Sunday, May 18, 2014

Winding Down the Year, and a Freebie!

As I read through blogs this weekend, I noticed how many schools are just starting testing. That would have been my school last year, but this year our last day is May 30! (Students' last day is May 28!!) We are off for Memorial Day next Monday, which means we only have 7 days of school left! Two of those days we will be testing for our state math test, and one of those days is Field Day! So, I'm left with 3 days and 1 half day. I'm kind of FREAKING OUT!! I totally have everything under control. I really don't want my kids to be burnt out from all the testing, so for our last two days of math review, I have planned some fun games. I'm pulling back out all my task cards and center games from the year to review, but I just didn't have enough to get through two days.
So, I set to work this weekend. I created a Fraction Task Cards set, which you can find on TpT for only $1.50!! I still haven't completed our Geometry review with the Geometry Task Card set I made last week, but the Duck Dynasty review was a HIT!
I knew I still needed some more review, so this evening I set to work on a Money Task Card set. My students needed practice in counting money, making change, and comparing money amounts. I know the end of the year is a SUPER busy time for everyone, so in celebration of the end of the year ......the task cards will be FREE in my TpT store for about the next week!! So, grab it while you can. All I ask is that you leave a rating after you download! Just click on the picture to grab it!

Have a great week ya'll!! 
Saturday, May 17, 2014

Five for Friday

It's time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday Saturday!

 What a week! The countdown has begun in every room in the building except mine, because we still have ONE MORE state test to take. Only 7 more school days with my kiddos. I'm getting excited for everything I have coming up this summer, but I'm going to miss my kiddos from this year. They really are a sweet group.'s my week in rewind.

So, as I said in my last post, I won a giveaway from Swimming into Second and C. Jayne Teach. I could choose any personalized item. On her website - this was a TOUGH decision! I couldn't live without this clipboard. Seriously-- bright colors, chevron, and my name. It's SO nice! It arrived this morning, and it seriously brightened my day! 

3 Down, 1 To Go!! We have taken our Science, Social Studies, and Reading SOL. Now, on to Math!! I had explained to my kids that they can't talk about the questions on the test, and how the teachers aren't allowed to know what's on the test until the state releases the items. This week, after our reading test was over, another teacher asked my kids how they did. One of my "Rule Followers" said - "We can't talk about it!!" I had to explain - it's okay to say how you FELT about the test, but not about the actual test. 

See that little guy? This is a tree stump at my moms, and she's been saying how she wanted it gone. All those bags are soil she has to build up a flower bed around that light post in the background. This little woodpecker has been coming every day this week going CRAZY over this stump. We went to check it, and he's chipped away almost the whole stump! My niece was very curious, and did a google search to find out more information -- she was intrigued by this guy for about an hour! Did you know they peck out rectangular holes? Google says they do -- and we just HAD to check it out. 

Who wants to spend the last days of school doing BORING seat work?! No one. Ever. Seriously! Plus - the kids get burnt out quickly. So, for the past 2 days, and the next 2 days, we have been doing some REALLY fun reviews. 
My Duck Dynasty review was a hit! 

Monday, we are going to play SCOOT with the Geometry/Measurement Review Task Cards I made, and Geometry Bingo

I got a promotion! In a time where our county has made MORE cuts, I'm OBVIOUSLY not talking about in teaching.  I'm now a Thirty One Independent SENIOR Consultant. It was my goal to make Senior Consultant in less than a year, and I did it. Next stop, director! :) 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Duck Dynasty Review, and I won!

I was not the happiest when my doggies woke me up before 6am on this Monday morning...until I checked my email. Courtney from Swimming into Second emailed me to let me know I won her giveaway! I cannot WAIT to get my personalized product from C. Jayne Teach, but I may be addicted to her products. Seriously! If you haven't been to Courtney's page, you need to get yesterday. You can follow her on TpT here. If you teach 2nd or 3rd grade- her resources like hitting the TpT jackpot. Seriously! I LOVE using her fun games and centers for the beginning of the year to review, and to send home with the 2nd graders so ***HOPEFULLY*** they will get in some practice throughout the summer before 3rd grade. 

