Monday, July 30, 2012

My Last Monday Made It!

My summer is over, I go back to work next Monday :( I am sad to end this relaxing, fun summer with my daughter but looking forward to a new group of kids. Make sure to pop over to 4th Grade Frolic and see the wonderful ideas posted for Monday Made It!

#1 Recipe Book

I created a recipe binder years ago but it was dirty and  unorganized from years of use. I created a new one with the following sections: breakfast, bread and muffins; starters, dips, soups, salads and beverages; sides, pasta and sandwiches; beef and pork; poultry; vegetarian and other; cakes and cupcakes; cookies; other desserts. I use page protectors for the recipes to keep them clean and only put recipes I have tried and like in the book. Any recipes that I want to try go in the front pocket. I made tabs because other tabs were hidden by the page protector.

#2 Pennant Banner

I made a pennant banner for my niece's 1st birthday party. The theme is pink and white pot-a-dots. 

#3 Teacher Toolbox

It only took me all summer but I finally bought and made my teacher toolbox. Better late than never :)

#4 Best Thing I Learned.....

I saw this idea on Pinterest, for my 4th grade class on Friday they will write the best thing they learned that week and put it on the board. I am planning to give students a page protector for their classroom binder, they can place their old sticky note in it when they post a new one. At the end of the year students can look at all they things they learned. I used a full poster board and added fun Duck Tape to dress it up :)

It is a bit blurry :(

#5 Morning Work/Writing Pictures

From National Geographic

I like using pictures and books when teaching and practicing writing with my 4th graders. In a previous post I used pictures from National Geographic to teach Ba-Da-Bing and Ba-Da-Boom sentences. I love the National Geographic photo website, they have great pictures for writing. It is great to have pictures I pull up on my Mimio but I wanted pictures for the students to hold in their hands. My wonderful family has been saving magazines for me and I went through and pulled interesting pictures and create categories for them. I plan to use them as morning work. There will be a picture each group of desk and a prompt on the board. Ex. In 3 or more sentences tell me what the person is thinking?, Describe what you see in 5 or more sentences., If you were standing in this place what do you think it sounds like?, What do you think this taste/smells like?, etc

From National Geographic

For those of you still on summer break enjoy!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Reading 2012

Summer Reading List

This summer I am reading through a few of this year's Sunshine State Readers and a few new books to go with 4th and 5th grade social studies. As I read through the books I will post about each book and ideas I have for the books.

Turtle in Paradise

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm. The book is a Sunshine State Reader and a great story about Key West in 1935. I love the characters! The main character, Turtle, talks about the comic strips she reads and Shirley Temple. Of course I know that my students will have no idea who Shirley Temple is or understand the concept of reading comic strips from a paper once a week. I have decided before I begin reading the book to introduce them to the comic strips that Turtle talks about and let them watch a short clip of Shirley Temple so they will have a frame of reference. I am going to print out the comic strips so they can read them in class. I am also creating questions to discuss with the class as we read the story. 

The Promise

This week I had the chance to go the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. It was overwhelming. As I walked through the exhibit I thought about how the Holocaust could of been stopped or prevented if people had stepped up.

The Promise by Eva Schloss was a great book! Wow! It was so well written and really showed you how Eva felt as her world slowly disappeared. I am still debating how I will use this in class, the story maybe a bit heavy for 5th graders. When Eva reaches the Concentration Camp it is very heavy. I did write discussion questions as I was reading that I thought would help the students understand what was happening.

Trouble With Chickens

Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin is a cute story and a easy read. The story is told by two different dogs and has lots of voice for each one. The story is a mystery which is great for predicting. There are a few words that are included in the ransom note that could be discussed and added to the class vocabulary list. 



Monday, July 23, 2012

Made it Monday! #7

It is Monday and I had another busy week.  Pre-planning is only 2 weeks away. It will be nice to go back and use what I have created and learned from other bloggers but it would be so nice to have a few more weeks. I finally decided to pull out my teacher bag and box that I brought home the beginning of June and see what needs to be done. Before I share my teacher made it I want to show off my home made it.

