Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ear, Butt, Fairy & Laughter

Happy New Year!
Its Farley's Currently Time!
I absolutely LOVE reading her blog, Oh Boy 4th Grade. and joining her linky party! Woot Woot!

Well I hope my title, "Butt, Fairy & Laughter" got your attention!  It gave me a chuckle!  What a way to start the new year but I am positive it is going to be an awesome 2015!  So here is my New Year Currently.... 

Listening....My 14 year old is trying to convince my 7 year old that she is watching the ball drop with some video she found on Youtube.  LOL  Keeping my fingers crossed it works!  I love listening to my kids interact when they are not fighting which some days are few and far between.

 Loving....Of course winter break but mostly importantly my new hearing.  I had my "ear" drum replaced this summer that has been missing for at least 5 years.  Today I went to my last post op hearing test and was told my hearing is back to the normal range.  YAHOO!  I did not realize how bad my hearing had become until it was given back.  Wow what a difference! Love!

Thinking.... I need to get my "butt" in gear and start some school work done before this breaks slips by. 

Wanting... I feel like I have been in a creativity slump.  I don't feel inspired to blog or create any new TpT products.  I did make one product over break because I felt my "Flashlight Friday" needed something more.  Flashlight Friday is where the kids read for the entire period on Fridays with a flashlight but it needed some accountability for the kiddos.  So poof I created 4 different quick worksheets for them to fill out, one for each Friday, on what they are reading.  Here is the TpT link if you would like to take a peek.

Needing.... I always need a cleaning "fairy" godmother.  I hate to clean anymore:(

Yes... I have been thinking of some new career challenges/adventures that still involve teaching.  Hopefully more to come soon.

Maybe... A second job.  I like Farley, have some BIG medical bills and I have decent insurance.  See loving!   So I need to bring in some more money to pay off those bills.  Gosh if I could only start creating some more TpT products. 

Wish...For a year of new adventures, good health and laughter!

Share some linky love, find a new blog or two and have an amazing new year,


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hour of Code - Coding? Me?

Happy December everyone!
The school year is almost half over!
I just can't believe it!

Well I wanted to share something that I am working on for my 4th and 5th graders next week.  Have you hear that schools are being invited to teach one hour of computer coding sometime next week (Dec. 8th - 12th)?  They hope to get 10 millions kids coding next week.  WOW!  You ask what is coding?  Coding helps us to make apps, games, websites, video games, software...... which is the future of jobs of many of our students.

 So next week I was selected to teach coding to my 4th and 5th graders which is going to be taped for a State of the School video.  There is an awesome website which has tons of really cool step by step tutorials that even kindergarteners can use. 

On my Google Classroom that I have set up for each of my classes, I linked a few of the tutorials such as Frozen for the girls, Angry Birds for the boys, Flappy Code where the students can design a game using the Angry Birds game.  I even found a website (Made With Code) where they can program the Christmas lights on outside trees of the White House which will be aired on YouTube.  Cool right?

After going over the basic vocabulary and previewing the websites with the entire class I will let them loose to explore and have fun. 

For some of my students who have a little more computer knowledge I added the Kahn Academy tutorial which is a step by step tutorial that is a bit more challenging. 

They even have non-computer lessons which teaches the students to use a "code" that another student follows to recreate a pattern on a 4 x 4 graph or cups that represent the "code" that move a student robot to do certain things.  The kids are going to love it! 

 Is your school doing the Hour of Code?  Are you doing an Hour of Code in your classrooms?  If so, how are you presenting it to your students?  Please leave a comment or two I love to hear from everybody! 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Going, Going, Gone? Book Clubs & Science Stations

Going, going, gone....where has this weekend gone?  I cannot believe Monday is almost here!  I am looking forward to Thanksgiving break, only a week and two days!  Yahooo! 

I have had a hard time coming up with something to blog about lately and then I had an idea or maybe I am avoiding doing school stuff.  Nah me? Never:)  My book clubs that I do during my 40 minutes of reading.  This month we have been reading mysteries (last month was realistic fiction).

 I gave my kids a choice of 4 different books....Westing Game, Library Card,  Bunnicula  and Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler.  The top three were Westing Game (high group),  Library Card (middle group),  and Bunnicula (needs support group).  We have been working on a literature circle packet from French Frenzy TpT store. It is a great buy which includes the different literature circle roles worksheets, a tic-tac-toe board for the final project, rubric and self-evaluation form.  I really love it and the kids have too!

