30 January 2012

Valentine Globes, Pronouns, Fractions

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm a huge fan of change. I constantly need to be moving things around at home and at school. I've always been this way. My poor Dad used to go crazy because I would move my furniture ALL the time! So we just finished lots of units and we're moving onto new things so I'm totally excited. I'm also half changing some of my room in order to prepare (hopefully) for next year. I'm going all black with bright colors, look at the way I designed my blog and you'll see how my room will be! I'm beyond excited about it! I figured I'll try a few things this year, and then if it works I'll do it next year.

In the mean time we decided we needed to make our room more festive. We still had the snowflakes hanging all over the room. I wanted to make huge Valentine's fortune cookies, but it just wasn't happening. So instead we created these:

So now our former winter wonderland, looks like this:

Now I honestly wish they were much bigger. Here's the problem. My teammate and I made these, so between the 2 of us we needed 800 circles. 200 of each color. So that's a lot of circles. The project is already difficult enough without having to worry about kiddos cutting decent circles. We have an Ellison Die Cut at school. One of our dies is a circle. My teammates TA cut out all the circles (major props to her!). I attempted to cut one globe worth on my little circle cutter, but that took long enough. So basically in order to be the most efficient we had to deal with the size we had. I still needed more patience than was available for this project. They worked though and it gives it a bit of Valentine's flair!!

We started our Pronouns unit. I would have thought pronouns would have been easy peasy for the kiddos! WRONG! They couldn't get the idea that pronouns weren't just replacing nouns with other nouns. Example:

Me: I ate a hot dog at the baseball game. What word can we say instead of hot dog?
Them: A hamburger!
Them: Pizza!
Them: Popcorn!
Me: (in my head) Oh my goodness, I wasn't thinking it was going to go like this!

We'll see how pronoun pizza's go tomorrow! I'll be sure to post pictures of our yummy pizzas once we're finished! Anyone ever have one of those days when you're thinking... oh no... one of those days? Yea that was today!

We also just started on fractions today. I'm so excited for this, because I love fractions! We drew some today using grid paper. That was another OMG moment! I have to say though, my favorite math unit is fractions. I always either do fraction sundaes or fraction gumball machines. I'm beyond excited to spice it up a bit with 3rd graders instead of firsties.

I'm also thinking of doing something Super Bowl related with fractions this Friday. We shall see. The kiddos loved this ordered pair project I gave them to do when they finished their work last week, so maybe I'll do the same kind of thing!

Has anyone done literature circles? I'm just bored with Guided Reading. I desperately need to spice it up! I think it's the fact that it's 3rd graders! Firsties are exciting, they're learning how to read. Third graders know how to read... I dunno maybe it's just a phase!

By the way, I HAVE to share about 2 assembly type things. For the past 3 years (and I think longer) my school has had a company called Historical Perspectives come to our school. They got Harriet Tubman this year. She came and pretended like she was Harriet Tubman. I loved it! We had Helen Keller last year, and someone the year before. I know they're in the Chicago area, but I don't know about anywhere else. If you're ever looking for a good historical assembly look them up, they were great.

I also am like beyond excited! When I taught first we studied Space. Well we have some colleges near by that have planetariums, but we could never get in. Or we had too many kids to go on one day, then it got expensive! We have the Adler Planetarium downtown Chicago, but that's expensive and in Chicago traffic (insert shuddering here) it would never work! So I somehow found a company with a dome that they set up at your school! They worked with me last year to set it all up within like a week. It was all such short notice. So we're doing it again this year. I planned it so 3rd and 1st get to see it. It's one of the coolest things! The best part is we don't have to worry about paying/dealing with busses! If you study Space I highly recommend it! :)

I've Been Tagged!!

