Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Made It - July 25

I'm so excited to have something to share this week for Monday Made It!!   I'm linking up with 4th grade Frolics for this week's Monday Made it!

This past week, a coworker and I took some time to work on shirts for school.  I think we will be some of the best dressed teachers there...well if t-shirts count as best dressed!

I love that these are a baseball look.  We borrowed this idea from a Pinterest design we had found. 

This is easily one of my favorites!  So.much.glitter!  We purchased the design from Etsy here.  It was so easy to make!  

I had a bit of vinyl left over from an order that I had and my coworker found a great use for it.  These three pictures are all made with iridescent vinyl.  So cool!

My absolute favorite shirt is one that I designed and one that is FULL of glitter!  We will be wearing these to Meet and Greet.  I just love the way it turned out!  The pictures really don't show how much sparkle we have on there!

Lastly we made a navy blue shirt with our names on the front.  

For the back we used a design we found on Etsy.  If you like it you can purchase it here.


Today I spent most of the day back in my room working on cleaning and decorating.  It's really coming together and that's a good thing because I start two weeks from today!  Where, oh where, did my summer go?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Our first Tinker Crate

Earlier this summer in the middle of my Facebook feed, there was an ad for Tinker Crate.   I had no idea what that was but it piqued my curiosity enough for me to visit their webpage.  They offer many different types of creative kits such as doodle kits and themed kits perfect for kids of all ages.  I chose to use a coupon I had at the time and order the Tinker Crate for my boys, ages 14 and 10.  

Our box came in and we were so excited with our first project.  A rubber band race car was perfect for us!  

The car's parts are made of wood, foam and paper.  I was a bit disappointed about the paper body for the car but it suggests that artistic children can decorate the white side if they wish too so I would understand why it was left as paper.  

The directions were VERY kid friendly and easy to follow.  It included many pictures and lots of tips/hints as to exactly what to do to make the original car model.  My 14 year old (shown above) had no trouble with the construction of his parts while my 10 year old was a bit more clumsy with his pieces and needed me to help him some.  

He was giggling because the wheel grips (a sticky felt string) that he was trying to put on kept popping off and hitting him.  As you can see from the large wheel in the picture above, the pieces in this kit are a nice size.  

Oh excuse that blurry picture!  I was chasing kid and car! first our car didn't go very far and my 10 year old declared it a "slow car" so we sat and had a discussion as to why our car didn't move like we wanted.  I asked him what powered our car and he knew it was the rubber band.  We discussed ways to make our car go farther and he worked his way to figuring out that the tighter the rubber band, the further our car would go. (Yes, that was in the directions as well but I figured I would let him discover it.)

Quick video of our car.....excuse my living room!

Here is our finished for now car.  We plan to experiment with it later to see if the length of the car or the size of the wheels make any difference in the speed of the car.  

Overall, this was a great kit.  My kids learned a lot and were able to completely build the car together.  We were definitely pleased with our first Tinker Crate!

If you would like to try out a Tinker Crate or any of their other crates and would like to get $10 off, click here to use a coupon!  

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Made It - July 11

Ya'll!!!  Summer is flying by!!  It's already the middle of July and I'm just now able to finally participate in Monday Made It!

Today I'm teaming up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!

I love reading about other people's Monday Made It projects but I very seldom have stuff to share.   However, this week I made three things!!! 

Last year, around March, one of my sweet little ones was playing with my clipboard and seeing just how far she could bend my plastic clipboard.  You see where this is going right?  Yep she snapped that sucker right in half.   For the rest of the year we had a boring clipboard.  ** Insert sad face**  

Yesterday I used my Silhouette to create this beauty!!!  It's made of wood so that hopefully it will hold up better than the last one!  

In the town next to mine, there is a small local craft store.  Every month they offer crafting classes on different nights, kind of like Painting with a Twist but more of Crafting with a Twist.  This month's class was to make a crayon and chalkboard door hanger.  Well, of course, every teacher needs one of those! 

So I gathered up a coworker and off we went.  We enjoyed a dinner at Olive Garden and then headed off to our craft night.  

This isn't my finished project though as I am changing the ribbon to a red and burlap combo to match my room.  I also have an apple to add to the bottom.  I'll be sure to share the finished one when I'm done.  OH and it's NOT going anywhere near my door.  Remember my clipboard?!?  Can you imagine what they would do with colors?

