Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Elvis and the Underdogs...Tried it Tuesday

I'm pretty sure that Tried it Tuesday
was the only thing I actually had planned
over my Spring Break. 
I like this no routine stuff.
I'd make a fabulous stay-at-home teacher.
I'm linkin' up with one of my BBB's, Holly,

My Tried It Awesomeness #1:
Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee

Who blogged about this book already?
I read so many blogs, but
I can't for the life of me remember who
is responsible for suggestin' this book.
I want to THANK YOU!
This is one of the funniest books I have read to 
the kids in a looooong time.
They snickered so much while I read aloud.
I finished readin' this to them in less than two weeks
AND it has 300 pages.
It's THAT funny!

The author, Jenny Lee, was a writer and producer
for The Disney Channel's show, Shake it Up! for three years.

Have you read Wonder by R.J. Palacio with your class?
If you nodded your head "yes", then
I would suggest pickin' this one up also.
Your kids will thank you!
Never heard of Wonder?
Check out
what my kids did here and here
and then do your kids a favor and
buy Wonder AND Elvis and the Underdogs!.
Then you can thank ME!

Reviews from my kids:
"Elvis and the Underdogs was a fantastic book
that had a lot of changes and emotions." ~Audge

"This book was a LOL(laugh out loud) book with a lot of twists
and turns throughout the story." ~Ava

"The characters were entertaining and
made me want to read
it again." ~Mike

"This was an amazing book.
Elvis was intelligently funny."

"Elvis and the Underdogs was a hilarious book
with a tinge of sadness, but very enjoyable."

The rockstars have spoken...take their word for it
and check out the book.
It's cute!

Tried it Awesomeness #2:
I keep readin' about Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt, so
I needed to try it.  Only problem, I didn't have any chocolate chips.
So...I put in a tablespoon of peanut butter into my vanilla Greek Yogurt
and stirred.  It was yumm-o!
I don't even think I want to try addin' the honey or chocolate chips now.
Does this count as cookin' or bakin'?
If so, I'm a pro in the kitchen now!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Collaboration....Workshop Wednesday

Oh my goodness...only two more days after today until I am free...
and the kids are free from me!
It needs to HURRY UP already...no really...it does.
I'm linkin' up with my super duper awesome friend

Today's Topic: Collaboration
*I'm sorry I don't have pictures...I had to leave
school suddenly this mornin'.
Jerm's dad is in the hospital in Dothan
and I'm passin' time in the waitin' room.
(I'm thankful for free wi-fi)
I'm not a good waiter...so, I am armed with
Macbook, iPad mini, iPhone and
chargers for all of them!

Back to collaboration:
Oh man...this is one of my FAVORITE things
to do and talk about.

You've heard me say a million times that I 
live in a pod settin'.
Several years ago, I was movin' from 1st grade
to 3rd grade.  I did not want to move classrooms
even though I would be next door to a Kindergarten class.
A colleague told me it was inappropriate to have a testin'.
grade next door to a little kid class.
I looked at her like she was CRAZY.  
I think I might have even told her as much.
This made NO sense to me.
Why would someone:
#1: Tell ME what to do?
(I'm bossy...bossy doesn't work on me)
#2: Put boundaries on a class?

I'm not an "inside the box" type of thinker.
I am goin' to push the limits as much as possible.
So...knowin' that...I'm sure you can imagine
what my brain was doin' thinkin' about bein' a
3rd grade teacher next door to a K class.
*We could have readin' buddies. (Win-win for both groups)
*We could be fire drill buddies. (Big kids wouldn't have time
to talk because they would be worryin' about lil' buddy)
*My kids could run stations for K as a reward. (Teaches
responsibility and supports positive behavior)
*K kids could have someone to look up to (role-models)

I didn't get my way though and I had to divorce my pod
and move to another pod.  
I was NOT happy.
Luckily, my best friend was in the divorce with me 
and we actually got to move
together to a new pod. 
We liked our old home...it was a hard move.
Since then...our grade levels have changed a few times.
The bestie went back to little kids 
and I went to even bigger kids.
We have proven EVERYONE wrong.
You absolutely CAN have big kids next door to little kids.
We had a 1st and 5th grade class with the accordion wall open
a majority of the time.  
The 1st graders and 5th graders fell in LOVE with one another.
Everyone snot-sobbed when the big kids graduated 5th 
grade and moved on to middle school.
The kids learned so much from one another
and more importantly...we were able to model
for them all the time what it was like to work with a friend.
As they say...two heads are better than one.

