Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ch, Ch, Changes

A lot has happened since the last time I posted about things going on in my classroom! In February I found out I was expecting a new baby. This was very surprising, as we hadn't planned on expanding our family, but we are so excited to welcome another girl to our family! Harper Grace will be here in a few weeks.

 With the twins in our already cramped house, we made the decision to put our first home on the market.  We had thrown the idea around over the past year, but never committed to getting it ready to sell. Once we decided to sell, it took 3 short long weeks to find a buyer!  Then we were faced with having a new baby on the way, with no home! God sent put perfect home in our path and made it work for us. So by the end of July, we had packed, moved out of our first home, and were in the new house. 

As if that wasn't enough change, a month into summer break, I got a call from my fab principal telling me our numbers were down in 1st grade, and she needed me to move to 4th grade. What?!?! Hello, I'm having a new baby, already have 4 year old twins, and just sold and bought a house! No, I don't want to move grade levels! Well she pulled the 'it's what is best for kids card' and I was done for. I ALWAYS try to do what is best for the kiddos at my school. So for the next two weeks, I prepared to move my house. 

Then my world turned upside down. My amazing principal took a big, fancy promotion to our County Office being over all elementary curriculum....great for her, sucks for me! So after a VERY DARK WEEK (remember I'm 6/7 months Prego by this point and EXTREMELY hormonal) I had a pity party, basically refusing to move.

Fast forward two more weeks. We are 3 weeks before go time for back to school. I sucked it up and my wonderful hubby packed and moved my classroom. Did I mention how fab he is!?!?! So finally I am excited to share my 2015-2016 classroom with you! 

View from the door

Calendar Area

View from Reading Table

Data Board

Library and meeting area 

Notice my Owls?!?!?  Love my theme!

Blue baskets for nonfiction, green and purple for fiction

4th Grade Rocks!  Love these back to school treats!

I am loving 4th grade and my class is AMAZING! Having 4 1/2 yr olds at home, it has been refreshing to be working with older kids at school. I am excited about the arrival of my new baby girl, but am sad to miss out on my kiddos this year while I'm on leave. 

I hope you will stick around and join me for this new journey this year :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Top 10 for Pinnacle Week

I have spent this week getting recharged on my technology knowledge and working on new ideas that I can use in my classroom this next school year.

Here is my Top 10 List of things that have happened at Pinnacle this year.

10. Mindcraft can be an amazing tool to use in the classroom.  Just make sure you take the Dramamine before attempting to play!

9. Badges!  What a great motivator for students to keep up their work.

8. Inquiry Circles...Great way to incorporate technology and content together!

7. Wonder Notebooks-In the past I have done Day Books for my students to use across different subjects.  I am excited to see how using Wonder Notebooks allows my students to tap into their natural curiosity.

6. Nearpod-what a neat tool to engage learners quickly.  I am excited to explore this tool next school year.

5. People Machine-loved this idea for getting students to collaborate and engage with others.

4. Personalized Learning-This idea has caused me to wonder how it would be possible with our current curriculum frameworks we have in place.  I will researching more about this topic and adding components of it to my room.

3. Working with other pinnacle leaders.  I don't get to see some of these educators  very often, but when we are together, amazing things happen.  We build off each others expertise and energy and are able to come up with great ideas that we use in our classrooms.

2. FOOD!  Ice Cream Sundaes, Biscuit Bar, Gourmet Popcorn, Cookies and Milk, Pizza lunch.....are you hungry yet?!?!?!

1. AppMazing Race!  I loved this activity.  It incorporated multiple different tech ideas and allowed our group to be creative and have fun.  It was so much fun, a group of us created one to use at the beginning of the year with our students.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pinnacle Day 1 Reflection 3-2-1

3 Things I Found Out
1. I need to get more comfortable with TPAC and know how to utilize it better in my classroom.
2. I am excited about trying the menu idea to allow students to work through a learning task.
3. I am not ready to go back to school and for summer break to end!!

