Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Little Bit Of Everything

I titled this post "A Little Bit Of Everything" because I am going to try to catch up on my blogging without overwhelming my readers.  Or better yet boring everyone with my this and that.  But I do have a few things I would like to share.

First I wanted to thank my September Slant Box partner.  Yep that does say September and it is almost the end of October.  Oops!  The October Slant Boxes are being sent now.  I will be honest I did not sign up for October.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  Obviously!!! Ha!  My partner, Amanda, over at His and Her Hobbies has such a cute blog done by  her and her husband.  Amanda sent me an awesome box with so many cute things it came in two boxes. 

Box # 1

Awesome stop what you are doing cards!

Glittery pencils, glue sticks, Post Its, chocolates......
 Ok I am not the best Slant Box partner..... I forgot to take a picture of box # 2 and the BEST gift.  The Noise-O-Meter!!!  Amanda remembered that I complained about my talkative bunch of 4th & 5th graders and made a super cute Noise-O-Meter to remind my classes of the expected noise level.  I have it posted in the front of my classroom.  Maybe I will remember tomorrow to take a picture and add it to this post.  Fingers crossed!!!

On to the October Monday Made It with Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics before the month is over.

Talking about behavior....  I gave into the behavior clip chart craz that you see all over Pinterest and Bloglovin.  I absolutely LOVE it and purchased mine on TpT by Amy Alvis.  Here is her TpT link.  I have two classes full of boys so I searched everything to find a clip chart that would appeal to boys and was not babyish!  It uses a  sports theme and I use it for both my 4th & 5th graders.  I gave each level points that ranged from 5 - 0 and we tally the points on Friday and pass out 1 ticket for every 5 points.  The tickets go into my Caught Being Good raffle that I pull each month.  I was really worried it may turn off the few girls I have even though there is both boy and girl characters.  When I first introduced it one the girls raised her hand and said she LOVES football!  Whew! 

 I also took the jump and started math stations which I bought from Tara's Fourth Grade Frolics TpT store.  Here is Tara's TpT store link.  It also has a sports theme. I have been scratching my head to why I have not start this sooner.  My fourth grade class has been doing awesome.  I have my co-teacher man one of the stations and it has been smooth sailing! Fifth grade is also going well but a little harder to maintain by myself since my co-teacher has a small math group in another part of the building.

Here is my break down....I have 3 groups of 4  - 3 students that rotate through 4 stations every 7 - 10 minutes.  Yep I have tiny classes this year for math.  I have been blessed.  The groups stay the same all week and we do a new concept every day.  It is great for my very active boys and those students who tune me out in about 1o minutes.  I have to say this..... I LOVE Tara!  She was my coach and she did not know she was.  I read over her post about Math Stations and then bought her Sports Math Stations and VIOLA.  It has been working amazingly!  Thank you again to everyone for their advice!

Coach Corner - Intro new math lesson with me. (Alternate every other day for 5th grade with Simple Solutions concepts)
End Zone - Practice new math lesson with a partner/group.
Huddle - Co-teacher review Simple Solutions lesson (Math Review workbook) for 4th grade.  Fifth grade works on Simple Solutions together as a group.
Drill - iPads to work on Scootpad or other math drill app

I also had to include this picture that my hubby took of the back of my house.  Looks like Wizard of Oz. 

Have a great evening!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Math Stations for Intermediate Grades Anyone?

I am begging for help from my bloggy friends.  I desperately want to start math stations but I am extremely visual and I cannot find any videos of math stations in actions in a 4th or 5th grade classroom.  I have read a few blogs on math stations and there is a ton for the primary grades who have an hour or more for math but we are partially departmentalized so I have 40 / 50 minutes tops per day.  There is a few bog posts for older students such as Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics but I need more.   I wish I knew someone who used math stations that I could go observe.  Seeing math stations in action.  Plus we just got a new math series, Go Math which is not working for me but I have to use it and I added Simple Solutions for math review because my standardized scores dropped last year due to Go Math's lack of enough review.

Here is my break down idea.

M - Math Facts Practice (iPad, computer game, flashcards......) - 10 minutes
A - Math Alone / Partner - Complete Go Math practice on other 2 pages of the lesson - 10 minutes
T - Teacher Time - Work with small group with first 2 pages of Go Math (Into lesson) - 10 minutes
H - Homework check (workbook pages & Simple Solutions lesson) & write down homework in planner - 10 minutes
S - Simple Solutions - Co-teacher goes over any questions from the night before homework and review on Thursday for Friday quiz - 10 minutes

I have 11 kids in fourth grade for math so I am thinking 3 groups of 3 - 4 students.  I do have a co-teacher so I was thinking he could monitor the "Math Alone / Partner" time to check for comprehension or reteach if they need it.  Or add 10 more minutes so he can answer Simple Solutions questions. The only big problem I see is questions from the Simple Solutions.  Many times the Simple Solutions topics do not go along with the textbook topics.  So I have to do a mini lesson to cover that new topic in Simple Solutions that has not been covered yet or they have forgotten from last year. 

