Friday, May 31, 2013

Flashback & Five For Friday

To take a quick look at my week I'm linking up with Teaching Maddeness and Doodle Bugs Teaching! Sorry so late...just got back from kickball! It definitely gets your adrenaline pumping!
Just a reminder: Spark Student Motivation Saturday linky party will be held the 2nd and 4th Saturday for June and July. You can post an idea that you're motivated to try next year or a way you plan to motivate your students!
Here are some of the finished gameboards from my grant project. My students designed their gameboard based on their favorite novel from literature circles this year. They completed some of it at school and some at home. We only have two days next week, so I told them they'd have to wait until then to show them off, but they're dying to play and share their games. I'm super impressed with the thought and detail they put into this project!

Young Man and the Sea
Chicken Boy
I got a couple of gifts this week: check out this bag...what a great message right?  She bought it at Books A Million.

I'm cherishing my last few days with my students, so I was upset when one of my students missed school the other day to go to Sea World. However, he did bring this heel back (it's a cell phone holder), so of course he was forgiven! LOL! And, who knew Sea World carried such great souvenirs??!!
My daughter is turning 6 next week and wants to make big birthday plans! Let me start from the beginning...she told me several months ago she knew what she wanted to do for her birthday...she wanted to take her friends to Hawaii! I explained to her that it was quite expensive to go to Hawaii and that we'd have to think smaller for our 6th birthday! So...Lily is having a Little Luau! I'm getting a little nervous because my husband wants my dare devil 9 year old to twirl fire! We used this picture for her invitations.
Hope you had a great week! I'm running so crazy these last couple of weeks I can barely see straight! Every night this week we've had multiple events! I can't wait to slow down a little!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Must Have Monday & Tried It Tuesday

 Linking up with both my girls Sabra & Holly tonight for both their linkies because it fits perfectly!After reading my buddy Jivey's post about partner picking cards, I knew I had to make my own set! I said, "I MUST HAVE some to match my classroom...and so I made them yesterday! Here they are:

Pretty stylish right? I'm pretty excited about them! I have students work in partners quite a bit in my classroom, but I usually have them use their clock partner, popsicle sticks, or just choose their own partners. Do you ever notice when students get to choose they always pick that same partner? These cards eliminate that problem! Pass cards out face down or have students pick from a hat. Then have students SILENTLY find their partner. We TRIED my new cards today for a review lesson and we loved them! The students found their partners in less than a minute and of course, I gave them extra credit for loving my heel designs! :O) Do you think your students will go "Head Over Heels" for these partner picking cards? You can have them as a FLASH FREEBIE at my TPT Store! If you download these cards, I'd appreciate feedback! :O)

Go check out Must Have Mondays with sweet Sabra and Tried It Tuesday with awesome Holly, both great bloggers with wonderful ideas to share!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mentor Text: Wilma Unlimited

Time to link up with two of my favorite girls Amanda & Stacia for their Mentor Text Linky! This week's topic is social studies!

I didn't know much about Wilma Rudolph's life until I read this powerful picture book biography. This biography tells the story of a tiny sick girl that overcame an amazing amount of obstacles and health issues to not only be the first in her family to go to college but she made it into the Olympics. She was the first African American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. It it a powerful story of strength, pride and determination. The author gives us a true inspiring story of a brave woman who did not let circumstances keep her down or limit her life, even though it was very challenging for African-Americans, female athletes, and people with disabilities during this era.

This Caldecott winner has beautiful illustrations and a beautiful message!
My students were very inspired by her story and her perseverance.
This story is perfect to teach theme or character analysis (we did both!).

 Collaboration Cuties have lots of great ideas on their mentor text linky-be sure to stop over and check it out!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturday: Door Hangers

It's time for Spark Student Motivation Saturday!
Thanks for stopping by and viewing all the creative ideas teachers have to get students motivated or excited! Link up and add your idea, lesson, craft, trick, tip, ANYTHING to get you or your students motivated!

I ordered these motivators at my favorite office supply store (Office Depot) a couple of years ago and parents and students love them! I hand them out at Open House and explain to the parents that if their child has this door hanger on their door they are not "allowed" to disturb them!

Of course I have to have one for girls and one for boys!
You should see my students' faces when I say this...the excitement of keeping their parents out of their bedroom to do something secretive {READ} is priceless.

I have many parents tell me the next day they went straight home and used their door hanger (I think they want to make sure it works!).

One of the biggest things I try to foster in my classroom is the love for reading, which can be sometimes very challenging, so I will try any and all tricks to get them motivated to read! At school, I can monitor their reading, but at home I need something like this door hanger to "spark their motivation"!

Link up any idea that motivates you or your students-if it motivates you, it motivates them! No idea is too small or too big! :O)
** Don't forget to grab my button and this post when you link up.
While we're here, let's share some blog love and "motivate" each other by following/commenting at least one person's post! :O) I can't wait to read everyone's ideas!
Thanks for linking up!

