Friday, November 30, 2012

My Cyber Haul

I'm linking up with
Falling into First

for her

I scored some good deals, and spent less than $50 (my budget)...My finds:

 So I picked up things for Science, Math and Literacy.  And all of it has been printed out (except for the SMART Board files...those I downloaded onto my school computer :), and is sitting in a nice neat pile waiting for me to put it in my binders.

Today's Outfit:

Sweater: Target
Pants: JCPenny
Shoes: DSW

I know I wore this sweater last week, but no one at work saw it and it was cold today! The teacher who works next to me told me to call her the next time I wore because she had the exact one and we could be twins :)

In other news, I almost froze during recess duty today. On Monday and Tuesday, it should be nice and warmer...but of course, those are the days that I'm not there! :)

3rd Grade Thoughts
is having a giveaway for the quietest pencil sharpener ever!

Have a great weekend!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Outfits, Ooblecks, Out & Organizers

 Hi Bloggy Buds!

How do you like that title for alliteration!

Today's Outfit
Tank, Shirt & Shoes: Target
Pants: Kohls

I'm dressed a little more casually today because we did an Oobleck lab in Science. Needless to say, the floor of my room was white, as well as me having white handprints on my pants (from when I was mixing, and I forgot didn't realize that my hand was covered and leaned on my pants...)

They had a lot of fun though, and hopefully have a better idea of solids and liquids!

Tomorrow we are doing a lab on buoyancy, and I hope that they listen better than they did today...they lost some recess time because they couldn't be quiet and listen to my directions.

I'm going to be out Monday and Tuesday of next week, so I've been spending most of the week prepping for those two days (my sub plans are already 7 pages and they're not done yet!). I'm going to the New England Conference for 3rd-5th Grade Teachers, and I'm looking forward to it! I have a pretty even mix of Math and Reading/Writing workshops that I picked, and I'll hopefully pick up some really good ideas. I also feel lucky that my principal is letting me take two days off (and that the district will reimburse me!).

Yesterday's Outfit
Sweater: Kohls
Tank: Target
Pants: Gap Outlet
Boots: Endless/Amazon

We are working on Personal Narratives in writing, and I told the students to pick an experience that they had in their lives. So far, they are coming out really well, and some of them are really funny! :) We've been using graphic organizers that I've created to brainstorm/plan, and then to plan out the paragraph and how we want our sentences to look.

One of my friends told me today that he found writing it so much easier (he's already finished his first draft and self-editing!). He told me he really liked having the organizers to help plan out your thinking! Guess what I'll bee doing every time we start a new writing project?

Smiles and Sunshine,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fix-Up Strategies, States of Matter

Happy Tuesday Peeps!

I'm sitting next to another huge pile of laminate, waiting to be cut out (except this time there aren't any pictures ;) I've printed out about 5 centers (times 3 sets for each one), and was able to cut it out and laminate it myself.

(I'm actually a little OCD (or should we say control freak) on how I laminate and cut out my centers/ important stuff (to me). We actually have volunteers who can cut out and laminate things...but I don't want them to do my centers....I like my way better :)

In between runs to the laminator, I did do some actual teaching today. I finished a States of Matter foldable that we started yesterday...and moved back a really fun lab because they couldn't control the talking today. We'll see how they do tomorrow, and we may do it Thursday or Friday (it'll also give me some time to pick up the supplies for lab!)

This class has never done any foldables before (in fact, they've never heard of them before they came to me) so it is taking a little longer than I had hoped.  So, bloggy world, THANK YOU for introducing me to foldables so I can be awesome ;).

I also introduced the strategy that we are going to be working on for the next couple of weeks. The reading series has us working with fix-up strategies, so I modeled a Think Aloud for them today (and yesterday too, but they didn't realize it). Tomorrow we'll do a Think Along, and then they are on their own.

Of course, I created an anchor chart to help us :)
 One of my students asked how many anchor charts we were going to have by the end of the year. I told them that the series had 8 strategies, but after we learned the first 8, it cycles back around and we go a little more in depth on each one, so I'll add to the chart or pull it up front. I said at least 16 :) (for Reading,  mind you...I have a whole 'nother spot for the writing...and Math is on the SMARTBoard).

Today's Outfit

Sweater and Pants: JCPenny
Shoes: Endless/Amazon

I really like this sweater, because I was able to find it in a petite size, which is almost unheard of for me to find. I don't have to fold up or roll up the sleeves because they are the perfect length for me.  I love JCPenny for affordable, professional clothes (that come in petite and don't require alterations)!! :)

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Festive Fun

Happy Monday!