My questions to my bloggy friends is will this work?  Do you do stations using your textbook series?  How do you do it all?  Should I use another 10 minutes of my science time (Leaving me 30 minutes for science.) to add another 10 minutes of time for Simple Solutions questions?  Ugh!!!!! Help please I am determined to start this next week. 

Happy Friday,


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sometimes I Wish..... I Had That Magic Wand

I just had to link up to this linky!  "Sometimes I Wish" linky over at E - Z Class. I just checked my Bloglovin feed and there was the ladies over at E-Z Classes' linky.  I was actually going to write a post on my own and poof this linky was perfecto.

 I wish I had that magic wand for those argumentative students. Those students that think they are smarter then the teacher and challenge everything.  Ugh!  It is just exhausting and takes so much teaching time away from the other students.  I have a fourth grader and a fifth grader that is going to kill me this year with all their questioning and challenging of everything. 

Today actually I had the entire class rewrite their lab sheet from yesterday to fix all capitalization, punctuation and the format that I insisted that all the students write their hypothesis in but for some reason they forgot or felt they really did not have to.  I went over that we ALL need to take pride in what we turn in and EVERYONE had to rewrite the lab sheet, even if they felt nothing was wrong.  This particular student raised their hand and said did he have to rewrite since he only had a few mistakes that he could erase?  OMG!  I lost it!  Now remember that I had this student last year and he constantly did the same thing.  I went off asking if he was the king of my class?  I also said that I am the queen of that classroom and no one is to argue with me.  That the only person who can is another adult pointing to my very big male co-teacher (By the way he is awesome but that is for another post.).  Then I repeated that everyone had to rewrite and he better get busy.  I am always amazed that some children think they can question, argue and think the rules do not pertain to them.  I was raised VERY differently and I barely said boo and that was only when I was forced to answer.  Any suggestions I am up for trying anything.  Please!

I have another student who always has to tell his way he did a math problem even if most of the time it is not correct.  Plus if I purposely do not call on him because of the confusion he instills with his classmates then he yells out.  Today I told him that he cannot put his opinion in on every answer that there is others in this class.  Of course I get huffing and puffing.  GRRRRRR! I do have something I might use with the entire class that may work.  Each child gets two Bingo chips.  For every question or comment they have to give me a chip and when they are done they cannot ask question or comment.  Then the only students that can ask a question is the students with chips left.  Hmmmmmmm I may try this next week.  Keep your fingers crossed.   Sorry this was a long ranting post.  If you have any suggestions please pass them on.  This is a short week for me since I had to take off tomorrow to take my daughter to a doctor's appointment. 

Happy Friday Everyone,


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tears, Paint, Questions and Compromise

Well gang I am really slow on this one but I thought I would give the conclusion of my classroom painting drama and a peek into my classroom this year.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that my room pictures are on this computer.  Murphy's Law they probably are not. 

As I wrote in a previous post about my classroom painting drama that you can read HERE I thought I would at last share the conclusion.  After many phone calls, getting my principal involved, hiding cans of paint, bringing the paint back, begging, tears and a compromise my room was finished about a week before school started.  The dark teal was covered with a medium teal / powder blue.  It is not my color preference for a classroom but at least my classroom is one color and I do not feel like I am drowning under a sea of dark teal water.

This is the view from my desk.

This is from the front door.

Sorry for the lack of tons of pictures.  It was such a rush to get my room together this year.  I snapped these on the way out before I had to come back to "Back to School / Meet Your Teacher"  night.  Hence the blurriness I seriously snapped and then ran home. 
Exit Slip Board
I put this board up again this year to have the kids use a sticky note and jot down an answer or question to a prompt.  I use this to do a quick assessment on the topic or concept being taught.  Last year I had a "What Stuck With You?" board but the kids would "forget" to write down their name so I wasn't sure whose was whose.  So this year I used their numbers and then when they are done they put their sticky note in their square.  So far it was been a success!

Hope your school year has been off to a successful start too!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You've Got Mail......Slant Box

Doesn't everyone LOVE to get mail especially if it is not a bill or junk mail?  Well I received my Slant Box in the mail today!  What is a Slant Box?  It is a  linky exchange put together by Jameson at Lessons With Coffee.  Jameson pairs you up with another blogger that you get to know through their blog and other social networks.  Then you follow the monthly theme and buy fun gifts for your partner and ship them out at the end of the month. 