Here's my chance to brag on someone else...they
aren't bloggers and they haven't made products,
but they have made a difference...in me!
I would not be the teacher I am today without
my bestie and podmates.
We are all different.  
That's the beauty of it.
We can share an idea and they can piggy-back,
branch off of it, or shoot it down altogether.
We think together, we discuss, we collaborate.
Collaboration helps creativity.
I'm convinced.

Some of the best teachin' moments I have had, have occured
through collaboration.
Collaboration with teachers, collaboration with classes,
collaboration with students, and collaboration with parents.

My kids sit at tables...yep, even in 5th grade.

Because we are 21st Century Learners
(my bestie wrote this list for our class websites
and posted them for us)

*Students are workin' in teams
*Workin' collaboratively to realize products created by a team
often can be better than those made independently
*Simulatin' today's workplace with a balance of
teamwork and self-reliance
*By workin' together, students are contributin' members
of a group yet recognize their own individual
strengths and talents
*Solvin' problems by participatin' in group discussions
respectfully, acknowledgin' others and their thoughts
and comments
*Sharin' a workspace to promote teamwork, problem solvin',
and social skill development
*Learnin' to use technology and resource skills together
to become critical thinkers and learners

Pretty much the only time kids aren't collaboratin' in my room...
durin' testin' and silent readin'

That's it.
I'm a believer of collaboration.
I don't think anyone could ever get me to shift my thoughts on this.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tried It....Tunes Tuesday...Lovin' It...

Tuesday...four days until Spring Break.
I'll spare you the hours and minutes until then.

I'm linkin' up for three different linky parties.
1. Tried it Tuesday with my sweet friend Holly from
Fourth Grade Flipper.
2. Tunes Tuesday with my awesome friend Nick
from Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason.
3. Lovin' It & Over It with my fantabulous friend
Ali from Teaching (Powered by Caffeine).

Am I missin' any other link-ups?

This month's Tunes Tuesday topic is: Science.
How have you used music to teach Science?

I blame my newest Science obsession on Chelsea
Chelsea wrote this blog post and I KNEW
I had to do the same thing in my class
with my rockstars.

I started by adding The Periodic Table of Elements
in words and pictures to our 
Science Edmodo library.
(My kids reminded me they had their very own Periodic Table in their agendas)
I knew I keep these kids around
for a reason.
Little geniuses!

Then, I introduced this video from Study Jams-Periodic Table.
For some reason it was givin' me a fit this week when I was watchin'.  I hope it works for you.

Then, we used an idea from Sue's Science for Kids blog
to write our name in Elements.
Some of the letters don't have an element, so the kids typed
in their name and it generated a fake element.
That was fine with me, as long as they knew it was fake.

Finally...we get to the part about tunes in Science.
I shared two songs with my kiddos.
The first one is Tom Lehrer's "The Elements".
It's animated with the names of the elements.
I have found myself watchin' this several times and
singin' along.  Where was this video when I was
in Chemistry in high school?

The second video is "Meet the Elements" by They Might Be Giants.
It is catchy and easy to understand.

Grab a set of the lyrics here!

To wrap all of this up,
we have taken advantage of our Technology Lab
to start workin' on our
America's Most Wanted: Element Posters.
It's been nice to have a lil' break from test prep!
I've already heard lots of "Did you know....?"

Chelsea took her projects a step further and made
a 3D model of an atom using the same element.
If you are super duper sweet, you can leave
Chelsea some love on her blog and she might
even send you the rubric!

I also have a Symbaloo board that we use with several links
that also go into more depth of the elements.
(Let me know if you use it and want somethin' added, or if you
have a great resource that I most certainly need in my life.)

Here is a link to more of my Symbaloo boards
(appropriate for upper elementary-early middle).

Last, but definitely not least....

I got a new bed.
I'm officially in LOVE.
It is a king size throne fittin' for this
sleepin' beauty queen.
I most definitely feel like royalty in my new bed.
Who has some Bon Bons I can have?
I'm already thinkin' about all the wonderous
naps I will be takin' in this thing (yes, I'm typin' from it).
I might never go to work again and become
a professional pajama wearer.

I had to get a dehumidifier for my mini castle
aka the bedroom.
I live on the water...salt water.
Water plus cold air and moisture equals mildew
by the slidin' glass door.
I don't do mildew, mold, dust, or dust mites.
Just ask my allergist.
So...I needed somethin' to get rid of
all the humidity in my room.
The dehumidifier is supposed to run for 24 hours
and then go to a normal settin' after.
Not MY dehumidifier...
it has been runnin' straight for five days now.
I have emptied it at least three times each day.
That's...well...a lot.
Every time I empty it I think, "Surely, this will be
the last bucket of water for a while."
Maybe day six will be the lucky number.
Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

Happy Tuesday, friends!
If anyone needs me...I'm sure you know where I'll be...
in my new bed...after school.
Don't forget to visit my friends and leave them some lovin'!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gettin' ready for Easter...Monday Made It...

