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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Multiplication x 3 &Tell Me Something Good Linky

Happy Sunday!  I'm doing my usual Sunday activities.... watching football, doing laundry,planning for next week, and grading.

Doesn't that sound like fun?  LOL! What do you do on Sunday afternoons?

When I saw that Jennifer from Rowdy in First Grade was having a "Tell Me Something Good" linky party, I really wanted to participate!  Too many times we focus on the negatives instead of the positives.  Click on the linky pic below to read about others "something good" and maybe participate yourself!  By the way, am I the only one that sings "tell me something goooood" when I read that?

Something GOOD at School:  Besides working at an awesome school, I will have to say that my 4th Grade team this year is great!  We work so well together and there isn't any drama (Knocking on wood as I type)!  For the first time in a long time I feel like we all have each other's backs.  Our team is made up of 6 very opinionated, strong willed ladies (and 1 collaborative teacher, a man who just sits backs and listens) but we all respect each other and know we all have the best interest of the students in mind.   It sure is nice to want to go to work each morning!

Something GOOD at Home: My teenage kids are so darn wonderful and I am so proud of them!  In a time where many kids are so disrespectful to adults and defy authority, I can honestly say my husband and I have raised our kids right! My daughter is a senior in High School and my son is a freshman.  Both of them do well in school and participate in extra curricular activities as well as volunteer in a variety of places.  They are very thoughtful and plain ol' good kids. Today my daughter is going to a concert (the Penatonics) in Austin with her HS choir and she made sure to have her laundry &  homework done before leaving since they will be home late tonight.  My son, came home from  his friends house this afternoon and cooked dinner for us..... fajitas and onion rice (easiest recipe ever).  It was so yummy!   Now don't get me wrong, they are teenagers so they occasionally roll their eyes or suck their teeth but overall they are awesome kids!

Another thing that is going good in my classroom is double digit multiplication.  Most of my students are finally getting it! I taught them three ways... partial product, regular algorithm, and lattice.
The students who didn't master their multiplication facts like they should have last year struggle a bit more and need to count on their fingers or look at the number line.

Here are some you tube videos that show each method. These aren't my videos but I googled them so perhaps if you didn't know what I was talking about you could see it. :)   How do you teach 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sub binder freebies, Clip Art, & new blog

Hi friends,

Happy Sunday! I don't know about you but for some reason I can't "catch up" this year. I have a great class and an even better team so I can't blame it on that but I feel so behind and kinda overwhelmed.

This year my principal is rewarding teachers for perfect attendance every month.  She announces all the teachers who haven't been absent (our announcements are  televised in all our classrooms). The  students love hearing our names. Then she has a student broadcaster pick out one teacher name for a prize. In September the prize was a $25 gift card to a yummy restaurant named Perricos.   I didn't win but my team leader did so I was happy.  I don't know what this month's prize will be but I am sure it will be great!  I haven't been absent yet however I am feeling sick right now.  The allergens in South Texas are absolutely re-donk-u-less!

Speaking of absences, how do you call in sick or take a day off?  Do you have a sub tub or a sub binder or use a folder?  We put in for our own subs through the computer or phone.  We can request a favorite sub or just get one assigned by the sub system.
I leave my plans in a sub binder.  Click here if you want to download this cover to use for your sub binder. In my Substitute Binder I keep everything from the sub plans, daily schedule, & info about my students to the fire drill & tornado procedures. I also keep a  generic easy peasy word search to use in case of emergencies (or that I didn't leave enough planned).  Click here to get download a copy of the School Rocks word search to use in your sub binder. What do you keep in your sub binder/folder? For more ideas and/or freebies visit Elementary Matters' Sub Tub Linky Party by clicking the pic below.

I get asked a lot where I buy my frog clipart. One of my favorite places is Scrappin Doodles. I also know a lot of you are Owl lovers so I wanted to share this new clipart that was just posted. Who woulda thunk that someone would make germ clipart but Scrappin Doodles did.
Make sure to use the discount code: OCTOBER2012 
to receive 15% off any purchase of $5.00 or more.

There's a new collaborative blog in the teaching world and I am a part of it.  Tips For Top Teachers: A Smorgasboard of Teaching Resources.   It was created today and it already has several great post and freebies!
Tips for Top Teachers: A Smorgasboard of Teaching Resources

Also make sure you stop by Classroom DIY to see my Halloween DIY post..... pumpkin poop!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Currently, Diabetes, and Turning in Homework

Happy October! I can't believe it's already October! New month means new Currently from Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade!   So here ya go...

One of my favorite treats is a delicious caramel apple.  I love caramel with almost anything but something about caramel and apples just make my taste buds dance!  I also LOVE caramel apple lollipops and here in San Antonio I can only find them at Target and only during the Halloween season. If you haven't tried one you must! 
One of my favorite fall books (which was new to me this year) is The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg.  Here is South Texas we don't really have 4 seasons... well, we do according to the calendar but not according to the weather or the change of colors in the leaves.  Before Texas I lived in N.J., N.H, and Mass. so as you can imagine I really miss the real fall season.  However, luckily for me, my dear friend Stacey (who works with me) has a cottage in Vermont where she spends her summers.  She also usually goes for a quick trip in October.  This year when she went for her yearly October visit she brought me and my class a bunch of beautifully colored maple leaves. What made the leaves even more special is that Stacey came to our class and read us a story by her favorite author, Chris Van Allsburg called The Stranger.   Stacey first shared some fabulous pictures of the incredible foliage that surrounds her cottage and the lake where the cottage sits. Then she told us that she had a story to share with us.  She turned her book upside down and zillions and zillions of leaves fell out on to the floor.  Ok, I may be exaggerating a little but the book showered fall leaves. My classroom was full of oooohs and aaaaahs.  Stacey read the story and pointed out clues that would help us guess who "the stranger" was.   We were all so into the story and absolutely hypnotized  by the illustrations.   After the story the students were told to pull out their Reading Notebooks and write down who they thought the stranger was and some of the clues that made them make that guess.  Then Stacey gave them their very own Vermont Maple leaf to tape under their writing.  You would have thought she was passing out $100 bills. Some of the students didn't want to tape down their leaves but instead put them in a baggie to take home and share with their families.    I am so sad that I didn't take pictures to share with you but it's something I will never forget.  I plan on doing this same activity with my students every year.... which means I'll be asking my dear friend Stacey to pick me up a leaf or two on her annual trips :)

Now that I share with you that I love caramel apples and caramel apple lollipops I will share with you that I SHOULDN'T be eating them. You see I have type 2 diabetes.   In early November, I will be participating in the Diabetes Walk here in San Antonio.  If you live close to SA I would love you to join me.  If not, you can still show support by making a small donation under my name to the American Diabetes Association by clicking HERE.  Thanks in advance for your support!

I'm curious about homework...  How much do you assign each night? Do you grade it and put it in your grade book? How do you collect it and check it?  I use this pocket chart to collect my homework. It is part of my morning routine for the students come in the classroom, unpack, turn in  homework, etc.  I numbered the pockets with numbers but you can easily label them with the students names.   I can see who didn't turn in their homework with just  a glance.  I only use this for homework and other items that are to be turned in from home.   The students turn in their daily classroom work in a basket. Comment below and share how you deal with homework.

Have a frogilicious week!