## Monday, April 30, 2012

### Motivation Monday!

Ah, yes...the sweetness of children.  Well, some of them.  :)  After having a really rough week last week with state testing, car trouble, and our school's Spring Fling, I thought I was going to lose it!

But then I get something sweet like this:
I hope you have sweet moments like this in the midst of all the stress, paperwork, and whatever else is going on in your school/home life!

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

## Sunday, April 29, 2012

### Luna Giveaway WINNER!

A few days ago, I began a giveaway for this awesome little Luna document camera.
And today's the day I pick a winner!

Congrats, Dana!  I hope you and your students enjoy the Luna camera as much as we have!  Thanks again to everyone who entered!

## Saturday, April 28, 2012

### Fractions-Decimals Activity FREEBIE!

Happy Saturday, y'all!  I would've posted this last night, but I had a Spring carnival at school and car trouble.  We also just wrapped up the CRCT yesterday.  So needless to say, the weekend couldn't come soon enough!

I'm taking classes to get my Math endorsement and had to videotape myself teaching a lesson I created.  Lord knows I'm not showing the video, but I'll gladly share the lesson with you!  :)

The lesson objective is to help the students understand the relationship between fractions and decimals.  We made several other connections throughout the lesson as well, such as fractions can represent money amounts.  (Ex.  2/10 of \$1.00 = \$0.20)

The lesson includes:
- cover sheet with essential question
- warm up activity idea/screenshots
- whole group activity (ordering fractions/converting to decimals)
- independent activity (matching decimals to fractions/ordering fractions and decimals)

Here are a couple pictures of the independent activity after we had gone over it.
I drew pictures on the board to give the students a visual of the fractions/decimals.
Students came up and pointed to where they placed each fraction/decimal.  Depending on which form (fraction/decimal) was given in the box, we wrote the other form on the number line as well.

Click the picture below to snag the activity for yourself and your kiddos!!!

## Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thanks to Laura Candler at Corkboard Connections for hosting this awesome linky party!  It relates to my most favorite part of the day:  MATH CENTERS!  :)
I L-O-V-E teaching math using small groups and centers!  I feel that I am able to give individualized instruction to each child, giving attention to their specific weaknesses.

When coming up with ideas for centers, I make sure it follows two rules:
(1) aligns with our standards, and
(2) it's fun!

Here are a few pictures of how I set up my centers:

I laminate EVERYTHING.
I put everything in baggies (big papers in gallon baggies, smaller cards in sandwich baggies).
I use these cards to display center names and students who will participate in each.  They have magnets on the back of them...I can move the cards easily whenever it's time to rotate centers.  Click the picture to snag your own free center signs!
And now for the goodies!!!  Click my picture below to snag your own copy of several math centers freebies I've created in the past!  (The link will take you to my Math freebies section at my TpT store...there were too many pics/games to link up!)  Enjoy!

## Wednesday, April 25, 2012

### "What You Might Want Wednesday!" (aka Techie Tuesday!)

Hello, friends!!!  What a week so far!  We're in the middle of state testing and it's exhausting.  My kids are really hanging in there though.  Thank goodness!

Anywho...my Techie Tuesday/What You Might Want Wednesday post is about another gadget Learning Resources let me check out.  It's the Luna interactive projection camera.
It was extremely easy to set up!  You just pop in the CD, plug in the USB cord, and you're ready!

Here are some of the ways we've used it so far:
I projected the book Our Tree Named Steve from under the camera.
The entire class was able to see this particular scene in the book.  I have already read the story to them, but we paused on this page to discuss what the author/illustrator's purpose was.  They used inference to discuss the situation, cause and effect, and the emotions of the family members looking outside.  It was perfect for writing that day!!!  I was able to leave the picture up on the screen as a visual reminder while the students wrote in their journals.
And of course, we had to do some CRCT review.  This is an end-of-the-year math test from one of our county resources.  It was jam-packed with fabulous questions, reminding the students of all the things we had previously discussed and learned.

I plan on using it during Math after testing is over.  There are so many ways to use this thing...I just need more time!

Not only does it project images, it also takes photos and records video.  A-MA-ZING!  And it's very user-friendly, whether I'm using it or the kids are.

And the best part - it could be YOURS!  Thanks to Learning Resources I'm able to giveaway one Luna camera to one very lucky person!  Simply enter below!  The contest will start tonight at 12:01 am and will run until 12:01am April 29, 2012.  The winner will be announced Sunday afternoon, April 29th!

Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

## Monday, April 23, 2012

### Motivation Monday

Whether seeing this makes you think of those sweet little "angels" in your classroom or that oh so awesome adult who still acts like a child...they all need our love and support.

At this time of year, kids and teachers both are counting down the days 'til the last day of school.  State testing is going on and everyone is exhausted and stretched thin.  I hope you can finish out the year strong and with lots of happy moments with those who are hard to love.  :)

I hope everyone has a great week!