So apparently people were tagging others like crazy last week? Or this week? I'm not really sure. I feel as though it's my duty to play along though! I feel like a horrible person. I'm usually so neglectful of things like this. I always forget to post about awards and such. I promise I'm not rude. It just usually is the last thing on my mind when I'm on here. So anywhoo because of the ladies over at chickadee jubilee, chocoholic teacher, and live, laugh, & love to learn I must post. Here's the deal:

{the rules}
1 {post the rules}
2 {post 12 things about yourself}
3 {answer the 12 questions sent from the person that tagged you. then create 12 new questions for the people you tag}
4 {tag 12 people and link them to your post}
5 {let them know you tagged them.}

{all about me}
1 {i have an addiction to crime shows. if you were to look at my dvr, nook, etc. you would probably worry about me. if someone told me i had to give up teaching and find another job i'd be all over applying for the FBI. no joke}
2 {i basically cannot function without dunkin donuts. if you aren't familiar with dunkin donuts please make yourself familiar with one. take a road trip. find one.}
3 {i have been dating the boy for 4 years. we moved in after knowing each other only a few months. totally. not. me. i would scream at anyone that told me they were going to do it. he's a country boy. i'm a city girl. it works.}
4 {i'm ashamed to discuss this. but here it goes. i grew up a white sox fan. when i met T he guaranteed he'd make me a cubs fan. a few trips to wrigley and i was in. love. ps if you're not from chicago you'll never understand why this is such a big deal}
5 {i got my first job 2 weeks into the school year right out of college. talk about throwing you into the fire. i had like 2 days to collect enough stuff for a classrom. 1 day to decorate. and 1 day to mentally prepare myself for 30 first graders. oh i shudder just thinking about it.}
6 {i am insane about my handwriting. i used to rewrite my notes a million times in college. typing started to save some time, but i still am extremely uncomfortable about it.}
7 {my dog is my child. you post pics of your kids. i post pics of my pupperoni. i love him more than words}
8 {i constantly need to change things. its shocking that my room has been the same for a few months. i'm already starting to change for next year. if i could i'd change my theme every month and move everything every other week!}
9 {i sent my best friend flowers today on her lunch because she had an awful day. it made me feel better about my day. try it sometime. i promise it'll make you feel better.}
10 {i probably seem like the quietest, most anti social person at lunch. i never talk. i've always been like that. i just can't stand discussing diets. or the bachelor. or kids. or really anything unless it's sports. and maybe jersey shore/teen mom. but keep that one on the dl}
11 {i wear yoga pants everywhere. it's perfectly acceptable. shhh... i've even worn them with heels and flats some days. don't let anyone know that though. try it, it's weird, but then you realize it's awesome.}
12 {i could live off mexican food. tacos. enchiladas. salsa. cheese. yum. actually i could live off cheese.}

{answers to questions} 
i picked 12 of the ones that best applied to me from tags.
1 {what subject do you like to teach the most} most days i'll say math. unless it's something insane that even i don't understand. i just like being able to have so many choices on what i can do for subjects.}
2 {what one thing would you buy for your class if money weren't an issue} a smartboard, like 5 computers, and 5 ipads. my school doesn't have any computers in the classrooms for the kids! ugh! we also don't have smartboards. or any technology for that matter. its actually shocking for other people considering where i teach
3 {how did you come up with the name for your blog} wellllll.... i teach. in flip flops. all. the. time.
4 {if you could choose any grade to teach, which would you choose? why} that's actually really hard. when i was in college i used to say nothing below 2nd. but i loved 1st. when i did 1st i thought no way i'd do 3rd. now i love 3rd! so who knows!
5 {what is your favorite drink} sweet tea. anyone live in the south have room for me?
6 {what is one piece of advice you have for a new teacher} love. your. job. let your room and those 25 (15, 30, 23, however many) become your haven from everything else. if there's one thing i know. the worse thing i can possibly do when i'm having a rough day/time is to take time away from my kids/classroom. when i'm there i forget about anything bad/crazy that's happening in real life.
7 {what is your favorite type of music} country. hands down. jason aldean. carrie. eric church. loves!
8 {what are some of your hobbies} sports... watching them, playing them, watching T play them. love them. running. it hates me. i love it. sleeping. no joke it's a hobby. i don't have many hobbies.
9 {what is something you do to stay organized in terms of grading/lesson planning/copies for school/etc.}i have my draws that keep things sorted, plus i have the file box thingys for each day of the week. i use a lesson plan that's kind of a 4 square, but that'll change in a week i'm sure. my team does most of the copying because they have assistants. otherwise i'm usually a month ahead in my copying
10 {what is your favorite snack} this is tough. right now i'd have to say these nature's valley peanut butter crunch bars. love. them. other day i'd tell you turtle chocolate chip cookies. or kit kats!
11 {what is your least favorite thing about teaching} its just so frustrating to hear what people think of teachers. i really had a man at the dollar store ask me why i was in there because "teachers get paid too much to shop there!" it's also frustrating when parents don't communicate with you. it's like going to going straight to the ceo of starbucks because they gave me the wrong size. how about just asking the baristas?
12 {what are your favorite shoes, for school} flip flops!!

