Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Science Workshop, and SMART SWAG

Soooo, my summer has not actually summer since I spent my entire month of June in PD, but hey its what we do for a better classroom.

However while I was in PD something awesome happened I was inspired to design a new Science block. Teachers please keep in mind at my school we are departmentalized and now only teach Science and Social Studies (but if I see something awesome in one of the other subject areas I will blog about it just for you guys) :)

Back to Science, oh my ADD. Anyway I thought of making a Science workshop, the lesson would begin with inquiry minutes (what questions do we still have), then Vocabulary review game, then lesson and language objective overview, and then the students would break into 4 rotations

1. Guided Practice (with the teacher)
2. Seat Work
3. Hands-on (perfect for Science)
4. Research (At this station the students will use books, etc. to find the answers to the questions we have come up with in our inquiry minutes and site them (good R/LA practice)

Finally we will have a closure activity.

I feel like it is going to make my classroom even more student driven!! HOORAY!

Here is a picture of the pieces for the board I am making

inspired by this board from Clutterfree Classroom . Her site is awesome the one she did is Math, but I thought it could work with Science.

Here is are my pieces they are done picking which room in mine yet so it will have to wait to go up.
I also was inspired by another teacher Mrs. Brown at Mrs. Brown's Blog, and made something else this week. A no name board to hold no name papers. Mine is not quite as cute, but it will do.


And finally my most exciting project that I have really thought about, and was just able to complete. EEEEEE!!! This one is from Dandelions and Dragonflies she gives her kids Smart Beads for various things, so I thought I would put my own twist on it.

and wait for it mine..........................SMART SWAG!!! OMG!!
I got the idea by watching the The NBA playoffs, and these men where seen like this, and then every time I go to the mall all the kids are wearing them. 
(all of the above images were from google images)

So I asked local movie theaters to donate their use 3D glasses and painted them, and Viola. I also left some of them black. Different theaters have different types of 3D glasses, so be aware. My favorite to use are the Real D kind that I am wearing above.

Anyways I'm sure that is enough for today. Thank you again for reading!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Whooo Hoooo....loving summer

Okay so lately I am the offical creater of the things to be created, so here is what I worked on today.

Okay so these were not my idea, but I have toooooooo many pins to find were I saw it originally, (must organize boards) but I will give credit to that blogger whenever I figure out were I saw something like this before I remember this person had EXTRA RECESS as the prize, and she flipped one letter daily.

A-N-Y-ways. so those of you who read my blog know that I do the whole brain teaching model in my classroom. The first year we spelled out the word prize, when they beat the class mascot Petty the Piranha (oh Miss Thompson's Think Tank that was a good theme), and last year they spelled out cheer when they beat The Evil Dr. Wormwood.

Well I thought my middle schooler may not be as amused by a classroom mascot so I tweaked my system a little. Each class will earn points for themselves when they are on task, but if someone is not on task I give there point to the other classes. Each day the class that received the most points will earn a letter towards the prize. The class that earns the most letters gets the prize. Get it!! :) I am still working out the details in my mind, but I think that this paired with my individual PBS will work out quite nicely. So here are the pictures of the prize words I made.

Because my students are bussed in from some of the neighborhoods were their families don't have a lot of money, I wanted to make up prizes that were not too expensive for me to do, and provided some type of experience for them that they may not have had. I am still making more so please let me know if you think of a idea.
Thanks you guys and blog with you soon!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Figured Out How to Really use powerpoint....

Today I made some cute stuff for my classroom to match my pre-existing border and things I have purchased. Yay!

I made some table labels for baskets inspired by http://ericabohrer.blogspot.com/
hers look like this
Pinned Image
here are how my labels turned out. I just have to attach them to the baskets now!!

And I made some FAQ cards to make things go a bit smoother. Inspired by <a href="http://www.firstgradeglitterandgiggles.blogspot.com/"><img src="http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i366/dreamlikemagic/button-187.png" alt="First Grade Glitter and Giggles" width="150" height="150" border="0" /></a>

Hers look like this.....

And this is how mine turned out. Still need to cut and laminate, but I think they turned out pretty cute

 Here is my favorite. Though my fifth graders would like the picture. tee hee!

and I made them all in Powerpoint, hooray!! More when I get more things made. Happy Summer!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

PD all month long

   So I thought that I was going to get a nice little summer break, but I was wrong. It seems that my new school has a lot of training that I need to go to, in order to be fully prepared. Well it's for the kids, so I will have to suck it up.

