Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tweet Moms, Techy iDads, and INSTAGRAM

It's almost that time of year when we get to pay a little extra special recognition to the Mommas and the Poppas of the world!  I always felt like the Dad's get the short end of the stick in the school-gift department because we get out of school in May and their day isn't until June. So to make up for it we make this Father's Day iDad Craftivity on the last week of school, when we can always use another activity to keep us busy as the days and hours left in the school year quickly dwindle down. Now I know not every kiddo has a Dad to recognize which is why there is also an iHeartyou design that students can make for anyone special in their life - grandpa, uncle, brother, etc.

  If you already have this one from last year, I've updated it a little, so make sure you go back and download it again on TPT. I changed a few fonts and also went ahead and added a coupon book as an extra little gift for the students to make and give to their Dads. (or the special person of their choice)

 Of course, we also have to recognize our sweet Mommas! I made a new Tweet Mommas Craft for Mother's Day this year, and I'm excited to make them with my class in two weeks!!

Mom's get coupons too. And, just like the iDad's, all the templates also include a generic option of "You're So Tweet" and "Special Coupon Book" for the kids who have someone other and a mom to recognize. 

You can check them both out in my TPT Shop.

If you'd like a chance to win both, comment with your e-mail and I will pick two winners at random this afternoon. 

 {This is one of my favorite pics of my Mom and Dad}

 Speaking of hashtags.... two of my favs are helping us of us connect via Instagram on Tuesdays for a little segment called Teacher Talk Tuesday!

 I'd love for you to come Follow Me on Instagram



I'm off now to finish up the Common Core Writing Galore May pack. Speaking of Common Core I'm leaving for a CCS in Phoenix after school on Monday and will be gone all week. So it WILL be done by tonight-  along with packing, sub plans, and a few other non negotiable on the ever present "To Do" list today.

 But I'm also going to have to take a pause and get outside to enjoy some of the beautiful NOCO weather!!! My dogs will never forgive me if I don't! Have a restful Sunday friends!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shakin Quakin Earthquake Showdown

Earth day is this Monday! Right around this time every year it's time to put on our geologist hats and start our unit on Rocks and Minerals. This is also a fun time to tie in Volcanoes and Earthquakes as we learn all about our Shakin Quakin Earth & Rocks!!!

We do a lot of fun hands on activities during our rocks unit, but I think our Jello Earthquake simulations have to be everyone's favorite! This activity comes up near the end of the unit, after we have learned all about rocks, minerals, and the inner layer of our earth. I was scrolling through my computer and found some fun pictures that I captured last year, right around the time I was thinking of getting into blogging. 

I start by telling my students that their challenge is to create a building/structure using toothpicks and marshmallows that they thought would be strong enough to survive an earthquake, just like real architects have to do. I'm always so impressed by some of the structures they come up with!

Then, we put them to the test! Using aluminum trays from the Dollar Store filled with jello we start to shake things up. Each group (about 6 kids per group in my room) get a tray of jello. In pairs, they put their structures on the jello then shake it out for 10-15 seconds. The waiting members of the group are usually all too eager to do the counting for them.

Some structures survive, others don't. Everyone has fun either way. And, they learn the importance of building a strong base and how having one can help keep people and whole cities safer during an earth quake! And if you're wondering, yes, everyone gets some jello to snack on in the end. :)

This Shaking Quakin Earth Rocks Unit For The Common Core Classroom has two weeks worth of rockin activities about rocks, minerals, layers or the earth, earthquakes, and volcanoes.

{It's 20% off today in my shop today}

Off to continue the "show home-ing" process. 
We have all hands on deck at the Stewart house today!! Wish us luck! :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Magical Product Sawp

It's that time...The Magical Product Swap strikes again. Today I'm Introducing a lady who needs no introductions... sweet Gladys from Teaching In High Heels.  I just love me some Gladys! She is one of the ladies I have been lucky enough to get to know along this blogging journey. Truth be told I fell head over heels for her products before I was lucky enough to get to know the lady behind the blog. The quality of her work is outstanding and I just love how she organizes her units.

