Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Quick Tip for Any Teacher...

... who is fortunate enough to have their own work laptop... with a clear case.
Place a sheet of colorful and fun scrapbook paper behind the clear case on your laptop!  :)
We are very lucky in our school district because EVERY teacher (homeroom, special education, ESL, Title 1...everyone) receives their own Mac laptop - to use for work purposes only, obviously.  LOTS of teachers in our school district put fun scrapbook paper behind our clear cases.  I love the look AND, at a glance, you know exactly which Mac is yours when you are at meetings and trainings.
Like I said, many teachers in our school district do this, but recently I got to thinking, "Do other teachers do this, too?"  How do you personalize your laptop?
Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you have a wonderful and productive week full of learning and fun!  :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Start on my Monday Made It and a FREEBIE!

Happy Monday Sunday everyone!  I have a simple project to share with you.
(Haha!  I just noticed my son in this picture.  Oh well!)
Next year, when I (hopefully) get into my new classroom, I am determined to create a beautiful, cheerful, and organized learning environment that my students are happy to walk into everyday and that I can be proud of.  The organized part is easy-peasy for me - organization is in my blood.  BUT - the hard part is making it beautiful.  I see all these aMaZiNg classrooms on your blogs and I want that so badly, but I do not know how you afford it!
One thing I have been doing lately is taking inexpensive, free, and previously owned items (in this case, I used veggie cans and baby food containers) and spray painting them so they match the color theme I plan to go with next year.  Then, I wrapped some fun washi tape around them.

I liked the washi tape, but the expressions tape was kind of see-through.  I do not think I will buy that again.  I am going to hot glue some ribbon on my next round of spray painted goodies.

If you have any ideas on how to create a beautiful classroom on a budget, please do share!  I would love to hear how you all do it!
Do not forget to swing by Tara's linky party on her awesome blog, 4th Grade Frolics, to see what other teachers have created.
On a different note...
I bet many of you have been incorporating name activities into your ELA and Math units during this "back to school" time, right?  Well, that is why I thought you might be able to use this FREEBIE that I created.  If you would like to snag it, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE!  I really do read and appreciate your feedback!!
I have never met a child that does not like to talk about him or herself and most kids (at least the little ones) are pretty proud of their names.  So this activity is sure to interest your kiddos!  Have fun with it!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful week!  :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Peek At My Week and a FREEBIE!

Happy September!  I cannot lie though...September is like the official close to summer in my mind and that makes me sad.  But - I have these exciting things to look forward to this week!
I am linking up with Jennifer at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her new (well, second week) and totally fun linky party!  I somewhat recently discovered Jennifer's blog and I have been having a blast reading her posts, particularly because she lives just minutes away from the small town where I grew up (and about 45 minutes from where I currently live).  I really enjoy seeing pictures of familiar places on other teachers' blogs.  What fun!
Anyway, here we go...
I mentioned in my previous blog post that my sweet hubby is taking me to go see my favorite band, Collective Soul, tonight down in Illinois for an early birthday present.  I am just a teeny, weeny bit excited to put on this t-shirt and rock with these handsome dudes.

My FIRST ever student teacher will be joining me on Tuesday!  I have stocked up here and there on little teacher-related gifts to eventually pass on to a future student teacher.  Well - now I finally get to share them!  I plan to give her one small gift and a teaching tip once a week for the 10 weeks she is with me.

I have always wanted to teach our district targets through author studies because there is so much you can do.  Well that is exactly what I will be doing with my small group of 2nd graders this year.  Yay!  We are starting with Kevin Henkes in September because 1) many of his books are great for back to school and 2) he grew up in Racine, WI which is where I teach!
At the end of each author study (so monthly), the students will get to select a cumulative project to complete, which will be my summative assessment of the author study.  If you are able to use these Author Study Choice Boards (there are two) in your classroom, please visit my TPT store to snag this FREEBIE!
I pull two small groups (all BOYS again this year) of 5th graders every other day.  Their homeroom teacher asked me to focus on Writing this year.  No problem!  I love to teach Writing.  I especially LOVE Figurative Language, so that is the unit I will be starting with with these guys.
I did a Figurative Language unit with some high level 4th grade students last year and this was one of their favorite activities:
1 - First, we listened to the song "Everything At Once" by Lenka.  (I warn you - this song will get stuck in your head.  But it was great because my students were singing it all the time!)  This song is just packed with similes!
2 - Then, we completed a Cloze Exercise.  I gave them a copy of the lyrics with some of the words missing; the students listened to the song again (and again) and filled in the missing words.
3 - Finally, we located and discussed all of the similes in the song.  Lots of fun, I tell ya!
I am looking forward to do this activity again with my 5th graders this year!

Friday will be my LAST birthday in my 20's.  How is that possible!?  *sigh*  Well, I guess I am going to enjoy each of those 365 days.  Anyway, my favorite cereal is Reese's Puffs, so I will be making these yummy muffins for my students as my birthday treat to them!
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to link up with Jennifer!  :)