Sunday, June 30, 2013

Picture Books to Help Teach Math Concepts

I'm excited to link up again with Frist Grade and Fabulous for another amazing picture book linky party! This week's theme are picture books used to help teach math concepts (I'm not sure if my Amazon cart can handle this)!!! I'm especially excited to check out all of the titles posted and add to my collection- how very Common Core ;)
The truth is I LOVE using literature in math and have found my students really respond to it! Whether I take the time to read an entire picture book or read Shel Silverstein's poem, "Smart". It always seems to leave a lasting impression on our lesson. 
When I was in college and taking my elementary math methods class, my professor told us we could never go wrong with using a Marilyn Burns or Greg Tang book to start a lesson.  Boy, was she right! So without further ado, here are some of my favorite books I use during math....
Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong was introduced to me by my current team during what we call Multiplication Mania!!!  My students love this old Chinese folktale that reviews the concept of multiplying by twos.
 Next up is Pizza Pizzazz by Carol Losi and Marilyn Burns is a laugh out loud rhyming book that covers fractions.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE teaching fractions. Call me crazy. I have a stack of books I love to read during this unit, but this has to be my favorite. 
The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns (my favorite) is a staple during my geometry unit and launches a great discussion about polygons!
I have a collection of Greg Tang's math riddles and problem-solving books in my classroom library.  I loved how they challenged my third graders to think like a 'mathematician'.  :)
Thanks for stopping by, now I'm off to check out the other ideas over at First Grade and Fabulous!!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Currently July (almost)

I'm so happy to link up with Farley again at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for another Currently!
 So here it is...
Listening: If your not a fan of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this probably really confused you!  I can't really explain why Jimmy Fallon dressed in a chicken costume clucking along to "Some Nights" is hysterically funny to me...but you can view it HERE and see what you think!
Loving: Chicago welcomed home the Stanley Cup yesterday and the city looked like an ocean of red and black! This girl did not make it downtown to the parade...too crazy and too sweaty.  BUT I am loving all of the Blackhawk Pride!
Thinking: 4th of July is coming and that means sparklers and fireworks! I think no matter what age you are, these are always fun.   :)
Wanting: Cannoli Dip = YUM-O! The recipe is super easy and is a crowd pleaser...the problem is that sometimes I don't wait for the crowd to get here before diving in!
Here is the simple recipe below:
 8oz. mascarpone cheese, 1/2 ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tb vanilla, 1 cup chocolate chips & chopped pistachios (if desired) Serve it in a bowl with broken Waffle Cones as your dippers.
Needing: Pretty self explanatory...but hey, it's summer!
Tips, tricks, or hints: Even though we're teachers and our minds really never stop thinking about school; it's important to take a little "ME" time now and then to help re-charge!
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out Farley and all of her friends to see what they're up to!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fotobabble Book Recommendations

I am thrilled to be linking up with Kristin at Teaching 1:1 for her new linky party series "Tuning into Technology!" This week the theme is integrating technology into reading, so I thought I'd share a fun activity my kiddos LOVED this past year....Fotobabble Book Recommendations!  During the past few months of school I was fortunate enough to have a classroom set of iPads (SOOOO excited to get them again next year)!!!  One of the fun apps we explored during this time was Fotobabble.  Fotobabble is free app that allows students to take a photo of an image and then record their voice as a narration.  As a fun alternative to "Writing About Reading" I had my students write their book recommendation and then create an audio recording of themselves.  Instead of compiling the book recommendations as a class book like I normally would, I posted the videos on my classroom website for viewing.  Students were ecstatic to listen to one another's book recommendations through their iPads as were parents who viewed from home.   Be sure to check out Kristin's linky party for other amazing ideas on incorporating technology into your reading block!

Click the video below to hear one of my former student's book recommendation. (I apologize for the background noise...we are always VERY busy in Room 2! hehe!)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bloglovin' It!

Hey 'yall! I just wanted to send out a little reminder about the end of the world the end of Google Reader coming up on July 1st.  The rumor is that no longer will I get updates about all of your amazing posts and you wont be updated about mine :( However, Tori at Tori's Teacher Tips has an amazing tutorial on how to add a Bloglovin button to your blog and how to follow all of your favorite blogs.  Sign-up is simple and painless- my blogging buddy and teaching friend Emily at First Grade Frenzy and I were able to do it while on the phone with one another! By clicking the image above you can follow me on Bloglovin- hope to see you there soon!!! Be sure to stop by Tori's to find new amazing blogs to follow!!!