So, like many of my fellow VA teachers, I am in testing mode. Our state test (named the SOLs....yeah....just like the other thing) are going on at our school now because our last day is May 28! We have already had Science and Social Studies, and we still have Reading and Math. Yes-- I teach 3rd grade and my kids are expected to take 4 test. Thank goodness SOMEONE with half a brain realized this was WAY too much for a little 9 year old person, and next year we only have to take Reading and Math. It only took them a couple of decades to figure out. So -- all I can say about the testing is...we took it. My kids tried their best, and what more could I ask for. After our Reading SOL, which will be split into two days, the kiddos are going to need some FUN. The problem is we still have our Math SOL next week, and we missed like a MONTH of school this winter. Seriously-- everyone missed like a month of school this winter! So, I used my new Robertson Family clip art from Melonheadz, and created a file based on last year's released SOL. I'm going to let my kids work in partners/groups to solve the problems. Next week I may use the review for task cards, or Scoot. You can get it for your review in my TpT Store.

If you are testing this week -- may the coffee be with you! Especially in VA -- all we can do is be in the room. Don't sit too long, don't stand too long, don't read the screens, don't grade papers, don't write anything down, don't fall asleep! I wish I could grade some papers from my never ending stack during this time...but I can't. So- if you are testing in an environment like that -- bring COFFEE!! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Area and Perimeter Fun!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! 

Okay - before I get into writing about the awesome, fantastic, superb, amazing lessons that I did on Area and Perimeter, I want to remind everyone that TpT is having a SALE. I am LOADING up my shopping cart. Seriously. 5 items in there already - and I'm counting down til tomorrow! I am participating in the sale, and my ENTIRE store will be 20% off! 

120 × 125

If you're like me, Area and Perimeter just doesn't EVER seem to sink in with your kiddos  (I teach 3rd graders). Sure, they understand the unit while you are teaching it, and a week or two later. By the time you are doing end of year review, every year they start to mix them up again! Since we missed SO many school days because of snow, and state testing starts THIS WEEK, there isn't as much time for forgetfulness this year. It's also VERY frustrating to hear the 4th and 5th grade teachers talk about how they don't remember things I KNOW I've taught them! This year would be different......

After putting together some definitions of Area and Perimeter based on our background knowledge of area models of multiplication, we showcased the area and perimeter of our desks with sticky notes. You may remember reading it on a 5 for Friday post (Just click the picture if you want to read about it!) 

Then, I had my students create Area Robots. In 3rd grade, Virginia says we must find the area of "a shaded region". Basically, they give our kids this funky shape that has been colored in on graph paper and ask them to determine the area. What better way to practice that, than to DO that!'s my "Anchor Chart" we made to go along with the activity: 

Here are my students' robots! The boys LOVED creating Mine Craft Creepers! 

Students drew robots on graph paper, and calculated the area of the head, body, arms and legs. Then, students found the total area of their robots and compared to a partner. 

The next day, we did a lesson practicing area and perimeter using Educreations on the iPad. This app lets students complete problems on multiple types of paper, and record their voice explaining their work. As you can tell by some of the faces, the word problems were TOUGH. They had to work with a partner to explain their thinking. Check out some of these faces! The best thing about Educreations, is that your students can save their work to your account with just a code.

 After we finished our problems, we watched groups explanation of problems. There were some "Ah-ha" moments -- you know, the teacher has said this 1,000,000 times and I don't get it, but my friend says it one time the exact same way, and I get it "ah-ha" moments! My favorite thing about Educreations is that students could change their plain paper to lined or graph paper. They could also insert photos from the camera roll, or take a photo. I had students take a photo of an area model for one problem, and record their voice and writing on top. This app is AWESOME for science vocabulary books, social studies reports on famous people, the list is endless!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

And The Winners Are.........

