Monday, March 31, 2014

Keep Calm and Write/Research ON!

 We finished our personal narratives up last week....we actually finished them in one week and that includes having 2 individual writing conferences! Technically, this is our second full personal narrative. We will start our third one after spring break so look for something big headed this way...fingers crossed!

I PUT THEM IN A BOX...I  CRUSHED their creativity....yep! I did.
I made them all write about a time when they got ouch story! My other two teamates let them pick what to write about for this one but I have used these story starters for the last 3 years just because they are so dang cute and what student doesn't have an ouch story! This year my sweet fifth grade babies wrote 4-5 pages worth for their 5 paragraph personal narratives! I loved seeing how some of them didn't think it was even possible to write that much about a time they got hurt but with some really good hooks, some dialogue action, and details...voila! They were impressive! Oh and don't you just love my band-aid cut outs...courtesy of  Irma Pro at G-Iron. She never ceases to amaze me with her oh so many talents! I told her I wanted band-aid clip art yesterday at 1:00 and that night by 9:00 I had some! Need something made and in a hurry?! Send her a message!

 Oh and if you like the printable be sure to check out the creator herself! Click on pic below for many many more! She has a lot of great schtuff and ideas!

We're concluding our chapter studies on WWII. I have one more week to add emphasis on it! It's definitely been the best part of our History curriculum. We read Lois Lowry's Number the Stars. This was their summer reading assignment but since it is all so relevant now and half of them didn't do it during the summer, I read it aloud!  It has definitely become a class favorite! I literally read it in a couple of hours and couldn't put it down! It's a must read for upper el ed especially if you at all talk about WWII!!!

We have also been rigorously working on our RESEARCH paper! First comes note taking, then comes outlining, then comes drafting with lots of revising! Anybody ever heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer?! He was a German spy and theologian that worked with the resistance to try and rid Germany of Hitler. Whelp, he's our research paper topic....I hadn't heard of him before either....ah...Keep Calm and Do research. This book wasn't my favorite and was really hard reading for them!

We start achievement tests tomorrow. I plan to use this area each day for testing encouragement! I think I'll post a different quote each day  inside of a frame and have our snacks under it in a basket! I plan to get some little cups and have a water station! Let's get 'dis over with and move on to spring break!
Last Friday, we had our 3rd quarter Carnival. I posted about my carnivals here. You can learn about how they and my behavior management system work. 2 of my sweet students weren't able to attend. I think it was wayyy harder on me than it was on them...especially given that I have such a well behaved group this year!
We had the usual carnival foods...corndogs, apples, popcorn...this one was really thrown together but the best part about it was the cupcakes! One of the sweetest teen girls ever made these Funnel Cake cupcakes for me!

Aren't they adorable!? And they were delicious...I had 3 in one day! Don't judge me!

Last but not least...I bought this expensive baby yesterday afternoon at of the most overwhelming and largest electronic stores! I need to spend the next couple of nights backing up all the schtuff on my 2005 dell laptop...she's going through some serious therapy right now and the doctors don't expect her to recover :( This is a big deal for me...she's been such a faithful and trustworthy friend all these years! We looked at replacements while at Frys but just the idea of a new one fried my brain!

Here goes some back up action! Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What Works Wed. and Throwback Thursday!

What works Wednesday?!
 Comrades, Confidants, Supporters, Colleagues, Cohorts, friends, Sympathizers, Classy teaching pals! 
Nottttt to be confused with competitors, foes, opponents, archenemies, antagonists, rivals,....

This Wednesday our wild hallway of fifth and sixth grade teachers went out to lunch! We did not talk about any of our students......ok maybe a teensy weensy bit.......but rather we celebrated each others teachery life and 3 birfdays! Trust me, after the week some of my coworkers have had...we needed it! We had a great time and don't get to do it near enough!  It works. It really does but you have to avail yourself to your coworkers. If you have an "I'm way better than you" "You don't know anything about education" "I graduated from yadayadayada school" then it won't work. You have to be ready and willing to share your life with the others you work with! It works wayyy better than trying to get school advice from your hubs sometimes. We were all super tired and several of us more spiritual Christians still had church to attend that night but we made it happen!
The two tired ladies in the back have seen better days! <3  you Mrs. Joiner! 