#1 New Mirror

I am super excited to show off my amazing find from Hobby Lobby. I found the mirror below on the Clearance aisle for $18.00!!! Yes, $18.00!! As you can see the frame is broken but my mind started turning as soon as I saw it.

This is me standing in the store deciding if I am going to buy the mirror.

I bought Hydrangeas to cover the break and TADA!!  Isn't it pretty??

Very excited about this. I then used old canvases I had and covered them with fabric I bought at Wal-Mart. So easy and pretty. My wonderful husband hung the mirror for me and we now have a beautifully decorated wall. :)

#2 Fall Wreath 

My second project was a fall wreath for the front door. It was easy and I love how it turned out.
I cut the burlap into strips and then wrapped them around the wreath. 

 I may add a pumpkin or bow at some point but for now I am happy with it.

Completed Wreath

#3 PKM treats

PKM is what I am calling the oh so good treat I made this week. PKM = pretzel, kiss, M&Ms. I found the idea on Pinterest, not sure what I did before Pinterest. LOL! 

When I made mine I made 6 different types, overachiever I know. Plain Kiss and peanut butter M&M,  plain Kiss and peanut M&M, caramel Kiss and peanut M&M, plain Kiss and plain M&M, caramel Kiss and plain M&M, Hugs and plain M&M. I can't do anything simple, but now I know figure out the best combination ;) 

My little girl helping me bake. Proud moment for me!

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Line a pan with Parchment paper and lay out pretzels with Kisses on top. I used mini pretzels, I have seen people use circle and the square ones. Put the pan in the oven for 3-5 minutes, do not over heat! It only took 3 minutes in my oven. You want the Kisses to be shiny and soft but not so hot that they are melting and loosing their shape. When you take the pan out gently press the M&Ms onto the top. Put them in the refrigerator or freezer to set. **The Hugs do not need as much time! I over heated mine and they melted everywhere. The caramel Kisses do not melt well at all. I will not use them next time.

Now for my teacher made it.

#4 Facebook Status

I was searching for beginning of the year ideas and came across a Facebook status page for the first week of school. The one I found was for middle school math so I created one for my 4th grade students. I am excited to use this at the beginning and end of the year so they can compare their statuses. 

#5 "What Do You Stand For?" Lessons

This started in May when I saw an article about a girl who was abandoned by her parents and worked as a janitor at her school as she finished high school and was accepted at Harvard. Wow! That takes serious determination and focus. I want my students to understand that their actions can mean the difference between being homeless and going to Harvard. After reading her story my mind started turning. CNN Story: From Scrubbing Floors to Ivy League

I decided to work this year on developing a classroom environment that is more caring and considerate of others and aware of how their actions affect their life and others.  When I went to the Holocaust Museum the beginning of the summer I found the book called "Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change" and a poster that says "What Do You Stand For?". I love that it has positive characteristics listed. I plan to make this the theme for my classes this year. It can be a question that I can ask my students in almost any situation. 

My plan is to start the first week of school with a story each day from the book and news stories about kids making a difference. The book has stories about kids helping the environment, helping others, standing up for themselves, overcoming challenges, and using their talents. The stories are short and can be a great way to discuss kids in today's world standing up for something. I am planning to continue this all year with one story a week. This will be for individual and group reading assignments as well as a homework assignment some weeks.


I need your help with next weeks Made it Monday! I have a ton of stress apples and fish from my husbands office. The fish come in the little can you see in the picture. I love how others are using light bulbs but I would rather use what I have. Does anyone have suggestions for how to label these for when students need a mental break? I have racked my brain and can't come up with a cute saying. The saying "an apple a day..." comes to mind but I can't tie it into taking a mental break. If anyone has a suggestion for sayings or any other way to use these items please let me know. Thank you! :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Made it Monday! #6

The summer is flying by but I feel like I have been very productive. This week I was able to get a lot done. (It helped that my daughter and I stayed home) First, I made a card binder for my daughter. After her second birthday I realized that I wanted to save the cards but wanted them to be organized and in one (small) area. This is what I did....

I created a cover and dividers (birthdays, Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas and Other) .
One of the dividers.
I then placed a page protector in each section. For the birthday section I will add a new page protector for each year. 
Birthday Cards for 2nd Birthday.