Lastly, I needed a quick way to label my popsicle stick buckets.  Since I teach three classes, I have three different sets of sticks to use to call on students.  I did have the buckets color coded which worked great for me but I wanted to add a little something extra to them.  

So this afternoon I cut out the teacher initials for each class I teach and put them on the buckets.  I think they look great!  

Although this isn't really a "made it", I did go work in my classroom today!  I was able to get my desks set up and my computer plugged in.  I began to organize my supplies and books again.  By the time I left, I really felt good about it all.....much better than when I started.

Our students start one month from tomorrow!!!  Whew, one month of summer vacation left.  I have a lot left to do in that month!  Hope you are having a great summer!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Five for Friday 07/01

So I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my first ever Five For Friday!  

1.  I've worked our VBS (KidWeek) this week and whew, am I exhausted!!!  The kiddos in my group were amazing and we had a wonderful week but it's summer ya'll and I was kinda glad it was Friday!  lol....back to sleeping late and staying in pjs all day!

Since I don't have permission to share the kids' faces and all of the pics of my kids have other kids in them, I'll share this cute picture of our GIANT Candyland board game that we played one day to review our lesson.  They had made it with sheets of construction paper and large cardboard cutouts of the game pieces.  SO NEAT!

2.  My oldest son (14) and I have become addicted to BreakoutEDU games online!  We love to work the puzzles together and it gives us something to do to spend time together!  Some of them are so hard but we did beat the aliens a couple of nights ago and received this certificate!

3. This summer, I've been taking LOADS of tech classes to earn points for my classroom.  In our district, they allow us to earn points that we are able to trade in for technology to put into our classrooms!!  It's such a great idea!!  I hope to be 1:1 by the beginning of the school year!  Each student will have their own iPad and I can't wait to learn how to incorporate them into our classroom!

4.  I'm quite an animal lover and last week we found a litter of six wild kittens in our backyard.  Each evening when it cools off we go out back to feed them and try to tame them.  They are at the point where they will allow us to touch them until they realize that we are touching them.  Then they hiss and run.  lol.....we will keep working on it.  

Here's my favorite little guy and his ridiculously long ear hair!

5.  Another thing I've become obsessed with this summer is QR codes!  I love the idea of a QR code scavenger hunt as a station in my room during student choice time.  I would ideally like to have a different QR code scavenger hunt each week of the year that matches our lesson of the week.

So far, I have created three of these scavenger hunts.  

If you want to try out a QR code hunt for free, click on the rounding hunt above and you can try it out!

All of my other QR code hunts are only $1!  You can find them by clicking on the product cover.  

I hope you are having a great summer and that you have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Did you know........

There are some great Youtube videos out there for use in our classrooms BUT.....if your district is like mine, Youtube is blocked and sometimes for good reason.   Ya'll, some of those ads that come up on the videos I want to watch are NOT kid appropriate!  

Thanks Google Images for this cutie!
Since I can't show Youtube via the website in my classroom, I have found a work around in order to be able to show those great tutorials and videos while being totally compliant with my district.  

First, I go to Youtube and find the video I want to show.  Watch the whole thing so that I know that NOTHING bad happens in the video.   Then, go to the toolbar and type ss right before the word youtube.  For example, say I want to show my students this adorable remake of Uptown Funk to my kids that is located at  -  so in the web address bar at the top I would type ss in front of youtube so that it looks like .  After typing it, hit enter and it will take you to a page where you can download the Youtube video you watched and you will be able to show it to your students without using the website.  Also, this keeps the ads and other words from appearing during the video that your students watch.  

That is a lifesaver at school but at home quite often my sons scour Youtube for video game walkthroughs and videos of their favorite Youtubers.  There is so much junk out there that I don't necessarily want them to see so I have been searching for a way to block a lot of the "junk" that they are not looking for.  For Google chrome users, there are two extensions that help tremendously with this.

First, I enabled Adblock for Youtube.  Now I can watch all the videos I want and I don't have to sit through crazy ads for each one.  Second, DF Youtube (Distraction Free) helps to remove the sidebars on Youtube that sometimes contain the questionable content you don't really want to see.

