Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Peek at my Week! {+ a Pin it to Win it!)

I have a busy and fun week coming up, so I'm linking up with Mrs. Laffin for A Peek at my Week.

This weekend, my students watched a video (made by me) of a different method for long division problems. So many students have trouble even knowing where to start - because they don't know their multiplication facts. I'm trying teaching them the "Line Method" which is sometimes also called "Double Division." As embarrassing as it is to share one of my videos with you guys, I am super excited about this method. So here's a clip with one example from the video my students watched. I just started making math videos for my flipped classroom at the end of September, so keep that in mind, and don't judge too harshly!

We are working on Subject and Predicate this week, along with our mentor sentence from Jivey's unit. I whipped up this puzzle activity to go in our writer's notebooks. It would also work great as a craftivity if you colored the puzzle pieces and glued them on construction paper. Pin it to win it, comment, and I'll use to choose a winner on Wednesday. Click the picture to see it in my TPT store!

Murphy's Law at work...We got our Walking Classroom kits, my teammate is getting a set too, and overnight, the weather turns cold! It's ok, because we have a couple of lessons we need to teach before the first walk (rationale for walking while learning, rules for the walks, etc.), and we can't walk off campus until we get all our permission slips back anyway. If the all goes well, and it isn't too cool, we will have our first walk on Thursday! I can't wait!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Five for Saturday (10/19/2013)

I had all intentions of posting yesterday, but it just didn't happen. Little guy decided to wake up at 3am Friday morning, and didn't go back to sleep until 4:30. By that point, I was too awake to go back to sleep. It was a long day to say the least, and last night, it was all I could do to stay awake until his bedtime. Hubs and I were both asleep on the couch by 8:30.

Anyway, without further ado, here's my Saturday version of Doodlebugs' Five for Friday.

I popped in Wednesday to let you know that our Walking Classroom kit had arrived. Well, my teammate found out on Thursday that she's getting a set too! We are so excited about getting to start this adventure together, and it makes us both more comfortable walking off school property around the kids' neighborhood since there will be two adults instead of just one. My to-do list this weekend includes getting a pair of comfy shoes to keep at school for those days that I wear heels and we walk. We're going to introduce the program on Monday and hopefully start walking next week (as soon as her kit arrives)!

We got a new assistant principal this week. Having a new administrator in the building is always an uncertain time, but so far, so good! She's popped in a few times to get to know all of us and to see what's going on in our classes.
This was a short week for us, and I had something I really wanted to get done in Language Arts, so we skipped out on mentor sentences. Boy, was I unpopular for that decision! I had no idea after just one week, that my students would be so attached to them! Needless to say, we are back to doing a mentor sentence every week starting on Monday! I've never seen them so excited about ANYTHING in Language Arts before! If you're not already using them, Jivey's Mentor Sentence Units are AMAZING! (Eek! When I went to TPT to grab the link for you, I saw she has an American Revolution Mentor Sentence set too! These will be perfect when we get there in Social Studies in a month or so!)

In science, we worked on our scientific inquiry skills this week. After all the notes and discussions, we did a "guess the mystery item" activity. I passed out 5 boxes, each with a different item inside. Students had to "do" four different things with each box in order to try and determine what was inside. They lifted it to feel the weight, shook it and listened and felt how the item moved, smelled it, and more. They were so creative with how they tried to figure it out, and showed some really good critical thinking skills. I had them asking me all kinds of random questions, like "do you have a cat?" to try and figure out what kinds of items I might have had at home to put in the boxes. It was so much fun, and I HATE HATE HATE that I didn't take any pictures to share with  you!

On Wednesday, we had a parent meeting to explain the concept of our Flipped Classroom, and to tell parents how it's going to work in our classes. (We kind of already started flipping, but we wanted to save the parent meeting until we had figured a few things out!) It went really well, and overall, there was a lot of parent support. If you're flipping and want to see the PowerPoint we used or the letter we sent home to the families who didn't attend the meeting, I'm happy to share them! Just leave a comment, and make sure you're not a no-reply blogger.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

They're Here!!!

