Friday, December 28, 2012

Bloggy Meet Up, Abbreviations and Super Fun Figurative Language

I had such a great time last night meeting up with some really cool bloggers. I was in awe with how much they do and all their really cool posts. They inspired me to get moving with a few things that I needed to finish up for my TpT store.

Starting with...

Before we left for the break, my class worked on abbreviations in their writing. I created an abbreviation sort for one of their language arts rotations.

Super Fun Figurative Language!
I love it when my students start making connections! They are seeing figurative language everywhere! It is so funny when they stop in the middle of something and shout, "Simile!"
Here is a figurative language packet I put together with a little super power theme! My students have loved it!

So...Ba Bam! Here are my newest creations!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fab Hubby and Awesome Daughter

Last Friday, the 3:00 bell rang, very excited students were heading out with their parents after a fabulous class party...I was heading out with 102. 4 temperature. Yes, it is true. It was not exactly how I had expected to spend my first few days of the break!!!!

Boy, was I sick! Sick, like I have never been before! Sick, like I don't remember most it, except for the chills, sweats, sore throat, aches, cough, stuffy nose...rinse and repeat for 4 days! All I kept thinking about was all the things I needed to get finished before Christmas. Thank goodness my shopping was complete, but hubby's stuff was not wrapped... no little stocking stuffers for daughter ...Christmas breakfast food not purchased...ugh!

In comes, Awesome Daughter! During my chills, sweats, sore throat, aches, cough, stuffy nose induced coma, my daughter and her friend wrapped all the gifts! She is the best. She even told me not to worry, she would sneak out early Christmas morning and stuff daddy's stocking with his treats. She would even come in every so often and would pat my hand. Awww! Love that girl.

Now, the hubby, he has been beyond fabulous. He kept me hydrated, brought medicine, listened to me whine, cleaned, cooked, did laundry, finished stocking stuffer shopping, prepared for Santa's visit and made me chicken noodle soup.

Overall, we had a great Christmas! Pigs in the blanket for breakfast, gift unwrapping frenzy, fantastic turkey and sides at the in-laws and an evening of Rummikub and Mexican Train!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scratch Off Holiday Gifts!

I've been racking my brain for something inexpensive to give my students. I love scratch of tickets! What a great idea! they are...

To make these scratch off tickets you'll need:
  • dish soap (any brand works)
  • acrylic paint (I went with holiday colors. You can always do the silver paint to look authentic.)
  • paint brush
  • packing tape
  • scrap paper

Here are the steps!

  1. Design your scratch off ticket. Print on card stock. Cut each one out.
  2. Lay out each ticket on scratch paper.
  3. Cover the scratch off section with packing tape.
  4. Mix 2 parts paint to 1 part dish soap. Paint the portion that you want students to scratch off. Use even strokes. It will take 2-3 coats of paint to cover the words.

5. When they are dry, cut them off the paper.
6. Scratch off!

Here are the things that are under the scratch off portion...

  • Sit in my black rolly chair. (No one gets to sit in this chair. They are going to be so excited.)
  • Shoes off for the day. (Thank goodness we have pe at the end of the day.)
  • Move your desk next to a friend.
  • Lunch in the classroom with a friend.

Super fun! Super easy! Super cheap!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragic Event

When the news of Newtown broke, my grade level and I were in shock trying to comprehend the unthinkable. I had to check in with my brother who happens to live 30 minutes from Newtown.
This evening, watching the news,  I'm sitting in utter disbelief as the events of the day unfold. It is heartbreaking.
Hug the ones you love.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the community of Newtown.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rocks, RAK and RTI

  Rockin' and a Rollin'
Lots of testing this past week! Our students took the CoGAT, plus they had a Words Their Way and a fraction test. Perfect timing...for a little Peanut Butter and Jelly Geology!

I started with a sequencing story about the formation of sedimentary rock. As they listened to the story, they drew (in their science notebook) what they part of the anchor chart. As they finished each section, they would build that part of the model. Once we finished creating our model, the students drew a core sampling of the sedimentary rock and answered question in their mini lab book. Right after the story, I showed my students beautiful pictures of actual sedimentary rock. I wanted them to be able to make the connection with the process and the creation of the layers. Thank goodness I did...the priceless comment of the lab... "Ohhh, sedimentary rock is real."

My RAK (Random Act of Kindness) ...thanks Farley (Currently- December)  for pushing me to get it started!
The "Clean Team" got started this week. My students started cleaning the computers around our school. This has been a huge success! The teachers are excited, my students are even more excited! The kids have felt like Rock Stars walking into a teacher's room to clean their computers.

