Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spirit Week + EOG Prep

Tomorrow begins end of grade testing for us, meaning the last week has been a busy one. My school implemented a school-wide EOG All-Star theme, where all grade levels were involved. K-2 classes were the support system for the 3-5 students, making us banners and cards and such. Here are a few pictures to fill you in. :)

The 4th grade team had matching Team 4 Success shirts that all said "coach" on the back... get it? 4th grade--team FOUR success.. Coach.. EOG all-stars.We wore these shirts each day of the week. We may or may not have washed them. Just sayin'!

Tacky day! Enough said. :)

More from tacky day. We definitely have spirit.

Each morning we had athletic training for about 20-30 minutes. It geared up the "players" for the EOG practice they were about to endure. :)

My favorite part! Today we had a pep rally to celebrate the coming of the EOG's. Fourth grade put together a skit where we showed a very boring version of EOG review, then switched to a fun version, where the kids were all doing the harlem shake in various parts of the school. It was a hit at the pep rally today!

Hat day! 

Some students need a little more push than others.. if working at my desk helps, so be it!

Such a sweet banner a first grade class made for us!

Based on their scores on their EOG endurance passages, students got to move around the bases and hopefully make it to the hall of fame. They worked super hard to make it!

Each student received a student champ's card. They would earn stars for each day they scored 85% or higher. I graded the assessments once, then gave it back to make corrections and earn extra points.

We also had a multiplication war tournament for grades 3-5. Each class played and selected the top 3 winners to complete with the winners from other rooms. Then, the final 2 players competed on our school news station and everyone in the school watched on classroom tvs. 

Tomorrow and Thursday are the big days for us. Say a prayer (or five!)

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Must Have Mondays

This is my first time linking up with Sabra from Teaching with a Touch of Twang for Must have Mondays, but it seems to be right on time! As I posted about recently, my family will be moving to the Destin, Florida area next month and you all know what that means... new house, new furniture, new "stuff" in general. Now, if it were completely up to me, I'd online shop my way into a bazillion dollars worth of debt before I even packed one box. Luckily for me, my husband won't let that happen.:) He makes us go "window shopping" to find the best prices and "backwards plan" as well. It makes complete and total sense, as he ALWAYS finds the best deals, but my goodness it sometimes kills the impatient side of me. Anyway, there are many things I MUST HAVE in the near future, most classroom supplies and some home goods. Let me show you... :)

1. A laminator. Sweet Jesus this thing would be a lift saver... and perhaps I'd actually laminate everything I intended to, to begin with. To be honest, I was in charge of ordering teacher appreciation gifts for a raffle, and definitely ordered this bad boy with plenty of supplies. Did I win? Heck yes I did... however, I was in Florida house shopping on that blessed Friday, and my principal initiated the "must be present to win" rule. I'm not bitter at all. Moving on...

2. A new couch! My sweet Lilly has successfully spilled every type of juice on our current couch, so it's needed!

3. Other home goods...

...a floating desk. I had never heard of this concept until yesterday, but now I'm somewhat amazed by it! What a space saver! Imagine this in a classroom... :)

Enough from what I need in my life... tell me what you want or "need!"

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five for Friday.. Florida, Theme, Tree Branches, Potty Training & a Preview

Uno. Happy Friday, blogging buddies! I've been absent for what... 2 weeks? Man... life has been busy! Last Thursday my husband graduated from Special Forces, meaning we got orders to move to *Florida* next month. With that being said, directly after his graduation we (HE!) drove us to Florida to go house hunting. We found a house we like pretty quickly and are scheduled to close on it in June, if all goes as planned. Let's hope so! LoVe the pool--maybe I won't be so pasty anymore!

Dos--Teaching Theme:

Last week we began studying theme in a variety of texts. Since this is basically the last real "thing" I'll be teaching as far as ELA goes, I figured why create a new bulletin board for it. I simply took down what I previously had and wrote on the bulletin board. The kids had their own versions, which we called their "theme graffiti folders." Sadly, I forgot to take a picture, but imagine a manila folder with lots of colors and themes with explanations written on them! This folder is where they kept their theme study guide, stories and materials for the books they created. In the pictures below you can see one completed book and several of the stories inside. We used familiar stories that we simply re-wrote, determined the theme of, wrote a brief constricted response explaining how we determined the theme, and illustrated. We began by completing a few together, but eventually my students were able to determine the themes on their own. It was interesting to see how many different themes they could come up with for one story and justify. They really loved having a finished product, too!

While learning about theme, I used a resource from Miss Britnee off of TpT. Everything was super organized and easy to follow. That $4 was money well spent! Her pack included a study guide of about 9 (I believe) commonly used themes, practice pages for determining the themes and an assessment. The best part? A week long lesson plan that is also detailed and such a life saver! I don't even know Miss Britnee, but I feel like I would like her. :) The stories you see above were not included in the pack, but could easily be created by copying the stories online! Click on the picture below to score a copy of this awesome resource!

Theme Unit for Upper Grades - Common Core Aligned

Tres: SS... or lack thereof!

