Search This Blog

Friday, November 30, 2012


It's been awhile since I've blogged. My computer officially died over Thanksgiving break. Boo! SoI've been a little out of lube in the bloggy world. I haven't even been blog stalking...but I"M BACK.

While I was gone I was nominated for the Liebster Award for blogers with 200 followers or less. First of all I wanted to make a quick shout out to my nominators: Heather form Wild Rumpus , Janet from Mrs. D's Firsties, , Marie from Beach Lovin' Teach and Danielle from Classroom Cupcakes! Thank you ladies! If you aren't already following them ...please head over and check out their amazing blogs. 

I was so pleased to be nominated for the Liebster Blog and wanted to share the love, too!  

The rules: 
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)

Random Facts
1.  I have a crazy cat named Maise who steals the magnets off of my fridge.
2. I think about 75% of my wardrobe is from Target.
3. I HATED math as a student but now it is one of my favorite subjects to teach.
4. I have the best grandma in the whole world!
5. Thirfty’s Double Fudge Brownie on a sugar cone will always be my favorite treat.
6. The Real Housewives are a guilty pleasure of mine.
7. …so is US Weekly.
8. I ALWAYS wear flats.
9. I love country music.
10. I heart leopard print.
11. I have a betta fish and Maise is always trying to get him, too. :) 

Questions I was asked by Heather

What is your best teaching memory?
Umm…I am drawing a blank. But my favorite memory from this week was reading Island of the Blue Dolphins with my class. One of my reluctant readers was full of questions; “I wonder if Captain Orlov is coming back. If I were Karana I would go with Tutok? What would have happened if Ramo didn’t die at the beginning?”  I think he’s hooked!
What is your worst teaching memory?
One day I was subbing and a student spilled a whole carton of milk onto my foot.My socks and shoes were soaked and by the end of the day I smelled like spoiled milk. Not good.
What made you decide to start a blog?
I loved reading teaching blogs. Being a new-ish teacher, I found teaching blogs to be a huge inspiration!  Eventually I bit the bullet and created my own blog.
What's your favorite season and why?
Summer! I just love everything about it.
Do you have a teaching idol? Who and why?
Mrs. Wray, my fourth grade teacher. She was so fun! I was actually talking to my  friend about her today. We were both in her class 20 years ago!
Do you have any hobbies, and, if so, what's your favorite?
Does blog stalking count? How about eating? If so, I have two hobbies!
Coffee or Tea?
Both! But Chai Tea Lattes are my absolute fav.
Dessert: chocolate or other?
Chocolate. Always chocolate.
Snack: sweet or salty (Can you tell I haven't eaten yet this morning?!)
Both I LOVE good eats!
What were you prior to becoming a teacher?
I was a student… and while I was being a student I was also a nanny, store clerk, restaurant  hostess, after school program worker and camp counselor...gotta pay for school some how!
If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have been?
Hmmm….that’s a tough one! Maybe something to do with community health or social work, but I really can’t imagine  not teaching.

Questions for my nominees:
1. What is your favorite kids’ book?
2. What is your favorite subject to teach?
3. Chocolate or Vanilla?
4. What school supply can you not live without?
5. Who would play you if they made a movie about your life?
6. What is on your Christmas list this year?
7. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
8. Where would you go on a dream vacation?
9. Dog person, cat person or neither?
10. How would your friends describe you?
11.  How would your students describe you? 

And the nominees are...

Go check 'em out and follow along if you are doing so already! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Youtube Finds!

I've had a bit of a leisurely day today and spent some time perusing pintrest and youtube. I am so excited about some of my finds so I needed to share! 

These videos are so fun and catchy! 

I actually found this song, "Meet the Elements", last year and showed this years class the video on Wednesday. Since then we've all been singing it! It gets stuck in my head every time I hear it and the same is true for the kids. Hopefully the info gets stuck in my students' their head too! 

This one is perfect for the introducing the Age of Exploration in Social Studies. 

Love this video, too! Great for talking about perspectives on the war. 

These videos are so fun and add an extra level of engagement to the lessons. If youtube is blocked at your school, check out keep vid. I wrote about it in this post. 

If you have a video that you love, please share! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reflecting on Trimester I

Whew! The first trimester of the year is over. (Do you all go by trimesters? Quarters? Semesters?)

On top of the usual report cards and parent conferences, my charter school is also going through its charter renewal. I don't know what the process of charter renewal is like in other states but in California it is pretty intense. Needless to say, all of this has made for a stressful few weeks.

When the school year gets busy it is so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to reflect. I didn't want that to happen so as we approached the ending of the first grading period, I came up with a few quick activities to help my students reflect on the first trimester of the year and look forward to the rest of the year.

Part 1: Slide Show 

The first thing I did was put together a quick little slide show. It wasn't fancy. I basically uploaded all of my pictures from my phone and threw in some music.

The kids were beyond excited to watch themselves on the "big screen". As they watched the slide show I had them fill out this simple little organizer.
I was happily surprised at how seriously they took the organizer! They filled in all of the squares which made the other parts of the reflection easier.

Next, they used there organizer to complete two quick reflective writing pieces.

Part 2: That was Easy!

The first, was this little gen from One Extra Degree.
(Click on the image to get your own copy from Amanda

We watched a staples commercial before they filled out their sheets. They were so entertained by the idea of watching commercials during class. :)  The kids actually had a hard time picking just one thing "that was easy" and they were so thoughtful in the way they chose exactly what to write about. 

Step 3: The Essay 

The last writing piece was much more involved. Each student wrote a 3 paragraph essay. The first paragraph discussed what they enjoyed most in the first trimester. The second paragraph focused on what they learned.The third paragraph was about what they hoped to achieve in the next trimester. 
It was given as an on demand writing sample and I was very impressed with there work. (I told them that I would be showing the essay to their parents at conferences and I could tell that they wrote to impress!:) ) 

What do you do to help your students to be reflective? How do you recognize progress in your classroom? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Happy Sunday everybody! I just got back from an amazingly wonderful birthday weekend and I am linking up with Farley before I start hitting all of the paperwork I missed while I was away.
It was my birthday this weekend and I spent it at my very favorite place: Avila Beach. It was very relaxing and oh so much fun! And this view never gets old: 
Plus it was unseasonably warm - 80 degrees today! 

While I was away, I received an iPad for my birthday. I was so happily surprised!!! Now I can't wait to start downloading apps and playing with QR codes! What are some apps you enjoy? Any tips for using the iPad in the classroom? Let me know!

Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies for the Film Curious George
Speaking of the classroom, my favorite thing to play in class is the Curious George Soundtrack. I know that it sounds a little young for my 5th graders but it is calming and fun! I love Jack Johnson so I am happy, too!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, too. If you haven't already, go link up. Now back to reality for me! Report cards, here I come!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...