Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Disclosure & Copyright

Disclosure and copyright information

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Look at this handsome fellow!

Just had to share my oh so sweet little man!  He's my model for my love of photography :)

I just love him!

This is who I get to spend ALL summer with... I'm one lucky mama!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Littlest Learners Linky Party

Littlest Learners is having linky party about summer to-do lists.  I am actually leaving next Saturday {1 week!!} to go to Destin, FL.  So, my to-do list for next week alone is pretty lengthy.  Get packed for the beach, get a pedicure, get my oil changed, get my SUV washed and detailed, and other minor things.  I do have some major things happening over the summer.  I am taking two classes for my gifted endorsement this summer which I will start the day I get back from the beach.  I also have a week-long Marilyn Burns workshop at the end of this month, and an Infinite Campus training at the end of July.  Today I actually got around to putting my winter clothes away and just having my summer out.  I have always had all my clothes in my closet at the same time.... why??  My closet is now so wonderful!  I really wish I would have started that a while ago.  The major thing I plan to do this summer is plan my first 20 days of guided math for when school returns.  I went to fabulous workshop and I'm just now getting into the details.... it is sooo wonderful!  I have also bought several professional development books I am currently reading.  I'm hoping to finish at least two before school start backs.  This will be interesting since I will already be in two classes.  One last to-do that I'm SUPER excited about is to build a deck.  That will be really nice.  Sorry, this is the last--- And hopefully, we can fulfill our plans to get pregnant with baby #2.  We've been trying for 6 months so I'm ready :)  I'm really not going to worry about anything this summer.  I plan on spending many, many days by the pool!

I know this is long, but sometimes it's nice to talk about non-teaching related things!
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Last Night to Download Math Activites for Measurement for {FREE}

Hi everyone!  It's fixed.  I got my TpT download to work correctly!  Thanks for being patient with me.  You can get it FREE until Tuesday, May 24th by clicking {HERE}.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!
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Post-Planning Day #2

With all my yearly preparations finished, I'm starting to work on some things for next school year!  Today I organized my homework and weekly assessments.  This summer I am going to purchase a black file box with compartments on top.  Until I get it I am using this crate.  It works great, but after I get everything in it I think I will need more room.  I also want the file box so I can carry things back and forth to the copy room.

I'm using this....
But I want this :)
Lastly, I created a planning sheet for me to use next year with my kiddos.  My schedule is really crazy and detailed since I use Guided Math in my classroom.  Every minute counts.  Here's the planning sheet if you're interested.  Comment me with your email address if you would like it in .doc format for changing!  I've thought about making customized ones and selling them... what do you all think??

 There's not much in it..... yet.  I haven't gotten that far.  Maybe that will be Post-Planning Day #3??

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Post-Planning.... Day #1

Well, one day down... four more to go!  Today during post-planning I actually got a lot done!  I cleaned out my two very large cabinets {before & after photos coming soon}, totally re-organized them, threw out a huge rolling garbage can full of junk that was stowed away somewhere in my room, got all things on the counter so my floors could be cleaned, and still managed to label a few things.  Really... I have no idea what I'm going to do for the next four days!  All I have left to do is pack my computer... and that ain't going until it's time to walk out the door Friday afternoon :)  Maybe I can find something to organize.  I think tomorrow will be a laminating and copying day.  Gotta use those copies up this year so I can save the ones for next year :)
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Something Totally UN-teaching Related!

Getting to Know You Sundays

1. what's your favorite rainy day activity?
2. what time do you go to bed?
Around 10pm
3. how many magazines do you subscribe to?
1- All You Magazine {for the coupons}
4. did you sell all your belongings because you thought the world was ending yesterday?
No, I prayed for those who believed it!
5. what's your beauty obsession?
My skin.  I'm never happy about it... but Clinique has helped me LIKE it :)
6. if you could only wear one designer/brand for the rest of your life...what would it be?
Vera Bradley.... that counts, right??
7. what's your summer must have?
My pool!
8. do you make weekly dinner menus?
Yes, I do!  It saves time, money, and my sanity!

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Math Games with Playing Cards

Hey!  I just wanted to check out embedding a document in my post.... YAY!  It looks like it worked :)  Here are some math games you can play with playing cards.  I think the dollar store has decks of cards for $1.  I just went and stocked up because my students sure love these games :)

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Math Games & Activities

As I was 'blog-stalking' I realized that a lot of people use Everyday Mathematics.... and a lot do not!  I do not.  We use Math Expressions.  However, when I student taught 5 years ago, my cooperative teacher used EM in her classroom and I loved it.  Many were asking how to get the EM math games.  Well, I found a link that has a FEW.... not many.  You can access it by clicking {HERE}.   While I was looking around, I also found another WONDERFUL link that has a lot of activities you can access by standard.  There are a lot of wonderful ideas here that you can use in your classroom.  You can reach it by clicking {HERE}.

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Goodbye Mrs. Thornton's Class of 2011!