As teachers, we know when state testing is near, we have the tendency to push off a few select subjects--such as dearly beloved social studies. For this reason, and the reason of benchmark testing erry-day-of-ma-life, my students completed branches of government in-class projects. I thought they turned out great! For the leaves, students had to tell about the roles and responsibilities of each branch (executive, judicial and legislative). Then on the tree trunks, they had to explain how the three branches worked together.

Quatro: Potty-Training.

It seems to be about that time for Lilly... yay me! So a quick story that I don't think I'll ever forget. Last night I was working on math homework (did I forget to mention I'm taking 3 college classes?) while Lilly was watching Gabba in her bedroom. I walked upstairs every once in a while to check on her, and one particular time I noticed she has her diaper off. As soon as I walked in she announces proudly, "Look mama! Diaper off!" Mmmhmm. Wanna guess what was waiting on the floor for me? Poop. A lovely baby turd just chillin' in the middle of the floor while she is sitting in her chair naked... still watching Gabba like there ISN'T poop on her bedroom floor. Sweet Jesus I'm glad it's almost summer! Ha! 

Cinco: A preview.

I am determined to finish these dang Author's Purpose task cards this weekend! I've been working on them on and off for over a month now and NEED them done so we can practice with them next week! Here's a little glimpse of what they look like--I'm sure I'll be giving a few away, so stay tuned. :)

Be sure to link up for Five for Friday and spread the love! :)


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Monday, May 6, 2013

Shop til ya drop--and, Florida, here we come!

I'm pretty sure I have too much excitement for it to be a Monday. I can't help it, though! There's so many happy things taking place in my life right now, both school-related and life-related! Let me share...

1. My friend Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper has reached 500 followers. I can't even fathom how much excitement she has right now! I saw 50 today and felt the need to eat celebratory chocolate (but resisted!). Be sure to click on the picture and register for the awesome prizes she's giving away!

2. There's a SALE! Both Teachers Pay Teachers AND Teachers Notebook are having sales tomorrow and Wednesday! I'm throwing a 20% sale PLUS the extra TN and TPT are taking off--you don't want to miss it!
Two day sale

3. Teacher's Appreciation week: Sadly, my school is JUST NOW starting the process of getting a parent organization committee together, meaning no super-fantastic all-out appreciation days at school. I am, however, in charge of the committee at school who handles fun festivities such as these. Although we didn't have a large budget by any means, we are doing a little something special each day this week. Today we had lunch in the teacher's lounge, using these cute invitations.

Tomorrow will be donuts... who WOULDN'T be excited about chocolaty-cake goodness?!

4. My husband is graduating on Thursday!! For those of you who have husbands in the military, you know they are often gone... a lot. My husband hasn't been deployed the last year, but he has been in Special Forces training which has taken him away A LOT. He finally graduates on Thursday (pictures to come!), meaning we're soon off to Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida. We're looking into the Crestview area---any blogging buddies around there?! Help a sista outttt!

5. Speaking of shopping... I seriously buy my baby more clothes than I buy myself, as do most moms. Gymboree was having a sale. Well, we'll call is a "sale" because it makes my heart feel a little better. I simply adore the Australian animals and couldn't resist.

Finally, does anyone else feel tested out?! We haven't even taken any state tests yet--those are the last week of May. We are, however, doing benchmark assessments, even though we JUST finished similar assessments, WHILE completing reading assessments. Yes, LOTS of teaching time going on here, folks.. can't ya tell? The picture says it all. 

Enjoy your weeks, my blogging friends. Go eat chocolate, take a nap, shop, get a massage, and do zero chores. It's OUR week--we deserve to do that! :)

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ladies, I need your help!

As the year is coming to an end, so are the manners of my students! This afternoon I completely skipped math and had a "come to Jesus" meeting with my class. The girls have become quite hateful, even going as far to write notes to one another with words I shouldn't type on here! The boys have obviously forgotten the procedures that have been in place since, oh, I don't know, AUGUST, and are driving me bonkers. This afternoon I had to put my super serious/disappointed face on and go over my expectations for them at all parts of the day, and the consequences if they could not seem to follow by these rules. The kids wrote down the rules and procedures again, and then had to sign their papers, stating they agreed to the terms and consequences. They were oddly silent this afternoon, but let's see how tomorrow goes. ;)

On another, more cheerful note, I need your help!! My husband has been gone for a month now with a military school, and I haven't gotten to talk with him once. He has sent 2 letters, but I couldn't respond to them. He finally comes home Saturday, after what seems like an eternity! So--here's my idea: I have written letters to him a couple times a week and put them in envelopes. I would *like* to also have a cute little gift basket filled with things that say I miss you! The first thing that comes to my mind is of course candy-related items, but he is a weird-o who doesn't like too much candy.

I would like something along the lines of the pictures above, only for my husband, and not all candy. The one candy idea I did come up with was, You're the "Riesen" I smile.
Any other ideas, ladies? Anything sweet you've done for your husbands that you'd like to share? Help a sista ouuuut!