Friday, July 27, 2012

Magic Tree House



I recently found out that a blogging buddy is a MTH-aholic too! So I decided to blog about my two favorite time travelers, Jack and his sister Annie!

If you have never read this series then you are in for a treat. Those of you, like me, who read a book a week will also nod and smile while you are reading this. (I hope.)

I discovered the brother/sister team while I was teaching First Grade. My co-teacher introduced them to me and we made the best Science and Social Studies plans for our Sunshine State Standards using fun hands-on activities. I want to share some of our ideas with you and maybe you can share yours! I really don't have time to use the books like I used too, but sometimes they are my go-to books when I come across these concepts in our new NGSSS and CCCS.
I always start out with book #1 and continue on in order,I'm funny like that, but really they need to be read like that in my opinion, because of how Mary Pope Osborne has set them up. They are grouped in fours. The first four you must figure out who owns the Tree House, the next four you must read the stories in order to  solve the mystery of "Peanut"....always in fours...

The first book is called Dinosaurs Before Dark. I use this book to learn how to think like a scientist, and also to talk about being a history detective.(Primary Source) It's good stuff!
I also branched out in this book and go on a dinosaur hunt using measurement. We compare our foot prints to that of an actual dinosaur, and "hatch" a class dinosaur using paper mache and a plastic dino. It was fun!
From there I read, The Knight at Dawn, and discuss matter. I use the obstacles they run into (stone wall, moat and the fog) to begin a quick study on matter.
In Mummies in the Morning, I introduced Ancient Civilizations, and for fun we used to mummify an orange slice!
The last book of the four is Pirates Past Noon,. Did I mention I do the voices too? Well this book is always a class favorite! I love being Cap't Bones! Map skills, yes I use this book to teach map skills. I even use maps from the Magic Kingdom (it's in our back yard) and we find the "Pirates of the Caribbean" using N,E,S,W....fun stuff, plus we make our own treasure maps and have a speak like a pirate afternoon! AAARG it's a good time!

I usually make it to MTH #34 by the end of the school year, that is Season of the Sandstorm, an adventure in Baghdad! We have fun traveling through space and time. We do a lot of writing and hand-on crafts and book report projects too!
Here is a list of the rest and the idea I used for each:
#5 Night of the Ninja-Be Nature, go on a nature walk.
#6 Afternoon in the Amazon-Rain forest, make a levels of the rain forest book
#7 Sunset of the Saber tooth- archeology, freeze bones in ice and dig them out (I have a kit)
#8-Midnight on the Moon-space
#9 Dolphins at Daybreak-Scientific Method (this is when I usually get our Science Fair stuff ready too)
#10 Ghost Town at Sundown-transportation
#11 Lions at Lunchtime-Food Web
#12 Polar Bears Past Bedtime-animal adaptations . We make a polar bear (black paper bag) and glue fur on him, sand paper paws....
#13 Vacation under the Volcano-Rock Cycle, I do AIMS lessons with this one!
#14 Day of the Dragon King ancient china, we eat popcorn with chopsticks fun times!
#15 Vikings at Sunrise-Myths (you should hear my Irish accent!)
#16 Hour of the Olympics-Greece (hello it's Olympic year)
#17 Tonight on the Titanic-water cycle
#18 Buffaloes Before Breakfast-Native Americans, we make deer skin hides and write on them.(brown paper bags)
#19 Tigers at Twilight-Endangered Species
#20 Dingoes at Dinner Time- Australia/Marsupials
#21 Revolutionary War on Wednesday- History/GW. Letter Writing too.
#22 Civil War on Sunday-History/Clara Barton
#23 Twister on Tuesday-Weather
#24 Earthquake in the Early Morning-Natural Disasters
#25 Stage Fright on a Summer's Night- poetry
#26 Goodnight Gorillas-Cloud forest. Learn sign language to spell our names too.
#27 Thanksgiving on Thursday-past/present
#28 High Tide in Hawaii-Friendship..plan a luau!

Maybe once I get back I'll figure out how to upload some of my projects for you to download!
I'm off to Las Vegas today...see you soon!
~Natalie

Monday, July 23, 2012

Awards and Apologies!

