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Archives for : February2014

A First Time for Everything…

I just love to read/see/hear something hysterically funny that has to do with education.  It’s even better when I actually LOL at my computer!

Whether it is one of those funny digital post-cards, a Ryan Gosling meme, something funny your students say/do/write, something funny a co-worker does, a funny video clip, or anything else!  Anything that makes this sometimes draining job a little more light-hearted is welcome!

Without further ado, I present…

LOL Linky Party - McDee's Busy BeesLOL Linky Rules:

  1. Make sure the link you enter goes directly to your specific blog post with the funny stuff!
  2. Post the LOL Linky button in your post (above or below) your funny stuff so people can find it easily!
  3. Be sure to link  back to the linky party page on my blog (either via the button or text)!
  4. Use common sense – somethings that are funny can also be offensive.  I reserve the right to remove anything!
  5. Take time to visit and comment on 2 new blogs!

Brandi and Kelli – I know you have some funny stuff on your blogs right now you could link to!  Here is my humor for you!

LOL Linky Student Quote

Okay – now think of/look for/create something that will make a fellow educator LOL!  Link up for laughter at the bottom of this post!

Onto the next first…

snow day

I’m also diving into my first give-away in honor of our “first” snow day yesterday.  We have actually already had 5 days off, but those weren’t due to snow…they were due to cold temps.  Now, being that I am new to the world of blogging, I am just absolutely thrilled that I already have 6 entries!  Your chances of winning are going to be good!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Onto the next first…I am linking up with Gina over at Third Grade Tidbits for Slim Down Saturday (well the linky isn’t live yet…but I am all ready for it when it is).  And this is the first time (in awhile) that I have eaten well all week!  Click the pics to join the fun!

slim-down-saturday-button

slim down

Even though this was the first time I ate well in a long time,  I didn’t lost that much {sigh}.  Mexico is two weeks away – oh well – I am still going to soak up the sun and beverages!  Cannot wait!  I am posted pretty early today because I will be out and about all day long so the links for Slim Down Saturday will link to Gina’s blog, but you’ll have to check back for her post today!

I know it didn’t get into the picture, but my one word is de-stress!  We’ve had so many days off of school and I can’t let that stress me out.  I can only do what I can do!

Link Up for Laughter… 

LOL Linky Party - McDee's Busy Bees

My hope is to have at least 5 people link-up!  

 Loading InLinkz ...

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Snow Day AGAIN! Five for Friday Linky!

I cannot for the life of me figure out why there is a giant space at the top of this post…GRRRR!

FIXED IT!

I am linking up with Doodle Bug’s today!  Click the pic at the bottom of the post or here to link up yourself!

no-school

5:30am (alarm sounds) – {hit snooze}

5:40am (alarm sounds) – {hit snooze and now holding phone so hitting snooze the next time will be easier}

5:50am (alarm sounds) – {hit snooze thinking about how I really need to get up now but I don’t}

6:04am (receive text from Kelli) – {reading her text about how she is dreading the drive to school}

6:05am (receive second text from Kelli) – {NO SCHOOL….what?!…no way…YES-more sleep…GRRRR-more make-up days…GRRRR-more being behind in everything…YES-more sleep…GRRR-I didn’t bring ANY work home last night…YES-I can work on report cards…YES-more sleep-GRRR-can’t sleep because my mind won’t SHUT UP…finally get out of bed…YES-coffee}

I am still in shock that we have another day of school off due to the weather.  

Snow Pretty

In honor of our snow day, I am going to try out my first give-away!  Winner gets their choice of one product from my TPT store!  If you follow me on Bloglovin’/TPT/Facebook, you already get an entry.

snow day

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I finished up Think Tinks – Volume Three last week!  Check them out for some creative and out-of-the box  thinking activities for your class!  You could use them for morning work, early finishers, gifted and talented, challenge activities, or put in your sub-tub!  Click here or the pics below to take a look!

