Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I'm over here all tryin' Command + V and nothin' happens...

My name is Alison Rose
I'm an Apple-holic.
It's been 4 1/2 days since my last inter-Mac-tion.
Sad face.

I took my Mac into the Apple Store because I kept gettin' a black screen
sometimes when I typed.  If I clicked a button it would go away.
It really was just a nuisance more than anything.
I don't have an Apple Store where I live, so I thought it would be smart to 
take advantage while I'm here in CA.
I went in one night last week and it was slammed...imagine that.
I made an appointment with the Genius Bar for the followin' day.
They told me I would have to leave it there for 3-5 days.
Sad face.

I tried pitchin' a fit, but they weren't havin' it.
I told them I was on vacation.
That I had stuff to do.
That this baby is less than two months old...it's a newborn.
That there are 5th grade students in Florida that will need to use it on Jan. 6th.
Nope...they made me leave it there.
I did fine until yesterday and then the shakes started to set in.
I missed the keyboard.
The iPad mini and my iPhone just weren't cuttin' it.
I ventured upstairs to the land of the dinosaurs.
I'm over here all tryin' to hit Command + V on a desktop P.C....
and nothin' happens.
It's official...I'm an Apple-holic.
Sad face.

Today I got the phone call I had been waitin' for.
4 and one half days later.
They have to send it off to some "place"...I really don't know where because
there was steam comin' out of my ears.
It will be another 5-7 days from today.
I'll spare you all the bad things I want to say right now.
Sad face.

I have gone out and purchased two backpacks because mine busted on the way here.
Read about that here.
I don't need to worry about a backpack now because
I won't be carryin' my baby home with me. 
Sad face.

I told my parents I should just return both and really spend some quality time 
searchin' for the perfect fit for me.
My mom doesn't think I'll find a better deal. 
I got one on sale for $39.
My dad says, I definitely won't get a better deal 
because I spent $0. 
Funny guy.
Thank you 'rents for the backpack.

I'm sure I could find somethin' to occupy my time with.
Like takin' down this monster.
But really?  This looks way more fun.

I was goin' to write some resolutions until Jerm posted this on FB this mornin.
Another funny guy.

I did use up all the patience I had stored back up since break started to complete this.

So cute...not easy to make on a regular PC.
I miss the Mac.
Sad face.

In other news...I'm bein' fed extremely well. 
I posted these on Instagram already, but I wanted to share again.
My mommy makes beautimous breakfasts and snacks.

That is all. 
Thanks for listenin' to me whine and dealin' with my sad faces.

Happy New Year my friends.
I hope 2014 is filled with tons of awesomeness for you!

Friday, December 27, 2013

I'm indecisive...I need your help...please.

I hope everyone is enjoyin' their break.
I need help...PLEASE!

My backpack broke on the way to CA.
This is not a good thing for me since I will be travelin' back home next Friday via plane.
I found something that I thought might work with lots of pockets, 
but there is no paddin' for the laptop.  
This makes me nervous. 
 I haven't had a Jansport since high school, but all the pockets were callin' my name.

I really like the pockets inside the pocket.

 So many to choose from...just so sad it doesn't have ANY paddin'...none at all. 
Sad face.  

Do any of you have any suggestions for somethin' that isn't too terribly expensive,
looks cute, and is comfortable for travel and long walks in airports?
I want one of everything and am too indecisive.

All the items that must fit in my backpack:
Macbook Air 13"
iPad mini
iPhone 5
my squishy pillow(it can be squeezed to fit in small places)
my jacket
electronics chargers
Diet Coke bottle
chapstick and contacts case

I also like to shove the backpack under the seat in front of me instead of usin' an overhead bin.
I'm not picky at all am I?

Any and all suggestions or links are welcome. 
Thank you...XOXO!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Let them!!!...Spark Student Motivation Saturdays...

Happy Saturday!  
I'm linkin' up with my sweet, sweet buddy, Joanne, at Head Over Heels for Teaching

It's break time. (YAY!)
Yesterday was an Early Release Day.
After school, I took a shower and went to the airport.
After two different flight delays, I finally made it to CA...
after bein' awake for 22 hours.
Makes you tired just readin' that doesn't it?...
especially thinkin' about how much teachers accomplish the week before break!
Want to know what I do to cut down on some of my responsibilities 
and spark a little motivation in my students?
I ask my students for help.  
Even though I have a little bit of an issue with control,  
I've learned to let go just a little.
It took me a while, but I finally realized that life will go on...
even if something is not perfect.
Enter the laminator.
Let's face it.  Who has time to sit in front of that thing?
Not me...not you!
We all have "big kids" at our school that are chompin' at the bit to help.
Let them! 
Teach them the right way to do it.
Tell them and show them.
Let them go.

I draw the line at lettin' them cut out the pieces though.  
That's just easier for me to organize and do myself.

