Thursday, July 31, 2014

Technology Thursday (Educreations)

It's time for Technology Thursday with Teaching Trio!

I'm not totally sure what kind of technology I am going to have access to this year in my class.  I'm really hoping that I have some iPads for my students to work with.  One of my all time favorite iPad apps is Educreations.  You can also use it on the computer but it's very user friendly on the iPad.  Have you heard of Educreations?

This is a 2-for-1 kind of app! The students can use it to show their understanding, especially in math, and teachers can use it when teaching with the "Flipped Classroom" model. The app is a blank screen that records your voice and drawings.  I found it very helpful when explaining math concepts.  The students loved showing their understanding of math topics...especially since it involved an iPad! Collecting the students' videos, I created a digital portfolio for each student which helped when doing assessments and report cards.

This is a video I used this past year in my class.  No laughing at me!! This was one of the first videos I made.


For homework, the students had to watch this video and do a few practice problems.  The parents had to watch it too so that they were clued in to what we were learning about in class.  When the students got to class the next day, they had to show me their understanding.  We did a series of word problems where they had to show their work and explain their strategy.  This saved me a whole day of instruction on how to multiply decimals. I put games with this concept in the centers for the following weeks just to reinforce the skill.

There are also a ton of videos already posted that are great resources! Do you use the Flipped Classroom model in your class?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Giveaway and Wordless Wednesday

Hello Blog Friends!
Check out the great giveaway going on at Mrs. Spangler in the Middle!


I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday!


I spent hours yesterday laminating and cutting and laminating and cutting....

What are you laminating for your classroom this year?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made-it!

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made-it!  I finally finished some projects I've been working on....and ruined a nice shirt in the process!
I've spent a lot of time having fun making decorations and cute things for my class! I need to start thinking about planning...ekk!!! Why does that always seem so much harder? I'm hoping to actually see my classroom and get keys soon! I'm feeling so behind not even knowing how many students I'll have or where the bathroom even is!!!!

Burlap Banner! I got this idea from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations. I got all the supplies from Michaels (can you believe I've never been to a Hobby Lobby!). They actually had sheets of burlap sold like scrapbook paper.  This made the measuring and cutting so much easier.

I've never worked with Burlap before.  It absorbs the paint very quickly and I ended up using way more paint than I anticipated.  I bought a pack of stencils because my Cricket is hiding in my mess of a construction house. It would be very easy to make stencils on the Cricket for this.  The sponge brushes worked fantastically! 


I just need to string them all together and hang it up! I'm super happy how it turned out. My Mom has already put her order in for a Third Grade one.

With the help of my Uncle, I actually got a piece of wood, stained it, and attached my dog head hooks! This purse/coat holder turned out absolutely adorable.  I went with a lighter stain to match my house. The dog heads are door knobs so they came with screw holes already in them! I love it when things work out so easily!


Everyone has been pinning these adorable projects with duck tape.  I've never really used duck tape so I wasn't sure what to do with it. I bought some fun prints when I was at Michaels.  I am currently tutoring a student who refuses to use her finger to guide her as she reads.  She struggles with fluency and I know this will help her! I thought if I made a cute bookmark then maybe...just maybe... she would use it to guide her form line to line.  I'll let you know if I can convincer her it will help!



I just wrapped it around some card stock, cut off any parts that were still sticky, tied a ribbon on top, and ta-da you have a bookmark! I'm going to make a set for my class and just keep them in the library. I'm still hunting down the paw print duck tape.  Let me know if you find some!

Since I've started blogging, I wake up in the middle of the night with crazy ideas and a never-ending list of things I need to do!!!  Has this happened to anyone???  Diego, the pup, isn't too happy about the early mornings!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Puppies in the classroom!

As most of you know, I'm completely obsessed with my puppy, Diego! He's just so stinking cute and adorable.

This year, I've decided to theme my classroom ....Puppies. Check out my Puppy Theme Classroom Decor pack on TPT.



When I get back into town, I'm immediately laminating and printing! More pics to come soon :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday!  I love connecting with all these linky parties for the first time :)


In the spirit of my Grandpa, who isn't doing too well, I'm posting a picture of his hometown, Abernethy, Scotland. This was the last big trip we took together and I learned so much about my heritage! It's always so fun to hear stories about where your family is from!


Where are you from?