25 January 2012

Random Thoughts Wednesday

This really isn't going to be teacher related? I guess. I've been bursting at the seams to post all of this fabulous stuff we've been doing in lil' old room 127, but I came home completely intent on posting all night and then it happened... the internet stopped working. Stop. the. presses. Me equals almost in tears. I basically hyperventilate without internet connection. So here I am... in a delirious state. I've cleaned for 4 hours, I just sat down. There's basically nothing worse than working all day with 25 third graders, then coming home and cleaning (Okay so maybe there is... I know most of you have kids and have to clean after a full day. That would most def. be worse)! Sidenote before I begin... I now have to brand every photo I post, as some loosey goosey is claiming my photos as their own. Creepers! So alas I present to you... my random thought Wednesday:

has anyone ever gotten to school planned on doing 8 million things and instead plugged in the laminator? (is that even how you spell laminator?) Anyway... Tuesday my intention was to do all sorts of stuff, laminate a few things, then be on my way. This is what the result was. I laminated the pants off everything. Plus I'm revamping things because: 1. I constantly need to change things 2. I'm trying to start changing things over to next years theme. I was so disappointed when the bell rang and I realized I wasted the entire morning!

{friday - dismissal took roughly 45 minutes because of this madness}

{ordered these boots on halloween - they just arrived in the past 2 weeks}
{note:so worth the wait}

{i'm officially in PANIC mode - i have completely run out of space}
{that little space in the middle used to be my board, now expository just gets rolled up all day}

{is anyone else crazy about giving tests in the middle of a week?}
{i hate giving tests on like wed/thurs, then i'd have to start a new unit on like a thurs or fri}
{so we did an AIMS tangram lesson - these are the best LOL, they crack me up!}
{i heart the turtle!}

{the final copies of the picture part of the adverb project!}
{they put an INSANE amount of detail! i couldn't believe it!!}
{i'll post the final results this weekend - hopefully - when they're done}

{it was wear red day - red for perseverance month}
{these were the only red shoes I had, i freakin' love them they are so comfy - i pinky promise}
{i have them in nude, black, these, and i want them in the bright pink - but the boy said no way lol}
{anyway apparently a few 1st graders said they wanted me cuz I wore pretty shoes}
{i. heart. kids.}

I told you I was going to be random. Anyway the pencil sharpener... still GOING STRONG. As if there was ever any doubt! I even dared, I know it was dangerous, to sharpen 2 colored pencils today! They sharpened no problem! The kiddos have even used it! I think I need to find a permanent place for it and it'll be even easier 'cuz they won't have to steady it. I need some reason to do a giveaway soon, cuz Troy said he'd do a giveaway with me! I'd be happy given one of those bad boys away. That's it. I promise more teacher/school related posts tomorrow!!

17 January 2012

Best Sharpener Ever!!!

Okay, come on, admit it, you rolled your eyes there for a second! You're thinking, "Another sharpener?! Please!" No joke... I am the queen of the rolling my eyes and being skeptical! Let me allow you into my world.

I'm a 3rd grade teacher with 25 kiddos, all of whom use 85 pencils a day (maybe a bit exaggerated). I thought maybe it was a first grade thing, but no! Same problem, different grade! I'm almost positive they eat them, hoard them at home, sell them on the street, something, anything?!?! What are you kids doing with my pencils? If there's a market for pencils on the street, please someone, clue me in! I want in already!

