A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

New Year 2015 Currently!

I'm linking up with Farley for January's Currently!

Listening: I love love The Office! We only have Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu so I binge watch my favorite shows over and over. The Office never fails to make me laugh! Could you imagine a principal like Michael Scott!? What a crazy and fun school it would be!

Loving: My house sure is coming along! My wonderful husband ran wire today for the internet and cable. The contractor was working on making the bar under the stairs in the basement, and the drywall was recently delivered! I cannot wait until the rooms actually look like rooms! The drywall is going up next week! 
The insulation was finished yesterday! 
Thinking: I have used www.Planbook.com for my go to lesson planning for the past three years. I love love love it, but I think I need to go back to more paper and pencil. Maybe I will actually get my plans done this way. Planbook makes it too easy to slack on, and I do not need help slacking! Any advice!? 

Wanting: I am just so eager to get moved into the new house! I want to put my current house up for sale so bad, but then again, I do not want to be homeless! My new house is just too cute not to live in right now...but it would be a little cold with no heat!
I mean, JUST look at that front door!

Needing: I just want to enjoy my break!!!! But I really need to go to school and clean off my desk and clean up Christmas stuff. In the second semester of second grade, big changes happen for these kiddos in my room. We are going to start implementing Exit Tickets, blog on a regular basis, be more responsible for our own assignments, and read, read, read!!
Yes: I love love integrating technology in my classroom! We are going to start blogging regularly, like I already said. We are also going to start watching videos from Educreations for math, and start making Prezi presentations! I cannot wait to start this!

Maybe: Maybe I will get to move into my new house soon! I know it won't be until February at the earliest, but I keep thinking just maybe!

I Wish:.... I just want to move in!!! I can't imagine my impatience if I have a baby! I will not be able to stand it!!!

Be sure to head over and link up and check out the other Currentlys!

Christmas in Room 107

We celebrated Christmas all Friday long in our classroom! It was Polar Express/Pajama Day for second grade. The kids could bring their sleeping bags, slippers, stuffed animal, and wear their PJ's to school.
I had one boy who looked at this big ol' pile and said, " I wish that were cake." HA! I love my students! They never fail to make me laugh!
We made Christmas tree ornaments for our classroom tree and to take home. I put all my foam pieces on the floor and let them grab ten items to put on their ornament. 
They turned out really cute! I hope their parents like them!
Ignore the pencil marks on the desk...
Our tree had a lot going on by the time all the ornaments got on there, but it was the best tree I have had in the three years I have been teaching! I loved it!

I gave the kids their gift from me. To get their gift, we played a right left game, when I would say the word "right" in the story, they had to pass their gift to the right. When I would say " left", they would have to pass it to the left.  Then I let them play with them. 
Their gift was those scratch off pages that has a colorful background so when they scratch them off, you see all the different colors. They LOVED them! I even gained a few pictures for my desk:)
After lunch it was time to party with food and The Polar Express movie! While the kids were at recess, Cassandra and I made the huge pot of hot chocolate! 
We had our snacks before heading to the movie. Our parents were so generous this year with the snacks, drinks, and treat bags. No one went home hungry, and maybe some went home with a belly ache...

Then we loaded up the train to go watch the Polar Express in Cassondra's room.

IAG High Ability Conference

Whew! What a couple of days it has been! I have been spending the final week before break at the IAG (Indiana Association for the Gifted) Conference in Indianapolis.
Cassondra, one of our awesome 5th grade teachers(Shelby), and I went to several different sessions to learn more about teaching to gifted students. There were a few sessions that stood out that I wanted to share with you! 
Session 1, Mulit Media Projects with a Purpose, told us all about two sixth grade teachers who got a grant for studio recording equipment. Before they realized that their green screen could have been green construction paper and their recording device could have been an iPhone, both of which I have;). They had their students start with one main topic and a concept, like the Romans and their power, and guide their own learning ending with a movie about their topic. 
When I heard about this, I could only think of the story, Officer Buckle and Gloria. Students could create their own safety tip and act it out! They would love it, remember it, and it would create a meaningful learning experience about safety for the kids!

