One scatterbrained teacher taking it a day at a time and trying to incorporate as much technology, fun, and glitter as humanly possible.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {August 6th}

Hey Y'all!

Wordless Wednesdays with Miss Decarbo at Sugar and Spice is one of my favorite parts of the week. It may very well be because not only can I share something from my week quickly and easily, but I can also manage to read through so many other bloggers posts and see what is happening in their worlds!

I have to share what I FINALLY got in the mail this week....

I am obsessed with my planner from Plum Paper Designs! It keeps me sane. What do you use to help keep you organized?

Math is Real Life { August }

It's the first Wednesday of August (though I wish it was still July!) which means I am linking up with four amazing blogs ( The Teacher Studio4mula FunTeaching to Inspire in 5th  , and Miss Math Dork ). 

Though this project started MONTHS ago (okay fine, almost a year ago) it's finally coming around to being completed. Last October, I started to write grants to get a learning garden at my school. To do this, I not only needed to be an excellent writer (I'm kidding... kind of) but I also had to do tons of estimation. Both of the grants that I applied for needed a budget, this meant thinking of every single thing that our garden would possibly need, deciding on they size of raised beds we would build, determining the volume of the beds and how many cubic feet of soil we would need, the list goes on and on. We got the beds built...

and then hit some snags when it came to doing the rest of it. But I can FINALLY say, that next week we are getting back in there and getting it all finished! Benches will be built, a shed will be installed, soil and compost will be ordered. I'm so excited to have this done so that all of the students can use this garden to help make their learning real and let them know that math is real life!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tech Tuesday: Padlet

Hey Everyone! 

Today I'm in a Math Institute with my county. We are delving into our new curriculum guides and learning about our new math series Expressions. I must admit, it is better than what we had, but i'm so bummed that we didn't choose to adopt Investigations. 

Yesterday, during my Monday Made It, I mentioned that I plan to be doing the 40 Book Challenge with my students this year. In order to collaborate with the other class at another school that will be doing it as well, we will be using a website called Padlet. Padlet is a great website and resource to use for collaboration within your class or with others. 

Your first steps are to go to Padlet. When you get there you are going to see a screen that looks like this:

One of the best things about Padlet, is that you don't even have to create an account. This way, your students can easily create these on their own. You can also go ahead and create an account which is nice when you are wanting to be able to use all of your padlets in one location. If you want to create accounts for each of your students and need help with having email addresses for each one, feel free to hop on over to my blog post about using one gmail account for multiple student emails

These padlets are extremely easy to create. Honestly, there is no tutorial needed! Click the modify Padlet button on the sidebar and you can then : change the wallpaper, the layout, the privacy, if you choose to receive notifications, and you can change the web address of the wall. This is the one of the pages I plan to use for the 40 Book Challenge with my students. Eventually, I plan to have tons of responses on here, but this is the page I will be providing with my students at the beginning of the year. Head on over to check out our Fantasy Suggestion Padlet page. Feel free to play around with it while you are there. I plan to recreate it for my students come fall.

How could you see yourself using Padlet in your classroom?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It: {August 4th} and a Freebie!

So this was an extremely busy weekend. My little sister from my sorority got married! I wish I had actually gotten some pictures this weekend, but somehow I didn't seem to have my phone with me. Thankfully I was in the bridal party, so I'll have some great pictures soon. Now that I feel a bit more like myself (there was a lot of sleep and recovery that needed to happen) it's time to link up for Monday Made It!

On Sunday, I had to recover from the long days before and I conveniently received The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller in the mail. I was exhausted and planned to read a chapter or two and then take a nap, but I couldn't put it down! I read the entire thing on the spot, what a great read. It definitely inspired me to look at how I was teaching reading. I immediately got on Amazon and ordered Reading in the Wild. Thanks to Amazon Prime, anything that I had planned to accomplish tomorrow will no longer happen since I will be spending the whole evening reading. This year, I plan to do the 40 book challenge with my students. I had read about it on a few other people's blogs, but now after reading about it I know that it is my plan this summer. This challenge inspired my Monday Made It for the week!

I had talked to a colleague in another building about doing the 40 book challenge with her class and our classes keeping in touch. If you don't know about the challenge, students are required to read 40 books during the school year that come from different genres. Students will track their books as they read throughout the year and will complete the different genres. I want to do as much celebrating as possible with this, so I plan to have a display in my hallway with each of my students names, a place for them to share what they are currently reading, and a place for their badges. Each time they complete the number of books for a genre, I will give them their badge to hang outside. You could also use them on their notebooks. Click on over to my TPT store to grab the freebie here

Our school does not have a color printer, so although I plan to print them in color, I did not want to have badges that were too heavy on the color since I will be the one printing them all. 

