Monday, July 30, 2012

Step 3: Shared Journals Success Criteria & MONDAY MADE IT





I absolutely LOVE Monday Made It with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics. I am so making one of those mini pocket chart stands. Or, more accurately, hubster is making one for me...he just doesn't know yet!





As I watch the Olympics, I am busy finishing up my Shared Journals. I'll be printing up each piece and putting it together soon. These will be glued to the back inside cover of the journals.


I am a member of Proteacher (which I love). I "found" a link for an option with Vista Print that allows you to purchase materials with FREE shipping. You have to spend $1 in order to qualify.
Here is what I created...it's just a few of the many, many items that you can make. I think my grand total was $13 because I paid extra for pictures that I uploaded for the t-shirt and cap.
Yup, you can get your FREE items shipped for FREE if you spend $1. I ship them to our nearby border outlet since I am in Canada.


This lawn sign will be hung in my classroom. It won't actually include the little stand :) I googled quotes for teachers/kids and found some great ideas.


This banner will be on the bulletin board outside my classroom door for the first month of school...maybe more.


This is the message on my pen. It coordinates with my banner and sign. {love}

Here are the cute sticky notes that I purchased. I added the message. I am thinking it will be cute for my class store.

I made lots more but didn't want to bore you. Other items that you can get for FREE include; hat, note paper, t-shirt, photo book, business cards (I am using as reading strategy bookmarks), address labels (I am using as contact info for parents), tote bag, mug, small stamp, and more...

So, so excited!
Okay-just one more.
My MUG...lol...for school. LOVE.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Step 2: Inside Shared Journals {check}

I really love the idea of shared journals. I prepared covers for the journals that I'll be using this fall. I made them 1/2 page size and will print, cut, and glue them to coil bound notebooks.
On the inside of each journal, will be instructions for the kids to help remind them what to write about.
I am going to look for 1/2 page blank & 1/2 page lined books but don't hold out too much hope.
Our school does provide this type of journal but I was hoping to get something more special.
I am also going to include a checklist on the back page of each journal so that kids can check their name off as they complete their entry.

Not done yet! Stay tuned...


Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell Me More, Tell Me More!!


Amy Lemon's linky party sounds like fun. Plus, I've had quite a kick reading about other bloggers and their lives. So, in the spirit of fair play, here are some things you may not have known about me...

1. I am a Canadian, eh (as you know) and I live in a small community outside of a small village (600 people) in North Western Ontario. We are approx. 250 miles north of Duluth, Minnesota.


Kakabeka Falls village is named after the 40 m (130 feet) falls that our tourism industry is centered around. It's beautiful and awe-inspiring. I grew up 5 miles from the falls.


Thunder Bay is the closest "city" that we have in NorthWestern Ontario. It has a population of 120,000. I got to town a couple of times a week (we love living in the country). This picture shows two things TBay is famour for...1) The Sleeping Giant and 2) Lake Superior. At one time, we had the biggest grain ports in North America.

2. I met my husband when we were both 15. At first I thought he was too city for this country girl. He wore a BRACELET and a NECKLACE. He also GELLED his hair. ohmyword. Luckily, I came around (lol)

This is one of my favourite pictures of hubster and Logan when he was a baby. {heart}. We dated from age 15 until we got married at 20. Young and naive. It's been really tough, but worth it. We always believed in each other and knew that things would work out. At the beginning, we were homeless and lived with my parents. Hard work, some tears, perseverance and 14 years later we bought our dream house.

3. Some of my closest friends are my cousins, from BOTH sides of my family. I am the oldest grandchild on my dad's side. Here we are 30 years ago (eeek). 
I am holding my cousin Sarah (pink outfit). She's my birthday twin (separated by 8 years) and this August I am very lucky to be her bridesmaid. Love.my.birthday.twin.

4. I've been married for 17 years and am 37 years old. Hubster and I have been together for 22 years (minus 8 months when we went our separate ways at age 19-only to reunite at 20). I moved to Winnipeg and lived with two of my other bestie cousins and had an AWESOME first year of university. Fun times, friends.


My beautiful children. Top left Abbigayle (14), bottom left Logan (9) and right side Beth (16). Love them to bits. They are smart, loving, respectful kids. They are, with the exception of Abbi, rather messy. They promise to get to it later...huh...later never arrives. I WILL instill a love of cleaning in them.

5. I hate mice. I am petrified of them and HATE them so much. When Beth was a baby our bedroom was being renovated as we were adding a drop ceiling. One night, I am sitting in bed, nursing the baby, when all of a sudden WHAM. a little mouse falls right beside me onto the bed. WHAM. another little mouse falls right beside me. Needless to say, I panicked, screamed, cried, ran in circles and a hatred of mice was forever born.




