Saturday, August 31, 2013

Five for Friday with Saturday Snapshots: SLANT Box Reveal Edition

I let Friday get away from me without linking up with Five for Friday, so I'm combining it with Saturday Snapshots for my SLANT Box Reveal. 3 linkys, 1 that even allowed? 

This month I participated in a SLANT box exchange organized by Lessons with Coffee. If you haven't heard about it head over and read all about it. On Tuesday,  I received my SLANT box in the mail. My SLANT box sender was Nick from Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason. I must say it arrived at just the right time!  I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and stressed about our upcoming back to school night, but after arriving home and seeing my SLANT box my mood changed. Take a look at what I received. Thanks Nick! 

1. A handmade humbug was perfect; considering I was in a bah-humbug kind of mood. 

2. The Dr. Seuss bag and package of bookmarks, AWESOME! I am a huge Dr. Seuss fan. 

3. Not sure how he knew, but felt tip pens are one of my favorites. I've never had the colored ones, the school only provides black and red, so I'm really excited about these colors. I've always wanted to try a Scentos Marker, so this is perfect. 

4. Sticky notes are perfect for writing my todo list on. Look closely; do you see the cell phone sticky notes? They are my favorite! I already know, I will be sad when they are all gone

5. Two hard to find items  in my classroom are: a calculator and a ruler. Just the other day I had a student ask for a ruler and I couldn't provide one, but thanks to Nick I can now. 

Lots of great stuff! Thanks again Nick. 

And there you have it Five for Friday, with Saturday Snapshots, and my SLANT Box reveal. 

*App Spotlight: Starting today, I am going to make sure I spotlight an app with every post. Today's app is Pic Collage. The two collages in this post were created using this app. I especially like the search feature of this app. I can search for photos from the Internet, and insert them directly into my collage as a photo or background. You should checkout this free app. 

Enjoy the rest of your extended weekend. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday Snapshots

It's Saturday, and that means I'm linking up with Miss Nelson for her weekly Saturday Snapshots linky. 

For our hallway bulletin board we asked students to write what they would like to be when they grow up, and we snap a photo of them. It's always interesting to see what they write. Above we have a photographer, fashion designer, artist (can you tell by her sign? ) and many of the boys want to be a Major League Gamer. 

Team building with positive self trait airplanes. 

I made a visit to Barnes and Noble this week to pick up the book Quick as a Cricket for a lesson. After leaving, my wish list had grown by about 25 books. My son spent some time with the new book; we probably read it about five times before going to bed. 

Friday book club with the new teachers in our building. 

Apparently, I signed up for this freebie. I saw the box in my mailbox and immediately became excited thinking it was my SLANT box, but to my surprise It was not. I'm sure this roll of toilet paper will come in handy. 

Those are a few of the pics in my camera roll. Head over and take a look at other Saturday Snapshots


Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday

It's Friday, Friday gotta link up on Friday. I know a little cheesy right? But its time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly Five for Friday. 

1."This year I'm  expected to teach 30 minutes of Guided wait I mean literature circles. Heck, I don't know I'm confused." Those were my stressful thoughts at the beginning of the week. Surprisingly enough I was not alone. Luckily, the principal recognized this and provided us with some PD that cleared up some of the confusion. Literature Circles is what you will eventually see in my classroom. However, whether it's literature circles or guided reading LITERACY is at the heart of it all; that is the one statement I walked away with. I'm glad that stressor is gone. On to the next:) 

2. Accountable Talk,  I've heard it, but I haven't heard it. Do you know what I mean? The word accountable talk sounds familiar;  maybe I've read it in a book, on a blog, or heard someone mention it. Whichever the case may be I've  never had it presented to me until this week. It is clear to me now, that I need to explicitly teach accountable talk. Something I had not done in the past, but makes so much since. Next week will be dedicated to teaching accountable talk. Any good lesson ideas you may have would be greatly appreciated. 

3. Edmodo, this year I've planned to use it more often than in the past. I like that I can get PDF documents out to my students.  However, I'm wanting students to submit work through Edmodo and on the iPad the only way for them to so is from their camera roll, and grading the picture of a worksheet isn't working for me. Here, in a few weeks we're going to start using a program called Canvas. Do any of you use this? I'm hoping students will be able to submit PDF's from their iPads. I'd much rather grade a PDF than an image. What ways do you have students submit work from their iPad? 