I owe a big thank you to Storie over at Stories By Storie.  She nominated my blog for an award:





First I have to thank and apologize to Storie, when she first gave me this award I was like "Awe , how sweet" THE END....well I'm a little more seasoned now and my Blogging Manners have improved, I also need to do the same groveling for my new friend Sandy too!
From Storie's blog, I learned that the German word "Liebster" translates to English as "beloved" or "favorite". This award is given to new, up-and-coming bloggers. There are a few rules: (yes I didn't follow the rules the first time around ...<gulp>)

1. Link back to the person who gave the award to you.

2. Post the award to your blog.

3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.

4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know they have been nominated for the award.





Please stop by and visit Stories' blog





 
 
I also need to nominate my 5 blogs too.....so in no particular order here are my picks for the
"Liebster" award.....
 
1.
 
 
Ms. Fultz's corner
 
 
 
 
2.
 
Two Tacky Teachers
 
 
 
3.
  





4.



5.




Now off to apologize to Sandy over at Second Grade Spots and Dots  she gave me this nice award....


 



At the time I didn't know you HAD to pass it on! So sorry.....
Any way, thank you so much for checking out my blog and following me!
So here are the rules for this award which make it so much fun to win! I just love this way of sharing and discovering new blogs! =)

1. Follow the person who gave you the award
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award
3. Pass the award on to 15( I am only doing 5 here instead of 15, just because that is a lot of blog stalking to to do!) new bloggers.

The blogs I've chosen are ,in no particular order....




 



Calling Plays in 2nd Grade
 
 

and Last but not least another BEE themed Classroom.....


Thank you so much to Storie and Sandy, and I'm sorry it took me a month to figure it out! Again I am breaking the rule of only one post per day...but I leave Friday and wont be blogging for a week at least!

~Natalie

 

It's FRIDAY on a Monday Made It!!!



Learn More


I am so proud of myself!!! I only got ONE finger burn from using the glue gun! I finally finished my Monday Made it! from last week, AND got a quick one done for this week....plus I made a Facebook Fan Page for my blog too...WOW!
I guess I feel I had to because I'm leaving on Vacation again this Friday..so I might make this my Monday Made it post AND my Fabulous Friday Finds too, since I did find some cute stuff while in vacation in North Carolina last Friday!!!
Last Monday I mentioned the Teacher Survival Kits from http://triplenap.blogspot.com/2010/08/teacher-survival-kits.html
Well I made my own BEE themed of course

Aren't they cute!!!

Then I tackled the To Do lists for my desk...I always lose the sticky notes and this is cute and highly visual for me!


I got the idea off of Pinterest from : http://crayonsandlessonplans.blogspot.com/
Again I BEE them out! ( Made a black framed one too, for my computer area...nice)






Learn More



Now to show you the cute stuff I dragged back from Carolina Pottery...for Birthday celebrations

Don't you just love it..I got in in YELLOW of course!

At Target I picked up a few things, I plan on using the STAR student chair decor once a week for the first 18 weeks, the little pocket charts are color coded for my different vocabulary words and those cute "All About Me" sheets are for open house, to keep the kids busy with homework! LOVE TARGET!

Since my next vacation is being taken on a plane, I won't be able to shop so much...unless I ship it home...hmmmm

~Natalie

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Hop!

I am a new blogger, so I had to join in ...(duh!)
I found this on Amanda Madden's Blog, so I just copied and pasted her questions...and I am already blogging more than once today, so I guess I just did a no no..but it's raining here AGAIN and I am bored, tried to catch up on my DVR and the power went out, so here I am entertaining myself!
Here I go!
1. What state are you in?
I am in the Sunshine State, really in the summer that is a misnomer! 

2. What is your current teaching position?
I am currently a 2nd grade teacher - I have taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade (all in that order)

3. What is your teaching experience?
I started teaching a long time ago...19 years to be exact. I loved being the youngest teacher on staff!! Then something happened...while I am no longer the youngest, I am certainly not the eldest either! I have taught at different schools over the years and different counties here in sunny Florida, but the kids are my constant! They are always the same age, funny how they stay the same age year after year, and I just get older! I love them and I know they love me back!
4. When did you start blogging?
I started blogging on June 18, 2012, so I am a newbie for sure! I am learning so much!

