Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Review #1 ~ Blucy!

Whew! What a week! It feels like forever since my last post.
I've transitioned into my new position as an Instructional Technology strange not to be in the classroom anymore. I think we have our campus pretty well set for troubleshooting all things techie!  Can't wait to get in classrooms and collaborate with teachers on integrating technology!

Author, Julia Dweck, contacted me to review 2 of her latest Kindle books. Super thrilled to be able to read and review these books.

First book...

(Look at that face!)
I had the pleasure of sharing this story with my daughter and a few of her friends that were over hanging out. Right of the bat, 2 of my daughter's favorite things...a cat and the color blue! We all found the story amusing as a young girl, named Mandy, picks out a kitten from the local animal shelter. What Mandy doesn't realize is that Blucy changes colors! This mischievous cat is full of kitty antics! It's a great lesson on how a new pet and their owner must get to know one another at the beginning of the relationship.

The great title lends itself to a class discussion, predicting why the story is called, Blucy.  
So many great activities can be incorporated with this book . . . rhyming, camoflauge, writing about the challenges of owning a pet, persuasive writing about getting a pet, character traits, compare and contrast with another animal book, animal rescue/animal shelters . . . 

The whimsical rhyming pattern of the story, makes it a great read aloud.

Bonus! The book includes fun cat facts and a hidden picture page at the end of the book.

The eye-catching illustrations are created with fun bold colors that draw you in!
Such a great story!

Don't take just take my word for it...the review of three 5th graders!

I'll be posting about the other book soon.
Check out Julia's website and her Amazon page! Sooo, many other great books!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five for Friday

Wahoo! I've finally had a chance to link up...again!

I'm transitioning into my new position...
We had new employee orientation, so I made a sign for the newbies!

A Jr. school teacher from our district has this super cool keyboard! I'm on a quest to find out how she did this. She even came in a super cute "Chevron" shirt! Sooooo cool!

I will conquer! Basket queen to the rescue!
 What you don't see are the HUNDREDS of cords, many mice, bajillion keyboards...and many other things that I don't know how to name! Hence, the "I will conquer!" slogan!
Amy and Veronica....close the window! Don't look beyond!
I'm putting together these cute little Technology Survival Kits for the teachers on my campus and the other campus I'm working with this year! Everyone needs a little "happy!"

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Grapes of Math - Mentor Text Linky

Please pardon all the exclamation marks during this blog post. I am huge fan of Greg Tang! His books are amazing and his website is unbelievable!
For this mentor text linky with the Collaboration Cuties, I share with you, The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang!
I was fortunate to be able to see Greg Tang (math guru) and Tammy Worcester (technology guru-check out her site!) present a combined session at ISTE! Shocker news from them . . . the had gotten married! Power house!
The session was amazing!

Greg Tang, a lifelong lover of math, shares the techniques that have helped him solve problems in the most creative ways! Harry Briggs's vibrant & inviting illustrations create a perfect environment for these innovative games. So open your mind-and have fun! ~Amazon

Now, venture over to Greg Tang's website!

Or, click on the picture to head to the book online. It is an interactive book for students!
Amazing! All his books are interactive! What a great math station for students!

Online resources...instant centers! Print and play!
Many apps!

His website is a wealth of activities and games.
If you ever get a chance to attend a conference by Greg Tang, do! It is so worth it!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fun "Happys" in the Mail!

Giddy! The word that described my feelings when I saw the package on the table! The hard part was knowing that I had to wait to open it until I had finished tutoring! A test in patience - self control!

Donna over at . . .
and I participated in a . . .

Soooo fun! Thanks to Katie from Adventures of Ms. Smith and

Mirror - perfect for my new office!

Super cute calendar set to keep me organized! I'm going to need it!

My favorite color! 
I am in love with these pens! They are so smooth!
Super fun case for my iPad!
Thanks, Donna for my fun stuff to help start off a great 2013-2014 school year!

Head over to check out Donna's cute blog. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Top 5 Back to School Activities Linky

I posted some of these activities last year, but felt they needed a bit of revamping and a revisit!

As soon as letters go out to students, I know that parents and students are on the school website to find their teacher's webpage. I love to have several things for my students to do prior to them even setting foot in the classroom. This gives students a chance to get to know their peers and make connections.

I like to set up a Padlet wall. It's like a virtual sticky note wall. I add the link to my class web page.
I post the first sticky that asks students to write about their favorite app and board game. I use this information to help me make a connection with my students as the walk through the door on "Meet the Teacher" night. By that time, I've tried to memorize the app that each student likes and will have downloaded them.

Collaboration Cuties did a great linky about mentor texts for back to school!
Here is my post! Click on the graphic so it will take you to the post. Then hop on over to all the other posts.