Yesterday was bittersweet for me.  I said "good-bye" to some of the most adorable students.  This year was so challenging!  We had students from all walks of life.  Not to mention the adversities these students faced everyday outside of school.  We {the 4th grade team} all loved these kids and they knew it!  I just cried all day yesterday.  Never in my teaching life have I had 9 &10 year old tough boys cry because they didn't want the school year to be over.  It was by far the saddest farewell I've ever taken part in.  It really bothers me because I worry if these precious kids will get food, love, and attention over the summer.

God, be with these precious fragile children as they are at home this summer.  Place someone in their lives that will love them, care for them, and feed them.  In Jesus name...  ~Amen

On a happier note- we all made tie-dye t-shirts and they were oh so cute!  We ALL wore them Thursday :)

Did any of you have a difficult time or do you think you will have a difficult time telling your babies good bye?
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Fifty Followers Giveaway!

Hey ya'll!  I wanted to remind you of my Fifty Followers Giveaway!  There are several different ways to get an entry.  Please make sure you comment and post to my original post {HERE}.  I'm giving away a $10 Amazon giftcard.  I was giving away a card game pack.... but, I thought the $10 giftcard would be better and more would want it :)  PLEASE remember that you must comment on my original link.  Simply following my blog will not get you an entry.  

Here are the ways you can get an entry:

1. Follow my blog and leave me a comment on my original post stating so.
2. Mention my giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment with the link.
3. Follow my TpT store and leave me a comment stating you do.

I will have a winner when I reach 50 followers!  I'm over halfway there!!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Back To School

So... I'm working on something super cute for back to school!  The best thing is that it can be used for ANY grade!  What is it??  I'll give you a hint.  It's a glyph {with a graph component} and the title is Getting to Know You.  Can't wait to share :)  I'm hoping to have it finished by Thursday.... fingers crossed!
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Math Activities for Measurement

I was just informed that my Math Activities for Measurement on my TpT store is missing a few pages.  They are all here on my computer so I'm not sure what's happening.  Don't fret!  I'm getting it fixed tomorrow.  Due to this, I will run my freebie special until next Tuesday, May 24th.  I will post when it is ready for download tomorrow.

So sorry about this!

Also- I JUST found out that someone had sent my a message on TpT on APRIL 25th!  I had no idea!  Has this ever happened to anyone before?
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

How do you get the scrolling pages within your blog?

Hey ya'll.  Maybe I'm crazy, but I was wondering how in the world you get the scrolling pages from google docs within your blog?  These look great, and I'm wanting to use them in mine.  Any help would be appreciated!
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Math Activities for Measurement

YAY!  I did it!  I got around to uploading my math activities for measurement to my TpT store.  You can get it by clicking {HERE}.  Get it while it's FREE!  It is free until Sunday, May 22nd.  After that it will $3.00.  Don't forget to leave feedback!  Thank ya'll :)
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Math Log

At the beginning of this school year, I was sitting in class with nine students who didn't pass our state test (CRCT) last year and none of the students were fluent with their multiplication facts... none!  To be in 4th grade and not know what 3x4 equals is pretty sad.  It got me really thinking.  How in the world was I going to get these students to study their math facts at home?  Sure I could tell them, but would they really do it?  Probably not!  That's when I got the fantastic idea to create a math log for my students.  When I taught 5th grade reading, my students were required to keep a reading log and turn it in at the end of the week for a grade.  That's what I decided to do for my math students.  I went to an online website {I used www.multiplication.com} and printed the flash cards on cardstock.  I printed them 2-sided so I could have the problem on one side and the answer on the other.  I printed and cut these out for each child.  I then put them in a plastic sandwich bag and placed a label on the bag with each child's name.  So, each child was able to take home a brand new set of flash cards!  It was cost effective and easy!  Here's what my math log looks like.
Students are required to study for at least 10 minutes each night.  The log is due on Fridays and I take it for a grade.  This is great because it really gives me an idea of what kids do their homework.  Most of the time, the students who don't do this homework are the ones who don't know their multiplication facts.  It was amazing this year at how well the students got with their facts.  I am sooo using this again next year and every year after!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Update & Measurement

Well, it has been a VERY interesting week!  Last Thursday my little man tested positive for strep.  On Friday, he still wasn't feeling better.  He slept all day and just wasn't himself.  On Saturday, he had some swelling in his neck that eventually developed a rash.  So... I took him to the ER Saturday afternoon and we just got home this past Wednesday!  He had developed a severe infection in his neck.  Right now, I am limited to time {and still out of work} because I have to give him antibiotics through his IV seven times a day!  Poor baby :(  Anyways, I've been out of my classroom since last Thursday, and I honestly haven't had much time to do anything!

I have, however, squeezed in a few minutes here and there to complete a measurement packet that includes 14 math tub/station/center activities that were adapted from some Marilyn Burns' activities.  It includes weighing, measuring, area, and perimeter.  Here's a sneak peek!  I plan on uploading it to TpT tomorrow {hopefully}.  I will have it FREE for the first week!  I'll post when I have it ready to download :)  After the first week, I will have it on TpT for only $4.  I am planning on making more packets similar to this one.  Stay tuned!

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Math Vocabulary Cards

Good Morning!  Hope everyone is having a super Mother's Day weekend.  My poor little guy has been in bed since Thursday evening with strep.  It's so sad to see your babies sick. 