Picture Book Linky: First Week of School

I'm excited to link up with DeAnne at First Grade and Fabulous for her weekly picture book party!  DeAnne is fueling my picture book addiction with all of her great book picks and my amazon book cart is quickly filling up! Yikes! Below I've listed a few books that I used with my class last year.  *Please excuse the pictures, my books are packed up, so the following images have been taken from*

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt was THE first book I read aloud to my class.  He's such an adorable little critter and makes the whole class giggle that we soon forgot how nervous we were that first day!  If you're not familiar with the story, Scaredy Squirrel is terrified of leaving his nut tree and has the same routine everyday.  Except, one day he accidently falls out of his nut tree and realizes being out into the 'unknown' isn't that scary and can be fun.  After reading the book we compared ourselves on the first day of school to Scaredy Squirrel.  Then we decided to "jump into the unknown" of third grade. 
I LOVE Scaredy Squirrel!!!
Another one of the first books I've read in the past is Mrs. Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't) by Barbara Bottner.  This story depicts a little girl who simply cannot find any books that she is interested in, despite her overly enthusiastic teacher.  The class laughs and cheers when the character finally finds a topic she is interested in reading about...warts.  It's a cute and fun story that gets us talking about Good Fit Books. 
I picked this up at a Scholastic Book Fair and fell in love with the hilarious illustrations.  The book was put together by a collection of amazing illustrators with a great sense of humor! Each page has a different location or scenario and manners.  My students' favorite page was the "It's Not Polite to Pick" page.  With rules like, don't pick your nose, don't pick your bellybutton lint, don't pick get the picture.  :)
Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear some of your favorite picture books for the beginning of the school year.  Be sure to check out DeAnne at First Grade and Fabulous!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Made It 6/24/13

I'm so excited to link up with Tara @ Fourth Grade Frolics, one of my favorite bloggers, with my new Monday Made It! I've drooled over some of the pennant buntings I've seen some teachers create and was DYING to make my own! I especially favor projects that don't require sewing :) I'm very much an 'undomesticated goddess' when it comes to that!

I picked up my supplies at JoAnn's: fabric, stitch witchery, and wide grosgrain ribbon.   First, I cut my fabric into triangles that measured 8 x 10 in. 
After cutting the fabric I iron my ribbon in half.  I then cut a piece of stitch witchery and sandwiched it in between the fabric and ribbon. 
I followed the stich witchery directions on placing the iron on top of the fabric for 30 seconds...and...voila!
Pennant bunting!!! I can't wait to hang this along the wall of windows in my classroom!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Terrific Target Finds!!!

 I love a a REAL lot.  Target is my equivalent of what Chuck-E-Cheese is to a five year old; it makes me deliriously happy, I run up and down the aisles playing with everything and when it's time to go home  I'm usually sick to my stomach by how much I've spent.  Please tell me I'm not alone in this!!!

So this Friday I visited my local Target and found some good finds for my classroom that I'm thrilled about!
First, I found this great canvas tote in the clearance section!!! I loved the teal & white tie-dye! I'm thinking of using it to help store my "Sitting Spots" which my students use during Read-to-Self Time. 
Next, I found these coupon holders in the dollar section.  I've seen these here numerous times before, but after reading A Cupcake for the Teacher's post on her new behavior management plan I was eager to pick these up!  I plan on using these accordion folders to hold my students "Smart Cookies" and Reward Coupons, which are part of my classroom behavior management plan.  Since the folders had so many pocket, I cut some of them out and then labeled each with a student number (gotta love a numbering system)!!! I'm brainstorming on where to store these, since space in my students' desks is very limited and I'd like to prevent these from being ruined.  Fingers crossed that these will last the year!!!
Lastly, I found a little somethin' somethin'  for the teacher! :) I picked up my new monthly calendar for next year from Blue Sky.  I LOVED mine from last year and was so excited to see the updated gray and white chevron pattern cover! AND my most exciting purchase....Essie's Tart Deco polish, a bright coral color that makes my fair skin almost look tan! Yahoo!!!
What are some of your favorite Target finds that you can't live without???

Friday, June 14, 2013

Where Do You Think You're Going??

