Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday and my +1

Monday, we had a "Souper" good time sharing soup! Teachers brought in various types of soup to share. All was set up in our teacher workroom. Bottom left was mine! Classic tomato soup, but it's all about the toppings! Gold fish, croutons and popcorn! Yum! Big thanks to our social committee for organizing this yummy event!

We had our big . . . Papa John's Pizza Teacher Delivery night! Yes, teachers deliver pizzas to the families in our community! Parents drive . . . we deliver!
Miss Slice, (my daughter) made a guest appearance on our morning school news station to encourage families to order pizza! It is a wonderful evening where our school gets a percentage of the pizza sales and the school keep 100% of the tips earned!

I got to spend some time with the secondary teachers (the are a hoot!) during one of their technology facilitator meetings. As Instructional Tech Specialists, we shared a few resources during this meeting. I've posted about some of the resources during what we now call . . .
Tech it o New Heights Speed Sharing . . . #1 - #2 and #3.
Love Socrative! A teacher can create quizzes and a student can take it on any device!
We played the Space Race quiz. It was, again, a hoot! Those are some extremely competitive teachers!

Oh, by the way, it's free!!!!!!!!!
Give it a try!

Our outdoor learning environment is coming along. They are just about finished with the learning huts. Most recently, they added the landscape borders and big boulders! Those boulders will be perfect for sitting and writing! They are working on the mountainous area. Weather permitting, the landscaping should be finished in 2 weeks!
What you see below is going to be the desert area.  I can't wait!

I'm adding this to my mentor text collection! Sunday, I linked up with Collaboration Cuties for their mentor text linky! You really need to check out their linky. There are soooo many great mentor texts with some great lessons to integrate in your curriculum!
The subject area was social studies. In my post, I shared a great book about President's Day, but this one needs to be included! It is so stinkin' cute! (Cute is for you Stephanie!)

My +1!
Dinner last night! With the purchase of fajitas from our local grocery store, the hubby got Italian sausage, salsa, Doritos, and Big Red for free! (Thank goodness we have several teenagers staying with us this weekend, Big Red and Doritos . . perfect!)

Dinner Thursday night, grilled Italian sausage, sauce, grilled green peppers, and onions on an open faced sandwich! Yummy!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What Presidents are Made Of! Great Mentor Text

Presidents' Day is coming up on February 17th. This is suppose to be a teacher professional learning day for our district, but might turn into our icy make up day. Thursday evening, our temperature dropped to below freezing with precipitation in the air . . . result . . . thin layer of ice coating the city . . .  shutting the city of San Antonio down.  No school! Those of you up north, don't laugh too hard.

It was fun having an icy day. Icicles dangling from the roof and car . . .  leaves with a thin layer of ice that would just slide right off into your hand, the exact shape of the leaf  - You would walk outside and it was just . . . quiet. Pretty much all melted by mid afternoon! Nonetheless, a great ice day!

So, all that brings me to . . .  the mentor text I share today . . . 
What Presidents are Made Of, is an fun book filled with illustrations that are actually collages that depict a president. The collage of each president is created with items that give the reader clues about what that particular president enjoyed doing in their every day life. 
Each president is represented by a word or a phrase that describes their character. The collage is accompanied by a short paragraph that describes an event or trait of the president. This book is perfect for lessons on character traits, paragraph structure and main idea with supporting details. Throw in a bit of comparing and contrasting of the presidents . . . too fun!
I love checking out all the other posts linked up on Amanda & Stacia's, Collaboration Cuties mentor text linky. I've mentioned it before, but social studies is where I struggle the most in making it engaging, so having a place to check out other great ideas is so nice!

I found this website, President for a Day! It is created by PBS from the Democracy Project. Students have the opportunity to role play a virtual day of a president.

Students fill out an application (remember, no last names!) that leads them through a series of questions based on their interests. Once, they have answered a question, they are given a bit of information that matches a president.

 There was a nice surprise at the end. A news article popped up about my first day as president! You can have students take a screen shot and print! All of these printed would make a cute bulletin board.

Here is a fun free app for recognizing the presidents. It is basic and simple, but fun. I enjoyed trying to recognize the presidents.

If you have a Brainpop account, there are many short videos on US presidents. It's a great way to highlight a president each day . . .  leading up to Presidents' Day.

Well, it will be a high of 77 degrees today . . . only in Texas! I think I'll open some windows and enjoy the beautiful weather. It's almost like the ice day was just a dream. :)

Head over to Collaboration Cuties for some other great social studies mentor texts!
Happy Sunday!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Padlet, QR Codes, Amusement Parks and Weather

I love when I can sit down with a teacher and within a few minutes we have created an engaging lesson that students are going to love!

She brought the standards and I brought the technology. The standard was . . . identify the importance of weather and seasonal information to make choices in clothing, activities, and transportation;

A great way to start a weather unit (or any unit for that matter) is to use Padlet  - formerly known as Wallwishers. Create a wall where students can post questions that they have about weather. It's as simple as having your students double click on the wall and post their question.

Once, students have posted their questions share, Why does Lightening Strike? with your students.
It is such a cute book about questions students ask about weather.

Simple text and great pictures.

 Add in another book, World Book Encyclopedia's, Weather.

We took a lesson from StemScopes and tweaked it a bit . . . ok, a bunch. The task was to have each student travel to various amusement parks around the world, investigate the temperature and determine what clothing to pack. Students used a QR Code to take them to the weather for that day for each location. The weather for that day helped them determine what items to pack in their suitcase. 

As each student traveled from station to station, they took their file folder with them to record their findings. The file folder contained a map of the world with each amusement park location, one suitcase per location full of clothing (they circled the appropriate clothing), a box to write the temperature, and finally a writing prompt asking which location they would choose for their next holiday and why. Students traveled to Hong Kong, California, Florida, Paris . . . 

I love that a map of the amusement park was added to each station. It was fun to listen to students compare what was at each amusement park.

These second graders tweeted about their experience! Check it out and follow this awesome 2nd grade classroom, @learninginTX!

Head over to Collaboration Cuties for some other science mentor texts!

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January ~ Currently

Happy 2014!
First Currently for the new year!

Listening: My husband and I are on this crazy out of control watching frenzy of Breaking Bad.
Oh, my! I honestly never wanted to watch this show. Teacher turn drug dealer . . . uh, no thanks! I have been totally sucked in by this major drama!

Loving: I have already cooked two things in my new crockpot! Tortilla soup and now, Creamy White Chicken Chili! I love, love, love my new water

Thinking: There are several projects that I need to get started on, but can't seem to get it going. Maybe, after Breaking Bad.

Wanting: Google Glass! These are so cool. How cool would they be for a day in the life of . . . taking them on a field trip . . . pretty wild!

Needing: I feel like I do a drive by reading of blog posts that I see in my Bloglovin' feed. My goal (not resolution) is to respond to more blog posts. I know I love when there is a response to something I've posted.

Memory: Really, it's about creating memories! I just posted in my 13 in 13 linky post about our boat we purchased this year. It is so much fun! We love taking my daughter and her friends out on the lake. Creating experiences and making memories.

Happy new year and be sure to head over to Farley's for some more Currently action!