Saturday, July 28, 2012

While You Were Out

One thing I struggle with EVERY YEAR is keeping track of all the things my kids missed while they were absent. Things go missing, things get stolen and I just don't have time to chase after everything. I'm on a mission this year to make it easier on everyone myself!  I'm making six different, laminated folders.  I will have a class job for two students to be in charge of the folders (if both are absent, I will take care of it).  They are considered the "contact" for the absent student if he/she has questions.  The contact will fill out the While You Were Out sheet with things the absent student missed and work they need to make up, along with news and things to remember.  He/she will also make sure that EVERYTHING (field trip forms, flyers, flip books made, etc.) is put into the folder.  When the absent student returns to school he/she will go over what was missed with the contact person and then make up the work missed.  Click here if you'd like my While You Were Out Freebie!

What methods do you use in your classroom to ensure that missed work is made up?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Music? That is the Question--Freebie Needs Survey

Who knew that listening to music in the classroom would be so controversial?  Not this girl!  I listen to soft music in my classroom whenever my children are doing seat work.  I have listened to the SAME soft music for years and was doing some research on what other music teachers play in their classrooms.  All the while, articles about why you shouldn't listen to music in the classroom run rampant. I have always heard that it's great to listen to music in the classroom and have always had success with it.  Listening to music helps ME concentrate...always has. I have a serious version of self-proclaimed ADD (sometimes ADHD).  I can't concentrate in all.  My mind is off planning the weekend, my lunch for tomorrow, or going through the list of things I still have to do.  If I listen to music, or watch some mindless TV I can focus.  Weird.  I know.  Anyway, it turns out, based on all these articles, that not everyone is like me (well, duh....thank goodness).  So if it's so bad, why do my students request for music to be turned on?  I don't get it.  Am I hurting some of the kids in my classroom by having them listen to music?  This is something I definitely need to get to the bottom of.  I do a learning style inventory every year (Learning to Study Through Critical Thinking by Jonelle A. Beatrice), but this year I'm doing another inventory. Click here to check it out. The first page includes the learning style inventory, the second my new inventory.  This way I can really figure out what my kids want/need!

What are your thoughts on music in the classroom?  Good or bad?  Also, if you love music in your classroom, what are some of the albums that you listen to?

Here are my top 4 while the kids are working quietly:
1.  Above the Clouds by Kevin Hoo
2.  Water for Elephants by James Newton Howard
3.  Enya (any of her albums)
4.  Four Seasons-Vivaldi

Here are my top 4 for fun:
1.  Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits (I have to skip a few)
2.  The Lion King
3.  Aladin
4.  John Mayer

**Free clip art from:

Play on.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

HELP! Mentor Texts for Writing?

I've been given the opportunity to order some picture books on the fly.  I need some suggestions for mentor texts to use for writing or math lessons (Grade Level 2-6).  Please comment below on books that you have used and lessons you have taught.  If you're a blogger and have a post on a lesson you think I'd love, link it up in the comments...pretty please.  Thanks in advance!  :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

What Happens in Vegas?

My dad was a military man and has been many places all over the world, but never Vegas.    For his 70th bday my husband and I bought his plane ticket and paid for his hotel and took him on a crazy ride!  We had soooo much fun!  We got to go see Carrot Top, Terry Fator, and Cirque du soleil.  So where am I going with this?  While I was at Terry Fator's show, I found out about this cool website!  It's called Read to Me.  It has books that headline acts read to children.  I can totally see myself using these books as
mentor texts for reading and writing.   Some other cool online read alouds by cool people are:  Stories Online and Barnes & Noble Stories Online. You can also always look up titles on Youtube to find stories read aloud.  Here are some examples:  Tim Tebow reading Green Eggs and Ham, Justin Bieber reading The Cat in the Hat.   Do you know of any others that are free?  I know you can also pay for these:  Tumblebooks and Speakaboos. Anyway, I think that online stories are powerful, whether they listen to them individually or as an entire class.  I don't know a kid in school that doesn't like a read aloud!  Switch it up for a change.  :) 
For some reason my captions aren't working.  1st picture is of the Terry Fator Show, 2nd is of my hubby, me, and my dad, the last is of me and two of my co-workers who came to join in the fun!  :)
Read on.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Don't Let the Balls Bounce!

While Pinteresting today, I came across a super cool classroom management tool that I had to share.  You know from previous posts that I am a huge fan of Class Dojo for behavior management, and now I'm going to have to find a way to incorporate this into at least my center/station work!  You simply go to the website, click "get bouncing", turn your microphone on, and tell your kids to not let the balls bounce!  It's a great way for them to see just how loud they are. If only you could have been a fly on the wall at my house tonight watching me play with it, you would have had free quality entertainment.  My husband looked at me and said, "You are so weird!"  Yep, that's me, whispering at my computer--yelling, clapping, giggling, you name it...all to see some colorful balls bounce.  (Clearly I'm easily amused!) I'm linking you to a list of cool things that I could see myself using next year.  FUN!  Hope it's something you can implement and enjoy (if you haven't seen it already!). 

Bounce on.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Very Versatile

WOW!  So, I've been MIA again...but boy have I done a lot since my last post!  I've got some really good stuff for y'all...I just need some time to sit down and write it all up!  June 7th was my last post...and here is what I've done since then....
1.  Survived 5th Grade Graduation
2.  Took my dad to Las Vegas for his 70th bday
3.  Took a Youth Development Class through the community college.
4.  Went to Charleston, SC for the 4th
5.  Took a college course on Reading and Writing Strategies for ESL students through GMU
6.  Visited my parents in southwest VA
7.  Went to the Black Dog Jazz Festival at Chateau Morrisette (wine festival)
8.  Survived my 36th Bday....yesterday! :)

All the while, my blog has just been chilling out....and has been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Teri @ 5th Grade Tomfoolery, Shernika @Threadgills Teaching Toolbox, Stacey @ 3rd Grade Times, Mrs. Karod Colorful Teaching, Ms. Mel @ Teaching with Ms. Mel and Mrs. Thompson @ Nerdy Nerdy Nerdy   I'm feeling very versatile!!  Thank you ladies!  I'm honored!  So here are my 7 RANDOM facts:

1.  I have my masters in administration, but no desire to be an administrator right now!
2.  I have weight issues...always.
3.  I'm the 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year at my school.
4.  I love smiley faces.
5.  I've been to 56 weddings since I was 21 years old (with three more this year).
6.  So You Think You Can Dance is my favorite TV show!
7.  My very first job ever was being a smurf (well, Smurfette) at a mall opening.  I did three shows and got paid $180.  BIG BUCKS for a 12 year old back in the 80s!  LOL

So there you have it.  A blog that helps NO ONE educationally.  I just wanted you to know I'm still alive and haven't forgotten about y'all.  I'm enjoying the heck out of my summer and hope you are too!