Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fraction Flowers

I haven't posted much lately because I am taking a break.  I just finished up my grad classes and I am waiting on my final project grade.  It is such a relief to not have any more assignments to do.

My class has been working on fractions and one of my coworkers shared this fraction flower idea with me so I thought I would share it with you.  I gave my students construction paper with premade circles on them.  I ran the same page on two different colors.  Each student needs 4 circles that are the same size.  One circle is left whole.  One circle is cut in half.  One circle is folded and cut into fourths and the last circle is folded and cut into eighths.  Here is a few student made examples...

I had students label their pieces with the fraction.  They really loved making these.  So here is my circle pattern to save you some time.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Grad Classes

I wish I was able to post more this past week, but I am finishing up my last grad class.  Next week, I will be back and stronger than ever.  I will be sharing my Mothers Day card idea that I have used for several years.  It's cute!  I'm going to make one with my son this weekend to give to my mother and I will post some pictures.  I hope everyone has had a great week and here's to the start of a great weekend!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Study Jams

Last week, I started using Study Jams in my class.  I've heard about it before, but I hadn't checked it out until last week.  My class loved it!  The site has short videos that teach math and science concepts.  Some of the lessons include karaoke songs so the class can sign along as they learn.  There are also step by step directions with audio recording and pictures that teach students the skills, such as measurement.

Once you get on the site, click math or science to see a picture menu.  Select one of the categories and a list will come up for you to select a lesson by topic or skill.  The site is easy to use and navigate and your students will love it.  The videos are short so they can be easily incorporated into what you are already doing.

If you haven't checked it out go here.  The best part of the site is that it is free.  You can't beat free and engaging.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cute Suffix Words Matching Game Freebie!!!

I wanted to post a new freebie last night but I fell asleep instead.  Yesterday seemed like the logest day ever!  It wouldn't have been so bad but it seemed like no one wanted to be at school yesterday.  I'm going to claim that it is spring fever.  Well, I'm working on some new stuff to add to my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.  You can get this freebie here or here.

Only 31 days until Summer!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pinterest and Teachers Notebook

I have been pinning for the past hour and I decided to take a break.  I found some great new ideas and a fellow pinner must be teaching the same topics I am right now.  I found a few great examples of anchor charts for the states of matter.  I am definitely going to be making those this weekend. 

While I was pinning away, I received an email on my IPhone.  Can we say tech junkie ;)  Anyway, Teachers Notebook is revamping their site to make it possible to record 30 second videos about products.  They are also adding a forum for sellers and buyers and changing their product rating system.  I'm excited to see the new changes which are to be ready in the morning.  If you don't already know about Teachers Notebook, it is a place for teachers to sell their teaching materials, and the best part is that teachers receive 100% of their profits minus Pay Pal fees.  (Note:  The site will be down after midnight and it won't be up again until tomorrow morning when they are finished updating.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Listening Log Freebie!!!

I've been really busy this week working on papers for my last grad class.  I'm so excited to be finished soon.  I haven't had much of a break since I started.  I wanted to share a quick freebie with you.  One of my stations during guided reading is a listening center.  Students can listen to a story on the CD player or one on a computer.  When students are finished listening to one of the story selections, they complete a listening log.  My students know that if they finish early that they need to listen to a new story.  Here is a copy of my listening log.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Teacher Desk Organization

So I decided to clean out my desk today.  One of my drawers was already organized.  See...

I have my certificates and some of my stickers in the basket, along with a large book stamp.  At the top of the photo, I used drawer organizers that I found at Linens and Things.  The organizers are plastic and fold flat.  Notice I keep my tape dispenser in the drawer also.  I have tape happy kids and some how they seem to have tape when they don't need it.  The two drawer organizers sit on top of a larger organizer.  Inside the larger organizer, you will notice that it is divided.  I keep all of my stamps sorted by holidays and purpose so I can find them easily.  This is the view with one organizer lifted up.

This is what it looks like when both organizers are removed.

