Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Exciting News and an Exciting Tool!!!

I just found out that I get to attend The Georgia Educational Technology Conference for three days in November.  I am sooo excited!!!  It is held in Atlanta and is a great opportunity to find out all the wonderful things that are out there for educators.  One of my colleagues went last year and brought back so many wonderful ideas.  So today I thought I would share one of those wonderful ideas with all of you. 
Okay........so this handy little tool is called linoit.  It can be found at www.linoit.com.  It is free and very user friendly. Linoit is a digital online classroom display board where teachers and students can post information on sticky notes. All you need to post to the board is access to the URL.  Once you post a sticky it shows up on the board instantly.  I utilize this by displaying the board on my big tv and as the students post their sticky notes they are added to the board for the whole class to see.   With this tool you also have the capability of embedding videos, web links, and pictures.  Click Here for a wonderful article about the many ways to use linoit in the classroom or Here for a quick tutorial, but first read on to see a few ways that I have used it with my students.
During our units on wants and needs I was able to link a brainpop video into my linoit board.  The students were asked to click on the link and watch the video.  Once they finished the video they went back to the board and posted an example of a want on a yellow sticky and a need on a green sticky.  All the students have to do to get to the board is have access to the URL.  I usually provided the students with a QR code or a tinyurl so they would not have to spend so much time typing in the link.  The students were able to use iPads and Motorola Xooms to post their sticky notes.  They were also able to use laptops.  To find out more about QR codes and tiny url's please go to one of my previous post.  You can find that HERE.

Here I used linoit on the 100th day of school for students to show different ways to make 100.  On this board I incorporated clipart. 

I was able to create this board to go along with our unit on questioning.

I hope that you all get a chance to check out this wonderful tool.  The students love it and it is a wonderful and easy way to incorporate technology in the classroom.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Monday Made It and Freebies

I am headed into my third full week of school.  I feel like I finally have my schedule down and hopefully this week will go smoothly.  Our school is implementing the new Common Core Standards this year so I have been hard at work trying to figure all this out.  This week in math I am teaching skip counting within 1000.  I created the activity below to work on with my students. 

Click Here to download.

I am also teaching how to ask good questions during partner reading.  I made these Thick and Thin Question bookmarks as reminders. 
Click Here to download
I hope that you all have a blessed Monday!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Freebie Friday

Wow........Yesterday was just a crazy day!!  I am so sorry that I didn't get to link up to Blog Hoppin  yesterday for Freebie Friday.  I guess it is better late than never. 
I have had so much fun with Teacher Week and although I am sad to see it end, I am excited to get started checking out all the great freebies. 
I just finished a lesson on NO FAKE READING in the classroom.  The students loved this lesson and we had so much fun modeling real reading and fake reading.  I created this little sign to post in the classroom as a reminder. 
Click the picture below to download
I am also sharing an activity that I created to go along with our place value unit.  I used it first as a way to work in a small group with my students as a follow up to our unit.  I am now going to use it as a math game. 
Click the picture below to download
I am off to check out all the wonderful freebies!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Therapeutic Thursday

I am linking up again with Blog Hoppin for Therapeutic Thursday.

Our family LOVES baseball and we really enjoy watching our boys play!!
My 7 year old!!
My 10 year old!!

We are huge Dawg fans!! Can't wait!!!
Spending time with my three boys!!!

Family Show Nights

We watch every episode of America's Got Talent! My youngest says he wants to be on that show one day!! Lol!!
Okay.......I must admit that we do watch Turtle Man!!!  Oh how we laugh during this crazy show!!  My boys can imitate him perfectly!!

Gotta love relaxing with some Starbucks!

Last but not least, there is NOTHING better than a good pedi!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin for Where I Teach Wednesday. 
I have had so much fun looking at all your wonderful post for Teacher Week!!  I have got some amazing ideas and my to do list just keeps growing.  I am excited to share Where I Teach!!  I just recently posted my classroom reveal so I thought what better way to show you were I teach than to take you on a tour.  I am linking you back to that post so that you can tour my classroom!!  Before you tour, I would like to take just a few minutes to brag on my school.  I teach at a charter school in Northeast Georgia.  Our focus is on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences.  Our goal is to expose our students to many different experiences and give them many opportunities to succeed.  I think Howard Gardner said it best.......It's not how SMART your are, but how your are SMART!!  We offer a variety of specialty classes to our students.  Our specialty classes are things like culinary arts, science lab, golf, tennis, archery, equestrian studies, Spanish, Chinese, baton, high tech literacy, videography, digital photography, and the list goes on and on.  Our students absolutely love it and are given so many wonderful opportunities that they might not get otherwise.  I love my school and could not imagine working anywhere else!!! Enjoy the tour!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tips Tuesday

I'm linking up over at Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week 2012. Today is Technology Tip Tuesday.  This is right up my alley!!!  I love technology and could go on forever about it.  Don't worry........I narrowed it down to 4 favorites.  Well these are my favorites today, but that could change tomorrow.

