Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tried and True

Today I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune  for a fun linky full of tried and true ideas to use in your classroom.

This idea is not necessarily tried and true as I have only used it once but it worked so well I am going to use it a whole lot more!

I decided to double up on science and and literacy (yeah cross curricular!)  for this fun research unit.  We were studying weather related hazards in science and informational writing in literacy so we combined the two into a short research project.  The kiddos worked in small groups on weather hazards they were interested in studying.  I checked out several books from the school and local libraries about each hazard and then went on a web search.  Internet resources are a huge part of student's lives but I get REALLY nervous about 8-9 year olds being on the internet and finding something inappropriate!  In came QR codes!  I had never used them before this but they were AWESOME!  The kids loved them and were totally engaged the whole time!  They took great notes from the information they found and were able to turn out fabulous research papers about their hazard.

In order for the kids to use the QR codes I put them on some cute cards, cut them out and laminated them for future use.  I loved that I could control where the kids were going and supplement the research they were doing by finding sites that would fill in any information they could not find in their books.

I think I may have fallen in love with QR codes.  I will certainly be using them more this coming year!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Monday Made It

I am linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for her weekly Monday Made It series.  This has been a fun way to motivate me this summer to plug through my to do list.  As with all teachers, mine is quite lengthy.  I met with my teammates earlier this week for an all day summer planning session.  We are all working on things separately and so we decided to get together and lighten the load (plus it is WAY more fun to work with those ladies than by myself!)  Anyway, on to my "Made it" for the week.  I only have one this week but that is because one of them was a giant FAIL and I am still drying up my tears!  Okay, maybe no tears but it was a HUGE disappointment.  My strawberry plants finally produced enough fruit all at once for me to make strawberry mouth was watering just thinking about it!  I had MAJOR plans for this jam....on toast, pancakes, sandwiches...the list goes on and on.  Well...the jam turned into a rock and is now in the trash!  Can you see the sad!  So here is my one and only Made it this week....

This is a welcome banner for my classroom door at the beginning of the year. 

 I love the bright colors and I think it will be a fun way to welcome my students to our classroom.  I plan to add this poster by Ashley McKenzie and each student's name to the door.  

I just love the message of this poster, don't you.  

You can pick up the welcome banner at my TPT store for free!  

Now I am off to find other people's much more successful made it's!  

Have a great week!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Made It

I am excited to say that for the second week in a row I am able to link up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky!  I have been super busy this week and have not been able to accomplish all the things I wanted to.  However, I was able to get some things done and have some fun in the process.

Now on to the Made Its:

I saw some really cute clothes pins that someone made into push pins on pinterest a while back.  I really wish I had pinned the link because now I cannot give credit to someone who had a great idea.  I have seen these in a couple of places so this is certainly not a new idea that I came up with.  I really wanted to make these to put in the hall at school to display student work.  We have these really yucky tack strips that we are able to staple in to.  The problem is that the staples do not stay very well and it takes forever (okay maybe not forever but it sure seems like it when you are in a hurry to mark something off your to-do list!) to staple the kids hard work in the hall for display.  I made these clothes pins so I can put them up in the hall and then quickly clip the kiddos work into them.  I am hoping this will help me display current work instead of putting something up and leaving it for WEEKS!

These were SUPER easy to make I was able to get them all done while watching catching up on some shows I have missed!  It really made for a relaxing afternoon.  Even more exciting was I found the washi tape on sale at Office Depot!  The whole project cost less than $8!  Woot!  Woot!


I am hoping these are real time savers here!  Maybe the kids can even hang their own work in the hall!

Made it 2 is more like "did it 2".  For Father's Day my family and I took my grandpa fishing.  This is something he has always loved and has not been able to do much recently so we got together and made it happen!  It was a super fun day, except no one caught a thing, not even a nibble!  The hubby and I decided to head to the mountains to one of our favorite fishing spots and BINGO!  I caught two beautiful rainbow trout about 18in. long, each.  I was super excited but I kind of have to keep it to myself because my hubby did not even get a bite and lost his line set up a couple of times!  Oops!  It was a great day and I was able to spend some quality time with my grandpa, that makes it a win in my book- fish or no fish!