## Saturday, April 21, 2012

### A Challenge and a FREEBIE!

Charity from The Organized Classroom Blog has issued quite the challenge:

And I've made it!  To celebrate, here's a freebie!

This is a multiplication grid activity I created to help my kids practice their multiplication facts.  The numbers are NOT in order!  My kids weren't too thrilled about that.  :)

To give them a head start, I had the kids come up and fill in some of the missing numbers.  That really helped some of my struggling students catch on quicker.  Before I knew it, everyone wanted to come up and fill in some answers!

I included a mixed review at the bottom of the page.  After filling in the grid, they could use it to decide when number sentence was larger.  I let them work with partners (and individually if they chose so) and they had a blast!  I hope your kids do too!

Click the picture below to download the freebie from my TN store!

## Friday, April 20, 2012

### Family Time!

I have my family at home...the hubby and the dog.  But I'm not referring to them.  I'm talking about my family at school...my kids.  I have 26 children that I call "mine."  I love them, protect them, help them, teach them...the list goes on and on.

Yesterday I received three new students and knew immediately that they needed to feel welcome.  They needed to know that they were a part of our amazing family.

I knew the perfect way to do that!  My guidance counselor had completed a name collage at the beginning of the year, but it needed revising.  We were missing some names!  So we took down the old one, talked about the friends we had lost throughout the year, and the fabulous ones we had gained as well!

Here's our updated name collage:
The culture in my classroom is one of respect, responsibility, and love.  I hope that my new kids have a blast finishing out the rest of the year with us!  Hope everyone has an amazing weekend!  :)

## Thursday, April 19, 2012

### My PALs...An Earth Day Tip!

Smart PALs,  that is!  Have you ever seen/used these?
One of my awesome AP's gave these to us to use a few months ago and I've been loving them.  So have the kids.  All you do is slide an activity in the sleeve and use dry erase markers to record your answers.  And they're super easy to clean off.  Just wipe them down with a sock!  We used them with tons of different activities.  I really like using them during Reading centers.  It's a great way to keep the kids engaged.  What an amazing way to cut down on unnecessary copies and paper!

## Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Wednesday!!!  I wanted to give you guys an update on something fun we've been doing!  My kids and I have been focusing on response to literature during our writing block.  It was a tough concept at first, but they caught on quickly.

Here are some of the books I've shared:
This one was a RIOT!  It sparked a great Science discussion.  It also proved to me that my kids aren't to be messed with...stick to a team 'cause they're not having this back and forth business!
They loved this one!  (And I didn't realize this little guy has his own TV show.)  This book has an amazing plot...well worth the read!
And this one...we can all relate.  You know those moments.  Whether it comes from a parent, grandparent, or friend...your face turns bright red!

The kids have made excellent connections between the characters and themselves.  I'm excited to continue our journey known as "Response to Lit!"

## Tuesday, April 17, 2012

### Techie Tuesday!

As we're getting ready for our state tests, we're doing lots of review.  There are so many things we've covered and it seems like it's been AGES!!!
One of my colleagues (another Dana!) sent out a link to this website:

I'll admit...when you get there, there aren't any fancy graphics or cute little characters for the kids to play along with.  BUT, it is full of fabulous review quizzes that would be perfect for students who are preparing for any test!

I was planning on having my kids take specific quizzes that will help cover skills they're still struggling with.  I could do this during Math time as a center!

Another coworker (Mia) shared TONS of Jeopardy-type games this morning to help review as well!  I can wait to share them with my kids!  It's going to be a really fun and exciting way to brush up on all the different things we've covered this year!  (I would share them with you guys, but I don't know who created them.  I would feel bad sharing something the creator didn't want me to share.)

## Monday, April 16, 2012

### Motivation Monday...and a WINNER!!!

Monday, you come around way too fast!

For today's post, it's an oldie but a goodie.  I saw this last week during a staff meeting and really liked it.  It's a great example for making connections and having a purpose behind everything we do.

And for those who are waiting on the edge of your seats, hoping and praying to win the Easi-Speak - here it is!  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

## Sunday, April 15, 2012

### Tax Day SALE!

Woohoo!  Taxes are filed and now we're waiting on the refund!  :)  To celebrate another tax season under our belt, some TpT stores are offering 15% off TODAY only!

So if you feel like doing any shopping, click the picture below!
My Teachers Notebook store is also 15% off.
Click below to head over to the TN store:
Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

## Thursday, April 12, 2012

### Hands-On Magnet FREEBIE!

We're covering magnets this week.  It's our last unit before we start reviewing for the CRCT...which is April 23-27.  We've already prepped our desks (in rows rather than our normal clusters) so they'll be used to the different room arrangement.  I have also started taking stuff off the walls (or the other option is to cover it all up).  Each morning they come in and try to figure out what's missing.  It's quite fun!

Anywho...sorry for the tangent.  :)   Here are a couple of pics of how I used the magnet freebies.
First, I gave them bar magnets and let them "explore."  They discussed the "funny feeling" or magnetic field between the two magnets when they were attracted to each other.  Then we discussed the pattern (opposites attract) and copied down our observations.

