Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's Written in the Stars (err, Moon...)

Happy Tuesday, Friends.

Just a super quick post-I'm trying to blog more. Even if it's a quickie. This I learned from answering those questions for the Liebster Award last weekend! ;)

Anyway, we are studying about space in science in my class. I wish I could come up with some really cute stuff, but alas, I can't.  However, I am giving a quiz on Friday, and I thought I would share it-in case anyone needs a quiz. I just created this. I tried to make this work for Common Core. I think it works, but I won't promise anything.  I hope you can use it.

Click here to get the quiz. Earth, Sun, Moon Quiz

This quiz covers what causes day and night; seasons; Earth's axis; and the Moon.
You can click the picture to get the quiz, too.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Five for Friday...wait, I mean Saturday

Well, it's Saturday, and as usual, I'm a day late. But, better late than never...I'm linking up with Kacy from Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Here's what I was up to this week.

First off, we had an inservice day on Monday. No, my district couldn't give us that day off, and extend the weekend since we had Tuesday off, oh no. We had to go in to work. Ugh! And the inservice wasn't even useful! (well, it was useful to vent with others about how awful our district has rolled out Common Core!)

Report cards went home on Thursday!  Thankfully, I didn't get any evil notes from parents on Friday, complaining about the new report cards or their child's grades. 

I had my students partner read one of our stories.  Then, I had them work in their table groups and discuss the questions on the strips.  Afterwards, they worked on their own to answer the same questions on a worksheet.  I'm hoping by discussing with others first, those that may not understand the question will, and they will have an easier time answering the questions.

We were studying the seasons and what causes them, so I whipped up this cause & effect sheet for the kids to work on. They had to find causes that had to do with seasons and the effects of those causes.  I think they did pretty well. I just didn't have any pics of finished products. Sorry!

Okay, friends. I found these mustaches at Target in the Halloween discount rack. I had to get them for "Movember".  I want to give them to my kiddos, but I don't have a good idea to use them with.  Please help with any suggestions!! I know it's getting late in the month, as we only have next week. Then we are off for the week of Thanksgiving!!

Thanks for your help!

Thanks for the Liebster Award!

I've been nominated by Lydia at Glamour and Gluesticks for the Liebster Awards.

You may find yourself asking, "What in the world is the Liebster Award?" I know that's what I said!  It's pretty simple.  When a person is nominated for the Liebster Award, first they answer 11 questions about themselves.  Afterwards, they nominate 11 additional bloggers with fewer than 200 bloggers for the award.  It's like a chain award designed to help new bloggers* (see #1) become acquainted with the blogging world.  here are my answers to the 11 questions:

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
       Hmmm...I guess I started blogging 2 years ago.  I started because I loved what I saw on other teachers' blogs, and I thought, I want to do that, too.  I envied those people who seemed to have so many friends from all over because of their blogs.  I also wanted a way to share teacher experiences and get feedback f rom other teachers.

2. What one word sums up the heard of your blog and why?
    I think Reflection.  When I started my blog, I wanted a place to reflect on my day or my teaching and be able to pick other people's minds about things that came up during my day.  I never really thought of my blog as a place to "sell" things, because I don't find myself very creative.  It's more an outlet for me to share feelings of teaching. If I was creative, I would love to be able to share products as well!

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
    I am not sure about this.  I wish I had known how to link to linky parties sooner.  I'm excited I know how to do it now, although I am still leaning new things with every linky party I "attend".  I love being about to share with everyone things that everyone else is sharing, too.  Okay, does that even make sense??

4.  What is your favorite pass time other than blogging?
      I love to shop and read.  If I knew I didn't have any other responsibilities in my day, I would curl up on the couch and read all day!  And then I would shop.

     5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
        Not as many as I'd like.  These days, I'm lucky if I get 1 post a week in, and lately, I'm not even getting that much in!!  It definitely takes a lot of time to blog, and I am happy when I can catch up on reading all my blog feeds on Bloglovin! Let alone, actually posting to my own blog. 

    6.  What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
       I love seeing what other people are doing in their classrooms and how they are teaching.  I think for me, reading other teachers' blogs are a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I get ideas of things to do in my class, but a curse because everyone does such amazing things, yet I can never duplicate what I see.