    On a serious note though I am really enjoying it all week I have been at tech training, and I have to say I have a lot to share with you all. My new school is going one to one this year, yes I said it one to one, every single child with a lap top!!!!!!! WhAT?!?! It's pretty cool, since my new school is a STEM school and part of Metro's Innovation Cluster, it is really a must.

Here are some of the completely awesome web resource I learned about this week.

First up http://www.edmodo.com/ Edmodo. Think facebook, but secure and for education!!! You can post assignments, quizzes, polls, and have open discussion. Oh and it allows your students a safe network to discuss homework and other things. It also allows you to contact other teacher and ask them for advice and lesson plan help. Sooooooo, I'm saying it is worth checking out!! :)

Next, Next, Next is http://www.symbaloo.com/ Symbaloo is a bookmarking system that makes your bookmarks look like apps. This allows the students a great interface that looks like the phones they are so use to seeing. Also you can search for other peoples webmixes that have already compiled great list of resources and save them. They have some great ones for common core.

Tagul. Gorgeous tag clouds
Moving on to http://tagul.com/ tagul is like wordle, but you can make your clouds custom you get to pick everything, and it is FREE. Yes the magic work is FREE.

Version 0.4
Finally, http://storybird.com/ storybird now I didn't learn about story bird at this particular training, but it is amazing. You sign up for a teacher account and them make accounts for your kids. Story bird allows your students to choose pictures and create a book. When they finish they submit the books to you. Can you say GREAT work on writing activity. Also, when the stories are complete you can purchase them to print as books if you like, it is entirely up to you.

This is not all of the source we went over, but these are some of the ones I was the most excited about. Well I hope you all are having amazing summers, and I hope that I have some more fun things to post after this weeks trainings on Differ. Instruction and Project Based Learning. As, always thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer time, and BIG NEWS

Hello everyone, and I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday weekend, so we are officially out of school, and summer has started. I am going to be working on a lot of summer projects that I plan to post about, but none of them will make sense is I do not reveal my BIG news (and part of the why I have not have many post).

As I have let you all know I was applying to get into a very selective graduate school program, and it was taking up a good bit of my time. Well the news is in and I got into the program!!! HOORAY!! So I will be getting my master's in Teaching in Learning in Urban Schools, from Peabody College (Vanderbilt University).

 I am telling you all this partly because I am really pumped up, and partly because my post will probably look a little different since I will be teaching in a Urban Middle School instead of an Suburban elementary school. I hope to still give out the same quality of ideas, and any feedback you all can give will be helpful and appreciated.

Oh and I couldn't leave you all with out a little bit of my end of the year fun we had so hear is a division song that I wrote for my kids to the popular song "Call Me, Maybe" it is called, "Division's, Easy," We mess up a little on the timing, but it was filmed in the last 30 minutes in on the last day of school. Enjoy, and leave me a comment if you need a lyrics sheet. :)

Thank you everyone for continuing to read my blog, and I hope that you get a lot of great ideas this summer!!

Mrs. B

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fish Shoes and Free comic book day

So TCAP is finally over and we are reading Number the Stars. This was the first book a teacher ever made me read that I loved and read a second time so I love when I get to do it with my students. As many of you know in Chapter 4, Kirsti has to get fish shoes because of the rations on leather during WWII. So my kids designed their own fish shoes, and had to trade and have another student write a descriptive paragraph about the shoes. Here are some of the shoes.

Also, I meant to post this last week before the state test, but it became very frantic. So that test review wouldn't be so boring, I tried to mix it up a bit this year. So during one of our test prep Powerpoints I gave each student a plate and put some chocolate syrup on it. They used their finger to write the answer in the chocolate. If they got the answer right they could lick their finger, if they got it wrong they had to wipe of the chocolate in their napkin. (I know I am so mean..tee hee.) They loved it and it made them not get so burnt out on review.

Okay in personal news today was free comic book day!!!! I love comics and they had 50 cent back issues. Only 50 cents, plus I was able to get up to 10 free comics for my classroom library. Comic are a great way to get my little boys to read, so that is another great thing. Anyways, I never really share about my personal life, but this was something that excited me and I wanted to let you all see so here are some pics of my small, but growing comics and statue collection.