6. I have been to Toronto 7 times in the past three years. As part of an action research team, we met with other teams in TO. Our little team consisted of my bff Sherri, and three other super fantastic people. Good times were had by all. We learned a lot at our conferences during the day and were able to see some shows, visit some malls, ride the subway and more at night. This is a picture of Sherri and me. Our team bonded during our projects and we.had.a.blast.

7. I love my nephews. Love them like they are my own. I feel so blessed that we are close and thank God everyday for my family. I don't have any nieces. Not even one. Sad :(

Newphew Connor, my brother Jamie, wife Becky and nephew Parker. Little baby-almost-born Arin is also in the picture ; )

8. I cannot live without a Tim's double double. Someday, if we get to meet in a bloggy meet-up sorta thing I shall bring everyone a Tim's double double. Promise. You will LOVE it.


9. I don't like hockey. At all. Just sayin' this Canuck isn't a hockey fan.

So there you go. All kinds of info about me...what are you like?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Step 1: Shared Journal Covers {check}

My parents JUST got in from beautiful British Columbia for a three week visit. This blog post will be short...

I watched a tutorial on Classroom DIY by Tessa about how to make your own frames in MS Publisher. Here are six covers that I've made to cover my Journals for class writing activities. I have some ideas I'd like to try out concerning Journals, pictures, fancy pens and folders...stay tuned...more to come

I've tried to make sure that the Journals have different types of writing and that they are engaging.
The fonts are from Kevin & Amanda.

 
 
{click HERE to get covers}

I'm not finished this little project, but this is all I can do for now. Parents await...

Enjoy! Any suggestions for other topics? I am thinking a letter writing task would be good...hmmmm

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Without further ado, the two winners of my 200 Follower Giveaway are Nancy B. and Jane from Learning in the Little Apple. Congratulations! I've sent you an email requesting your home address so that I can send you your prize...

Thank you so much to all of my fabulous followers. I appreciate everyone who entered and I'm sending cyber hugs your way!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just a *Few* of My Favourite Picture Books

I am going to link up with Lindsey from The Teacher Wife for must have picture books. I have narrowed it down to my top 5...

I have a {slight} problem with buying picture books. I love them and can't seem to get enough of them. Love. them. Oh well...I think I am in good company :)
Here are a few of my favourites...

Max Lucado is amazing. I read this book to my kids when they were little and my middle daughter still reads it to herself (she's 14). A truly heartwarming story with a great message. It has definite religious undertones, which meant that I couldn't read it at school :(   BUT I thoroughly enjoyed it with my own little family.




 Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse is a great story. It has a powerful message and the kids can relate to it. This one is a definite favourite of my class. Lilly is an engaging, enthusiastic character who makes a mistake and then must face the consequences of her actions. She loves her teacher, Mr Slinger, but gets in trouble for disrupting the class. When Mr Slinger takes away her possessions for the day, Lilly tries to "get even."

Love.


Another Kevin Henkes book. Chrysanthemum is an excellent cross-curricular book as it lends itself well to math (graphing) activities. It also has a powerful message and is a great read aloud for the beginning of the year. In a nutshell, it's about a girl who is teased about her name because it's different. Chrysanthemum teaches the other characters a lot about being brave and standing up for oneself. A wonderful story!



Okay. Had to include this one. Honestly, I never read this book until this year when I was inspired by all the bloggers who had a Dr Seuss themed week during Read Across America. My kids LOVED it. It was their favourite read aloud and one that they could make lots of connections to. At the end of the school year, I still had kids coming up and telling me that certain things reminded them of the Lorax. Awesome.





This was my favourite, favourite, favourite book when I was growing up. It got this for my birthday when I turned 5 and read it so many times over the years that it fell apart. It doesn't have a powerful message, but it is fun and engaging. I love the pictures...there is a subplot happening in the illustrations. The story is about a man who is very proud of his new top hat and searches EVERYWHERE for it when he loses it. He ends up with a new friend and his hat.

What are your favourites?


***************My GIVEAWAY ends at midnight tonight...****************

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Made It and Last Chance for Giveaway!

I am linking up for Monday Made It with two projects. I love Monday Made It! Thanks again, Tara, for the wonderful chance to share ideas and get inspired. My first MMI is a recipe, not really a project. But divine.The second is a little, really easy and effective calming-down device.


The heat here has been unbearable. REALLY hot. Imagine, then, my shock when my kids asked me to make banana bread last night. Banana bread??!  Being the sucker great mom that I am, I did make them a couple of loaves. However, I waited until 10 pm when it was a lot cooler. :)

I completely forgot to take pictures as I went along, but took these when I was ready to put them in the oven:



You can see my "recipe book" aka laptop in the background and some of the ingredients I used. I also added chocolate chips...lots of chocolate chips.

I mixed the squashed bananas, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda and margarine together in a mixing bowl. I then added the flour and chocolate chips and stirred just enough to mix the ingredients and moisten the flour. 

Into the oven for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Out comes D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S-N-E-S-S. Ooey gooey yuminess.

