Monday, January 27, 2014

Pronoun Freebie and a Giveaway

Happy Monday, friends! I am keeping my fingers crossed for some time at school with my kiddos this week! I've had plenty of time off, so that means a new freebie for you! 
I needed a quick lesson to review pronouns with my kiddos and get some notes into their Interactive Notebooks, so I came up with this little freebie. You can click on the picture above or here to pick yours up. 

I'm helping Amy from Eclectic Educating celebrate 300 blog followers!!! Click the button below to go over to her page and enter. If you've not checked out her blog you don't know what you're missing!! Every post from Amy is full of great resources and activities I can use in my classroom!! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

ZipList Virtual Recipe Box, Meal Planner, and List Maker

With all the snow and cold weather we've had I've not been to school enough lately I went to school on Monday this week and that was it, so I don't really have any great educational insights for you (like I do anyway..haha), but I do have a pretty neat site to share with you called ZipList

It is an online recipe box, meal planner, and grocery list maker and it's FREE!!! It has made finding and trying new, healthy recipes so much easier! 

When you sign up for an account you just drag the recipe clipper to your bookmarks bar, then anytime you find a recipe you like you just click on the recipe clipper and, Ta-Da, you've got it forever! 

Here is a screen shot of me clipping from Allrecipes, but I mostly get my recipes from blogs and this is such much easier than pinning them all or printing them! 

Here is my ZipList recipe box and the new recipe I just added. When you hover over the picture it gives you the option to add it to your list and plan it as well. I've started using both these features and I love them! 

Here is my grocery list for the week. You can create a standard list that you can just add to each week, which I think is a great time saver. I shop each week, usually on Friday or Saturday, so I like that I can get a start on my list earlier in the week and not lose the paper it's written on! 

And you know there's an app for that!! Just tried this out for the first time last weekend and it was great. The list is broken down into sections, so I wasn't running all over the store because I'd forgotten cheese in the dairy section! 

ZipList does not know I exist, I just think it's a really neat site and app that is a great timesaver and who couldn't use a little extra time? 

How often do you shop? Daily, weekly, monthly? Some weeks I feel like I should just get a 2nd job at the grocery store because I'm there every day!! haha 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's Recess Time!!! {Trending Topics Linky}

I'm loving this new linky party from Jessica at Literacy Spark. Each week the topic is different and this week it is all about recess! I just knew I had to link up because some days I'm living for recess! haha 

Our recess is scheduled for us and is from 2:00 - 2:25 every day. Right after recess we have resource and then dismissal, so if I can make it until 2:00 every afternoon I am good to go! 

We have a very nice playground outside with a grassy area and a lot of playground equipment as well. If the weather is nice we are out! I am just wimpy and don't like the cold so it has to be in the 40's before I will go out. 

I do sometimes take 5-10 minutes of recess from students for their behavior throughout the day, but it has to be extreme circumstances for me to take more than that. By that point in the day they have had all their academic instruction and they need to move and get some of that energy out! 

Inside recess is not my favorite thing in the world, but I'm working on some things to make it better. We occasionally play board games, card games, and puzzles I have collected over the years. This year my kiddos love to watch movies, so we do that quite often. I have a subscription to Amazon Prime, so I stream videos on the SmartBoard. 

Episodes of Arthur seem to be the most popular right now. They are just the right length for our recess time and the kids are always very engaged. I'm happy with a little character education during recess! 

Last week we tried a very simple art project for recess and that went really well, so I think I'll try to find some more simple things we can complete over a day or two. 

I've started a Pinterest board of ideas for inside recess. If you'd like to take a look you can click on the image below! 

What is your recess like? Head over to Jessica's blog to link up and share! 

What is your favorite inside recess activity? 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Media Messages Lesson Ideas

Do you teach your students about media messages? Last year our SOLs (standards) changed and we had to include media messages into our Language Arts curriculum. The state wants our students to be able to categorize a message as auditory, visual, or written. In addition, students need to analyze the source, authorship, purpose, and intended audience of the message. 

As with anything new, resources are sometimes short so I thought I'd share a few resources I've found and one I created.

First up. I found this amazing site last year called Admongo and it is fabulous! Like the name suggests, this one focuses more on advertisements and I felt that is where my students needed the most teaching. After all, think about how many ways our students are exposed to advertising in a day and some of them are so subtle it is difficult them to even understand they are being the target of an advertisement. 

Both the teacher and student sides of this site are great! The student side is a very fun, interactive game where they look at and analyze different types of media. The teacher site has a lot of great lesson ideas. 

We read bits and pieces of this book, but it is definitely for the older crowd. There were a few things that were over my kids' heads, but still a resource worth mentioning! 

We also looked at a lot of advertisements I pulled from the internet and some funny commercials from youtube. It was a really fun couple of days! 

I always like to include some movement in my lessons, so we created some hand motions for the 3 different types of messages: 

Visual - use your hands to make "glasses" over your eyes
Auditory - cup your hand behind your year
Written - fold your hands out like a book and "read" 

I also created a foldable for our interactive notebooks and a quiz for my students. You can click here to see it in my TPT store. 

