Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Season!

It's so hard to believe that it is the holiday season! I had the past week off and I decorated my classroom for Christmas. I brought my girls and they were not very helpful!

Other than that I stayed away from any school related stuff and enjoyed my family. I also SHOPPED!!! Online and in stores, you name it, I bought it! Which means I am done buying Christmas presents and every day will feel like Christmas with all of my packages arriving.  

That brings me to another thing! The TPT CYBER SALE!!!!  My store is on sale!!! 

I would recommend checking out my latest product. It is perfect for the wintery months ahead! Its my Snowman Biography Book Report. Students are asked to complete a book report and make a snowman that looks like the character that they read about. 

Now I am off to wrap some of the things I bought. I want to get in the holiday spirit but I can't decorate our house too much because we are putting in new floors!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Technology to Improve Reading

I am a book worm! I love love LOVE to curl up with a good book. I really try to instill that in my students. But sometimes they are a little reluctant. It may be because they aren't super readers. If they stick with me they will be!!!!! Here are a couple of ways I am using technology to improve reading in my classroom.

I have recently started fluency drills with a group of my kiddos. Their reading skills were improving but their fluency wasn't. I am trusting that their parents are helping them improve and practice at home too. Sometimes it is easier to provide the kiddos with everything that they need to be successful! So I have started voice recording the fluency passage and emailing it to them to practice with. Here is what I do:

I use the voice memo app:

This app is a freebie on the iPhone. It allows you to play with the recording a bit. Then you can send it as a text message or an email. 

My students use their headphones and read along with the passage. 

The next way I am using technology is by creating book reviews. I am using the app iMovie. 

To have students create book reviews of their favorite books in my classroom library. (They also practice summarizing skills with this project.) Once they create an iMovie they turn the link into a QR code and we place that in the back of the book. The students enjoy watching the reviews! 

What ways do you use technology to improve reading in your classroom? I am always looking for new ways and I will share them when I come up with them! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Holiday Treats

Its that time of year again! The holiday hustle and bustle is starting. You can almost feel the anticipation of the students for their Christmas Break (We call it Christmas Break at my school!) However there is a ton to fit in and think about between now and Christmas Break. I love giving gifts and this is a perfect time and way to show others you appreciate them.

One of my favorite things to do is to pick a fun craft to do with my class and even my two kiddos at home. I usually try to find a new project each year. The past two years I have done an ornament. Last year we swirled paint and glitter inside them. I really didn't love how they turned out but they weren't an official Pinterest fail. The main problem was the amount of paint the students used.

The year before turned out a lot better with the reindeer thumb print project. Some students even added a red pom pom nose and goggly eyes. 

We wrapped those in a brown paper bag and tied the pipe cleaner snowflake on them.

Then we practiced our letter writing skills by making cards and writing letters to our loved ones. 

I also love giving gifts to those around me that I love and appreciate. Last year I made this cute craft with my girls. 

What did we do before Pinterest? 

Now on to adult gifts! I love me some secret santa! However not everyone does and there is some organizing and preparation to it. So my school started a You've got Socked. The "sock" floats around the school the month of December. It was really the inspiration for My You've Been Mugged! There is a TON of cute You've Been items floating around online but I wanted to share another creation with you! Grab them here!

For me there is always people I want to give some kind of gift to at school ( and home) but it can be hard ( and expensive and time consuming) to find just the right thing for each person. Thats where treat. comes in! This super cute company by Shutterfly allows you to customize cards and gifts for your loved ones! How fun would a cute picture of their kiddo be for room parents? Or a silly pic with a colleague? Here is a few I created for the fall and winter holidays. I know my parents and my mother-in-law will love them! 

There are so many great templates for every occasion and they are super customizable!

The insides! You can even add a picture.


The back of the card. 

You can even add a gift card to TONS of great places as you design your card! If you want it to be sent directly to the person you can or it can be sent to you. Its so easy! 

How are you going to celebrate the holidays in your classroom? Do you do any great crafts I should know about? Please comment below! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Book Reports

One of my favorite projects each year is the pumpkin book reports. Its also a way to do something slightly Halloween themed even if we can't celebrate it! You can find that here from Simply Kinder. The report itself has enough meat to it that I think it works well for third grade. Here are some of the fun pumpkins my kiddos did this year.
My class sharing their pumpkin heads. 

Bad Kitty and Clementine. 