For the second activity, I gave each group a cup filled with the objects listed in blue above (I left this part blank on the freebie copy so you could fill it in with your own objects).  They discovered if the objects were attracted to the magnet or if they repelled.  We discussed our answers as a whole group after each small group had finished.

Click below to snag the activites for yourself from my TN store!

## Wednesday, April 11, 2012

### Earth Day Freebie and a Linky Party!

Denise at Sunny Days is having a fantastic FREEBIE linky party!
There are tons of great ideas already linked up!  So to celebrate and join in the fun, I created this fact family center using some of Ginger Snaps super cute Earth Day clip art!  When playing in this center, the kids will choose a card and then decide how to set up the fact family.  Some are addition/subtraction and some are multiplication/division.

Click below to snag it!  Enjoy!

## Tuesday, April 10, 2012

### Techie Tuesday...and a Giveaway!!!

Today's post is a fun one!  I love this little gadget Learning Resources let me test out!
It's called an Easi-Speak!  This handy little microphone was very easy to use (for both myself and my kids).  I think my favorite part is that it doesn't use batteries....it charges through a USB port!

I used the Easi-Speak in several ways.  The first way was introducing a new center to my students.  They had practiced the skill before, but had never played this particular game.  They really enjoyed getting to listen to me explain the center while I was actually working with another small group!
The second way I used the Easi-Speak was to allow the kids to record their answers to the centers not only on the recording sheet, but record them on the Easi-Speak.  It was able to check for correct answers AND check their reading fluency!  It was a two-in-one assessment tool!  And the kids were having a blast recording themselves!
The third way I used the Easi-Speak was to record myself reading a book from our class library.  I have a handful of students who are reading below grade level.  I chose a book that was on grade level, recorded it with the Easi-Speak, and then they were able to listen to it while following along in the book.  It was like my own personal listening center!
The possibilities of using the Easi-Speak are endless!  And the best part, it could be yours!  If you would like a chance to have your own Easi-Speak for your classroom, enter below!  Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

## Monday, April 9, 2012

### Motivation Monday!

Have you read/watched The Help?!  If so, you'll completely get this!
Source: Uploaded by user via Dana on Pinterest

I feel like we build up our students and others around us while leaving ourselves out.  I recently attended a "Chick Chat" at a local church and the speaker used this quote.  Boy, it hit home that night as she spoke.  It's important to be a bucket filler, but we need to tend to our own buckets as well.

I hope everyone has a great week!

## Saturday, April 7, 2012

I have been extremely productive while being off for Spring Break this week.  I've cleaned the house, met up with bloggers and friends, and have been reading!  This book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, has been an amazing read so far!

The authors describe situations of children with the different love languages and give tips on how to respond appropriately.  At the end of each love language chapter, they list several "to do's" for those types of children.  For example, if your child's love language is physical touch, you could provide them with a special blanket or pillow or give them high fives.

I really like how many of the ideas and principles can be used in a home setting AND a classroom setting.  I figured since all children learn differently, they must love differently.  We teach to all the different learning styles.  It just seems appropriate to understand all the different types of love and respond accordingly.

I can't wait to implement some of these strategies in my class this week!  What things do you do to help each child know that their way of learning and loving is ok?  Feel free to share in the comments below!

## Friday, April 6, 2012

### What Went Right Today - Linky Party!

Teresa from Confessions of a Teaching Junkie has started an upbeat and positive linky party!!!  She took a pin I found for my latest Motivation Monday post and ran with it!  What a fabulous way to spread positivity around the blog world!

So here's my addition to the party:
What a great day it has been!  Yes, some things didn't go right today.  But I'm choosing to focus on the happy, positive things!

If you would like to link up, here's a blank copy of the pic.  Save it, open it up in Word or Powerpoint, add the text boxes, and then take a screen shot of it (or save it as a pic).  Then hop on over and link up!  Click on my positive picture above or Teresa's blog name to join in the fun!

## Thursday, April 5, 2012

### Bunny Hop Freebie

I really hope you've been hopping along with the rest of the TBA crew and have been enjoying the freebies!  I'm #18 and I'm excited to share my freebie with you!  It's all about grammar skills including punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.  ALL of these skills could use a quick review, no matter what grade level!

Click the picture below to snag it!
And make sure you hop along to the next freebie at Katie's blog, Queen of the 1st Grade Jungle!

## Wednesday, April 4, 2012

### TBA Birthday Giveaway!!!

TBA is celebrating it's 1st birthday!  WOOHOO!  TBA is an amazing site with tons of bloggers and resources.  I'm so thankful to be a part of it.

To celebrate, we're having a giveaway!  What's up for grabs?!  24 activities and 2 Amazon gift cards!  But don't wait!  The giveaway ends sooon!

Click the picture below to get more details and enter!
Good luck!