Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of 2013 And a Sale!

Top Ten, Top 10
Really Top 5! :)

Since today is the last day of 2013, I thought I would share some of the best posts of 2013 from my blog.  I have learned so much from my fellow teacher bloggers, and I love sharing things that I have learned, things that I have tried, and things that honestly haven't gone as well as I would have liked, because, as I tell my students - mistakes are proof that you are learning!

My number 1 Blog Post from 2013 was Whole Brain Teaching The Scoreboard.  Many teachers LOVE the results from this method of teaching that also includes behavior management.  I know I have seen significant improvement in behavior and engagement during lessons using many of Chris Biffle's Strategies.This post showed how I use the Scoreboard in my classroom and includes a FREEBIE!

In the number 2 slot is The World Would Be More Awesome If post.  This post is how I turned an inspiring Kid President (my kiddos LOVE him) video into a writing assignment.

My 3rd most popular blog post of 2013 was my post about Marzano learning scales inspired by a Pinterest pin.  Our school district has heavily adopted the use of Marzano learning scales for our students to self assess.  This post shows my old version of the scales, but I now have each student keep a copy of the scales in their notebooks.  I will post about this soon.

In 4th place is another post about Whole Brain Teaching!  This one was about the 5 classroom rules and also included several links to some FREEBIE signs to hang in your class.

And... last but not least the 5th most popular post of 2013 was my teaching subjects and predicates with Mr Morton (of grammar rock fame).  This one also included a FREEBIE!

I am sensing a theme - FREEBIES and Whole Brain Teaching!  So, expect more of both kinds of posts (as well as a mix of others) in the New Year!  Thank you so much for visiting my blog, whether that means you are a new visitor today or you have been visiting all year long!  As a special thank you - I am having a sale!

I am also having a sale today and tomorrow in honor of the new year!  You can get 20% off every item in both my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.  While you are there, remember to Follow my Stores for a chance to win a $25 Gift certificate!  I have a giveaway for store followers every month :) Just a little thank you for being a follower! Thank you so much to Sheree from Peterson's Pad for the awesome sales button!  She is also having a 20% off sale at her store tomorrow as well.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Five For Friday - December 20th

Well, better late than never, right?  I had every intention of posting yesterday after school, but I must have been exhausted from the crazy week because I fell asleep at 4:30 in the afternoon and didn't wake up until 5:30 this morning!  My hubby said he tried to wake me for dinner, but I wouldn't budge so he let me sleep. So, this is my better late than never link up for Five For Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Here is a glimpse at SOME of the craziness of the week:

I vented last week about the looooooong list of plans for this week at our school, and one of them was a door decorating contest.  I just did not have the energy to even think about that with our play performance this week, so I decided to let that slide  One of my teaching partners came to the rescue when he and his class surprised our class with the door decor below.  Thanks Mr. Korf!

Our play was on Tuesday - and I was so busy directing I didn't take one picture!  I will have to hunt some of the parents down to get a few.  The afternoon performance (during school in front of all of their peers) was a bit rough, but the evening performance was much better!  I am super proud of these kiddos because we had a very short rehearsal period before the play.
I did manage to get a few pics of my son, Palmer's high school play which was also this week.  This was their best performance in all 4 years he has been there.

We had our Christmas concert this week as well - again - I forgot to take pictures, but I did manage to snap a picture of the tree my class made for decorations for the concert.  They left me a little message I almost didn't notice!  Super sweet!

In the middle of the chaotic week, I am proud to say that my students were surprisingly very focused!  

Hard at work during Daily 5

And very greatful - we each got gloves from our room Mom!

And, I will end with a bit of Christmas Cheer!

One of our friends is a photographer, and every year my hubby dresses as Santa for pictures with Santa - here is a shot of him and my youngest - super cute!
And the three youngest:

and the Christmas Card my class sent out:

And now... ready for a relaxing Christmas break!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Freebies

I know the last week before Christmas vacation can be a bit of a scramble, so I have scoured out a few great freebies to help with your planning!

I will be printing out this Trim the Fractions freebie for a few of my higher kids who have advanced to reducing fractions in Accelerated Math while the rest of the class is working on division.

Here is a fun writing prompt that could be used in January as well - If I Was In A Snowglobe Writing Prompt

My Sweet Story is a great way to review adjectives!

If you are trying to teach your kiddos about the true meaning of Christmas, you might want the check out this Kind Kids pack.

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Get a Great Deal on a Great Read and Help A Fellow Teacher!

I have written about our school counselor's book The Adventures of Bob To Doodledip for Soup before, but I wanted to let you know that they are having a major sale on the Kindle version of the book at Amazon.com all day today.  It is on sale for 85% off - only 99 cents today only!

