Friday, December 13, 2013

Staying Steady and Quick ideas

It's been a very busy couple of months.  Here are just a few things that we have done this week.

I had a beautiful snowman salt shaker that I've had for years and I just found a cute Santa on a chimney salt/pepper shaker.  I like having small ways to decorate my desk for the season so I bought them.  Yes they were on sale.  I put extra fine glitter in each one.  I sprinkle a little bit of Christmas Spirit on each child.  Not too much.  Just enough to be able to see the sparkle on their clothes.
We skyped with our new friends from Texas.
We had our Christmas Concert.  Don't we look lovely.
We will do an hour of code today.  Check that out here.  This Computer Science Week.
One of my students created this Santa and Reindeer display.  I had to put it up!
 This was our Thanksgiving Family homework project.  I had them create beautiful wreaths.
 I love love love Pinterest!  16 triangles and 13 elves…So cute!
 Another Pinterest Special!  Love my Reindeer door!
 Have you ever thought about putting up a placemat as a decoration?  I love my red snowflake! Cheap and easy!
 Garland in the door way….easy decoration!

We will have our holiday celebration today.  We will be adding to the Red Barrel called Operation Happiness.  It's a way for my students to give back.

I hope all is well and that you are enjoying the holiday season.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Love Augmented Reality

Dancing pumpkins
       I came across this great app called colAR Mix.  It is the neatest thing to play with.    The app is free.  I downloaded the free picture of pumpkins.  I made copies and had all of my kids color the picture either with colored pencils or bright markers, no black.  Leave the blank spaces white to allow the camera to see the pumpkins.  Place the picture on the table and turn on the app.  Scan it until you see the blue tinted screen and hold it still.  Up pops those colored pumpkins dancing around.  It is so fun.  We all love it.  You can stick you hand under the scanner and the pumpkins still dance.  This is so fun.  It fits in well with my pumpkin unit.

The site has other pictures that you can download but you need to upgrade at a cost to the be able to see the those pictures dance on the screen.

Check out the website at:   

Here is a video showing just what these adorable pumpkins and other images can do.

colAR Mix

Monday, October 28, 2013

Power Polygon Pumpkins

I love Investigation's Power Polygons.  My kids had such fun creating pumpkins and pumpkin patches with them.  I love their imagination.

Have a fantastic week!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dollar Tree Fabulous Find

Have you seen these great Halloween character boxes yet?  I bought the 3 sets for my math games.  Each set has 2 boxes of the same character, one big, one small.  They each have googly eyes.
       I stacked them on my desk and the kids just thought that they were decoration until math rolled around.  They were so excited to see what games I was able to put into each of the boxes. 
I found some little pumpkins and acorns in Target’s dollar section and knew that they would be perfect counters in a box.  I have the kids count (in groups of 10 of course) and then write up their total on a sticky note.
I have 100’s of rubbery bugs that fit well into another box for counting. 

I am a dice addict and have a black pumpkin dice that went well with the easy pumpkin game.  I also quartered paper for the box. 

I added 2 large dice (orange and green) along with some pigs and numberlines to 50.  They roll the dice and move their piggie along.  For those kids  that can handle it.  I have them start to subtract their piggie after the number 10.

Another box has a plus and minus dice in it with 2 regular dice and a recording sheet.  So the roll 2 numbers and a plus or minus sign and write that as a math equation on the sheet.

I had 3 sets of numbers for counting by 5’s to 100.  This one is tough for some of my kiddos.
Here is the Hairy Monster on our door.  I found these 2 gigantic googly eyes at Target and I pulled out some Easter grass.  The kids had fun creating him.  Our custodian wants to know when it's coming down.  It's a little messy.  He keeps shedding.......Ha Ha

Have a great Halloween!  Maybe I should take Friday off....It's gonna be crazy the day after Halloween.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What did you carry into school today?

I am exhausted already and school hasn't even started for the day.  Teachers seem to have super human strength when it comes to carrying things from their vehicles.  I get my workout  in just walking into the school daily.   What did you carry into school today?

Did you notice the sandals?  There is snow forecast for the area this week but I just can't give up my sandals yet.  How many of you are still wearing yours?

