Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't Forget the Great Giveaway...Tomorrow!!!

WOW!  I can't believe it!  I have 29 followers right now...and to think I despaired of ever getting followed at all!  :)  If you are a follower, or if you want to be, click the picture/link above to be taken to my post about my Great Giveaway - I am sending one lucky winner a $10 gift card to!  WOO HOO!  Just leave a comment on that post and you will be entered to win the giveaway.

On a side note, I am currently working on a huge unit for a sixth grade common core standard -

"CC.6.R.L.7 - Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text; including contrasting what they 'see' and 'hear' when reading the text to what they perceive when they watch or listen."

That's certainly one mouthful of a standard!  I decided we would start working on this using multiple texts dealing with one of my favorites - Winnie the Pooh.  Today we thought of our previous experience with Winnie and then read a poem called "Us Too" by AA Milne that is told from Christopher Robin's perspective.  Tomorrow we will read a non-fiction article I cobbled together from a few different sources.  I'm also working on reading a short story with them, listening to the theme song from the movie, and of course I found some clips from the various TV shows.  

One of my goals is to figure out how to put all of this together into an actual, downloadable unit  that I can share here, and in my Teachers Notebook store.  Is there some kind of trick to sharing SMARTboard lessons?  I don't think I can share those through Google Docs - so any advice would be much appreciated.  

I am trying to finish teaching this unit in 10 days, so it may be a little while before the product is ready to go...but I am excited.  Once we work through Winnie the Pooh, I think I will have them choose a topic on their own and find/read/interact with multiple texts with some sort of finished product.  

I hope you all had a great Monday!  (Mine was touch and go...I am back to teaching since my student teacher finished takeover and is slowly giving me back my classroom - happy and sad all at the same time.)  

Here's a little Pooh-Bear wisdom from me to you:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pinteresting Exchange!

It Came!!!  I was so excited to go to my mailbox and see my gift from the wonderful Katherine from Third Grade Teacher Files that see made me while participating in the Pinterest Exchange Linky hosted by Teacher Blogger Exchange.  I was a much needed pick-me-up after a long day!  Something about the weather, combined with coming back from April Break, and looking forward to Nature's Classroom just has my kids off the walls!  So, Katherine - THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY DAY!!!

Here's a few pictures of the wonderful items she made, just for me!

See the adorable clipboard with my name in pink!  It has dots, and stripes, and everything I love, including a fluff of ribbon!  Katherine also included some sparkly gel pens - which always make grading papers much happier!

 Additionally, she personalized a fabulous little journal to match, with my initial on it!  This will be perfect for jotting down quick notes.  It is going in my purse right away!

Would you like to see what I made?  Here's a picture, but I won't give away the recipient, since she has yet to post about it.  

These are clay pots that I painted in her favorite colors.  I then added the polka dots on the rim.  The bottoms of the pots I painted with chalkboard paint, so she can label them and change up their labels however she wants.  She does a lot of crafting with her kiddos in the classroom, so I know she will put these to great use!


Thanks so much to Teacher Blogger Exchange for hosting this fun!  I cannot wait to participate in your next exchange!

Also - don't forget about my giveaway...once you follow my blog, post a comment on my giveaway blog post to be entered into a giveaway for a $10 gift certificate to - my favorite store!  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's the Great Give~Away!

Yup...That's right!  I figure when I hit 25 followers I will be giving away a $10 gift certificate to my favorite online store,!  Woo Hoo!  

How do you enter?  
~ Easy ~

1.  If you don't already follow my blog, sign up and then leave a comment below telling me you've done so.  
2.  If you're already a follower, just leave a comment saying so.  

I will hold the drawing on Tuesday, May 1st, which should be a nice little May Day present to the winner.  

Thanks so much for following my blog and supporting me in this new endeavor.  I promise to be a more faithful blogger and to share some really great ideas about teaching

Planning for Nature's Classroom

Hi All,

I am back from April Break and enjoyed a week off, relaxing and hanging out...which was just what the doctor ordered.  My student teacher is still in full take-over this I am keeping busy prepping for our annual trip to Nature's Classroom.  Do any of you take this trip with your students?
We take about 140 6th graders away from three days and two nights to a site in Ivoryton, CT where they get to interact with nature, and with some earthy-crunchy-granola passionate teachers who are really cool.  They go one field group hikes, where they learn all sorts of cool things about nature, animals, plants, etc. They also get to take classes hosted by those same teachers covering topics from dissection of animals like sharks or frogs to using items found in nature to making your own spa products.  They make rope bridges and hunt for different kinds of rocks.  It is always usually a great trip.

