Thursday, July 31, 2014

Positive Thinking and Technology Thursday

Oh my!  This is my last full week of summer!  As the panic sets in, I can not help but be excited.  I feel so incredibly fortunate to have a job I love. Having said that, I have a lot left to do.  I am linking up with my friend Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings to share two teaching quotes for her fun linky, Positive Thinking Thursday.

Both of these quotes are speaking loud and clear to me right now!

Today, I'd also like to share a techie tip that will help save ink.  I am linking up with Teaching Trio for Technology Thursday.

I just love to make posters and decorations for my classroom.  The only downside to this is I seem to go through ink like crazy.  I thought of one way to save a little ink when printing editable items purchased on TPT.

If you've ever bought an editable item, you may not need everything on the page.  For example, I created some editable seasonal binders and side labels

You may only want to print one side label, but there are three on the page.

First, type in the text you want.

Next, insert a shape that will cover the parts you do not want to print.

You may have to add more than one shape, depending on the product.  If I wanted the middle label, I would have used two rectangles.  The important thing is to cover what you do not want to print.

Once the items are covered, change the Shape Fill and Shape Outline to white.

Now, you are ready to print what you need.


I have used this on editable products, and it has been especially helpful when one label, tool box insert, etc. gets ripped.  I only have to print the replacement and not the whole page.

I am off to check out the other positive thoughts and techie tips.  Thank you Jennifer and the Teaching Trio for hosting these two awesome linkies!

Don't forget to enter Lisa's giveaway at Mrs. Spangler in the Middle!


Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday & What I'm Wearing (July Stitch Fix)

This is my last full week of summer break.  We have two full days of staff development next week, and then we go back full time the following week.  I am definitely feeling a ton of mixed emotions!  My classroom is almost ready, and I should be able to post pictures soon.   In the meantime, I am linking up with Christina from Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday to share one part that is finished.

How do you have your students sign up to share?

I am also linking up with Jivey from Ideas by Jivey for What I'm Wearing Wednesday to share my July Stitch Fix.

I am always excited to receive my Stitch Fix package, and this month was no exception.


First up is the accessory.  I love the colors on this Liam Colrblock Enamel Bangle Set.  I have been asking for some colorful jewelry, so I was very excited to receive these.  I kept them.

Next up is the Maria Abstract Striped Maxi Skirt. 

I absolutely loved the colors and pattern on this skirt!  However, it was way too long, so I had to send it back.

 My third item is the Tyler Sheer Detail Pocket Front Tank.

Again, I loved the color!  The tank was a little long, and it didn't look quite right with shorts.  However, I loved it with jeans.  I can also see wearing this to work for a pop of color in a neutral outfit.  The bracelets I kept go perfect with this tank!

My fourth item the Wrenn V-Neck Jersey Top.

This top came in yet another fabulous color.  The V was a little different, and I wasn't sure if I liked it or not.  I decided that it looked better with a necklace.  This top also looked great with slacks and a cardigan for work.  Although I was uncertain about the V, the color, comfort, versatility and fit sold me on this. 

Finally, I received the Kellie Houndstooth Print Swing Skirt.

I loved the blue in this skirt, but I wasn't a huge fan of it mixed with the black.  When I tried on the skirt, it fell a couple inches below my knee.  This is just not a length that I can pull off.  I sent the skirt back.  As you can see, Millie agrees with me.

Overall, I was very happy with this fix.  This is the most items I have ever kept.  I will continue to provide detailed feedback and hope for that magical fix where I want to keep everything!

Finally, I want to remind everyone about the giveaway going on at Lisa's wonderful blog, Mrs. Spangler in the Middle.  Make sure to head over and enter.

That's all for today.  I'm off to check out all the other link ups.  Thank you, Jivey and Christina for hosting these linkies, and thank you Lisa for hosting such an awesome giveaway!

Enjoy your final weeks/days of summer!

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An Awesome Giveaway!

I just wanted to let everyone know about an awesome giveaway that is going on right now at Lisa's blog, Mrs. Spangler in the Middle.  Lisa is celebrating one year of blogging, and I have really enjoyed reading her blog.

