Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale on TpT!

I am back from my week long vacation to the family cottage for a week.  I am relaxed, ready for my own bed, and ready to get back in the swing of things!  First thing: BACK TO SCHOOL SALE on TpT!
I am offering 20% off and TPT is offering 10% off WITH THE CODE BTS13.  If you forget the code, you will still get my 20%, but you will not get their additional percent.

I do 20%, they say 10% but the sales maxes out at 28%

Fill your cart with my materials, their materials, everyone's materials because this sale lasts 2 days!

Check out My TPT Store here!

Remember, leaving feedback means points.  Points mean money towards TpT stuff, and who doesn't love TpT stuff?!?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Secrets of the iPad link up

Matt from Digital Divide and Conquer is hosting a link up of iPad tricks to teach his staff.  I thought I would share what I know and see if it helps anyone else!

How I use my iPad (iPhone).  We are getting iPads in the classroom, but dont have them yet.  In the past year, I have been using my personal iPad and iPhone in the classroom.  Here are some tips, tricks, and what I use them for.

For the apps that are note default to the iPad, click on the image for the store.

I use the clock (default) as a time in my room to help kids know when to switch centers.  I have the timer with me so even when I am doing small group it rings, I reset it and keep listening to my small group.  I have a helper rotate the board so they know where to go next.  They clean up, check the new board, and go to the new center.
I use the camera all the time to take pictures of notes we make on the board, student work, students working, and more.   I love using the camera to show evidence of learning!  Starting next year, when I have the kindergarteners, when they are doing a math center and a literacy center, to be held accountable, they have to take a picture of their completed task with their name card under it so I can see whose it was, what they got done, and check for understanding, while still being able to be working with my small group at the time!

I have used for my lesson plans for a year now.  This summer, they just came out with the iPad App!  You still need to make an account on the computer, but one you do you have easy lesson plan changes at your fingertips, links (embedded in lessons) right there if you would want them and more! Swoon.

I have an extensive class library, and so does everyone in our school. We do not have an electronic card
catalogue in our school--we still have the paper one. When it comes to looking up a book for a lesson, this can get tricky.  I finally came up with a solution!  Catalogue your books with this app!  It is technically an iPhone app, but it does work on the iPad. I have it on both and sync them up.  On the iPhone, if you dont have a scannable ISBN number, you can type it in--or use voice text so you dont hit the wrong number on the tiny keypad!  You can check books out (guided reading books anyone?) and you can put them in different library categories.  There is a free version but to store on computer and convert between devices it it $3.99.  Worth it.  LOVE.

Our school plans on using the iPads as document cameras as well as the other iPad funcitons.  Using this YouTube tutorial, the husband of one of our staff members is going tp make one of these stands for each iPad.  We will then we will use the camera function with the iPad pointing at the document/project/materails, etc.  The iPad will be connected to a projector with a Lightening to VGA cable (they do have one for older iPad versions-the 12 pin one) and then the anything under the camera can be seen on the projection screen, white board!

You can use Google+ app to take your photos from your phone/iPad to your blogger account with easy blogging and uploading to your computer.  Tutorial from one of my previous posts here.

ScreenChomp is a free app that I use to make videos for my kids.  I have used it to make handwriting videos, and plan on doing it for numbers, and how to do certain math things for parents.  Especially in math, there are ways we are teaching the kids to do and the parents can't help because they don't know the new method (lattice math for example).  If you did a quick how to set it up and simple tutorial, you could show the parents how to help at home!  It records voice, and white board like writing on the screen.  You can put a photo in the background as well (for me I put the lined paper I was going to do handwriting on).  See here for the original post.  To save/email is a little tricky but possible: After recording (and hitting stop) a small screen will pop up. Change the name AT THIS TIME, and then hit share.  At the top, a share thing will pop up (papers with a number).  Click the papers, then click the movie you just named.  Hit share again on the bottom (blue).  Email link to yourself (or have students send to you depending on the purpose of the video).  Open the link on a regular computer and download.  That download can then be uploaded to youtube or other video host source.  It can be embedded from anywhere with that link then.