5. Share a blogging tip or resource.
I am not sure if I have a tip?....I like to play around with the backgrounds a lot and see what all the "controls on the dashboard" do...I found out a lot just by playing around with all the codes stuff...I liked Amanda's advice about content! I am pretty sure I will have a lot more content once school starts too...I am still unsure of how to  make and sell my packaged ideas, but I am slowly figuring that all out. As far as I know I am the only blogger at my school, only because Mariela just moved schools. She has been a huge inspiration to me, you should check out her blog :http://learningwithmrss.com/


Find me on Facebook!

I just got back from my vacation, laundry is almost done!(always worried about stuff like that!) I leave for Las Vegas on Friday, yes, ANOTHER vacation...my BFF says I should pay for my own vacations, now that I am an adult, but hey if my Daddy wants to see his Little Girl and grandson, I say "Ole"...anyway back to why I originally wanted to post today...I decided to make a fan page on Facebook for my blog! so please stop in and like the page today!


Also I am finishing up my Made it Monday! project from last week, so I will post TWO projects tomorrow!
~Natalie

Monday, July 16, 2012

Taking a Vacation

I so wanted to do a Monday Made it! today...but all weekend my Internet was "out" my printer as a result went off-line...I am also packing and planning on a car trip too...needless to say I did not get my projects done! <insert sad face here>

But I did find a few more items at Target...I am making these survival presents for my team:
I found this on : http://triplenap.blogspot.com/2010/08/teacher-survival-kits.html
but of course I have black tops and I will embellish them with yellow/black ribbon to make them very BEE themed. I  picked out most of the items (Advil, lint brush, chap stick, power bar, wisps,breath savers, deodorant) things you need for just in case you are having one of THOSE days! However I still have to print out the cute BEE tags and hot glue the ribbon on. I want the ribbon to be a permanent part of the kit, so I am only going to put it on the top. Once I get back from vacation and finish the project I will post pictures, until then my friends you will have to wait!
See you next week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fridays are Fabulous!


Yeah another Friday!!!
Except that I should be saving my money for vacation, but no worries I got good deals!

Recently The Christmas Tree Shops opened up a store within 50 miles of me. The closest one before this one was approximately 500 miles or so away. So 50 miles is a little more convenient. Also near this fabulous store is a Lakeshore Learning. So my teaching buddy suggested we go visit them on Wednesday.

We went to Lakeshore first...yeah 20% off, plus 70% off clearance...here's my good finds:



Can you see the price tag on those circles calendar pieces? $0.99...and the cute bag was a text then FREE!!!...I also picked up....


This cute Vocabulary display (I'm going to use it for more than just one word)

And of course some BEE related goodies....I left Lakeshore and only spent $21...I also picked up two BEE themed character education books too, I just didn't take pictures of them! (Maybe I should mention what my teaching buddy spent, but if her hubby sees this blog, she'd kill me!)

Our next stop to shop was  The Christmas Tree Shops...no it's not a Christmas store, per say, it's a seasonal menagerie and cheap prices. I've been on a Pinterest kick these past few weeks and I have found the cutest ways to de-clutter your desk. Use a cookbook stand for your lesson plan binder, so it's off the desk and gives you some room...

Can you see the price? Yep only $4.99...then I found these:


Only $1.99 each, I am going to make the dry erase "to do" boards, that are all over Pinterest right now..yellow and black for my BEE Theme! Maybe that will be my Monday Made it???...so many things to get done before I leave next Tuesday...look what I found at Target's dollar spot too...


Too cute to resist!

Well have fun shopping this week-end, I think I am done...need to start making things now!

~Natalie

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I have a Guided Math Question for YOU!