Tip #1
Tagxedo.......oh, how I love thee!!! This was one of my very favorite sites last year!! With this tool you can create wonderful word clouds in a variety of shapes. You can even upload your own images and have the word cloud form the shape of the image. It is extremely easy to insert words and create in Tagxedo.
Below is an example of two that I did last year. I had all my students write down an adjective about each person in the class. I entered all of them into tagxedo, picked a shape, and voila!!! I framed these and gave them as end of the year gifts.
Tip #2
QR Codes!! I really began utilizing QR Codes in my classroom last year. They are so beneficial and helpful!! I use a QR generator called Kaywa. Here is the link http://qrcode.kaywa.com/. This tool is extremely user friendly. I place QR codes on my newsletter each week for my website, practice sites, research sites, etc. I also have them in my classroom divided into the following categories: Lang. Arts, Math, and Random. They allow students to get to a site quickly and also ensures that they are on a safe and secure site. Here is how I organize them in my classroom.

Tip #3
How many of you have ever wanted to share a link but it was just toooooo long. Well there is a way to make the url shorter and more manageable by using a simple web tool called Tiny URL.  It is very user freindly and so so easy to use.  Try it out!!

Tip #4
I came across this wonderful interactive hundreds board last year.  I absolutely love it.  It is very interactive and the kids can get involved by painting in the numbers on the board.  My students love it and it really keeps their focus.  I decided to make the link into a tiny url to share with you.  See I am already using tip #3!!

Well........I'm off to read all your wonderful Technology Tips!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must-Haves Monday

I know I am breaking a Blogging World rule by posting twice in one day but I just can't help myself.  I just came across this wonderful Teacher Week Linky Party over at Blog Hoppin and I just could not resist!!

When thinking about Must-Haves for my classroom the first thing that comes to mind is my hovercam document camera.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!  I really don't know how I ever survived without it!! 

My next classroom must have is my camera.  I love taking pictures and sharing them with my parents.  I add a picture to almost every newsletter to give parents a little glimpse into our week.  I like using my Canon but it is too difficult to transport it daily so I use my phone often.

I have tons of classroom Must Haves but the last one I will share is my teacher binder.  It keeps me organized and on top of things. 

My one and only personal Must Have is my sweet sweet family!! 

Well...........a coke helps from time to time too!!! 

Monday Made It and a Freebie

Yay!!!  I survived my first week of school.  It went great and I have a very sweet class.  We had lots of fun this week but the highlight of our week was our Place Value Olympics. You can check it out  HERE and get your freebie!!
I am very excited to start a new week and especially excited for Monday Made It. 

Made It #1

I am so thrilled that I finally got around to finishing my Story Stones.  I first saw these over at Happy Hooligans and just fell in love.  I am looking forward to introducing them to my students.  Most kids can use them for story starters without a lot of additional instruction, but for those who need more I have come up with some activity cards. You can download the activity cards HERE.  I simply used stickers and mod podge to make my stones.  I know alot of you very creative folks have painted and scrapbooked your story stones but mine are just plain and simple. 

Made It # 2

I have used these for a very long time, but I decided to make new ones this year.  I tell my students that as they are reading they need to keep their eye on the words.  The kids love to use the wiggly eyes to track their print. 

Well that is it for my Monday Made It!!  I can't wait to check out all your wonderful ideas and creations!! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Place Value Olympics and a Freebie

I was searching for something fun for my students to do with place value when I came across this post on pinterest, Place Value Marathon.  It really inspired me and I set out to work on my own version that would meet the needs of my 2nd graders.  I decided that I would go with the Olympics theme since it is so relevant right now.  During the first few days of school I heard lots of talk about the Olympic games.  I realized that my students were very excited about the Olympics and this would be a great way to motivate them. Well.......let me just say, when I told them that they were going to be participating in an Olympic event, I really got their attention. The first day of this activity was the Olympic Trials.  On this day we went over all the different skills that we had been learning about place value.  We went over our place value anchor chart and discussed the different ways to write a number.  After a quick discussion and review we got right into the Olympic Trials. I wrote a focus number on the board and began asking the students questions like what number is in the hundreds column, what is ten more than our focus number, etc.  I then allowed them to write their responses on their table with an expo marker......they love this. 

