Read More

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Technology Tuesday


Vocaroo- Free Voice Recording

(You do need a microphone, but one can be purchased for less that $20.)

R,R,A- Read, Record, Analyze -- Practice reading a few times, record, listen and analyze yourself/partner for "Fluency Factors" (smoothness, accuracy, clarity, expression, etc.)

  • Short, timed passage

  • Poems, Tongue Twisters, Song Lyrics

  • News Articles (Scholastic or Dogo News online)

  • Reader's Theaters

  • Word Lists

  • Short stories

  • Book talks

  • Persuasive Speech

  • Student Writing (Analyze for sentence fluency)

**Recordings can be posted to class webpage or sent to anyone via email!**

I thought about having students record themselves reading a short story that they have practiced and sending it to their younger brother/sister's class to have it played by the teacher!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Classroom

My Classroom

*Please note that many of my ideas for anchor charts and posters were taken from Beth Newingham, Angela Bunyi, and Heather Renz, 3 of my favorite teacher role models!!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Technology Tuesday


A group of my fourth graders just got done making a timeline on Timetoast! It was the first time I've used this site, and I will definitely use it again!! A little backround, in reading, we have been learning about text structure, more specifically, sequencing. A small group had just finished reading Antarctic Adventures, a book about 6 different Antarctic expeditions. I had them make a timeline of the important events from the book. They really enjoyed this, especially getting to add pictures to the timeline, but do this last, as kids will get caught up in searching for the pics rather than typing the information. Timetoast worked great for this reading activity. Here are more activities I am envisioning trying with my class (that go beyond the obvious History related timeline.)


-Using the timelines already on timetoast, or their own, to create a math activity where students have to do calculations to answer questions about the timeline.

ex. How many years before Scott arrived at the South Pole, did Shackleton reach the Pole?


-Observe change Plant Growing (Great for primary, let them each take a day to describe their observations and take a picture with a digital camera) Caterpillar to Butterfly Bread Mold/Bacteria Growth/etc. Seasons Changing -Famous Inventor/Inventions Writing

-Students can create a timeline of their most important moments in their lives-upload their own pictures from home : ) FUN -Teach time/order transition words using timeline and plot -Have students write instructions or plans, then share pictures of themselves doing these things.

eg. (How to Get Organized, Workout Plan, Baseball Training Activities, Summer Activities to Stay Busy) You could even have them look at some examples from magazines like Self or Shape, or maybe even from a kids magazine. I love American Girl!


-We are in the middle of BIG research projects. I was thinking of using Timetoast to create a timeline of important deadlines.

-Timeline of important school days to remember

-Timeline of memorable events from our school year to share on the last day of school! (I have to remember to keep my camera handy!) ***I would love to do this one! There have been so many memorable things that have happened-- broken arms, a visit from a famous football player, making a class video, Wii Just Dance Party, field trips, etc.***

-Timeline of losing teeth (Primary) CUTE!!!!

I plan to put all of our timelines on our class website to share with students, parents, grandparents, etc.

If our timeline doesn't show up, click here to see A History of Antarctic Adventures!

A Few of My (Seven) Favorite Things

Katie at Persnickety Pickles is having a non-teacher related Linky Party! Here are A Few of My (Seven) Favorite Things:

1. Make Up Forever High Definition Invisible Cover Foundation, $40.00 at Sephora!! : ) The best foundation, ever!!

2. Jewelry...Especially Premier Designs Jewelry! I heard (at one of my Premier trainings) that you should spend 70% on your accessories and only 30% on your clothes. I love how putting on 2-3 pieces of jewelry can change the entire look of an outfit.

3. Shopping!!!! A few of my favorite stores are:

4. My new Mizuno running shoes! I've went through a lot of good running shoes, but these are by far-- the best.

5. Shoes, especially heels and wedges! Click here to see my some of my fav's for the season!

6. Being a mom to three boys!

7. The band Santus Real! Love the song "Lead Me". Listen to it on YouTube!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mighty Max's Wish for One Million Cards

Max Low, a twelve year old from Neola, Iowa, has been battling terminal cancer since 2004. When most kids would want their dying wish to be a trip to Disney World, or a chance to meet a famous singer, Max's wish is to receive one million cards. This week, my class is making cards for Mighty Max. I am also using this as an opportunity to talk to my kids about leukemia, and helping others less fortunate than ourselves. If you would like more information about Mighty Max you can view this

Des Moines Register blog, or join his facebook event

Cards can be sent to the following address:

Mighty Max Low

P.O. Box 111

Neola, IA 51559

As of 3/20/11, Max had received 19,966 cards!!!