Woot Woot...Monday Made It time!
I'm linkin' up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics.
Thanks, Tara!

I made a trip to Dollar Tree to get some
supplies for behavior as we get closer to Spring Break,
our state testing, and Easter.

I needed something to keep the kids excited and on track.

 I wouldn't suggest buyin' this sparkly grass.  
 It will NOT come off of your hands once you touch the grass.
I almost had a freak-out session because no matter how
hard I tried...it wouldn't get OFF me.
That was probably the most stressful five minutes of my life
that I have experienced in a long time.
I seriously almost cried because of this sparkly grass.
Imagine if I would've taken it in the classroom.

 I bought clear litte bowls to put on each table in my room.
No way was I attemptin' the grass...EVER AGAIN.
I have six tables.
Students work together to earn eggs for positive actions.

I took an old flower vase that I had under 
my sink to store the sparkly eggs.
Table groups can decide on which color they want 
to add to their bowls.
Keep one color, mix it up...their choice.

Tables that earn the most eggs at the end of the day
may choose from a large egg to earn a reward.
I had my kids help come up with the rewards.

 They got pretty creative with their choices.

They came up with 16 different ideas.
I put the Easter Rewards/Labels in my TpT store if anyone 
would like these.
They will be on sale until Friday.
There are also blank, editable ones if you want to make your own.

I bought these too...just because they were the same color
as my table groups, but I can't for the life of me
think of what I want to use them for.
Any ideas? 
Pointers?  Toothpicks?
Magic wands?  
Anyone?  Anyone?

You can find these in our Double Trouble TpT store.
These will also be on sale until Friday.
used the Spring Question Cards 
in her classroom here.
These are fun, quick instacards that can be used for
writin' or to spark discussions.

I also made a sequined Easter egg to start gettin'
ready for Easter.
I can't decide if havin' this many sequins to choose from
is super awesome or just plain sad.
I sure do love the sparkle!

I gave this one away to my sweet lil' friend, Morgan.
She loved it!
Want to learn how to make one?
Read here and here.

Be sure to head over to one of my other BBB,
 Jivey's blog at Ideas by Jivey
to enter her Feelin' Lucky?
Follower Appreciation & Birthday Giveaway.
This will end on Monday, March 17th at midnight.

Happy almost Monday, friends!
Be sure to check out the rest of the 
Monday Made Its and leave some love!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Marshmallows + water = "GET ME!"

It's Saturday...time to link up with 
one of my BBB's, Joanne,
Spark Student Motivation Saturday.

I have been bustin' at the seams to share this week's
Spark Student Motivation idea...

Wait for it...

Are you still waitin'?

I present to you...


 Jerm was sweet enough to get me this at Bass Pro last week.
It's pink and perfect!

 He even bought me ammo for my new motivational toy.

Kids WILL work for marshmallows.
(I should probably get t-shirts made with this slogan)
Some of them will even follow the 5 second rule once one
goes flyin' through the air and hits the ground.
Rules are rules.

Want work completed...neatly?  Offer marshmallows.
Want questions answered...correctly?  Offer marshmallows.
Want directions followed...all of them?  Offer marshmallows.
Want kids riled up and enthusiastic...always?  Offer marshmallows.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

I made them work for it...

Unfortunately, I had to perform a lil' surgery at one point.
We had a casualty.
The marshmallow went in sideways.
Never fear...it was still edible.

I forgot to mention it makes a really awesome noise
and will pop marshmallows out really fast...
even several at a time.

Oh...AND the marshmallows will soar up to
30 FEET...that's far!

Did the marshmallow shooter not convince you?

Don't worry....

I've got one more thing.

The Water Shooter.

You can find this bad boy in a variety of colors
at the Dollar Tree for $1.
(I'm tryin' to be a phenomenal D.T. shopper
like Joanne!)
I found this by mistake.
I happened to be in the store lookin' for the thing of all things...
when lo and behold....some Spring Breakers (I live in the Spring
Break capital of the world...no really...I do) walked in.
They were fightin' over the box and the colors
(does this surprise anyone?),
so I had a thought...if college kids thought this
was cool...it must definitely be the "it" thing to buy.
I waited around the corner impatiently patiently
for them to get out of the way and scooped one up.
Don't think I didn't pick every single one up and
admire the pretty colors too!
They made that store Forever 21 after me.
Yes...I'll admit I'm immature for my age.

