Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Fever!

Do you have it? I do! Probably the worse case of Spring Fever I have ever had! I can't explain it but I am ready for summer. Three weeks I can do it!

We have so many fun things planned. I just finished my career unit (which you can get here) and now we are going to be doing a classroom economy activity to really understand goods, services, wants and needs ( you can find that here.)

After that we are studying Mexico! I am so excited for this. Since it is the end of the year I am going to spend a little extra time on the fun stuff. I have felt so blessed this school year because of all the wonderful  parents I have this year. This time I have a family that is only in America this year because they are Mexican missionaries. The mom came in and mapped out an authentic Mexican week long unit of study. She helped me so much I can't wait for next week! We are doing this all right in time for Cinco de Mayo even though I know it is not really a big deal in Mexico.

Alright I am going to get back to the NFL draft. I have to see what my Broncos are going to do.....

Cross your fingers for me! I am hoping for some really good news tomorrow!

Monday, April 23, 2012

App Time

Last week I featured Run Pee which is a great app to take to the movies. This had nothing to do with education. This week I am mixing business and pleasure with the Kindle App. Now it took me awhile to get on board with this app because I love books! I love to hold them in my hand and turn the pages. I love the way they smell and crispy new pages, but even more... I love to read!!!! Now the Kindle app is linked to amazon and it works just like a kindle on your iPad or iPhone. I have it on my phone and I love it! I always have my book with me now! I have read around 15 books on the app and I am hooked on the fact I can constantly buy and read books (you just buy with one click.) I don't even have to leave the house and that gives me time to read more! What I like even more is that I can download a sample of a book to see if I will even like it.

In the classroom......... this is a great place to store books and I have heard of whole school libraries switching to digital books. The books on the Kindle are cheaper most of the time too.

 Now I am very selective about what is on my home screen on my phone. I have most of my apps in folders but the kindle app is right on the home screen of my phone. If you love to read or were wondering which e reader to get just grab the kindle app and its FREE!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I completed my rock unit! I was a blast in class! I loved all of the hands on projects and I was even able to save a little face on the mold growing sugar crystals by picking up some on sale Easter candy. If you are interested in checking it out, you can here. I used my favorite teaching tool of the moment QR codes and I even listed and linked some apps!

You may have been wondering where I have been lately.... well I am a huge bookworm and I got sucked into the Uglies series! I need a new round of books to read! Any suggestions?

I have also been working on my golf game! I am not great but it is so much fun!

I will share my news with you all later this week!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Best Thing I Have Ever Done

As we near the end of the school year it is always good to reflect and see what we can improve on for the next year. I thought this would be a great opportunity to reflect. Teaching blogs have opened a whole new world for me! I have not been to a professional development or done an observation for a while but with teacher blogs we have the opportunity to constantly do them. I wanted to reflect/ share the best things I have ever done as a teacher (not a pat on the back but more the most helpful thing I have found.)

The best things I have ever done as a teacher ( besides finding teacher blogs):

1. This was advice from a teammate- have your students mail all of the valentines first thing when they come in the morning. It eliminates some of that anticipation and allows you to get through the day unit the party. Its simple and IT WORKS!!!

2.  I stumbled upon Whole Brain Teaching. This is one form of classroom management that I fully believe in all of the aspects of it. IT WORKS!!! I thank teacher blogs and youtube for this. If you are searching for something new I just think this might be it. You can basically watch every video and read the website and know how to use it for FREE!!! I love free.

3. Creating a class website. I posted homework, class and school policies. I even linked it to our grade book so parents could access them. Everyone was on the same page. There was not excuses for lost or late assignments. This kept me, my students and their parents accountable. I recommend this in older grades for sure!

Now I am sure there are other smart things I have done as a teacher but these are ones that anyone can use. Share your ideas! What are some of the smartest things you have done as a teacher? What tips do have to share with us?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Following Up

I blogged before about my science experiment and how I had a back up going on here at home. Well here is the latest:

My class salt crystals are growing beautifully.

My class sugar crystals are growing mold and not much else.

My home sugar crystals grew and crystalized in the bottoms of the cup. HA! The back up didn't even work....

This is why I am a teacher and not a scientist. Anyone else have this happen to them?

Next week we are making volcanoes so I am crossing my fingers that those go just fine!

On to other news I just ( well yesterday)  had a talk with my principal (who is wonderful BTW) about what is going on at our school next year and I haven't stopped smiling since! I will share my news once it is completely official but I AM SO EXCITED! It is wonderful to love your job like all of it! In the past I have loved parts, the teaching part and the kids part but not the rest of it! Now I have it all!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Catching Up

Every year I forget how busy it is this time of year! I haven't even had time to blink plus these little firsties are determined to keep me sick! I have never been as sick as I have been this school year. If you have a health tip comment below!