In Session 2, Shelagh Gallagher told us how standards and PBL were like peanut butter and jelly! She  gave us an example with relocating black footed ferrets and we had to create the questions remaining. It was so simple to come up with questions that we needed to find out about relocating the ferrets such as what type of environment they need or what food do they eat. This was the beginning of the project research. It does not have to be difficult! Students become the stakeholder and the teacher becomes the metacognative coach. Basically, students are the driver and we are the GPS. 
By beginning with the problem, we can then find out what we want the students to learn. From there, we can go to the good old standards and pick out the several that we will cover from our project. This is a great way to learn, and I would love to do more of this in my room. 
Session 3 that I want to share was about CSI in the Classroom. The presenter gave the example of having a chocolate party(which I am doing when we finish Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). When the students are out of the room, create a crime scene! Spill some hot cocoa mix, take a bite out of some chocolate bar, leave foot prints in the mix, leave finger prints everywhere! When the students come back, tell them something has happened. Make sure the "criminal" is someone available in the building. Students can use the evidence left, interviews, suspect lists, and fingerprint/shoe print comparison to discover who was the one who did it! 
I cannot wait to do this with my class. I believe we will be doing it for the Valentine's Day party. Hopefully I will have Charlie done by then. We will be using laffy taffy to compare teeth prints and she gave us a lesson in finger printing(I will save that for later). I cannot wait!!

Then there was lunch provided. When you sat down, dessert was served! 
Red velvet cake! YUM!
Then they brought a salad one day and this chicken stuff today. I was not touching that stuff! GROSS! So we walked to the Mall to eat at the food court. 
We took in sooo much information in the past couple of days. I think I need an extra day off to process it! ha! Hope you are having a great last week before break!

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough

A lot has been going on lately, I have missed being able to share! I am taking a "study break" from my master's finals to tell you about when we made pumpkin spice play dough...or we tried! Oh yes, another tale from Mrs. Rigsby's books of fun but fail!
We used Marshmallow Creme, which should have been my first sign, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Super easily accessible ingredients! 
I sorted the kids into groups and handed out the pans.We started with just the sugar. If you DO still want to try this, I would recommend starting with the marshmallow creme first. 
Then I walked around and added the marshmallow creme...and off they went!
They were supposed to be able to keep mixing and mixing until it became dough like. It never became dough like for us, but boy it was fun!
This poor guy had it all up his arm...The hair was still sticky after several washes!
They kept trying and trying to make the dough. I added even more creme and then I walked around to add the spice. If we are getting messy, we might as well smell good!
The kids were real troopers when it came to cleaning up. They took turns cleaning the floor and did a great job sharing the sink. Next year, I believe this is another experiment I will be skipping:)

Black Friday Sale!

I have linked up with a bunch of Teachers Pay Teachers authors for a $1.00 Black Friday Sale!

Five For Friday Pre-Thanksgiving Addition

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to give you my Five for Friday- Pre-Thanksgiving addition!
We have been talking about Thanksgiving all week, as I'm sure you have too.  Today in my small groups, we talked about why Thanksgiving brings us all together. It got me thinking about the reasons I look forward to Thanksgiving and why it is important to me. So I am going you my top five reasons Thanksgiving, and giving thanks, are important to me!
I am thankful anytime I get to spend time with my awesome husband. He really is great!
and freaking gorgeous!
I am thankful for my job. I love being able to make a difference in others lives. This year is taking a toll on me and my love of going to school.  I learn more and more about classroom management each day, and will become a better teacher for it! I love that their eyes light up when we do science experiments and that they share my love of coloring and creating things with construction paper. I love that they want to learn and are proud of themselves when they get assignments done that they usually struggle with. I am thankful for snow days and holiday breaks. I am more thankful for weekends and quiet lunches than others understand. I cannot think of anything I would rather do with my life!
I am thankful for cleaning out desks once a week too. 
I am thankful for the construction workers that are putting their lives(roofing is going on right now) at risk to make sure my family will have a safe, sturdy, structurally sound roof over our heads. They are out there every day in the freezing cold building my beautiful house. 
Phillip brought them doughnuts this morning:) He really is awesome!
I am thankful for my family, including my pets! They are the best, really. 
And a little goofy!