            I've finally finished the magnet board I created my glitter magnets for and wanted to share! Man, I'm on a roll! ;) I'm linking up with Ladybug's Teacher Files and Fun in Room 4B's Optimum Organization Linky party!!!
As you know the classroom is very happening place with kids always coming and going to meet with different teachers all over the building. This poor girl couldn't keep her head straight! To help manage my kids schedule I used a card system this past year with library pockets. When students left the room, they put the index card with their name on it into the library pocket by the door. This then indicated to me who was out of the room. BUT, there were some issues...aren't there always?!? The paper pockets ripped and needed to be replaced often, the kids would lose the cards in their desks for forget to pick them out of the pockets. The system became too much stress for me...which is sooooo not ideal. 
              So, I've seen many of these types of magnet boards all over Pinterest created by teachers to help manage the issues I was having. Last week I created glitter magnets, which you can find in this post here. Students will be able to move their # magnet to their current location: restroom, office, ELL, etc. I also drew lines to mark where each magnet should be returned to, just to make sure they stay in numerical order and are nice and even. Confession: I can be a bit of a micromanager...#teacherproblems!!! I dolled it up with some leftover ribbon and glitter paper that is to die for!
              I'm SUPER excited to use my new magnet board this year! Do you use a system similar to this in your classroom? How has it worked for you? I'd love to get some feedback. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Made It 6/10/13

It's my first official Monday Made It!! I've been a huge fan of Tara's linky party over at 4th Grade Frolics and seeing all of the creative goodies people come up with and am excited to share mine this Monday. This week I've been a bit glitter obsessed, I'm mean I've always loved glitter, but I kicked it into overdrive this week :) This bag cracks me up and is on my wish list! Anyways, here is Monday Made It...this week I made some glitter magnets. I used some of those little gems with flat backs, Modge Podge, and glitter. I painted the back of each gem with Modge Podge and then sprinkled with glitter. After this layer dried I added another layer of Modge Podge on top to keep the glitter sealed in. Here they are looking pretty!!! I made two class sets of these gems. Once they were dried I got out my trusty hot glue gun and glued magnets onto the back. Then with a Sharpie I wrote my students' numbers on them. I'm hoping to make one of those neat magnet boards I've seen on Pinterest that indicate when students have left the room. After that project I continued with the glitter obsession by glittering some clothespins like I had seen on Pinterest and have been obsessed with! I think these will be a fun/glam way to display student work!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for more fun ideas!!!

Classroom Set-Up (Then & Now)

I'm excited to share link up with Kristin over at Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten and share my first and current classroom. My first room was a teeny tiny room that had once been used for storage, a counselor's office, and who knows what else! That year I worked with small groups of 3-4 students at a time providing literacy interventions for ELL students and at the time I LOVED my room! When I look at the pictures now I giggle at how little I had! Most of the room was made up of donations from the AMAZING kindergarten teachers there who I had done my student teaching with and my mom who had been spending her Scholastic points for the past 4 years on books to jumpstart my classroom library. LOVE THEM! This year my third grade classroom had a sweet shoppe theme and thanks to Pinterest, teaching blogs, and friends I was really happy with it!! First Year 2009-2010 My first little teacher desk AND...that's the rest of the room! Like I said, teeny-tiny! I didn't like the color of those shelves, but they were SO nice to have to store all of my the stuff that was donated to me. This Year 2012-2013 Classroom library ( I love those lanterns) CAFE Menu and some cute lollipops Word Work Station I really did love my classroom this year, but am excited to make some tweaks for next year! Thanks for checking out my room and be sure to head over to Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten to check out more transformations :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Yahoo! I've Arrived!


I've been so inspired by so many of the terrific teacher blogs out there, that I thought I'd try out my own!  Thanks for visiting and I hope you stay!

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade with this currently!

Listening: If you haven't heard of Alabama Shakes, then you NEED to check them out!  I just love her soulful voice :)
Loving: We've been having some crazy rainstorms here in Chicago area and I love falling asleep to the sound of the rain. 
Thinking: School is out...right?!? Then why is it my To Do list keeps on growing?? Oh well, I guess that's the life of a teacher!
Wanting: I'm DYING for a bonfire night with friends, something about sitting around a fire and talking while the stars are out just screams summer!
Needing: To relax in the warm sun....
3 Vacay Essentials: iPod, I for sure can't be anywhere without my tunes! Sunglasses, I wear them even on overcast days, otherwise I get a HUGE headache.  My eyes are slightly dramatic that way! :)  AND flip flops to show off my new pedi!