Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mentor Text- The Legend of Spookly the Square Pumpkin

I have been a bad and life have consumed my life and I have not been able to sit and write a blog in a while.  I think of all these good ideas, but it usually it is when I am in my car driving back and forth to school.  This year I am having a huge commute to school each day, which hasn't been terrible, but some of my car time would be blogging time normally.  Please forgive me for maybe not as many blog posts.  I am hoping to break 200 followers very soon because I have an awesome giveaway that I have been waiting to do...I only need 8 more followers!

Today, I am linking up with the fabulous girls at Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Mentor Text linky party.  If you have not checked this out yet, you should.  I find some many great books that I did not know about before or have forgotten about. They have this party each Sunday and it is fabulous!!!  This week their theme is October books, fall or Halloween.  I teach in a Christian school so we do not celebrate Halloween.  I like to do a bunch of fall activities with the students.  I usually have a pumpkin day where we do many different activities with pumpkins and math.  

We guess how many seeds are in a pumpkin.  Then we dig in and see how many there actually are.  The students are always surprised at how many seeds are in a pumpkin.

The students work in groups to put the seeds in groups of ten.

Some students didn't want to touch the actual stuff inside so they used gloves!

We guessed how many were in this small pumpkin and the students were amazed that there were over 100 seeds inside this little pumpkin.

Some groups were neater than others with their grouping!

After we complete a bunch of math activity, I always read The Legend of Spookly the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano.  I use this story to talk about how God made us all different.  We should not look at peoples outward appearance, but look at their heart.  We then usually draw our own Spookly pumpkin and write about how God made us each different.

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin (with CD)

Description from Barnes & 
One day in the pumpkin patch
the strangest little pumpkin hatched....

Spookley the Pumpkin was different. All the other pumpkins teased him, until Spookley proved that being different can save the day!

I also found a fantastic video of the book on youtube.  

Check out this very inspiring book!  Well, I am off to do some fall baking and finish some school work for the week!  


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday Made It with a Freebie!

I have to confess...I had this post done on Sunday except for the pictures, which I needed to take yesterday.  Our Internet at school was crazy, I was over whelmed yesterday and we had open house.  I am sorry this is a day late!

It has been a while since I linked up to Monday Made It!  I have made things, but have either thought they were not worthy to link up or they were pretty boring.  Today, I feel my item is worthy of Monday Made It!  Head over to see Tara and check out some fun things others have made! 

I love wreaths...all kinds.  I like to have a different one for each season hanging on my front door.  I feel like they are very welcoming to visitors.  I had seen ones on pinterest that were teacher related.  So I had to try and make one!  I bought a flat wreath form from Michaels for $2 and a few boxes of crayons from Target.  I used the Up & Up crayons because I had a coupon, so I believe they were free and I like the polka dots on them.  (You can score the Up and Up crayons for 22 cents a box right now at Target).  I got my trusty hot glue gun and went to work gluing all of the crayons around the edge.  It didn't take me long.  Before I glued the last few down, I glued some ribbon to the form so I could hang the wreath on the door.  I added an owl to the top and voila!  It now hangs nicely on the front of my classroom door to welcome all of my students!

Tonight Last Night was open house to I made these cute tags to go with apples I bought for the parents.  I plan on placing one on each child's desk.  You can pick these up as a freebie at my TpT store!

A desk already for the parent!

I am off to write some lesson plans and grade my first homework assignment!  Then to bed...5 am comes to early!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mentor Text- Great Estimations

Happy Sunday!  I hope you have had a fabulous weekend.  We got a small glimpse of fall weather yesterday, which was very nice.  Today it was a bit warmer and it is supposed to get warmer throughout the week.  As I was trying to figure out outfits for the week, I was wishing it was a bit cooler.  I enjoy my colder weather clothes better!  Today, I am linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly mentor text linky party.  This week the subject is math books!

The book I chose, I will actually be using in class tomorrow.  I am talking about benchmark numbers and this books gives great examples using items that we very rarely ever count out, like rice or Cheerios.   The book will show one page of 100 pieces of rice and then school a page and ask the readers to estimate how many pieces are on a full page.  I do have some kids who want to try and count, but they tend to loose patience after a few minutes.  This books gives students real like items to estimate. 

Check out all of the other great books people write about and maybe link up one of your own Mentor Texts!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Three days down...some motivation too!

I finished my first three full half days of school.  We start off the year with three half days to get the kids (and teachers) used to school.  We have our students until 12 pm each day and then we have meetings through the afternoon.  I have to say I had a great first three days.  I loved learning about my kids and seeing them interact with each other.  I also got to meet the other fifth grade class, who I will teach math and science to.  They are a fun bunch of kids too!  I have to say I am pretty pleased with how everything went!  Today, I am linking up with the fabulous Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Sparking Student Motivation.  Today, I am going to go against the rules and not Spark Student Motivation, but Spark Staff Motivation.  (I hope she doesn't get mad!)

This year is turning out to be a crazy one at my school. We have a new principal (he was our assistant principal last year), a new assistant principal (she was a 6th grade teacher) and 90% new office staff.  You can only imagine the craziness we are dealing with, but God is good and the teacher are being patience.  