     7.  Where does your blog inspiration come from?
         I think it comes from other bloggers.  When I read other blogs, I feel like I need to share things also.  Kind of like the idea of "you get one, I get one".  I don't want to take all the time, I like to give, too.

     8.  Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
         Okay, unfortunately, I can't say that I'm super proud of any of my posts.  But I think I'd have to say my Currently posts would fit the bill.  I'm poud of the fact that I could actually follow the directions and get the template onto my blog!!

     9.  Is there any post you've been planning to do but have been postponing?
       I've been meaning to post about some things I've been doing in my class, but I haven't quite gotten it done yet. I have the pictures, so hopefully, I'll get it done soon.

     10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
        I love reading about what other teachers do in their classrooms.  I also love seeing what people use in their rooms-i.e. products they use (and I love buying these things on TpT).  I also love the feeling of community blogging provides, and the friendships made through blogging.  It amazes me that I can be friends with someone I've never actually met, but through this crazy world of blogging, I have friends all over.  That to me is the best thing about blogging.

      11.  Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most likely try yourself?
   Lydia, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your "Teacher Week-Why stay organized?" post. Oh My Goodness! I have never thought about using Drive to store lesson plans! Genius idea! I definitely need to try that. So easy and so organized. I love how it gets rid of the paper stacks (or in my case, all the old lesson plan books) Amazing!

The Rules:
Now that you've been nominated, here are the official rules for accepting:

1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out".
2. Answer the 11 questions I answered above.
3. Nominate 11 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers each.  have them answer the questions above.
4.  Let your nominees know thay've been nominated and provide them with a link back to your post, so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so he/she can learn about you.

My nominations:
Jennifer at Teaching with Grace
Kady at Teacher Trap
Misty and Kristy at Teaching times 2
Amanda at Teacher at the Wheel


Sunday, November 2, 2014


Ahhh!!! I truly can't believe it is already November!!  Seriously, where has this year gone? I swear it was just March.  Oye-I need time to slow down. Don't you agree??
Anyway, it's time to link up with the Fabulous Farley for Currently.

Listening:  We had the football game on, but I needed to come upstairs, so now my husband is playing the Wii. So, that's the lovely "beep, beep" sounds that I keep hearing. Not annoying at all...

Loving: It's FINALLY Fall! At least it has been for the last few days. Unfortunately, this cool weather isn't going to last long. It's supposed to get back up into the 80's and 90's by Tuesday, and be that way all week!! Yuck! I just know we are in for a FREEZING winter, and I'll be complaining about all the cold then, but right now, enough of all this heat!

Thinking: Our report cards are due this Friday, so I'm thinking about what I'm going to do to make the next trimester better.  I really felt so lost and incompetent this trimester.  I'd like to get back to my confident teacher self again, because so far, this year really blows!

Wanting: I want to go running tomorrow, because I just bought these AWESOME new running shoes!!  I tested them out this morning by going on a walk/job with the hubs.  They are so.dang.comfy!  They have custom insoles-I swear, I've never had shoes that felt like buttah...
Needing: So, I really...I mean R.E.A.L.L.Y. need to start cooking! I'm like the worst wife-E.V.E.R. I never cook, and we always go out to eat. I'm getting really tired of eating out. But, I also am too tired to cook. You all know what it's like to get up at the crack of dawn, teach for 6 hours, copy, plan, straighten the room, organize, get ready for the next day...who has time to cook? I just want to come home and sleep!  But, I know I need to start cooking meals here. I just need to motivate myself...

Reading: When I'm not falling asleep super early or catching up on recorded shows from 3+ weeks ago, I'm reading Invisible by James Patterson. I love his books because they are such fast reads-when I have the time.  I love mysteries, but a good thriller gets me away from my life for a bit.  

So, there you have it.  I hope you join Farley and let us know what you're up to Currently.
Have a great November!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Five for Friday

Well, today is Saturday, but I was so exhausted yesterday, I couldn't even get on the computer!  So...I'm a day late to link up with Kacy at Doodle Bugs Teaching-please forgive me. Thanks!