My final Made It this week blog!  I worked hard on cleaning up and adding to my blog this week.  I was also able to work on the design just a bit.  This was all thanks to the wonderful tutorials I found from Megan at I teach, what's your superpower.  Thanks Megan!  

I was also able to add the "follow me on bloglovin'" link to my sidebar.  I just found Bloglovin and I am in love!  My blog stalking just became a whole lot easier! much to still learn!

Now head on over to Fourth Grade Frolics to see some other great ideas!

I hope you all had a great week and a very happy Father's Day!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Blog Changes

I have made many changes to my blog this evening and I would like to give credit where credit is due!  I am extremely new to all of this and so any help is always appreciated.  Megan at I Teach, What's your Superpower has created a wonderful tutorial for new bloggers that teaches the ins and outs of setting up a blog.  Seeing as I am completely new to this, I am not quite ready to have my blog professionally done and so I did it all myself.  Megan's site was soooooo very helpful.  I have looked at several (okay a few more than several) blogs and wondered how they were able to get all of the things on there.  With the help of Megan's directions I was able to add the bloglovin button and the "grab my button" spot on my sidebar.  I love that my blog is coming along and am excited to follow more of the fabulous directions Megan has left for us.  


Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Made It (Woop! Woop!)

I am super excited to be linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for her weekly Monday Made It!  I have TONS to do this summer and I am happy to report I have already accomplished many LARGE items on my list.

So here it goes...

My hubby and I have been redoing our back yard in small portions since we moved in to our house around three and a half years ago.  So that is my first Monday Made It this week.  We FINISHED our yard and now I can just sit and enjoy it.  I love sitting on my patio and enjoying the evening weather when it is not too hot to go outside.

My second Made It is my garden.  There is nothing better than growing your own produce.  I love going out and picking my own zucchini or corn on the cob for dinner.  The garden is obviously still in the baby stages but everything is sprouted and growing.  I cannot wait for our first harvest of the year. Yummy!

While I promised myself that I would work on my house before I worked on school things (it is AMAZING how neglected things can become during the school year!) I couldn't help but put together a "get to know you" activity for my students to start the year.  I posted about it earlier this weekend so if you want to read more about it you can do that here or you can pick it up at my tpt store here.  I think we are going to have a TON of fun with it!

Well, those are my Made Its for this week!  I am excited about what I have planned for my MMI this coming week.  It is something I have wanted to do for a while, and I think it will make my life a lot easier.  Fingers crossed it turns out like I plan!

Now I am off to see what other wonderful Made Its are out there!  You all are soooo creative (can you see I am green with envy?)


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Starting the Year...

Just like most teachers out there I use the summer to plan, plan, plan.  Always looking for fun and exciting ways to start the new school year, I decided my old tried and true activities were a bit....boring!  I have done the make a quilt square about yourself activity, make a tshirt to tell about yourself activity, draw your summer in the sunglasses activity...and many many others.  While I think these are pretty fun, my students do not!  That is not the foot I want to get off on.  So I decided to think of things kids are "in to".  I teach third graders and many of them are getting their first cell phones and the ones that do not yet have phones are anxiously awaiting the day their parents cave in :)  I decided it would be fun to have them draw a "sellfie" showing important things they would like their new teacher and new classmates to know about them.  Always the literacy teacher, the students will also write clues about themselves.  Starting pretty ambiguously at first and becoming more and more detailed.  I will collect the selfies and clues and read them to the class.  The student's classmates will guess who the selfie belongs to based on the clues the student gave.  I have done something similar to the clues idea before and the kids LOVE it!

We then have a parent "curriculum night" about two weeks into the school year where I meet with the parents and tell them everything their child will learn in third grade (hahaha), I am thinking these selfies and paragraphs would be a great bulletin board to get us started and I can then have something fun and academic for when the parents come.  If you would like this idea and would like to pick it up, visit my tpt store here.

What kind of fun things do you do with your class to start the year?