As the year ends, I'm not sure what to do about this linky party for the summer and need your suggestions/help. Here are some possibilities: motivations for teachers during the summer, plans to motivate students for the upcoming year, things you're getting excited about starting, only hold it once or twice a month, etc. I'd love to hear from you!
Have a super weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flashback and Five For Friday

It's Friday...time for a 3 day weekend since I'm still in school. I have lots of house chores to get done! Linking up with Amanda and Kacey to look back at my week! Busy week at home and school! This will be quick because I'm off to play my first kickball game! My husband and I are on a co-ed team-hopefully I'll be back for my own linky tomorrow (Spark Student Motivation Saturdays) if I'm not in the hospital! haha


My daughter got her recital costume! She wanted to "try" it on to make sure it fits-seriously, how cute is that costume? 
Had dinner with my former students from 12 years ago...2 of them have babies! These girls (women) are still so special and dear to my heart! Yes, my shoes do match my shirt! :O)

Owl pellets! My students were a little reluctant at first...but then they really got into it! If you're not familiar with the website it's wonderful when you're dissecting owl pellets. There's lots of good information plus a virtual owl pellet dissection-very cool!

Our wonderful media specialist held Reading is Magic for all the students who earned 125 points in Reading Counts this year! It's a 6 hour event ending at 8:00 filled with fun activities. This picture is the rocket launch! Not trying to brag, but I'm sooooo proud of my students, so I'm going to share: all 25 of my students earned Reading is Magic!!!! My class is CRAZY about reading!
Here's my princess again with one of her besties with their soccer trophies! Can you tell they're divas??!! :O) They're cute and aggressive!
 Hope to see you tomorrow for my linky party! How do you keep or get your students excited or motivated? Or, more importantly, how are you staying motivated? Link up any idea that makes you or your students smile!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Reading Response Menu

Linking up with my BBB Jivey for Workshop Wednesday! How do your students respond to reading? I’ve been using a Reader’s Notebook for years where my students and I write letters about what they’re reading, but I wanted to create something different for additional responses to reading so I present to youmy Reading Response Menu!

My students love it because it’s packaged in a cute mini file folder and it gives them choice. They respond to all three categories (appetizer, entrée, and dessert) on their response sheets. They love having choice, but all of the choices require them to dig deep and use their critical thinking skills.

I love these student samples! Such heart and passion!

Do you see that critical thinking in action??!! I’m so happy with this creation and glad I could share it with you today! I’ve been using my Reading Response Menus for some time now, but I had to get on the stick to have it packaged for Jivey’s workshop today! Thanks Jivey!!! This would make a great summer project to get these ready for next year! :O)


Go check out Jivey’s fabulous post-it idea and all the other wonderful bloggers that linked up! You won’t be disappointed!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tried It Tuesday: Just Dance

Have you tried the Just Dance videos on YouTube? So fun! I have a Wii with these games at home, but never knew the videos were on YouTube until my very clever friend AMC from Looking From Third to Fourth told me about them! I tried these last week and needless to say, they were a huge hit! Here's a sample from my class:
 Kids catch on to these things so quickly! I only started using these videos last week and I'm already using them as a reward, transition in between subjects, brain break, a little movement, and get happy dance! (I'm not in the video...someone had to film!-ok, maybe next week!) There's dozens listed on YouTube, go check out your favorite!
Head on over to check out all the great ideas at one of my BBBs Holly's Tried It Tuesday-there's something for everyone! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Must Have Mondays: Laminator

Linking up with Sweet Sabra for her new linky Must Have Mondays. Love her button! Michelle is awesome!
What item MUST you have? I introduce you to one of my prized laminator! I say one because I actually own TWO! One for home and one for school!
The laminating film for this baby is so nice and thick! I love it-it's so much more durable than the school lamination! I have found Sam's Club to be the least expensive place to buy the lamination (200 sheets for about $20). If you don't have one, you MUST get one or two!! hehe
What must you have for your classroom? 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Science Mentor Text: The Truth About POOP!

I know it sounds crazy, but it's awesome!! I never knew there was so much to know about poop! It's gross and informative!!! Get the 411 on everything you ever wanted and didn't want to know about poop!
Did you know sharks produce spiral poop?
Or that beavers' poop floats?
And can you believe rabbits produce an impressive 500 pellets a day?
And maybe grossest of all...jellyfish and sea anemones have a digestive system with only ONE OPENING!
This book has tons of great information to help children get more knowledge about poop and its uses! It gives information on animals and how they use their poop, games with poop, and the ABCs of elimination. This book could be used for research too. It's very high interest and keeps the kids engaged! Plus, they think it's so funny that a teacher is reading about P-O-O-P! This book is perfect to use for reaction to text, because they definitely have reactions to this subject! There's just something about this book that lures them in!

What a great non-fiction book to share with your students! :O) They seriously love it!
Go check out the cuties Amanda & Stacia at Collaboration Cuties for other EXCELLENT ideas!

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