If you involve the students in their learnin', it will make it more 
meaningful for them.  They will realize the time and effort you put 
into plannin', creatin' or downloadin' from TpT, and printin' games/task cards/activities.
It WILL spark motivation for 
them to work harder and smarter. 
I have watched it happen.

Yes, there is a possibility they will waste a laminatin' sheet.
Yes, there is a possibility they will put it in the wrong way.
Yes, all these things could happen to YOU too.
Life's too short to sweat the small stuff.
Try it...it might surprise you!

*Disclaimer: These are personal laminatin' machines that
my pod besties and I have in our pod.
As Melissa mentioned in her comment below...
I am not allowed to touch my school laminator either.

Happy Saturday! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Craftiness...Tried it Tuesday...

I have been really excited to share today's post for Tried it Tuesday 
with my sweet buddy, Holly, at Fourth Grade Flipper.
I have two awesomeness Tried It's to share that you don't want to miss.
There are lots of pictures, but I promise it will be worth it.

I found this really cute Christmas Elf Glyph on TpT for F-R-E-E.
This was a perfect math activity for this time of year and a 
great review for order of operations, exponents, and prime & composite numbers.

Half of the elves...

and the other half.

bright and vivid...

super cute...

love all the details...

Awesomeness #2: Christmas Crafts
Every year my bestie, AC, and I ask our parents for a donation for crafts to make with the students in our class...42 total.  We have found that it works perfectly if we go out and purchase all of the materials, get them organized, and then ask parent volunteers to come in and help us with these crafts.  We place the students in stations with a picture sample and checklists for volunteers to check off each students' name as they complete the craft.  This year we had FOURTEEN crafts.  We set aside two hours for two days to complete all these wonderful crafts.  
Yes, it's loud.  Yes, it's messy.
Yes, we want to pull our hair out.
No, we wouldn't change it for anything in the world.
The kids L-O-V-E doin' these crafts and their parents treasure them.
Since we both are loopin' teachers, we have to change our crafts EVERY year.
Yes, you read that right.
Thank you to Pinterest for helpin' us make cute crafts the past few years.
I am includin' a few of the crafts and the original pin where we got the inspiration from.
We got some awesome deals at our local craft stores.

Original pin: Snowman Light
We bought a box of 16 lights at Hobby Lobby for $9.99 and then used a 40% off coupon.
We bought a box of 24 lights at Michael's for $19.99 and then used a 50% off coupon. 
We bought a pack of 3 lights at Walmart for less than $2.00.  
I have heard they have a box of 24 at Sam's for $13.99, but didn't purchase any there.
My total was 43 lights for $18...YES!
We used glitter black foam for the hat, Sharpie for the eyes and mouth, ribbon for the scarf and hanger.
Ribbon was also 50% off at Hobby Lobby.

Original pin: Santa letter
We bought wooden letters, 2 in a pack for $1.47 and 30% off of wood.
Red, and black acrylic paint for $2.99 a bottle.
Glitter red, white, and gold foam.
White ribbon for 50% off.

Original pin: Melted Snowman
Glass ornaments: 12 in a pack for $7.99 at Hobby Lobby.  
These are in the back by glass and are 50% off.
Scarf ribbon for 50% off.
Fake snow at Dollar Tree.
Googly eyes.
Glitter black foam for arms and glitter orange foam for the nose.

Original pin: Stick snowman
This whole craft was from left over materials that we purchased for the other crafts.

Original pin: Ceramic ornaments
These didn't turn out like the original pin, but we made it work for us.
$1.47 a piece at Hobby Lobby and 50% off of that.  
We wish we would've checked Michael's first because they were actually $1.27 there and 50% off.
Painted with yellow or green acrylic paint and sprinkled with gold glitter.

Original idea: Reindeer dog biscuits
I saw this on Jane's blog, Learning in the Little Apple. Absolutely precious!
We used the large Milk Bone biscuits, but medium could work too. 

Original pin: Snowglobe
Christmas trees at Hobby Lobby.  8 in a pack for $2.99 and 50% off of that.
Silver glitter and one pack of little foam beads.
Clear cup, scrapbook paper on the bottom, and a glitter piper cleaners.

Original pin: Elves
We printed different colorin' pages of elves.  
The students got to choose which elf they wanted to use.
We had photos printed for their faces.

Original pin: Recycled paper snowman
We borrowed shredded paper from the office staff to make snowballs.
The rest of the materials were also left over from previous crafts.

Original pin: Sharpie colored ball
Frosted balls at Hobby Lobby in glass section.  
12 in a pack for $7.99 and 50% off of that.

Original pin: Days until Christmas Charger
Chargers at Dollar Tree for $1 a piece.
Metallic Markers two in a pack at Walmart for $0.75.
You can read about when I originally made these here.

  This was everything in their separate buckets ready for craftin' to begin...

We opened up the wall between both classes and had a craft at all 12 tables.

