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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Positive Thinking Thursday

Today was my last day of school!  We had a fun week, and now I am getting ready to tackle some of my summer goals (after a work day tomorrow).  I think I found the perfect link up for Positive Thinking Thursday, hosted by Mrs. Laffin's Laughings.
Dog quote from Charlie the Dog on Facebook: From Charlie The Dog on Facebook - Love this little boy's attitude

Although there are many things I need to get done, I also plan on having some fun and enjoying the things that I "must do".  I hope you are too!

Enjoy your last days of school/beginning of summer!  Make sure to check out all the other link ups on Jennifer's wonderful blog!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An Awesome Giveaway!

Today, I want to congratulate one of my blogging friends for two reasons.  Kristen, from Chalk and Apples has joined two of her friends to form a collaborative blog, Teaching Trio.  I am very excited for them (and for us to read their great posts)!

Kristen has also reached a milestone at her TPT store.  She now has 1,000 followers for her wonderful store.

Kristen is currently running a giveaway to celebrate.  Head on over to enter!

http://teachingtrio.blogspot.com/2014/05/its-giveaway-time-meet-teaching-trio.html

I am still trying to wrap my head around how I am going to get in everything in these last two days!

Have a great week!

Monday, May 26, 2014

10 Things I want to do this Summer

I know I've said it before, but I can't believe this school year is almost over!  We are down to our last three days!  Deanna over at Mrs. Jump's Class has a great linky going on called Ten Things I want to do This Summer.  I am linking up to share some summer plans.

http://mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com/2014/05/top-ten-things-i-want-to-do-this-summer.html 

1.  In June, I am off to Put in Bay to help three of my friends celebrate turning 40.  I am super excited about getting some quality time in with close friends who I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like.


2.  I am going to refinish my deck using DeckOver.  This is a wonderful product that my neighbor showed me.  I can't wait to use it!  Right now, I am power washing and restaining my deck every other year.  With this product, I can go years before I need to redo it.

http://masco.com/img/uploads/mascoDotCom-images/448/behr_deckover_300x220__feature_small.jpg

3.  Millie loves to learn new tricks.  I saw this book on The Today Show, and she has already learned: fetch & release, shake, lay down, and crawl.  We are going to work on learning some more tricks because she just loves showing off.

http://www.amazon.com/101-Dog-Tricks-Activities-Challenge/dp/1592533256/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401043954&sr=1-1&keywords=101+dog+tricks

4.  I plan on reading quite a few professional books, beginning with Notice and Note.

http://img1.imagesbn.com/p/9780325046938_p0_v1_s260x420.JPG

I am going to actually read some non-teaching books this summer.  Imagine that.  This is one I have wanted to read for a while, but I'm also on the hunt for some "just for fun" books.  Let me know if you have any recommendations.

 http://img1.imagesbn.com/p/9781442360778_p0_v2_s260x420.JPG

5.  I have 14 nieces and nephews who all live relatively close.  I plan on spending as much time with them as I can.  I like to set aside at least one day for each family for a special outing in addition to little things whenever possible. 

6.  I am going to learn how to use some of these photo apps I keep hearing about.  If you have a favorite, please let me know.  I can't wait to play around with this!

 7.  This was our first year implementing Common Core standards.  I have a lot to do in the way of organizing my materials.

http://watchdog.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/05/common-core-feature.jpg 

8.  I plan to run in several races this summer, including the Columbus 10K.


9.  I am not going on a major vacation this year due to a rather costly house project.  The railing on my front porch needs to be replaced.  Rather than replacing the rotted parts and repainting the whole thing, I decided to go with replacing the entire thing with a maintenance-free material.  I have already paid a down payment, so there is no turning back.  The company is booked until August, so I have to wait.  I will be sure to post the results.

10.  My mind is overflowing with ideas for blog posts and TPT products.  I can't wait to get started!  To go along with that, I am FINALLY going to start a Twitter and Instagram account.  I realize that I am way behind the times on this, but better late than never.  I will let you know when those are up and running (hopefully next week).

I'm going to check out everyone else's summer plans.  Thank you, Deanna for hosting this fun linky.  I'm sure I will get more ideas to add to my list after reading all of the link ups.

