Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts of Oklahoma and a Way to Help

I know many of our thoughts and prayers are going out to the families and victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes. 

I received an email tonight from Teacher's Notebook, who are reaching out to the teacher community in creating a bundle that will ultimately help these people. 

If you are a seller on Teacher's Notebook, donate a product that can go into this bundle.  To quote TN, "100% of proceeds of sales from this special bundle will be given to relief efforts to aide the Moore, OK victims."

You can't ask for more than that!  Please click on the banner below, or on the sidebar, for more information.

UPDATE:  I purchased this packet and let me tell you, it is AMAZING!  No matter what level you are, you're bound to find something from the 500+ items that have been donated!  At this typing, Teacher's Notebook has raised over $47,000 for the relief effort....100% of the profits go towards the relief effort.  Also, I believe, the teachers at the two elementary schools are getting the bundle for free!  Definitely worth checking out! 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Going Crazy While Trying to Stay Sane! (Plus a Freebie or 2)

Well, gosh, isn't that all of us at the end of the year?

It's been a crazy two weeks.  This past week, my daughter got the "stomach bug" that's been going around, so I was in and out of school, which has been hard as we try to finish our final math unit (measurement) and go into review mode for our end-of-year tests next week!

So, thought I'd show you what we've been up to and share a little freebie I created for a summer packet!  More on that later....

First, our measurement unit was rushed, but we had a little fun with it by measuring our feet in first inches, then centimeters.  I cannot remember who published this idea, so if it yours, please credit yourself!

Had fun with our unit on Egypt by creating an Egyptian scene (the pieces are Playmobil I received from a grant several years back - if you haven't heard of the grant, go to their website and apply!  I received "sixth place" but still got plenty of good things!).  Those are hippos and crocodiles in the Nile. :)

Then, our grade level did a rotation on ancient China and Egypt.  I reviewed the Chinese contributions and we made kites, students chose 4 of the contributions (besides kite) to illustrate, and then wrote the contributions on the tails of the kite.  I added a straw to the back of the kites to make them a bit sturdier (I have no idea if they'll really fly - I must have answered that question dozens of times! I haven't heard the results yet, either!).

We have a fabulous world carpet that students play a game to learn the continents.  I substituted my reading focus wall to put up the USA map so students could learn their places around the country.  They loved finding the places as much as jumping around the "world" on the rug! (The labels are just sentence strips and the map I've had for years - used permanent marker to draw mountains, etc. and added a map key that I wrote right on the bulletin board paper!).  With all that practice, they aced their standard!

We created the "Summer Bucket List" by Kristen Clements that turned out super cute!  I had a 5th grade teacher who was so impressed, she did the same for her class!

Finished our prefix/suffix unit with creating flowers to make our "grammar tree" look a bit more festive outside our room.

Shared "Flat Stanleys" that had returned from adventures!

For the end of year gift/summer review for my students - well, I knew they would not be happy doing worksheets at home and honestly, after trying to work with my own kids, I know what a struggle it is!  I brainstormed and came up with activities the kiddos could do that would make things fun, as well as mirror some of the games we've played in class!  When I presented it to them on Friday (I had one student whose last day it was - she's heading to England!) they were super excited!  I got most of the items at Dollar Tree.

I added a few things in there that they might not have at home, but for the most part, tried to make it "user friendly" so that students wouldn't have to hunt for materials (or the parents wouldn't have to go out and buy a lot!).  You can find the Summer Review Activity Packet at Google Docs.  Its in Powerpoint format, so if you'd like to make changes and personalize it, you can!  I paired it in their buckets with another freebie, You Can Even Read a Cereal Box by Cynthia Vautrot.  Love her idea!

So, how are you ending your year?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Currently, Sales, Sales Everywhere!

Do you feel appreciated?

Both TpT and Teacher's Notebook are throwing Teacher Appreciation Sales!

Teacher's Notebook has a sale,drawing, and information about a grant on their site.  You can save up to 55%!

Teachers Pay Teachers also has a sale that goes from May 7-8 (although a lot of sales, like mine, start today) where stores give you up to 20% off, then TpT on the 7th and 8th gives you an EXTRA 10% off (making 28%).  

I have to admit, I didn't hear about this sale until the weekly Sunday email....not sure if I missed something, but a couple of my fellow sellers said they never received an email beforehand either.  Not sure if it's a communication snafu on their part, or something on mine.....nor did I hear about being paid monthly?  Anywho, the email's still up because I went directly to TpT and signed up for a sale!  Who doesn't love a sale???

 Two day sale

 And now, hooking up with Farley for the May Currently!

 Kind of self-explanatory.  Not sure if I should switch that "wanting" and "needing"!