Back to the important stuff...
The second the kids saw me puttin' water in this thing,
they KNEW what was up.
All I heard was "GET ME!"

So, I did what any intelligent human bein' would do...
I GOT them!

Some used others for human shields.
The others willingly let this occur.

Some were over it and just wanted to work...without me
lurkin' around the bend with my new toy.

Some just laughed at me.
I mean...how dare I disturb their math time?

One friend wished he would have never
said, "You didn't get me the first time...I wanted
you to get me!"

So...again...what did I do?
I got him!

He didn't mind that I got water on his shirt, but he
was NOT happy when I got water on his math papers.
He was a good sport about cleanin' it up though...of course,
after givin' me my very own trademark "evil eye".

All in all...
we all got in some good chuckles.
I guess I'll save my water toy for outdoors...
since it's about to get hot enough in Florida that we will
need the cool refresher.
I'll leave my poor babies alone durin' math time!
I promise.

The marshmallow shooter is another story though...
that thing is sittin' right on my desk for
all the perfect opportunities to be used.
You would think I was passin' out
billion dollar winnin' lottery tickets
by the way they squeal when they
see that thing appear.
It's a keeper!

If you get one of these,
you might want to apologize to your neighbors
ahead of time if you live in a pod settin' like I do.

Before I wish you a Happy Saturday...
be sure to head over to one of my other BBB,
 Jivey's blog at Ideas by Jivey
to enter her Feelin' Lucky?
Follower Appreciation & Birthday Giveaway.
This will end on Monday, March 17th at midnight.

Okay...it's time now...
Happy Saturday, friends!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tried it Tuesday...Whoooo is ready for St. Patrick's Day?

Woot Woot...Tried It Tuesday time
with one of my BBB's, Holly, from Fourth Grade Flipper.


I'm also linkin' up with Jenny from Suntans and Lesson Plans

*Warnin'...lots of green pictures.

Gettin' ready for St. Patrick's Day...
Tried It Awesomeness #1: Shamrock Math
I bought these lil' Cupcake picks at Hobby Lobby for 30% off.

 We are reviewin' equations in my class, so I wrote on all of the shamrocks.

 Students partnered up.
One person held an equation shamrock 
while the other person solved.
The correct answers are on the back.

 We had 11 students on one side facin' the other 11 students.
As students solved the equation appropriately, their partner would stand up.
We made a it into a lil' race.

 We then switched sides and kept passin' the shamrocks for 
everyone to get a chance to solve a few equations.

My sweet AP walked in while we were doin' this
and enjoyed watchin' the kiddos in action.

 I then placed the shamrocks in a math center and used 
Starburst to hold them in place.
I wanted to do Skittles to "taste the rainbow", but
I didn't think Skittles would hold the shamrocks.
I'm no genius...just makin' an educated guess.

 The boys and girls got to use different rainbow colored pens to
solve the equations.
Of course they then got to eat the treat.
I'm pretty sure that was their favorite part.

Tried it Awesomeness #2: Art for Kids
Have you checked out Rob Jensen's website, Art for Kids!?
Rob and his children create videos and tutorials for art
that kids love!  
I have blogged about this before here for a Tried it Tuesday,
but I felt like I needed to bring it up again...because I LOVE

Since St. Patrick's Day is quickly approachin', we choose 

I'm not sure you're ready for the cuteness...

Jumpy the Leprechaun                                 Skittles the Leprechaun    

Lucky the Leprechaun

MoMo the Leprechaun                          Billy Joe Bob the Leprechaun

Rosie the Leprechaun

Winky the Leprechaun                           Jiggy the Leprechaun

Triangle the Leprechaun

Pinky the Leprechaun                             Lucky the Unlucky Leprechaun

Teeny the Leprechaun

Mickey the Leprechaun                                Cosmos the Leprechaun

Trouble the Leprechaun

Clover the Leprechaun                        Patrick the Leprechaun

Gracie the Leprechaun

Abby the Leprechaun                          Sneaky the Leprechaun

Skippy the Leprechaun

Tried it Awesomeness #3: Question Cards
To continue on with the St. Patrick's Day theme, Miss Nelson
and I made some Spring Question cards that include
St. Patrick's Day, Spring, Easter, and April Fool's Day
questions.  We will have these on sale for you until Friday.
Want to see samples of the other holidays?
Check them out here.
They are located in the middle of the post.
St. Patrick's Day questions from Spring Question Cards

Also, have you checked out my sweet friend, Erin's
Follower Appreciation Week & 
Blog Birthday Giveaway?
Be sure to head over there every.single.day from
March 8th through March 14th.
She has some pure awesomeness goin' on 
over at her blog!

Happy Tuesday, friends.