Since I have a problem letting other people be in control and a problem saying no when asked to do something, I have been heading up this trip for the last three years.  Right now I am in the thick of planning, determining dorms, room numbers, and where students go in each dorm.  Then there are field groups and table assignments to arrange, not to mention a variety of medical issues to cover.  Thank goodness for excel and all of its cool tricks!

The hardest part of the trip for me is the chaperones - finding enough teachers to cover the trip is always a challenge, especially since the majority of my sixth grade team mates have young children at home.  Plus - with 80+ boys and only 1 male teacher on staff...we usually end up hiring chaperones from NC - which can be a challenge.

It is a lot to keep in my brain, all of the elements of this trip, but the looks on the students' faces make it worthwhile.  Students that struggle in the traditional classroom setting, tend to excel at Nature's Classroom - keeping active all day and getting their hands dirty (literally and figuratively).  While we teachers are exhausted at the end of the three days - I believe the trip is worth every bit of worry and stress.

This is the only field trip we go on in sixth grade.  Do you all have any great field trips you take your class on?  I would love to hear some great ideas!

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm back!

I seem to have dropped off the face of the planet these past two weeks.  Life at home has been crazy, plus stuff at work really picked up steam.  My student teacher is in full takeover, and yet I still find every day filled to the brim!  I am currently in rehearsals for a show called "1959 Pink Thunderbird" in which I play a character, as the script describes her, "A big-haired Southern gossip, Baptist to her teeth."  Needless to say, I am having a lot of fun perfecting my Southern Belle twang with a touch of sass!  In addition to that I am prepping for an audition for a summer internship in cabaret performance.  I have to put together a 3-5 song demo CD showcasing my range...crazy!

So, with that being said...what's been going on in my classroom?  We've been working on combining our knowledge of historical fiction as readers with our work writing our own historical fiction short story pieces.  This is always so hard for the students since their knowledge of history is limited and this is our first narrative piece all year.  My student teacher has been doing a great job helping them make connections between their work in Reading and Writing Workshops!

We just finished up our work on the rock cycle and took our quiz on the chapter.  I created a pretty cool Rock Cycle project where my students had to create their own version of the cycle using titles and arrows I provided.  (I really enjoyed that I was able to use my love of fonts for this activity!)  The students really had to plan to figure out how all the pieces worked together and it was fascinating to see what they came up with.  Here's a picture of one of my student's Rock Cycles - I was pretty impressed with her planning.

After we all struggled through this project, I made some changes to it and am posting it in my Teachers Notebook Store.  Be sure to check it out, just click on the store button on my blog!  I am also putting up pictures of the three pages of the project on here.  Once this is done it is off to SPRING BREAK!  WOO HOO!

Hope you all have enjoyed your spring break, or that you have some great plans for this coming week!

Monday, April 2, 2012


More blogging to come pics of our Hunger Games extravaganza...but for now, just a little update!

By the way...I love Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade...and her monthly linky!  Hop on over to check in with some other bloggers!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Makeover

Well...what do you think?  I love my new blog makeover! Thank you, Erika and Misty from The Honey Bunch Blog Design!  Misty and Erika worked crazy hours to find just the right design for my blog.  I asked for whimsical, but not cutesy, polka dots and banners and I got it!  Even better than I could have imagined.  Aren't the buttons adorable, the flowers sweet...and the BANNERS!  PERFECT!

I'm a total font snob and they were great about my picky attitudes.  Everyone at school makes fun of me because I will re-type something just to get it in the perfect font...but I think it is worth it, and I think my students notice.  Right?!

If you are looking to get a great blog design, for a really reasonable price, contact Misty and won't be disappointed! 

On a different note, Friday night my student teacher and I took our students to see Hunger Games in the theatres.  Anyone who wanted could attend, as long as their parents were chaperoning them.  My dad even drove an hour to see the movie with us...I made him read the book this fall!  We had about 60 people show up.  (WOW!)  We offered to make t-shirts for our students and they were super excited.  We downloaded the Hunger Games Font ( for free and made t-shirts with last names on them, District 12, the Mockingjay pin, and the quote..."May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!" using iron-on transfers.  My iron got more work on Friday doing the t-shirts than it has in the whole last year!  The kids were so excited, very well behaved, and the theatre gave us all free posters!  My student teacher is working with the students to re-do our hallway bulletin board comparing and contrasting the book and keep your eyes out for pictures as soon as she is done.

Did you like the movie or the book better?

Remember: If you like my blog design, check out Misty's blog and Erika's blog or order your own blog makeover!  You won't be sorry!

PS - I am thinking about having a giveaway for my first 25 followers...any suggestions?