Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tried it Tuesday...Halloween-y fun stuff

It's Tuesday...gettin' closer to Halloween-y.  As you already know, Tuesday is my favorite day because I get to link up with my buddy, Holly, from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday.  I'm hopin' she won't be too upset with me this week since the Saints vs. Bills game did not turn out in her team's favor.  Shh...maybe she'll skip over that part when she's readin' my post! WHO DAT!

On Saturday, I wrote all about the natives bein' restless and what I'm doin' in my class to keep them motivated...check it out here.   This week I planned many Fall/Halloween centers and ditched any assessments that we might normally have.  We will get back to our normal routines after the time has changed, all the sugar is out of their bloodstream, and their brains magically appear back in their heads.  I might need to be checked into the looney bin for this, but we are doin' "must-do" activities instead of structured centers this week.  THEY, the natives, LOVE this because they get to work at their own pace, choose what they want to work on first, and check it off a checklist. I'll keep my comments to myself about how I feel, considerin' it was my bright idea to introduce them to this way of thinkin' last year. 

Tried it Awesomeness #1:  Wearin' crazy Halloween stuff while usin' task cards.
 Found these at the Dollar Tree for $1 a piece.

 Jeanette at Third Grade Galore.  As always, the kids love doin' QR codes, so this was perfect!

Tried it Awesomeness #2: Readin' with flashlights
Readin' their scary stories with flashlights(Joanne's idea and another one of my "MUST go to Dollar Tree" late at night adventures).  Some of them were entirely too scary for me.  I'm wimpy!

More scary story readin'!

 They read so much their lil' eyes bulged out of their eye sockets.

Tried it Awesomeness #3: Character Pumpkin Book Reports
 The Adventures of Captain Underpants
I can't even take it..so stinkin' cute! Check out the underpants!

 The Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz
Don't you just love him?  So fun and creative with metallic paint and a sequined heart.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Splat the Cat What Was That?

Nerds: National Espionage Rescue and Defense Society

SkippyjonJones in Mummy Trouble

Library Mouse


Snow White & the Huntsman

Star in the Forest

Harold and the Purple Crayon
So adorable and teeny tiny...just like Harold!

Be sure to check out the rest of the Tried It Tuesdays on Holly's blog.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays...$1 pumpkins...

As you know...Halloween is right around the bend.  It's the time of the year when the natives get restless. Voices in the classroom get a lil' louder, the kids start wigglin' a lil' more and for some reason they have temporary hearin' and memory loss.  I know you know what I'm talkin' about...

I'm linkin' up with my buddy Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays.  I don't know if you know this about Joanne, but she is an avid Dollar Tree shopper.  I am slowly followin' in her footsteps.  EVERY time I read her blog, she has some phenomenal idea and 9 times out of 10, one of her awesome props comes from the Dollar Tree.  My problem, I read her blog at night, usually right before Dollar Tree closes and I WANT what she has RIGHT then...I'm too impatient to wait.  So, off I speed drive followin' all traffic laws to run around D.T. as fast I can to get my own props and treasures.
On one of my five most recent trips...this week, I picked up some cute, lil' pumpkin cut-outs.  I didn't know what I was goin' to do with them, but they were $1, so I NEEDED them.

As the natives got a lil' more restless with the end of the grading period, the end of our first A.R. goal, and our annual Walk-a-Thon, their desire to get anything accomplished quickly diminished. That's when I had an
"A-ha moment".  I was goin' to use my cute, lil' pumpkins to spark some student motivation.
I wrote a number on each of the pumpkins and laminated them and started hangin' them on the board.  Obviously that piqued some curiosity and the natives started payin' attention to what I was doin' instead of talkin' about what Halloween costume they were goin' to wear to a birthday party last night.

The kids got to move their pumpkin when they were finished with their work.
$1 is all it took.

$1 got this to happen.  
The natives were no longer restless!

Happy Saturday friends!  
Be sure to check out Joanne's blog for more ideas how to spark some motivation in your students.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tried it Tuesday...an app, Halloween writin', skeletons, & soap

It's Tuesday.  I love Tuesday.   Wanna know why?  It's Tried It Tuesday time!  I'm linkin' up with my buddy, Holly, from the Fourth Grade Flipper. One of my sweet students said he looked on my blog for his picture this weekend and didn't see it...even though I took his picture(I added it below).  He said, "I think you only post stuff on Mondays and Tuesdays."  I think he is right.  I'm fearful to log-on to my Bloglovin' account.  I can only imagine how many posts are yet to be read. I feel like a really bad bloggy friend.   I have an excuse though...it's actually a really great one too.  I've been super busy procrastinatin' on writin' my Individual Professional Development Plan.  It's due on Thursday.  Guess what I'm doin'...writin' a post instead.  If that's not highly effective, I don't know what is.

Tried it Awesomess #1: InstaFrame app...it's FREE
Find it in the iTunes store here
I'm not sure why I had never loaded it to my phone before.  It has provided a great deal of entertainment.
My sweet student wore this on Dress Your Way Day.  I agree.

This is my tech genius and blog reader. He loves learnin' anything about anything dealin' with programmin' and writes code for enjoyment.  There is no problem too big or small for him when dealin' with technology.
He introduced me to this super neat-o book today.  He is currently readin' it, but is goin' to let me borrow it when he is finished readin'.