Our day back went pretty well...except we had a fire drill right after I finished Whole Group in Literacy...and we were outside in 30 degree weather with no coats! Brrrrr! Except for me giving a warning (or two) my kids did pretty well without talking (better than other classes :)

We started States of Matter today (and I picked up two awesome units to help me from Nicole Shelby, and one from Amber Polk today...My cart was full (as I had prefilled it two days before and refused to go over my budget) so I paid and downloaded the VIPs at school....shhhh, don't tell!)

I ran some errands today and picked up something festive...
My first Christmas tree! This is my first fake one...I've had real ones growing up, and I do miss a real one, but I couldn't handle (as in carry, set up, etc) on my own. This one is nice and cute, and although I would have liked it a little bigger, this one fit in my budget the best.

I also got some cute decorations...but will save the decorating for another night...I had/have some work to do.

We started working with multiplication and arrays today in Math, and the book has some weird problems...instead of 3 x 13, they want the kids to write it (3 x 10) + (3 x 3). I introduced it today, but I may have to continue to go over it, as I saw a lot of confused faces on my kids today!

Today's Outfit

Sweater: JCPenny
Tank: Old Navy
Pants: Dockers
Shoes: Amazon

I got a lot of compliments on my hair (and my shoes!) today...people seem to really like the cut, even if I don't like the length. It'll look super nice in a few weeks!

Have a great Tuesday!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Starting Stories

Hi Peeps!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I spent past of the day with my family, catching up with my sister (the first time I've seen her since August- when she went away to college). We actually spent a lot of time watching flash mob videos on Youtube (she hadn't seen The Big Bang Theory's one and I showed it to her).

I've also been stocking my wishlist at a certain nameless website, waiting for Cyber Monday ;).

And I've been cutting out the monstrous load of cardstock that I've printed out (CC I Can Statements, Math centers for the next few weeks, and Math vocab). I think I printed out a little over 100 sheets, so you can imagine how my fingers are feeling!

Last week when we were working on Writing, I did this really cool activity from  Lesson Plan SOS Ultimate Writing Resource (It is super helpful  and I would totally recommend buying it during the sale (That's what I did last year!) Well worth the price!).

It had the elements of the story, and just like their Pass the Pencil activity, the kids write something, fold it and pass it along.  I did the activity with them (I had asked them and they responded with a resounding Yes!).

The characters I had were a chicken monster, and Billy Bob Jr. My story's setting took place in a trash can. One of my interesting situations was getting robbed and the other was they gotten eaten by a lion. (My kids are kinda gory this year...).

After we passed everything around, I wanted to show them how to take the elements they had and create a story. I started to write on my chart, and then realized Duh! I have a SMART Board! (and I can type way faster that I can write neatly on chart paper :)

So I started my story on the SMART Board think aloud while I was writing to model for my students (which I really need to do  to more of...I just wish their was more time for writing (we only have a 90 minute ELA block and after the 30 minute whole group I have kids leaving at different times for different small group times...and they're not all back until it's almost time to leave).

Using the things I've been given, I started my story.

After that, I had the kids work form their worksheets to create their stories. A few of them were stuck, and a few of them finished really quickly. We'll work on that! ;)

Hopefully, this will help a few kids when they are struggling for an idea. We'll continue to work on stamina, and well as putting more detail into their stories.

Oh! and to go along with the Writing theme of this post, Tonya is giving away two sets of her monthly writing calendars!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Gifts

Happy Thanksgiving Bloggy Friends!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I have a gift for you!

I've finished all the 4th grade Common Core I Can Statements. Just click on the picture to get to Google Drive to download.

A HUGE shout-out and thank you to:
from whom I got all the borders from (and the very cool paper that allowed my to create such a pretty display).

from whom I got the font from to use on the cards.

from whom I got the cute little whatzit who dressed up the Writing cards.

and Kimberly Geswein, who had the font to make the pretty cover.

I'm going to my parents today to celebrate Thanksgiving, and I told them I would bring the dessert, so I made more mini apple bites to bring with, in addition to the left over apple bars (most of them disappeared on Monday from the teacher luncheon...I hope they liked them!)

I am more than likely sleeping right now as you read this ( I love sleeping late and have scheduled this so you can get/read it before I wake up...which could be awhile ;), but will update later with my Thanksgiving outfit (and it will probably be not be anything special, as we are not so formal in my family).
Today's Outfit

Sweater & Tank: Target
Pants: JCPenny
Shoes: Amazon (they're glittery!!:)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Show, Not Tell

Last week I did a lesson on showing something in your writing rather than telling something happened. I talked to the kids about how showing something is better and more exciting than telling, which is kid of boring.

