Friday, August 30, 2013

Five for Friday

I'm so excited to be linking up for the first time with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

I updated my schedule and job board this past week!  I love the way it looks and it's easy to change.
This is the before.

This is the after.

I already blogged about this, but it is so exciting that it is definitely worth mentioning twice.  I got my 21st Century Technology Grant laptop cart!

I've finally picked up some projects that have been on my to-do list for a couple of weeks.  Neither of course are finished, but at lease I've gotten them started.

Brownie Points: Class reward system

Burlap Wreath for my classroom door.  I ran out of hot glue at home, so I'll be finishing this tomorrow!

I did manage to finish this project! I've loved having it in my classroom and it has saved me a lot of hassles!

One of the perks of being on the non-traditional calendar is that I got a 4 day weekend!  I took today to play with baby and bring the hubby lunch at work.  This is what the little one discovered she could do this morning.  One of the things on the to-do list for the weekend is baby-proofing the drawers and cabinets.

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Laptops are HERE!!!!

As I've mentioned previously, I received a grant from my school district that has provided 30 laptops for my classroom!  I've been so excited about getting them, but I didn't know when they would actually be in my classroom.  When I walked into my classroom yesterday, this beautiful cart was sitting in the front of my room!

Not only was I excited, but my kids were just abuzz when they saw the cart, as they have also been waiting anxiously for the laptops to arrive.

We haven't gotten them out yet, because I'm waiting for the laptop contracts to be signed and returned.  My first goal is to teach my students about being digital citizens.  I want them to understand how important it is to be cognizant of the choices you make when online.

Starting next week, I'm going to start blogging about Tech tips and applications I am using in my classroom.  I can't wait to share with you all the amazing things we are going to be doing in the classroom!  Join me next Tuesday to learn all about Scootpad!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Let's Talk About Me Monday

2 blog posts in one day!  That's a biggie for me!  I'm linking with Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week '13.

Today's topic is Meet the Teacher.  So here are 10 must know facts about me! FYI: This is much harder than it seems!

1. I've been married for 4 years to another amazing educator!  We are college sweethearts (we even got married on our college campus) and he is an AMAZING husband!  Like makes my lunch everyday amazing! 

2. I had my first baby this past December.  She truly is the best baby ever! I love being a mommy!

3. I've just started my 4th year teaching.  I've taught 3rd and 4th grade and am currently working on adding grades 5-8 to my license.  Teaching wasn't something I always wanted to do.  It wasn't until I was sitting in my freshman advising session that I realized what I was being called to do.

4. I love to garden.  It started right after we got married and my love for it has grown each year.  I built raised beds this year.  You can read about my garden adventures here, here and here.  We've had wonderful eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and zucchini this year.  I love eating homegrown vegetables!

5. I am very much a creature of routine. I do the same thing every morning when I get ready including the order I put my make-up on.  I don't like it when my routine gets messed up.  OCD much?  I have routines at school I follow, too... don't mess with my bathroom breaks!

6. Things I don't like: whip cream, marshmallows, onions, bell peppers, being scared on purpose.

7. I really love peanut butter and any candy with peanut butter!  Reece's Cups are my favorite candy, especially the Christmas Trees and Easter Eggs.

8. I'm addicted to Pinterest!  Ever since my friend turned me onto the site, I've spent countless hours on the crafting and education boards that have transformed my life!

9.  I'm on a mission currently to be more organized.  I'm working on it in my classroom and hopefully my organization will rub off on my house next!

10. I'm new to the blogging world and I'm loving all of the connections I've been making!  

I'm so excited for the rest of the posts for this week!

Monday Made It: Reward Passes and More Owls

I can't believe it's Monday again, already! I had a slightly stressful weekend; I took my Middle Level Praxis to add grades 5-8 to my teaching license.  I may or may not have forgotten about the test until Thursday night.  OOPS!!!!  I did some studying but probably not as much as I should have over the next two days and drove 30 minutes away on Saturday to take my test.  It wasn't too bad.  I only didn't have enough time on the math section of the test - ironic huh?  It was a computer based test so I got my scores as soon as I finished and guess what?  I PASSED ALL 4 PARTS!!!!  I was overjoyed!  I didn't want to spend another $250 on the test if I didn't pass.  Now I've got some professional development to do before I can get the middle school certification added to my license but the test was a huge hurdle!

Now, on to my Monday Made It's!!!!

First, here are my Classroom Reward Coupons!  I'm just loving all of the chevron backgrounds!  We give out tickets for positive behavior at our school and we draw each week for prizes. We were tired of having to buy stuff for our treasure boxes, so we decided to move to reward coupons.  The kids love them and work hard to get tickets.  You can buy these at my TpT store here.

The second thing I was worked on was a paint chip owl project!  I found this little gem on Pinterest a while ago and fell in love! 

 I knew I wanted to make one for my classroom, but I just hadn't found the time yet.  I got my paint chips a couple of weeks ago and also used some of my chevron scrapbook paper to make this little beauty.  I followed to tutorial here at The Homes I Have Made.  I used a canvas for my project that was 8 x 10 instead 12 x12.  I covered the whole thing with a thin layer of Mod Podge after cutting the edges off.

Here is my finished project!

Now I just have to figure out where it's going to go in my classroom!

Don't forget to go check out all of the other awesome projects at 4th Grade Frolics!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Classroom Reveal!!!!

I have officially finished an entire week of school!!!  It's only been 7 school days, but we are already off to a WONDERFUL start!  I have a great group of kiddos that have now had Common Core for 2 years.  Let me tell you it makes a world of difference!  Their mathematical thinking is incredible and they are already proving to be great problem solvers! I can't wait to share some of their work with you!

But today, I'm excited to finally show off my classroom!!!!  Now, it's not perfect and there are definitely some things that still need to be worked on, but overall I am very happy with how it turned out!

This is standing at my door looking into the classroom.  You can see I'm missing a ceiling tile by the windows.  I have a wonderful little leak that continues to be an issue for me since we've had pretty regular rain for the past two weeks.  I love my windows!!!!

Right inside my door to the left is my lunch count.  I used little owl stickers on circle punches and wrote the students numbers on them. They have magnets on the back to stick to the filing cabinet.  The lunch calendar for the month is hanging up.  I didn't exactly think about the size of the lunch menu when designing this, but I think it looks cute and it's easy to take a lunch count in the morning.

This is my supply shelf.  I love this utility shelf!  I'd really like to cover it with some of that cute teal chevron contact paper, but that will have to come later.  I'd also like to get some cute bins that all match, but I didn't want to spend the money on that this year... maybe next year!

This is my desk area.  I really love this part of my classroom!  I've made it my mission this year to leave every day with a clean desk.  So far I've been able to do it!  You can also see my little owl labels in the kids' cubbies.  Aren't they cute?  I kinda did a boo boo with  my keep calm and hoot on on the front of my desk, but it works.

This is same area but from the side.  You can see some of my MMI projects in this area.  I love my multiplication numbers hanging on the wall.  They have the multiples of each number up to 10 on the big number.  I'll post more about those later.

This is my library. It's not exactly the prettiest, but since I don't teach literacy, I don't worry about it that much. The bulletin board on the back is going to be my math word wall, for all the vocabulary we learn.  You can buy the labels here.

Above the library is our birthday owl wall.  I've taken pictures of my kids and added them to the owls.  they look so cute now!  I need to take a picture and add it.

This is looking at the whole back wall from the front.  My cubbies are split between two walls; you can see the other half here.

This is the far window wall.  My windows look out to the playground and I love to watch all the kids play at recess.  The drawers on the counter are my math manipulatives.  I love having the drawers covered and labeled.  I've never had them quite this organized. You can also see my team tubs on the desks.  I got those at TJ Maxx for $3 each!  They are the perfect size to hold some markers, glue, pens and erasers for each group!

This is the front wall/board of my room.  This is my second favorite part of my room.  There is so much room and I have a Smartboard!

This is a closeup of the left side of the board.  I list our objectives and the days activities on this side.  You can also see my rules here! I love how they turned out!

Even closer!  I used my Cricut for just about all of this.  It's the Mickey Mouse font.  I love having my date displayed like this, makes changing the date super easy!

This is the right side of the board - the time/schedule section.  I really want to make our schedule cute, but that hasn't happened yet.  Maybe by October break... we'll see.  You can buy the clock labels at my TpT store here.

Well, that's my classroom!  There will always be projects in progress, but I think it's a great place to spend the year!

I'm also linking up with a Class*y Collaboration for their Cruise Around the Classroom.  Go check out everyone's rooms!

I'm adding this post to Teacher Week '13!

Go check out everyone's Classroom Digs!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Math is "Real Life"

I'm so excited to join up to math IS real life!  A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by 4mulaFunFourth Grade StudioTeaching to Inspire in 5th, AND MissMathDork,

This blog link is about how we use math in the real world in order to show our students that math is valuable outside the classroom.  

My real world math experience happened at the ATT store today. 
 When the hubby and I bought smart phones 2 years ago, we bought the lowest data plan (we were being money conscious).   It worked for us for a while with only an overage here and there.  Lately, however we have been going over our data almost every month.  Each time we go over it costs us $15 extra each.  We decided to head down to the ATT store to explore our data options today.  At the store, the ATT guy looked at our data usage for the past couple of months (I usually use more data, but some months the hubby uses more.).  He gave us 3 options for upgrading our data, as our 200MB plan doesn't even exist anymore.  Each option contains our minutes and texting.
Option 1: 3GB each $139 per month 
Option 2: 4GB shared in a family plan $136 per month
Option 3: 6GB shared in a family plan for $142 per month

Now in order to weigh our options appropriately, I had to ask a question that may seem stupid to some, "How many MB are in a GB?"  
The ATT guy was kind enough to explain that there are 1000 MB in 1 GB.  Holy Cow!  That's a lot of data! Even if we just got 1 GB each we would upping our data by 4 times!!!!  After discussing our options we went with the 4 GB to share.  Now I don't have to worry about whether or not watching that Youtube video is going to cost me $15. We added about $10 a month to our bill, which is cheaper than going over our data and only getting 200 MB more.  

Even as we were sitting there discussing prices and GB vs. MB, all I could think about was, "Look at all this math we are using!!!!" I'm now trying to figure out a way to turn this into a problem for my students to research and determine the best price/deal on a budget.  

How are you using math in your life?

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