My kiddos have been using the same pencils for 4 weeks. It's possible. Given that it's possible. I feel like some horrible human being when their sad faces ask me for a new pencil. I don't have any sharpened! I can't sharpen one!

Christie, you may say, there are great sharpeners on the market! I had this one that I love, my school has one... NO!! Not for me! I guarantee I will break it.

  • One on the wall (ya know typical one that comes in your room): didn't work. removed from wall. RIP.
  • 3 of those top sharpener ones that people love: ALL BROKEN! within WEEKS! DUNZO!
  • $100 one in the workroom: TURNS off when I even come close. PROMISE!!!

    Result? You tell your kiddos to sharpen pencils with their teeth! But then, one glorious day you happen to come across Troy over at www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com. I think why not break try this pencil sharpener too. It's arrival was highly anticipated... it arrived today at 3:00pm. Like a glorious new baby. I'm speechless. In Love!! Come on my journey with me:
     fresh out of the box.
    {pencil not included lol}

    love how she looks.

    ready to sharpen? SO EASY!!

    in the directions Troy says he doesn't clamp his. 
    i thought the clamp was awesome, but still leaves it to be moved around.
    he also suggested hot gluing it if you want it somewhere permanantly.

    first step.

    ready to sharpen?

    best part? SO QUIET!! SERIOUSLY!! 
    no more crazy loud, HUH?! sharpeners!!

    stops on it's own! no more over-sharpened pencils!
    so easy and quick!

    almost done? anticipation? 
    ready for the pencil?!?

    yea, it's really that sharp! it didn't break either when i wrote!

    You can watch a video that Troy has made showing how quick and quiet it really is when you sharpen. I'm posting it at the bottom of this post. But seriously... I am blown away. Like speechless. I thought all those negative things you thought when you saw my heading. Promise though, it's super quick, and super quiet.  I'm actually excited to get back to school tomorrow (we've been off since Friday) so I can show my kiddos!

    Best part? Troy is a 3rd grade teacher!! So he knows what a teacher wants! Go check them out! I'll update you once my kiddos get a hold of it tomorrow! That'll be the true test LOL.

    But seriously bloggy peeps... CHECK IT OUT!
    You'll LOVE it. I PROMISE!!


    08 January 2012

    Mom, Do I Have To?!?

    I'll complain here, because only other teachers can fully understand the excruciating pain of going back to school after a long break. Don't get me wrong, I am a smidge excited to see my kiddos, especially because I'm sure they've all grown like 10 feet (I better wear my big-girl shoes tomorrow). But... I have had the most phenomenal 2 weeks ever! Not for any special reason, only because I've done really nothing but sit the majority of it. I love every second of it. This can only explain how I feel about tomorrow:

    I have been ubber busy creating things so when I get back to school I have things ready freddy! Unfortunately our fairly new resources don't cover everything they're put in our fresh-off-the-printer district outcomes. Perfect. So I've been busy putting my creative juices to work. I feel bad because I don't have pictures of finished projects and such yet, because I haven't been at school, but as I make them I'll be sure to post pictures!

    I have been posting things in my Teacher's Notebook store, and I posted 2 things tonight. Including 1 fabulous planner that I spent forever on! I wanted the perfect planner for my life, so the only reasonable answer was to make one!! Hopefully it helps someone out there! I'll try to get it together tomorrow and post a picture!!

    I must be off to bed soon, as I've been going to bed way late, and sleeping way late (10:00am... I know, I'm not sure the last time I was able to sleep until 10am, but apparently my body went retro, circa 2000's and let me sleep until 10!). I'll be sure to post things as soon as I make them!! :)

    wizard of oz themed - yea baby!!

    this unit was a nightmare! i am not looking forward to teaching this!
    rocks, earth's layers, recycling, decomposition, fossil fuels, the whole 9 yards!

    maybe my favorite thing i've ever made!

    Night Lovelies!!