  • If you are typing with your thumbs and you cant reach the whole keyboard, start with your thumbs in the middle and drag outward at the same time with both thumbs.  You will get two smaller keyboards allowing for easier typing. Reverse it for a whole keyboard again.
  • If your device is running slow, double click the home button and you will get all of your open programs.  Hold one down till they wiggle.  Hit the X to cancel out of these.  When you simply leave the program they are still running in the background but this officially closes them.
  • power button on top and the home key at the same time is a screen shot (if you want a screen shot of the students scores or something they have done on the app for accountability)
  • There are a million apps.  If you are looking for something, type it in on google "practice handwriting iPad app" for example, and it should come up with a link to the store.  
  • You can lock your screen (from rotating every time they touch it), by double clicking that home screen button, and swiping to to the left (swipe finger to the right).  On the right hand side is an arrow going in a circle.  Click that to lock the screen in the direction you are currently in.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five for Friday& Giveaway!

Five for Friday Time with Doodle Bugs Teaching

5. I will be joining Matt at Digital: Divide and Conquer on Saturday for hisSECRETS of the iPADS- It will be a compilation of "lessons, tips, tricks, nuggets, and whatever else you might have to share that relate to iPads in class (and personal life)"  I have been prepping for this this today.

So happy I kissed him
4. Last Saturday, I got the opportunity to go to the Packer Family Night.  A good friend of mine won 4 tickets on a local radio show (top 9 at 9) and decided to make it a girls night! 

 THEN to top it all off, her husband works for the news station that was airing the game so we got to go on the field!  I was in Heaven!
My friends caught the true
emotion on my face!

Laying by the G -my monogram ;) 

3. My 4K classroom is almost done! Due to recent storms in our area, I had a lot of time at school.  Check out my room by clicking HERE.

2. The storm damage to my house is cleaned up.  Read about the storm Here.  Yay for getting back on our feet!

1. We are heading up to the cottage for our families week on Sunday. Every year, each family member gets Grandpa's cottage to themselves for a week and our time is finally here! Taking  a break from technology, school, and home life in general for a whole week!  See everyone when I return on the 17th!

A fellow midwestern blogger, Polka-Dot-Kinders is celebrating 400+ Bloglovin followers!!  To celebrate, she is having an amazing giveaway!  I have my Common Core + Next Generation Science Standard Report Cards (your choice of grade) in her third pack, but there are some other AWESOME bloggers and products in the giveaways!  Check it out!
Click on the image to go to the giveaway blog post!
Good Luck!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crazy Storms = Classroom Done?!?!

Wednesday morning (12:45am to be exact) a major storm that developed VERY quickly and produced what they are calling "straight winds." There were gusts in my area 75-86 miles per hour and 5 tornados reported with in 30 miles.  I woke up to my ceiling fan slowing down, which means the power JUST went out.  I run to shut our windows and it looks like a power washer is blasting our bedroom window.  I run to close the kitchen window. As lightning flashes I see that a GIANT branch off our 100 year old tree laying on top of our power lines.  I tried calling non-emergency police to report it, it was dead.  I called 911 and it was busy.  After 25 minutes of a busy signal with 911 (I didn't know that could happen!) I finally got the sheriff who wrote down my address and hung up.  6:30 am the Fire Department checked and the line was dead so we were safe.  The damage is crazy around here.  43 hours later we have power.

All the teachers went to school because our little school was the only place for MILES that had power (how it survived with power we aren't sure) and we all used that to charge our cell phones, be in the light, and some even brought their curling irons!  Needless to say, we got a lot done in our rooms because it was better than being at home!  I actually finished my classroom (the 4k room) and am starting some of the nit-picky details!

The power just came on, the first thing I do after resetting all the clocks?  Blog of course!

Here are some storm pictures & room pictures.

