Saturday, January 25, 2014

Five for Friday (Really Saturday) & Freebie

Ok everyone hold on to your panties I am posting twice in one week.  Yep, It must be the cold and snow that we are currently getting here in Ohio.  I just want to hunker down & stay warm.  I have never joined but read all the posts from my bloggy friends linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday linky party so I thought why not.  I have a few pictures which is always a surprise because I never think of taking pictures until we are done.
So here we go......

1, Monday - This is not school related but my obsession since I am planning my sister's wedding shower next month.  I made a pennant bunting to decorate with.  I have made 3 and I am in the process of making one out of our mom's old wedding dress.

2.  Tuesday - Math stations with my fifth graders.   I use Tara's over at 4th Grade Frolics math stations you can purchase it at TpT.  Click here to go to Tara's store. Love it!

The boys are working on decimal match game.   I can't find who I got the freebie from but will look when I get to school.  If it looks familiar let me know so I can link it.  I thought is would be too easy but it was a little challenging which was good.  Make them think!

Here is another idea I umm borrowed from Tara. She uses Scholastic Dyna Math Magazine and cuts up the articles and has the kids glue them in their math notebooks.
 3.  Wednesday -  We have been working on landforms in fourth grade science & planets in fifth grade science.  For land forms I have been using Ari's Landform Posters & Fold Ups. from The Science Pengiun.  I made my own planets graphic organizer that I have not tweaked enough to link but hopefully will soon.   
4.  Thursday- We had our annual science fair .  Here is my post from Thursday on our science fair. if you would like to read it.  OMG I had to come back & add this... I won my first Facebook giveaway from Jamie over at Miss Math Dork.  I won Valentine Math Station activities on fractions plus it is already differentiated already.  WOO HOOO!  I started following her because who could not LOVE the name of her blog & then I started following her on Instagram and fell in love with her bullie Dozer.  Now I follow Jamie on Facebook.  I sound like a stalker.  LOL
Yep that is a 5th grader's project.  Super smart kid!
5.  Friday - My fourth graders did math stations.  In one of the stations I have them use iPads and go on their free Scootpad accounts and practice their math skills.  They love iPads.

They also played Snowball Smack which is also at Tara's store just click on the name & it will take
you to her store.  The kids beg to play this one.

 I thought I would give a freebie that you could use for your newsletter next month.  Click HERE.  Thanks for stopping by and stay warm.  BRRRRRR


Friday, January 24, 2014

Brrrr, Braging & Big Brains

Ok I think most of the United States is feeling the deep freeze that has us in its grip.  Can it really get any colder?  My kids' district was closed today because of the cold.  My district still had school  (sarcastically) it must be because I live in another county then my school and it had to be warmer.  Nope it was colder!  Oh well I was fine having school but it was not fun getting there and coming home.  Painful cold.  My car did not really start to warm up on the 20 minute ride home until I was in my drive.  There is no end in sight since Ohio is looking to get colder next week and the gossip is there will be a snow day or 2.  We will see.

I did want to share a few pictures my school's awesome science fair and brag a bit. Every student 1 - 8th grade is required to complete a science fair project that focusing on the scientific method.  I spend weeks at the beginning of the school year teaching my 4th & 5th graders about the scientific method.  Then actual project is completed at home but my students have to follow a timeline of due dates to bring in specific parts of their project so I can check they are on the right track.  Then the BIG night comes and viola..........

On a very cold night yesterday, 156 first through eighth graders and their families come to science fair.  The judging is done by professionals in science which is arranged by an awesome parent volunteer during the day.  Then at night our school cafeteria is turned in to a jam packed science museum.  All the kids come to share their projects and to see if their project received a superior, excellence or honorable mention.  There was some really amazing projects.

This was one of my fifth grader's projects.  Yep fifth grader!  I actually had to do research on this topic just so I could grade his project.  Talk about a "big brain."  Well I hope you enjoyed a small glimpse into our science fair.  Stay warm & safe.  Leave a comment or 2 I love to check out other blogs.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Science & Social Studies Textbooks

Hello Everyone,
Been a while since my last blog post..... but you know as soon as we get back from break we hit the floor running.  Our principal just told us at the last faculty meeting that we are looking at new social studies & science books kindergarten though eighth grade.  I teach 4th & 5th grade and currently do not really use a textbook for science but I use Our Nation for 5th grade social studies.

So far  I looked at Houghton Mifflin Hartcourt which make our math series, Go Math.  As many of you know I am not a fan of Go Math.  I did look at their science textbook, Science Fusion for k - 8.  I looked at the 4th & 5th grade books to see how much of the Ohio curriculum was in each. 
Ok maybe I have never really been given the chance of picking out new textbooks but they have the exact same topics in each.  What?????  Different pictures & text but the exact same topics/ chapter.  I actually could just purchase one grade level and use it for both and I would have to still add my own stuff to fill in what they do not cover.  Boo!

Do these textbooks companies really know what common core is?  Isn't common core suppose to stop all the reteaching on the same topics year after year?  Ugh!! Hellooooo textbook companies!

 I then looked at their social studies series the typical topics were there Early People through the Civil War.  Ok did they forget 5th grade CC history strand stops at colonization of the U.S. in regards to the history strand.  So I would use 2 chapters out of a 6 chapter textbook.  What a waste of money.

Yep they had all that fancy technology stuff but not the content.  I LOVE technology but it won't blind me in what I really need.  Content!