I am thankful for technology! I love using technology in the classroom, in my bedroom, in the bathtub, in another country, at the beach, anywhere I want! If I want to check on anything, I can. If my husband uses a word I don't understand (he uses big words a lot) I can google it right away and act like I knew it the whole time! I have been able to stay in contact with my friends from college that are hours away or my mom who is just across town. Of course sometimes it is nice to be out of contact, but that feeling of coming back into the technology world after a day is amazing. You feel like you have missed so much, and nothing at all at the same time. 

Head back to Doodle Bugs Teaching to check out some other Five for Friday posts!

Online Communication:Blogging in the Classroom

If you have followed me for a while, you know I am crazy about kids blogging in the classroom. I cringe with I see Facebook posts or other online articles written with poor grammar. I think blogging will help students learn the proper way to communicate online and help with their writing skills while doing it!
I have went on and on and on about the site {KidBlog}. I have blogged about in my summer {Techy Tuesday} posts, if you missed it, be sure to check it out! I have a great freebie about how to get started in your own classroom. 
We have finally begun our own paper blog in class!
I tried to make their paper blog look like the actual blog post page. The white sheets are their blog papers, the post its are the comments! Students must use a complete sentence in their initial post. Then the comments need to be more than one word. 
Some of my favorite comments:
Love the invented spelling!
They were so positive and loved making comments.
O.M.G i Love it. -what more can I say! 
If you want to start your own paper blog, draw it up on poster board. Then use my {free blog post paper} and gather up some Post-its! We began the week before Halloween and after Thanksgiving break will be going online, live! This kids and I can't wait!!

STEM with Gummy Pumpkins

While looking around on Pinterest, of course, Cassondra found this great STEM activity for us to do during Fall Parties! Click here to read the original post. Students started with finding a game plan.
I did not create this page.
We were going over this page while I was carving the tops off of pumpkins. This was my way of getting an extra 20 minutes to finish them up! Students were challenged to build the tallest tower with a box of toothpicks and one tub of gummy pumpkins. I randomly chose students to be in groups and they got to discuss their plans together. Then I set the timer for 20 minutes and let them go!
Some students had great ideas of working on a base, because it's all about that base you know;) As I walked around the room, I saw and heard several different different ideas. The students were not as confident in this tower as they were in our cup staking challenge

This tower was a mess of tower, but would stand on its own!
This group was getting the right idea! 
These guys were working separately to create their own towers to put together.  Overall this activity was a little bit of a bust for my class. They enjoyed trying, but no one was very successful. But by the time they were done, so was I with the pumpkins and then the bigger mess began!

Pumpkin Exploration

So on Friday, after our field trip, I carved the tops off of 22 pumpkins with the smallest carver ever. It took about two hours. During this time the kids were at lunch, then I took some with me to recess duty, then I carved away during our STEM activity and finally finished up while we were working through our Pumpkins: Can, Have, Are, Grow page from my pumpkin pack!
I let the kids decorate their pumpkins for a contest in the morning. We used Sharpies, but Cassondra let her kids paint! 
I handed out some gloves for the kiddos that didn't want to touch the guts and goop of their pumpkin. Then I let them go at it! 

They had to dig out all their guts and and seeds. Then we did some estimating to see how many seeds we could pick up in a handful. At our field trip, Miss Linda(the farm owner) told us that a pumpkin could have more than 400 seeds! We were running short on time due to cutting the tops of 22 pumpkins, so we didn't get to count all of our seeds. 
We had so much fun exploring our pumpkins and making a mess(HUGE MESS) (I warned the custodian before hand) with the guts and seeds. We had a fifteen minute clean up time and then had snacks and finished our Fall party with an episode of Scooby Doo. I loved hearing the kids tell me ," You plan the best parties ever!" I have a lot to live up to for Christmas! 

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