I was partnered up with Gina over at Beach Sand and Lesson Plans.  I had so much fun making up her box.  Check out her blog to see what I sent.

I then received my box from Lauren at The Traveling Teacher today.  HAPPINESS (In my singing voice.)

I apologize for the pictures my kids were a little excited too.  We rarely get anything fun in the mail!

Lauren sent a little box with a cute birdcage to hold mints and a jar labeled "Teaching Fuel."

 The jar was filled with my favorite....chocolates and a new orange swishy ball to use with my class.  They are going to love it!  By the way the chocolates are gone!  Three kids and a hubby who also LOVE chocolates gone.  I guess I will need to bring my "Teaching Fuel" jar to school with newly stocked chocolates.  HA!
 Sorry this is blurry but my five year old was in charge of the pictures and she was very excited. Obviously!!!!  I think she was hopping up and down with excitement.  LOL
Look Lauren even personalized my "teaching Fuel" jar.  I love it Lauren!  It really made my day!  I even signed up for another month of Slant Box. Join the linky fun at Lessons With Coffee and maybe you will meet a new bloggy friend or two.  I did!

Good night friends,


Friday, August 9, 2013

I am so excited..........Slant Box

I am so excited I joined a new linky / gift exchange over at Lessons With Coffee Blog called Slant Box.  Jameson pairs you up with partners, one to give and one to receive a box of goodies valued at $10.00 that follows a monthly theme.  This month's theme is "A Few of My Favorite Things."  It is a month to month linky, you sign up each month so you are not committed to a long term exchange.  To be honest I was a little leery of another exchange linky.  I did an ornament exchange linky on a non-teacher blog last Christmas and was truthfully disappointed.  So far so good with this exchange.

The SLANT Box Exchange
My partner I am to send to is Gina at Beach Sand and Lesson Plans. Gina teaches 3rd grade to gifted and high achievers in Florida.  Go check her very cute blog out. 

Then I am to receive my Slant Box from Lauren over at The Traveling Teacher blog.  Lauren teaches 2nd grade in California.  Just like her blog title says she has taught in quite a few places.  Hop on over and see what Lauren has to offer.
I hope to be posting some classroom pictures soon and the conclusion to my terrible classroom paint job.  I will give you a hint it was a compromise.  Come back to see what happened with all the drama.

Have a great weekend,


Sunday, August 4, 2013

August (What????) Currently & Saturday Snapshots

Happy Sunday everyone!  I am at last going to link up with Farley's most awesome linky at Oh Boy 4th Grade.  I LOVE this linky.  I do not know why but I refused to do this post when Farley first posted.  Oh yeah I know why!  It is August and it can't be August right?  Wrong!!!  It is August and digging my heals in won't make it not happen.  So here I go...

I see a typo already in number one (listening) but I refuse to go back and fix it.  I will explain.... I am listening to my youngest play a car racing game not me :)  My hubby is a breakfast guy.  He makes breakfast every Saturday and Sunday.  Gotta love that guy!  That moves on to loving... He took Friday and Monday off to make it a four day weekend.  I will show the fun we had this weekend in Mrs. Nelson's Got A Camera linky.  

Thinking.....Oh my gosh I can't stop thinking about this one.  In fact I did not get much sleep over this.  I went into my classroom yesterday to do some work and WHOA!  Someone has been painting my classroom.  Now I know some of you would do anything for someone to paint your room a fresh coat of paint but OMG!  This looks like a teenage boy's bedroom!  Or whoever picked out the colors has cataracts and is color blind!  Light blue and dark teal.

Here is a shot of the front of my room.

Sorry for the blurry shot I has shaking with anger at this point.

The worst part the cataract and color blind person who picked out this monstrosity, picked out all the colors for the hall and my partner teacher's room. 

The hallway had paint chips of navy and dark red and my partner's room had a vomit green color paint chip.  Anyone every hear of cohesion?  Harmony?  Light?  I am sorry if I offend anyone but did a man pick this out?  I one time saw a pin of a sign at a paint store on Pinterest.  "Any man that comes in to buy paint by himself must have a note from a wife or girlfriend to buy the paint color!"  AMEN

I have started the wheels moving to try to stop this painting and volunteered my hubby to repaint / FIX the color!  See I do have an awesome hubby.  Or maybe he is just tired of hearing me complain and wants to get some sleep without me tossing and turning. 

Wanting... no explanation needed.

Needing.... See above!

1.  Color ink for the printer to print off all those cute TpT products!
2.  Magnetic name plates will be so much neater and easier then the paper ones I have always used.
3.  Paint color!  See above!

All right click on Farley's link above and spread some bloggy love.  Come back to read the update on my classroom paint color!  Keeping my fingers crossed it is not too late to turn that bus back around!

