November 7, 2014

Five for Friday

Click the link above to link up, too!

This week was just one of those weeks.  Both of my kids went through their rounds of the yucky stomach bug going around, so around midnight Monday, my turn came.  Thank God for technology and awesome colleagues who helped get my room ready while I puked my guts up.  

Tuesday was Election Day, and in our district, we use that day as a PD day for all staff.  This year, we broke into cohorts and rotated to various sessions on priority standards, nonfiction text vs. informational text, writing essential questions, and the SAMR model.  I led a session for our K-12 teachers on priority standards along with three other teachers and our superintendents.  In the afternoon, we broke into grade levels to focus on making a game plan to move away from textbooks (YAY).  

It was just a really crazy week.  I am glad to see Friday.

Need a resource for Veteran's Day in your classroom?  Check out my math and literacy station pack with a patriotic theme!  It's 111 pages of awesome activities!

I was honored once again to be a featured blogger for GoNoodle!  This post contains 7 hacks to make your time with GoNoodle awesome.  Check it out here.

We are getting prepared for a big digital project... Our Thankful Project!  Our first step is to learn a new digital tool, iMovie.  Seriously, folks.  If you have iPads in your classroom, iMovie is a must-have app.  It is so user friendly.  On Thursday, the kids learned how to insert media, delete media, and add text.  Next week, we will learn how to add voice overs, and then we will begin creating our iMovies of things we are thankful to have in our lives.  It always amazes me when I teach kindergarteners a new digital tool.  Typically, they fly through it!  Yet another reason to advocate for the use of technology with youngsters. :)  I am excited to see how well they do!

Need a Thanksgiving resource?  Look no further!  I am so excited to be doing our Thankful Feathers on Wednesday with the kids.  

Basically, each kid will take home five feathers printed on colored construction paper.  There, they will draw or add pictures of things they are thankful for.  When they bring the feathers back to school, we will make it into a turkey using the feathers!  I always put this craft on my bulletin board, but I seriously have ZERO pictures of it up!  I can't believe I didn't take pictures of it last year! 

Anyway, click below to check out the resource for yourself!

November 2, 2014


I'm linking up with Farley for November's Currently!

Where did you go, October???

No joke, October was awesome.  Busy, but awesome.

November ushers in my favorite time of the year.  I love everything about the holiday season.  Thanksgiving is all about family.  I love to cook, so I am always in charge of our big family get together's turkey.  The smells in my house are out of this world when the bird is in the oven!  

Then there's Black Friday.  Shopping is my addiction, so it's the most amazing day.  I get together with some of my best girlfriends, we load up in a van, and shop until we literally drop.  

That all leads up to Christmas.  Oh, Christmas.  Seriously, favorite time of the year.  My favorite Christmas tradition in our home is our advent devotion, A Meaningful Christmas.  

23 of my favorite friends and I are participating this year, and we will do our big ornament swap right before Thanksgiving.  This will be my second time to go through the process, so I am excited to host this year!

Anyway... Here goes my Currently.

Listening:  It's been a long weekend!  My little guy started barfing while out trick-or-treating on Friday, so we are all so tired from that.  My daughter stayed with Grandma last night to stay away from the sickness, so she partied all night!  Right now, I am winding down while watching some Food Network while she snoozes next to me. :)

Loving:  My family and I had a big Sunday dinner today to celebrate my grandparent's anniversary and my aunt's birthday.  I love getting to spend time with my extended family and feel very blessed to still have all of my sweet grandparents.

Thinking:  Although we don't have school on Tuesday due to Election Day, our staff still meets for some good old PD.  I am presenting with our superintendents on priority standards, so I am a little nervous about that!  I'm also finishing up some Veteran's Day things for the upcoming weeks, which is wonderful, but a lot of work!

Wanting:  Is it just me, or is this year flying by?  It seems as if it's going even faster than usual.  My little guy is not only in kindergarten this year, but he's in my class.  It's gone great (that's always the first question everyone has), but I am trying to absorb every memory we are making this year.  I want time to slow down!

Needing:  Am I the only one who stresses about everything???  Some say their plates are full.  I have a complete smorgasbord on my hands.  I sometimes don't know how I make it all work.  I need to rely on the fact that God's got this, so there's no need to worry. :)

Reading:  I'm re-reading Teach Like A Pirate right now.  I love everything about this book.  When I'm feeling the need to be rejuvenated about teaching, I pull it out.  It's a great, fast read, so if you haven't read it yet, go get it now!

November 1, 2014

Five for Friday (Saturday Edition)

Ahh, November.  My favorite month may have come and gone, but I love what November brings.  Holidays, family time, fun classroom experiences...  Great stuff.

I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  

The fact that it's Saturday pretty much sums up how this month went:  Busy, busy, busy.  

Did I say busy?  Field trips with my classroom and my daughter's classroom (my son is in my classroom, so I guess he had a field trip, too), a quick trip to Disney World (Best. Week. Ever.), Parent/Teacher Conferences, our school's Fall Festival (I'm PTO president this year, which is a full time job in and of itself), my daughter's Fall Festival, both babies having the sickies... Not to mention the day to day responsibilities of being a wife, mom, teacher, friend...  I loved October, but November is a welcome sight.

Anyway, let's get onto this week, shall we?

This week was all about spiders, bats, and owls!  I'm not big on the scary aspect of Halloween, but I think there are so many academic "scary things" that can be tied into the week to make it full of fun and learning.  

On Monday, we focused on spiders.  That topic could be an entire weeklong unit, but we crammed as much as we could into the day.  We used the fabulous Deanna Jump's Spider Unit for many of our activities.  We also used Krea Hill's All Tangled Up! activity pack for this awesome project we did Monday afternoon.

The kids were given yarn, tape, and a chair, and had to use what we learned about spider webs to create one of their own.  You can see that some turned out amazing!  

The rest of the week was devoted to bats and owls.  These activities are some of my favorites of the year.  We get so deep into science, and I LOVE IT!  Here is a glimpse at our hallway display.

We also dissected owl pellets yesterday.  I always get our pellets from the local raptor center, so they are free, which is awesome.  

The kids are so funny when we dissect owl pellets.  By the time we do them, they know it's owl barf, and I always have one or two who refuse to touch them.  However, this year, all of the kids at least attempted to go through their little chunk of owl regurgitation. :)

I posted this sweet picture on my Facebook and Instagram on Thursday after being particularly frustrated with our math series' math lesson.  To put it nicely, it was horrible.  There are so many more engaging ways to teach these concepts.  So, what did this little trouble maker (me) do?  We threw out the math lesson, grabbed some ten frames and Halloween erasers, and went to town teaching two fewer.  The kids did GREAT.  I think they really got it.  They weren't getting it with what our math series was doing.  

November means Thanksgiving!  Do you still need resources to make your classroom a fun, engaging environment during the holiday season?  Look no further than to my Thanksgiving unit!

Click the picture to check it out for yourself!

It's 20% off until Monday!  Enjoy!