I am known for having chocolate in my desk all the time.  It is there for those times when you just need some.  Last year as a staff we were going through a hard time and I brought my box of candy to a staff meeting placed it on the table and told everyone to take some because it helped!  

Well with the start of school, I knew some of our staff needed something to get through the first week.  I made little chocolate emergency treats and placed them on teachers' desks in the morning.  Some teachers told me they were bound to have an emergency before the afternoon and were pretty sure it was going to be gone that day.  It was nothing major, but a little something to show them that I care and I am looking out for them!

Here is a picture of my emergency chocolate!

I did stock up on some candy for my desk drawer today.  I hope to be able to spread some cheer when times are tough at school with some chocolate because chocolate makes everything better!

Do you spread cheer to other teachers in your school? If so, what do you do?  I feel I am placed in a school not only for the students, but for the other staff members too.  God has me there for a reason, it might only be to provide chocolate!

Check out Joanne's blog for other motivating ideas!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A New School Year!!! was the day...a new batch of students arrived at my door for me to teach!  I am so super excited to have this bunch of students.  They are terrific and I am beyond blessed to being intrusted to teach them this year.  I have a sign outside my door that says, "Through this door walk the world's greatest students."  I beleive I do have the "World's Greatest Students" this year.  (I am sorry everyone else!)

Here is the reveal of my classroom!  I am proud to say I actually put my room together in about two days.  Yes, I am still not sure how that was done, but I did it and my room had nothing in it when I started!  I had to car loads with things to move into my room!  I really prayed that God would multiply the minutes in my classroom and I would work efficiently.  My mom and a friend were big helps in the set up! I hope you enjoy this tour!

Outside my door!

My hallway tree with little birds on it with all of my kids names on it.  I bring this tree inside the classroom around Thanksgiving for my tree of thanks!

A view from the door.  I only have fourteen students, but I have sixteen desks set up.  Sometimes there is a students who needs a little extra space.

A view from the back looking at the front of the room.  The verse in big letters above my board reads, Do everything with out complaining or arguing.  Philippians 2:14.  I often point to it when a students is complaining about their work!

My "We Believe" statements from The Brown Bag Teacher.  I plan on using them when talking about rules and how I expect them to act in my classroom. 

Another view of the front of the room.

My homework, jobs, no name and missing work area.  I also have our homework bin and my pencil sharpener area.

I have these offices on one and a half sides on my room.  They were once used for older grades.  I was not sure what I was going to do with them because I don't do a lot of work where students need to be sectioned off.  I decided to make them into cubbys.  Two students share a cubby...I called them their "Cubby Buddies".  They are responsible for keeping them neat and could be rewarded by the Cubby Fairy every once in a while!  My students were very excited about them and even asked if they could decorate them!  I use the rest of them for storage.  It is nice since I don't have any closets or cabinets.

My desk area.  You can see how I used the cubbys for my teacher resource storage.

My classroom library area. (I am sorry for the glare.  I get really bad sunlight in the afternoon into my room.)  My students could not believe all of the books I have in my classroom.  They were very excited to check some out today!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of my classroom!  I am very happy with how it came out.  I don't have a theme, I just like to set up my classroom fun!  Bright colors and fun posters!  Tomorrow is day two!  I need to see what I did not cover and what needs to be done tomorrow!

Have a great night!


Monday, September 2, 2013

It's September...and Currently time!!!

Well, it is that time of year...September.  Back to school time in the northeast (sorry southerners, you have been back for a few weeks!).  I cannot believe it is that time again.  I feel like I just got out of school, but there is no turning back...ready or not here they come!

I am linking up with Farley for her September Currently.   I really enjoy these once a month blog posts!  I enjoy reading others and thinking about what I love, want, need, listen to, etc.  So here is mine...

Listening-  I love Undercover Boss.  I am the type of person that likes to go behind the scenes to see how things work.  Undercover Boss is a great show for that.  I also like to see how humble the CEOs are. 

Loving- My mom is the best.  She is so supportive of everything my siblings and I do.  Going into this school year, I am going to be commuting more and she is willing to talk to be early in the morning when I need someone to talk to.

Thinking- I cannot get this new year off my mind.  I am scared, anxious, excited, nervous and overwhelmed.  I am teaching the same grade and same subjects, but have a new co-teacher.  I know that God has placed me at this school for a reason.  I need to just surrender everything to him and he is going to guide me through this school year because I am not going to be able to get through it without him!

Wanting-  I like to see the big picture, but God only gives me small little bits.  I want to know how everything unfolds, but I know I need to trust him because I cannot handle the whole picture!

Needing- My room is a mess and has been on my to do list for the past couple of days, but it never got done!  Hopefully this week-end I will make some progress on it!

Love- I want to make sure I put my devotions first and make it a priority when I wake up.  I am not going to get through this year with out God so I need to make sure I start my day with him.  I also want to be good about picking out my clothes the night before.  I am pretty good about making my lunches the night before, but having my clothes picked out would be awesome.  I am proud to say that I have my clothes for the week picked out!  Hopefully this will last!

Well, I must go finish the muffins that are in the oven and make my smoothly for the morning.  Five o'clock is going to come very early!  Must go to bed so I can stay awake during our meetings tomorrow!