Throw Back Thursday! 
Here's me and the first group of wonderful teaching pals I ever had! Sure do love and miss them!

Me in my skinny looking good days, Mrs. Becky (who inspired my blog name without knowing), and Mrs. Cynthia!

I promise that I have been teaching the last couple of weeks! I plan to post this weekend about what we've been up to!

 Happy Thursday!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Classflow's a Go! seester's beau asked me to take a look at Classflow and let him know what I thought about it. I signed up for an account yesterday and spent about an hour playing around with it. It's a lot like Powerpoint only better and it was super easy to use once I created a free account!
I created a couple of math lessons for this week and used it in my class today. Unfortunately, we're not super tecky at mi escuela (my school...did I use that Spanish right, Irmz?!) so I didn't experience the interactive part. I don't have a smart board/promethean board but I do have a projector so that is what I used.
My thoughts....I'll let my "Yea's be yea's and my nay's be nay's" here:

1. Yea..It definitely saved me time! I had the lessons ready and never turned my back to the class. I already had the examples written in and never had to write anything on the board during the lesson. Think with me...if I spend even just 3 minutes a day writing math problem examples on the white board when introducing a new lesson and replace those 3 minutes with already prepared examples... 175 days times 3=525 minutes of classtime SAVED and MAXIMIZED! That's almost 9 hours gained to our year together!

2. Nay...I  HATED the stylist/pen thingy for writing in examples.  I'm a super big perfectionist when it comes to my handwriting so I DID NOT LIKE THE WAY MY HANDWRITING LOOKED!

3. Yea...I liked that I could upload videos and documents to a lesson. I'm already planning to use it again when recaping Pearl Harbor by inserting FDR's "Yesterday" speech.

4. Yea...I liked that you could share your created lessons with other teachers and view other teacher's plans.

5. Nay...I found the "Play" button never really played. It continued to say "preparing to play" so I found it much easier to simply hit "edit" and show them each slide by clicking on it.

6. Nay...every time I added a text box, it took forever to release.

7. Yea...I LOVED that you can email your lesson to ANYONE even if they don't have a classflow account as a way to collaborate with other team members!

8. Yea...I liked that it was a cloud and accessible from anywhere!

Overall...I'd say Classflow's a Go! I know I've already planned to use it again and this is coming from one technology illiterate gal. Most of my nay's are I'm sure format issues that I don't know how to use and with a few tutorials I'm sure that could be easily fixed!

Below are some pic's of how I used it.

Just projected it up the white board!

In the above pic, you can see that on my desk I turned my computer around and simply used the mouse when I was ready to go to the next slide. This was also an easy way to go back and make references to other slides throughout their seatwork.
I'm also positive that there are a lot of better ways to use it...but working with what I know and have....I still really liked it! Sign up for a free account and see what you think here: Classflow

This post was just for you Jim!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Student Cancer Support!

I previously posted about one of the kiddos in my 5th grade class whose 6th grade brother has bone cancer. His brother will be starting another round of chemo this Monday, next Monday, and then the next. He and his sweet family have really been heavy on my heart today!
On Friday a couple of our male admins organized a head shaving during 5th-6th grade lunch for those who wanted to participate.It was a very exciting time and there were a lot of whoaaa's during the whole ordeal! About 30ish kiddos total participated! I stood back and watched with great admiration for these boys!

Two of my fifth graders volunteering to go first!

Dylan is on the left and his supportive brother Keaton is in yellow!
This is a group shot of the 5th graders in my class who participated!

I'm super proud to be their teacher! A lot of them had a head full of hair and this was a very sweet selfless act! Just a reminder to show love to your sweet babies because you never know what tomorrow holds!
Praying for the Mighty McCabes this week!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Georgia Bloggers Macon Meetup!

