Monday, July 22, 2013

Ten things I've learned from Teaching Linky

I've linked up with Miss Kindergarten for this fun linky.

I have learned a lot in the past few years...

1.  Sometimes I forget to take my teacher hat off at home.  Just today, my 2 kids were arguing during lunch and in my teacher voice I said "Boys and Girls!" (I have 1 boy and 1 girl).  My husband started laughing as I corrected myself by saying their names.  

2.  Even though I teach the older grades (3rd now, but 4-5 in the past) I will still be called "Teacher".  Calling them "Student" in reply does NOT change that habit.

3.  Students will ALWAYS try to get you off topic.  I swear there are about 2-3 who wake up each morning with a mission to get me off topic.  

4.  No matter how much I promise myself that I will use my plan time wisely, unless I lock myself in my classroom, I always end up talking to someone.

5.  The copy machine will always jam up when I need it most....the last 2 minutes of my plan time.

6.  I've learned that 3rd graders really do bounce!  No matter how much you tell them to sit down, they get right back up 2 seconds later!  "Sit down", boing, "Have a seat", boing,  "I'll talk with you in a minute", boing, "Raise your hand and I'll come to you", boing....

7.  Heads up 7 up is STILL my favorite game!

8.  Setting high expectations in your students helps them set high expectations for themselves!

9.  Kids will do anything for a Jolly Rancher.

10.  Pencils don't work unless they have a very sharp point...Once that sharp point is gone (although there is still plenty of lead), they have to get up and get another pencil or sharpen it **boing, boing**  This is what I'm planning on tackling this year....stopping the quest for the sharpest, pointiest pencil!

This was a fun linky.  I enjoy thinking back on things and then remembering that it's all starting over again in a few weeks!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Clip Art???

So, I like to draw in my spare time.  Am I an artist, no.  Am I good, not so sure.  My husband says I am.  :)  I like to use my own images in my products and I'm working on a Pirate Literature Circle set.  I'm soooo excited about this.  But, I am wondering, what do people think about the clip art?  I would LOVE some feed back.  Is it good, bad?  We don't know each other personally, so my feelings won't be hurt!  :)  My hubby on the other hand...well, I think he has to tell me that it's good.  Also, is this something I should sell?  I'm thinking no.  I don't think people would be happy spending $$ on it...but who knows.  Should I add other images to what I have here?  I do have a treasure chest and working on a ship.  Just curious what others think.  I'll send 2-3 people who are willing to look at this my images  to give me feedback.  Just leave me your email address in the comments section.  Here is what I have so far.
Thanks so much for any and all feedback!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Liebster Award

I got an email from 3rd Grade Theatrics this morning telling me that my blog has been nominated for the Liebster Award! My blog is so new...I'm shocked!  :)  Needless to say, I'm having a GREAT day!

What is the Liebster award?  It's an award given to up and coming bloggers that have under 200 followers.  It's a great way for bloggers to connect with each other and to get the word out about new blogs.
This is how this award works.  To accept the nomination I have to:
1.  Link back to the blog that nominated me
2.  Nominate 5-11 blogs that have under 200 followers
3.  Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4.  Share 11 random facts about myself
5.  Create 11 questions for my nominees
6.  Contact my nominees to let them know that I nominated them.

I nominated:
Stephanie at The Creative Classroom
Chris at Owl about us
Stephanie at The Learning Chambers
Carrie and Caitlin at Table Talk with C&C
Foreman Teaches at Foreman Teaches

Questions from 3rd grade theatrics:
1. When did you know you wanted to be an educator?  
It took me a while to decide this.  Teaching is my 2nd career.  I went to college to be a pharmacist because I heard they make great money.  I later changed my major to Management and graduated with that degree.  My dad was a teacher (taught for 40 years), and I guess I was trying to not follow in his footsteps.  I was out of college for 5 years when I decided to go back and become a teacher.  I should have known that it was in my blood.  
2. What is your favorite classroom memory?
This one is hard.  There are a lot of good memories...I guess thinking recently to the past school year, it would be when we finished our trickster tales and shared them with the class.  I was very impressed with how they came out, especially with my ELL students.  Their stories were by far the best in the class and that was a great moment for me and them.  They didn't want to share their stories, so I read them out loud using my best voices and the look of joy on their faces was priceless!
3. What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is to travel to Europe.  My Great-Grandfather was born in Germany and I would love to see where my family came from.
4. What was your funniest teacher moment?
This was when I was doing my Field Experience.  I was in a 3rd grade classroom like once or twice a week and teaching a unit on community.  The community we lived in was Mooresville, Indiana.  So I was doing what our community was and what it wasn't.  We were comparing it to other communities (like Indianapolis).  So, John Dillinger was from Mooresville and David Letterman is from Indianapolis.  I was trying to get across that well known people can be from anywhere.  I was also talking with them about the interstate that goes through and around Indianapolis and that there is no interstate in Mooresville.  Again, the point I was trying to get across was that there is more traffic in Indianapolis than in Mooresville.  So at the end of the unit I asked the kids what they learned.  They learned that criminals come from Mooresville (John Dillinger) and that no accidents happen in Mooresville.  Talk about a smack my head moment.  LOL!
5. What is your favorite summer activity?
Relaxing!  I love not having an agenda.
6. What is your favorite brand of handbags/purses?
Honestly, I just LOVE purses!  Doesn't really matter to me.  I like to change them out often.  Though lately, I've had 2 coach purses.
7. What is your favorite movie?
I love Gone With the Wind.
8. What is your favorite children's book?
My favorite children's book is a Raggedy Ann book.  It was an old Golden Book.   This was my favorite because I remember when my dad gave it to me.  I guess it made me feel special.  Now my daughter has it.
9. Which holiday, during the school year, do you look forward to the most?
Ugh.  I hate holidays at school!  I dislike holiday parties!  But, I guess I most look forward to Christmas because we get a break and get to see lots of family.
10. What is your favorite on-the-go snack?
I like to take cut up apples with me when I go places.
11. What is one piece of technology that you can't live without? 
I just got an iphone a few months ago.  I can't live without that anymore.  What we did before smart phones, I have no idea.