I just love Pic Collage.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A New Habit

I guess I forgot what a blog is......It's a place to write and share.  Over these last 2 months I've been as busy as a first year teacher, even though I've been in the class room for 30+ years.  I have so much to say but it seems no time to say it in.  With every new school year comes new kids, new set ups, new curriculum, new principals, new friends, new schedules, and new ideas.  My head seems to be swirling with so many new ideas that I want to try and incorporate that it seems like I can't get to anyone of them.  I am thankful for all the other teachers out there who do blog and blog well.  I don't know how you find the time.  I need to make blogging a habit, like my habit of getting the mail when I get home or checking Facebook to see what's up with my family and friends.  I have so much to share about my wonderful class.  Today is a new day.  Thanks for sticking with me during my "silent time"!
An I Spy Page we did last year for our Five Senses Unit.   Students used their  iPods to take pictures!  It was a favorite activity from last year.  This year we will use an iPad to record on and probably use Creative Book Builder to make an ebook out of it.  Stay tuned for more.......
New Habit: Shorter Blogs, more often......

Have a fantastic week!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Going Going Gone.......My STUFFFFFF

             Two days of inservice under my belt with one more to go.   We received so much information in a short amount of time.  I am still processing what I learned about the brain and the effect of neglect on a child.  This was a fascinating topic lead by a local clinical physiologist Joelle Van Lent.  She was honest, informative, frank, and funny.  It was a great reminder to pay attention to each child's individual situation.  It's your gentle response to these children that will help them become successful individuals in your class.
           A new year means a spruced up room ready to receive new kids with bright shining faces.   Are you a person who likes "stuff" as much as I do?  My classroom is loaded with "stuff".  After teaching for 20+ years one accumulates more stuff than you have room for in your life.  I thought when I packed up my room in June I purged a lot of "stuff".  It felt so good to get rid of "stuff" I no longer needed.  As I have been reorganizing my room these last few weeks I continued to purge more "stuff".  Then came inservice and a new administration who doesn't like clutter!  Guess what clutter is?  Yes, you got it, STUFF!   I have thrown out, given away, brought home, and just gotten rid of so much of my "stuff" that it hurts and feels good at the same time.  How did I become such a hoarder of "stuff"?  At this point  my room is really looking empty.  Well definitely not cluttered!  Now how am I going to keep myself from collecting more stuff?  Any tips out there?
         Here is a video I created with my class years ago.  It's my kindness video!  These kids are going into 4th grade this fall and they were a great bunch of kids to hang out with.  Enjoy this little song my teammate, the very talented Ms. Ernie Hemingway wrote.  The message?    Become a K.C.K.
Kids Creating Kindness.

          I will spend some time this weekend calling all my kids to help relieve a bit of fear and to get them excited for the new year, new possibilities, new challenges and becoming fantastic first graders.  
I love chatting on the phone with them.  I always chat with mom or dad to answer any questions they may have before school starts.  This always makes our first day so much easier for all of us. 

 Get ready for your phone call kids.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's all over!

      Yes, summer vacation has come to and end for Vermont teachers. Oh how I'll miss the lazy days of sleeping in and beach lounging.   It has taken me about 2 weeks of putting my classroom back together and weeding out the old junk that I've been holding onto.  It has been a time of "letting go".  I've "let go" of a lot of my teaching materials that I don't use any more and feeling great about it.  My mission was to rid my classroom of clutter and I am well on my way.  Things are looking good at the moment.  I have one major component that has yet to be added to my classroom.  My own PC computer lab of 12 computers.  Yes, I got word that I will have one to one in my classroom for next year.  I am very excited and nervous.  This will be the beginning of my classroom transformation.
    Check out how my classroom currently looks....just now waiting for the computer lab to take over the front portion of my room.

       Now onto the decorating.  I have created some great new numbers with number words and months of the year for my wall.  I need some jazzing up of my walls.  I haven't decided what to do on my hallway bulletin board yet.  I'm waiting for some inspiration this coming week during inservice.

    I have been reviewing the common core standards over the summer and this morning came across some fantastic videos from the Teachers College produced by Lucy Calkins and based on her book the Pathways To The Common Core.  The videos are very well done.  They all start with a great overview of what you'll see.  I will be referring back to them throughout the year I'm sure.  Check them out if you are struggling with how to incorporate the CC Standards in your work with young children.

This summer has been a time of transformation in my yard.  I took my pool out of my yard and replaced it with a beautiful patio.  I love love love it.
    Both of my kids are off to college and the nest will be empty again.  It will be quiet around here but I know both kids are happy and thriving and so I'm happy.

Here's to another great year!