     I received this last night around 7 o'clock. I didn't even open the package until midnight, for some unknown reason I thought it was my cute BEE erasers that I ordered from MPM School Supplies, since I also got a big package from them,(I ordered a new Calendar, so it came in a big flat box) which at the time I didn't realize contained ALL my MPM stuff and the little package was from Amazon.....I am not use to the UPS man visiting my house!
      So at midnight after catching up on my DVR, I finally got around to opening my packages. When I opened this up I was so excited...everyone seems to be talking about it, plus last spring I began doing research on how to improve my Math time. I wanted to do the Math Daily 5, but I struggled at how to put it together.(Which boggles my mind, as I feel like an expert in the D5 during my Literacy block), Last spring I downloaded some PowerPoint help from Lindsey Shannon, very good, it got me thinking about my relationship with Math. Then Pinterest and all the "Guided Math" pins...so needless to say 5 months later I ordered the book!
     I have math-phobia...numbers are hard...and the funny thing is parents think we pass down the bad math gene...but the truth is , there isn't a math gene, you don't get it or not get it...you got to work at it, practice practice practice! I was feeling validated just by reading the first Chapter!!
     Well I didn't start reading it at midnight, that would have been crazy, I waited until my son went off to the Library for his weekly Pokemon League, and I had a few hours to clean out his closet, and READ. I am only on Chapter 3 and I love it!  I have so many ideas in my head and I am stopping to write them down as I'm reading, that is why I am ONLY on Chapter 3!
     I really like the discussion questions at the end of the chapter to help you reflect....and I need your brains to pick on this question...so if you would answer it as truthfully as possible because my answer to this question is vague, it's unsure, it's not measurable and that bugs me! So here goes:

Does your math instruction lead your students to a deep conceptual understanding of the math standards that they are learning? If so, WHAT are you doing that contributes to that?  If not, HOW do you think you would like to change your teaching?

I've been 'chewing' on this for hours...do I? How do I know? Not just a test, but really KNOW?

~Natalie

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Made it...Starting Super Simple! ..oh and a contest notice!



Hello Bloggin' buddies, since this is my FIRST official Monday Made It, I did NOT stretch myself!!
I went to Michael's earlier today to gather all the stuff to red-do my clipboards. Mod-Podge??? Decoupage...finding just the right cover color/theme coordination...hmmmm yeah..NO...I decided to keep it simple and start off by making my Writers Journals/Notebooks. It was way cheaper and so simple:
Composition Notebooks, ribbon and my glue gun.


I had to run to school to get my glue gun...that was a shocker...they were cleaning the floors in our rooms and moved most of the furniture into the hallways. I noticed that I was missing 4 bookshelves, well the reason I thought this was because they were buried behind two rows of stacked chairs...but all is well that ends well, because I got rid of 75% of the stuff I used to own so finding the glue guns was easy! Once I grabbed my tools, I quickly went home and got started on my Monday Make It! project.


It went pretty quick, once I figured out how to cut the ribbon endings so they looked cute and symmetrical!


The first step was to glue the ribbon to the back.


Then folded it over the front and snipped the end off.

That was it! DONE...well until I make cute BEE Labels to attach to the front!

Sorry it is sideways...I tried three times to rotate it, but every time it went back sideways ....grrr...anyway super simple journals today..next week I will be on my way to my VACATION...so I probably won't be playing along!

I got this idea from Pinterest..of course!


and try to win this:
I'm still trying to win a free one!!!






Saturday, July 7, 2012

Yes I'm a newbie blogger...but I've been around this block !

I'm joining Deb and her "A Teacher's Wisdom" Linky Party!
I have been teaching the primary grades since..., that's not important, what is important is that I didn't get "good" until my 5th year teaching. At least that is how I feel. Anyway I went through so many different stages with my behavior management system, in the beginning: flip cards, marble jars, bells, lights on/off, conflict resolution programs...ugh the list is long! I was so wishy washy, I didn't even remember what I said....but eventually I figured it out. The cool thing about starting out NOW is you have Pinterest and all these AWESOME teaching BLOGS to help you out ...better than the trial and error systems of the past. Hopefully you are taking advantage of it! Wish we had the Internet when I started teaching. (Well maybe we did have it, but I was not using it)...so here is my advice:








Good Luck!
Natalie

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday, Friday, gotta get Down on Friday...