Along with the book he has some fun FREE activities at Teachers Pay Teachers here.

A twitter account with daily tweets from the characters in the book.

Some fun videos starring "Bob" and Bongo the Space Cat from the book like the one below:

Click here to check it out!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five For Friday December 13, 2013

Another week in the books and only one more week until Christmas vacation!  Not like I'm counting or anything!  Here is a peek at my week, as I link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday:

We took multiple, multiple, multiple pictures for our class Christmas card and the one above may be the CLOSEST we are going to get to perfect - it is so hard to get 23 fourth graders to smile at the same time.  Oh, and forget the fact that I forgot two of the kiddos for the first ten shots because I had sent them in the hallway to work since they were being a little distracting during Daily 5.  OOPS! We also had to take a few silly shots for good measure.

And in keeping with the holiday spirit, we have been getting in some much needed math fact practice holiday style!  You can read more about this Cookies for Santa math fact practice here.

And other than that, I am feeling a bit Grinchy this year.  With all the craziness of holidays it is hard to get everything done.  I am directing the drama club at another school, and we have our performance next week, so I am already feeling additional pressure, AND today, we got an email with a list of Christmas activities for next week that is about a mile long - we have a door decorating contest, a Christmas tree decorating contest, a candy cane exchange, Christmas caroling, a Christmas concert and rehearsals of our own, several Christmas parties, dress up days for every day of the week, AHHHHH!!! Calgon take me away!  Is it just me or  does that seem a bit too much all at once?  I would like to have a regular week with just holiday fun on Friday.  Am I alone in thinking this?

Thank you for letting me vent, now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

We also have our monthly awards ceremony next week, and I was having a hard time narrowing down my recipients, so, I let the students nominate students along with a reason why.  I told them they had to be persuasive!  They came up with some great reasons, and I chose the students with the most votes.  But.. I also shared all of the compliments with the class  They really enjoyed hearing nice things that their fellow students wrote about them.  I think I might make this a regular way of choosing awards.  That way more of them are recognized, and they really learn what criteria makes an award winning student.

We have been working hard on mastering long division.  A few of  the students needed some additional hands on practice, and I ended up having everyone use the base ten blocks - it really cemented the process for even my advanced learners.

We will be getting in some additional practice with my new Duck Dynasty inspired game - Don't Duck Division next week.

And we ended today on a different note with some Fun Friday activities.  We usually have clubs right after lunch, but I found out as we were walking back to the classroom that clubs had been canceled.  Awesome!  I had nothing planned, so I decided to give them some free time.I let the students make choices to: play on the computers, play board games, color, or make bracelets.  The bracelet making was a BIG hit!

Hope you had a great week!  Wishing you the best of luck in surviving the holiday craziness before vacation!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookies for Santa - A Fun Way To Practice Our Math Facts

In keeping with the holiday spirit, I decided to spruce up our math fact practice with these adorable Cookies for Santa Kaboom game!  The kids had a blast!

I put all of the "cookie" pieces in a leftover Christmas cookie tin upside down.  The students pulled the cards out and attempted to answer the fact. If they got it correct, they got to keep the card.  If they got it wrong, it went back into the tin. If they got the dreaded KABOOM card - they had to put all of their cards back.  The winner is the kiddo with the most cards when time was up.

Sorry about that yucky glare!  And yes, we were wearing coats in the classroom - it has been FREEZING this week!

You can find the Cookies for Santa Cards in my Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook Stores below:  I have addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division versions.

Teachers Notebook

If you would like to win one, leave a comment below with your email address and I will send one to the first three people who leave a comment!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five For Friday Dec 6

This week has flown by!  I am hoping that the next two weeks before Christmas vacation will go just as quickly.  We have a lot to do in the next few weeks, so I am sure it will! And.. because it is Friday, it is time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!


We have been doing a lot of cooperative learning in class lately and the kids are loving it!  It has really allowed me to work with more students, and I feel like my kids are learning even more as they explain what they are learning to their peers.  They have loved both being the coach and the coached.

Love Notes - Don't you just love the little love notes your students leave you?  This was at my desk this week.

I love birthdays in our class!  I get to embarrass honor them with the lovely birthday hat and a smencil!

Our district purchased these National Geographic Ladders books, and the kids have been loving them - they love non-fiction!  We learned about the 7 summits this week.  I'm not sure I could make a trek up any of the mountains, but a few of my kiddos are sure they could!

It is also time for my Teachers Pay Teachers Giveaway!  Each month I give away a $25 Gift Certificate for Teachers Pay Teachers just for following!  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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