Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Halloween Friday!

Hip, hip, hooray, it is Friday! 
It will be a day full of excitement, so I am thankful that Halloween falls on a Friday. 
Hope your day is full of treats! 
I know that my sons are so excited, as will be my students. The day is finally here and they will definitely be full of cheer! 
We will not parade in costumes today or party out, but we will have some fun brain breaks, enjoy an extended recess, and enjoy some candy corn during math. I am looking forward to working on "Halloween Math" with my students today, it will be a sweet lesson on collaboration, comparing, graphing, measurement, and estimating.  
Need a last minute lesson or something sweet for November? Check out the Halloween Math dollar deal from Fifth in the Middle
Love candy corn and want to extend the learning a little more? Check out Candy Corn Sentences task cards. It is a freebie! 
Do you Kahoot?  We LOVE it! 

If you are trying to integrate technology or encourage device use, it is perfect. In addition, you can collect data after playing the game (aka quiz) and it is scored/calculated for you. Easy, free, and fun - that is a recipe for a perfect technology addition to my classroom!

During the game, the teacher logs in and projects the quiz. Students join at by entering the game pin number and then a name. As you play, the questions are projected and students select the answers by pressing the color/shape on their screen. The answers are automatically scored and game points are awarded. They earn points for accuracy and speed.
You can adjust the length of the wait time and once everyone answers it moves on to the results. The answer and question page are revealed; you can review to clear up misunderstandings.
At the end you can download the results, the players and their answers are provided so you can look further at who missed what. If you are at a 1:1 school, you could probably use it as a grade!
There are tons of quizzes already created in the public section. You can use it as is, duplicate it then edit it to your class/needs, or create one from scratch. You can also share the quizzes you like with other users.
Here is a quiz I made on interjections to go along with the lesson I use from the Walking Classroom.
Do you have a fun, easy to use, free website or app that you love to use in your classroom? Please leave me a comment, I am always looking for more ways to integrate technology in my classroom.

Speaking of technology, I am trying to build up my devices in my classroom since we are not a 1:1 school. I have a donors choose project that is slowly getting funded. If you are looking for a project to donate to, check mine out. If you donate, you can have double your donation in products from my store, just leave me a message in the comments. 
If you know of any inexpensive devices that work well, let me know. 
Last night, my boys, carved their pumpkins. I think they turned out great! 
I especially like the way my husband and my middle son worked with the funky shape on the pumpkins on the left. That crooked smile makes me smile! 
I am thrilled to report that the carving event was pretty calm. My youngest cried a little about the yucky guts. He was really tired, but eventually he came around with some help from his brothers. 
We only had to remind them once that we wanted a drama free evening and no arguing, surprisingly that worked! Let's hope the rest of our Halloween events can remain that way.
Tonight will be the true test. It is our first Halloween with our highly anxious dog. He barks like a maniac when people approach our house, so he will be escorting the boys on their quest for candy. We'll see how that goes! I know the boys cannot wait to put his costume on, fingers crossed that he doesn't eat the outfit!

How about a free treat?
We have been working on decimals and number lines in my classroom for many days. We are working mostly on helping them zoom in on the number line and their numeracy concepts. Needless to say, it has been an eye-opening experience.
In an effort to break up the monotony, I made a little scoot activity to check their understanding of naming the decimal fraction on a number line that has 2 points already labeled. Click here to access the cards.

If you use them, please let me know your thoughts, feedback is definitely welcome!

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Monday, October 27, 2014

It has been way too long! The Sunday Scoop!

Yes, it has been way too long since I last blogged. What can I say? Life has been happening. 
I have made some choices lately that have kept me from blogging. 
I am working way too hard at school and I am trying to balance my home life by not always sitting behind the computer. 
My boys spend a lot more time at school watching me work than they should. The last thing they need is to see me doing the same thing at home. So, blogging and keeping up on-line has been placed on the back-burner, even though I miss it.
So what have I been doing?

