Saturday, May 2, 2015

Currently May! And.....how to finish strong this year!

Hooray!
Thanks to Farley I'm back to blogging!
Where did the time go?
I have been swamped with some exciting (and not-so-exciting) thing the past few months.
I hope to be back at this blog more frequently.
Look for a blog make-over to be coming soon!

Now on to this month's Currently--

I love Sirius XM!
I have it in my car, and on a small player for when I'm at home.
Couldn't live without it!

We have 70 degree weather today people!
It was great to be out and about in short sleeves.

Our PLC meetings have been a bit stressful this year. 
We've been trying to mesh tried and true traditions with new experiences.  It takes a lot of planning.

My sweet little dog has been diagnosed with a heart murmur, and is having an EKG done this week.
I'm hoping it all turns out to be a minor issue.
He is a chipper 12-year-old cock-a-poo, and my best buddy.

Ugh - our district writing assessments were due Friday. 
They are hanging over my head this weekend.
As you can see I'm blogging, rather than working on them.

The summer looks to be a fun one.
I have a new teaching position that involves some traveling each month.
I'm so excited about it, and will share more soon.
I also have getaway shopping trips in the works with some girlfriends.
And I hope to have more time to decorate my house - possibly with some new furniture.

Are you looking a way to help your students to finish the year in a strong way?
One of the things we did to encourage our students to make the most of the last few days and weeks of school was to do a lesson on "Finishing Strong".
We watched this truly inspiring video:
The kids absolutely loved it!
The music and quotes just make you want to step it up!

I created some follow up activities so the students could write down their plans for finishing strong 
this school year.
We talked about perseverance, and how setting goals is the key to achieving more.
Check out the packet of activities by clicking on HERE.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently - Back from Puerto Rico!

Hola!
I spent five days of my Winter Break in Puerto Rico with family!  We had an awesome trip!
More on that in a bit.
First I'm joining up with Farley for this month's Currently.

My Wisconsin Badgers pulled out a win in the Outback Bowl earlier today so I have no stakes on a winner in the Rose Bowl game.

Since I've been out of town, I've got lots to do before school starts on Monday.
I've already made out my list of must dos.

I changed part of my math wall on the last day of school before break, but ran out of the background paper I was using. 
So.........I'll have to take all that paper down and start from scratch with the new stuff I found today.
It doesn't match the pattern on the original one.  Ugh.

I stood in line at Kohls for 30 minutes today to make a small return.  
There was a long line of people waiting, and at one point all three clerks at the service desk went into the back room.  What???

I'm definitely going for a blog makeover in 2015.  There are so many cute ones out there.
I may be heading back to warm weather in February!
I would love to be a roadie for Sheryl Crow or John Mayer, or Maroon 5, or someone like that.
Although I think I could only do it for about a week and then I'd get homesick.
But wouldn't it be fun to hear great music from backstage?

So, Puerto Rico-
We went because my nephew's college basketball team was playing in a tournament in San Juan.
He's there in the black shirt, and is great on defense.
I love watching him play.

When we weren't watching basketball (which was most of the time since they only played two games), 
we hung out at our awesome resort, the Caribe Hilton.
The hotel had it's own beach.  
There were also two pools, places for lounging on hammocks, a swim-up bar, as well as shady spots for when it got really hot (which it did - like 85 degrees).

We went into old San Juan on a couple of the days.  
This is road that led away from the Governors Mansion.

Here I am with my brother and sister-in-law.
It sure didn't feel like Christmas in those temps.

San Juan is the home of the Pina Colada.
Yes - we did partake in a few of those.
This is my niece and sister-in-law toasting before one of our meals.

I would definitely go back!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December Pick 3 Pinterest Linky

Happy December!
Are you ready for all-things holiday??
If you are - then we've got the linky for you!
I've joined Lisa at Pawsitively Teaching and Marissa at The Inspired Owl for their Pick 3 Pinterest Linky.

In this linky you will see my top Pinterest picks for use in classroom during the month of December.


First, we teachers can never find enough holiday craft ideas - do you agree??
I love to hit up the craft stores this month to look for some inspiration.
Last year we made these cute holiday wreaths:
Just use craft paper cut into mitten shapes and arrange them on a paper plate with the center cut out.
Add a ribbon and you've got a beautiful holiday decoration.


Need a cute gift for the volunteers in your classroom?

 Students love inquiry experiments, and this one is perfect for this time of year!

We would love for you to join up in this linky, and share your holiday ideas too!
Hope you've found something you can use!
If you have - pin it!
Follow me on Pinterest here!







Friday, November 28, 2014

Tech Talk Blog Hop - Spelling City Website and App for Differentiating Word Work

Today I'm joining up with my friend Tasia from Great Minds Teach Alike for the Tech Talk Blog Hop!