I'll focus on my "bucket list."  During the year, I started out well with a friend of mine doing Zumba right after school in the classroom.  We'd cover the windows and door and get moving!  It was great - no need to worry about fitting it in between schoolwork and dinner, etc.  Then, her schedule changed and she couldn't stay anymore. And you know how that goes - I lost my motivation, told myself I'd do it "later" because I had to get things done before going home, etc.

So, I gave myself a "break" and promised myself that YES, I WILL do it this summer!  I tried to do this last summer and got oh-so-lazy.  This year, though, I am thoroughly disgusted with my body so that will be motivation enough! :)

BG/WC - we have season passes, live hour and a half from Williamsburg VA so it's usually a weekly thing and it's part of the loads of fun I have with my kids during the summer being a "stay at home" mom!  

Cleaning up my digital files - yeah, I have things in there I have not used since creating them in 2009 or before! Yikes!  I'm going to copy my network folder onto my external hard drive and work on at least a folder a day.  It's also a great time to clean up those flash drives!

Then, when I can, I'll upload it back onto the school's network folder later in the summer.  Plus, I have some great ideas that I made in the past, but the end result didn't exactly meet what was in my head, so having a little "redo" party and revisiting those ideas!  Thanks Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers/Notebook for putting this pressure on me!!! Just kidding. :)

Sooo...that's it for now.  Going to head out and do the rule of 3 for Farley (I find so many interesting blogs that way!).  Then getting ready for Monday - yikes!  Excited yet nervous - will I get it all in before May 28????

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Keeping Busy With a Hodgepodge of Activities!

Feel the same way?

With the end of the year fast approaching (yikes!  16 days - scary but exciting at the same time!), we're starting to begin review mode with centers and other areas as we're still trying to finish up units!

So, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on this week.

Our butterflies emerged from their chrysalis!  We said goodbye on Wednesday (all 5 made it!).  It was hard, because at first, they didn't want to come out!  We made sure to release them in the field behind our school, near the woods and away from the playground and bus loop!

 Our "Flat Stanleys" started coming in this week!  So far, our Stanleys have visited Newport News (VA), Utah (Great Salt Lake), Texas (Austin), and California (Fort Irwin).

We are finishing up our prefix/suffix unit and I was rather disgusted with some of the sheets I had because they combined prefixes (which is a good thing because it saves paper, right?) but was wrong for the order I was teaching it in!  My kiddos do better with an activity on the carpet and then an independent one at their seat to "seal" their learning.

So, if you're not happy, change it, right?  I created a set of activity sheets with ONE prefix or suffix per page, and made them look fun so my kiddos would enjoy themselves as well as learning (very important this time of year to catch their attention!).  

I also played around with some shapes on Microsoft Publisher and created flowers.  I always do a flower activity to decorate our tree in the hallway with prefixes and suffixes!  I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out!

I also had a few review items I've made previously and then realized I hadn't shared nor had I put them on TpT or TN!  These I've either already used or are using them for review (or both!).  Click on the pictures on the ones you'd like to check out closer!

Okay, well, sorry for the double blog post today but Blogger's schedule kinda messed me up with the announcement of the Teacher's Notebook sale/drawing.  I also saw where they are offering a $5,000 scholarship to an online university for a Master's in Teaching!  That's in addition to the drawing they're holding for the $100 Oriental Trading Gift Card.  Wow!  You can click on the link in my earlier post to take you there! (I'll be adding a sidebar one soon!).

Be sure to check out my sale thru the 10th - everything in my store SHOULD be (I say should because I found one item that had gotten overlooked!) 50% off and with TN's extra 10% off, that's 55%!!!!!  Please be sure to stock up - it's a great opportunity!  Several items are less than 50 cents!!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week, we were celebrating our teachers, and what better way to celebrate than with food??? We also had dress up days as well.  Monday was luau, Tuesday was carnival (complete with fried oreos!), Wednesday our Central Office ordered us Subway, Thursday is "Fiesta" and Friday...after all the junk...is health day!  We're also entered into drawings for some cool prizes (at Christmastime, it was a Kindle Fire....my fingers are crossed!).  What does your school do to celebrate teachers?

Teacher's Notebook is doing a FANTASTIC Teacher's Appreciation this week.  Who doesn't love a sale?  PLUS they are doing a giveaway from Oriental Trading for a $100 gift certificate!  That would be awesome to order some things for beginning and ending school year supplies!

In conjunction, I'm also having a sale!  You can save up to 55% off with the extra 10% that TN is throwing in!  Make sure you click on the links and hop on over there and stock up, as well as enter the giveaway! :)