I also have downloaded Bunnicula and Westing Game to the Audible ipad app.  For some strange reason I could not find an audio book for Library Card so I recorded myself reading the book on the ipad ( I hate listening to a recording of myself but what we do for our students.)  and the kids then listen to the book on the ipad or my phone. Each day they listen to a chapter or two then complete a page in the reading portfolio.  The next day they share their role with their group.  The kids have really enjoyed these books. 

We are going to take a short break from book clubs between Thanksgiving and Christmas and do more of a guided reading with  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.   On the AR Book Finder site they list the book level as a 5.1 which is a little high for some of my middle and needs support readers but I think if I add some extra support they should be okay.  Just think of the fun activities we can do.... LOOOOOVE!

Then in my fourth grade science class we have been working with states of matter and chemical and physical changes. So tomorrow we are going to do science stations.

Station 1 - Chemical & Physical Change Sort - The kids are given cards with different changes that they sort into the two categories and then record them on the lab sheet.  I don't have the link for the cards anymore and have made copies of the master I downloaded years ago:(

Station 2 - Read a states of matter article with their group and then answer comprehension questions about the article which I found on

Station 3 - In this station the kids watch a balloon inflated by baking soda and vinegar and explain if it is a chemical or physical change and why.

Station 4 - I posted on my Google Classrooms two online states of matter games from BBC for kids site - the Changing States and Irreversible or Reversible.

Here is my lab sheet I will have the kids use to go through the stations. 
What are you doing fun this week?  Please leave a comment or two. I LOVE comments.  Have a great week everybody! Thanksgiving is almost here!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pen Boycot, Pencils & Only the BEST!

Well, this first quarter is almost done (Oct. 30th to be exact) and I am at last blogging.  I hate being a newbie, I feel at times I am just treading water trying to learn all the in's and out's of a new school.  At least I am still teaching 4th and 5th grade which makes things a bit easier. 

I wanted to blog about the quality of student work.  I really think what a student turns in should be done with pride but WHOA Nelly...... what I was getting from my 4th  and 5th graders was the furthest from quality.  UGH!!!!  I am not sure if it was they were still on summer break mode, testing the new teacher or that it was really quality work was never expected from them.  Or was it something else? 

Hmmmm I had a long talk with both classes explained to them that being a student is their job and their work was a reflection of them as a student.  My job is being a teacher and I cannot turn in lesson plans scribbled out, misspelled, missing parts, crumbled up and written on the wrong side of the paper. So they could not either! 

I also made a bulletin board with examples of neat work where I display one paper I thought was the neatest that week from each class.  Finally I BANNED pens!  Some of the others teachers on my team let the kids write in pen so I felt I needed to do the same.  I tried really I did but the junk I was getting was unacceptable by my standards. WOW!!! What a difference!  Now not everyone is perfect but the improvement I have seen across the board. Very impressive this week.

Here are some of the best this week.

In this assignment my 4th graders and I were taking about setting in our book club books and using textual evidence to support. They had to write a page number of where they found the evidence and then draw and color a picture of the setting.

Now I have another coming without pencils or sharpening pencils for the first 10 minutes of class.  I solved that I have a bunch of pencils, pre-sharpened and they have to give me something for a new pencil.  When they give me the pencil back I give them back what they gave me.  Seems to have helped. Gosh I feel like I am constantly putting out fires.  LOL

I hope everyone has an amazing week!  I am looking forward to a week full of pencils and prideful work!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Birthday, Bills, & Fairies? Of Course it is Farley's Linky Party!

Ok I absolutely love this girl and she does not even know me.  No I am not a weirdo stalker.....weird maybe but not a stalker.  LOL  It is time to link up with Farley @ Oh Boy It Is 3rd Grade blog and her awesome currently linky party.  Here we go!


September first is one of my favorite days of the year.  It is my son's birthday who is 15 today.  The day I became a mom which is my favorite job!!!

- Listening to my youngest is trying to wrap his new baseball cleats with no box is hilarious!  I am gong to have to intervene here shortly. LOL

- Loving 3 day weekends & who doesn't? 

-Thinking I need to pay some bills.  It is on my To Do list today & it is always dreaded. 

-Wanting to get my new school paycheck.  I changed job this year in hopes that we can get out of the financial hole we are in.  We will see in about 2 weeks.

-Needing a house cleaning fairy.  I am sure there is no need to explain here.

3 Trips - I wanted to put Italy for all three because my husband and I desperately want to go visit some day.  Some of his family still lives there.  I even got a crazy idea at one point to sell everything and move there!  Thankfully my hubby is the voice of reason.  After Italy I would love to travel out west on a roadtrip.  Those super cute vintage campers that Farley use on this month's currently & her To Do List at TpTstore got me addicted. 
We found this at a vintage store in Akron, Ohio

I have never been any further then Texas.  The third trip I would loved to take with my hubby is Alaska.  It looks so beautiful. 

