Monday, December 1, 2014

Currently December

Man, December already!  I guess I'm getting a head start on my new year resolution to blog more.  Today I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade with a "Currently" post.  This is my first!

Listening - Thanks to my teaching partner for the heads up about Coffee shop soundtrack on Pandora!  Listening to this makes everything better, including cleaning house!  Love it!

Loving - Moving into a new home has inspired me to get rid of my tired, old tree decorations (actually my tired, old TREE as well).  I spent some time on Saturday shopping for a new tree and all the decorations.  I love a fancy, "themey" tree, but my family is all about traditional green and red.  I compromised by buying a skinny, 5 foot tree for my family room and filling it with fancy, shiny teal/turquoise/silver ornaments.  The "real" tree is a little more traditional with gold and red decorations.  I haven't added my ornaments yet, but I love it so far.

Thinking - Whew!  It seems like when you travel on holiday breaks, you really don't feel like you had any time off! 

Wanting-A little warmer weather, please!  Saturday it was 70+ degrees, today....30's!  For the love!

Needing-  Winter is a great motivator to go to hot yoga.  I can hardly wait to get in that 95 degree room. 

Giving- One of my favorite parts of my Thanksgiving break was crafting.  I'm not much of a crafter usually, but my step mom is crafter extraordinaire!  She taught me how to do a mixed media project on canvas.  I created this for my mother in law.  This would have been their 60th anniversary, but her husband passed away five years ago.  I found their wedding picture and a form listing their children.  I made photocopies of these and then used ink to age them up a bit.  I was really happy with the final product.   My mind is now going crazy with ideas!  So much fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

OK, no excuses...I've just been completely lazy!  It is time to get back to the blogging world.  I feel so out of touch!  Although I still teach 6th grade Language Arts, I have made a huge change.  For the past two years, I have taught the struggling readers.  This year, I teach the highest level readers.  This has been a very challenging move, but rewarding at the same time.  Needless to say, my focus has changed from scaffolding for support to challenge and rigor. 

Product Details

Monday, January 20, 2014

Do You Have Stacks?

 Does anyone else have this problem of having too many resources?  Well, I don't think anyone could actually ever have too many, but lately I've been a little overwhelmed by all my TpT purchases.  They are awesome, must have products, but...

I have all my purchases printed, most laminated and cut, but then I seem to pile them up on my counter.  Well in my quest to work on my New Year's Resolution, I came up with a simple solution to this problem.  I'm thinking that everyone else, including you, have figured this out WAY before me, but just in case, I thought I'd share my discovery. 

I printed the cute colorful cover pages for my purchases and glued them to 9x12 envelopes.  All the materials then went inside!  I know, so easy I should have thought of it long ago.  I don't know why I've just continued to stack things for so long.  So, I feel like I accomplished a huge task today just by cleaning my pile of materials.  Sometimes that small feeling of accomplishment is all the motivation you need to get through another week of January.  Where is Spring Break??? 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cause Effect Student Made Videos

Are you looking for a fun activity to keep your kids engaged during this long January?  We have been working on the text structures for a couple of weeks and needed a fun project.  For a fun cause effect lesson, we made our own cause effect commercials.  They were based on the direct tv commercials that warn of various reasons you should get rid of cable.  I blogged about this last year, but this year came up with a way for students to create their own version.  
Students filled out a graphic organizer showing how one event caused another.  Next, they made a powerpoint and found google images to "illustrate" the statement.  Finally, they made a screencast using screencast o matic.  I'm posting one of our better examples of a student screencast.  We had a ton of fun creating these, and hopefully learned a little as well.  Try it out, your students will love it. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Flash Freebie!

My last blog post was a whole month ago!  I guess I just enjoyed my holidays instead of writing a blog post.  In my last post, I mentioned a new product I was working on... figurative language loaded passages.  They are finally finished!  So, just for a few hours, I will be offering this resource for FREE! 
I used these passages with my struggling readers and they really liked them.  They really loved being my proof readers and finding all of my mistakes.  What I liked best was the conversations I heard as they worked with a partner.  They were vigorously debating and supporting their opinions!  I was so excited I had to do a little happy dance right in the classroom.  Then I came back to reality when one of my students said "Was you a ballet dancer?"  Next mission:  teach grammar!

If you take advantage of this flash freebie, please leave me feedback and let me know what you think!  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Figurative Language Fun Project

Have you used yet?   My students had a great time using it to create figurative language movies this week.  I let them play around on the site for about 20 minutes one day in order to get them excited as well as become familiar with how to use all the features of the site.  They were so excited to start making the movies, they didn't give a thought to the fact that they knew nothing about figurative language yet! 

I made them suffer through actually learning about the different types of figurative language the entire next week.  Day 1, we watched a powerpoint while completing a figurative language guide.  The guides were then glued into our interactive notebooks for later reference.  Day 2, we played "Scoot"  with figurative language cards.  Day 3, we practiced identifying different types of figurative language through reading a "figurative language loaded passage."  Day 4, we read the same passage but worked on interpreting the meaning of the figurative language.  Day 5, we became "experts".  I had each student draw a slip out of a basket.  The slips were labeled with a type of figurative language.  Their assignment was to become the expert on that particular type, and then write a script for a movie in which one character explained it to another character.  They were to include a definition, give three example sentences, and use humor to make it entertaining.  The motivation was to create a movie that a 3rd - 5th grade teacher could use to introduce that type of figurative language to their class. 
After the scripts were written, they were FINALLY ready to go to the computer lab to create their movies.  This took most students about an hour total over the course of two days.  The results were surprising to me.  I teach the struggling readers and sometimes I am disappointed in the quality of projects.  Not this time!  They were really fun to watch, and as a bonus, students helped me grade by listening to be sure each movie had the definition and three examples.  I was able to be done grading as soon as we were done watching. 

I can think of many other uses for  The added motivation of getting to use this fun website really keeps students engaged!  I'm thinking about a way to use it for Social Studies next. 
If you are interested in the figurative language loaded passages....well, they aren't available in my TpT store yet.  My students were very helpful in helping me proofread these, so I have some corrections to make before posting them.  However, they are probably one of my favorite products.  They were a little too challenging for my students, so we completed them with partners.  The conversations as they worked were AWESOME!  I wanted to take pictures of them working so hard.   Everyone was engaged and participating.  It really was one of my favorite moments of this year.  I anticipate having these available soon since a big two week Christmas break is coming up. Enjoy your holidays!

Here is one of my favorite videos.  The author of this video usually meets very little success.  The kids loved hers so much they clapped, which made her day!  She did forget to add several periods, so some of it is hard to understand.  However, that was a lesson in itself in my room.  

animals talking about idioms. by 237841764 on GoAnimate

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Do you have your wishlist loaded up and ready for the big sale?  I know I do.  Monday and Tuesday is the date for Teachers Pay Teachers big Cyber Sale!  Most sellers are offering 20% off their entire store, then TpT will give an extra 10% off when you enter the code "CYBER".  (Don't forget that step!  I always do!)  
I've linked up with the girls at Primary Possibilities.  Check out their links of many of the stores who are offering 20% off.  I can't wait to start out the new year with new resources.  

I am currently working on a Figurative Language introductory powerpoint with the theme of "What Does the Fox Say?"  I am hoping to finish it and get it posted before the sale.  Check out the first two slides.  I love the 3-d clipart I used from Away With the Pixels!  That girls is a talented artist!  Wish me luck on getting this done!  I want it ready for the sale, but even more important, I need it for instruction in my class next week!  Enjoy the weekend and Happy Shopping!  Remember to enter the code CYBER!