If you have a science or social studies textbook that you love or feel is useful would you leave it in the comments or email me.  The person who orders our textbooks said she would request series for us to look at and so far I am not impressed. I know my principal will push us to pick something but I do not want something that will just gather dust on my bookshelf.

Ok I am off my soapbox.  I promise next time I will write  a post on the activities in my classroom. 
Stay warm tonight! Photobucket

Monday, January 6, 2014

Made It Monday - Decluttering, Crafty & Freebie

Well I think I have been able to write a post up once a week so far.  So far so good on my blogging resolution!  Yipeeeee!  I am linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for her Made It Monday linky. 

First I made a command center for where my family dumps everything when they walk in the door.  Usually it is my kitchen island........ I know YUCK!

Soooo I made this with a few things from Hobby Lobby & a meal planner I downloaded for free from 350 Preheat.  Very cute blog!

Then I also made this for my MIL for Christmas.  I found it on The Crafting Chicks Blog It came out really cute.

Then I added another item to my TpT store.  Since I needed to make up a worksheet for when we go back to school to assess where my fifth grade math class is on decimals I thought why not add it to my store.  So this worksheet is on reading, writing, ordering, comparing, rounding, estimating, adding & subtracting decimals to the hundredth place.  I made up a few problems of each just to get a feel for where they are at.  If you would like to take a look or purchase here is the LINK.

I also added another freebie to my store.  A new 2014 January Newsletter template.  Very simple, editable template with 3 text boxes; A Sneak Peek at the Week, F.Y.I. & Important Dates.  Here is that LINK.  Go on over a grab it. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Leave a comment & your blog address.  I love to check out new blogs.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year - Goals, Dog Boogers, Happiness

Hello Bloggy Friends!
The New Year is here.  I can't believe that 2013 has flown by and we are now into 2014.  Time to try to remember to write 2014 when writing our checks, make goals and organize. I am not one to make resolutions  since they are usually broken within the first 24 hours. Boo! So I like to make goals to make myself a better person.  I also joined the resolutions party with Diane over at Fifth in the Middle Resolutions Linky

Professional Goals
1.  I want to work on my math lessons.  Since I use Go Math (I hate!) for instruction and then Simple Solutions for review I feel pulled in 20 directions.  The topics do not coordinate so I do a lot of mini lessons for the Simple Solutions and then a big main lessons for the Go Math.   I started to use Math Stations with my co-teacher which was awesome and then we got a new student who is very very low so I lost my co-teacher so he could do small group instruction with her.  Yes, I know many of you do not have a co-teacher and still do math stations but I felt I could not cover the Go Math topic and the Simple Solutions topic in one period by myself.  I still do math stations but only once a week ( I have six 40 minutes periods for math.) and the rest of the week I do whole group with a mix of group and partner work.  Plus it was a lot of work to plan for 4 stations for 5 days a week.  How do you guys do it?  For next year I am thinking of convincing my principal to drop Go Math ( for just 4th & 5th grade) and just use the Simple Solutions to drive my instruction.  Any tips or suggestions for math?  How much time do you get each day for math and what grade do you teach? 

2.  TpT - Simply I want to get more things on TpT.  I also want to try on hand at making my own clip art.  With everything I am reading about copyrights and images, fonts and clip arts I just think it would be easier to just use my own.  But........I am not that artistic.  I did read a post from Mercedes over at Surfing to Success where she uses her iPad and a drawing app.  I am intrigued.  Hopefully I will post something soon.  Thanks Mercedes!
Surfing to Success

3.  Blog - I want to blog at least once a week but I think I should try to once a month.  Time just gets so busy or I am just too tired.  I want to download one of those blog calendars / organizers I see on Pinterest.  I do not know how to include a link in the picture so I added it in the caption.  Maybe that will get me organized?  Hmmmm maybe wishful thinking.

Printable Blog Planner Link

Personal Goals
1.  I am like everyone I know and can always lose weight but that just seems like a set up for failure for me.  So I would like to eat healthier.  I gave up Diet Coke last year even though I have one every once in a while, my tummy issues have improved.  Yea! I would love to try to eat a cleaner diet.  Less processed foods.  More homemade with fruits and veggies.  It is just so expensive and my kids are not too happy.  They are the chicken nuggets and mac and cheese eaters.  Yuck!

2.  Clean, Organize, Re-Decorate - One word - WEDDING - my sister is getting married this year, April 26 to be exact!  I am so excited!!!  There will be so much company coming and going the week of the wedding and my house feels like a wreck! I feel so overwhelmed and excited at the same time.  I am hosting the bridal shower at my house next month and boy do I have a lot of work ahead of me!  I look around and all I see is the chipped paint, dog booger walls and worn furniture!  UGH!  I did order the invitations!  I want my hubby and son to paint some of the rooms but in a little over a month?  Hmmm?  I may only be able to scrub the walls. I did find some great buys at the Habitat for Humanity store.  A shelf for my bathroom that I have been searching for.  Yep it is an old buffet top but it looks so cute and fits perfectly.  I am not sure if I will paint it because the wood color matches my woodwork.  $15.00 bucks!

 A new headboard for my oldest daughter and another headboard for my youngest that I will post later because I need to paint it. Both $10.00 each!!!!

That is it for now and thank you so much for stopping by.  Please grab a cup of coffee and come back soon (Hopefully next month maybe there will be some shower pictures, maybe!).  Leave a comment or two.  I love to read all the comments and looking at other bloggers blogs! 

Love, Peace & Happiness,