Now I haven't mentioned an app lately so I am about due. However I have not been blown away by any educational apps lately. More recently I have been finding web based games and creating a QR code for my kiddos to get to the site. There are pros and cons to this. They are free but they also get the kids on the web.

With all that being said I wanted to share with you my personal favorite app at the minute. It has nothing to do with education but it is totally worth sharing! My friend shared it with me!

Now if you are like me and always drink your entire large ICEE during the previews and first few minutes of the movie then you spend the rest of the time dreading leaving the movie but your bladder is ready to burst! Install this app! It is FREE and you choose your movie and it sets a timer then it notifies you at the right times to pee! Its genius! My friends and I used it at Hunger Games! 

Okay I promise I will be better about checking back in! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Science and Money

When you teach older kids and a project doesn't work exactly right they are okay with it and sometimes determined to completed it at home. When you teach younger kids and the project doesn't work out they are devastated. This mainly applies to science.  I have learned this through the course of this school year. Now anytime we do an experiment I create a back up.  We recently studied US symbols and we turned pennies green. Well many of my kiddos didn't bring in pre 1981 pennies so they wouldn't work. Instead after school I was digging through a pile of pennies to find the ones that would turn green. Before school started I switched out the pennies.

Now we are trying to grow crystals which is a part of our Rock and Earth Layers Unit. We are growing sugar or salt crystals, I let the kids choose. We have a bunch growing in the classroom right now:

But just incase they don't work I have the same experiment going on here at home.

Now I will have some extras if they are needed and if not I will have plenty of rock candy! 

I will list this unit in TpT after it has been classroom tested and approved ( by 29, 6 and 7 year-old, critics.) I will send you some activities that are included in it to the first 3 people who comment that they are interested. Include your email. I will let this go until Thursday night 4/5

I also just posted my money unit I called it Dollars and Sense - a unit about money sense. I felt that it was really clever :).  I feel like this unit is my masterpiece thus far! I worked my little tail off creating this unit because our curriculum (Saxon) doesn't include much more than counting pennies. I added some QR codes, made posters etc. etc.  I am feeling pretty generous tonight (maybe because I have a bunch of rock candy in my future.) so if you are interested I will give one away to the first person that comments and tells me they would like it. If you would like to check it out it is right here

Today I was a little naughty... I also made a trip to a teacher store. I gave up shopping for lent which I have mentioned in a previous post. I figured that if it wasn't for me it was okay though. I am so excited about what I got! What is it you ask? Well I got some rocks and some resources to help finish out the year. I will share what I got later because right now its hidden in the car so I won't feel so guilty! I would feel better but anything you get at a teacher store is so expensive! I mean I could have bought something fancy for myself like these:
I really want these!

 I guess right now I can really appreciate TpT but there are somethings you can't get on there and sometimes school supplies just sit there tempting me saying you need me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

And the winner is...............

Thank you to all of you who have recently joined my blog! I am really enjoying finding new blogs, ideas and bloggy friends!

Now it is time to get down to business with the giveaway.

My page is Blue and Orange because of my Denver Broncos! I love them!

Now the winner is: (I used Random Number Generator)

Number 1 Lisa AKA Mrs. Richling!!!! Congrats! I will be emailing you shortly!

Thank you to everyone who has been following my blog! If you didn't win this time its just a matter of time before another giveaway..... Spread the word and it will be even sooner!

Now I ended up having a pretty great spring break! It was like a vacation right here in Denver! I shopped, I played golf, I was a lady who lunched, I read (Matched and Crossed) my husband and I even won a gold and silver for our Green Chile! It was wonderful!

Now it is back to business for six more weeks! I cannot believe this year is almost done! I can make it six weeks!

How do you wrap up your school year? I like to have my kiddos save up all of their behavior money and then have a " yard sale" each student brings in items that they would like to get rid of from home and price them. Then the students can spend their money on the items. It is so cute and a bunch of fun. We are also challenging the kiddos to read 1500 minutes this month for the chance for a gold medal and dinner with yours truly! We have a couple of reading groups gearing up for some reader's theater plays as well. I am going to blink and we are going to be done!

 Comment below with some fun end of the year activities! 

Now I am also the student council sponsor at my school and we are hosting talent tryouts and I am trying to squeeze in some conferences for those parents who couldn't/didn't make them.  So I may not be able to get back here this week but I really will try! If you miss me you can check out my guest blogger post over at Teaching in High Heels. I will be there Friday 4/6! I am pretty excited about it!