The cards are stored in the page protector behind the dividers. 

#2 - Dry Erase Calendar

My second project was a dry erase calendar. I found the idea through Tara's Made it Monday on Miss V's Busy Bee blog. I probably over thought this as I was making it but LOVE how it turned out. I changed the background three times before deciding on the one you see below. 

I used a 11X14 frame and cut the days from card stock. This was the hardest part figuring out the size of the days and placing them so they were straight and even. After I finished getting everything perfect (at least I am pretending it is perfect) I added magnetic strips to the back so it can hang on my fridge. This is what I ended up with. 


The calendar is hanging on my fridge with the meal planner I made a few weeks ago. I can easily see it and add events. Yay!! I am feeling so crafty and productive!

**The magnetic strip will not hold up the large calendar. Make sure to attach the magnetic with some type of glue, otherwise you will wake up in the middle of the night to a loud crash :)**

#3 Classroom Book Recommendation Boards

This idea came from Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6, she has great ideas. Students can fill out the book recommendation card and post it for other students to see. Stephine used a large cork board in her classroom. I decided to use the small cork boards you can buy in a pack of 4 at Wal-Mart. I created two boards, one for any type of book and the other specifically for Sunshine State Readers. I strongly encourage my students to read the books on the Sunshine State Reader list so they are able to participate in the end of the year party. Also, I know that the books are right at the 4th and 5th grade reading level and are really great reads. This is how my boards turned out. 

The book recommendation cards I created. After looking at the cards that Stephine made for her class I created my own including some of her ideas and adding other items I wanted included. I can't wait to use this in my room. I am still thinking about how I can use the recommendation cards with my Literature Writing Assignment.

#4 Deep Cleaning the House
I am also working through the list of deep cleaning for your  house from the blog D and R Tabb. Another Pinterest find, she has a list of 18 things to do to deep clean the house. So far I have completed a few of the items, they are not hard to do, just requires motivation. :)

#5 Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

I made Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes (there is a whole Oreo at the bottom!) for my husband's company picnic. They were easy and really good. I found the recipe on Pinterest, big surprise. ;) 

This was a relaxing stay home week and I was able to get so much done! Yay! I am super excited about next weeks project!! Can't wait to show it off! Make sure to check out 4th Grade Frolic. There are so many ideas that people post for Made it Monday.The first week there were 30 people that linked up and last week there was 185!!! Wow! Tara you have definitely started something.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Favorite Classroom Project Linky Party!

I am linking up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for her Favorite Classroom Project Linky Party. This year my 5th grade students did a Civil War Lapbook project. I loved this and how they turned out! Check out my full description of the project, Civil War Lapbook Project.

Friday, July 13, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award!!

I am honored to receive another blog award! Yay!! Thanks to Mary at Teaching Special Kids for nominating me for The One Lovely Blog award! Check out her wonderful blog.


There are only 3 rules to follow once you've received this award :)
1. Follow the person who gave you the award
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

So here's my list, if you already have received this award, I'm sorry for repeating it, but you have an awesome blog!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Made it Monday! #5

This week my Made it Monday was my little girls birthday party. We had a great party and it was so much fun to watch her enjoy the party. There was a lots we did for the party but I am going to share one of my favorite things we made. My sister made 4th of July popsicles, she used my Zoku maker from Brookstone. If you have never used or heard of this popsicles maker you should check it out, it is amazing. I received it last Christmas and love it. For the different colors we used red, blue and clear sports drinks.

My sister making the popsicles.
This is how they turned out.
Birthday girl enjoying the popsicles.
Today, I put up balloons and streamers in the hallway to her room and playroom for her birthday. I found this idea on Pinterest.

This has nothing to do with school but I also was able to clean out and organize our walk-in closet. It was a big undertaking since my two year old wanted to help :) I now have two plastic bins of clothes and one of shoes for a yard sale. (cleaning the closet was a bit overdue)




- For next week I have a few ideas that I am going to work on. Head over to 4th Grade Frolics to see what everyone else is up to this week.

Book Recommendation Board for Classroom
Love this sign!

Scrap skirt.