My colleague and I also talked about how we want our students from our separate schools to share book recommendations with each other. We will be using Padlet with our classes. Have you heard of it? If not, stop on by the blog tomorrow to check out my Tech Tuesday on using it! It's so easy and you are going to LOVE it! 

Tomorrow also starts a three day math professional development for me on the Expressions series. Does anyone use it? Thoughts? 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesdays {July 30th}

Today is a busy day! It is day 3 of our TCRWP Homegrown Writing Workshop. I am so excited to share everything that I have learned, but now it's time to link up for Wordless Wednesday!

Sorry in advance for anyone who doesn't like feet....

I sprained my ankle last weekend and I'm in my little sister's wedding this weekend. Thankfully, we are wearing long gowns, but you know how brides can be in the days before their wedding. She looks sweet (on the right below), but when she finds out tonight she might not be too happy with me. 

Has anyone else had a similar situation with something funny happening at the worst possible time? :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Technology Tuesday: Haiku Deck and a Freebie!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I hope everyone is enjoying their last few weeks before school starts, though I hear that some people are already back?! I can't believe it! Anyways, it's time for another Tech Tuesday. I know that  I have mentioned this one multiple times in the past few weeks, but I just wanted to take a minute to fully talk about it. It is so amazing that it definitely deserves its own post. 

Haiku deck is a presentation software. It can be used on computers, ipads, and iphones. Our school does have an ipad cart, so I was lucky enough to use it over the summer with Haiku Deck. Now that school is back in session, I probably won't see the ipads as much so I will be using this program with the laptops this year. 

First things first,  you'll need to set up accounts for your students. If you need help with this, feel free to check out my post on using one Gmail account for student emails.  Once you have them logged in you will see this screen:

Click the "Create New Deck" button on the right corner of the screen. Then your new deck will pop up. A deck is like a presentation. In the top left hand corner you can rename your deck. Then if you look on the left side you will see the four different slide formats. 

It's extremely simple from there. Your students just insert the information they want into each slide. There are a few options for customization, but not much. Once they enter in their information they can find images or take images for their background. Just click on the picture button on the left hand navigation bar. 

Underneath of the picture button is a button to choose different font arrangements. 

There is also a section for notes for the presenter. Make sure that your students know that they will be the only ones able to see that. Apparently, you can link an iphone to the computer to be a remote for the presentation too. 

You can also change the font. There are six different free font packs. On the ipad, a lot of paid packs come up as well. 

Finally, the two things that I had to learn the hard way with my kids was the  importance of telling them to click the new slide button for each slide (in the bottom right hand corner). I thought it was self explanatory but one student didn't quite understand. Also, if you are using the ipad app you  need to SHARE the deck to save it. When you click on the box with the upward arrow in the upper right corner, a box  will come up that lets you share it privately so you can access it from any device. (We learned this the hard way a few times...)

This app is awesome for kids though! To help you use it in your classroom, I went ahead and created a basic planning page to help you. Click here to go to my TPT store and download the  Freebie. It's really basic so that you can change it to fit your needs. 

When explaining to my students, I had them all come to the rug and demonstrated with one ipad while they watched. The third and fourth graders got it with no problem... well practically. :) 

In case you haven't used Haiku Deck, you've got to try it! If you have, how do you use it in your classroom?

Happy Teaching!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Finally Getting Around to a Monday Made It

This summer has been jam packed with so many different things and this week is no different! Today starts my first day of our districts Teacher College Reading and Writing Project Homegrown Writing Institute (Whew!What a mouthful!). I'm so excited to hopefully get to put everything that I have learned into practice this year. Even though things have been really busy, I finally got around to a Monday Made It! 

I'm so excited that I FINALLY got around to this one. Especially seeing as I intended to do this TWO years ago. 

I made a teacher organizer!

Okay fine, as you can see it's not completely done and I need to print out a few more labels... but it's cute so far right? :)

Aren't the labels so cute? I actually used two different pack from Teachers Pay Teachers to do this. You can tell that they are a bit different, but when they are all mixed together I don't think that it is too noticeable.
The first one that I used is by Ladybug Teacher Files and it is the Student Toolbox Labels (Consistent Colors) . I ABSOLUTELY LOVE  her consistent colors collection and am planning to buy a few other items from her store before the start of the year. The other pack that I used are these Teacher Toolbox Labels. I believe that they are both able to be edited.

So it may not be a completely finished project, but better than nothing right? Fortunately for me I still have three more weeks until I'm back at school!