Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ahead in 2013

I'm sitting on the beach reading some posts and thought it would be fun to join in another linky party since I have some free time. If you'd like to join stop by Making it As A Middle School Teacher too.


Time to go grab some lunch.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Resolution Solution

Teaching Maddeness

It that time of year again. Time to make some goals. I'm not the best with keeping my resolutions so I think I will just call them goals this year. Maybe if I post them up I will feel a little more accountable.

We are starting BYOT in fourth grade when we return after break. I'm excited but also nervous. I love to integrate technology but now I really want to focus on making it an integral part of what we do daily. I also want to make sure it is meaningful and not just a fun add on.

I love reading blogs and learning so many things from all the fabulous teacher bloggers out there. I am very good about keep up with my reading but this summer I started my own blog with the intention of giving back. I have been horrible about sharing what I'm doing in my classroom. A goal for 2013 is to post more regularly. Ideally for right now that would probably be once a week.

I really need to focus on healthy choices. I need to make time for me - especially going to the gym. I get so caught up in school that it consumes me.

Last year year there was a lot of talk about picking one little word to guide the year. This year I'm going for completion (until I can think of a better thing to call it). I get so excited about things and jump I jump right in. Unfortunately I don't always keep my focus and I start things that I don't always follow through with. I'm going to work on actually following things through to completion.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Currently December

Filling my time during intermission

Always love Farley's monthly currently. I recently purchased the student versions :-)


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Currently November

Just wanted to join in the fun.

It's always a good time to see what everybody is up to over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade

Here my view right now.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

A few things we have been doing

We have been doing a bunch of things in class over the last month and a half or so that I haven't taken the time to write about.

Here a just a few favorite:

The kids loved International Dot Day. They made watercolor dots on paper and we put them in a swirly got frame. Then they made some digital dots using our new iPads. They also helped our first grade reading buddies make dots on the iPads as well as all the kindergarten stuednts in the school. It was a fabulous day.

They enjoyed participating in the annual OREO project. We had some great stackers this year. We figured out our class average and submitted it along with tons of other classes. If you haven't ever done this one before it is great fun. Projects by Jen also hosts a fabulous Holiday Card Exchange in case you might be interested.

Our Student Teacher, Ms. King, Ivan and I
We have been reading The One and Only Ivan as part of the Global Read Aloud project. Unfortunately we got pretty far behind with the schedule so we didn't participate as much as my previous classes have done. They still have been enjoying the book and the activities.

The kids performed their grade level musical, Music and Me,  for the school during the day and then an evening performance for the parents. That did such a great job and I was very proud of them.

Currently we are doing a two week unit about Greek mythology. I will definitely have to share a bit about that soon with some pictures since I forgot that camera at school. The kids are totally loving it.

This week we have our field trip to the Stone Mountain Indian Festival and Pow-Wow. This was a great time last year so I hope it is this year as well.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Currently October

I am a little late to the party but...  better late than never :-)


Wanting - I am working on my reading endorsement add on to my teaching certificate. I have been enjoying the class and definitely leaving quite a bit. So far all the assignments have been individual work and that works out since we are from many different schools. The final project however is a group on. Most groups have three or four people by mine only has two of us. The first night we were supposed to work together my partner was late for class and we only got 10 minutes to figure out who would do each part. Last week we were supposed to share what we had done so far and she said she hadn't had a chance yet but that she would definitely take care of it and email me during the week. We are supposed to present on Tuesday and I still haven't heard anything from here. Ugh!

Needing - We are having a consultant from the area educational technology center work with our students on Tuesday to create movies using our new cart of ipads. I agreed that I would set up Dropbox on all of them before the session and now I have to go make good on the promise.

Book - I love Cynthia Rylant's writing style and this is a great mentor text for fall.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Traveling pets

We had some visitors that arrived on the first day of school and they hung around for the first three weeks. The visitors that I'm speaking about were Snail and Whale from Stephen Baker's class "3D" in New Zealand. It was so fun to host a traveling pet. The kids were super excited and took tons of pictures while they were here.

Here is the post they wrote about the visit. If you would like to sign up for a visit you can find Stephen's email here.

Now Snail and Whale are in the mail on their way to Iowa to continue their adventures.

Last year my class hosted Davo the Tasmanian Devil from Australia. The kids also had a blast with that visitor. While visiting the classroom he was able to see some end of the year activities and join in on field day. He was only able to stay less than a week so unfortunately he didn't get to go home with as many students . I was amazed however that with a little planning he made it to a church sleep-in, Taste of Marietta, a Cinco de Mayo party, a soccer game and a girl scout activity all in one weekend.

 I made an adorable box for sending him on to his next stop.
Later on this year we will be hosting Shoeless and Bark which is a Projects by Jen activity. You can read about it here. Unfortunately the registration is now closed but you can check out some more of her GREAT projects on the calendar or by clicking the image below. Last year we participated in a bunch of her projects. The O.R.E.O. project will be starting up next week so it is open up for registration right now. My class has done this one for about 5 years but this year is the 100th anniversary of Oreo cookies so it should be extra fun. The holiday card exchange is always a great one!  You should definitely go check out her site.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 3, 2012

September already

The students have now been back at school for three weeks. I am really enjoying the new kids and having a student teacher. I do however miss my bestie because she has been out on maternity leave since the fourth day of school. You just gotta love that timing.

