Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Made It

My classroom is officially clean, and I was able to go in today and get a few things done.  I was very happy to hear that my wing was the first one finished.  Today I will share some of the things I finished on Tara's wonderful linky, Monday Made It.  Make sure to check out all the wonderful ideas that are linked up over at Fourth Grade Frolics.

I made a "Welcome Back" banner with some turquoise, purple, and lime green pennants.

I also made a smaller banner and some signs for my new focus wall.  (Oops, I accidentally chopped off the "s".)

Both sets of editable pennants are available in my TPT store.  The larger pennants are approximately 10 1/2 inches tall, and the smaller ones are about 6 inches tall.

The pennants are also available in turquoise, lime green, and pink.

In my district, we start word study off with by going over the different types of syllables.  Most of my fourth graders do a nice job with these, but I made a couple sets of mini posters to review in small groups.

I also made two syllable centers/small group work activities.

The first one is a set of 24 syllables (including all six types) that are used to form 12 two-syllable words.

The second center is a sort for all six types of syllables.

You can purchase both of these centers and the mini posters, as well as regular sized posters, and a worksheet for assessment at my TPT store here.

Last Saturday, I went to my family reunion.  I needed to bring a dessert to serve a lot of people.  I found an awesome recipe on Pinterest for a cream cheese sheet cake.  It was super easy to make and a huge hit at the reunion!  I would strongly recommend trying this recipe the next time you need a quick, delicious dessert.

Cream Cheese Sheet Cake Recipe

I can't wait to check out what everyone else made this week!  Thank you, Tara for hosting this linky.

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Peek at my Week

It's Sunday, and it's time to link up with my good friend, Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her fun linky, A Peek at my Week.

I just love these laid back summer weeks!  I am getting a lot done, both for the house and school.  It's nice to be able to do it based on my own schedule.

It looks like the weather will cooperate, and I will be able to work on my deck this week.  I need to power wash and restain it.  I do this every other year.  However,  this year, I am using a product called Deckover, which is supposed to protect for several years.  We shall see.

5-gal. Wood and Concrete Paint 
Two of my nieces are coming over this week to help me make some chocolate chip cookies.  Baking takes twice as long and is is twice as messy this way, but it is about 10 times more fun! 

I am way behind on my summer reading, so I'm hoping to get through this mini series.  Kidnapped, by Gordon Korman has been a very popular independent reading choice for my students the last couple of years.  It was on my "must read" list this summer.  Have you read this series?  If so, let me know what you think.

This Friday, I will run the Freedom 4 Miler.  This is one of my favorite races because it goes by my brother's house.  He has four children, and they are usually out to cheer me on.

I am sure I will catch fireworks somewhere.  I need to get on it and make plans for that!

Those are my highlights for the upcoming week.  I'm off to the link up to see what everyone else has planned.  Thank you, Jennifer for hosting this fun linky!

Have a great week!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Improving the Poem of the Week on Freebie Friday

I love the Poem of the Week.  Each day, we talk about some aspect of the poem (theme, vocabulary, patterns, etc.)  I was doing some thinking on how I can make some improvements for next year.  I came up with three things I plan on changing.

At least once a week, we select a word from the poem and discuss what it means.  The word is posted on the word wall and used for future vocabulary activities.  This year, we are going to sort the words by part of speech as we discuss the meaning.  We will post the words under one of these signs.

I know adjectives and adverbs are easily confused, so I am including some questions to help.

I don't have a whole lot of wall space, so I am using cupboard doors like this.  There are doors below the counter as well.  I am planning of filling up both the top and bottom doors by the end of the year.  We pull words from read alouds as well.

If you are interested in these headings, you can get them for free here.

We read the poem multiple times throughout the week to practice fluency.  Students like to try different voices to mix things up.  I looked on TPT for some voice cards, but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted.  I ended up making my own.


I made 20 different cards and four editable ones for your own ideas.  If you are interested, you can check out all of the cards here.  (The preview shows all of the cards.)

I am also going to incorporate items from Mrs. Laffin's "Pausing for Poetry".  This is an excellent resource!

Pausing for Poetry - Understanding Poetry in 10 Minutes a Day

My favorite part are these sheets with skills to work on every day.  I like that the students have a place to record what we worked on.  There are several different sheets, so you can mix up the skills.

Previously, my students would write on the poem or on some random page in  their reading notebook.  This will be so much better.  Be sure to check out everything else that is included in this wonderful resource by clicking here.

Do you use a weekly poem?  What do you like best about it?

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Positive Thinking Thursday - Running!

I recently joined a running club.  I found this to be a great way to meet others who shared my passion for running.  Now, when I say passion, let me just say that I am a total running geek.  Today, I am linking up with my friend Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings to share some positive thoughts about running.

Reason to run 
Run.  Run.  Run.
 Oh my! Situation not, but keeping light-hearted humor in mind? "Pause my Garmin"... hilarious!
 Running Addiction
Why I love running
Over the years, I have pinned a lot of good information about running and fitness in general.  If you're interested, you can view my Health and Fitness board here.

Make sure to check out all the other positive thoughts!  Thank you, Jennifer for hosting this fun linky.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tried it Tuesday - Embedded Fonts

Last weekend, I had an awesome time in Put-in-Bay with a group of some of my closest friends celebrating 40th birthdays.  I am now back, fully recuperated, and ready to link up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday.

Last summer, I read this post by the wonderful AMC about embedding fonts.  At the time, I had just started blogging and was completely unaware of all the fabulous font options out there.  I pinned the post figuring that it would come in handy as I continued to learn. 

Fast forward to now, and I have downloaded more fonts than I can count.  However, when I created a worksheet, form, etc. for my team, the only way I knew how to save the fonts was to send it as a PDF.  The problem with that was that others on my team were unable edit it on a PDF.

This summer, I wanted to make some editable products for my TPT store.  Again, I ran into the problem of keeping the font and creating an editable document.  Luckily, I remembered the post that I pinned last summer.  Here's how I made my editable birthday prizes.  The steps are slightly different than the post I linked.  I think it is due to using Windows 8.1.

First, I used this video from Gingersnaps to create an editable Power Point while protecting the purchased graphics.

I knew I wanted to use "Hello Happy Days" font from Hello Literacy for these cards.  I also wanted to fix it so anyone who edited the file could also use this fun font.

All I needed to do was click on "File" and choose "Options".

Once you are in "Options", click on "Save".  At the bottom, you will see the options to embed fonts.

Now, the file is not only editable, but we get to keep the cute font!  I will use this same method when I send items to my team, or anyone else.  It is quick and easy!

I'm off to see what else I can learn from Holly's awesome linky.  Make sure to check out what everyone else has tried.

Thank you!