Today I'm here to tell you all about Glady's All In The Family Unit which is seriously ah-mazing! And I'm not just saying that because I love her product style. I'm saying it because I used e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in this pack when I taught fact families to my firsties earlier this year. She teaches fact families the same way I teach them - referencing actual families!

Four years ago when I first taught fact families I had one of those moments where I could tell the kids weren't totally sure what to think about them, and weren't totally getting it.  So on the spot I started calling the fact family numbers "The Big Daddy Number" the "Middle Mommy Number" and the "Little Baby Number". (Of course, when you say "Big Daddy Number" you have to use a deep big daddy voice. And when you say the "Little Baby Number" you have to use a high squeaky voice.) We talked about the numbers all worked together, like a family does. It made sense to them!

This is why I knew I had to have Gladys's unit when I saw it. It fit right in with the way I taught fact families and now, I have some adorable visuals to go with it.

The activities in this unit worked for whole group instruction, small group instruction, and independent centers, which is pretty much how we roll during our math block. I was able to introduce Each day we would do a new activity from the pack in small groups. Then the next day I could add them into our math center tubs for my kids to practice independently.

We were also able to use some of the cards in this pack to practice ordering numbers from greatest to least. Now, whenever we order numbers the kids say, "The Dad number is the biggest so he goes first" or "Don't forget the Middle number is the mom." It's pretty funny to hear but hey, it works!!

This is not the only one of Gladys's units we have used this year. All the packs below have also made their way into our classroom!


You can visit  my high heel loving friend on her blog and her TPT Shop!!

I'm linking up with Miss Jessica for the Magical Product Swap. It's a fun place to find new goodies to try out with your crew!!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

B U S Y Five For Friday!

 I don't have a ton of school stuff to post about today. Eek! But this blog is about my adventures in and outside of the classroom. So for today's Five For Friday, I'm looking closer at outside of the classroom life...and right now life is BUSY! In a good way :)

1. We've decided to sell our house. About four years ago we purchased and built the sweet little home that myself, the Mr., and our fur babies have resided in. We love this house, but we never planned to make it our forever home. Recently our subdivision began offering some new models that are in our price range with more room to grow into and hopefully start a family in one day. So after much debate, we have decided to go for it! We've already picked out our new home, but we have to sell this one first. Which means, we are currently working round the clock to get our house on the market by next weekend. Making a home look un-lived in model home while still living in it, not a small task. I've been letting it take up almost all my extra minutes.

2. I'm going to Phoenix in 10 days! There is a Common Core conferences happening and I'm flying down with my Principal and a few other teachers at my school to participate in the conference. We'll be gone for 4 days. I'm excited!! I've never got to attend a big conference before and I've never been to Phoneix. It's super exciting but the days we are gone are also our district assessment days, so I am having to squeeze them in early throughout the week. (In all that spare time we have, ha!) So between assessments, sub planning, and house staging -

3. I did manage to post my Shakin Quakin Earth Rocks Unit. I've got a whole blog post coming up about it on Sunday, but here's a sneak peek at one of the activities....Jello Earthquake simulations!

4. We got a ton of random snow Mon- Wend. I know, welcome to Spring in Colorado!! Flip flops a a week ago, and snow boots this week. We're back to sunny warm temps today, but we got our FIRST SNOW DAY all year yesterday. I was convinced I wouldn't get one this year, ha. Even though I was grateful for the day to get things done at home, I am ready for a tan. My dog however, she loves the snow!

5. Look at this T-shit I saw on Pinterest. Future birthday gift for the Mr? I think so!!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

AR-e You Reading on an iPad or iPod?

