Sunday, April 22, 2012

Smart Little Cookies!

One of my favorite activities that I have completed this year was the Smart Little Cookies project that I found here on TPT. I also think it may have been one of my greatest successes all year! One of my biggest struggles is getting parents involved in the learning of my students. I have great parents in my classroom but I know that lives are busy and everyone (including myself) often forget to recognize kids by telling each of them how great they truly are! This little project allows parents to become creative and do something out of the box for their child and let me tell you---the kids LOVED it!

Here is a clip from the project itself: Do your students need a confidence boost because state testing is approaching? Would you like a fun and unique way to write about the study habits and characteristics of smart students? Look no further! This file includes a letter to send home to families, requesting them to write a "confidence boost" for their smart little cookie, two bulletin board headers, student worksheets, and 5 pages of pictures.

I sent it home about two weeks before our state wide testing began and the best part about it is that the students have no idea what it is about! They all promised not to look at the note home to parents and to return their "parent homework" without peeking. I was proud to say they did it successfully! Although I didn't take any photos of letters or photos returned I did read a few the morning of the first day of testing. We sat in a circle and I passed out a letter to each child. Most letters contained words of encouragement, poems, home made songs, or even real cookies for good luck charms. Everyone was excited to share their letters with friends and most of the notes made me and my test proctor tear up! If it is something you can not purchase this year or it is a little late for you---add it to your wish list and remember it next year. I know this is going to be something I continue to do every year. PLUS you can do it for ANY grade level! Not only does it get parents involved in student learning it also gives kids a bit of encouragement and love that is sometimes easily forgotten! I'll be sure to add pictures of our recipes for "Smart Cookies" tomorrow they will give you a laugh for sure:)

On another note---now with my first and third grade after school tutoring over (fist pump for that) and preparation for MAP testing out of the way I know the last 5 (maybe 6?) weeks of school are going to fly by! I've been researching some end of the year activities to do and I can't wait to share them! What does everyone else have of their sleeves for the last month?? I decided not to teach summer school to take a break from the 35 mile drive each way every day! Now I'm trying to figure out what to do over the summer....anywho! Here is to another good week of learnin'. I'm excited to get back tomorrow and see what my note my sub left for Friday! Hopefully it isn't too bad;)

And because this wouldn't be a successful blog post if I didn't get slightly off topic. I fell in love this weekend..

I kicking myself right now for leaving the store without it! I was out of town this weekend and found this beauty and passed on the deal. After I got back to my hotel room I knew I had to go back today and buy it...only to find out they weren't open on Sundays! Bummer. I'm for sure telling myself I need this in order to do recess duty ever again;)
Enough with the rambles! Have a great week!
P.S. New blogger is weird..not sure how I will adjust to this!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Let Freedom Ring!

MAP testing is finally over! In order to celebrate we ate popsicles outside and silently read in the sun! Now back to reality! Can't wait to to get deeper into multiplication and division next week, But for now I'm headed to STL to see Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert! Wooo hoo! Happy Friday everyone!

This makes me laugh everytime I see it! I think I'm going to share it with the kids Monday morning!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Probably Probability and TPT weekly finds

With our state wide math testing starting tomorrow we are squeezing in some last minute learning and review! Here are the resources we are using this week for probability! Check them out!

Probability game

We had a great time doing this M&M activity!

and then we posted this lovely anchor chart! But I can't find the link right now to where it came from! Can anyone help me out!?

Also be sure to check out these little probability videos here and here.

This week I've been on the prowl again on TPT-here are some great finds that everyone should check out!

Synonyms for Said!

and Reading Responses

Both great resources!

This week I broke down and finally bought a Cricut! I think its going to be well worth the investment! Now I need some fonts to buy... any ideas?

Here is to another 4 day work week...then another 4 day work week..then another...then four weeks of school.. then SUMMER!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Busy Readers

Recently I've been doing some serious limiting on what my students read. It finally hit me in January that some of my kiddos needed this. Most were great at picking out what they can and cannot read. Others not so much. Second grade readers reading 4th grade books. One of my fourth grade readers was reading SECOND grade---He got pulled for title...I think he practiced failing reading level test on purpose...

So in January we did some revamping. I put rules on what you were able to read until your reading goal of 14 books/test were taken. It has changed reading in our room tremendously. We found our EXACT reading level that is a "just right book" for us. We found out "challenge" level and we found our "easy for fun" level. We stick to it and its crazy the improvements we have made!

I have been sending home book bags to my students who are below level in reading and those who actually read them have made awesome improvements. If you would like to see my parent letter that I used click!

Next year I'm really hoping to purchase these puppies in order to give all students book bags.
Anyone have them now?



$10 a piece.. do you think they last!? I can't imagine dropping $250 on a class set!

I feel like I've been lacking this month! I wrote this post 9 days ago and just found time to get it in order.

Be sure to check back next week for some probability ideas!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


So last night I headed over to Buffalo Wild Wings with the boyfriend to watch the championship game and welllllll I won a

Coby Kyros Android 4 GB Tablet

This is really funny actually because A) We went to watch the game eat. B) We didn't really care who won the game as long as it wasn't a Jayhawk... chalk what? and C) We had no idea they were giving away half time prizes. D) I never win anything...ever

I feel so lucky! Now I need some ideas of some free apps to download for the kiddos to use! Any ideas?

Also my building has a plan that consist of each student having an assigned tablet of their own by 2014. They are currently doing a pilot program in the high school!

P.S. I love working in a rural country district. It is so laid back here. My kids are currently in P.E. working out to Jason Aldean. I can hear it down the hall! Love it!