Think TInks Volume Three

Think Tinks Volume Three

This past week, I was reflecting on my OLPA data (pre-MCA math test) and decided that my class is just not able to keep up with our Math Expression curriculum.  The majority of them NEED the basics.  So I am giving myself permission to give them what they need!  I am refocusing on getting my small groups back up and running along with all my Math Centers that focus on basic operations!  I am also going to create a few more based on some quick assessments I did this week!  Check back for more!  In the meantime, here are some current games we’re getting back to!

Differentiated Math Games

I really dislike when I have to prep things (cutting, laminating, more cutting, storing, etc.).  I really try to keep my Math Centers low-key for me!  I have my students keep all their game boards in their Smart Pal!Smart Pals

I have NOT been paid or recruited to endorse these…I just plain old love them and want to share them!  They are essentially a heavy-duty (but easy-to-use) plastic sheet protector.  You can insert ANY graphic organizer or worksheet and write with a dry-erase marker!  Super slick!  Click the pic above to link to EAI – which is where I buy them from!

Mascara

Lastly, a non-teaching thing.  I was over at Alison’s blog at Rockin’ and Lovin’ Learnin’ and she posted about this mascara.  I am ALWAYS trying to find a mascara that is good, so I thought this one looked interesting and I can’t wait to try it!  Check out her review of it – click the pic or here!

Thanks Doodle Bug’s for hosting – click the pic to join the party!

five-for-friday-linky

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Character Trait Cards and Mystery Graphic Organizer

I have been MIA for a couple of weeks, but back today with a few fun things to share!  We are in the midst of our Mystery Book Club unit (click here to read about how we launched the unit with a real-life mystery).  I wanted to spice it up this year so I made some fun graphic organizers for my students to use while they are reading!  The one I am posting today is a one-pager that includes all the elements of a mystery!  Click here or on the picture to grab it for FREE (for a limited time).

Mystery Graphic Organizer

I explained to my students that detectives have to do a lot of paperwork to complete while on a case.  They are constantly keeping notes, writing down clues, tracking suspects, etc.  It totally hooked them and they are working hard on their “paperwork” as they plow through their mystery books!

 

Mystery Graphic Organizer

Mystery Graphic OrganizerDuring our Read Aloud time we are also continuing our work with identifying specific character traits and noticing patterns with character behavior.  After talking with my colleague, Kelli over at Tales of a Teacher, I was inspired to try tracking character traits a bit differently than I usually do.  Normally, we have a chart with our characters and keep a traditional list of traits.  Here is what I am trying now and I think it will really help kids to see patterns with characters.  It will also help students see what traits are very strong and evident throughout the book.  This will help when it comes time to write about our characters!

A few months ago, I made some character traits cards (click here or the pictures below to view them in my TPT store) which included the definitions in kid-friendly language and synonyms.  I cut them all out and use them during small groups (for vocab work, matching games, teaching specific traits, teaching synonyms, etc.).  Here is what they look like cut apart:

Character Trait Cards

Then I thought I could also use them without cutting them apart!  The picture below shows what they look like before cutting.  Each page has one main trait (at the top), the definition, and 2-3 synonyms.  I originally left blank boxes to add other synonyms.  Read below to see how I’m using those blank boxes now!

Tracking Character Traits

As we read, we post traits that fit our character (I actually pre-picked the traits I knew would fit so that if the kids didn’t come up with one, we wouldn’t miss it).  If we see them do or say something later in the book that demonstrates that trait again, we put a tally mark!  By the end of the book, we can see what traits are the strongest!  Students are also learning new words to use when describing characters.  The above example is our beginning work for Jigsaw Jones!

Onto other things!  Here are some pics of our Valentine’s Day Celebration!  Can’t you just feel the love?

valentines-day-fun
And look at all of this…as much as I LOVE chocolate, I don’t think I can handle this much!  One little kiddo even made me a super creative Valentine out of pipe cleaners, post-its, googley eyes, paperclips, and binder clips!

valentines-day-fun-gifts

All that chocolate is not helping me slim down!  I’m linking up with Gina over at Third Grade TidBits for Slim Down Saturday – even though I am not doing well slimming down :(

Click the pics to join the linky!

slim-down-saturday-button

slim-down-saturday

 

I am just starting completely fresh this week!  With my b-day and v-day all in one week, this has been one sugar-filled and workout-less week!  I am still not working out and can’t seem to force myself to do it and now that broomball is over, I am getting zero activity!  So, I am setting a very simple goal of working out JUST ONCE!!!!  Mexico is less than a month away!!!  Must focus!!!

