "Decks".  I'm not sure where the "Haiku" part comes in.
You do not have to create poetry (unless you want to!)
There are great visual directions to get you started.
One of the things I really like about this tool is that there is a search engine embedded right in the app/site.
The images that come up seem to be very student-friendly.
This is another sample project I was doing on cockapoos.
A colleague in the class was making a learning center about concrete and abstract nouns, and searched for an image on the abstract noun - honesty.
It was interesting to see the totally appropriate images that came up.
I will definitely use this app/site during non-fiction units with my third graders.
You can find out more about Haiku Deck here.

Next, my friends at Learning to the Core and I Teach 1:1 for their Tune Into Technology Linky.
They have been sharing great technology ideas this summer, and this week they are sharing information about using QR Codes in the classroom.

My students LOVE learning with QR Codes.
I have developed two QR Code activities that were big hits in my classroom.

The first is an investigation of well-known author websites. Click here to see it in my TpT store.

The next is an investigation of popular vacation websites!  Click here to see it in my TpT store.

Check out all the great QR Code activities, and an awesome giveaway at I Teach 1:1 or 
Learning to the Core!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five For Friday - My SLANT box arrived!

It's been ages, but I'm finally rejoining the teaching troops for Doodle Bugs' Five For Friday Linky!

I finalized my plans for a trip to sunny San Diego in early August!
I had two airline vouchers I needed to use before the end of the summer.
I am so looking forward to hitting the beach.

I got new wireless mouse at Best Buy!
Yes - I love chevron.
It was on sale for $12.99 - regularly $29.99 - which I thought was a good deal!

I am going to the EdTech Teacher conference in Chicago next week, and got a room on Priceline at the Godfrey Hotel for $96.
That is a super price for downtown Chicago.
Apparently it has a rooftop bar that is popular with the younger set.
Anyone ever been there?
Is anyone going to the EdTech Teacher conference?

I got my SLANT box!
Thanks to the sweet Lena at 4th Grade With Glitter!
I will blog more about the  contents in a future post, as this box deserves full explanation!
Thanks Lena!

Congratulations to Lindsey, at Thriving in Third, who got engaged this week!
I am part of her awesome giveaway that ends this weekend.
Check out the to-die-for prizes, like a $20 gift card to Target, on her blog here.

What have you been up to this week?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Word Work Pouches, PBIS Bulletin Board, Launch Readers Workshop - Monday Made It

Happy Monday!
I seem to be working the late shift each week as I add my post to Tara's Monday Made It Linky.
I'm in awe of the number of great ideas that are added each week (and early in the day, too!).
First up - these are pouches that I plan to have my third graders use for word sorts.
We use Words Their Way, and the students need a place to store the words they cut out each week.
I think these will work great!
I got the pouches at Office Depot this week for a quarter each!
You can only get 6 at a time, so I made a couple trips.
The chevron washi tape was on sale at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, 
and the blue washi tape was also on sale at Office Depot.
I love these posters from Creative Teaching Press!
They come in a pack of eight different designs, and I hope to use each one to kick-off  PBIS lessons.
In my school we do a half hour PBIS lesson each Wednesday, and sometimes I am need of inspiration for the lessons. You can see all the posters here.
I plan to ask the students to discuss the quotes on the posters in small groups first.
Then they will dramatize a real life situation in our classroom that fits the quote.
Since my third graders are often big fans of Minecraft, I thought they might be
 intrigued by my play on words.
The letters are also from Creative Teaching Press - aren't they eye-catching??

I recently did an update to my "I Can... Statements for Launching Readers Workshop". 
These posters are perfect for establishing focus in your lessons as you begin the school year.
Below is an example of my focus board.

Also included in the pack are smaller copies of the I Can.... statements that are the perfect size for adding to Reading Response Journals.
I ask my students to write a reflection on the lesson to summarize the concept.
The posters and smaller copies look great when printed in either color or black and white.
You can purchase this product in my TpT store for $3.00.
Thanks for checking out my blog!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It - Math Supplies Box and Laundry Room Makeover!

It's Monday again, and time for Monday Made It with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics!
First up, something for my classroom.  
I hopped on the chevron bandwagon last summer, and haven't looked back.
I was at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts a couple of weeks ago, and stumbled on an adorable chevron box.
It was 50% off (plus the teacher discount!) so I scooped it up.
I knew I could find some use for it.

I also recently got some new border from Creative Teaching Press, and used some of it to embellish 
the box a bit.

I had the flowers stickers, and the sticker letters are also from Creative Teaching Press.
The border is called Moroccan Nights (love that name).

We use Math Expressions in our district, and I plan to store our Secret Code cards in this box.
Currently I have them in a shoe box, so this will be a definite upgrade.
Here is the back of the box.

Next, I wanted to share something from home that's more of a "Planned It" than a "Made It".
I had my laundry room redone shortly after moving in my house this spring.
The previous owners had a stackable washer and dryer (which they took), and I wanted to get a 
side by side set.
I worked with a local plumbing company to redo the room to make better use of the space.
They included a spot for my dog's crate in the bottom center.
There is also a pull-out hamper in the lower left cabinet.
The boxes on the shelves are from T.J. Maxx.

This is a better view of the cabinets on the right over the washer and dryer.
I was overjoyed to get new appliances - mine are from Whirlpool.

I love seeing all the Monday Made It ideas!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Easy Sites and Apps to Teach Code - Technology Thursday

I'm joining up for the first time with the Teaching Trio for Technology Thursday.

I just got a grant for another iPad, which brings my classroom total to FIVE!
I am thrilled. 
This past year we used a couple apps for learning code and my third graders loved them.
The true test was when I allowed free time on the iPads near the end of the year, and found small groups working on the apps for learning code.  

If you're not familiar with what learning code is all about, you are not alone.
In these apps and sites students select and sequence commands to move a character around a screen.
The students can also set up commands for drawing designs and lots more!
It's the first step towards becoming computer programmers and making the big bucks.
The first one I wanted to share is an app called Hopscotch.
I believe it's related to the online site called Scratch that was developed at MIT.

The next app is super easy, and targeted for primary kids.
It's called Daisy the Dinosaur.
 I subbed for summer school today, and the students worked on a free website called Tynker.
There are a variety of challenges within games that help develop their programming skills.
Even though it says "Hour of Code" it is accessible all of the time, not just for an hour.

Get out there and get your kids coding!