April 2013 - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Today I'm linking up with my BBB, Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday! Thanks for hosting, Holly! :)

I'm so excited to share my newest thing I've tried! I recently downloaded Art Studio for my iPad and tried my hand at making some frames... once I figured out how to turn on the grid, it made my lines much better! :)
These were the first ones I made... basic, but still cute! They can be resized to squares, too, and they are large so there is no distortion if you want to make it the whole page!

Then I got a little fancier... these can also be resized to squares, and again, they are large frames to start with!
And then even fancier! :) These can be resized to circles, and again, they are large frames! :)

You know I'm a sharer. :) So let's have a pin it to win it giveaway! Click on any of the pictures above to go to them in my TPT store. Pin the frames you would like to have from my TPT store,
then copy/paste the link here in a comment. You can pin just one, or two, or all three! Each "pin" will count as an entry, so leave them in separate comments so you have more chances to win! ;-) Be sure to leave your email address if you are a no-reply blogger! I will choose 3 winners on Thursday!

Until then, you can download a freebie - primary colored loops frames! Click on the picture to download them! :)
Make sure to go visit Fourth Grade Flipper to see what other things our fellow teacher bloggers have tried! See you tomorrow for Workshop Wednesday to share our favorite books we use with reading groups! I know it's the first of the month which means Farley's Currently, so I hope you'll plan to link up to both of us in your post tomorrow! :)

Happy Monday, peeps!

It has been a little over a year now since I've been a TPT seller. One of my first products that I listed was an End of the Year Memory Book. When I opened it today I was like oooohhhhh.......... boy have I come a long way in how I make my products look! So I revamped my Memory Book! Here's a preview:

Click to visit the product at my TPT store

So if you have downloaded this from my store, go to your downloaded products and re-download the updated version!! I "notified my buyers of the update" but does anyone know how that notification happens? Inbox maybe? I've never gotten one, so I don't know!

And since this is like-new for most of you all, I have to give it away!! :o) The first three people to comment will get the memory book emailed to them! Be sure to leave your email if you are a no-reply blogger! And if you miss being one of the first three, you can get it in my TPT store or my TN store.

I also had a fifteen minute flash freebie for the Memory Book last night that my Facebook Followers were able to get in on- make sure to become a follower if you aren't already to make sure you don't miss out on future flash freebies! I'm hoping to revamp a few of my other units as well... it never hurts to freshen things up a bit, right? ;-)
I am so excited to link up today with Khrys (Keepin' It Kool In Kinderland) and Brittany (Closing the Gap... in a Cute Outfit) for their Share Whatcha Wear Linky! I only wish that one day I will be as adorable and stylish as them- they have the cutest outfits, seriously!!
Here is a "peek" at my style!

Make sure to go link up what you wear! :o)

Also, don't forget, this week for Workshop Wednesday, our focus is back to Reading!
Let's share one of our favorite books to read with a small group! I know it will be super hard to narrow down to just one, but try! :) I also realize this Wednesday is the 1st of the month which means Farley's Currently, so I hope you'll plan for both link ups in your Wednesday post! ;-)

I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties on this rainy Sunday!

The book I want to share with you today was one of my very favorite books when I was in elementary school. I love being able to share books with my kiddos that I read when I was their age!

Island of the Blue Dolphins is historical fiction. It is based on the story of an Indian girl who lived on an island off the coast of California by herself for 18 years. Karana is the name of the girl in the book. She loses her tribe and her family, and has to learn to survive alone on the island. Our curriculum requires us to teach about six different tribes, one of which are a Northwest tribe, very much like Karana's, so it goes along perfectly with our Native American unit.

The story is beautifully written. The time and place of the book are described in such great detail- I use it as a mentor text to help students incorporate setting into their own writing. It also has some great similes, metaphors, and personification in it! You can download a freebie I created here or by clicking on the image below.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
I also found a great (free!) Scholastic unit that you can download here to go with the book that has some great lesson ideas!

I was so excited that my kiddos loved this book as much as I did! This is the first chapter book of the year that I read to them, and even just last week, one of my kiddos was still making connections with it!