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Country Commercials & Mysteries Kick-Off

I am linking up with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Linky!  Click the pic to join in the fun!  She has some cute scratch-off cards for incentives!

saturday spark linky

I did two things this past week that were EXTREMELY motivating and FUN!!  Students wrote “commercials” for their countries they have been studying and we had a real-life mystery to solve as a way to kick-off our Mystery Unit in Reading!

Country Commercials

We had ANOTHER 2 days off this week because of the bitter cold.  Due to the missed days, I tried to cram the end of our Country Study Unit into 3 days!  Each group has been reading all about a certain country and to share their information, they had to write a commercial!  To do this, they had to determine the most important information and think about how to persuade people to visit their country!  Here they are hard at work!

Country Commercials

County Commercials

Now keep in mind that because of the missed school days, they did not get much time to practice!  Had we actually had school, I probably would have given them a little more guidance and help editing…but oh well…they are truly authentic!!

You can listen to each group’s commercial below – they are so cute (and almost all are under 1 minute)!  If you are thinking of doing something similar, you could use these as examples of what to do (or what not do to!).

There is even a blooper commercial at the bottom for your enjoyment!

Egypt:

France:

Ireland:

Italy:

Japan:

Japan (different group):

Mexico:

Mexico (different group):

Somalia:

Okay – so this commercial is considered a blooper!!  Click to listen and when you get about 45 seconds in, you’ll hear the blooper!

Mystery Unit Kick-Off

The next exciting part of our week was our Mystery Unit Kick-Off!  We actually had a real-life mystery to solve!

Mrs. McDonald’s powdered sugar donuts went missing!!!

IMG_0365-900px

We had a hot case on our hands….The Case of the Missing Donuts!  To help solve the mystery, we made detective journals.  I left it completely up to them how to organize their information!  First, we made a list on the board of things we should probably keep track of (clues, suspects, motive, alibis, etc.).  This was a great time to discuss some Mystery vocab!  Then they went to town setting up their journals!

Throughout the day, we gathered more and more clues (all very strategically planned by me), eliminated some suspects, added some suspects, questioned the suspects, and noticed any suspicious behavior!  They carried their journals with them all day!

Detective Journals

Here is how someone organized the inside:

Detective Journals
And here is the back of someone’s journal:

Detective Journals
Throughout the day, we kept noticing more and more staff had remnants of powdered sugar on them!  After we questioned everyone, all evidence pointed to the teacher’s lounge!

Sure enough, when we went down to investigate, we found more powdered sugar on the table!  After the detectives questioned me further, they learned that I had gone into the lounge with my donuts while they were at specialists earlier in the morning.

The clue that cracked the case was the secretary’s announcement over the intercom (she really just beeped into my room but made it sound like it was to the whole staff) reminding the staff that it was treat day in the lounge and the lounge needed to be cleaned up.  Of course, after that announcement, the kids asked, “what’s treat day?”  I explained it’s when staff members leave treats in the lounge for all to share…and then the lightbulbs when off!

They solved the mystery….I had left my donuts in the lounge earlier in the day and that is why so many staff members had traces of powdered sugar on them!  People thought they were part of the treats for treat day!

I think this was THE MOST fun we’ve had in awhile and it was the perfect start to our Mystery Unit in Reader’s Workshop!!

Finally, I am linking up with Gina over at Third Grade Tidbits for Slim Down Saturdays!  Click the pic to join the fun!

slim-down-saturday-button

slimdown_saturday_Feb_1

This week was meh…it was wonky again because of the 2 “cold” days so my sleep schedule is just horrible!  Husband and I also went out to eat Friday night and pigged out….hence the large gain Saturday morning.  On the bright side, I played 2 broomball games today and burned 1500 calories!  Today is the start of a new week!

Have a good one ya’ll!

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