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Peek at my Week

Wow!  Last week was super busy.  I barely had time to breathe.  Anyway, I am excited to link up with my friend, Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings, for her fun linky, A Peek at my Week.


This week will be pretty crazy as well, as it is officially our last week of school!  I have the usual mixed emotions about this.  I absolutely love my class this year, and it's always hard to say good bye.  However, I have a to do list about 5 miles long that I can't wait to tackle.

Although my grades are turned in for report cards, I still need to finish the narratives.   That will be top priority for tomorrow so I can focus on enjoying my final days with this class.


On Wednesday, the fifth graders will be entertaining the entire school with their annual talent show.  It's so much fun to see how creative they are with this.  In the past, I've seen everything from a "trick shot" basketball video to dance, gymnastics, and martial arts.



Thursday is our last day of school.  I still can't believe it!  It really is true that time just flies by faster and faster!  We have a fun day planned for the students.  They will spend the morning participating in Super Games.  Super Games is an awesome company that provides water games, giant slides, obstacle courses and so much more for the kids (and teachers).

supergames

When they return, we have a couple of final things to take care of in the classroom, including handing out these classroom awards from Confessions of a Teaching Junkie. Students selected each one of their classmates to win an award.  There are 30 to choose from, so everyone is a winner!  As students' names are called, they come down the "runway" and receive high fives from all their peers.

End-of-the-Year Classroom Award Certificates

We will also look at the time capsules we completed at the beginning of the year.  Students will fill out a new form and compare it to what they filled out in the beginning of the year.  I used this form from Dots-n-Spots.com.
Time Capsule Form
We will end the day with a movie that one of my students will bring.  It should be a fun day for everyone!


On Friday, we have a teacher work day.  I can assure you that although I will check out on Friday, I will be in just about every day the following week for my annual "pitch everything I no longer want/use" event.  This was our first year using Common Core.  I also have a lot I want to do as far as organization with all the resources I have accumulated this year.

I hope everyone has peaceful days (relatively speaking, of course) as the school year winds down.  I'm off to Jennifer's blog to see what everyone else is up to this week.

Thank you, and have a great week!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Peek at my Week

It's Sunday, so I am linking up with my friend, Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her fun linky, A Peek at my Week.


I am still trying to grasp the fact that this is our last full week of school!  I will spend a LOT of time this week working on report cards.  I always love to share end of the year information with parents.  It is very rewarding to see the growth students made.

On Tuesday, we have a special guest coming to our school.  I am very excited to be part of the literacy committee that will welcome J. Patrick Lewis.  I have been sharing awesome poems from If You Were a Chocolate Mustache.



Students will be finishing up their biography reports and working on their final projects.  I allowed for students to choose their own project after we brainstormed a list of possibilities.  You can read my post about this here.  Our classroom is very busy, but students are working hard and very excited to share what they have learned.  Choice is a great motivator!

The other big thing we have going on this week is the fifth grade plays.  All four fifth grade classes will present plays to the school.  I will get to see my former students perform on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  The teachers and students always do a fabulous job with this.  I can't wait!

Those are the highlights for my week.  It will be busy, but a lot of fun!
Thank you, Jennifer for hosting this linky.
Have a great week!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturday - Pick Your Project


I can not believe that next week is our last full week of school.  After that, we have a three day week, and then we are done for the year. 

Right now, it is more important than ever to keep students motivated.  I am linking up with the wonderful Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching to share how students came up with a list of their own projects for motivation.

 

Our final writing project for the year is biographies (famous Ohioans).  Students are currently working on their final drafts using Google Docs (which I love).  I knew that when it came time to share, students would likely not be super attentive listening to 20+ other biographies.  We decided that it would be best for students to share only the most important/interesting information about their person.  Next, we just had to figure out the best way to do it.

Students brainstormed a list of projects.  Some we completed this year.  Some were favorites from last year, and some were ideas we just didn't get to this year.  Here is the list students came up with.


My students are very excited about their project choices.  Some are working together, and some are working independently.  I am hoping to have students present on Thursday and/or Friday.  I am super excited to see all the projects!

