Saturday, May 31, 2014

Five For Friday (I mean, Saturday.)

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching this week for Five For Friday! And even though it was a four day week, with Memorial Day, it was still a doozy!

We took our NYS Science Performance test this week, and on Monday my little fourth graders will finish up their state testing with the Science written exam. PHEW! FINALLY! We are in the home stretch!

I have a tradition near the conclusion of the school year. I try to do a countdown, and each day we do some fun activity. It keeps things fresh as the year winds down! I write these activities on slips of paper, put them inside balloons, hang the balloons from the classroom ceiling, and pop one each day!

Some activities we put inside the balloons:
Minute to Win It Games
Kickball Tourney
Reading Marathon
Ice Cream Party
Picnic Lunch Outside
Paper Airplane Contest
Popsicle Treat
Bubblegum Blowing Contest
Movie and Popcorn Day

I have each child earn raffle tickets throughout the day for walking quietly in the hallway and making good choices. The raffle tickets go into a jar and I use those tickets to choose kids who get to pop balloons each day. It really is a lot of fun!

Any other ideas for end of the year excitement?

My annual review with my principal is next week. I've been working to get my evidence binder and paperwork completed. It sure is a lot of hard work! I heard from a teacher friend in another district that some districts are using LiveBinder to digitally compile evidence for annual reviews. I'm putting "LiveBinder research" on my summer to do list because that would be way easier than hole punching and binder stuffing!

In real life news, my washing machine leaked its face off all over my basement last week. I ordered a new washer and dryer. They came today and they are oh so pretty! Unfortunately, in my infinite wisdom, I forgot to order the stacking kit. So, my friends at Best Buy will be back next week to stack. And when I say "my friends," I really mean it because the same two guys have delivered all of my new appliances in the past month, and we're now buds.

In other news, I've recently developed an addiction to the television series, Scandal. I've been binge watching for days and I love it! Scandal and report cards and RtI reports will be my weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Positive Thinking Thursday

I am linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for Positive Thinking Thursday! 

Last week, my fourth graders and I were working through an EngageNY math lesson from module 6 about decimals. About halfway through I made a comment about our group moving really quickly through the lesson. One of my boys was like, "Yea. Because it's easy."

It got me thinking. Was this really an easy lesson? Or had we just worked so hard all year that it was paying off? We were picking up challenging concepts quickly because we understood the math behind it all. Of course, my thinking is usually out loud, so I said all of this to my group of kiddos. They were like, "Miss C, we HAVE worked hard all year and we've learned A LOT of math, so now we just get it. It IS easy!"

It was a really nice math lesson.

Oh, by the way, I'm throwing a little end of the year TpT sale. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Christine from "Sugar and Spice," for a Wordless Wednesday linky party! It is time for Wordless Wednesday!

Has anyone else had success with GoNoodle? Or know of any other brain break sites?

Tried It Tuesday: Stitch Fix

Let's link up with Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday!

My Stitch Fix arrived!

Pretty, pretty box!

Opening it...


No, thank YOU, Stitch Fix. :)

I didn't even want to open this; it looked too pretty.

So, the scarf is the pineapple and tan. I was not a fan, so that went back. But just getting this first glance, I was excited about the colors!

Super cute, and oh so soft. Unfortunately, it was too big. I'm fairly petite and it's tough to find clothing that fit appropriately.

VERY cute. Totally my style. Except, this was a thick wool, and it was a bit bulky. Plus, the arm holes were large, so you could see right in. It was returned!

I loved the colors here, but the dress was too long and the fit was a bit awkward for me.

Okay, so this shirt was a bit large. But it was so soft and a fun cut and an adorable color, so I kept it. I'm hoping it shrinks a tiny bit in the wash, but even if it doesn't, it's comfy and will look nice with leggings or skinny jeans.

So, there you have it! My very first Stitch Fix! It was a ton of fun, and definitely helped me branch out from my comfort zone. I will definitely be trying it again, but haven't scheduled my next fix yet.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday Made It

Today I'll be linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics. It's time for a Monday Made It!

My sister came to visit for the weekend and we went to Created By Us Pottery in Fairport, New York. It was a great time! We each chose a piece of pottery. I chose an owl candleholder and she selected a cute birdhouse. Next, we painted the pottery. Finally, the pottery goes into the kiln and we'll pick them up in a week or so. I am SO excited! The colors will be glazed and brighter after going into the kiln and I'm looking forward to picking up our pieces.

This is a fabulous idea for a different weekend activity for friends! I highly recommend it!

So, my Monday Made It is...pottery!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five For Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching this week for Five For Friday!

A few weeks ago, a fellow teacher filled me in on the sweet new idea, PLICKERS! (Check out THIS recent post to read all about how they work.)

Anyway, I tried this interesting idea out this week. The kids had their own barcode type answer cards (printed on cardstock). I programmed questions into my phone, asked the questions, and gave multiple choice answers. Kids held up their answer cards and I scanned them with my phone. (On my phone you could see their names POP up when I had scanned them.) Next, their responses popped up on my Smart Board through the Plicker website. I could see graphs of the responses or individuals. The kids loved it!

Problem: You can't store answer responses, only questions, so I had to write them down. Solution? I adjusted for the next Plicker experience and did true or false questions. Way easier. Still cool.


Immediate results!

My class has been having a blast with Sheppard Software, a great educational website. We've been putting math games on the Smart Board at the end of the day, like Fruit Blasters, to continue our fluency work. It's a sweet website for lots of subjects!

Fruit Blasters
Multiplication or Division questions pop up and you shoot the answer on the fruit! Different difficulty levels and speeds are options.

I've been using a bunch of math games on this site for fun fluency practice. We've also been trying out some of the Social Studies games because it turns out that my fourth graders need review of geography! Does anyone else have major challenges helping kiddos realize that there is a huge difference between states, towns, continents, countries, etc? The kids who get it, get it. And the kids who don't...well, it's just tough.

I'm reading The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate to my class currently. I love it, and I'm eager to get into some awesome culminating activities (lap books, Tagxedo character traits word clouds, researching the real Ivan, etc.), but I'm also excited for our next read aloud, The Hope Chest.  I plan on reading this EngageNY ELA grade four module text with my summer school kiddos before they head off to fifth grade. Has anyone else used this text with their fourth graders?

I just received an email that my first Stitch Fix will arrive on Tuesday! I am super psyched and will update when it arrives!!! I just can't wait to see what the stylist chooses for me!

Emily, over at Style Closet to Classroom, introduced me to Stitch Fix through a blog post. Check it out here! Emily also blogged about SlantBox in the same post. Has anyone ever tried this? It seems neat-o!

Stitch Fix (referral link)

My new refrigerator is being delivered...TODAY!
...which means that I should go food shopping this weekend.
...since my freezer is literally empty right now. As always.
I'm not will take 3 minutes, MAYBE, to clean out the old fridge.

Anyway, I'm psyched because the fridge has a touch screen! So I can listen to some Pandora jams while heating up my leftovers! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Positive Thinking Thursday

I am linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for Positive Thinking Thursday again! 
Shall we theme it up?
Okey dokey!

Audrey Hepburn!
The following quotes just made me smile, plain and simple.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Christine from "Sugar and Spice," for a Wordless Wednesday linky party! It is time for Wordless Wednesday!

Usually, I try to get some hands on activities in as summers approaches...
like salt dough maps! This picture was from last year.

We also like "Minute to Win It" games, relay races, science experiment days, etc.

What end of the year activities do you use in your classroom?