Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday...Goodbye January!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs again to share some of what was jammed packed into the last week of January. This week certainly proved to be a whirlwind! I don't plan on leaving my house this weekend until it's absolutely necessary.

I think I can speak for every teacher at my school when I say Thursday left us EXHAUSTED. Not only was it picture day, but we had important visitors in the building. Visiting principals from other schools and other district employees made rounds in the afternoon to do observations. There was only one slight problem; BOOM! The power went out thanks to strong wind. We had to think quick and teach with no electricity for a couple of hours. Thankfully my classroom has a window that gave us some extra light.
I completely understand this poster now!
I started using anchor charts this year and I love them! They're a great year long reference and good to create whole group. Here's our possessive nouns anchor chart.

We made another anchor chart for science. I'm not the best artist but as long as the content is there and the minis understand it's all good to me. I was in a rush taking pictures this afternoon and forgot to turn off the projector. Apologizes for blank randomly popping up at the bottom. 

One of my favorite stories is Officer Buckle and Gloria. The minis brainstormed their own safety tips.

 I love safety tip #10!

If your fortunate enough to have YouTube access in your district it can be a great techie resource. Do you ever wish you could clean it up a bit? Presenting YouTube Clean to the rescue.
Here's what a YouTube video normally looks like. Sometimes we don't want all the extra on the side even if it's good stuff that's kid friendly.
 Just type in clean between YouTube and part.
 Ta-da! The end result is the same video without the fluff!
Have a great weekend! I'll be dreaming of warm weather and flip flops. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Circle of Life

Happy Monday everyone! I didn't blog at all last week because I honestly felt I didn't have much to share and those short/long weeks are a blur. I feel blogging about content and meaningful things to use is more important than "fluff" so to speak.
Today was a challenging Monday for the class and I. Our class guinea pig, Ricky Bobby passed away over the weekend. I'm glad I found him and got his cage removed before students walked through the door.

He was old by guinea pig standards so I knew his time was coming soon, but I thought he had another year left. I'll admit I was highly upset and sad this morning. Thankfully I work in a great school with amazing admin support. My AP graciously spent some time with the class this morning talking with them while I took a moment. She had the perfect explanation that animal death is all part of the circle of life.
Later in the day minis had the option of drawing picture or writing letters to Ricky Bobby. The genuine caring and sweet words from kids truly warms my heart.

How sweet is this note? It was written by the same minis who was concerned during Christmas about her sister's class elf losing it's magic. 
Eventually I'll get another class pet. It wouldn't feel right to me to just rush out and get another one so soon. 
Later this week, I promise to have more light hearted posts. There's plotting and planning going on in my head for the 100th day of school next week. I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

QR Code Fun

Happy Hump Day y'all! I'm feeling super accomplished today. Third day in a row at the gym, no eating out for dinner, laundry in the washer, and American Idol on in the background. With all that greatness I think the best part of my day was seeing my minis working with QR codes in learning stations.
Last week during staff development, I learned how to create a QR code scavenger hunt. I used Class Tools to create this week's activity in our math learning station. Earlier this week we did mini flip books of mystery shapes. Some of the same student created riddles appeared in the scavenger hunt.
 Technology just isn't for older kids; our K-2 babies are just as capable if we model and teach our techie expectations correctly. I have an easy step by step tutorial for you to follow.
The first step is to name and create your questions. You will need a minimum of 5 questions and answers to create your scavenger hunt. Check, double check, then check your questions again! You will have an option of editing later. I learned this afternoon I accidentally wrote a clue wrong when one of the minis pointed it out.

 When your finished, the next screen gives you a link to your treasure hunt. 

 The next page will give you options for various things. I spent a few minutes navigating the extras to familiarize myself with them for future use.

 Preview what your scavenger hunt will look like.

 Voila, you're scavenger hunt is created and ready for use!

I printed the QR codes and had them laminated. It's not my most "cutesy" work but in this case ease of use and content was more important. I placed the cards around the room in the morning before students arrived.

 Minis hard at work. Love these babies! <3

I created quick recording sheet. I didn't realize until the afternoon I didn't mean to align the numbers on the left. Boo!

This techie project took me about 20 minutes to create from questions to lamination. Back to more American Idol. I'm a bit disappointed there aren't more crazies!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five for Friday!

