Thursday, August 22, 2013

What have I been up to???

I have been away for a long time.  Not literally away, but away from the blogging world.  I have been very busy in my education life and in my home life.  My dad came to good old Maryland for a visit (in fact he is next to me right now)!  I have so enjoyed having him and taking a few more days of vacation before heading back to school.  Prior to that, I worked on a number of posters for my classroom.  I started by making posters with cute backgrounds from Run Miss Nelson's Got the Camera.  I made posters with a chevron background, but then I realized that my bulletin board fabric was chevron.  Then I made the same posters with the crazy dot background, but even that looked too busy on the chevron fabric.  So I settled on a lime green and black background with white letters.  I think it will look great!  You can check them out here:  Six Traits of Writing Posters.

Here's a preview:

What do you think??  

I will also be posting my chevron and dot posters for sale on TpT, but I don't have them quite ready.  If you're interested, like my store and get updated when they are added!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Made It- Planning, Common Core, and Freebie

As promised, here is my Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics.  

1.   The "Write" Stuff resource sheet.  You can find this on TeachersPayTeachers as a freebie by clicking the link.  Here is a quick preview.  This is linking back to my post about fun fonts.  I love the look of these two fonts.  You can read more about the fonts I chose in this post.  If you like the fonts, you can click on the link in my sidebar for free scrapbook fonts by Kevin and Amanda.  I still need to finish the resource sheet for my seventh graders, but when it is finished I will also post that as a freebie on TpT.  If you want an editable version of this resource sheet just request it and I'll send it by email.  This is very specific for my class and the papers that we are writing throughout the year.  Also, the 6 trait resource sheet that is referenced is not yet made.  : ) 

2.  I made my plan book today.  I still need to figure out how to cover it because I'm using an old binder.  I think I'm going to try and find some colorful (or chevron!) duct tape to make it fun.  I really liked the plan book that Lauren made (check it out at her blog-Life in Middle School), but in order for it to really fit my needs I had to make a few changes.  I used hers as a template and made my own.  I used GoogleDocs, which was a little tricky, but it was what was available.  Here is a preview and it can also be found at this link.   I decided to include an objective for each area that I want to cover.  Even if I am only doing a small activity for Wordly Wise or for grammar, it will help me to ensure that I am balancing all the areas that I need to teach.

When I started to copy my plan book I realized that there is not a ton of room in these boxes.  I teach seventh and eighth grade so I decided to copy the pages twice for each week.  I think I will like this better than the traditional plan books that include the class periods of the day.  This spread is seventh grade for one week, and when you turn the page it looks exactly the same, but it will be for eighth grade.  I love how having new resources brings excitement to things like planning!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Snapshots-A week in the life

Wow, two posts in one day.  I know, you're all as thrilled as I am.  I decided to link up to Saturday Snapshots today because I have been collecting a lot of fun pictures recently.  This is my very first Saturday Snapshots, and I am really hoping that my iPhone photos look alright.  

Here it goes...

Home and Personal Stuff

 I loved the look of the birds on the roof of my neighbors home.  Can you see them?  You might have to squint.  

I made these curtains for our guest room!  This is my first (and perhaps last) sewing project.  They are also fully lined to keep out the heat and sunlight.  Unfortunately, I already bought the fabric for the office, so I'm on the hook for a few more curtains.  I want to finish those this week so I can put away my hideous sewing table.  

Can you think of anything better for a forty-five minute commute.  I just got these two books from the library today.  I love chick lit!

At the Beach

My mom and I went to Florida for the beach wedding of a long time friend.  The pictures are actually in reverse order.  The wedding was on Saturday at Mexico Beach, and then we went to Panama City Beach on Sunday.  

This is the partial beach view from our room at the Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort.  We were in the lazy river for most of the time, but there are no pictures of that because we were in the water! 

These are from the Luau.  They have this special entertainment every Sunday and Wednesday.  

Beach Wedding

First Dance

 The view from our hotel in Mexico Beach.  

Short and Sweet Saturday-Fonts

           I'm linking up with Miss McDonald's Memoirs for Short and Sweet Saturday.  This is the perfect opportunity to talk about a new favorite of mine...FONTS!  I am new on the font train and I'm giddy about the resource sheet that I made this week.  Stay tuned because it will be posted for Made it Monday.  I found the most amazing font website-  There is so much to love about this website: recipes, life stories, and FREE FONTS!!  Gotta love free fonts, and they're even available for commercial use, just follow these terms of use.  So far I'm using monster paparazzi and wish I were taller.  I have combine these two for a cohesive title for my Common Core resource sheet (check back Monday) and used wish I were taller throughout for headings.  Ahhh, I am so excited about fonts!  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Best Google Keywords

I just found a very exciting blog post.  I have been searching some Google resources and this post was linked to on one of the pages: 12 Best Google Keywords for Finding Classroom Resources.  I am a self proclaimed "bad searcher" on the Internet.  In fact, I often make my husband create my searches because I think I will get better results that way.  I think this archived blog post could change all that.  Now, I haven't tried any of these words yet, but I am very excited to!  I think that they will help make searching much more successful.  Here is a sneak peak of the keywords, but make sure to read the full blog post by clicking the link above!


                              Discussion Questions

                                                      Practice Exercises 


                                                 Internet Scavenger Hunt

                                     Lesson Plans


                                                     Reader's Theater(e)



Worksheet or Handout



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Throw Down- Making Learning More Interactive

I am excited to join in on I'm Lovin' Lit's linky party this week.  In a way this could also be a "Throw Back Thursday" post.  I have really enjoyed reading all of the ideas in this linky party, and I have added a lot to my list of new ideas to try this year.
I have a few things that I do to make learning interactive for my students.  One of my go to places for strategies and lessons is the AVID handbook.   I no longer teach in an "AVID" school, but I went to the workshop before I left that school and I continue to use all of the fun resources.  AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and you can find out more about it here.  One of these ideas was showcased in my very first blog post.  Here is an excerpt from that post, originally posted on November 21, 2012. 

My most recent project with my seventh graders was the Theme One Pager.  This AVID technique is a very succinct way to sum up a novel.  The students need to pick a scene from the novel that represents one of the themes of the book.  The picture should take up the majority of the page, with as little white space as possible.  On top of the picture students need to put two quotes that support their theme, a paragraph explaining the theme and the connection to the quotes, and a personal reflection.   We had finished reading The Giver, by Lois Lowry, so some of my students chose a black and white color scheme to represent the colorless world that Jonas lives in.  The students were encouraged to do a rough draft first and then put it onto a plain sheet of printer paper (white or colored).  This took us about three days in class, and then students needed to finish it at home if they didn't finish it in class.