As we are cruising long and getting in the groove it hasquickly become September. So of course I wanted to join up with Harley at

for the monthly "currently" event.

Favorite things -I have fallen in LOVE with PhotoKey for doing green screen pictures. I have already done two projects this year. One to go with our ocean theme and one to with Miss Rumphius during Grandparents and Special Friends Day at school. It is soooo much easier than two other products that I've used before. Below you will find one example from each.

Pixie is a favorite open ended software that I use with my kids all the time. It can be used for just about any image or slide show idea you could think of and it is so intuitive.

collage of a few idea (rotations, an invention, and projects inspired by books)
I use flickr to store and share pictures that I take in class. I set up a new collection each year and make sets for different activities. Here is the collection so far for this year. I have parents sign a form that they don't mind me sharing pictures. I also don't include student names.

Animoto is a fun way to make a quick movie of an activity. An educator account gets you extended videos for no cost. This is from International Dot Day last year. We are looking forward to participating again this year. Join up if you're interested. Peter Reynolds is even doing a livestream event with Discovery Education this year.

I guess all these favorites are on my mind because I have been using them lately.

Happy Labor Day

Sunday, August 26, 2012

First Week

I just completed the second week with students and I'm finally getting around to sharing some activities we did in the first week.

Obvious we spent time the first week going over procedures, sorting supplies, and getting to know each other. On this post I'm just sharing a few of the FUN things.

On the first day the kids participated in the Saving Fred activity shared by Lorraine at Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies. They loved it and it was nice to get a feel for the kids. It even connected with our ocean theme. I know I took pictures but I don't seem to have them right now so they must be on the other camera. On our second day we also Lorraine puzzle races. The winning team finished in just over 10 minutes and the last team finished in a little over 20 minutes. I used Sponge Bob puzzles from the Dollar Tree. Once again there were great strategies shared.

the winning team
On the first day we also opened up a package that came to us from New Zealand! The kids were very excited to meet Snail and Whale, traveling pets from Room 3. We read the book about them and then picked a lucky child to take them home and fill out the journal about their visit in Georgia. The first week the kids took them to an assembly, out to recess, to specials, to the cafeteria and pretty much everywhere else. They also our school mascot ,Wolfie. This continued on through the second week as well.

In keeping with our ocean theme, on the second day I also read Manfish. It is the story of Jacques Cousteau given to me by the Two Sisters at a D5/CAFE workshop. I also shared a quick slideshow of pictures I have taken while scuba diving. Then I let the kids try on the gear and we took pictures in front of a green screen. I finally finished changing out the backgrounds this weekend. The full set can be viewed here.

One other thing we did the first week was read Not A Box and Meggie Moon and then have the kids (in pairs or trios) use their imagination to transform a squiggle into something else. They definitely had Snail and Whale on the brain because five groups had some variation on them. We did however get a rabbit spy with a jet pack and a few other creative things.

I'm sure we did some other fun things but since it has taken me so long to write this post I lost the list I had made for myself. All in all it was a fun week.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Made Its nearing an end

Here are a few things I made this past week. I'm back in school full swing so not much time for being crafty.

One of my kids favorite things this past week was trying on scuba equipment and getting their pictures taken in front of the green screen. I'm in the process of doing my photo work to put them in the ocean.

Snail and Whale are traveling pets visiting us from New Zealand

A quick one this week is a Box Tops collection container.
made from my new sharpener box
I also put ocean themed labels on the storage area that is available for the kids. I didn't use scrapbook paper becasue I wanted them to also see the contents.


The final this week was gluing ribbons on the kids writer's notebooks. I also did a mail merge to make labels for the front of each notebook. I should have done the ribbons last week before they decorated them so that we could have glued the colored paper on top of them but at least I finally got i to it.
both the notebooks and the bins have personalized labels
I wanted to get a post up this weekend about my first week but I didn't quite get there. Hopefully I can put it together this evening.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday - First Day & Made Its

This is a quick post because today is the first day of school and I need to get ready. I had intended to set this up yesterday and then got caught up with other things and forgot.

My major accomplishment this week is the diver for my classroom ceiling. I used an old wetsuit, my real BCD and I bought a cheap mask and fin set as well as a wig from Party City. I had to create a fake tank, reg and pressure gauge/computer.My husband was super sweet and helped me get her hooked on the ceiling this weekend. Excuse the fuzzy picture below but apparently it was the only one I took from a distance.

view in the room
 The other little projects were name tags for the desks (that are line art so the kids can color them in) and a goodie bag of fish. Later I will come back and upload the baggie topper.

When I get home today I'll go check out the other great projects. For those of you still home go ahead and check them out now.