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!