Sunday, June 26, 2016

Catching Up

I know that it has been quite some time since I have written anything or updated my blog, but it has been a busy couple of weeks. From the last couple of weeks, vacationing to Texas to see my little brother graduate from High School. Then last Thursday, I went out on a limb and went to the county job fair where I left my comfort zone and all that I knew from my first year of teaching and I got a wonderful job, where I am still teaching 4th grade but all subjects versus just math and science, which is what I was teaching last year. So now, I am on a mission summer to prepare my classroom to be ready for all subjects rather than math and science. 
Here are a few things from the last couple weeks of school that I did.

Properties of Minerals Posters
Our last chapter in Science, was a fun and engaging chapter for the kiddos. We were learning about Rocks and Minerals. Knowing from the 5th Grade Math and Science Teacher that the properties of minerals are not taught in 5th grade, so I really wanted my students to remember the various different properties, so I created posters to hang in the classroom. Students created a vocabulary flipbook in their interactive notebooks, we walked through the different properties and students wrote down the definitions in their books. The next day, we observed a various amount of minerals and identified them using the different properties. That part of the lesson was the student’s favorite and it was really evident that they understood how to identify the properties of minerals.

The Rock Cycle
Continuing on the Science Roll, it was the second to last week of school, I wanted to really keep the students engaged because for some reason the students think that all the rules are thrown out the window. So I bought a hot plate and taught the rock cycle using Starbursts. Now cutting the candy was the hardest part and the amount of times that I was asked if they could eat the candy even after it had been smushed and crushed was about 32, but regardless the activity was engaging and my students loved seeing the Starburst go through the different cycles. Ultimate success including the fact that I didn’t set the fire alarm off using the hot plate!

Final Days of School
The final days of school were the following week. Where we went on our St. Augustine Field Trip allowing students to learn even more about Florida History, I’ll touch more on my Florida History Notebook that I created further down. Students enjoyed the trip. The final days of school were half days, where it was decided that I was going to go to the county job fair and try and find another job in the county, versus the charter school I was at. I made my students personalized mason jars filled with some sour patch kids and a straw for them to drink out of during the summer.

Florida History Notebook. I created this notebook because I completed something similar when I was in the 4th grade and to this day I still remember SO much about our Florida History, especially in comparison to Mr. Cosner who went to school in the same county as me. So I created this booklet, as a final project for my students in the 4th grade. We will spend all year learning about the essentials and in return students will complete the notebook as a graded project. Still unsure if that’s how I will use it but you get my point!

Summer Lovin’
I traveled to Texas to see my little brother graduate from high school the week after. I was there for a week where I finalized my nannying schedule, which is what I am doing to occupy myself this summer and earn a little bit of extra money as well. Here is a picture of the two of us, we were recreating a picture of him and me from my high school graduation. My little brother, is not so little anymore.

In my free time (which I really wish I would have scheduled more of) I have been working with my Cricut machine and obsessing over the Target Dollar Spot, or lack of to complete my classroom vision. Below, you will see a car decal that I created! It was only my second time using it.  I also played with Iron On vinyl and created this shirt! I am pretty darn proud of these beauties!

Something that I have found in the Target Dollar Spot was adhesive clear labels. I am using these on my task card boxes and printing out pages to slip in there with the title of the task card along with the aligning standard, so it is easy to go right in and pull out of the boxes. Excited to be more organized this school year!

Yes, that is right, as mentioned before, I was hired at the county job fair and am super excited to still be teaching 4th grade ALL grades. I have been working hard this summer dreaming of my perfect classroom and below you will see some of the things that I have come up with! Below you will see my center signs that I have created using PowerPoint and some other materials that I have picked up and personalized using my Cricut machine!

 Also with the help from One Stop Teacher Shop’s Math Editable Homework, I created a weekly homework template, only allowing students to spend 45 minutes and no more than that on homework. Homework is supposed to be meaningful and how it can be when teachers are giving so much that it is overwhelming the students and the parents. Not my plan this year! Here is a picture of what this looks like now! The top is the one that I created and the bottom one is the editable version from One Stop Teacher’s Shop Math Homework for the Entire Year!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Adventurous Angles

It was a goal of mine this year and on my SLO/DPP to work on engagement. It’s something that I struggled with from the beginning especially with my students that were already so distracted. I wanted to find a way to hook them and bring them in. So I did just that, it’s been a work in progress and honestly it’s at the end of the year that I am finally figuring out what works for my students and it’s all going to change next year, with a whole new group. But I am okay with that. It gives me more opportunity to grow and expand my knowledge. As an engaging activity, I created this “Adventurous Angle” task cards to help my students who still needed that push in finding missing angle features. I plan on adding on to this today with a Power Point teaching students how we can fins missing measures of angles but for now, I have these. It’s Sunday, I am going to go take a nice long walk with my puppy and enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine before it gets too hot! Check out my store for these super cute task cards!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mixed Number Madness