Anyways... I had a couple of people comment on my math word wall (actually a closet door) in my classroom.  This is something that my county has pulled together for teachers to use in their classrooms.  I'm pretty sure they did not create the cards, but got them from somewhere.  So, my county has a math section that anyone can visit { here }.  This will link you to the vocabulary cards we use for grades K-5.  There were a few extras that were added at the beginning of the school year, but I don't think those are included.  I will try to find them somewhere!  I have included a picture below of my word wall.  Please know that the most important thing when working with a word wall is to actually talk about the words... TOGETHER!  So many teachers have them in their room, and they look great!  But, many times we fail to use the words in our everyday math language.  My students and I referred to these words several times throughout the day.  Often, they would look to the wall for help when I encouraged them to use math talk.

I used the small pocket chart on the right to place the words we were working on at the time.  After we were finished with the unit, we would then tape them to the closet doors.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Design... How Lovely!

Isn't this just so A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!  I am soooo loving my new blog design!  Thanks so much Erin from Ink Obsession Designs!  Erin is wonderful and truly has a one-of-a-kind style.  Go check out what she has to offer at such great prices.  So glad I found her :)

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Froggy Cupcakes Giveaway

Froggy Cupcakes is giving an aweseome $15 gift certificate to Amazon.com.... WOW!  If you are interested in getting in on the action, click here and you will be directed to her post :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Performance Tasks

Something I am looking forward to next year (especially in science) is implementing performance tasks in the place of assessments on a regular basis. 
o Do I think students should only receive assessments in the form of a Performance Task?  No.
o Why?  Because students will still be required to pass the CRCT in science and should be exposed to those types of questions. 

But.... one grand idea is to offer a quiz in multiple choice format and the unit test as performance task format.  Another awesome thing about performance tasks is that they can be with any subject, any grade level.  On Monday, my students and I came together to create a rubric that I will use to grade the performance task.  This (sadly) was the first time the students and I had created an entire rubric together.  They loved it and so did I!  I like it because the students know exactly what I'm looking for because they are the ones who made it up :)  How clever!  It went really well, and today the students started the performance task. 

o Do I think it's worth the entire class period to let students create the rubric as a class?  You betcha!  Every second!

Here are some pics I took today while the students were working.

Our class rubric.  I leave it up so students can look at it.

I'm not sure if you can see, but at the bottom of the rubric we came up with a key to help them determine their grade.  The first column is 1 star which represents Does Not Meet.  The middle column are two stars which represents Meets.  The third and last column are three stars which represents Exceeds. 
Here is what that all means and what grade they will get.  We also came up with this together.
o If students get 5- three stars (exceeds) they will receive a 100.
o If students get 3 or 4- three stars (exceeds) they will receive a 90.
o If students get 5- two stars (meets) they will receive an 80.
o I students get 3 or 4- two starts (meets) they will receive a 70.
o If students get 3+ one stars (does not meet) they will receive a 60.

Illustration Component

Writing component of rubric.

o Do you use performance tasks in your classroom?  Next year, we are going to use Exemplars as our math performance tasks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

iPod.... Touch

Okay, so I was super excited this past Christmas when I got an iPod touch.  I always wanted one because I thought I would listen to sooo much music on it.... yeah right!  I rarely use it.  So, I didn't use it that often for listening to music (who has time?) and was seriously thinking about selling it since I am getting an iPhone in the near future.  I was planning on using the money to buy a Flip camera for my classroom.  Well, in the past I had difficulties getting my email to work from my iPod.  I have WiFi at home and I was really wanting it to work!  Tonight, I sat and watched videos on youtube.com and... I GOT IT TO WORK!  I'm sooo loving my iPod.  It's great for in the classroom because it's small, compact, and takes decent pictures and video.  This afternoon before I left, I snapped several pictures of things I'm working on (Hence the baskets in the previous post!!).  With email working, I can now send pictures to my school email and use those in my blog posts :)  What a great tool to use in my classroom!  I'm so glad I don't have to lug my huge at-home camera along and then sort through the millions of pictures to finally get the one I want to use.

I'm just super excited and wanted to share my excitement with my fellow bloggies :)  I'm still learning what all my iPod can do.... it sure is an amazing gadget!

I'm eager to know.... do any of you use the iPod Touch in your classroom?  What are some ways you use it?  I'm interested to read your comments :)

Basket Steal!!!!! Ok, It's really a deal :)

Check out these baskets I purchased at Wal-Mart over the weekend.  The actual retail price for these puppies is $90.  I got them all for only $22.50!!  WOW!  That's a bargain!  I'm looking forward to using them in my classroom to get even more organized than what I already am.  I'm not completely sure what I'm going to do with all eighteen of them..... but I'm sure I'll find something :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rachel.... My Contest Winner!

Congratulations Rachel for being my random.org winner!  Message me your email address and I will send you ALL of my TpT items.... for FREE!  If anyone would like to team up for a giveaway let me know.  I'm working on some new things that I will have completed soon :) 

I went camping this weekend for a much needed mini-vacay..... it was sooo lovely!