Happy first Five for Friday of 2014! I'm linking up again Doodle Bugs to share what's been happening this week. I must say I was excited to see my mini's bright, shining faces walk through the door Tuesday morning!

 Tuesday morning we worked on goals for the new year. This is an amazing TPT freebie is from Rachel Lamb over at The Tattooed Teacher. Her blog is a must read if you aren't doing so already.

 I finally got a chance to use my new laminator! I got a last minute Amazon gift card, and I knew exactly what I was going to spend it on. I've been drooling over one since the beginning of the school year.

 Speaking of laminating things.....
I used my handy dandy new laminator on these place value mystery cards used this week during learning stations. Another TPT freebie I found during the break.

 The holidays are over, so it's back to healthier eating habits. I discovered Larabar during a Target trip this week. I'm obsessed with these! Gluten free and all natural so you can having a guilt free treat. These yummy bars have been in my lunch all week.

 One of my new app finds is Points Scan. It seems I'm always on the lookout for new classroom library books. Points Scan uses the barcode of a book to tell you how many AR points a book is worth, love it!
TGIF everyone! Stay warm and start counting down with me until the weather gets warmer!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Linky Parties and New Year Randomness

Out with the old and in with the new! Does anyone else feel like 2013 zipped by us? I can't wait for all the possibilities of 2014.
I've been having an amazing time during the break! I think most of the fun was not waking up at 6:00 am! Sadly I have a weird internal alarm clock that didn't let me sleep past 7:30 but I won't complain too much. 

While finishing up Christmas shopping a few weeks ago with my  mom, I spotted these boots in Macy's. They were the deal of the day for only $19.99. I'd previously mentioned there wasn't much on my Christmas list this year. I told my mom I didn't want anything either, but when I saw these boots I couldn't resist. Mom and I are the same shoe size so luckily we each have our own pair. 
A friend wanted me to take a picture of the boots since I couldn't stop raving about them so I did. I normally don't take random boot pictures in restaurants I promise! 

 No break would be complete without a visit to Sprinkles; one of my favorite cupcake places! Sadly the ATM wasn't working on the day of my visit. I ended up going inside to get a cupcake for later, and visited the ice cream shop for the first time. Salted caramel ice cream in a red velvet waffle cone is soooo delicious. It was so delicious it ended up being too much for me to finish.

A friend and I had a great time at a New Year's Eve party! For whatever reason we couldn't wait to get our tiaras and noisemakers.
Do you know what I find so funny about NYE parties? There's all this excitement leading up to midnight then after it's over your left thinking now what?
We had Texas shaped waffles this morning for breakfast. I'm too easily entertained and fascinated with random things like this.

On to the linky fun...
The first link is from Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for January currently
Listening: I brought home our class pet Ricky Bobby over the break. Don't get me wrong I love the little guy but sometimes he tests my patience! He's had plenty to eat with fresh water in his cage yet he's still squeaking like he's starving. I think he misses the attention he gets from the minis at school. Finally he's decided to fall asleep which means I get a break. A sleeping guinea pig is too cute for words.
Loving: Bath and Body Works had a sale on candles and I took advantage. Meet Me In Tahiti smells amazing.
Thinking: It seems there are a million personal and school things I need to do before going back Monday.
Wanting: I've had my current laptop for almost 3 years and it always acts funky when I plug in the adapter to charge. If the adapter is plugged in and I'm doing something the touchpad goes crazy on me making it difficult to hover and click on something.
Needing: Tomorrow is a no excuse gym day. I ate 3 cookies after dinner. That combined with waffles from this morning makes me feel guilty.
Memory and/or Tradition: The time has come to put away Christmas decorations which always makes me a little sad. 

The next link comes from A Peach for the Teach. Yay for discovering new linky parties and blogs! 
Personal: I have a love/hate relationship with working out. At the time I can grumble, but I do appreciate the benefits after it's all done. My goal is to go down one more size this year then start a goal of maintaining a weight.
Professional: I have a bad habit of hanging onto old papers and emails which can pile up quickly. I need to learn to let go of some junk.
Classroom: Currently my minis already do one math station during our weekly rotation, but I'd like to integrate more math stations instead of having them isolated.
Blog: Hopefully within a couple of months I'll have a new blog design!
Just-for-fun: I'd love to try something adventurous like a zip line or rock climbing this year.