1.  My very first concert was an Alice Cooper/Scorpians concert and I got to go onstage and dance during the Scorpians song Wild Child.
2.  I started playing the church organ when I was 14 years old.
3.  I  broke my arm during a marching band competition.
4.  I secretly want to be a cake decorator.
5.  I LOVE cooking shows, especially cooking competition shows.
6.  I love anything with Johnny Depp in it.
7.  I lost 50 pounds!  
8.  I knew I was going to marry my husband before I met him.  :)  My friends all knew him and kept talking about him.
9.  My favorite color is Orange.
10.  I love Pink Floyd.
11.  I hate air conditioning!!!  I freeze...brrrr.

My 11 questions
1.  What is your favorite subject to teach?
2.  Who is your role model?
3.  What is your favorite TV Show?
4.  If you could have dinner with any 3 people of your choice, who would you choose?
5.  What's your favorite grade to teach and why?
6.  What advice would you give to a new teacher?
7.  Who was your best teacher?  Why?
8.  What's your favorite dessert?
9.  What's your favorite song right now?
10.  What are your hobbies?
11.  What are your hopes and dreams for this upcoming school year?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Using Band challenges in math?

If any of you were ever in band, you understand the concept of challenges.  You challenge someone to move up in chair order.  I LOVED challenges!  One thing I hated to do, was practice.  But, challenges motivated me to practice.  A few years ago, I started Math Facts challenges.  They signed up to challenge each other on one set of facts (7's, 8's, etc...).  They could also challenge ME!  They loved to challenge me more than each other.  They were very motivated to beat me.  I did not slow down for them.

The 2 students would get 20 problems and have 1 minute to finish them ALL.  If I'm being challenged, I do the same sheet as the students with the same expectations.  To win, they have to have them ALL answered correctly!  If both students have them all correct, then the one who finished first wins.  I tell the students to stand up as soon as they are finished.  It can be time consuming, but it's very motivating for the students.

I added these trophy sheets to my Challenge wall.  You can get these for free here.  In the trophy, where the line is, I always put in the fact that they won on (like x7).  

I am looking forward to giving this a try again this year.  I would LOVE to hear of any suggestions that you have for making this work.  

To help students be held accountable for their multiplication facts, I have created a weekly math fact program.  I did this with my students last year and it was very successful.  Here's a copy of the math facts class chart that I had hanging on my data wall. 

Here's the link to my multiplication product.
Math Facts Mastery

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Currently and More Giveaways!

I'm linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for the July Currently.

LISTENING:  I always seem to be listening to Spongebob or some other kids show.  They have control of the TV for most of the day.  I get my work done at that time.  My guilty pleasure, however, is Big Brother!  Can't wait for it today!

LOVING:  I have a short summer this year, but I'm trying to make the best of it.  I'm really enjoying it so far.  This past week, my parents took my kids for 5 days!  Kid free for 5 days was FANTASTIC!

THINKING:  I'm always thinking of new things to much so that I get overwhelmed and don't do any of it.  :(  We've also been talking about painting for a while now.  We actually have the hopefully we won't just talk about it anymore.  :)

WANTING:  The sun.  It's cool out today.  I think it was in the 60's.  All last week it rained.  I don't mind the days when I can have my windows open, but I do miss the sunshine.  Hate the air conditioner though.  I freeze!

NEEDING:  Like I said before, I have a ton of things in my mind about what I want to do.  I need to make a list and it needs to be OK to not get to it all.  On the top of that list needs to be relax and enjoy my family though!  I do believe that I am being successful with that.

TIPS:  On my NOTES ap on my phone, I have a huge list of things that I think of at various places.  I was picking up my kids at my parents yesterday and added 2 things to my list.

I have been participating in a lot of giveaways lately.  I have 2 to blog about now and one that starts in a few days.

This first giveaway is going on for the WHOLE month of July!
Nancy's giveaway
The second one goes on for 4 more days!
3rd Grade Theatrics

Good luck on these giveaways!  I'll be back tomorrow!