Today was a very eventful and motivating day! My friend and I, Irma...aka Irmz, started it by going to a Georgia Bloggers meetup in Macon. I still don't consider myself a "blogger", seeing as how I lack a lot of the necessary knowledge to do all this techno savy schtuff with, BUT regardless of my blogger status we went and had a great time! I felt very blogger official when I got the email inviting me to go and was determined that I was going!
When I get in groups of accomplished and very talented people such as this one, I tend to have lots of inferior and intimidation feelings. They were definitely there today but not as bad as they usually are. This group was small and very down to earth! It was definitely worth our time! I am thankful for all of the wonderful ladies and "the man who met our needs" for organizing this and deeming me worthy to invite! You all encouraged me lots today and challenged me to make and meet some serious educational goals!
Click on this pic above to read about our day from the fabulous host herself, Jayne.

We made an artsy business plan in flower form. The explanation below is for me and my own accountability so bear with me here...
 The yellow center was to list your core values, the flower petals were...ways to implement your core values?!..., the stem was your financial motivation, and the leaves were ways to meet that monetary goal. Ironically, EVERYONE at my table filled in their stem first...I guess we are all driven by finances and thinking about core values on a Saturday just made our brains hurt!
Here's my plan in a nutshell...and I'm sure I'm butchering the original idea for this flower power business plan but this is what I gained from it.

1.  Center Core Values: As a teacher I want to be genuine, Christlike, better, and consistent
2.  Flower Petals: By being genuine and Christlike, I will gain confidence and balance my home vs. school life.   By being better and consistent, I will get more education such as taking some of the method courses I need, improve my techno saviness and start a TPT store.
3. Stem: I want to supplement some of my salary at home so that I can be a wonderful stay at home Mommy one day!
4. Leaves: I will start to supplement this income by making and posting some items that will be of use to me in my classroom such as a dino unit from a creationist perspective and math centers for upper el-ed.

Not the purtiest one there by far....but this girl didn't have a pencil!

It was held at the Georgia School Supply Store in Macon. I had NEVER been there but know I will be going back while on spring break! We didn't have much time to shop today so I only came out with LITERALLY 2 things...

WWII posters for the best chapter in our History curriculum and some dino stickers for next year!

I met a lot of truly talented people! The beautiful and top TPT seller in Georgia, Kim Adsit, and her daughter were loverly people to sit and chat with and very dynamic! Kathy Law was the one who made the biggest impression on me just because she seemed so passionate and sincere about helping other teachers be better teachers!
Jennifer, Carol, Kathy, Meghan, Kim, Irma, Megan

Jayne, Kelly, Angie, Stacy, Tara, Valerie


The Teacher Wife

 Funky Fresh Firsties

 ...And They All Fall Down...

 Georgia Grown Kiddo's

Michelin, Jessica, Greg, Erin, Alison


I know this is probably my LONGEESSST post ever but it was totally worth the recap for me! Irma and I ended the evening stuck in some traffic, car sick, and then hanging out with some of our awesome friends from church for a Frozen movie night! 

I hope your day was as great as mine! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wowie Wow Wow!

I feel like Junie B. Jones in more than one way today! The forgetful little girl that doesn't do her homework. Yep. That's me today!
I just got a call from a kiddo that I tutor asking why I wasn't there today...Hand. Slaps. Forehead.

I...I...I...totally forgot!
 How horrible I am! How completely awful it sounds to say that I forgot him!
A number of things could have seriously gone wrong and I would have been responsible...what an idiot! (Yes, I've said that about 10 times to myself already!) Poor kiddo said he was standing outside my door waiting for me until he finally went outside to see if his Mom was there to pick him up...thankfully she was!  (I always walk him outside to her!)

Aside from me being terribly forgetful, I did read one of the most *breath taking* paragraphs on prayer from one of my students today.