Below are my large statues...ladies do yo see the one that says Huntress she is my Favorite Super Hero because get this during the day she is a teacher!!! That's right a teacher. So cool.

Okay this set here are the minis and the pop figures. I collect wonder woman stuff, so I have all her goodies: cup, teacher bag, snack canister, etc. Love it!
Finally here are my comics, almost all are Bird of Prey and Secret Six they are written by a lady named Gail Simone. She is one of the few respected woman writers in comics, so go girl go. and of coarse I have some Wonder woman in there. :)
So there you guys are lesson plans, and a glimpse into my nerdyness. Hope you have a great weekend and great end to the school year. Also, I hope you all go see the Avengers Assemble this week because it is awesome. Thanks for Reading.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two BAD Ants

So We were working on problem and solution this week and read the book Two Bad Ants and identified problems and solutions.

Here is our anchor chart for this activity
After that we brain stormed other places the ants might have gone in the house. Then we discussed how if you changed the setting the the problems the ants ran into might have changed. Then the students each had a ant. They had to choose a new setting and come up with a problem that would occur in that setting. For example, in the bathroom the ant might get stuck in a toothbrush, and then someone tries to brush his or her teeth. I ruled out anything to do with the toilet, sometimes my boys thinks of gross ideas. N-E-WAYS, they also had to come up with a solution for the problem (how the ants got out of the problem). Then they had to write about this adventure the ants had using the perspective of the ant like in the story. So instead of saying toothbrush, a toothbrush might be the equivalent of a forest. They turned out pretty cute and their stories were great. I love when they get creative!!

Hope you all have a great week!!! Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Area and Perimeter

Okay so I did this lesson so long ago, but I had no time to post about. For my observation, the one that has to hit like 12 intense indicators in Tennessee wonderful evaluation system, I did this lesson on area and perimeter. Now keep in mind this is after I had taught both concepts. This lesson is purely to practice, teach real world application, and to help relate the concepts to the students.

First you have to start with the book, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. It is a wonderful book about a dreary town. The little boy finds a plant, and it eventually becomes this amazing roof top garden.
I scanned mine and put it into a smart board software so that it would be large, but you could also read it aloud regularly, or scan an put it into PowerPoint for large easy flipping.

After that My students planned a rooftop garden for a roof here in Nashvegas in Nashville, then then had to figure out the area and perimeter for each different plant plot in their garden. As an extension, the students had a seed and fencing catalog that I made up. They had to figure out how many packages of seeds they would need to make their garden.

Finally, in Tennessee every lesson must have an extended writing piece, yes I said extended, so the students worked on writing letters to Lowe's asking for donations for the supplies they received. Here is one of the finished products, sorry there is only one, but I hand this back ages ago. So this is the only child I still had one that I could take a picture of.
I took her name off that is why the return address looks so sloppy, sorry.

I know it sounds kind of complicated, but it was really quite easy to create the sheets, and my students loved it. My dream is to do it with a class with vegetables and make it a community project were we donate the vegetables to local food banks.

Hope you can use this with your kids and I love to hear your ideas about it! As always thanks for reading!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Random Rotational Symmetry

Alright readers I'm back, I hope you are all having a wonderful year so far. Been applying for a special masters degree program that is very selective so that has sucked up a lot of my blogging time. Here I am though with an idea for those of you who have to teach rotational symmetry.

What I did was cut out different shapes out of card stock. (If you have a die cut machine I would use that because cutting them individually was quite the task) N-E-WAYS....so I attached it to a piece of poster board using a simple brad so that the shape can be rotated. (The poster board is one giant piece cut into four smaller pieces)

The students will rotate the shape 90 degrees, 180 degrees, and 270 degrees drawing the shape each time to find out if it has rotational symmetry. Also, if it does then at what degree. I drew the star and the lines for the kids to match up and remember where the shape started. Since I can just see them spinning and spinning. I hoping this will be great for my tactile learners. As well as my artistic students who enjoy drawing.

See this one does not have rotational symmetry.

But this one does!!!  It looks the same but if you look for the star they have to line up it is upside down. You could make yours much prettier with fancy paper and colors!!!
Well I hope you all enjoyed my newest lesson plan idea, and I hope my absence does not mean that you are no longer my readers. Talk to you all next time!