Marble Ramp - This is my all time favorite! I pose this challenge to my students. They must work in teams to complete the challenge. As they work, it gives me a chance to see how they interact with their peers. It is very eye opening to see how they work collaboratively.

Setting up Science Notebooks
My favorite activity is to have each student draw themselves as a "scientist." I also have them include a speech bubble. In the bubble they must write, "As a scientist, I want to study...." They fill in the rest with something they would like to study. It become an independent project during the year.
Now, my shameless plug! I also have my students put together a Scientific Method Flip Book. The cover is in desperate need of a make-over, but the activity is great for adding to your science notebook.
You can find it at my TpT store. 

6 Word Memoir - I'm posting this one again! Thanks, Alma!

Happy first week of school!
Join Techie Teacher's linky with your top 5 back to school activities! I know you have some great things to share!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mentor Text - Ruth Heller!

Whimsical, lyrical, poetic and beautiful are all words that describe Ruth Heller's series of World of Language. I'm excited to share this series of books for this week's mentor text linky with  Collaboration Cuties , Stacia and Amanda!

 Ruth Heller has 8 books in her World of Language series. These books are a great introduction or review of the various parts of speech. Each book defines the part of speech and also provides numerous examples. Ruth Heller has a poetic and whimsical type of writing that engages students. The vibrant pictures draw students in to the story.

Books in the series:
Behind the Mask - A Book About Prepositions
Merry-Go-Round - A Book about Nouns
A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns
Mine, All Mine-A Book about Pronouns
Fantastic! Wow! And Unreal - A Book about Interjections and Conjunctions
Kites Sail High - A Book about Verbs
Many Luscious Lollipops - A Book about Adjectives (My very first book in the series!)
Up, Up, and Away - A Book about Adverbs

This is a great app to go along with the series. It is much like refrigerator magnets, only better!

Description:ReadWriteThink's Word Mover app is used to reinforce concepts taught in class.Word Mover allows children and teens to create "found poetry" by choosing from word banks and existing famous work; additionally, users can add new words to create a piece of poetry by moving/manipulating the text.

Features: 6 poem categories12 backgrounds for stylish poemsAuto-saving (Love this!)*Save poem to photos*Print to wireless printer*Send poem by e-mailPrivacy: Poems or private unless you decide to share by e-mail
Here are a few screen shots to give you an idea of what it is like! All you social studies people ... wait until you see the last screen shot!

How cool is this? They even have the words to famous speeches for students to use in their own writing pieces!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Currently - August

#190! A nice rounded number!

Today, I got to spend an amazing day with teachers! We had a design day at my district! Teachers from across the district came together to design engaging work for students. I'm a design coach for my district, so I got to hear teachers work through designing work for students. Teachers pick hard to learn, difficult to teach lessons. They start off by looking at their "who." Who are they teaching, what motivates them, what engages them....? From there it just evolves into more than what most teachers think! Such another post!

A bit too heavy for a Currently by Farley!

So...we begin....

Listening - My daughter is watching Victorious the tv show. It is the episode that is framed after The Breakfast Club movie! My husband happened to mention this to her. My daughter sooooo wants to see the movie! Absolutely, not! You must be older. (10 year old)

Loving - Our family bought a ski boat! We are having the best time out on the lake. My daughter has taken several friends to the lake and we plan on meeting family this weekend! Side note: Apparently, I wanted this for our anniversary! Who knew?!!! :)

Thinking - Ok, to be completely honest, I'm really thinking...Summer is slipping away. Boo-hoo, but it's been a great one. And if we are being completely honest, I'm thinking, that I've got to get started writing a speech for convocation. I have to give a 5 minute inspirational speech to my whole entire district the first day all teachers come back to school.
Got ideas?....What would you say to your district? What would you say to your colleagues to get them pumped about the new school year? Any and all suggestions welcome.

Wanting - Ok...again, if we are being honest here... I want someone to finish packing up my classroom for me, so I can hit the lake more with my family before school starts. 21 years of stuff!

Needing -  As I take on my new position as an Instructional Tech Specialist, there are many behind the scenes data types of things that need to be taken care of for this position. Things that need to be taken care of for teachers so they can successfully integrate technology. (I only hope they are patient with me.)    Curriculum/Integration- I'm all over that!!!!!! No, problem!!!!

Back 2 School stuff: 
1) I just got a keyboard for my iPad (lovin' it) so I need a really cute iPad case!
2) I must have purple pens!!!!
3) I've posted about Sam Moon before...cute "blinging my outfit out" accessories! I've taken on this obsession about accessories lately!
4) I know...there is no #4! I'm adding it! It's my..."Back to School Teacher Technology Survival Kit."
Stay tuned for this! Soooo cute!