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'm Back! and Monday Made It

Hey Blog Friends! It's been awhile since I've posted.  I've been trying hard to soak up every bit of summer before the school year comes running back into my life. I went up to Northern California to visit my Aunt and her new puppy, Dilly.  Diego (my pup) and his new cousin Dilly had an absolute blast playing together.  Diego got to experience a lake for the first time...he's still not too sure about the water!

Then the Boy took me to Santa Catalina Island for a birthday getaway.  We went scuba diving and kayaking. We only go diving about once a year and this was the first time we've been in Catalina.  Every time I saw a new fish or giant kelp all I could think about was..."How can I use this in a science lesson!" I guess you know you're a teacher when everything around you hast he potential to be neat lesson!


Then my amazing Mom threw me a birthday party yesterday.  We had a delicious BBQ and enjoyed the new patio furniture! She spoiled Diego and I with some Sprinkles cupcakes! YUMMMM



While I was away, I had some fun things come in the mail! I ordered these on Oriental Trading Company to use in my class this year.  I always loved my birthday as a kid..okay maybe I still do...so I love to make my students feel special on their birthday's. I got these "All About Me" posters for the first week of school.  It's a great way to get to know the kiddos and eases them into the idea of homework after a whole summer off!  The pencils are for the first day of school! You can never have too many pencils :)



And now for the Monday Made It over at Fourth Grade Frolics...or should I say Want to Make it Monday! 

With my house under construction, my DIY projects have been on hold.  These are two things I plan on making this week! The first is an idea I got from Seusstastic Classroom Inspiration. I've never worked with burlap but I absolutely love this! I can't wait to see how it turns out.

My other project for this week is from a friend of mine. She used doggie wine toppers to make this adorable rack. I found the dog heads on Etsy

I've got a busy week ahead! More posts coming soon!



Thursday, July 10, 2014

What's your NextLesson?

I'm linking up with Teaching Trio for Technology Thursday! I'm constantly searching for useful websites that I can use with my students.  This website is going to be a big part of my teaching year as far as lesson planning and student engagement.  At my new school, I am only going to have 3 desktop computers so I love that I am going to be able to print these resources, it's not just online.



A colleague of mine introduced me to this new company NextLesson.  It’s an online resource for lessons, projects, and now performance tasks! They recently launched a new performance task section, which is going to be great practice for the Common Core state testing.  The best part of this company is that they strive to be “Real Life.” Projects are based around real life statistics and topics.  What Fourth Grade student wouldn’t want to learn about their favorite movie or sport teams? Each performance task has several versions, which is great for differentiation and student choice.  Check out the free lessons that are posted or get more access to lessons for a small price!



I’m looking forward to using this in my class this year! I hope you can find it useful too!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Random Meet-Up

I'm linking up with The Teaching Tribune for the Monday Random Meet-Up. It may be the final Monday Meet-Up but it's my first!

1. Living in San Diego, I was spoiled with the beach.  As a kid, my Mom would take my sister and I to the beach as much as possible.  We would play for hours in the sand!

2. For some reason, I grew up thinking my parents actually wanted to name me Jillian, not Katherine.  That name always stuck with me and I still think it's cute!  There were 7 Katherine's in my middle school math class, all with the nickname Katie.  Since then, I've always wanted a more original name.

3. Let's just say that I always carry an extra pair of pants in my school bag.

4. Skippyjon Jones is the most adorable fictional character.  I love his imagination and humor.

5.My sister is absolutely amazing! She is the smartest scientist lawyer around.

6. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Favorite Read Aloud Books

My wonderful class gave me an Amazon giftcard at the end of the year.  It's been burning a whole in my pocket so I've decided to spend it on read aloud books for next year. Kids are never too old to be read to! They absolutely love coming back from lunch, relaxing for 20 minutes, and listening to an interesting story.  I over exaggerate my expressions and make funny voices for the characters.  During the year, the students use the read aloud books to make connections and refer to in their Writer's Notebooks.  It teaches how to read with expression and voice.  Here are some of my favorite Fourth Grade real aloud books. My first read aloud of the year is All About Sam by Lois Lowry.  It is so adorable and always has the kids in stitches.  It really gets them hooked on the idea of read aloud and makes them excited about the next book.
The following are other read aloud books I use during the year.






Some books that I'm thinking of adding to my Amazon wish list are...

What read aloud books are your favorite? Help me build my wish list!

July Currently....wait it's already July?

This is my first Currently! Thought I'd give it a shot. I'm here to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly linky party. Happy July everyone!