Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hug a Child

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Writing Activity

Right now my students are working to finish up a writing we started on Valentine's Day. When I came up with this writing idea called, "The Place I Love", I was trying to come up with something that was love related since it was Valentine's Day, but I didn't want it to be all lovey dovey or for it to be about loving someone. I feel like the kids do lots of other writings like that as far as "I love you because.....". So, I decided that we all have special places we love, and this would be a great way to get to know my kids.

By the way,  this writing activity could really be used any time of the year since it is not really Valentine themed. It's simply about loving a special place. As an after thought, I realized it would work well with Patricia MacLachlan's book, All the Places to Love.

So, what's the place I love?  Well, I decided I wanted my students to realize that the place to love didn't really have to be a place that was special to anyone else.  It could be as simple as your yard or as big as a city as long as they could give evidence as to why it was the place they loved.  For my place, I chose ..............My CAR!.....yep, I told them that after I drop my little guy off at school in the morning, I have a 30 minute drive to work.  One of my kids yelled out, "You like the peace and quiet, don't you?"  I said, "Yep!  You guessed it."  It can be so peaceful with my coffee, no bickering teenagers, no demanding toddler, no teaching of 25 kids.... just me and some quiet music and my coffee.  They thought it was pretty funny when I described the place I love..... sad to say, it is quite dirty right now with a few sippy cups, a couple of pacifiers tossed here and there, a coffee mug or two, and whatever else a busy working mom of three has in her car.  I am sure you can relate.

So, what's a place you love?

Get all of the details by clicking the link below.
 

 
 
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentines for the Teacher

When my daughter saw all of the stuff I got from my students for Valentine's Day, she said, "They must think you are a great teacher!" When I saw all of the chocolate I got, I said, "They must want me to gain a hundred pounds!".... WOW!   I am so blessed to have such wonderful parents and students, and they really show their appreciation for me and the hard work I do as a teacher. I have worked in places before where I had to buy everything down to the pencils and paper, so to get a hot Starbucks delivered on Valentine's Day along with a message, "We love you a Latte,"  in addition to being gifted with all of the chocolate, teddy bears, mugs, and Starbucks gift cards, I would say I was in Valentine heaven.  It was a great day. Check it out.
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Oh, and if you missed my face book post about my flower delivery from my husband, you can get the scoop by clicking the image below.  The flowers that were delivered came in a pretty box and were packed so nicely, and then when you pulled out the flowers, it was like, "You have got to be kidding!"....   I felt bad thinking that, but for Valentine's Day, don't florists prepare and know they need to send their best products.  I mean, I would have been okay not even getting anything, but this is their business, and they it seems like Valentine's is the day they are either going to gain or lose a customer.  My husband ended up pulling up a picture of what he ordered, and O-M-G.....  these flowers look like they pulled them from the dumpster compared to the picture he saw when he ordered.  Crazy!

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Where is the LOVE?

I think this is just one more example of how some schools are getting so caught up in testing that they forget what it was like to be a kid. All they see are test scores and not smiles on kids' faces from getting a heart shaped box of chocolate on Valentine's Day. I'm not sure why this bothered me so badly, but it did. This was my son's school, and quite honestly, he could care less other than to tell me about it. He would not have even given anyone anything anyway, as it's just not his thing, but it's the point that bothered me. I think it was the part of saying that 'Valentines is a distraction to learning' that got me. I have had two middle school students before but I have never taught middle school, so maybe I am over reacting. I don't know. So, here is my thinking.........

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Can Statements for the Teacher

 "I Can" Statements for the Teacher
 
So many teachers are posting "I Can" posters,
 I thought I would share what
I CAN DO!
 
I CAN drop my kids off at lunch, warm my own lunch, get to the workroom, eat, and then rush back to pick my kids up from lunch all in less than 25 lovely minutes.
 
I CAN wear jeans on Friday with spirit wear. There's just something to be said about a jean day.
 
I CAN tell 25 people what to do 8 hours a day. Some will actually listen.
 
I CAN hold my pee for hours on end, and then ask the teacher next door for 'permission' to go.
 
I CAN rush a class of 25 kids down 2 flights of steps and out of the building in 2 min. and 19 seconds flat. (along with hundreds of other kids)
 
I CAN tell who is  yelling in the boys' bathroom without even entering.
 
I CAN reply to 30 emails, grade hundreds of papers, write academic contracts, update ESOL plans, write lesson plans for 5 subjects per day 5 days a week, and so much more..... all in my 3 day a week planning period of 45 minutes.  (That should be a can NOT statement)

I CAN keep 25 kids  walking in a straight line on the second square from the wall.

I CAN tell when a kid is pretend reading, or is the book just more interesting when they flip from page 2 to 5 and back to 3 and then read the back of the book before they go to chapter five.

I CAN call for the janitor  to come  clean up puke while I get the trashcan for the sick kid,  and I can even keep teaching my lesson if needed.  That's the only way to teach it all, right? :-)

I CAN test kids and then test them more, and then I can even test them some more.

I CAN do lots of things.

I CAN even teach.

_____________

What CAN you do?
 _____________

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Fun Fraction Activity

I have actually had this little picture for a while and never got it posted.
Today is your lucky day. :-) HA!
 
 
This is a fun fraction activity I did within the first couple of days of a fraction unit.  I teach fourth grade, so it was sort of a review of basic fractions before we moved on to adding, subtracting, reducing, and all of that great stuff.  The good thing about this activity is that while creating the little animals, we  did get to talk about equivalent fractions.
 

For this fraction lesson, I used the book Picture Pie by Ed Emberly.  Basically, it was a lesson that was guided by me.  In the book, all of the creations are made starting with a circle.  So, when referring to fractions, the circle was the whole.  The students were then instructed to fold and cut in order to create halves, fourths, eights, etc.  For each animal, I did not tell them what the animal was.  It was a surprise.  I built it using my Ladybug projector, so they were able to see mine and follow along.  Once we added the extra details, such as eyes, dots on the ladybug, etc., they were like , "ohhhhh, it's a dog!!!" or whatever the creation was.  They had  a lot of fun, got a good review of fractions, and the finished product looked really cute hanging in the hallway. 
I got lots of compliments. 
 
 I will add that I gave the students circles that were already cut out.  This can be used with a cut-out machine, or you can just have your kids cut them out.  I wanted to cut down on the time, so I had the correct colored circles prepared ahead of class.  Enjoy!


The above photos are owned by Molly Phillips and Classroom Confections.
Feel free to share on your own blog, as long as you provide a link back to my website with credit. Thanks so much!
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lines, Line Segments, and Rays

I am always looking for ways to make math more engaging. What better way to engage than with CANDY, right! I Swear.... somethings I find myself in the grocery store looking and thinking of ways to use crackers, cookies, or candy. Yeah, Yeah, I know it's not that healthy, but they don't eat too much of it. :-) We are working on geometry right now. More specifically, at the start of this past week we did some activities with lines, rays, and line segments. I thought I would share how I tried to reinforce the definitions of each. As we went over each part, we built them using toothpicks, candy corns, and marshmallows. The marshmallows were the points. The candy corns showed how the straight path continued in a direction, and of course, the toothpick was the straight path. The kids had a lot of fun. Plus, I gave them a few extra to eat, which they always love. Enjoy!

Lines, Line Segments, and Rays
The above photo is owned by Molly Phillips and Classroom Confections.
 Feel free to share on your own blog, as long as you provide a link back to my website with credit.  Thanks so much!
Share the Sweetness!
Thank you for helping to spread the word about Classroom Confections.
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