I was so excited when our school secretary called my room this afternoon to let me know UPS had delivered a box from The Walking Classroom for us! I

 had told my class yesterday that we were going to be getting a very special donation, but I didn't tell them what it was. I let them ask me yes/no questions when we had a little downtime, and it really got them interested and excited. So when we opened the boxes together today, they were thrilled! 

We talked a little about how nice it would be to get outside of the classroom for a bit and still be learning. They can't wait to take our first walk!

Sadly, it is going to be raining here for the next several days. I really want our first walk to be outside, so we will probably have to wait until next week to actually get started.

A big thank you goes to Lora from the walking classroom and to the Kenan CharitableTrust for their generous donation!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Congrats to TpT Flash Sale!

TPT reached 100,000 Facebook followers today, and to celebrate, they're throwing a sale! They are offering 10% off all weekend with promo code FB100K at checkout.

I'll be joining in the party by putting my entire store on sale for 10% off as well! You don't have to do anything to get my discount, but be sure you enter the promo code to get the extra 10% from TPT!

Click the picture to visit my store!

Time to go empty my wishlist!

Guess what my class is getting?!?

I am SO EXCITED, I almost posted twice in one day!! But with a little self control, I managed to wait until this morning. My class was selected for a grant from The Walking Classroom!!!

After reading about it on one of your blogs (I can't remember whose), I decided to apply for a donated set of WalkKits. Yesterday afternoon, I got an email from Laura, the founder, that our project had been funded! They will ship on Monday, and we should be able to start walking next week!

In case you aren't familiar with the program, here's the rundown: The idea is to get your class moving, walking a regular route around your school (inside or out), while they are listening to educational podcasts. Students reap health and educational benefits!

The Walking Classroom program consists of mp3 players for each student that come pre-loaded with educational content. The content is aligned with Common Core standards for 5th grade ELA, but also includes some Social Studies and Science topics. Each podcast also includes a short message about health and wellness.

They're pretty pricey ($3000 for a class set of 30 w/ a teacher's guide), but there's an option on the site to apply for a donated set. When you receive donated WalkKits, you are required to do a little work for them, but I think it's totally worth it! Your class has to write thank you letters to the benefactor (which they need to learn to do anyway), I have to submit photos and updates twice a month to their forum. No big deal if you ask me!

I can't wait for our set to arrive so we can get started walking! I'm linking up with Joanne's Spark Student Motivation Saturday, because I know they will be so motivated to get walking and to listen intently once we get these!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five for Friday

So, I swore I wouldn't let it happen, but it has. I haven't posted in two weeks! Between grad school and school school, it has been super busy! I did want to take time to link up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday, though. I took the time I had off this week to get a little ahead in grad school, work on a couple of TPT products, and hang with my favorite little man. 
I am SO excited about my new Duck Dynasty themed math workshop board! I can't wait to get back to school and put it up! My class is crazy about the show, so I'm hoping this gets them excited about math too.

I made these 7 Habits posters specifically for upper elementary grades this past summer. The feedback has been great! Apparently I wasn't the only one who wanted some "not too babyish, not too grown" posters for my big kids! After a couple of buyers left feedback about having trouble reading them, I decided to change the backgrounds a little to make them easier to read. 

My teammate and I both ordered custom minis from Teaching in the Tongass, and boy, is she FAST! She sent my mini within a few hours of me sending her the pic. I will mostly be using her on the site where we post our flipped math videos, but I wanted to show her off here too! Isn't she adorable?! 

I am so frustrated with PowerPoint right now! My teammate and I made 3 flipped math videos last Friday during our work day. Then PowerPoint started going to a plain white screen with a big red x when I wrote on the screen with the Smart Board markers. It's kind of like the x that shows up in place of missing pictures, but it covers the entire screen. I'll see If I can get it to do it again and post a pic later. Anyone have a clue what's going on or how to fix it?

After 18 months of having an empty dining room, hubs and I are finally buying a dining table! (Long story boy showed up early, a week after we moved in, then hubs deployed, then there was all this furlough and gov't shutdown mess.) Anyway, furniture shopping is always a pain because we never agree. I've narrowed it down to the first 2, but he's still holding out for the 3rd one. (Don't you love the fall decor they have out!)

Head over to Doodle Bugs to link up or to see what everyone else has been up to this week!