I had the perfect example...when we had our author visit from Steve Colter, he made mention of how he'd showed that Cheesie Mack and George were friends, rather than telling the readers that they were BFFs.

When I had begun to talk about Showing, Not Telling, I saw a lot of light bulbs click on, as their teachers had taught them this last year. Hopefully, between all those lessons, it will stick in their heads!

But it would be better to show you my example, rather than tell you (hehehe...see what I did there! ;)

I then gave the kids a worksheet I had from Lesson Plan SOS Ultimate Writing Resource. It had a simple sentence on it and I asked the kids to write a paragraph, showing me what happened rather than telling me.

Well, the simple sentence was about a puppy being injured, and their paragraphs turned out really good...gory and kind of scary, but good.

Hopefully this will transfer to their regular writing as well!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012



I made it through Parent-Teacher Conferences, and two workshops today to see the light at the end of the tunnel...freedom for 5 days! I love my kids dearly, but sometimes a girl just needs a break :)

The workshops today were actually very good. The first one was on using assessment in our literacy program, and I learned some new things that hadn't been mentioned previously or I had figured out earlier (for example, I learned that the end of theme test had open response questions...they were in a different place in the assessment book and not anywhere close to the actual test which is why I hadn't found them before now)

The next workshop I had was supposed to be on RTI/Inclusion, but wound up focusing almost exclusively on inclusion, and presumed competence of students, along with the use of assistive technologies and how to help the non-verbal students. I was VERY interesting, and the presenter had a lot of videos to share, as well as being a funny guy who kept us all awake :)

While he was talking, to keep myself busy, I was working on I can statements for Common Core Writing for my 4th graders (I know, I know...bad teacher! But there were other people knitting in the audience so I didn't feel as bad). I'm working on typing them up now and hope to have them ready for you soon.

I hope to get a lot accomplished this break, and maybe by putting it on here, I'll get some of it accomplished :)

Besides lots of sleep, I hope to finish all my 4th grade I can statements with the Common Core. I want to put together a unit on Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief  for my two friends who will be reading after break. I would like to type up Math vocabulary for my Word Wall (a suggestion from my principal), as well as work on my Math block and how to make the teaching more rigorous. I also need to work on States of Matter, which I am teaching come Monday.

A pretty hefty list! We'll see how much of it I actually get done :)

Today's Outfit:

Button-up & Pants: JCPenny
Vest: The Limited
Shoes: Endless/Amazon

Have a happy holiday!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Conferences: Conquered & Writing a Paragraph

I have conquered the conferences! I did all of my kids (expect one, who cancelled) and was done by 4. They (for the most part) went very well, and I only have two weirdish ones.

I stayed for about 45 minutes after my last conference, making sure that I have finished all my grading and prepping for tomorrow. (We have an LBD workshop and an RTI workshop). I'm hoping it turns out to be helpful and useful.

Last week, we finished our theme in our reading series early, and I wasn't going to start a new theme for two days and then have the kids forget everything because they had a week off.  So I choose to teach some writing skills instead! (Something I don't get to often enough).

First up: Writing a 4th grade paragraph.

I went over the expectations of the 4th grade sentences (no, I like bikes.) and we discussed how to really expand our sentences.

Then, I introduced the hamburger.

I told them that for every detail they wrote about, they needed to have an explanation or supporting detail to help make their paragraph longer.

Hopefully, this will help them remember. I then had them pick a topic and start writing a 4th grade paragraph about it. After they finished, I had them share. (Something else we need to do more of)

Conference Outfit:

Sweater & Pants: JCPenny
Shirt: Marshall's
Shoes: TJ Maxx

My sweater did come off for the part of the day, but was back on by the end. I did get some compliments on my hair (everyone said it looked cute...just what I want to look like ;). I'll like it better in a few weeks.

Smiles and Sunshine,

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Happy Sunday Peeps!

My parents came to visit today, and it was the first time they have seen my apartment. We talked for a little while, and then we went out for a lunch/dinner. It was good!

Tomorrow I have parent-teacher conferences (and Tuesday is an in-house professional day) no  kids this week. The teacher's do a pot-luck lunch for conferences, and we can go and nosh when we have some free time.

I decided to make some apple desserts, so I choose two recipes to try out.

This one:

and this one...