I told them that since today was the Olympic Trials they had to prove by their good work that they deserved a spot in the Olympic Games.  Boy oh boy, did that ever work!!  They were all determined to earn their spot.  I was happy to announce at the end of our math time that they had all made it to the Olympic Games which would take place tomorrow in our classroom. The next day they came in very excited about the big upcoming event.  We started out by talking about how the Olympics takes discipline, motivation, and determination.  We discussed that not only do Olympic athletes have to be good at their event but they also have to be disciplined.  I discuss my expectations for behavior during the Games as well as explaining how the event works. I placed the task cards around the room and assigned each person a starting point. 

Each student was given a response sheet and a pencil.   I explained that the task are numbered so it is very important that they looked at the number and respond in the appropriate space on their student response sheet.  Once they got started I allowed them to move among the task freely.  They knew to find a task that not very many people were at.  They did really well with this!!  After they completed all 15 task they turned their sheet in and was rewarded the Place Value Gold Medal. 

I hope you enjoy this free download. 

Click on the pictures below to download. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Classroom Reveal and Monday Made It

I know I have been missing in action for a while.  It has been a CRAZY week.  I went back to school on Tuesday, open house on Thursday, and first day for the students on Friday.  In the midst of all this my husband's grandmother passed away.  She was 92 years old and has lived a long blessed life.  We will miss her but we know that she is in a better place. 

I am so excited to show you my classroom.  So off we go!!
Front of the room

Back of the room
Back of the room
This is my work area. I got rid of my desk last year and love it. 

This is behind my table and where I keep my teacher laptop. 

This is where I keep all the things I would normally keep in my desk. 

 This is where I keep notebooks that I use often as well as my files for my weekly work. I use the drawers on the top to store materials for my group work. 

Student cubbies as you walk in the door.  These hold their supplies.

Helper Board

Computer Center.  I just love my bucket seats.
 Listening Center

This is where my students hang their bookbags.  The containers above are for my math manipulatives.

Close-up of Math Manipulatives.

Reading Corner


I love my crate seats.

Classroom Leveled Library
I adore my READ sign!!
Where are you board and Boggle


This is where students turn in work.

Anchor Chart Board

Treat Jars instead of Treasure Box.
Calendar and Math Board
Student Birthdays!  I will add pictures under each month of the students holding a white board with the date of their birthday. 
Birthday Balloons and Student Material files.

This is where the students store the materials that they need during the day.

Our meeting area

QR Codes

Writer's Eye Bulletin Board

Inside of my door.

Pencil Station

This is the bulletin board that is outside my classroom.  I make wanted posters for each child. It is alot of fun burning the edges......NOT!!  I blurred out faces and names but I did leave one so you could see.  He is mine so I guess it is okay.  And yes.........because of special circumstances, I am teaching my own child this year. PRAY!!!  Below is a close up of the wanted poster. 
I hope you enjoyed the Classroom Tour!!
Okay.....now for a few Monday Made Its!!

Made It #1

I made this a while back but I really love it and thought I would share.  This is where the students tell me things that they feel are important.  Having them write it down and put it in the tattle box limits interruptions during instruction.  We talk as a class about what kinds of things would need my immediate attention and what kinds of things are more appropriate for the tattle box.   When they add to the tattle box they raise the flag so I will know to check it.    I keep paper beside the box so they can write down their concerns and add them to the box.  It works like a charm!!!

Made It #2
I found this idea at Eberhart's Explorers blog.  I just love this idea and had to make some in red and black to match my classroom.  The pom pom becomes the eraser!! 

Made It #3 

I have had this stool in my basement for a very long time.  I finally decided to make it beautiful!!  I saw the idea of using the initials somewhere but can't remember where.  If it was you please let me know so I can give you credit.  The letters were cut out of vinyl on a cricut.  The other decorations were made from sheets of duct tape!  I mod podged over the duct tape to assure that it wouldn't come off. 

Made It #4

I did not actually make this but it is just too cute not to share.  My niece, JuliAnn, made this beautiful teacher apron for me.  I just love it!  It comes in so handy when your like me and can't remember where you put your tape, stapler, pen, etc.  I especially enjoy using it when I am putting up  a bulletin board.  I think she did an amazing job!!  Pretty talented......huh!!!