2 Interesting Things
1. Moving from first grade to fourth grade, I am excited about the new technology ideas that I will be able to use in my classroom.
2.  I like the idea of making my classroom more individualized for each student.  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the planning aspect.

1 question I still have
1. How to manage the time to learn about the different technology ideas and then plan the lessons to incorporate them into my day.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Making STEM Come To Life

In my first grade classroom, we have been studying about Force and Motion.  Our focus has been on push and pull and how these effect the force and motion on an object.  To begin our unit, my students did a scavenger hunt around the room looking for objects that they could push or pull.

The next experiment we conducted was to see if they could push or pull a wooden block using only a rubber band, craft stick, or string.  I gave very little instruction on what to do, and the results were amazing!  My kiddos are so creative!

At the end of the lesson, I had them summarize what they learned and all I can see is WOW!  Way more learning took place than if they had worked on a worksheet.

The final experiment for this standard was using the Hotwheels Speedometry set.!  I am so lucky to have such a great Instructional Tech Facilitator (AKA Sandy!) who can hook me up!  If you don't have one, check out the link and get your own for FREE!

I gave simple instructions, your goal is to have your car travel the farthest.  Nothing else. I gave them each track, connectors, 5 different weighted cars, loop extensions and a piece that could attach it to a bookshelf, desk, chair, etc.

For two days my kiddos worked on creating plans, building tracks, testing and discussing what they learned.  There were so many components of force and motion they learned, that would have never happened had they not explored it this way.  They discovered that the weight of the car effected how far it would travel. They also discovered that the height of the ramp increased the cars speed, which made it go faster.

During their building and testing, I had one recorder for each group take pictures and even some videos of their progress.  They then used the app Popplet to create a one page explanation of what they learned.

My students loved this project and especially loved the idea that this is what roller coaster engineers do!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pilgrim Day

We have been studying about the first Thanksgiving during the month of November. My kiddos were really interested in learning more about them. We spent the day before break learning all we could about Pilgrims.  I used the Pilgrim Day pack from Mrs. Wheeler and it was packed with all kinds of goodies!

We made butter and tasted it! The consensus was that they liked it!

I also had stations set up for hunting and gathering, games, and toys. 

I am so lucky at my school to have a set of Chromebooks and I also have iPads in my classroom. I incorporated these into my Pilgrim Day. My students spent time doing a webquest on Scholastic learning all about the Pilgrims. They then used the iPads to record what they learned about Pilgrims. The app Chatterpics was so easy for them to use! 

How cute is this little Pilgrim!?!?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sun, Moon and Stars

This year I feel like I am constantly in a whirlwind!  This year started with a bang and we haven't stopped yet.  Our first STEM unit was all about Day and Night.  In first grade they are expected to understand the differences between day and night.

These pics are a few of our star exploration. They really enjoyed learning about stars.   We ended our unit by creating a board in Discovery Education to showcase what they had learned about the Sun, Moon, and Stars.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

I am so blessed to be called Mommy by two sweet girls! Being mommy to Raegan and Kenley has truly been my most difficult, yet rewarding job. They keep me smiling and bring me joy daily. I couldn't imagine life without them! I hope all the mothers, mothers to be, and those patiently waiting on God to fill their arms with a baby have a amazing day!

My awesome husband made me fancy breakfast in bed!!! I may be a little spoiled!!!

Love my man!!! He knows how sentimental I am! He researched making these for weeks!!!

New charms for my Pandora bracelet! 

This week we also celebrated our moms in first grade. A big shout out to Christy and Tammy at Fluttering Through First Grade for creating this adorable Spa Mom! My kiddos did a great job creating them! We then had a treat for the moms of cookies and tea or lemonade. The cookies weren't just chips ahoy (those are delicious!) we served the special Peperidge Farms cookies!! It was a blast and the moms felt super special! God truly blessed me by sending me my dream job this year!

"Her children rise up and call her blessed." Proverbs 31:28


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