This is my FIRST five for Friday, and I'm SO, SO EXCITED!!  Let's see how this goes.

Happy Halloween-yesterday.  We had our school costume parade in the morning. It was crazy, chaotic, but surprisingly, not as bad as years past. Whew! I like to keep my costume simple. Because this year has been so wackadoodle, I've been "under the weather".

One of my grade level teammates. Scary...I know!!

I just started teaching multiplication-finally!  I made this little activity.  I put the kids into partnerships. I had stations around the room. Each station had a bag of counting bears. On the bag it said, "Show a __ by __ array". They had to put the bears into the array. Then on their worksheet, they had to write the multiplication equation the array showed, then draw a model of the equation. It definitely showed me who understands the concept of multiplication.

I'm really bad at carving pumpkins, but I do it anyway, because it reminds of when I was a kid. It's okay to laugh...

While shopping at William Sonoma the other day ... need I say more? Tis the season!
I tweaked the saying because it wasn't the best language...trying to keep it clean. But I really liked this.

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just So Busy...

Happy Fall Sunday!
It FINALLY feels like fall here in SoCal! Sheesh-I was beginning to wonder if we would EVER get some cooler weather. Today is just beautiful!

So, I've been super busy trying to wrap my head around this year.  I can't believe we are already starting to do report cards! Ugh! On one hand, I'm happy because it means this year is 1/3 over, but then again, I'm freaking out because I haven't gotten through everything I need to get through!!

Can you relate to how I feel??

One awesome thing that we are doing in my class, though, is KidBlog. I am fortunate that I get to house a cart of Chromebooks in my room, and luckily, no one ever signs up to use them. Woohoo! So, I have my kids on them all the time. I have my kids do research; use them for AR tests; and do their iReady; but the BEST thing is KidBlog. The sweet Mrs. Bentin from Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard is joining me on this journey. (okay, actually, I'm joining her) We are having our kids respond to each other on their own blog pages. We've just started, but from my end, my kids L.O.V.E. having a friend in a new state! Every time I say, "Okay, login to KidBlog," I hear this low excited cheer. It makes me smile, for once in the day, that they are having fun with something. And I think the more we do, they will get better at keyboarding and other digital literacy for the real world. (yep, gotta make sure I'm hitting those CCSS) Ha Ha Ha!!  I also have my kids respond to questions that I post. It's not just "chatting" with new friends.

Have you tried KidBlog in your class? I'd love to know what you've done.
Have a great week!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

An Overdue post

Happy Saturday, Friends!
It's been a while since my last post, and I apologize, but as I read other people's blogs, I see I'm not the only slacker this year. What does that mean? I know for me, in my district, we are all so overwhelmed with Common Core and the lack of training we aren't receiving, it's a very stressful time.

However, I did want to share something super cute-at least I think it's cute. It made me laugh. And if it made me laugh with all of this stress, I figure I should share it with everyone. I hope this brings a smile to your weary face.

So a few weeks ago, we had our school book fair. You know, the Scholastic Book Fair. As I was perusing the shelves and tables, I saw this book, Mouseton Abbey. Now, I don't watch "Downton Abbey", although I hear I should, but I do love mice, so this caught my eye. What do you think? Have you heard or seen this book before? Isn't it just so cute?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's an "a-ha" moment!

Here's a post that I had to share. I'm always complaining, and feeling like I'm the worst teacher ever this year. However, the other day, we were working on revising writing. I have taught my kids BABS-Build a Better Sentence, from those uber cuties over at Collaboration Cuties, and for a change, something actually stuck with my "thirdies".  I was teaching them that revising is when you take your boring sentences, and make them fluffier. You add those great details to make the reader really able to visualize the idea you are trying to convey. So I wrote this really lame sentence on the Smartboard: "Once my cat and I had a tea party. We served fishcakes and milk tea. It was fun." Then I told them, this is pretty boring. How can we make it fluffier? What details can we add? "Remember BABS". And look at what they came up with!! The ideas were flowing! They couldn't stop. It was so much fun! I loved their ideas. I'm really excited to see how they revised their own stories they were writing last week.
Here's the picture of what we did:
If you notice that "served one-by-one", that actually came from a student who remembered that from doing Jivey's Mentor Text Sentences activity. :) 