Well come with me while I check out the other bloggers' Currently. 

Happy Labor Day<

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Friday, New Beginnings & A Freebie

This is step one.

Well it is Sunday night and I am about to embark on my second week of school.  My first week was awesome and exhausting at the same time.  I can't remember the last time I had to learn 120 students names!  Boy has it been awhile.  I think I have my homeroom memorized and about 1/2 the other kids.  The rest are honey and sweetie! 

First weeks can be tough with all the new rules and procedures that have to be learned.  On Friday we blew off some steam and practice group jobs with a team building activity that I read about on The Science Penguin blog which Ari found on Science Gal. They LOVED it.  So here are a few pictures. Assigning jobs really made a difference!  Here is my lab sheet for FREE. 

What are some of your first week tips?

This is the final step.

Trying to figure out the grabber tool.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Slant Box Love!

My Slant Box came when I was working on my classroom and my girls were dying to see what Amanda from His and Her Hobbies blog.  Now I will be honest I had Amanda already as a Slant Box partner so I knew her package would be AWESOME!  Just look at all that SUNSHINE (that was the theme for the exchange this month). 

First Amanda sent a cute handmade zebra card, then a bunch of snack cups (my son devoured most), a cute mason jar cup filled with different lemonades, 2 magazines and the most adorable drawstring bag her hubby made.  My oldest daughter has her eye on the drawstring bag so I may need to hide it.  Amanda packed a bag perfect for the beach now I just have to keep my kids away from all the treats! 

So a few of you are asking yourselves what is a Slant Box Exchange?  When you sign up your are paired up with a teacher that you will receive a Slant Box from and another that you will send to.  You have a theme to pack your box with.  You are not committed every month to participated only the months you sign up for.  Hurry over to Jameson's blog Lessons with Coffee the cut off day is AUG. 5TH - so hurry up and join the Slant Box fun.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Newbie

This looks like a fun linky over at Sugar and Spice with Wordless Wednesday that I had to try.  So here I go.....

My new classroom....I had to stop and get a few pictures so I can start to think what I want to do.  I am thinking of changing my colors from "Dots on Chocolate" to teal, black and white.  Do you do a theme or certain colors in your classroom?
Come join up and take a look around.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It - Food, Food, and More Food!

Good morning everyone!  It is Monday and you know what day it is......Monday Made It over at Tara's house 4th Grade Frolics.  I just LOVE this linky!

Just be warned I did not make one school thing!  I think I am protesting that summer is flying by or just in denial that school will be starting in less than a month!  Boo! 

This is my favorite and it not completely done but my hubby (That counts for "my" Made It right?)made me a kitchen window herb garden.  I still need to paint it.  I love to have my window open and watch my kids play on the swings and the chickens.  Yep we have chickens!  My hubby is a city boy with a farmers heart so this is how he gets his fix!  LOL
Then I made some broccoli slaw not real fancy but I HATE to cook so this was fancy for me.  I just searched on Pinterest (my favorite place to escape to) to get the ingredients and voila!  I did stop at Trader's Joe's for the slaw that inspired the entire recipe.  The kids would not eat it but my hubby and myself enjoyed it! 

Ok this one looks gross in the pan but it was super easy and we tried something new orzo!  Orzo with Parmesan and Basil Yum!  The recipe I found on.......yep Pintrest.  You can find the recipe on Tasty Kitchen.  It was like macaroni and cheese for grown ups. 

Well sorry for all the food pictures.  It was a week of trying new things.  Maybe next week I will make something for my classroom....maybe;D 

Have a great week,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It - School, Personal & Home

Today is Monday so I HAD to link up with Tara Fourth Grade Frolics for......


Made It # 1 - School
Ok I did work on some school stuff, my reading notebooks.  I started the first couple pages in the notebook.  I will spend the first week or so setting up notebooks for both my 4th grade reading classes and my 4th and 5th grade science classes.  I love using notebooks.
Ok this is upside down and I cannot get it to flip.  Grrrrrr!

Made It # 2 - School
 I also worked on a product for my TpT store.  If you want to take a look click Extinct, Endangered, Threatened Webquest. I need to look it over again to make sure my pain meds did not effect my judgment. All those Instagram, Facebook and blog post from Vegas this weekend were so inspiring.  I want to go next year! 