I will try to keep you updated!

Please spread the word about Max and keep him in your thoughts and prayers!!!

Management Monday

SoN's SoCCeR pRacTiCe, PaRent-TeAcHEr COnFeRenCeS, nIece'S dAnCe RecItaL, bESt FrIenDs BirThDaY DiNneR, BoOk CluB, PreK ReGisTratION...
Does your week ever look like my week?

Do you ever feel like doing this....


Here are a few things that I use to keep my family (and myself) getting to the right place at the right time, and so I'm doing this,


a little less often.


I have this magnetic, dry-erase calendar hanging up in my kitchen. I also have one at school. It is nice to be able to change/add things quickly. I also like having cork board at the bottom to place any notes, appt. cards, phone numbers, etc. The notes section of the side lets me add more details about upcoming events, lists (I'm a total listaholic!!), or, just like it says, notes.

This one is made by Board Dudes and you can find it online, for $28.75. I bought mine at WalMart for around the same price.


To manage all of my family's events, including my school events and deadlines, I use Cozi. Cozi is an awesome website that allows you to create and manage an online calendar for you and your family's events, for FREE!!

Here's more:

  • Color code each family member and their events

  • View a single person's calendar or the entire family on one

  • Send yourself (or other family members) email or text reminder

  • Create a Cozi side bar on your desktop (to view/manage easily, anytime)

  • Create, view, and manage anywhere with the Iphone and Android Apps Plus...

  • Create a grocery list

  • Have that list text to you if you leave it at home (by calling an 800#)

  • Create To Do Lists for yourself or others- share via email or text

  • Use the meal planning tools to plan what's for dinner, then sync it with your grocery list to make sure you have everything you need

Click here to read Cozi reviews.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shhhh!! Testing in Progress

Anyone ever taken the MAP tests? We are taking ours today and I am sooo anxious to see the students' results. My class had 100% of the kids proficient in reading and math on our state tests (ITBS), so I'm hoping that we do as well on these as we did on that test!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Technology Tuesday

It was hard to decide what I would write today since there are soooo many awesome technology ideas that I could blog about, but then I came across Ladybug's Teacher File, who was blogging about her Document Camera....So, I thought...why not blog about mine! : ) I have had an ELMO (Document Camera) for two years now, and it has been AHHHMAZING!!!!

Here are some ideas for using a

document camera in the classroom~

  • Social Studies: Timelines (Have students fill in dates or events), Maps, Charts

  • Math: Any and ALL Manipulatives, Clocks, Base 10 Blocks, anything for counting, Place Value Mats, Dice, Modeling how to use _____, Calculator

  • Reading/Language Arts: Shared Reading, Read Alouds, Morning Message, Procedures, Anchor Charts, DOL, Revising with 6 Traits, Modeling Mentor Texts, Spelling & Vocabulary (Word Webs, Categorizing, Word Families, Word Ladders), Strategy Instruction- write on text/code with post-its/highlight, Environmental Print, Labels, Nutrition Facts on the back of packages, Ingredients, Text Features: Glossary, Index, Table of Contents, Captions, Headings, Bold Print, etc. Text Structure: Filling in Venn Diagrams or T-Charts (Compare/Contrast), Problem & Solution, Cause & Effect, Chain of Events (Sequencing), Webs, Lists (Description), Dictionary Practice

  • Science: Rocks, Flowers/Flower Parts, Mold, Types of ______, Samples of ____, Nutrition Labels, Ingredients, Steps/Directions, Dissection, Experiments, Growth/Change of ______ over time (Save images), Observations of _____

  • General/Managment: Timer, Looking at Rubrics, Worksheets, Assignments, etc., Pictures, Show and Tell, Reports or Presentations (Turn the camera up to face the student, they will be projected onto the BIG SCREEN!)

Many of these things can be projected onto a whiteboard, which can be written on, creating an "interactive whiteboard" experience. If you cannot project it largely onto the whiteboard, use a transparency to write directly on your document, 'without' writing directly on your document.

Technology Linky Party With Jena Snowden

Monday, April 4, 2011

Management Monday

Math Centers

I store my math centers in baggies, in a hanging shoe rack. Don't go cheap though...These WILL fall apart easily! You can even label each pocket with the name of the game, or skill. (This one is from Target, $14.99.) I label the rows by math concepts/skills:

  • Money

  • Calendar and Time

  • Place Value

  • Fractions and Decimals

  • Computation (Addition/Subtraction)

  • Computation (Multiplication/Division)

Here are a few websites that have great center ideas: