Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pinteresting Spring Exchange!

So here's my take...

     Caitlin & Sarah over at Teacher Blogger Exchange are hosting a fun & crafty event! Participants are matched up and then you create a craft for each other! Awesome,right? But, the cool part is that...

Your inspiration comes from something you pinned!

     I love this idea! It brings back good memories of when I had a pen pal as a kid and actually corresponded through the mail! Amazing how things have changed! 

     Make sure to check it out! Applications for participating are due by April 4th! 

I can't wait!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rockin' Resources 4 Upper Grades!!!

So here's my take...

     The blogging world keeps getting better and better! Misty from Think, Wonder, &Teach has created a Grade 3-6 FREE Resource Blog. You will find great ideas and resources for everything upper elementary!
     Not only can you find creative and engaging new ideas but you too can add to the richness this blog has to offer. Just add your link and button to a grade specific page, grab her blog button, and contact Misty if you would like to contribute as a guest blogger!

One of the best parts of her blog for me personally is the design! 

Warning: You May Become Hungry! 

Also stop by Misty's blog, Think, Wonder, &Teach. She is having a fantabulous giveaway for some great graphics from an awesome designer, Rob! 
He has an Etsy store called Hoot & Crow!  
(My fingers are crossed!)

Make sure to check it out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Budget Battles

So here's my take...

     School budgets have taken hard hits around the country these last 4 years! My county is no different. Last week members of our education association gathered "peacefully" in front of our county supervisors meeting to request they fully support and fund the budget our superintendent has proposed. As you can see below, I was showing my support for our school system!

    If my county does not fund the school budget we will lose Kindergarten aides, sports teams, and of course another year without a raise! Class size will also increase which means reduction in force!!!

     Is this happening to your school system? Please share your story in the comments below and tell us what your schools are doing to fight back! 

If we teachers don't get out there and make our voices heard, nothing will change!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Making Prompt Writing Fun!

So here's my take... on writing prompts.

     Spring time is here and so is the Writing Predictor Assessment (my county's name for it). I have been researching (blog stalking) how others get students ready for this day.  I really enjoyed Lorraine's idea at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies. She created a Writing Camp (you must check it out, plus there is a freebie!). I definitely aspire to implement this next year!

     My research turned up that many teachers are using picture prompts. I immediately found awesome pictures to use, but they didn't fully hook my students...until I found Video Writing Prompts!

     TeachHUB has a collection of relevant, interesting, and age appropriate video clips to get students excited to write!

     The best part is that they already have prompts ready to go for you, plus they differentiate them for different age groups (K-2, 3-5, 6-8 etc). 

     The graphic link above will take you to the first video prompt I did with my class. They had an absolute fun time writing and didn't want to stop once writing time was over! 
    My student's struggle with writing proper paragraphs and organizing a 5 paragraph essay. I used the video writing prompts to practice what we called "perfect paragraphs". 

     My student's had success with the above organizer for paragraphs, so I modified the organizer to introduce the 5 paragraph essay. When my student's got familiar with the organizers they learned to create them in their notebooks (copy paper is in short supply at my school).


What do you do to get your students ready for the writing assessment? I would love to hear about your great idea, please leave a comment below!

Friday, March 16, 2012

3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade Link Up!

So here's my take...

     What a great idea to give teachers a one stop place for finding upper elementary blogs! Lorraine over at Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies is linking up all 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade blogs into one resource page! I can't wait to check out some new bloggers that I haven't had the chance to read about yet! 

Hop on over and check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Awesome Giveaway!

So here's my take...on the awesomeness of giveaways!

     It never hurts to enter, you may just win! My friend Molly at Lessons with Laughter is celebrating hitting over 100+ followers.Congratulations!! In honor of this momentous occasion she is giving away a $25 gift certificate to Target!!! You must go check it out before March 18th!

     Molly has a lot of creative ideas to share! Just last week I pinned her Book Recommendation Tree and I had roughly 68 people repin it! She is definitely one of my favorite new bloggers! Lastly, she is also treating her followers to 20% off your purchase from her favorite graphic designer (mine too!!). Erin Bradley Designs... can I just say, luscious! 

Thank you rock!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Top 10 Blog List Award

So here's my take... on how a bad day turns great!

     My youngest came down with a fever virus at 2am = NO SLEEP but taught a full day! Exhausted, I came home to a wonderful email from Erin over at First with Franklin, who has awarded me the Top 10 Blog List Award!!!  I feel so honored to be recognized. 