I promise this will be short and sweet since I rambled on about the upsetting paint color..

Here is my weekend in a few snapshots for Mrs Nelson Has The Camera Blog.

Run Miss Nelsons got the Camera

First we found a lost and confused parakeet in our chicken coop.  Yep we have 6 chickens that lay pink, blue and green eggs.

Named him Cooper and I guess we are adding one more animal to our crazy family.

Then our entire family did the world's longest yard sale... US 127 Yard Sale.  We drove 420 miles of which 100 miles was part of the sale in Ohio.  Made 29 stops in a driving rain, acres of corn, soybeans and windmills.  Found a few treasures.

First city in the Ohio leg of route 127.  West Unity

Family running to the car in a downpour after our lunch stop.

The BEST stop.  American Pickers on steroids with OCD. Everything was categorized on pallets.
Then my hubby and I went on a date night in downtown Cleveland.  No kids!!!!!

Could not ask for a better ending to a Saturday night! 

Enjoy your Sunday,


Monday, July 29, 2013

Ah Ha! I Figured It Out! TpT & Made It Monday

I am jumping up and down as I type this!  I did it!  I did it!  I may have taken me all summer but I figured it out!  I used commercial clip art and background papers in my first real TpT product.  Yes, I have done a few freebies and newsletter templates but no real cover pages using clip art and background papers.  Now my anxiety is sky high worrying that I may have did something wrong and if any one will buy it.  I could not figure out how to use background papers and clip art without using a unzipping program.  I made sure they were for commercial use and I acknowledged them on my credits page.  Then I was just fooling around with my laptop and by chance I tried to drag and drop the picture/pictues into My Picture file and PESTO it was there!  Whoo Hoo!  I used Powerpoint to make my document and saved it as a PDF.  Did I do ok?  Did I miss anything?  Please let me know so I can correct it. Take a look...

TpT: Independent Scientist

So of course I am joining Tara's linky over at 4th Grade Frolics...Made it Monday!

I also created a new Back to School brochure for my 4th and 5th grade parents.  I just used Microsoft Publisher.  It was pretty easy.


I also worked on my year long plan for fourth grade math.  I won't show you that monstrosity.  I was really disappointed that I only got about half way through the Go Math series (It was new last year.) by the end of last year.  I wanted to change that so I took a different approach that I have never done before and plan out each unit's time frame with 3 days for review and 1 day for testing. Taking a look at it, I still will barely get through the series and I think I will be cutting things short with the time I allotted for each unit.  UGH!  I am feeling very overwhelmed at this moment.  Aren't we all?  What do you do when students still are not understanding the math concept?  Do you stick to your time frame and test on schedule?  Stop and reteach but for how long?  I actually will keep reteaching the concept until most of the class has it but I think that is why I was so behind last year. Any idea, suggestions or comments will be appreciated!

I think I am at last getting in my school groove. I just could not do anything school related this summer.  I tried but nope it wasn't happening until this week.  Bam it kicked in!
I would LOVE some feedback on my first real TpT product. 

Have a great Monday,


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Rain, Screams, Sun, Bats and Sand

I had to share a few pictures with a super cute linky party Miss. Nelson's Saturday Snapshots Linky . We had such a crazy week with the weather and a week of vacation.

First we went on vacation at the beginning of the week staying at my hubby's brother's cottage in Vermilion which is close to Cedar Point.  So I let my 2 big kids bring a friend so they would each have someone to ride those amazing coasters. My hubby and I on the other hand hit the kiddie rides with my little one.  Yipee!  That's ok after seeing those new coasters I decided these kiddie rides are just my speed.

Yes that is my hubby crammed into a kiddie ride.  What we do for our kids.  HeeHeeHee!  Gotta love that guy!

Then the RAINS came!

And they came and never stopped.  So we went back to the cottage.

The kids all did a lot of fishing while we were there.  Shhhh do not tell them but I HATE fishing.  I would rather shop, get a pedi or go to a craft show.  Oh well we were making memories.

My little one with her BIG catch.  The boys also caught a huge..... tire but I cannot find that darn picture.
Then we were back home and back to the big kids' sports.  My son is playing in a wooden bat tournament this weekend in Stark County.  We love to watch him play.  I sometimes cannot believe he is my kid.  He makes his daddy proud!

We also had my daughter's Soccer in the Sand tournament at the Mentor Headlands.  She scored 2 goals for her team, broke her toe and ended today with a crazy rash but that did not stop her. She is definitely not a wimp like her momma.

Those are a few snapshots from my week.  Hope you are enjoying our last few weeks of summer break the start of a new school year will be her before we know it.

Happy Saturday,