 3rd graders and 5th graders were mixed up together workin' on their crafts.
This sweet volunteer was so patient.  
The boys and girls were crowded around her.
 We kept a dryin' page for each student on the floor and a paper bag for transport home.

We had a great big mess to clean up and glitter all over the place, BUT
we can't wait to do it again next year.

Be sure to check out the other awesome Tried It's at Holly's blog.
I'll leave you with this because it's just too beautiful not to share.
Sunset in Florida this week.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Craziness...Spark Student Motivation Saturdays...

Today I'm linkin' up with my sweet as candy buddy, Joanne, from Head Over Heels for Teaching
for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays.

I think Christmas as a whole is a motivator for students, but I had to pick one thing
that sparked a little bit more motivation in my rockstars.
On Tuesday, I talked about what I am doing in my class to maintain the Christmas crazies.
Read about that here.
One of the things that my students earned this week was stickers
(still blamin' Joanne for my new obsession to the the Dollar Tree)
I can't go in there without seein' a billion things that I could be usin' in my classroom.
She motivated me to see things in a new light and to make them educational and fun!
Christmas sticker stories...fast and easy and a motivatin' reward!
Each student was able to choose two Christmas stickers to incorporate into an illustration
and then write about their illustration.
Below are just a few of the many scenes that were created.
Another $1 success.

Did you have a chance to check out Wednesday's post about the motivatin' WONDERful technology project we did in our class?  Check that out here.
Tomorrow is my day to catch up on blogs. I'm currently Christmas craftin'.
You can find me covered in sequins and glitter if you need me.
More on that on Tuesday.  Be sure to check back then and head over to Joanne's blog
to read about what everyone else is usin' to motivate their students!

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook. #love4SH

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A WONDERful technology project...

What a WONDERful Wednesday!
Can you guess what you are about to read about?
I have no doubt you guessed it right away.
I have been waitin' for the perfect time to share this and today is THE day!
I have posted before about how we used the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio 
in our class...here.
I had a plan to end our read aloud with a project to persuade 
our Superintendent to read the book.
Writin' was not enough. 
We needed some technology to really get our point across.
I began by havin' my students pick out which technology pieces they would 
like to incorporate into their project.
They brainstormed and chose which group they would like to be in.
1) Powerpoint
2) QR Codes
3) Stop Motion Animation
4) Writing of Play and Acting
5)Videotaping of Play

The students worked hard in their groups(with little to no direction from me)
 and had lots of discussions
on what needed to be changed.
I'm serious...this was all from their genius brains...not mine.
Once everyone had completed their task
(this took a few weeks because we continued with our normal routines
and fit this in when we had some extra moments)
I took all of their work and dropped it into a Prezi.
I had never used Prezi before, so it took some gettin' used to, but
Prezi is visually appealin' and once you get the hang of it,
you really can do so much.
We integrated things such as YouTube, iMovie, MyCreate, and QR Codes. 

We sent the Prezi to the Superintendent and guess what?!
He loved it!
He came out to our school to let us know we did indeed persuade
him to read Wonder.
He let us know it might take him a little bit, but we assured him
it was worth however long it takes him.
How very sweet and kind of him to take time out of his busy
schedule to thank my kids!
Awesomeness for sure!

Check out our Prezi:  

We hope you enjoyed our WONDERful project. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Researchin' and Writin' Recipes....Tried It Tuesday

Yahoo...I love Tuesdays because I get to link up with one of my most favoritest
 bloggy buddies, Holly, from Fourth Grade Flipper!

 Researchin' and Writin' Recipes:
Before Fall Break, I read Stephanie's post from Forever in Fifth Grade
about what she does to keep her students on track with behavior durin'
the crazy time before Christmas.
I took her idea and ran with it. 
My bestie, ACH, and I got together and picked out 
rewards and surprises for 
the 14 1/2 days before break.
So far...our students have earned their surprise each day. YAY!
Yesterday the students earned recipe cards.
Quite comical for those that know me and know I
don't use recipes...because I'm allergic to the kitchen.
Anyways...the idea was for the students to be able to research their most
favorite holiday yummy treat and write it on their own recipe card.
We talked about how there might be thousands of recipes for the same thing
and how it was important to find the one that fit their needs with
ingredients, directions, etc.  It was interestin' to see their
eyes get as big as saucers when they realized the possibilities of what they
could do with the general recipe they chose.
It was hard to narrow it down to just one.  So many of them looked appealin'.
This was so much fun!
 If I wasn't goin' out of town for Christmas, I would absolutely
be knockin' on each one of their doors to sample their yummies!

Started out workin' together...

Then decided it was better to work alone since their recipes were different.

One sweet lil' rockstar didn't need to research. 
She had remembered her favorite recipe by heart!

Writin' out recipes after doin' research.

Final product.
A recipe written on a recipe card from the dollar store.

Happy Tuesday!
Be sure to check out the rest of the Tried It Tuesdays at Holly's blog.