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,


Friday, July 12, 2013

Class Facebook Page or Blog????

I hope my followers can help me with a decision I have been thinking about since school let out the beginning of June.  I have been thinking about creating a class Facebook page for parents and students to share what is happening in the classroom (I refuse to post pictures of my students' faces but just the activity or project.), daily homework assignments, events and project deadlines.  I love Facebook to keep connected because kids love it (I know they are not suppose to have an account but most do.) and so do their parents.  I do have a personal Facebook account but I REFUSE to accept any friend requests from parents, students (prior or current) or co-workers.  I really love to share what the kids are doing in class and a Facebook page could be a quick way to do it..... no long posts.  Ha!

Or just start using my old class blog page to keep parents up to date with class activities and events.  I have used this page in the past to post pictures of activities or class projects (no facial shots), the students have responded to posts and I have included links that my students could use.  The problem with the blog is that I felt most parents did not even take the time to look at it and unless I had the students post their responses to a post during class time they did not use the blog either.  All that work but no one really took time to look at it.

Currently, my school does have all the teacher keep up with an Edline account where we post homework daily, links and post events and deadlines.  I cannot really post any pictures, parents / kids cannot respond to anything but with an email and to be truthfully it is not parent friendly.  For parents to see my pages (I have 4 separate pages because each subject has a separate page that the parent has to switch to.).  To be honest each student is to have a username and password so they can access my pages but most forget them. Talk about frustrating when we go to the computer lab to work on something that I want them to use a link I added to Edline.  Talk about a waste of time!

Most of my parents do not even link their email account so they do not get alerts to uploaded grades and homework or even the group emails that I send out with reminders. 

Sooooo here is my decision, stick with the Edline account only, try to get parents and students involved with the blog page or try a class Facebook page?  What are your thoughts?  What do you use to keep communication between home and school open? 

Have an awesome evening.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Is It July???? NOOOOOOOOO! Farley's July Currently

I can't believe I posted yesterday now I am posting today but I can't miss Farley's July Currently even though I will probably be the 1 millionth link up.  Farley has an amazing following.   Jump over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to check out some other teachers' amazing blogs.  It is so much fun to check out what others are up to on their summer break.

Here is my Currently.....
Listening & Loving:  All my kids are still asleep and I am enjoying the peace and quiet before the craziness starts when they all get up.  Here are my 2 toenail tapping dogs.  I guess I need to put toenail trimming on my list today.

Thinking:  I need to work on some school stuff or things for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I just can't seem to get motivated. My break just really started last Friday since I was on the Cleveland Diocese science curriculum team.  We just spent the last 9 days writing the science curriculum for k - 8th grade for the entire Cleveland Diocese.  I really enjoyed the writing process and met some amazing teachers.

Wanting: Breakfast but I don't want to wake the kids up just yet.  Shhhhhhhhh!  Pss by the way I gave up and made some toast.  No sleepy kids up yet. 

Needing:  To get this day going so I can clean out the basement (too many toys and junk), work on my TpT stuff (science fair packet), wash my bedroom curtains and clean out my kitchen cabinets and cupboards.  I love to organize and throw things out but I need to get off my butt!  I always have all these plans but POOF before I know it the day is over. 

Blogging Tips:  I have a hard time finding time to blog during the school year but I thought of trying to use a calendar to schedule blog posts and ideas.  Also to get more followers, Linky Parties are the key.  The more you do Linky Parties it gets your blog out there.  Especially Farley's Currently from  Oh' Boy 4th Grade.  So come check out the party, leave some comments and find a new blog or two to follow.