Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Made It June 30th

Summer is here, but that doesn't mean all of us teachers aren't working!  I think many of us work harder in the summer getting things ready for the upcoming year.  I know this because Monday Made It is always full of evidence of it!

Here are a few of the things I have made this week:

Ok, I have jumped on the spray painting band wagon! I have these containers where I keep all of my supplies, but the covers were getting a little dingy from all the little hands touching them. 

They may have even been a little extra loved on and decorated.  Gotta love 4th grade humor right??? 

Anyway... I had thought about bringing them home to scrub with some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, but then I saw everyone in bloggy world spray painting the heck out of everything they could get their hands on, so I decided, why not?



Luke also decided to join the spray painting party.  He had us spray paint his pegs for his bike (they were silver) so that it matches.  He may have gotten the matching OCD thing from me..

I also managed to make my new Whole Brain Teaching 5 Rules posters to match my room.  The matching OCD thing..  I still need to cut around the laminate and hang them up, but they are made!

And.. I managed to give my TpT store a little love with 2 new products! 

Homophones Bingo


Prefixes and Suffixes Bingo

Both of these products were flash freebies this weekend, and I let my Facebook fans know about it.  If you aren't already following me on Facebook, make sure you do to find out about flash freebies like this one!

And speaking of following, make sure you are following me on Bloglovin' as well.  I have a big 500 follower giveaway coming up that you don't want to miss!  I am already a bit over 500 followers on TpT and I am getting close on Bloglovin' I would love to be at 500 on both by July 5th (hint, hint).  

Make sure you link up to 4th Grade Frolics and show us what you've made!  If you don't know how to link up, check out the tutorial on linking up to linky parties I wrote yesterday.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

How to Link to a Linky Party

I have had this blog for almost two years, prior to that I had another blog for three years or so.  So.. I've been blogging a bit and I sometimes take for granted all of the things there is to know about blogging.  Now I am by no means an expert, but when I got an email from a sweet reader asking me what the deal with linky parties was (how do you find them, how do you link up, etc), I just had to help.  I wrote her back and gave her a pretty basic starter guide, but it got me thinking that maybe other people are struggling with this as well. So, without further ado... here is a quick tutorial on how to link to a linky party.

A linky party is when the author of a blog invites other blog writers to link up their blog posts on the same topic.  For example, a blog might host a book study, or an organization idea linky party.  Some popular linky parties in the teaching blog world include:


5 for Friday  from Doodle Bugs Teaching  This linky party involves posting 5 random things from your week.

Made it Monday from 4th Grade Frolics  is the place to show off the things you have made.

Tried it Tuesday with Fourth Grade Flipper is the place to share things that you have tried.

Farley's Currently at Oh boy Fourth Grade is the place to share what you are Currently up to.   As you can see above, she provides a template for you to complete.  The completed one above is from her blog.  Currently happens on the first of every month and there are a few of us stalkers fans who hit refresh a million times until the new one comes up. 

I know what your next question is - How do you fill in the blanks?  So glad you asked:

1. Right click her template and copy it or save as JPEG or PNG.
2. Open up PowerPoint and paste the image or insert the image if you saved it.
3. Insert text-boxes over the open areas and type in your answers.
4. Copy this new picture and paste it into paint and save as a JPEG (you can also save as a JPEGin PowerPoint)
5. Upload your image to your blog.

If I didn't mention your linky party above, it isn't because I don't love you, I just put a few.  Feel free to leave a link in the comments section if you have a linky party we should join!

* As a blogger, joining a linky party increases your readership and helps other bloggers and blog readers to find you.

* As a blog reader, linky parties help you find more information about a topic you are interested in.

* Hello? Writer's Block maybe?  Linky parties are a great way to think of ideas to blog about when you just can't think of anything to write about.

Step 1: Write your post.  If the linky party has a "button" (a fancy word for the picture they use) copy and paste it into your blog.  They may have a grab button with a code for you to copy and paste into the html section of your blog. I have a grab button to the right on my blog. 

You would just copy and paste the info they have in the box (their info, not mine :D  )

Step 2: When you have hit publish on your blog post copy the url for THAT page (not your home page).

Not Correct:

Step 3: Visit the page where the linky party is at and click on the button that says: Add your link.

Then choose your picture from the pictures displayed.

Now that you have linked up, be sure to leave a comment for the host.  Also, visit several of the other blogs who have linked up and comment as well.  Farley advocates the rule of 3 on her Currently post.  That is, you comment on the 2 posts before you and 1 post after you.  I think this is a good practice and super easy to do.  If you have time, visit more!  It is also nice to respond to the people who visit your blog as well.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

STEM At the Beach

Yesterday I wrote a little bit about our day trip to the beautiful Donner Lake.

What I didn't mention was the impromptu STEM lesson that happened while we were there.  I guess you can't really turn the teaching brain off even when you are relaxing!

While we were there, a group of boys started digging something.  Then they would grab a bucket of water and run down the line with it splashing it out as they went.  My boys curiosity was peaked!

"What are they doing?"
"What are they making?'

Finally one of them figured it out.  
"They are trying to make a river or stream to the lake."

Then they become doubtful.
"It's not going to work the way they are doing it."

That's when teacher mom arrived on the scene.

"What would you do differently to make it work better?"
"What structural changes would you suggest they make."

The ideas poured out like crazy!

"Maybe they need to make it higher than the lake."
"Maybe they should pour the water in one spot at a time so it has less time to evaporate."

Then I suggested, "Why don't you help them engineer it?"

That has a much better ring to it than "Why don't you go ask them if you can play?"

Have you and your kids been learning this summer?

Friday, June 27, 2014

, Five for Friday - June 27, 2014

  Time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

I am full swing into summer now (I can't believe it has been almost a whole month!), but I am definitely keeping busy working on things for next year.  I went into my classroom this weekend, but it wasn't quite ready for me yet.

The tables and everything else are pushed against the wall ready for the janitors to clean the carpets.  I did manage to pull out my laminator and got some laminating done.  Luke also kept busy with math manipulatives.  He put his uniform on to go to school today (he cracks me up)!  

He is going to be in my class this year and I am both excited and nervous about that.  Have you ever had your own child in your class? Any tips or advice?

Tyler has also been doing his share of out of school work reading up a storm.  It makes me chuckle because I asked him last week what he was reading and he said, "Nothing, reading is boring!'  I told him that he just hadn't found the right book yet, but reading is exciting, and when he finds the right book he will love it too. I truly believe every person is a reader waiting to find the right book to hook them.  Anyway, we went to Barnes and Noble for me and he saw a poster of a baseball book on the windows as we made our way in.  We looked for it and found it and he has been reading ever since.  Point made!

Speaking of baseball, my husband took our two baseball fans, Tyler and Luke to the A's game with Luke's baseball coach.  They had a blast!

Tyler and Luke

Luke with his Coach

Bet you can't tell he's a fan, can you?

Tyler was ready to catch any foul balls.

Yesterday we spent a relaxing day at Donner Lake.  This was my view for most of the day.

We rented paddle boats for part of the morning.

Hubby and the boys out on the lake.  Paddle boats are quite the workout let me tell you!
But, we had a blast and the views were amazing!

Luke even found a friend - a little frog.  He asked if he could keep him, but I told him "NO!"

I am such a mean mom!

While we were at the lake I got a bit of reading in as well getting ready for my next book study on The Together Teacher.  If you haven't entered to win a copy yet, head over here.  

Have a great weekend!

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