So good, in fact, that my nine year old son took a piece before I could take a picture :)


{click HERE for the recipe}

I made TWO loaves and they lasted until breakfast. Yup. They ARE that great. We ate them with a little butter, cheese and tea. Perfect snack/breakfast.

My second Monday Made It is a project I've been wanting to do for a while. It's a RELAX bottle/ MIND JAR.  I first saw it on Pinterest and was immediately intrigued. What a fantastic idea for those kids who might need a little quiet time. 

First, you need a container with lid (I chose plastic), glitter glue, glitter, water, and super glue. That's it.



To the HOT water add the glitter glue (2 tablespoons) and the glitter. Mix it up really well. I used a little wire whisk. I also used boiling water and figured out how much I'd need by filling the little bottle up ALMOST all the way and then pouring this water back into the measuring cup.


Pour this mixture into the bottle that you have chosen. See how the glitter has already settled to the bottom? Use super glue or hot glue to glue the cap on.


The purpose of the RELAX bottle is to give kids a chance to calm down if they are having a difficult time. Kids watch the glitter settle and as they do, they slowly start to calm down.On average it takes about 5 minutes for the glitter to make its way to the bottom of the bottle.

Last year I had some difficult behaviours in my class, and could have really used this bottle. I am very excited to try it out with the kids. Maybe I'll get Logan to test it next time he needs some quiet time...


Ahhhhh...watching the serene blue glitter slowly descend is making me feel so peaceful. {smiles} I am going to add ribbon to the lid to decorate it up and perhaps the word RELAX on the side. What do you think?

REMINDER:  The giveaway that I am hosting ends tomorrow at midnight. Don't forget to enter!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Procedures and PIE

This was my first year explicitly teaching PIE...and I noticed a huge difference in the my both my Reading and Writing program. In the past, I taught Author's Purpose as a 6 week pathway, and referred to it (sometimes) inconsistently for the rest of the year.
To start, I downloaded, printed, and laminated these PIE charts from Second Grade Shenanigans. They remained on my Reading and Writing Workshop bb all year long...

{click picture to go to Hope King's freebie}

We follow the "First Steps Writing" program in our board, which lays out specifically what type of writing you teach each year to each grade. In my opinion, kids need to be exposed to all sorts of writing (just like reading) and not pigeon-holed into one specific kind according to term. So, I taught procedure writing to both my 2s and 3s (which is what I do each year).
We started each lesson with author's purpose (new to me)...and I would remind them "It's all about the PIE." This was new to me because, in the past, I skipped over purpose. I guess that I figured I had taught it, they had learned it, time to move along. At times, I would refer to author's purpose but definitely not as often as I should have.
Another aspect I focused on was "Glow" and "Grow" self & peer feedback after each formal lesson. This gave kids a chance to talk about something that they did well on and a goal for improvement. Loved it.
I found this idea on Pinterest and immediately followed the link to "Wards Way of Teaching" to find out more about it. Since then, I've noticed it pinned like C.R.a.Z.y! I love it because it fits in with my "strength-based" approach...start with something that the kids are proud of THEN go to the goal for improvement :)

{click picture to go to blog post}

Our procedural writing this year included recipes, games, dioramas and crafts. Our Morning Routine anchor chart, one of my kids pointed out, was also a procedure. So smart. Click on the pictures to go to the post, site, blog etc that inspired me:

Purple Popcorn Muffins during Seuss Week


Kids LOVED this...they even remembered that it's a Non-Newtonian substance...


Puffy paint, another fun activity. The salt makes it sparkly...


{click for recipe}

Homemade sculpy thumbprint necklaces for Mother's Day...awesome. I made the sculpy at home and the kids rolled it out, cut it out, painted it and put it on ribbon...

Necklaces inspired by Monic at The Schroeder page. Thank you.


Healthy banana/strawberry smoothies made with yogurt.



Animal Research Project dioramas...made with salt dough animals. 

On the last day of school we played Minute to Win-It which were all procedural games. Lots of fun!! I got the ideas from the NBC site.

{click picture for full Minute to Win It packet}

During the year, as kids completed each Procedure activity, they filled out a form. The form included a goal (why are you doing this?), materials, steps, diagram, and reflection. For the reflection, they had to write down one strength about their procedure and one next step. They were then required to switch with a partner and each do a glow and grow with a peer. I often used the random group generator for the partnerships.
It's a simple form but effective. Click the picture to download it :)


I am very fortunate and have a SmartBoard in my classroom. Each procedure could be displayed on the screen, and steps were easy to follow. It also meant that the outcome wasn't a surprise and kids could easily reflect on whether or not their procedure needed to be tweaked. We also completed the procedure form together and used it as a reference when doing independent work.

I taught procedures as Informing the reader...would you agree? At times, the kids were adamant that it must be Entertaining as they were having so much fun : ) Tricky...

*******YOU STILL HAVE TWO DAYS TO ENTER MY 200 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY*******