I left the front of the foldable blank so the kiddos could add their own drawings in and they came up with some really creative stuff! 

And here we are working on the quiz. Even though I labeled it a quiz, I let them reference their notebooks because this is such a new concept. 

Do you teach media messages? What are some of your favorite resources? 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dictionary Skills and a Sweet Freebie {Five for Friday}

What a whirlwind week it has been! We had a snow day on Wednesday and a 2 hour delay yesterday and today. We've also been trying to use 22 or so computers to give all 64 of our students a math benchmark test, so needless to say it has been a cRaZy week!! Like always, I didn't get to everything I planned this week, so our schedule is looking pretty packed next week. 
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some randomness from the week. 

Hello my name is Courtney and I'm addicted to Instagram!!! This little bit of inspirational goodness came from Holly Switzer at just the right time this week. I love getting glimpses into classrooms and seeing fantastic work from students! It has really been very motivating for me and I can't get enough. If you've caught the bug too you can follow me at polkadotlessonplans.

Do You Want to Build a Snowman has become a  favorite little brain break in my class. Confession: I want to listen just as much as the kids! The songs from this movie were just incredible! 

As part of our word reference study we labeled this dictionary entry in our notebooks. I'll be honest here, I'm up in the air about this activity. On one hand I'm thinking it may have been a little too time intensive, but on the other it was a great way to sneak in a lesson on diagrams and labels! 

In all the dictionary talk, we've been working on guide words and determining which words would belong on a page with certain guide words. We needed more practice, a lot more practice, so I made this little worksheet. You can click on the picture to pick this up this FREEBIE with an answer key! Woot woot! 

On Wednesday I took some time to work on lesson plans and I had a little Ladybug helper. I just love this picture of her. At the rate we are going with snow and scheduling I'll be doing those plans in two weeks....haha!! Anyone else over plan? 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Organizing Guided Reading Using a Thirty-One Round-About Caddy {Tried it Tuesday}

Anybody else think it should be Friday already?!  

We are expecting 2-6 inches of snow tonight, so it looks like I may get a little nap in tomorrow! Anyway, I wanted to stop in and link up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for an organizing tip. 

I recently bought a Round About Caddy from Thirty-One. As soon as I saw it in the catalog I knew it would be perfect for using in the classroom. 

I decided to use it to add a little extra organization to my guided reading area. There never seems to be enough room for all the supplies we need and sometimes those supplies need to be portable, so this was the perfect solution! 

There are two of these narrow pockets on each side of the tote. They are perfect for holding a couple pairs of scissors each!

The bigger mesh pocket on the outside is perfect for highlighters. 

The inside is perfect for holding glue bottoms and collecting trash during cutting and gluing activities. 

Do you have a round about caddy? How do you use yours? 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Celebrating 400 Followers with a Freebie for Everyone!!

This past week I reached a blogging milestone - 400 followers! I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful teachers actually want to read my blog! I had to celebrate in some way, so I decided a freebie was in order. 
This is my newest product and it will be free until 8:00 Monday morning! 

Don't worry, even if you don't use Interactive Notebooks you can still use this activity as a sort! 

We did this in class yesterday as a little review. Here are a few pics so you can get an idea of what it's all about! 

There are winter words on the cards that students sort into three categories: noun, verb, or adjective. 

After we checked over everything together, the kiddos used the words to create sentences. 

Then they created a color code and labeled the nouns, verbs, and adjectives in their sentences! It was a pretty fun activity and made for a great little assessment. 

You can click the product picture at the beginning of the post or click here to go to my TPT and pick up your freebie. Be sure to leave me some feedback love if you like the product! 

Thanks again for following my blog! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Getting Back in the Swing of Things {Five for Friday}

Even though I only worked 3 days this week and just 2 of those with the kids, I'm glad it's Friday! I took a 2 hour nap last night when I got home and then was in bed asleep by 11:30 - yikes!! I'm going to have a tough time getting my sleeping schedule adjusted. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share some randomness from my week. 

We eased back into the routine on Thursday with these foldables from The Applicious Teacher. The kids loved it and they did such a great job on them!!

I reached 400 followers this week!! WOW!!! Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read! 

Have you tried Post-It Tape?! I'm in love!! Hubby tucked this in my stocking and I've been itching to use it! 

This afternoon I used it to prep for a graffiti activity on Monday morning and I was really impressed with how well it stuck to different surfaces. This picture shows it stuck to the chalkboard, a cinder block wall, and a smooth cabinet front! The possibilities for this stuff are endless!! 

I am a serial phone case buyer. No matter how new my current case is I'm always looking at them in stores! I'm horrible! I made this one on Shutterfly and just got it in this week. I <3 it!! This is one I think I may be able to stick with for a while. 

I'm hooked on Jamberry Nail Wraps!! This was my second attempt at doing my nails with them. After doing some research, this time went much better than the first. I've had these wraps on since Tuesday night and have scrubbed my bathrooms with them and they still look like the day I put them on!! The set I have on my toes has been on for 4 weeks and they still look amazing!! I'm sold! 

So what have you been up to this week? Snowed in or enjoying some sun and fun with your kiddos? 

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