4. Fourty-five minute class periods goes by very quickly. I teach two fourty-five min. Social Studies classes,  and right now I'm thinking how am I every going to get through the curriculum. I'm open to suggestions on getting the most out of this fourty-five minutes. 

5. Giveaways, I am always hopeful when I enter one. I have yet to win a blogger giveaway, but I'm going to keep trying. In fact,  I want to tell you about one of them, so that I get some extra entries. It is hosted by The E-Z Class, and consist of lots of New Zealand Goodies. I would love to win! I would share with my students; they would think it was so cool to have treats from New Zealand. I've reached 50 followers on Blog Lovin'! Once I hit 100 I'm going to have my own giveaway, so be sure to follow me. 

I leave you with this: It's Friday, Friday go link up this Friday:) Head over to  Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up or read more Five for Fridays. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tried it Tuesday

A week ago today, I was exhausted from the first day of school stress and excitement. Today, I'm not as stressed, and I am linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday to share a couple of activities we've done this past week. 

If you're new to my blog let me begin by telling you I teach at a 1:1 iPad school, that houses all of the sixth graders in our district; shout out to the class of 2020! Sorry I just had to get that in. This is the second year for such a school in my district. However, this will be my third year teaching with iPads. The previous two years we had not started the school year with iPads. This year students had iPads on day one, which was nice. I always start out letting the students explore the camera, so they get it out of their system. A week or so before the school year  began Technology Tailgate posted this camera project, and I decided I would use it the first day of school. It worked out great!  

Here are a couple of students completing the activity. One of my favorites, look at that simile. 

This activity gave me the opportunity to discuss photo etiquette, mainly asking permission before taking someone's photo. To expand on this activity I would have students use Pic Collage (an app we will use throughout the year) to create a collage of their pictures. Thanks Technology Tailgate for the lesson. 

In Social Studies this year we will study Ancient Civilizations. As an introduction I explained to students that while studying ancient civilizations we will learn where they are from and what their life was like back then. I wanted to play Kenny Chesney's  song "Back Where I Come From," but had technical difficulty. Luckily, the principal walked in as I'm trying to get my speakers to work and begins singing the song, AWESOME! Students thought this was pretty cool, far better than my youtube video, I also thought it was pretty cool. In fact, I had her comeback the following day to sing it to my other Social Studies class. It would have been nice to record her, but she wouldn't let us. OK back to the lesson, after the song we discuss how we know a little about Kenny Chasney from his song. I then read my Back Where I Come From poem, I created using this template. There are several different templates available online, here is an example and another. I suggest editing it to fit the needs of your students. I crossed off some of the lines when students wrote theirs. For homework students were asked to take photos of items that go with their poem, if they could. We then used those photos to create a pic collage that matched our poems. If students could not take photos they were allowed to get them from the Internet. The final step was to place our poem into the Pic Collage. They turned out pretty nice. Here is a student's poem: 

The iPad and fireworks photos were  obtained from the Internet. All of the other photos are actual pictures taken by the student. This was a great introduction to our year, and a wonderful get to know you activity. 

We've had a great first week of school. Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin or Instagram to see what other fun and creative activities my students are up to. How have your first days of school been? 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Five For Friday, on Saturday, with Snapshots

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday, and Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera for Saturday Snapshots.  

1. Tuesday was our first day of school, and boy am I tired! The first week is always tiring. Despite my tiredness it was a good first week. Below are my snapshots from the week: 

Beginning of the year freshly waxed hallway floors 

Here I am on the morning of the first day. Yes, I get all excited about the first day. This year,  I think I had the worst First day jitters ever! I'm not sure why, but I'm glad that's over with. 

Here I am with my team on the first day of school. 

Those are all of my snapshots for this week. Everything else is a screenshot. 

2. Do you use Edmodo with your class? I use it quite often. I even set up a group just for students to chat, this way they aren't chatting on my class page. At the end of last year the student asked me to leave up the chat. I did, and they were able to keep in touch with their classmates over the summer. Since those students have moved on to the middle school, I thought I would delete the chat group. I posted this to the group: 

 These were just a few of the replies.  After reading the replies, I had a change of heart and posted this: 

I also received this email from one of the middle school teachers: "I noticed that some of my students had posted on a group, I was confused for a little bit, but then I noticed your name! It's totally cool, but I just thought it was funny! Thanks for setting us up so well to use Edmodo with them! They are so independent with the iPads, I love it!" I love hearing this type of feedback, and knowing they are doing well. 