Such a great way to summarize prayer! I was speechless!

I really like the first sentence of this one too! "Prayer is the only time you get with God on earth."
 Wowie Wow Wow! Those made my day!

 Now I need to spend some much needed time in prayer asking the Lord to help my memory!
Have  great night!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Personal Hammy Donuts!

Today was PERSONAL...
We began drafting our personal narratives. Usually a writing piece takes me 2 weeks...unfortuantely we don't have two weeks for this one so I'm *hoping* to get them completed in a week...wish me luck. We have achievement tests coming up and the big dreaded research paper that I seriously need to start in my class soon! I don't know why I'm so intimidated by this paper but I am.
I have several other personal narratives that I'd like them to write before the year is over so for this to be our first one I'm stressing. This one has to be on a time that they got hurt. It could be their feelings, pride, or bodies that were hurt. I gave an example of a time that I had a bike wreck.
Writing is a lot of work and so class time today got personal when they started their first draft and raised their hand like 5 minutes later for me to read over it before they had even read over them...yep. They didnt' take it serious enough. I wasn't happy.
Writing takes a lot of patience but it is one of my most favorite things to work on and see their improvements in!

 Today was Hammy...
After we reviewed for our test on dinosaurs today, we watched a Ken Ham video on dinosaurs from a creationists perspective. This was super exciting for me because it's so hard to find materials from a creationists view. The link is below that should take you to his website, Answers in Genesis, and to the videos on dinosaurs. .
Seriously, if you've never heard Ken Ham speak GO TO THAT LINK RIGHT NOW. Just his accent is worth listening to for a few minutes.  For those of you who teach in a public school and have to use that nasty evolution word, remember that you can teach it as JUST a theory. You do have that right.
We recently had a missionary come to our church who goes into public schools doing a Bible club ministry. He had loads of information on religious rights in a public school. Believe it or not, you do have them as a teacher and as a student in a public school. He gave out a lot of informative information. The flyer below is printed by the National PTA First Amendment Center. The government use to print them but chooses to print much more important info with the funds that they have...cough cough.
If you'd like a copy of this flyer, let me know and I'll be more than happy to send you one!

 Today was DONUTS!

This made me 10 different shades of happy...especially when I opened the box. One of my precious girls gave me a Dunkin Donuts gift card back at Christmas. I kept telling myself to save it for a special day and use it at school. Fortunately for me, I pass a D&D to and from work and today I was tempted more than ever to stop because the hubs and I are on this "NO SPENDY ANY MONEY" until after taxes! So, of course...I really wanted to spend money... I was thankful for this giftcard and the colorful array of yummy donuts!
Happiness is a box of donuts from D&D
I have already eaten 3! One of them didn't make it in the door! Don't judge me!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Random Recaps

Oh yeaah...dis' gur got back in hurr groove today! 
Everything from today was graded and in before I left today at...wait for it...wait for it...3:40!!! 
 I do have to thank my sweet and usually very selfish cousin for some of that...she helped me some Friday afternoon/evening and at least helped me keep my focus so I didn't have ANYTHING coming home to work on over the weekend!  Thanks Toe! 

Today I managed to go leave school, go grocery shopping, and cook dinner all by 7:00! Bam..What?!This definitely made me feel like Superwoman!

Today was a much better Monday than last week and here's hoping NOT to have 3 p-t conferences this week.

Random Recaps...

A sweet kiddo brought this to me and started my day off with lots of sweetness!

While I was busy grading away on Friday, I found this note from one of my girls on the bottom of her spelling test...needless to say last week when I found out that my in-laws were spending the class found out too! They knew I was stressing about getting home to clean!  This girl's notes always crack me up but this one made me LOL!

Since we wrapped up our unit on Dinosaurs, we wore our "5th Grade is Dino-Mite!" shirts.  It's hard to see how absolutely adorable the shirts are because of the sun but this one is my fave!!! Oh, and we're doing a dino-roar!

Happy Monday Everyone!