I don't have pictures to post, however last night while I was at Wal*Mart I discovered that they are getting the floor ready for SCHOOL SUPPLIES...I did scoop up $0.50 composition notebooks and $2.50 packs of 4 Expo Markers...I didn't grab any of the $1.50 packs of glue sticks or the $0.25 crayons because believe it or not I don't need them this year!! I was disappointed that they didn't have the $0.10 folders out yet. I did grab some $0.88 binder clips in a set (pictures to come later) they are labeled "TODAY", "FILE", "ASAP", "LOOK THROUGH", and two others that I can't remember what they say?? I bought a set for me, my new intern and my super cool neighbor!

Thanks Fun in 4B

Next time I will upload my pictures before I post...I can aways edit them in later today!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Four on the 4th

Since it is raining here too, I am staying inside this 4th of July, but I did get out this afternoon and enjoyed the fresh humid air at my favorite burger hangout!
So what's a girl to do on such a dreary night? Join a Linky Party of course....



Four ideas I am going to implement(or maintain) this year...


1.Each month I usually do a "BookIt!" project. I tie it into the the Pizza Hut reading program. My kids read at least 10 books focusing on the story element, skill, genre or whatever we are working on, then at the end of the month they do some kid of fun project. My first one is about Characters.They choose a main character and dress up and present in character. (October of course)


But this year I want to switch it up...I want to keep the ideas and differentiate the products more plus I want to change the name and start earlier. Instead of "BookIt!" projects I am changing the name to the B.U.M.B.L.E. B.E.E  projects.
{Bright Unique Maturing Blooming Learners Excel  By Extra Effort} well maybe, that's a mouthful...

2. I am going to be a coach for Girls On The Run (GOTR). Myself and another teacher are job sharing the head coach responsibility. I am super excited because I will be working with 3rd-5th grader girls for 24 sessions! In this fun after-school program the girls will be learning how to believe in themselves and become confident young women before they head off to Middle School. It has a running component to it too. As they are building up their self-esteem, we will also be training to participate in a 5K in December as our culminating activity! I can't wait!!!! 

3. Hard to believe, I have been teaching since 1990-something and I have NEVER implemented a student of the week. I guess since we have in place Terrific Kid, I never gave it any thought. At my first schools they did T.K once a week, but at my new school they do it once a month. So this year I will choose a "Bee of the Week". Each day they will have a special time to shine and get some "Buzz Time". I like how Beth Newingham does it, so I might tweak her ideas!

4. This one will be the hardest! STAY ORGANIZED AND CLUTTER-FREE!!!

Sounds easy right? I am pretty organized, but sometimes my ADD brain puts things down and I can't find them again! I recently purged...I mean SERIOUSLY purged. I went through EVERY single cabinet, every plastic bin, every shelf in the closet...and I decided if I didn't use it last year, it was OUT! I got rid of over 100+ items to my wonderful co-workers!
To achieve this goal I am going to really try and use ideas from this awesome blog!!!


I hope that I can stay this pumped up as the school year approaches...I am pretty sure I can do this, oh did I mention I have an intern in the fall!
 I  L O V E  interns....ahhhh

Getting my SHOP on!

WOW! I have been a busy bee this summer! Besides ordering some cute Bee themed items last night (Thanks Christina Bainbridge for the 15% off hook-up) I have been downloading so many good , fun files.



I found some really cute BEE decorations for my plant and light effects.



I picked up some cute file folders and friendship quotes, plus buckets to make into my sharp/not sharp pencil holders (I chose red for stop and green for go, not color themed to the room, but maybe it will help), plus Bath and Body Works had a 50% off on hand sanitizer magnetic holders...yeah for BEES!!!


Did I mention, I went to the Dollar Tree? I've been looking for odds and ends for my pool adventures this summer, when I stumbled upon these little cuties. I'm not sure exactly how I am going to use them in the classroom, but I am sure it will be to hold some sort of manipulatives, either in my Word Work area or Math Centers???



So cute, I couldn't resist just one!!



My last purchase (so far) was a new Communication Area,the old one, was one the last teacher 'left behind' when she vacated the room-it was not so nice. So I bought two units, on sale at Target (yes, I say Tar-jhay)!


I am so excited about this new school year! I am going to the Christmas Tree Shoppe and Lakeshore next Wednesday, I'll let you know how I make out!