Grumpy Smurf and a Dragon

A Fisher Man

Motorcycle Mouse

Proudly on display in the library. 
Andrew's Lost

Mummy and Hypnotizing Fish

I hope you enjoyed the adorable reports by my kiddos! Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

3-2-1 Sunday Scoop

I am linking up with the ladies at Teaching Trio while enjoying the AWESOME Bronco win! 

Now we just hope for another Broncos win Thursday night! It will make this week wonderful! Check back with me this week about my treat post and to hear more about me going back to teaching part time! (I CANT WAIT!) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

iPad Tips

I have had iPads in my classroom for 5 years now. I used to feature iPad info on this blog often and I kinda got away from it so I thought I would share some tips. I came up with this idea because my SLANT box buddy asked for any tips I had for using the iPad if you don't have a class set. Then I asked around my building. The first and foremost was take the time to explore! Then focus on the one app you learned well and use it. Then add in the other pieces. Sometimes people ask me if I still use paper and pencil in the classroom. I do! I also post assignments on Google Classroom. I think both the iPad and pencil and paper are SUPER important.  Here are some tips for you!

If you have questions about using an iPad in the classroom or a class set comment below! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five For Friday

This week was conferences. They were great! I have such a small sweet class this year that it was fun to meet with the parents. The bonus about this is how great my principal and school was. They really tried to appreciate us and make conferences as fun as they could be.  We had an hour dinner break scheduled into our conference night. In that time they ordered us staff t-shirts and fed us a delicious soup and dessert bar. Look how cute these cupcakes are. 

Our PTCO president made them for us. The stems are rolled chocolate and there was awesome frosting (I am a frosting girl.) They raffled off gift cards during this time too! ( I didn't win.) To top all of this greatness off our principal came around with a pitcher of ice water for us during conferences and said we only need to be here during our conference times. So I had a two hour work day! 

Do you use IXL? This tool has been so helpful in the classroom. I love the math app and I really can't wait for them to turn the literacy component into an app. I use this in my class daily. The kids are able to work on just the skills they need and I can send it home for the parents. It is a paid subscription but you can do some free problems each day. This is the only math homework I assign. The kids LOVE it and they are always trying to earn medals. If you haven't tried it you should look into it. 

This year I am part of the character education team at my school. This summer we met and came up with the character traits. The program is going so well! It is great to see all of our hard work really paying off! You can grab the whole program here. I am also so excited about this because my awesome PTO gave me a grant to help the character ed program. Here is the kicker.... they more than doubled what I asked for! 

Here is the character wall in my classroom. 

Here is the school bulletin board with all of the awards listed! 

I am the maid of honor in my friends wedding. I guess I am technically the matron of honor but doesn't maid sound better? I met her when I was student teaching and her and I became fast friends. We have so much in common and just click. I am so happy for her and ready for some wedding fun. My non-teaching time is now dedicated to finding the best wedding stuff on Pinterest and helping where ever needed. I love being apart of weddings and supporting those close to me! We are getting ready for a planning party tonight! I am so excited! 

SLANT Box! Have you ever done this or heard about it? I am so excited! I have been hearing all about them so I decided to do one! Do you like connecting with new teachers? Do you like mail? Check it out here! Michelle does a lot of hard work matching and organizing each month! I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am paired with Carrie at Being Lady Like and Jocelyn at Room 3 oh 8!

Monday, October 6, 2014


Do you enjoy crunching your student data? I feel like this is such an important part of teaching. Its not the best part but it leads to those light bulb moments and it allows us to target instruction. I have been working hard to analyze data lately and target instruction. My class this year is teeny! I love it! The other plus side I have 3 levels I am directing instruction to. I feel like this is my most true "third grade" class.

Our school offers tutoring after school to give those who need it a little extra push. I usually hate doing it! Who really wants to teach after the bell. I am taking a different approach this school year. I chose 4 kids based on MAPS data and I am targeting reading. I feel like this is the best because it is hard to fit too much into 30 minutes. We are going to have some fun with it and LEARN!!!! My kiddos chose to read Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. We are going to do some of the things frog and toad do and make some meaningful crafts. Here is a sneak peak:

Each skill is based on MAPS data!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Choose Your Own Book Report

I love LOVE book reports. I think I like them as a teacher because they were one of my favorite things as a student.

Last year I did a book report once a quarter and I have changed it to once a month this year. It eliminates the reading log and this group love projects. I am always hearing "Are we doing a craft?" I may call everything a craft now so they are engaged.

This month I did choose your own book report. They had a list of projects to choose from and some reading comprehension to fill out.

You can grab that here! I also wanted to share some of my kids adorable projects! They all really worked hard and you can tell that they were kid made! 

Happy book reports!!!!!