I now have 7 iPads and 10 Chromebooks in my classroom, and my students are so excited to get their hand on these devices.
I have lots to share with you in future blog posts, but today I'm going to tell you about a site that provides an easy way to differentiate word work for your students.

Some of you may be familiar with the website called Spelling City.
Did you also know that there is a related app under the same name?

This site has a free version and a paid version.
I have only used the free version.
You set up an account under your name and school.

Recently I set up two word work lists for two different groups in my class by accessing the site on my desktop computer.
You can see in the image below, and I labeled them with the date of the list, and the letters S and P.
One group primarily works with me on their word study, and another group works with a parapro so I labeled the lists with the beginning letters of our last names (S and P).

 It took me about 10 minutes to set up the two lists.

At small group station RTi time students used the iPads to click on the free app I had downloaded to the iPads.
I had to log into our school's network on the iPads so the students could access the Spelling City site.
I did not have to log into the Spelling City site each day - our lists popped up each day after using it the first day.

In the free version of this site students are provided many options for reviewing the word work lists.
There is an option for word and sentence unscramble.

There is an option for alphabetizing the words.
The students click on the word and move it into the right spot.

There is a game for choosing the missing letter.

The students can also do a spelling test on the words.
A voice states the word aloud and students spell it!

The students can even access this site at home by doing a search for their state and teacher's name.
My students were excited to look for the app and site on their iPods and tablets at  home.

Check out all the great tech ideas on Tasia's site - Great Minds Think Alike.
And stop back here for more tech tips!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Currently - November

Lucky for me the first day of November is on a weekend, so I have time to join up with 
Farley and this month's Currently.  Honestly, I am so swamped during the week that I rarely have time to compose a blog post.
Here goes......

 \
My beloved Packers have a bye week this week so I have the Cowboys/Cardinals on as background noise while I catch up with schoolwork and blogging.

My sweet dog has a birthday today!  I am so thankful that he has been with me for 12 years.  
I can't imagine a day without him!

This past week I heard about some changes that are coming to my team at school.
The news left me feeling down, and I'm hoping it all turns out okay.

I have been perplexed about what to wear for a coat since we're in that in that not warm/not cold weather.  
I'm heading out to TJ Maxx later to check things out.

OMG - wouldn't it be nice to have an extra hour every Sunday?
An extra hour = less stress.

My book club just finished reading The Alchemist, so I needed something lighter to read.
A friend gave me the Mindy Kaling book for my birthday, and it's just the fun read I needed.

Do you need an easy to implement spelling/grammar unit next week?
Check this out in my TpT store:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Winner of my 1000 Follower Giveaway and Reflections on the Midwest Bloggers Meet-Up

Thanks to all who entered my 1000 Follower Giveaway!
The winner selected through Rafflecopter was 
Julie Goode Smithe.
Thanks, also to the wonderful bloggers who donated prizes for this giveaway.

Last Saturday I attended the Midwest Teacher Bloggers Meet-Up in Chicago.
I had dinner with a friend the night before I went, and she said it seemed like I was going 
to meet an internet date.
I can only hope that people have internet date meetings as great as this event was!
We met at a Lakeshore Learning Store in Palatine, IL.
The event was planned and hosted by Jameson at Lessons with Coffee, and Lindsey at Thriving in Third.
Thanks girls!

These are some of the Wisconsin bloggers that attended.  I was so happy to finally connect with some of my favorite teachers from the Cheesehead State. We hope to have a meet-up in Wisconsin sometime in 
early 2015 (or whenever the snow lets up!).
Kudos to Kayla from Top Dog Teaching for coming all the way from North Dakota.  I have been following her for awhile, and she always shares great tips on how to use iPads in the classroom.
What a sweetie!
These are some of the great freebies we received for attending the meet-up.
Creative Teaching Press was very generous in sending bulletin board sets, letters sets, number sets, a calendar,quilt square project templates, and more.
Lakeshore Learning supplied us with bags, teacher cups, a literacy product, and a coupon to share with you!
We also won door prizes, traded favorite things, and were awarded with donated digital products for our classrooms. WOW!
My brother and his family live near Palatine so I was able to spend time with them.
Luckily we found a spot to watch the Packer game on Sunday!
If you're a football fan you know the Pack won big last Sunday, while the Bears lost another game at home.
It was a memorable weekend for sure!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

1000 IG Follower Giveaway!

Hurray!
Recently I reached 1000 followers on InstaGram!
Connecting with so many awesome educators has really inspired me to be a better teacher.


Because I am so honored to reach this milestone, I have put together a giveaway with the help of some fantastic teacher bloggers!
Check out what you can win!
















This giveaway will end at 10:00 CST on Sunday, October 19.

Please follow the fabulous bloggers who have contributed to the giveaway!
Good luck!