Made It # 3   - Personal
I had surgery to replace my ear drum that had ruptured and never closed quite a few years back.  It has really effected my hearing.  Both my ears are a mess but just one at a time please!  I could not just get hearing aids which I thought about.  The tissue from my ear canal was creeping behind the little bit of my ear drum I had threatening to make my hearing worst.  So I gave in and got the surgery.  I won't get too graphic but lets just say it feels like I have had a backwards facelift and a stick shoved in my ear.  Ouch!  Here is my lovely headgear I had to wear the first night home.  Tuesday I get the packing out and I cannot wait!  I pray my hearing will be better after all this pain. 

Made It # 4- Home
While stuck at home recuperating and starting to feel a little better I made pretzel rolls.  Yum this is my favorite recipe even though they did not get as brown as I like since I was low on baking soda.  Here is a link to the easy recipe. 

There is the empty box of baking soda for the roll bath!

The dough needs to raise for about an hour. 

Wow does these look huge & ugly. They tasted better then they looked!
I cannot wait to check out the other bloggers' Monday Made It.  I hope everyone has a great week.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Clubs, Reading Workshop, CAFE 5, Textbook - SOOOO Many Decisions

Gosh summer is flying by so quickly.  I want to stick my feet outside (Like how Fred Flintstone use to stop his car.) and try to stop summer from going by so quickly!  LOL

My nerves are on edge since I will be starting at new school.  I started to plan a little especially with 4th grade reading which I have not taught in a while.  When I did teach reading my team used book clubs exclusively.  Then I have been reading around about reading workshop where the kids pick their own books, the teacher does mini lessons & conferences with the kids.  I watched a webinar on Laura Chandler's Corkboard Connection about Reading Workshop.  I actually LOVED this format.  Can this really be done?  Do any of my readers use reading workshops?  How do you do it in your classroom?

My concern is I am not a textbook type of teacher and the new school I am starting at is.  The new principal said I do not have to use the textbook.  So I should be excited right?   Not after reading, Reading in the Wild.  Boy that book makes me feel overwhelmed!  I did read the Book Whisper 
first and really felt inspired but that second book!  How can I do it all? 

I have planned out which genre I want to do each month and I thought to first start with a 2 week poetry unit to get my feet wet and to get to know my kids as readers.  That would give me some time to get Star Reading testing done and to look over scores.  I can also get the reading workshop or book clubs started which could be a combination of the two.  I also started creating a few pages for the kids' reading notebooks. 

 Ok bloggy friends....your thoughts?  Any resources would you suggest? 


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday Snapshots - Baseball, Soccer, Jumpy Thing & Snow Cones - OH MY!

I love Saturday's Snapshots .  I enjoy sharing & checking out other's pics.  So here is a few of mine from mainly this weekend.
We had a baseball tournament for my son. He is a catcher.
My daughter had a soccer tournament.  She is in the background but this team is from India. 
Then we blew the jumpy thing up for the kids to jump in.
This is my youngest who at last got her snow cone that she was whining for.  Look at that smile.  Just do not mind that lose from tooth.  I think it is going to hang on forever.  Ewww
Come check out the other post. 
Happy Saturday,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Wordless Wednesday - July 2 (Already? NOOOO!)

Well this is my first Wordless Wednesday link up over at Sugar and Spice with Christina.  What an easy blog post I just could not pass this one up.

This is what I have been doing every evening this and baseball.  They both have tournaments this weekend and Soccer in the Sand is the following weekend.  Love watching my kids!  Go Bulldogs & NEO! 

Have a great rest of your week!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ummmm.......Monday Made It on a Tuesday?

Does it count if I actually made my Monday Made It on Tuesday?  I am linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics.  I love this linky!  It is so much fun to check out all the other bloggers' MMI.

Sooooo I made one MMI and of course it still is not school related.  I just can't get back in the groove just yet.  I am so envious of all the other bloggers that are working hard on school stuff!  Maybe next week. 

Here is my gifty ( I know not a word.)   MMI.  Hooded baby towels.... a few of my "old" co-workers had babies this year and we are meeting up on Thursday for lunch to catch up.  Both have been on maternity leave since Easter.  I can't wait to see everyone.  It will be the highlight of my week besides of course linking up with MMI party.  Heee Heee

Bath & hand towels & cute ribbon.

Ta da... towel # 1 little elephants!

Ta da...towel  #2 baseballs.

My little model!

These are so easy to whip up and only take about a 1/2 hour to make as long as you do not have to fight with your sewing machine or the computer which I always do so double the time for me.

Have a great week everybody!