Notice the pink eraser...secret weapon for cleaning!!!
Teacher comments...
"Dear Mrs. Dolat's Awesome Class, 
Thank you so much for cleaning our laptops! Our students are so excited to be working on "sparkling computers" rather than "dingy computers"! You are the best!!!"
"OMG... your class is awesome!!!! "
"What a great service!"

Our called "Walk to Learn." Walk to Learn comes from the fact that every student on our grade level walks somewhere during our 30 minutes of intervention. No matter if you are in an intervention group or not, everyone goes somewhere. We really have a great thing going. Of course, we are always trying to perfect it. 
Quick low down...
  • Based on inventories, students are placed in small group or big group.
  • Small group-needs intensive instruction.
  • Big group-changes all the time- Exemplars Math, Science Vocabulary, Poetry, Grammar, Moose Science...really these change based on student need. 
I have one of the small groups for reading intervention. We have been working on the PLORE reading strategy and prefixes and suffixes. These slider cards from Lakeshore have been highly engaging. They provide a reading passage on the front and then ask questions relate to prefixes and suffixes. Slide to get your question, flip to get your answer! The backside (see the card on the right) provides the answer. Love them!

Thursday, we played some online prefix/suffix games. Just sayin'...we won a million dollars!!! Don't be jealous! You too, can win a million!
Here's how...
Rags to Riches

Then we played Short Circuit.

It's cookie bake day! Can't wait!
Happy Saturday!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Currently December

Ahhh...December! Tree is up, lights are strung outside, stockings are hung, Christmas shopping...NOT started! Ugg!!!  But, my Currently-December is done!     Link up with Farley to post your Currently.

The rain outside!  Gotta love Texas...and a high of 79 degrees today.

Cookie bake next weekend! Yum! These are the best cookies ever! Even better when they are frozen! The cookie recipe has been passed down from my husband's grandmother. I learned how to make them from my mother-in-law. Now, we have a few friends (they were asking in Oct. when we were baking cookies) over for a  "bring your own cookie tin---whatever you decorate, you take home" cookie party. The night before, we prepare all the dough and icing. Our kitchen always looks like it has snowed from all the flour and powdered sugar.  My husband is the master at rolling, cutting out the shapes and cooking the cookies. Sounds like he does most of it, right? Uhhh...well he does. My job is to get in there and frost and decorate so that we can get our tins filled. These cookies are his breakfast for the next month.

We had a fantastic time watching The Nutcracker ballet! A friend and I took our girls to lunch and then to see the ballet. It was a great day!

The weekend always seems to fly by! I have to get out to buy items for my daughter's advent calendar. I'm now 2 days behind. After that, hours of grading. I let this week get by without keeping up with my grading. Not good!

I usually do the rice and glue wreath ornament, which is really cute. On the inside of the wreath, I add a picture of each student. I think it is time for something new. Ideas?

My class is going to start a computers. My students are going to go around cleaning classroom computers for the teachers.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another Funky Tech Tip

On my ever-so-fun quest to get my director of technology certification, I just finished another class...Making the Move Toward Blended Learning.

This is one of the resources from the class. Sorry, those links aren't active, but hopefully it will give you some new tools to use in your classroom. 

Featured Tool #1

What is it? OMG! This site allows you to reformat a website page for printing. Say, you want to use an article for research, but there are various other things that might be too overwhelming for a, crazy font, white space.... you can delete portions of it and then print it. 
How can you use it in the classroom?
Teach students how to use the site (3 easy steps) add it as a bookmark on the tool bar so they aren't printing pages and pages. Cut down on ink and paper!

Featured Tool #2

What is it? A free online tool that allows students to type information that will then generate the content in a newspaper format. Quick, easy and fun!

How can you use it in the classroom?

*Write about a historical event
*Write a book review
*Have students write a week of events in Room ____ for parents.
*Explain a math concept.
*Post an original poem.

Featured Tool #3
Scribble Maps

What is it? A very user friendly free tool that allows you to draw on a map, add pictures, create place markers, add a video and comments. You can even sign up for an account to add more too, is free.
You can share, email, embed or print your map.

How can you use it in the classroom?
*Chart out historical events.
*Create a story, use the place markers as events....sequencing.
*Great way to teach map skills (allows you to create a legend)

If you have used any of these tools, I would love to hear how you incorporated them in your classroom.

Happy Saturday! We are off to see the Nutcracker! Mommy -- Daughter day!