I am off to check out the other motivating ideas that are linked up.  Thank you, Joanne, for hosting this awesome linky.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Positive Thinking Thursday

Mistakes help form who we are.  I firmly believe in the importance of learning from your mistakes and trying new solutions.  It is definitely the way I have grown the most, in all areas of my life. 

Today, I am linking up with my friend, Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her inspirational linky, Positive Thinking Thursday

 

This quote reminds me that no matter what has happened in the past, each day offers a new opportunity to do better.  This is true for work, relationships, exercise, etc.
Always Improving
Learning from your mistakes is important, but doing something with what you learn can be invaluable.  Now, if only I could be at the beach like she is, I would probably be even more motivated!

Thank you, Jennifer, for this awesome linky.  This time of year is especially busy for all of us.  It is so nice to take some time to read these positve messages.  They definitely give my day a lift.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tried it Tuesday - Google Docs

All year long, I have been wanting to try Google Docs for a writing piece.  I finally decided to take the plunge during our final writing project - biographies.  I am linking up with the wonderful Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her helpful linky, Tried it Tuesday to let you know how it's going.


We are about midway through drafting our biographies, and I just love using Google Docs!  Honestly, I wish I would have been using it all year, and I will certainly use it next year.

http://oakhill.newton.k12.ma.us/sites/oakhill.newton.k12.ma.us/files/users/3/google_docs_image.png

The ability to comment is definitely my favorite part.   (I just made this up to show an example.)  I love how it highlights the part where you insert a comment.  You can highlight a space, a letter, a word, a sentence, or an entire portion of the text.


Right now, I just have one log in, so all comments are under my name.  This summer, I will definitely investigate this further.  I am very excited about using Google Docs for my writing in the future.

You can open up a Google Docs account at docs.google.com.  It is easy and free!

I can't wait to see what everyone else has tried this week.  I am already thinking about several things I want to try for next year.  I am going to check out Holly's blog for to add some more ideas to my list!  Thank you, Holly, for hosting this extremely helpful linky!

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Stitch Fix #3

Wow!  This time of year is crazy!  I am working on final projects, final reading assessments, final report cards...  It was so nice to come home yesterday and see that my Stitch Fix box was waiting for me on my front porch.  Trying on new clothes is a great stress reliever.

Two months ago, I tried Stitch Fix, and I liked it enough to get monthly fixes (at least for a while).  So far, I've found one or two pieces in each fix that I love.  My closet and my budget both like that!

If you want to read more about Stitch Fix, you can do so here.


The first item they sent was the Dita Colorblock Sleeveless Ponte Dress by 41Hawthorn.


This dress was my only disappointment because it looks like something to wear to the office, and I'm done with work in 3 weeks.  (I told them that.)  The dress was also too small (not their fault).  I like colorblocking, but not when two of the colors are black and white.  I sent this one back.


I was thrilled to get two dresses in this fix.  This one is the Kayli Stripe Cotton Fit & Flare Dress by Pomelo.  I really liked this dress.  (This photo doesn't do it justice.  I apologize for the bad lighting.)


The only reason I am sending this fun dress back is because I already own a fit & flare blue and white stripe dress.  The dresses are too similar for me to justify making this purchase.

Next up is the accessory.  This month, I received the Matilda Tropical Lace Scarf.


I like the fact that this was a colorful scarf, but the 80 degree weather we've been having is not encouraging me to buy a new scarf right now.  Also, I could not find anything in my closet to go with this and make an outfit I loved.  My rule is if I keep something from Stitch Fix, I need to have everything to go with it already in my closet.


The fourth item is this Azaria Braid Detailed Tank by Tart.


I really liked this tank.  However, the straps are too narrow for me to wear this top on its own.  I did find that it layers very nicely.  I was able to make several outfits for spring, and I know I will bring it out for more layered looks in the fall.



The final item is a Poppie Geo Print Swing Skirt by Lily.


I love this fun print!  However, I do not love the length.  I wrote "nothing maxi" in my style profile.  I immediately went back in and added "nothing maxi or midi".  I just can't pull of  those lengths. 

Well, that's it for Fix #3.  I kept the white tank and sent everything else back.

If you would like to give Stitch Fix a try, please consider using my referral code.  I will receive a $25 credit.  I would love to raffle off a gift card if I can get a couple of referrals.

Have a great weekend!