Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Preventing Perilous Piles

Marla from A Word on Third hosts a biweekly linky, and I'm happy to be participating.

This week, I'm sharing an organizational tip that should help prevent those dangerous, gravity-defying piles of papers!

Confession: I used to be a piler. For real. It's embarrassing to remember, really. I've decided to be transparent and show you what I mean using photos. That's my son 9 years ago with my sister-in-law. Look behind them!

Admittedly, pile-ups sometimes still occur in my classroom. But the piles are less tall and don't hang around as long! Here's what I do now.
I have a file crate with dated files for 3-5 weeks. Whenever I copy something I'll need, I automatically place it in the corresponding file. 

Parent volunteers, paraprofessionals, and inclusion team-teachers know about my system. If any of them make copies for me, I always jot the date that I'll need it so they can place the sheets in the correct file. 

On Fridays, I take a few minutes to change the dates on the empty files.

Tip: Save time and sticky notes by using pencil to jot the dates. Then you can just erase and fill in the correct dates without removing the post-its.

Visit Marla's blog to read more Happy Teacher Tips. Perhaps leave some of your own tips in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday July

Happy Friday! I'm a few days late for the July edition of Show and Tell Tuesday, which is hosted by Stephanie at Forever in Fifth Grade

We've been to the beach several times this month. I'm so thankful that I live within easy driving distance of the ocean. I've discovered that LARGE PRINT books are best for me at the beach. I can wear sunglasses instead of reading glasses and still see the words! Win!

My kids and I tried letterboxing for the first time. A local plant nursery with six spectacular greenhouses has set up a letterboxing adventure. I don't grow things. Ever. But I love wandering around in their greenhouses. In one of the greenhouses, there's a Ponderosa lemon tree that's 117 years old. In the picture above, you'll notice several types of citrus growing on one tree. Different types of fruits have been grafted in. 
My kids LOVE to read as much as I do. We've been to two used bookstores this month and to the Salvation Army store. We leave with armloads of books. One of the used bookstores we just discovered yesterday, and it's right in our town. We've also been spending lots of time in the library. Gabrielle has been all about logging her books online and doing challenges.
I've read two professional books and lots of "just because" books. I highly recommend Grammar Matters by Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty.
I've been trying to eat lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and other healthy options this summer. But, sometimes you just really want roast beef! My husband, the kids, and I went on a jaunt to this place to get delicious roast beef sandwiches and coffee milk. Coffee milk is a Rhode Island thing. In fact, it's their official state drink!

You'll notice that this post had very little school-related content. I'm in full summer mode! Head over to Forever in Fifth Grade to read other Show and Tell Tuesday posts.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Happy Teacher Tip Tuesdays

Marla from A Word on Third has started a brand new linky, and I'm so excited to participate!

This week, I'm sharing a wellness tip that has helped me feel better and be happier. Smoothies!

Last winter, I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix. Whoa, was it ever an eye-opener. For a limited time, you can watch it here. It's still available on Netflix also.

The man who made the film started juicing and eating a mostly plant-based diet. I am not a juicer, but it did inspire me to start trying to get LOTS more fruits, veggies, and natural whole foods into my diet. 

I feel SO much better since changing my diet, and smoothies have been a tasty and easy way to do it. My favorite recipe:

I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you give smoothies a try. Please share recipes, too! I'm always looking for good ideas. 

Head over to Marla's blog to link up and find more Teacher Happiness tips. 

FYI: My Smoothies Pinterest board has several other recipes.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sum Up for Saturday and a Freebie

Happy weekend! This year curriculum changes in almost every subject have been overwhelming, so blogging has taken a backseat. I've decided to jump start my blogging again by linking up with Kacey at Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

On Friday the 21st, we had our second annual STEM Day. We did several activities. One was to build the tallest aluminum foil structure possible using only one box of foil. I just explained directions and let kids have a go.  If you're interested in a well-designed product to implement this challenge, I suggest you grab the product below, created by Smart Chick.

We also had a blast using the Hands-On Magnet Racer product created by More Than a Worksheet. I added an additional math component by labeling all of the needed supplies with prices. I included different matchbox vehicles and various magnets with different prices. Before students could gather their supplies, they needed to create a supplies list, find the total cost, and determine how much change they would receive if they paid for supplies with a $20 bill.


My kids and I spent the afternoon at Mystic Seaport on Sunday. We toured the Charles W. Morgan, which is a wooden whaling ship. If you live in the area, it's worth the trip. If you are too far to consider a visit, their website has lots of free resources that you might find useful. Check out their collection of primary sources and lesson plans.

We had an amazing assembly on Wednesday called "From Bach to Rock" by Caryn Lin. I was too mesmerized to take pictures, so I was forced to peruse Caryn's website and You Tube! She was extremely talented and also a gifted teacher. She's spunky, and the kids loved her.

We learned that colonial money during the Revolutionary War was CONFUSING!

Seeing what it feels like to carry water buckets attached to a yoke...
The town where I teach has a long and very rich history. We took the third graders on a field trip to the many historical buildings around the town's green. French soldiers drilled and camped on that green during the Revolutionary War. I was so impressed by the knowledge and dedication of the volunteers and staff who keep up the buildings and present learning opportunities to our students. 

Matt from Digital: Divide & Conquer shared this meme on Instagram, and I sighed and smiled at the same time! The month of May will be NUTS. We have Smarter Balanced state testing the week of the 8th. The week after that we have our 3rd grade musical performance, field day, and a field trip! The FOLLOWING week we have NWEA Map testing. And the week after THAT we do our end-of-the-year cumulative math test. Ack! 

I'm sharing a freebie that you can use to motivate your students if they also will be taking NWEA Map tests.  Grab it by clicking here or on the image below.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Five for Friday

Have you had a busy week? Hopefully, you've been able to find time to enjoy the season. Some of you are already on Christmas break! My last day with students is a half day on the 23rd. I was determined to make time this week for something I enjoy: linking up with Kacey at Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday. 

I finished my report cards! They went home today. The beginning of December always means report card time. When I was averaging grades in the living room last weekend, my cats kindly assisted me. 

Since all the students in my class celebrate Christmas, I've decided to really Christmas it up whenever I can! We've started our multiplication unit. I have several sets of objects that students write story problems about. Click HERE to read about the items I used. 

We've started to read one of my favorite children's books: The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron. Are you familiar with her books? The characters are rich, and the stories get kids completely absorbed. 

I've decided to do a digital December Daily album this year. Each day, I scrapbook something that happened. I'm staying caught up so far!

We've been working on writing descriptions. We created these posters so students could think of ways to SHOW feelings instead of just stating them. First, though, students acted out different emotions. The other students jotted what they observed in their notebooks. It was a lot of fun.

Thanks for stopping by!