  • Taking the boys to their Tuesday night golf camp. Golf is not for me, but I am glad they had fun and learned some skills on the green. 
  • Studying with my 4th grader for his social studies and science exams. Georgia Social Studies curriculum is intense and it has been just as intense helping him study! He is doing great though, so it is working! In true teacher fashion, I created some cards to help him study! I know, poor kid, but he did think they were fun. His teacher loved them and shared with the other parents. 
  • Helping my 2nd grader study for his Social Studies tests, not as intense as 4th grade, but I am having to relearn the content while I help him. I also learned that his teacher really takes spelling seriously, so we will be studying the spelling of the terms too. 
  • Reading some books. I am trying to model great reading behavior for my boys. I am also trying to keep up with them on their Accelerated Reader points and be a good role model for my own students too. In the last few weeks I read Gone Girl and The Best of Me, both were good, loved Gone Girl
  • Sleeping. My sleeping patterns are so messed up right now. I am exhausted by the time dinner and baths are over, so some nights I am asleep before my boys. Except tonight and yes, I will pay for this tomorrow. 
  • Trying to stay afloat!
I do not want to totally neglect the blog, so I decide on the hour long ride home from my in-laws that I would write a little tonight. I need to reconnect and get my thoughts together before jumping in to what will be a crazy week. Yes, even though Halloween is Friday, it will be batty all week! Plus, we are just coming off of week of standardized testing, so it means getting them back in to good work habits. 
Oh, and I can't forget, I have a new student starting tomorrow and a new student is joining me for my language arts class. {I told you that I was busy!}
I figure the best way to jump back in to the blogging routine is to link up with the Sunday Scoop hosted by the Teaching Trio. Thanks to Kristen for the chance to jump back in! 
Here's the Scoop on my week:
In case I don't get to blog this week, I have a little treat for you early. I made a "Looking Closely at Number Lines" anchor chart for my student's math notebooks and I am going to have it printed poster size for my bulletin board, but just for always being so supportive, I am sharing it with you too. Click here to download your copy. 

Hope you have a fantastic week full of wonderful treats! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Five for Friday

Hello Friends!
Happy Fall to all of you! 
I have been on a blogging hiatus and figured Friday was a great day to jump back in with my favorite link-up party.
 Thanks to Doodle Bugs for the fun party and inspiring me to get back in to the groove. 
After a very long week, I can finally say that conferences are over! I only have 2 left with the Spanish translator and a few parents to fill in because they did not make it, but I made it through without any major drama! 
This year I teach language arts to 2 classes, so it meant writing reading and writing progress reports for 48 kids, in addition to all of the typical responsibilities. I was so thankful for my co-teacher who helped with some and for my husband's iPad so I could write the report while looking through their on-line portfolios. 
Last week, my son had a run in with a teammate at baseball practice. Unfortunately he ended up with a minor concussion because the older teammate shoved him to the ground and he hit hit his head on the ground. 
This is the bruise left on his face after the same teammate threw his glove at his face.
Luckily my son is ok. He nervously returned to practice last night but was welcomed back with excitement by his teammates, lifting his spirits. 
As for the bully who knocked him down, he is off the team. 
This week was full of life lessons about bullying, teamwork, treatment of teammates, and calls with the league director and the new coach (the bully's dad was the  coach prior to the incident - he is gone too). 
Hoping the final two weeks of the season are full of victories and great team time!
Most inventive homework excuse I have heard this year, so far,... 

When a student tells me that their dog has eaten their homework, I will be more inclined to believe them. I have learned a lot about dogs since we adopted ours in May. They eat everything.
This week, he seems to have an appetite for my things. On Sunday it was my nice purse that I adored! Boo! Yesterday it was my Wordly Wise workbook. At least he started from the back, so I could salvage the units we are currently working on. 
By the way, I plan to do some purse shopping this weekend. 
It has been a crazy busy school year so far with a LOT of testing and we are about to start district assessments next week. Not happy about that, but I am happy that we are able to de-stress with our Walking Classroom lessons. The kids love walking and now that we have some lovely fall temps, I am enjoying getting out of the classroom for a walk with them. 
Have a great Friday and I hope you are having a wonderful school year!