3.  Oh My Goodness, how do you seasoned bloggers keep up with all the new blog post during the school year? 

4.  I like my new schedule, but after two cups of coffee, and sometimes a Coke I'm in need of a restroom break before noon. I teach an ELA class for 90 min., then two 45 min. Social Studies classes, followed by another 90 min. ELA class with a 30 min.  break for lunch after the first 45 min. After lunch I teach the last 45 min of ELA, then I have a personal plan and an administrative plan. Not a bad schedule. 

5. Here's a post I started on Thursday, but never got around to finishing it. I thought I'd just make it my number 5 today. 
No matter how great your classroom management is there's always that one student...well,  I just want you to remember that You Can Handle Them All! Even when that student has you feeling like you can't. Believe it or not  there's an app for that! It is called, You Can Handle Them All! This is a great app with ideas for managing over 100 inappropriate behaviors. I received this app last year, downloaded it and never thought about it again until I was struggling with that (those, there were 2 of them) student. Having tried all I could, I remembered this app. I looked at it and wondered, why I hadn't opened it sooner. As I begin this year I've told myself, "You Can Handle Them All!" and now I'm telling you! Have a great school year and don't forget (to download) You Can Handle them All! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to School Blogger Exchange and Classroom Digs

Today is the first day of school! I am nervous and excited to meet my new students. Before heading  out to meet the class of 2020, I want to link up with two linkys. The first is the Back to School Blogger Exchange I participated in. It was hosted by Covered in Glitter and Glue and Adventures of Mrs. Smith, thank you ladies for hosting this. It was a lot of fun! I  also want to link up with Blog Hoppin' for Classroom Digs. It is the second link up for Teacher Week 2013. 

First up is the Back to School Blogger Exchange,  this exchange you were paired up with another blogger, and you spent some time blog stalking them and then sent out a box filled with goodies. I was paired with LaTasha from Life in 6th Grade with Mrs. V. Latasha knew I was planning a Dr. Seuss themed classroom, so she sent a box filled with Dr. Seuss goodies. I absolutely loved the two posters and erasers that I found inside the box. Thank you Latasha. 

Unfortunately, when I returned to work last Tuesday I found out that the Dr. Seuss  themed decor I had ordered for my classroom had not arrived, and probably wouldn't arrive before school started (and it didn't). I was so disappointed since I had spent the last few weeks planning out my Dr. Seuss themed classroom. Instead of going into full panic mode I quickly came up with a plan B. plan B involved...

Duct tape...I have lots of rolls of duct tape, so I thought why not use it. I created the following display. 

There were books duct taped to butchers paper. It was actually kind of cute. I also began using the duct tape on my bulletin boards as boarder. However, the next day I walked into this...

Yes, my entire display had fallen down. The border duct tape I started putting up didn't work either. I'm now in full panic mode! Not having money to go out and buy a lot I had to get creative. Thus plan C was created, and it is my current classroom ready for the new school year! Take a look: 

Twitter: at the end of the week using a sticky note students will "tweet" something they've learned that week. 

Readbox: This is my small, but functional classroom library. I have lots of books and only one bookshelf, so I will switch out books mid year. 

Super books: next to the readbox you will find this bulletin board that correlates with our building and district theme.  Student book reviews will go here. 

#Vocabulary: this is my word wall. Vocabulary words will be hash-tagged and placed on the cabinets. 

Blogging: I plan to get students blogging this year, this is where I plan to start. We will create paper blogs first that will be displayed here. Guided reading book bags are located on the table. 

Put your FACE in a BOOK: I plan to snap pictures of students reading various books and add to this board. Excuse the bubbles in the paper. The blue portion is a sticker and I was trying to get it straight when the paper bubbled. 

I couldn't figure out a good place for a calendar, so I'm going to try using this, week at a glance. 

This is the area behind my desk; it has class pictures from previous years. 

Insta: Outside my classroom, just on the other side of the twitter board you will find instagram. This is where we will place pictures throughout the year. 

Below are some other views of my classroom. It looks pretty plain, but soon student work will bring life to the classroom. 

Not bad for plan C. You're probably wondering what I'm going to do with all of my Dr. Seuss stuff when it arrives. We will have an extraordinary Read Across America Week this year.  

I'm off to meet the class of 2020! Head over to Blog Hoppin' and check out some more classroom digs.