I organized the rest of my desk drawers today, but I didn't take pictures.  I'll post more soon.  Check out my Facebook page, I posted a picture of some cute pencil flags that I found at the Dollar Tree.  My kids love them!  They are a great way to reward students for hard work and effort.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sad Night

It's a sad, sad night.  I go to work tomorrow!  I enjoy being off, but I do love my job at least 99.9% of the time.  Hey, we all have our days were we feel like we were mauled by a bear.  Well, I realized today that I only have about six weeks left in this school year.  I think this is the hardest time of the year because everyone wants it to be Summer!!!  I know I have a bad case of Spring Fever.  Anyone with me on that?

Well I have this fabulous new idea from someone in my grad class that I wanted to share with you.  It's actually similar to an activity that I did with my class.  She gave me the idea to read the story Cornelius by Leo Lionni.  When I get close to the end of the story when Cornelius walks away from his family and it says that he stops and couldn't believe what he saw...stop and let the students make a prediction and draw what they think he saw.  She told me that she ended up using this as a bulletin board.  Thanks for the idea Kelly!  I can't wait to use that this week.  I will post some examples and let everyone see how it turns out.  Since I don't have students until Tuesday, you will have to wait in anticipation.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mothers' Day Ideas and Pinterest

     I have been surfing Pinterest this evening for new Mothers' Day ideas.  I found some really great ones if you want to check out my Pinterest Boards.  As I was cruising through the pins, I told myself that I don't think I have ever made it to the bottom of the page and I started to wonder if there was a bottom to the page.  Well, I must have been looking longer than I thought, because to my suprise there is an end to the list ;).  I wonder what I look like to my hubby while I'm mindlessly staring at the computer screen. 

     Today, I got a great idea from a fellow collegue.  She helps her students learn about using descriptive words (aka, adjectives) in their writing by reading them a story and leaving out the descriptive words the first time around and then reading it again with the descriptive words.  I am so stealing this idea.  It seems that this time of the year everyone is ready for school to be over and students are not writing to the best of their abilities.  I think they just want to slap it on the page and get it over with.  Since we go back to school next week, I am going to use this idea.  I will let you know how it goes.  Oh, and she has the kids try adding descriptive words to their writing that day.  I think this is they key to get them to do it.  Everyone needs immediate practice.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Freebie!!!

So here it is.  I'm working on some new summer files so look for those soon if my Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  Click here to download.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Top Five Things NOT to Do on Spring Break!

     Today is a lazy day.  My son and I should be doing something more productive, but instead I'm on the laptop and he is sitting next to me eating Cheez Its and watching "Thomas the Tank Engine" on Netflix or as he likes to call it "Netflakes." 

    As I am sitting here, I started thinking about the Top Five Things Not to Do on Your Spring Break.  So here it is....

Top 5 Things NOT to Do on Spring Break

5. Get up early.

4. Spring clean.

3. Lesson plans.

2. Grade papers.

1. Think about work!


And here are the Top Five Things to Do on Spring Break...


Top 5 Things to Do on Spring Break

5. Catch up on TV shows.

4. Play games.

3. Spend time with friends and family.

2. Blog hop.

1. Relax.


I hope everyone is enjoying their Spring Break if you are off this week.  If not, then I hope you have or have had a great one!

Regurgitated Alpha Bits: "G" means "Go"

I just came across this blog today and I'm still laughing.  I wish I would have asked the last kid who tied his shoes together why he did it.  Check out the other posts on this blog too.  I think you will enjoy the laugh too.

Regurgitated Alpha Bits: "G" means "Go": Howdy! Sorry I haven't been blogging. I'm just not feelin' it lately at work. I love my kids and I love my coworkers, but I'm just not lov...

I Have Who Has Cards

I just posted my new I Have Who Has cards for synonyms and antonyms on Teachers Notebook.  I plan on putting it on Teachers Pay Teachers too, but they are having some technical difficulties.  Anyway, this packet contains 3 sets of cards.  There are 32 cards per set.  One set of cards is synonyms only, one set is antonyms only, and the third set reviews synonyms and antonyms.  Check them out...