My results:

My personal preference? I like the bars better. I did make some adjustments to the bar recipes ( I only used 6 apples instead of 10, and added 1/4 of cup of powered sugar to the dough like one reviewer suggested ) It was yummy and my parents liked it as well. I'll be making one of these for dessert for Thanksgiving. :)

Today's Outfit:

 Shirt & Shoes: Target
Jeans: JCPenny

Still not sure about the hair...although my mom did agree with me that it wasn't shoulder length! It'll look good in a few weeks.

Smiles and Sunshine,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Shopping

I had to run some errands today and somehow wound up at Target. I had almost no intention of going there, but my car magically drove me there. Since I was there, I picked up some things (never mind the fact that this was my second visit to Target this week...)

The ornaments and vases are for a fun Christmas decoration (which you'll see on December's Monday Made It).

I got two long sleeve t-shirts (for casual days like today, or just wearing around the house), one sparkly cardigan for the holiday season, and one cute v-neck cable-knit sweater. I have to fold the sleeves up on all of these, because my arms are so short!

Outfit for running errands:
Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: JCPenny
Tank & Shoes: Target

So I went out on a Saturday for a specific reason. I'm normally not a 'let's run errands on a weekend' - type person. I'm usually a 'let's lounge around in my pj's and hang out on the couch' - type person. ( In fact, I have my pj pants on (also from Target) right now with the top half of my outfit :)

I got my hair cut!  I feel that it's a little short (I wanted it around my shoulders, and I guess it is, but it feels really short!), but it should grow out okay, and I'll love it to pieces in a couple weeks. I felt like it was getting too long and to be a lot of work (I'm a wash and go type person), so I called last night and the salon I went to had an opening today to get it chopped off.  I only hope they recognize me on Monday when I have Parent Conferences! ;)

Smiles and Sunshine,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sharing Giveaways

A heads up on some really cool giveaways going on...

is having a "Just 'Cause" giveaway.

is having a 700 follower giveaway (which she has some MEGA cool things!)

is having a cool giveaway with a Quote Me Writing Center.

Buzzing with Ms. B is having a one year blogiversary!

 Today's Outfit

Sweater: NY & Co
Tank: Target
Pants: JCPenny
Shoes: Payless

Have a happy Friday!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful for My Bloggers

Hi Bloggy Buds!

Well, my report cards are done (they're actually sitting in my printer upstairs at this moment), and I'm almost ready for conferences on Monday.

I'm linking up with Stephanie from for her Thankful for Bloggers Linky Party.

I super thankful for:
Tara was the first blogger I ever found, and she has great ideas and creations.

Kristen has super ideas for reading and writing, as well as organization.(and she has great bloggy and technology tips!)

3rd Grade Thoughts
These three amazing 3rd grade blogs. They all have super creations and great ideas that can be adapted to my 4ths.

... and so many more!

In other news, Walmart gave every teacher in our school a gift card. I went today to pick up some things.
 2 packs of bright colored cardstock
2 packs of white cardstock (for a total of 300...I've already used up 450 pieces, so here's hoping that this will last me a little while!)
Expo Markers- My kids have been complaining that the ones we use during Math Groups  don't work anymore (and they're right), but I didn't have the money to go and get them replaced. Thanks to Walmart, we now have a fresh new class set.

Today's Outfit

 Sweater and Pants: Kohls
Shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

The sweater did come off partway through the day...and my sleeves got pushed up (It is ridiculously hot in my room...even when I have the fans going and a window open). It did help when I had recess went right back on before I put on my coat :)

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Drive By

Just a quick, drive by post today as I finish prepping for Report Cards and Conferences next Monday!

Yesterday's Outfit

Sweater & Pants: JCPenny
Tank: Old Navy
Shoes: DSW

Today's Outfit:

 Shirt, Sweater & Pants: JCPenny
Shoes: Payless

Have a happy Wednesday!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Math Center Organization- Stage 2

Happy Veteran's Day!

I just finished the majority of my report cards (except for a random comment here and there), and all I have left is some grading and research on Weathering and Erosion.

I promised I would keep you updated on my center organization...and I have moved to the next stage.

I still have the cards separated into three small coin envelopes.

Except now, they are all in a bigger manilla envelope:

And the directions to each center are on the front.
And for now, they are being stored in one of my blue baskets.

This makes it a lot easier to flip through the centers and find the ones I want.

I've also reminded the students on how to clean up and take care of the centers, and this week, they have done a wonderful job with making sure they leave it nice and neat.  Hopefully they'll continue to do so!

Smiles and Sunshine,