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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Back to Blogging and Walking Wisdom!

I know, I know... I've said it before.  In fact, I've said it  a million many times but this time I am going to stick to it.  Starting today, I WILL BLOG REGULARLY!  (If I capitalize, bold, and underline the words I really mean it, right?)

I'm not going to make excuses, I've just been lazy.     #sorrynotsorry   #sometimesijustneedtorest

I am starting to get my life more organized.  I am not waiting to make a New Year's resolution, I am starting today.  11:45PM on 11/29/14!  I vow to write everything down and go through my to do list daily. 

Anywho, enough about my laziness and time management issues I want to share with you a FABULOUS (oh, I must really mean it!) way my students get smarter and exercise at the same time. 
Whaaat what?   Yup, you heard me right, my students are getting smarter while they are walking and getting exercise... thanks to The Walking Classroom!  Go check out their website it has a wealth of information.  I also invite you to follow them on facebook  and tell them Lorraine from Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies sent ya.

I was very fortunate to be awarded a grant from The Walking Classroom at the beginning of this school year for 24 WalkKits which contain 4th Grade ELA curriculum.   My students literally beg me to use these every single day. Everything comes ready to go.  It is completely easy for the kids (and the teacher) to use and even comes with a giant binder full of lessons and quizzes.  You can click HERE to see an example of an idiom lesson plan that is provided.     Click HERE to see the table of contents for the 4th grade curriculum.  

I really encourage you to check it out.  You know me I am honest, more honest than I should be sometimes....  when I first applied for the grant I thought I would never win and if I did, I wondered how I could add another thing to our day.  The first time I used this in the class I had to cut 30 minutes of something else out to get this in.  As we continued to use The Walking Classroom it became part of our routine and the lessons fit it so nicely with what we have in our district given curriculum.  It's amazing how easy it was to integrate what I was already doing.  It's unbelievable how much the kids love using the Walkkits but even more unbelievable the amount they retain from the lessons.  Each podcast lesson is an average of 15 minutes.  We live in South Texas where the weather is usually great but when its raining outside we just walk the halls.  I am sure it wasn't the intention of The Walking Classroom but the Walkkits can soooooo be used for bribery!   I will say that I may or may not have said a time or two, "If we can't quiet down this afternoon we will not use the Walkkits tomorrow".   I am not proud of it but it works!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some pics of my class using it. 

Walk on my friends!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Mailbox #BeTheDifference Fall Edition

Can you believe fall is here?  We just finished our first 9 week grading period of the year.  Time is passing way too quick!  Only two and half weeks before we have a week off for Thanksgiving which means just over a month until Christmas break.  Holy Holiday Break Batman!!!!It seems like I am more overwhelmed then ever but at the same so thankful for having the best job ever!    I don't know what it is this year, but I feel like I can't get it all in.  I just need an extra couple of hours to my day so I can teach everything I need to.   We are not even close to state testing yet... I can't imagine how I am going to feel then!  YIKES!
Anywho, at this time of the year not only do we celebrate the holidays but we also reflect on what we are thankful for.  One of the many things I am thankful for besides my family, friends, and having the best job in the world is the opportunities my blog and blogging friends have brought me.   The Mailbox has provided me and many of teachers the opportunity to share how we can be the difference in our students lives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               It's time to celebrate a new season of #BeThe Difference with The Mailbox Magazine!  Once again, they sent me this box full of goodies. It included some stickers, candy corn, a couple of pencils, a notepad, a great bag, and some great ideas for fun activities.

One of the activities I tried out was this matching game.   I know, I know, matching games are for little kids and who in the world has time for games these days?   Well this game, was to help my fourth graders review Science vocabulary terms.   I made it out of index cards.  I had the vocabulary words on some cards and the definitions of those words on other cards.  I threw in a couple of cards with a turkey sticker on them and an awesome game was born. The students try to match the vocabulary word with its meaning.  If they flip a "turkey" they lose a turn.  I can use this game for any type of review and match it up to any holiday.  
Yup, I am making a difference by making learning fun and making sure my kids are not only engaged in their learning and full participants in their learning!!!!

  It's funny how easy it is to make such a game and how much the kids LOVED playing it.  It's even more pathetic funnier that I needed The Mailbox Magazine to help me think of it!  

 I get such great ideas from The Mailbox Magazine and their gold online subscription!  Here is a screenshot of just one resource.  It grade level appropriate and lined up to CCSS (even though I'm in Texas and we don't do Common Core almost all activities go along with our TEKS as well).  This particular Language Arts worksheet was a great activity for the students to do at home when I introduced the thesaurus.  

I'd love to hear what fun simple games you use in your classroom and how do you #BeTheDifference for you students?  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Currently in November

Thank goodness for my FAB friend Farley and her just a fabulous Currently linky.   I have not been blogging like I should and I don't ever like to miss her linky parties so here I am!

I actually have a lot to blog about and I am hoping to do so regularly now that the first grading period of school is done.   It is one of my goals to be more organized with my time.... I am a horrible time manager but I just can't be any more.

Anywho, join me and a million (not much of an exaggeration) other bloggers at the Currently linky party by clicking on the button below.

Listening - I'm watching Cupcake Wars while munching on Milky Way and drinking a Diet Coke from Sonic....best ice in the country :)   I am really shouldn't watch this show because I now I want cupcakes!!!!  Warm, moist, sweet goodness!  

Loving - It's November!!!!  That means that my favorite season, fall, is here.  Well, living in South Texas the fall weather doesn't really come until December or so but today the weather was pretty good!  It was nice and cool.  We got a cool front in and it was 68 today.  I prefer low 60 or high 50s but 68 is way than being in the 90s!  In November is my son's birthday, our anniversary (24 years this year), and Thanksgiving... the holiday of gravy giving THANKS (but I do love my mom's turkey gravy!!!!)

Thinking - I definitely need to organize my schedule a bit more.  I waste so much time, yet I don't have enough time in my day!  Story of my life!

Wanting - see listening (and bring me a cupcake)

Needing - to start exercising because of the Milky Ways I am munching on and the darn cupcakes that I am craving. If you look back through many of my Currentlys you will see that I have needed to start exercising almost every month for the last couple of years!   Well, if I scheduled some time in my unorganized schedule, I would actually walk now the weather is getting cooler.  

Reading - Acts of Teaching - How to Teach Writing  It is like the Literacy Bible!!!!  It's amazing!  A bit pricey but worth every single penny!!!!!!!!!!!!  You need to check it out
Happy Fall Y'all