She has four different prize packages, and they all look great!  To check it out, just click on the image below.

Thank you, and have a great week!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My New Buzzers and a Cool Spinner

I was super excited yesterday when I received a recent Amazon order.  Not only did I get some awesome books, but I also ordered these fun buzzers by Learning Resources.

Each buzzer makes a different sound, including "Boing", "Ding Dong", "Ding", and "Honk Honk".  I originally saw these a long time ago when I was reading Amanda's wonderful blog, One Extra Degree.  Earlier this week, I was reorganizing some of my pins and I remembered this awesome resource.  I plan on using these timers for whole class review games, small group activities, test prep, and any other way I can.  They are so much fun!

I found another fun resource earlier this week.  I read about an awesome timer on LeAnn's great blog, 4th Grade 4 Ever.  I loved the idea of adding music to the timer, so I went to the link she posted to check it out.  Not only did I try it out and decide to use the timer, but I also found  this cool spinner on the same site.

I tried it out with numbers, but you can put whatever you want on it.  It creates spaces for as many or as few items as you type in.  After you spin the wheel, the crowd cheers for wherever it landed.  You have the option to remove that space so it doesn't repeat.  Advertisements appear at the bottom of the screen, but that is fine with me because it is free!  Both the timer and the spinner on this site are awesome!

There are lots of other great resources on this page, including an arcade game I blogged about (but paid for) earlier.  I am super excited to get this fun game for free now!  Thank you, LeAnn!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thank you!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Positive Thinking, Technology, and Throwback Thrurday & A Product Update

Later on today, I will enjoy the afternoon with my two year old niece.  I am linking up with my awesome friend, Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for Positive Thinking Thursday to share great quote that shows one of the reasons I love kids.  I think it is perfect!


I am also linking up with the fabulous Teaching Trio for Technology Thursday.

This is a throwback to one of my first technology posts.  This activity turned out to be one of my favorites of the year.  The kids thought so too.  Since this is a throwback post, I am also linking up with the wonderful Angela from The Teacher's Desk 6 for Throwback Thursday.

I would like to share my experience using iMovie during a social studies unit on the French and Indian War.

We started off the unit with some reading, discussion, SMART Board activities, and a Brain Pop on the French and Indian War.  After several days of these activities, we brainstormed the most important reasons/causes of the French and Indian War. I typed up the students' ideas and handed out the skit requirements to each group member.

I divided the students into three groups.  Each group had to write a skit from either the French, British, or Indians' point of view.  The students made signs to introduce their skits.  I recorded all the skits on an iPad.

We did not act out the war for obvious reasons.  However, I had students make signs for some of the major battles. I took photos of all the signs and incorporated them into the movie. The last sign stated that the war was over, and the Treaty of Paris was signed.  The final part of our movie was an interview with all three groups.  In the interest of time, I scripted this one.
With the help of my tech committee, we were able to add some fun sound effects.  My students especially loved the suspense and footstep sound effects.
If you are interested in using iMovie, but don't know how to get started (like I was), here is a great video with the basics.  Having a crew of tech savvy students is also a huge help!

My students LOVED this activity.  It was highly motivating, and they learned a lot.  

Update - I ended up using iMovie quite a bit last year.  I highly recommend using it or some other video program.  Next year, I am going to play around with Photo Story.  That one is loaded on our computers at school, and comes recommended by our awesome GATE teacher.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I have updated one of my products.  Previously, I had writing and language learning targets posted in my TPT store.  I gave this product a makeover, and I added learning targets for Reading: Information, Reading: Literature, Reading: Foundations, and Speaking & Listening.  I have marked them 20% off until Saturday.  Click here (or on any of the pictures below) to view the product in my TPT store.

***If you have already purchased my Writing and Language Learning Targets, you should be able to download this new version at no addition cost.

That's all for today.  I'm off to check out some other posts on positive thinking, technology, and throwbacks.  Afterwards, I am going to finish getting ready for my niece's visit.  I can't wait!  I just love being an aunt!

Have a great day!
Thank you!