My 100 Followers Giveaway has come to an end..... and it's time to announce the winners!

First up, the pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next, Winner's Choice from "Don't Let the Teacher Stay up Late." -- BTW - I'm super jealous of this one, because she has some GREAT products!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next, $10 to spend in the Scrapin' Doodles Store on TpT! Have you seen their SUPER cute graphics? My kids can tell when I buy a new pack, because I always add a picture to the next thing I create for them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The next winner is for Baseball Math and Literacy Fun from Pawsitively Teaching. This pack would be AWESOME to have this time of year when the kids need a fun, engaging way to review!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last, but not least, we have Missing Addends: Addition and Subtraction from Molly over at The Sassy Sub!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to ALL the winners! You should be receiving an email from the Blog/Company that donated your prize!

I will be blogging more on Sunday about the fabulous things going on in my classroom! Thank you ALL for following and reading my blog! <3

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Currently

Holy Crap on a Cracker! It's MAY. Not April...not March...MAY! AHHH. I'm on FREAK OUT mode, because this year we get out in May, not June. That means all of our state testing has been moved UP. I'm nervous for my kiddos because this year is the first year for their testing! So, I'm linking up with Farley for May Currently!

Listening: Netflix.... we cancelled Dish. So far, the only things I miss...Big Bang Theory, and my Real Housewives Addiction. It's probably a good thing that I can't watch RH. Right now, the documentary is on Jeffery Dahmer. Yes, the serial killer. I love watching Law and Order, Criminal Minds, and other shows like this. I am a people watcher. I like to people watch, and I always have. You can observe so much just from watching people. I love to watch documentaries about ANYTHING from history, or mysteries/unsolved crimes. Blame it on my Grandmother's favorite show being Murder, She Wrote. It was the only show I was allowed to watch at my grandparents other than the news, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. 

Loving: My New Followers!!! I am celebrating my 100 followers this week with a Giveaway! You can still enter here for a chance to win one of MANY great prizes! The second thing I'm loving -- this Currently Design. I LOVE the flowers and the colors!! 

Thinking: 4 days. FOUR DAYS....Our first state test is only 4 days away. Eeek! We start with Science (which I teach), then Friday we have Social Studies, then Reading the next week, then Math the week after! Then, we are DONE. We only have a few actual school days after state testing! Tomorrow is our SOL kickoff at school. 

Wanting: ALL the Erin Condren things. I got an email today with the Teacher Appreciation things. I really want to splurge for next year and get the Lesson Planner. I also would LOVE a Life Planner from EC. I've heard people say they can't live without theirs, and I really want to try one. 

Needing: Prayers for one of our teachers. Her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer a few months back, and she has been out of work taking care of him. Last weekend, we did a pancake fundraiser for them, and I came up with a new idea. Fridays for the rest of the year will be known as Flip Flops for Frank! We will wear flip flops (which we usually are NOT allowed to wear!) and donate $2 to wear them. All the $ collected will go to them! 

Surprise: Melissa over at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late is celebrating on her blog! 850 followers! I donated my Graphs pack to the giveaway, and she's got some great products! Go Check it out! 

Giveaway Madness!!

Wow.....Hello May! I can't believe you are here already, and while I would like more time with my students, you are here, and you have brought testing with you! My heart goes out to all of my Blogger Buddies who have already begun testing, and the schools in my district that have started. We start next the count down is ON. I'm trying not to think about it, but it's here. Today, my kiddos are taking a practice math test, since it's the last one we have. That means this weekend I'll spend the whole weekend dissecting data for my next 2 weeks of review!

Anyway....on to the good stuff!! If you haven't already entered, join my 100 Followers Giveaway! There are still a few days left to enter, and some AMAZING prizes, including a pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!

On another note, I'm part of ANOTHER giveaway! My friend Melissa, over at Don't Let the Teacher stay up late is doing a 850 followers giveaway!! Go check out her blog - there are 5 packs you can win there, including a TpT $10 gift card! 

Happy May Ya'll!