What are your favorite books to read with Social Studies integration? Go link up with Collaboration Cuties to share, and get some other great ideas!

I also want to link this up to Fifth In The Middle's awesome SS linky! :)
Native Americans Linky

In light of recent events, Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching, Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties, and I are hosting this uplifting linky!
We hope you will link up to the Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness linky party whenever you have heartwarming stories, lessons you've done with your class about peace, hope, love, or kindness, or even random acts of kindness. When the world seems to be falling apart around us, we will have a webpage to visit to get a pick-me-up! We hope this linky will not only lift our spirits and remind us that there is so much good around us, but also will be an encouragement to us to be the good we want to see in the world. As teachers, we have such a powerful role in shaping the future...let's share our ideas so we can make the world a better place TOGETHER!

This linky will remain open, so if you don't have the chance to link up today, please come back whenever you can! You will find the button at the top of my page in the right side bar- it will stay there! Whenever you want to share a story or you need a lift, just click there! :o)

I wanted to start by sharing this video about Post Secret. Have you heard of this before?? I just recently heard about it this past week, and I'm hooked. There are some silly stories, some sad stories, some funny stories, and some seriously heartwarming stories. I was crying at the end. I hope you will watch all 11 minutes of this video, and if you can't right now, come back- it's totally worth it.

I also wanted to share an activity I did with my students after the Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy in December. We read this book:
If Peace Is... by Jane Baskwill, illustrated by Stephanie Carter

It's a rhyming book that repeats the phrase from the title... “If peace is a garden, I’ll tend every seed. If peace is a book, I’ll have to read.” It's a great book for demonstrating metaphors (which are sometimes hard to find consistently in books). It's also full of gorgeous, colorful illustrations!

After reading the book, they brainstormed what peace was to them. We talked about places to go, things to do, and people we want to be with to have peace. Then they created their own quilt square for our "peace quilt" which we hung in the hall for everyone to see. They wrote their metaphor: "If peace is/was a... I would..." and illustrated it to be bright and colorful just like the book.

Some of my favorites were:
If peace was a holiday, I'd celebrate it.
If peace is life, I won't waste a day.
If peace was a baby, it would be snoring all day.
If peace was soccer, I would score every goal.
If peace was a swan, it would fly gracefully.
If peace was a pool, I'd have to swim in it.
If peace was a meadow, I'd run through it.

Last, I wanted to share something from the book, Wonder. I've been reading it to my class. 
The book is absolutely perfect for what this linky is all about, in fact. Even if you don't read it to your class, I recommend you read it on your own. Make it a summer book if you want. I am totally hooked, and so are my kids. They get mad when I stop! :-P I have laughed out loud several times, and I'm sure I'll be crying, too!

In the book, the main character's English teacher, Mr. Browne, gives all the students an assignment each month based on a precept, or a motto. The first one he gives them is:


That just really hit my heart as I read that aloud to my students. How many times do we as ADULTS choose right instead of kind? I urge you to keep Mr. Browne's precept in the back of your mind! I think my students may be doing an assignment similar to the students in the book actually, to help them remember as well... this is the age where they start turning on one another. I want to help mold them to be better than that...

Now it's your turn!! :)

Wednesday already?? Whew! Testing Week wears me out, and it's the kids doing all the work- not me!!

Aaaaanyway- on to Workshop Wednesday!

Today we are linking up our favorite Math Card Games! It doesn't have to be a game that uses playing cards- any cards will do. :) I personally love Love LOVE using playing cards for math games. You can get a pack of two for a dollar at the dollar store!! I'm linking up (yes in my own linky party) to A Teacher Without a Class for her Dollar Days to remind everyone to get your cards for games people link up today at the dollar store!!!

My Dollar Tree carries these cards. They are pretty durable, even with as much as we use them! I bought enough my first year to have decks for my class to use with partners. Each year, I go buy a couple more packs of two and trade out cards that are really worn out. I take out the Jokers and write the same alphabet letter on every card in that deck so if a card gets left out of its Ziploc bag, we can find where it belongs quickly. I did stickers one year, but we used them so much, the stickers were peeling up and those little boogers would remember what the card was based on how the sticker was peeling up! REALLY?!?!

