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!