     Make sure to stop by her blog as she has some great things going on over particular she has an awesome giveaway for a Tervis Teacher Tumbler!!!

     I would like to showcase some blogs that I think are up and coming! I know how hard being a newbie blogger can be, so please visit my friends below and show some support. They definitely deserve to be a Top Ten too!!!

3. Chrissy @ Buzzing with Ms. B
4. Janaye @ Tales of Frogs & Cupcakes (not new but awesome!)
8. Ms. Winstead & Mrs. Childress @ Fabulous Fourth Grade
9. Heather @ Beg, Borrow, & Teach

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Using Music to Engage Students

So here's my take...on the use of Music & Video to teach a math concept.

     My class finished our long division unit three weeks ago, but I still have a group that hasn't caught onto the steps.

    While I was pinning this week, I found Mr. Duey! He is a middle school teacher who raps instruction!

     I first came across his song/video of improper fractions. The song was catchy and Mr. Duey was quite a believable entertainer! Of course I pinned that video because I will be teaching improper fractions in a few weeks!

   I then went over to the Mr. Duey website and found a video for long division. I was so excited because I had a feeling that these students might really connect with the song and be more engaged when having to solve the problems. I pinned it right away!

     I played Mr. Duey's Long Division lesson all week during homeroom when the students were completing their problems! Sure enough, the students were completely engaged. It was so cute to hear some of them sing the song to themselves as they completed their work!

Thank you Mr. Duey!!!

    Do you have a lesson where music is a key component to your instruction, student's engagement, and understanding? If so, I would love if you would share in the comments below!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Classroom Library on a Budget

So here's my take...on Building a Classroom Library

     I know there are lots of ways to find books to supply your library for free or cheap. Scholastic book orders, ebay, and donations are to name a few. Today, I want to offer my take on your local used bookstore! 

     Google used bookstore and see what your search comes up with. Get out there and check it out! If you are a book eater like myself you could spend more than half the day in a place like this! Which, this is my favorite used bookstore haunt!!

Located in Manassas Va.

This is what I call heaven!

3 Reasons Why I Love the Used Bookstore...

1. The Price is Right! Yup, can't argue spending 65 cents per book! Most books seem to be in like new condition! On this trip I found more books for my favorite author collection of Dan Gutman!!! (Really, every book in this pic. is 65 cents!!! I only spent $10!)

2. Out of print or hard to find books pop up in these stores! Haven't you come across a book you would like to use as a mentor text but are sad to find that it is no longer in print? Many times I have giggled with delight in the store because I found a book I had been searching for!

3. Multiple a cheap price! This reason encompasses the first two but cannot be overlooked. I am a fan of Beth Newingham's Reading Partnerships and so I pick up as many copies of a great book as I can!

Bonus reason:
     I totally enjoy the process, walking in with hope and leaving giddy with new found treasures that I can't wait to take back to my class! 

     On a recent trip to McKay's Used Bookstore, I took my daughter (pictured left) with her bestie (who's mom is a teacher too!). Afterwards we walked across the parking lot to a Starbucks to have a snack. While I was getting our drinks and snacks I saw the most heart warming sight! Those two girls without any prodding from me were lost in their treasures! They couldn't understand why I was taking their pictures and about crying at the same time! It was a great Mommy/Teacher moment!!!

Lovely Blogs

So here's my take...on award #2!

     I just came home from a day of errands and kids birthday parties to a wonderful email! Molly at Lessons with Laughter awarded me with this awesome award! I feel honored as I love her blog and creative lessons! Thanks!!!

Here are the rules for the Lovely Blog Award:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Pass the award onto 15 followers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you.

Here are a few blogs that inspire me!

1. Heather at Beg, Borrow, & Teach
2. Christina at Mrs. Knapp's Sack
3. Candace at The Teacher Garden
5. Rachel at Minds in Bloom
7. Danielle at It's Time to Grow
8. Ann Marie at Innovative Connections
9. Pamela R. at Teaching 4 Real
10. Pamela O. at We Teach Chalk and Slate
11. Rachel F. at Sub Hub Online
12. Joy at Mrs. Joy Hall
13. Gillian at Nyla's Crafty Teaching
15. April at A Modern Teacher

Enjoy learning from all these wonderful bloggers!!!
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