One of my favorite games that I teach my kids early in the year is called Lightning. (Actually, it had another name, but I couldn't remember what it was, so I renamed it this year. Ha!!) Click the picture below, or here, to download the rules for the game for free!

Please leave feedback on TPT if you download this freebie! Don't forget to do the same for others' items, too! :)

I can't wait to get a collection of new games to teach my kiddos! They love playing card games and I'm happy because they are doing math at the same time! :)
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post from your post (no TPT store link-ups, please). Also, leave some love on at least two other link-ups. This is a great way to find new friends to follow! :)

Happy Tuesday, Bloggy Buddies!

This weekend, my blog joined the Facebook World. I had a little giveaway yesterday. :) If you missed it, I would still LOVE for you to follow me on Facebook- I will be offering "deals" that might not always be advertised here on the blog!!

Follow me on Facebook!
 I started this post during bus call, so I asked a student sitting closest to me to give me 3 numbers between 1 and 22. She gave me the numbers 12, 14, and 16. So Amanda at Learning to the Core, Hilary at Second Grade is Out of This World, and Amy at Eclectic Educating- shoot me an email with your choice of item and I'll send it to you! Congrats!! :)

I promise I won't fill my posts with Facebook after today. *wink* The button will always be up on the right with my other contact buttons! :) Notice what is also there........ the button for the upcoming Peace, Hope, Love, and Happiness Linky!! Make sure to get your post ready for Thursday! I hope these awesome posts fill our newsfeeds like Mrs. Stanford's Product Swap! :)  Wouldn't that just give you goosebumps!?

Ok, for today's REAL post! I'm linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper to tell you about word art filling!

First of all, I have to start by telling you that I am one of THOSE people who was ridiculously set in her ways and did EVERYTHING in MS Word. EVERYTHING. When I posted the directions for how to secure your pdfs, a few people let me know I was archaic and questioned- WHY was I not using Powerpoint?!? Because I've always used Word! I learned all the tricks and ins and outs... but I am not THAT set in my ways, so I gave it a try... and OH MY GOSH, WHERE HAVE I BEEN?!?!?!? :-P Hee hee!! I looooooove Powerpoint now, and if you haven't tried it, you should. I made my new Workshop Wednesday button in Powerpoint, and the button for The Idea Backpack's Common Core Series, too! And I made the text so cute by following Ashley's (from The School Supply Addict) SIMPLE, easy-to-follow video that she posted back in February! 

Isn't she wonderful?! Now you can make your title pages for your TPT products even more adorable, and whatever else you might want to cute-ify!

Now, go link up with Holly and shared what you've tried, and see what everyone else is trying!! :)

This morning, I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties to share an exciting science mentor text with you! It's called What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?

This book is great for ANY grade! Here is an example of the first page...
I have the students predict to what animal they think the nose belongs... they get VERY excited about figuring them out! This one is pretty easy actually, but later some of them get really tricky!! When we turn the page, they see if their prediction is correct, and then they learn why animals have different noses!

The book goes through noses, ears, tails, eyes, feet, and mouths. I created this freebie you can use right along with the book!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Make sure to go link up with Amanda and Stacia to share your favorite science mentor texts, and go check out the great ideas from everyone else, too!

Don't forget, I've got two linky parties going on this week! First up, Workshop Wednesday!
This week, back by popular demand, let's link up our favorite math games again, but this time, let's focus on math partner games that use cards! :)

Also, this Thursday, let's flood everyone's bloggy feeds with Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness. If you missed what this linky is all about, click here to find out. :) Joanne, Amanda, Stacia, and I hope you'll join us!

Follow me on Facebook!!

Finally Friday!!! Time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness!