Clip Art

Who thought clip art could be so addictive!  I bought some new clip art at Digi Web Studio today.  They have a lot of really cute clip art.  I can't wait to use them on some new items.  If you have never seen their clip art, you might want to check them out. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I just posted a blank bingo board freebie at my Teachers Notebook store.  I hope to add some new freebies soon.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grade Supplies and Dollar Store Finds

Today I took my son to the dentist.  On the way there, I promised him that if he did his best and let them look at his teeth that I would take him to the Dollar Tree.  Let's just say he did an awesome job because I came home with a few goodies for my classroom.  I found these great cards.

From top to bottom, we have nouns, verbs, grammar terms, adjectives, and adverbs.  When I saw these cards, I immediately saw the possibilities.  I could use these to introduce students to the parts of speech or put them on a word wall labeled by parts of speech.  I can also see using them as a sorting activity in a pocket chart.  The possibilities are endless.

On another note, I finally took pictures of how I organize my supplies for grading to make everything easy to pull out.  I had one of these expanding files that expand when it is hung on a wall.

I bought this on sale at Wal-Mart last year.  I think it was marked down to like $1.50 :).  Recently, I realized how much time I wasted looking for a pen or marker to grade with and my EZ-Grader.  I also like to put stickers on tests.  I remembered having this expanding file organizer.  I labeled each tab like so...

Well, the pictures isn't as clear as I would like it to be.  From left to right or front to back:  grading supplies, grade sheets, assessments, rubrics, needs recorded, needs returned, and needs graded.  I keep stickers, markers, and my EZ-grader in the first pocket.  It looks like this...

I keep blank grading sheets in the second pocket so I can record grades and give papers back sooner.  I then take the grade sheets and enter needed information into the computer.  I keep papers that need to be graded and papers that have been graded in the file until I return them to students.  I have found that I am no longer searching for the needed supplies when it comes time to grade papers, and I can take this home or to other places in the building.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reading File Organization

     So I have spent a lot of time this year organizing my reading files and making it easier and quicker for me to plan and gather materials.  I have my files organized by reading story in a hanging file folder.  I bought large, plastic envelops with string closures to keep all of my masters so I do not accidentally hand them out.  I really wanted the envelops that close with Velcro, but Office Max did not have them.  Here is what my envelops look like:

     Notice on the outside of the envelop I have a label in the middle and in the upper, left corner.  I printed the larger label from Mrs. Lewis's Cyber Classroom.  This is a great site if you use Scott Foresman Reading Street in your classroom.  She has resources for K-5 on her site.  I love the large label because it tells me the unit, the name of the story, and all the skills for the week.  I printed the labels off, cut them out, and ran them through my sticker maker so that they would stick like mailing labels.  In addition to the large label, I used my label maker to make a smaller label that can be spotted from the top of the file cabinet.  See...

     Now you are probably wonder what all of the manila envelops and baggies are.  Well, these are my station activities that students complete independently and each one is based on the skills for the week and some are for period review.  Many of my stations fit in a Ziploc baggie or a large envelop that I have laminated, such as this one
 and this one

A few of my stations are file folder games like this

     Where do I get my stations?  I sometimes buy my station games like the ones shown above, but I also make them or find them online and print them out.  There are a lot of great ideas on the web and at places such as Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers.  For every story, I have at least 5 stations and many of my station games and activities are in multiple copies.  This allows for more than one student to enjoy the same game or activity at the same time.  Also, I include some type of product with many of my station games and activities.  I have a few students this year that would not complete their stations if I did not require them to do something written.  Sometimes I will find a worksheet that goes with the skill or I will create a response sheet.  Overall, it has been easier to gather my materials for the week since I have started organizing my reading materials this way.  I hope to start organizing my math materials soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break!!!

     This week I am off for spring break.  I am working on some new things to add to my Teachers Notebook and my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Currently, I am working on a popcorn words word wall set and activity cards to go with the set. 
     I plan to go to school one day this week to organize my classroom library.  I bought some new color-coded labels to use.  The labels I bought are the small round ones.  I recently learned that you can download templates and you can print on these labels.  I always thought they were too small for this, but now that I know they can go through the printer, I thought that I would try them out.
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