Tree pinning down our overhead power lines in my back yard

When the lines pulled down, they pulled this metal pole bending it 90* This pole brings the lines into our home.  It went from a lower case l to a capital L!
When the lines pulled down, they pulled this metal pole bending it 90* This pole brings the lines into our home.  It went from a lower case l to a capital L!
My hand on the branch that fell...the branch, not a tree, but one branch!
the left of the screen is the power line, the right is the end of the tree.  The width of my back yard is the height of the BRANCH from our tree!
Splintered power lines on my way to school. 
Splintered power lines on my way to school.
43 hours later, we have the wonderful WE Energy man who drove more than 2 hours to help our area putting the power back on in service!  The closest hotel he could find (when he gets off at midnight) is an hour away.  The linemen are working SO HARD to help us.  Thank You!
After clean up, this is the cut up branch in front of our house.  So much tree, but we were SO lucky to have our home, our cars that we use to go to work, and NO  injuries.  


Now that all is normal, I plan on prepping more in the paper form for this upcoming year!  Thank goodness we have electricity to work from home ;)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How I am doing 2 Rooms-How it can help you get organized too!

I am teaching 2 grades this coming year, 4K and the afternoon portion of a full-day kindergarten program.  Needless to say, with 2 rooms, 2 sets of curriculum, 2 sets of standards, and 2 sets of kids I will NEED to be organized.
4k-All Subjects
K-Math, Science, Social Studies, Art

I will be based out of my 4k Room (last year's room).  I will have two of these carts, one for each room.  The purple one is the 4k drawer and it will sit stationary in the room.  The green cart is on wheels.  I will organized and plan in my 4k room and push my 5K cart with me into that room with my materials.


I will use my assessment binder that I have refined over the past year for my 4k curriculum.  I will observe them or in the formal assessment at the end of each quarter.
make a tab for each student and continue to check off the assessments as I

5K assessment will consist of an assessment binder with a tab for each student.  In this binder there will be my Common Core checklist as well as the Next Generation Science Standards.  (available k-5) as well as other standards checklist that I will check off as I go.

I will set up my weekly (or couple week) themes as usual for 4K.  The Literacy teacher has three week book themes that she tends to follow and then I can mix my 4k.  I use my google calendar to create events and then Color code according to grade it is for.  I embed this on our class blog/website.

click on the image to go to the site.

In the 4k room, I have the thematic bins and book boxes in my closet:

In the 5k room, I have the thematic Binders split into seasons:

I hope that these systems put in place at this point (before school starts) will help me run efficiently, and I hope that it helps you get organized and get going as well!  Good Luck!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, & Me, Oh My!

It was great to see how many people downloaded these packs, but I didn't get any feedback!  Leave comments on the item or on the blog about likes, dislikes, or wants!  I want to help you!

I attended a technology conference this past week, and while there, a lot of talk came up about Common Core.  It is the basis for many of our content areas--the ones that have common core as well as the other subject areas.

It also came up that the content areas (Math and Science, for example) cannot only read their respective standards, but also read the Language Arts ones.  Content teachers need to integrate the same principals as the Language Arts teachers are in the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills of the students.  Departments become teams rather than separate entities.

Our school does a lot of part time positions, one teacher teaching in the AM and another in the PM.  This means that even at the elementary level, there can be different teachers for different subjects.  I am a prime example as I am teaching kindergarten in the afternoon and I will be teaching math, science, social studies, and art.  I have been looking at the Math Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.  Now, upon attending this conference I realize I also need to look at Language Arts so I can incorporate some of the informational texts, listening, speaking, and comprehension standards into my content areas.  At the same time, the morning literacy teacher will also need to look at the Science Standards when she is doing her informational text weather unit, for example.

So, to the point: Our school collaborates quite a bit and I took the standards for Math and Language Arts Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards and put them in report card (or checklist) format for our WHOLE staff.  I have put these on Teachers Pay Teachers by grade for you to purchase.  I have combined all three documents into zip files for each grade K-5!

Click on your grade to be taken directly to my TpT store for your grade pack!
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade

To get people interested, get some feedback,  and to see who reads to the bottom ;)
I am offering these packs FREE until 

I would love feedback (on TpT or in the comments below), what do you like, not like, want from these report cards?