Another awesome moment last week was while teaching about Theme and Main Idea, my principal walked in the room. (she comes in ALL.THE.TIME to our rooms. can I just say-somewhat annoying...) But, I digress...so she comes in for her little informal observation, and I was just starting to review the difference between theme and main idea. We had been working on this all week. My kids gave some great answers, and showed they really understood the difference, and they knew what themes were.  Then, I put them into partners and gave them this sorting activity from Teaching with a Mountain View. So awesome! My kids did a fantastic job, talking to each other about how they knew it was theme or a main idea. And the bonus was that my principal said in her note (she leaves notes every time she comes in-stating what she observed) that she loved my lesson! Ya know when a principal loves your lesson, that you've just inched up a notch in her mind. I was so thankful for Mary and her brilliance! You should check out her post.
Here are a few pics of the activity in action:

Have a great week everyone! Now, I need to figure out what to do this week that will be stellar. I know my principal will be in again, soon!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October Currently

Sheesh! Is it really October already??  Slow down, world, please!
I'm linking up with the wonderful Farley for October's Currently...

Listening: Yes, the AC is on, again. My poor bank account is being drained by my AC having to run all day long, almost 7 days a week! Ouch.

Loving: My husband works most weekends, so we don't do too much. But a few months ago, he bought tickets to see Jersey Boys at the Pantages Theater, and tonight is the night. I'm really excited! Not just to go out with my hubs, but to see the show, too!

Thinking: It has been so HOT here in Southern California, I'm so tired of it! I really wish Fall would find its way here, and the temps would cool down. This weekend it's supposed to be over 100 degrees in the valleys. And of course, I live in the valley! Ugh!!

Wanting: I went for my physical last month, and while everything is fine, I need to start exercising to keep my cholesterol in check. Unfortunately, this school year has been a killer so far. I have been working my tail off, just trying to stay afloat, and when I get home, I'm so exhausted, the last thing I feel like doing is exercising. But I know I need to. Bring on that motivation!

Needing: I need to get my plans done for this coming week, but I can't get them together. Grrr...

Trick: I know many people already use this, but if you don't, maybe you will want to start. I'm using Class Dojo for management this year. The thing I love about it is that the parents get daily reports about how their child did in class, and they can address poor behavior with their child right away. It's a free app on your phone or iPad, but it can also be accessed from your computer!

There you have it. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and enjoy your October!
Now, be sure to go link up with Farley, and join the party.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

It's the weekend!!

Happy Saturday, friends! We have been doing a lot in class the last few weeks, so I wanted to show you what we've been up to.  I've mentioned before how I'm kinda struggling this year, and I'm all over the place, because I want to do a gabillion things at once!! Too much going on  in my head.  But, in the midst of all my chaos, I have gotten a few good lessons off.

So, one of the items I'm using this year, and TOTALLY LOVING, is Jivey's Mentor Text Sentences and her No Prep Reading and Writing lessons. OH.MY.GOODNESS. Can I just tell you how much I L.O.V.E. these?!!  A few weeks ago, I read My Rotten, Red-Headed Brother to the class. They really liked the story.  And some of them could certainly relate. After discussing the story, we talked about times that they had gotten hurt, and I passed out the writing activity. This is one example of a story in progress. How cute is this worksheet?

I was just happy to see punctuation!!

In math, we are working on time. This past week, we worked on elapsed time, and will continue with that next week. Boy, is that a hard concept to get across to third graders!! Yikes! I've been using Blair Turner's Interactive Notebook Bundle for math, and I LOVE that, too! Here is a student in action, putting their clock together.

We've also been using our Chromebooks a lot. I am lucky that I get to house a cart in my room this year-woohoo! So, whenever they aren't being used, I get extra time to use them with my kids. (insert evil laugh here) So...I had the kids do a quick write about their weekend, just to practice creating a Google Doc. Not too bad, for a first try.

 Okay, I think I've probably bored you all, so I'll stop. I'm off to the Hollywood Bowl for the Sound of Music Sing-along!!  I'll tell you all about it later. Have a great weekend!