I know I didn't have many pictures in this post but I do hope that these tips help you!  Let me know if you use them!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

So....what's new?

So what's new?  New blog look, new tech toys to play with, new double-digit kid at my house and new product for my TPT store!!

I've been slowly working on updating and changing my blog for quite some time now but today I finally finished the majority of it and was brave enough to hit save!  I think it looks very patriotic and I love the nautical theme.  (If only decorating my classroom were this easy.....)  Anyways, I hope you enjoy the new look.

On Tuesday, we had a tech session where we were able to play with the toys.  There are SOOOO many things that I want for my classroom and our STEM club but these are a couple of my favorite ones! 

Osmo Coding is such a neat program!  Do you have an Osmo in your classroom?  I was blessed enough to get one this year for #bestschooldayever through DonorsChoose.  My students LOVE it and it's a station that always has someone in it.  

Since Osmo Coding is brand new, it wasn't included in my kit so this is a new wishlist item.  You use the pieces shown in the box above to tell the adorable bear how to get the strawberries.  Click on the word Osmo above to check out all of the games that come with the kit!

One of the other items on my wishlist is a Sphero!  These little guys are so cool!  I love how you have missions to complete while moving the sphero around the room.  I was surprised at how durable the Sphero was and that it actually asked me to run into things for my missions.  I had a hard time running into stuff as I didn't want to hurt my Sphero.

By the end of our class, I was actually getting pretty good at making the Sphero go where I wanted it to.  It really was a lot of fun and I know that students would really enjoy this as well.  If you want to check out more on the Sphero and even see the BB-8 version, you can go here.

Yesterday was a special day at our house!  My youngest, my sweet baby, turned 10.  Where oh where does time go?!?!?  He had already celebrated his birthday with family and friends at a party so yesterday was more of a quiet day at home.  We picked up his favorite lunch and baked his favorite chocolate cake.  

I did have one surprise up my sleeve though......trick candles!!  

He laughed so hard that he could not keep blowing them out.  Finally we had to pull them out and drop them in water.  He thought that was the funniest thing ever!  Score one for mom!!

Lastly, I finished up a new product today.  If you have been following along, you may have noticed that I'm on a QR code kick.  I'm hoping to have one QR code scavenger hunt for each week of the school year as a station in my room.  Today, I finished my subtraction review scavenger hunt and I have uploaded it into my store.  

I love these for a couple reasons.  First, I love them because students love them.  They just want to be able to hold/touch/play with the iPad.  This works out well because then they don't mind doing math, even my struggling students. 

Second, I love them because they are self-checking.  I can hear you thinking right now - "But you didn't put the answers in it..."  No I didn't but when students solve the subtraction problem, they will know if the answer is wrong if they can not find their answer.  This helps them to check their work and redo problems that do not equal the number on another card.  

If you would like to get the subtraction scavenger hunt, head on over to my store by clicking on the picture below.

OR you could leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner to receive it FREE!   I hope you have a great evening!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tech Tuesday

Every summer my district offers LOTS of tech professional development.  Not only do these classes offer great lessons and websites but as teachers we can earn "tech points" to use as a way to buy ipads, Promethean boards, Apple TVs, etc. for our classrooms!   It's a great way to spend your time in the summer.

Yesterday we had a Promethean board camp where we spent all day (9-3) at the tech center learning everything you ever wanted to know about your Promethean board and how to work it.  There were some amazing sessions like this one I attended on the Axiedu bus!!

Inside the bus we talked about different products from AxiEdu and different websites to use with our Promethean boards.

Here are my favorite websites from my time on the bus -

1.  Newsela -  Non-fiction current event articles where YOU can CHANGE the lexile level to meet your student needs.  Each article also has a quiz!

2.  CK-12 - Search for resources on any of your standards.  This site has a variety of materials for all different learning style.

3.  Interactives Sites Weebly - All interactive websites are organized by subject and skill.  Site is updated weekly to add more websites or take away websites that do not work.

4.  TeacherLED - Quite a few interactive whiteboard resources to use as a class or as a center

These four websites offer quite a few resources for our classrooms!  I hope you found something that you could use.  Please comment below if you enjoyed any of the sites. 

Come back next week for my favorite new tech tool of our Promethean camp!