Tried it Awesomeness #2: Halloween Question Cards
I tried my own product that Miss Nelson and I created for our Double Trouble Store.
First, I had my students use the cards with their 3rd grade buddies as discussion cards.  I loved hearin' the responses they were givin' to one another. 
Then, we decided to use the cards in our room for a little writin' assignment.  Each child chose a card and wrote an answer to his/her question.
Would you rather be stuck in a Haunted House with ghosts or zombies?
What do you think your teacher will dress up as for Halloween?

Which monster would you prefer to be for a day? Mummy, zombie, werewolf, ghost, vampire, etc.

If you could only get one candy while trick-or-treating, which kind would you get?

If you could dress someone up in your class for Halloween, which costume would you choose?

Tried it Awesomeness #3: Skeleton Names
Last week I read Christy's blog, Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road and came across her skeleton craftiness post.  She is an ARTIST because mine didn't turn out anything like hers.  Kudos to Christy!
The students really enjoyed the skeleton name craft.  We have a few that "forgot" how to write cursive over the summer, but I was super sweet and helped them write their names.

Tried it Awesomeness #4: Rock Star Lush soap
My sweet roomie brought this back to me from her trip to Boston over Fall Break.  She knows me so well!

Be sure to check out the other Tried it Tuesdays on Holly's blog.  I promise once I get finished writin' this Professional Development Plan, I WILL read the rest of your blogs!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tried It Tuesday...I WONDER if you'll read this...

Since it's Tuesday...I'm linkin' up with my buddy Holly from the Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday.  It's my favorite day of the week for me to share some awesomeness and to read about the awesomeness goin' on in my bloggy buddies' worlds.


My one and ONLY Awesomeness for the day: My new favorite read aloud of all time

Did I give it away in my post title?  That's right....it's WONDER by R.J. Palacio!  Forgive me if you've already read this gem to your students and know all about its AWESOMENESS.  If you have never heard of this or read this...go as quickly as you can and pick up a copy of this.  Scholastic has a hard copy right now for $12.oo or you can use bonus points for purchase.  Amazon is sellin' it for $9.59 or has a Kindle edition for $7.99.    I would definitely suggest this book for 4th or 5th grade and higher.   Even if you teach a lower elementary grade, I suggest readin' this for yourself.  It's THAT GOOD!

I introduced Wonder by showin' this short video clip to my students from R.J. Palacio's website.

I strongly suggest makin' your way through R.J. Palacio's website to give you, the teacher, some background knowledge before you begin readin' the book.  The FAQ section will answer many questions that you might have.
I can't even begin to describe to you how much my students LOVED this book.  They BEGGED me every second of the day to finish readin' this book to them.  We experienced so many emotions while readin' Auggie's story.   We got down to the last four pages and I was bawlin' like a baby.  Wouldn't you know...my classroom phone rang.  One of my sweet babies answered and it was my Assistant Principal needin' a laptop in the front office conference room.  I thought to myself...there are only FOUR pages left...I'll just finish.  Wrong!  I got down to the last FIVE lines and she called again to let me know I wasn't movin' fast enough for her.  Lol!  I was snot-sobbin' cryin' and could barely see through my tears, but I finished without ruinin' the end for my kids.  I will never let my AP live this down.  I have reminded her every time I see her that I had FIVE LINES LEFT!  I'm lucky I can joke with her about this...she does do my evaluation after all!
I must share some blog posts about Wonder, written by The Wild Rumpus.  I showed the videos to my class that she shared and suggested.  WOW!  That's all I can say.  Talk about sparkin' some phenomenal conversations in my room.  I waited though to share these until after we learned what Auggie looked like in his sister Via's point of view.  I don't want to say anymore because I don't want to ruin it for you if you haven't yet discovered the wonder of Wonder.
Every year our Media Specialist sends out a Google Doc to sign up for books that we'd like to see purchased for our school library.  I jumped on that email so fast and asked for her to please order at least one copy for each 5th grade teacher and if at all possible, a class set for check out.  I WILL be readin' this book EVERY year.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Made It...Halloween Style...

Welcome to Monday Made It...Halloween Style!
I'm linkin' up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.

I have always loved Halloween and I'm excited to share some craftiness I've made to get in the spirit.

I got this lil' pumpkin at Hobby Lobby for 40% off.

I used glass seed beads, sequins, sequin pins, and glue to decorate.
I have blogged about the whole process, step by step, here for anyone that wants to know everything you need to make these. This worked perfectly for my plan to hang in my pajamas and watch Netflix.

Finished pumpkin

Isn't it sparkly and festive?

Can you guess what this one is goin' to be?
I cut a styrofoam ball in half to get this one started and used the same supplies from here.

Finished spider

Isn't he cute and sparkly too?

I can't decide which one I like better!

I saw this idea on Aylin and Amanda's blog, Learning to the Core, and immediately fell in love. 

I'm goin' to have my 5th graders decorate these to give their Kindergarten friends for readin'.
I do boo-lieve they will really like these.

I also made editable Halloween Labels that are in my TpT store.  Miss Nelson and I made Halloween Question Cards to spark student discussion or prompted writing for our Double Trouble TpT store.
Miss Nelson, myself, and our Double Trouble stores are all 20% off on Monday.

Also, Deb @ Crafting Connections is havin' a 1,000 TpT Follower Giveaway.  Be sure to hop over for your chance to win some amazin' prizes from some pretty awesome bloggers. 
I'm so thankful to be a part of this special occasion for Deb.

Brooke @ Whooo's in Second is also havin' a Giveaway. 
 Be sure to head on over to check out her blog, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, and show her some love.

Be sure to check out the super duper Monday Made Its on Tara's blog.
Thank you Tara for hostin'!