At the start of this year I volunteered to be my school's "Tech Innovator" which means I'm kind of a the voice between the district tech facilitator and my school. So far I haven't had to do anything for it. But, I did get an iPad to use in my classroom- score!! Short of letting the kids take turns using it each day, I wanted to find a way to use our one iPad in a way that involved the whole class.  Well, our school started doing the AR (Accelerated Reading) Program this year. I know this is a pretty popular program in schools across the country. If you haven't heard of it, AR is a program where students log in to take comprehension tests after reading books at their independent reading level. AR also has a free ap! Now it won't do you any good if you don't already have a paid account through your school. But if you do, the kids will be able to access their AR account and take tests using an iPad or iPod. I have 3 computers in the room that I like to use for as a center during our Math and Literacy blocks. With the iPad, I don't have to rely on those computers to give my kids access to their AR account.

 My class is used to my cheesy puns. They were pretty amused with this one and got it right away :)

I printed and laminated this little cover then taped it to the front of the iPad case. I keep it on the ledge of the white board at the front of the room as a reminder to my kiddos that whenever they have any "extra" time they should be reading their AR books. My class is highly motivated by the AR program. They love taking the tests and watching their points go up with each passed test. To the right of the iPad are the little login cards I made up with every child's login and password. Just like on the computer they need to know both to access their account on the homepage below. The kids grab the cards and find their name when they want to test. They really don't require my assistance at all and know they can grab and test anytime the iPad is at the front of the room.

To the left is one of my guy's taking an AR quiz today during our literacy stations.Once they are logged in they can easily search for the books they read by typing the title of the book into the search bar. We also have four iPods in the classroom and when they aren't being using for a center the kids can grab and test on those too!!

If you use Accerlearted Reader and have access to iPads or iPods then you should definitely check out the ap!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Matter Unit + Winners

 Solids, Liquids, and Gases are all explored to the fullest in my latest Science Unit -- What's The Matter? { Unit For The Common Core Classroom}

I've taught about Matter for the past four years, ever since my first year teaching at a Core Knowledge School where I had to create all of my own Science and Social Studies units. The activities in this pack are tried, tested, and loved! Matter is by far the most Mad Science like of all the units we study. We get messy, we get wet, and it's ALL GOOD!! This one has lots of hands on activities and concoctions to mix up, along with written response sheets and Non- Fiction texts to go with each one. Here are a few quick peaks at some of the things you will find...


(Major kuddos to my husband for capturing this awesome action shot..haha!!)


You can grab this unit for 20% off today only!! Check out the Product Preview to see even more of what you will find in this one. I will have lots to blog about once we get started with it!

Also, now that it's finished I have BUNDLED together this unit along with my two best selling Weather and Plant units!!! These are the main three units I'm supposed to teach in my district.   Together they make 300 pages of Science-y goodness. You can check out the links to all three units from this Science Units For The Common Core Classroom Bundle.

And last but not least I have 3 Big Winners to Announce from yesterday's Spring Fling Giveaway!!!

Congratulations ladies!! I will be e-mailing you all this morning with your prize info! Thanks to everyone who entered. I had so much fun hosting this little follower appreciation giveaway here and on my Facebook page yesterday. :)

School is back in session for me tomorrow after this very restful week off. I've got some lesson plans to catch up on. And hopefully just a little more relaxing before it's just another manic Monday morning again.

Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Fling Giveaway

Welcome to my Spring Fling Weekend Giveaway!!

I wanted to do something fun for all my sweet followers and share some of my Spring goodies. Throughout the day today on my Facebook Page I will be having Flash giveaways for my Spring Units. You never know when the next one might be popping up so be sure and keep your eyes peeled for them. Over here on the blog, you can enter the Raffelcopter below this weekend only for one of three big prizes! Take a look at what you can win...

Winner # 1 will recieve a $50 gift card to plus their choice of  any Three of my Spring Units.

Winner # 2 will win their choice of any Two of my Spring Units plus one of these new customizable Common Core Teacher Planners from my sweet friend April of A Modern Teacher! I just love her style!!

Winner # 3 will win my brand new Science For The Common Core Classroom BUNDLE that I am posting to TPT tonight! You can win it before you can buy it with this one. The bundle will include my Weather Unit, Plant Unit, and soon to post Matter Unit! That's about 300 pages of Science mania that will be offered at a discount. {just as soon as the final edits are done on my Matter Unit today.}


Happy Spring Friends!!