Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekend Review of French Lick! :)

I wanted to tell you some more about our trip to French Lick for the 2015 Spring Teacher Blogger Meetup. Be warned-this post is a bit long, but stick it out! There is something awesome in it! It started all here in Nashville. I hurried to get out of the school building at a decent hour, you know, any time before 8 PM. Then, I got stuck in downtown traffic, apparently Wildcats won their basketball game, which was being held here. Downtown was ALL blue, it was really cool. While taking the twenty minute turned hour trip home, I realized I hadn’t picked out a gift for the Tool Swap! I detoured. 

After the detour, last minute necessity packing, and stressing about creating my first batch of business cards, my wonderful husband ordered me real business cards! Isn’t he sweet! We were trying to leave Nashville before 7, but by 8:30 we were really just heading out on the interstate… in the dark…and rain. Luckily for me, he was driving! The whole way up we were talking about cool ideas for TPT, so stay on the lookout, they are coming to life! At about 2:30 local time, we got to Bedford, Indiana. It’s only about a 20 min drive from French Lick…or so Google Maps said.

The 4/5th grade tool swap! All eyes are on me!
In a few hours, we were back up, changing hotel rooms because of the heat. Trying to get breakfast, and getting lost in the backroads of Lawrence Co.. It was a nice place, but not when you have no idea where you are. I wish I had gotten pictures! After turning around due to a bridge being completely underwater, we found a nice man to help with directions, and I was only 15 minutes late! 

Aren't the pom poms ADORABLE?!
I met up with Alexandria from Classroom Action with Ms. Jackson and Latoya from Flying into First Grade. Then it was all fun from there! The table decorations were so cute! I love pom-poms so much, and I think I really want to incorporate them in my room next year! Schoolgirl Style really outdid themselves with the cute décor! We did a quick intro activity that explained a bit about who we were and an adjective to describe ourselves. Each table had a letter that spelled out a word, and then we went to the mic to make ourselves known to the world!  The word is a really good one for me: INSPIRATION. (This is going to be an activity I use in my classroom after spring break!) 

You should have seen me looking at all of the awesome items to be given away! I love giveaways (that’s why you need to keep reading!!!!!!) There were TPT Gift Cards, SDE prizes, Sit Spots, ESGI memberships, Hue Imagination Studios Cameras and Animation Studio packs (WHAT I REALLY WANTED!!!!), Seat Sacks, and even a cute décor pencil! I was in AWE! People really care about teachers ya’ll!! Check out the photos! My two amigas even won something! (Yes, only a hint of jealousy-but I got over it!) 

At the end of our learning sessions, we got an Oprah moment! Everyone was leaving with some AMAZING things! Everyone at school saw my swag bag of goodies when I got back too. Scentos markers, pens, and stickers, Lakeshore and Vera Bradley bags, Erin Condren Planner, Creative Teacher Press tokens and pocket games! I was just overwhelmed, and now my co-workers are a bit jealous. (See why I’m not so jealous anymore!!) 

Our host with the Vera bag, the line for the freebies, and some of the awesome products!

This event really was amazing, but then GoNoodle and TPT made it EVEN better. We had the most EPIC PJ party ever. I love, love, love GoNoodle! My kids love GoNoodle. Our school loves GoNoodle now because of me…they didn’t even know about them! WOW! Well, here are the pictures, because they are def worth more than 1,000 words!

Thanks to all of the sponsors who gave and continue to support teachers. We really do appreciate it, and are proud to use your products. Now, here is the BEST news of the whole post… A GIVEAWAY!!! Three, yes 3! Swag bags will be awarded to people who sign up below! Check out the vendors who helped us out, like them, love them, follow them! 3 Lovely teachers will be winners!
Enter so you can win your OWN swag bag!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Test Prep Linky!

Testing time is the most stressful time in the school year. 

That’s why some friends and I have decided to help by sharing some tips, tricks, and products to help make this time of year less stressful.

One thing that we do in our classroom is try to make it more fun! We go technical!

I’ve signed my kids up for, it’s a grammar practice site. Students pick their favorite TV shows, singers, etc… Then the kids can work on skills that you assign, or they can use the practice feature. It gives them practice, and the kids LOVE seeing their names on the screen.

Another thing we use is Kidblog. I either link or type up passages to the post for the week. Then I hide questions for the blog under their desks, cubbies, or in their mailbox. They have to retype the questions, state their answer, and then use text evidence or accountable talk to prove their answer is correct. Then they respond to others who post to explain why they agree or disagree if the answer is correct. We practice what accountable talk looks like beforehand to ensure we are being kind. 

Lastly, we do a daily TCAP (our state’s test) Question of the day. Students read the question as part of their morning work, they put their name and answer on a slip of paper and turn it into a box. The next morning we go through the test taking strategies and those who get the answer correct get to sign the paper and get a small treat! The kids love it. J
Here is a freebie to for stopping by! Hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to stop by the other blogs to see other activities! 

See ya’ll later!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

No Worksheet Wednesday: Legos in the Classroom

Welcome to the next {and FINAL} edition of the No Worksheet Wednesday Link Up hosted by Primary Chalkboard! I wanted to share with you some ways to use Legos in the classroom.
No Worksheet Wednesday

Yesterday, Wal-Mart had a great deal on Legos, so I snagged up a set. These little buggers are so versatile. Here are 5 ways to use them in your room!

1.  Rewards.
That’s a no-brainer right?! When students have done really well staying on task, use them as a Brain Break! Allow the creativity to flow.

2.  Area and Perimeter.
Have students construct buildings with restrictions. Lay out the grid paper, and have them create their blueprints first, and make their blueprints come to life with the Legos.

3.  Direction Writing.
Give each student a bag of Legos and an index card. Have them construct something using ALL the blocks in their bag. Give them a time limit, 3 minutes is good. Then tell the students their job is to write down the directions so that a partner can build their finish product. The directions have to be concise and to the point, so tell them that! Then give the bags and index cards to a partner, and see if they can rebuild it. Give a treat to those who can and the ones who wrote the directions.

4.  Sequence writing.
There are images all over, including a book in the Lego box, on how to create certain figures. Show them on the overhead, or make copies if it’s allowed, and have students write directions for the item. Or you can even cut the images and rearrange them, and have the kiddos put them back together with directions.

5  Create It Box.
I cannot remember where I saw this, so if it was on your blog or you know where this came from please comment below. I want to give this person credit. This person had a small tote for people who were early finishers, and they could create something with the items in the box. I’ve seen kids take Legos and make marble trails, opening boxes, and all sorts of things. Have them create! Then give them an extension product:
·       Write about what they created and why they created it.   
·       Create an advertisement for your creation.
·       Record a jingle for your creation.
·       Take a poll of the color scheme people would want to see your product in, then make a graph showing the results.
·       Create a diagram of your creation.

The possibilities for Legos go on and on and on. You can check out their site for kits and ideas even! Scholastic even has a section on how to use it for math. I can’t forget my fellow ELA teachers, here is a link for you to check out as well!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Check out others who have linked up as well. If you are looking for another way to not use worksheets, check out my new product: 31 Misspelled Words Task Card Set

31 Misspelled Words Task Card Set
See ya’ll later!