#1: In light of recent events, Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching, Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties, and I are getting together to host an uplifting linky!
This Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness linky party will be a place for you to link up whenever you have heartwarming stories, lessons you've done with your class about peace, hope, love, or kindness, or even random acts of kindness. When the world seems to be falling apart around us, we will have a webpage to visit to get a pick-me-up! We hope this linky will not only lift our spirits and remind us that there is so much good around us, but also will be an encouragement to us to be the good we want to see in the world. As teachers, we have such a powerful role in shaping the future...let's share our ideas so we can make the world a better place TOGETHER!

So here's our idea- how awesome would it be for us to flood all the bloggy newsfeeds with uplifting posts? Let's all try to post for Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness this Thursday! Then, you can come back anytime after that and link up as often as you'd like. Need some ideas? You know that awesome teacher friend that you wish you could show a little more appreciation...? Surprise them with Starbucks or breakfast one morning! Or maybe you have a child in your class who went out of their way to make someone else feel special...... share that heartwarming story with us! We're teachers- you know we eat it up! :o) Or perhaps you've done a lesson (or are going to do a lesson) that helps students find peace, hope, or love... or maybe a character-building activity about kindness. The options are limitless, really! We hope you'll join us this Thursday! Come back to any one of our blogs to link up!

#2: Oh, my poor poor kids. We have our big state test next week, so we have had "BOOTCAMP" this week. I try to make test prep and test review as much fun as I can, but I mean, really... there's only so much you can do. Providing variety is really about all you can do. So we used the student response clickers, which they think is so awesome!

We also played Math Review "Scoot"- I cut up past math assessments and took one or two from each type of question, then put them around the room on the desks (which you'll see are already separated... and walls are bare... booooo!!). They were not allowed to sit- it was a good way to keep them up and moving AND reviewing math problems.

#3: One thing I'm excited about for my kiddos next week is their testing treats!! I got these little gems from Jessica at The Polka Dotted Teacher for FREE! If you haven't done your testing yet, go snatch them up! :) Mine got the Smarties already so they would be "ready," and then they'll get one each day next week to match the test we are taking!

#4: Even though we're reviewing like CRAZY, I tried to help them destress a bit about the test. (It is very stressful- they have to pass all 5 content areas to pass 4th grade!!) I got some GREAT ideas from blogs last week and decided to do them in my room!! The first thing we did were testing tips acrostics with our name, which I stole from Sabra at Teaching With a Touch of Twang.

I hung them in the hall so any student walking by can be reminded, as well as our own class! I'm also going to make them stop and read one on their way in the classroom each morning next week.

We also did an activity that I read about from Suntan and Lesson Plans! I had the students write down all their worries about the test on a colored sheet of paper. We talked about how these are negative thoughts, and we should only think positive thoughts to do our best. I told them to cut their papers up into very small pieces. They thought that was the best thing ever!! I had them put all the pieces into this bag:
...and I told them now, they got rid of their worries, they shouldn't think about them anymore! I will leave the bag on the board all week next week as a reminder for them to have positive thoughts... and then we just MIGHT throw it like confetti on Friday when testing is over! :)

#5: So, we haven't actually been killing ourselves with test prep ALL week- we took a break yesterday to dissect owl pellets! The kids absolutely LOOOOOOVED it! It was the first time I had ever done it with my class, and I really enjoyed it, too!! All the kids got to wear "lab coats" as we dissected in our science lab. :) They said they felt like real scientists!

The one holding the three rodent heads- yeah... he decided to name his "family of mice that the owl had eaten." Boys.... (shaking my head)

All of this went right along with our ecosystems and adaptations unit perfectly, as well as our unit with Arrowhawk since they are both birds of prey. (Check that post out here if you missed it!) The company we ordered the pellets from sent a great informational book, too. I made copies of the possible animals' skeletons from that book for the students to try to determine what animals their owl ate.

We also completed a worksheet as we went along- this is my Friday Freebie! Click the picture below, or get it here!

WHEW! Thanks for hanging with me for this super long post! Happy WEEKEND!!!

P.S. Don't forget! Today's the last day to enter my 300 Follower Giveaway!!!

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