As a first year teacher, I learned the importance of “following a pacing guide”. But really, I had no idea. It just goes right under that list that I’ve created of “Things They Didn’t Teach Me in College.” So with that being said, there was A LOT that I had to cram in right before our Standardized Test. I believe that it was 3 chapters and in my opinion that were the hardest chapters in the chapter! FRACTIONS. Which is why a lot of my resources right now are fractions because there are still concepts my students don’t understand and now that I am teaching them the “Getting Ready for 5th Grade” material, I really want them to understand everything about fractions. I just finished this resource today and I am in love with it, only because I think that it came out really cute! After our end of the year benchmark test my students were showing some struggles in adding and subtracting mixed numbers, especially if they had to regroup. I tried EVERYTHING to help them to understand that regrouping concept but it was a difficult concept, I know that now and I am hoping that these cute basketball themed task cards will help them practice and eventually perfect it! Here’s to hoping and wishing! I plan on making several more resources this afternoon, so be on the lookout! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Working Out as a Teacher

How do you do it? I am curious to know! This entire year, as a first year teacher, I’ve struggled with working out. It’s something that I love to do but man, was is it so hard to get the motivation to work out after a day of work. I’m on Instagram and I’ve been following Kayla Itsines for quite some time, I’ve looked and admired the people who have used her program and that’s just it. I’ve only looked. Then I decided I was tired of the workout that I was doing and wanted to try something new. She had just come out with an app called “Sweat with Kayla” and it’s 28 MINUTES of a kick butt workout. I love every single minute of it. I am now waking up at 4:30 (I know, EW) several times throughout the week and am getting that workout in before heading to school and I feel refreshed and I don’t have to worry about not feeling up to it at the end of the day. Let me know how you work out as a teacher! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

"You Should Sell That On Teachers Pay Teachers"

You know you have a problem when…
I spent my weekend preparing “Getting Ready for 5th grade” Lessons and since there are so minimal resources for teaching this, I created Interactive Power Point’s and interactive journals to teach the concept needed to be taught. It was about 30 minutes and directly following, a student came up to me and asked said “You should see that on Teachers Pay Teachers”. Now the fact that my students know that I love this site just as much as they know my love for Amazon just tells me I have a problem! So here I am, giving you all a look into what tomorrow’s “Getting Read for 5th Grade” Lesson will look like! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Fraction Frenzy!

Fractions are something that we as a class just learned, literally right before the test.Unfortunately, the skills my students struggled with the  most are generating equivalent fractions and converting mixed numbers into improper fractions. So I created two resources to hopefully help with this concept. Both resources include a Power Point Slide Show to help teach the concept. Following each slideshow there are activities for the students to use on their own or with you there to help reinforce. That is the way that I plan on using them! I will show my students the Slide Show and then using what we just learned we will practice with the skills at the end! I have linked both activities to this post, with the hope that you too can use them! Enjoy!


Going Up on a Sunday

I love my puppy and I decided to give her the reigns this morning and trust her without destroying anything in the house completely FORGETTNG that I left one of my TE’s somewhere where she can get it. It was all my fault and I couldn’t stay mad at her long but REALLY. I added a new product for "Generating Equivalent Fractions" to my TPT store! Slowly but surely, I am creating more and adding it, so bear with me as this is all new! Happy Sunday ya’ll! 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Those Tedious Task Cards

We all use them. We all LOVE them but how on EARTH do you store them. That’s the problem I know that I have. I’ve seen all the amazing ways some teachers out there store their task cards but knowing my classroom, they just weren’t right for me. I wanted something sturdy, something that I knew would be easy to grab and pull out to use in a center, small group or our intervention periods. That is when I found the task card storage container from heaven! It was little boxes within boxes and it was…$39.99. All my hopes were crushed because there was no way that you could get me to pay $40.00 for one of these things. I just kept the pretty picture of it, up on my computer, just to stare at the beauty of it. Wanting it so badly. Then Michaels put it on SALE. I was so excited that I went there right after school and I bought TWO. And for those of you who don’t know, you get a teacher discount at Michaels, so I was able to buy both for UNDER the original price.

Well now that testing is over in Math, I’ve decided to get to organizing! I will do a lot more with these closer to summer but my test prep task cards that I bought and printed in color and laminated, deserved a home. So Stella and I are working on organizing these pretty things this weekend. I will make labels to print and put on them as well! Stay tuned for the finished product!