Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Give You Permission to Pin, Pin, Pin

Pinterest is amazing. I love the whole concept of little pictures to remind me about what caught my interest. Problem: Pinterest fine print states that they own all images I've pinned and assume that I have permission to gather all of my little pictures. Hmmm...

Laura Candler has a fantastic post about this somewhat bewildering piece of news.It is an absolute MUST READ if you use Pinterest. She also recommends using a "Permission to Pin" badge on your own blog so that visitors know that it's okay to pin your ideas. I have one, so please pin, pin, pin, from my blog!

You can read all about the Pinterest pinning dilemma by clicking on Laura Candler's name or the above badge.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Giveaway Winners!!

I should have posted this yesterday, but I had to take my migraine medication when I got home from school. I fell asleep and didn't wake up until this morning! Migraines have plagued me since I a) turned 30 and b) had my third child. Sheesh!
First and foremost, thank you for entering my giveaway. I am tickled that so many people took the time to comment, blog and even TWEET about it. Wow! Virtual hugs all around.
Here are the two lucky bloggers that chose:

Congrats! Thank you! Have a wonderful day!
Look for your tpt gift certificate in your email inbox, lovely ladies.

ps Does everyone know about the ctrl print screen function? My techy husband told me about it as I was struggling to take pictures of the screen on my laptop to show the comments and number generator. This function is so.much.easier.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Last Chance to Enter My L'il Giveaway

Just a short and sweet reminder that it is your last chance to enter my giveaway! Contest ends at midnight it a contest? I think's been a loooooooong day!
Click the picture below to go directly to my post, add your comment and enter the giveaway.

What does Ryan Gosling have to do with my giveaway, you may ask. Absolutely nothing. He's just super cute.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fantastic, Fantabulous, Friendly Followers...Giveaway Time!!

Or more, actually! I have reached just a smidge over 100 followers...time for a giveaway.
I have learned so much from every blog that I stalk read. I have laughed out loud (lol in the "new" language) at hilarious stories, teared up at the sad ones, snorted when necessary and been inspired by all.
I started blogging this summer, and I am thoroughly addicted enjoying myself. Sometimes a little too much and a little too late at night. So, when I reached the  milestone of 100 I knew a giveaway was in order.
"What to give?" I asked myself (remember, I am up very late stalking learning about wonderful teachery one else to talk to...unless I wake up hubby...)
"Self," answered I, "How about a TPT gift certificate!"
"Perfect!!!"{whisper-shout and uncoordinated air pump}
I am an avid supporter of  Teachers Pay Teachers, and have purchased many resources from a variety of people for a range of subjects. I truly, honestly admire the hard work and dedication that goes into each and every resource. So, what better way to show  my appreciation for both my followers and the wonderful TPT authors than with one TWO TPT $10 gift certificates for two lucky ducky super-fantastic followers. I agonized over whether to have one $25 or two $10 prizes. I even asked my teens...they seem to think that two smaller prizes are the way to go.

So, all you have to do is
1) follow me and leave a comment that includes your email address &
2) blog about my little giveaway and leave another comment that includes your email address.
Yuppers-that means two chances to win...
My giveaway ends this Thursday, February 23, 2012 at midnight.

Thanks a whole bunch, bloggy friends and bloggy world!

ps  I even learned how to add numbers to my comments. Granted, they are not very pretty, but they'll do.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

100th Day FUN!

We celebrated our 100th day of school last week. I paired up with our fabulous grade 1 teacher and we had a day of 100-themed literacy, math and craftivity centers. Kids were separated into five groups with 8-9 students in each. Grade threes were our leaders; they did a fantastic job. Each group spent 30 minutes at each center. We started centers after our literacy block and kids completed five rotations. It was a very, very exciting day-made more so because I mixed up the schedule. I accidentally overlapped two groups on half of their centers...WHOOPS! Luckily, I teach with wonderful people (kids included, of course) and everything worked out just fine. We scrapped the rotation schedule and just went with a clockwise rotation instead!

Ms L had a limbo line, 100 year-old-person art, and other 100 theme activities in her room. I had 100 Lego, 100 Froot Loops necklace, 100 picture and a 100 steps estimation/task (which I TOTALLY underestimated).

The 100 Lego center was a crowd-pleaser. The night before our celebration, I counted out three piles of 100 Lego. Then, I put each pile into large size Dollarama-brand ziploc baggies. Kids worked in pairs or triads to build a structure from the Lego. Everyone was engaged...awesomeness.

I used 100 charts for the 100 Froot Loop necklace task. Kids first had to use the chart to make sure that they had 100 pieces of cereal. They then strung the Froot Loops onto string. The first group tried to make a pattern, but this turned out to be too hard to do in the 30 minute block. It was interesting to see that some kids thought HUGE piles of cereal would be needed for their 100 chart, while others thought a small handful would be enough.
sorting out cereal

starting to string it on 

lovely, delicious necklace is almost finished

As a home-to-school connection, each student in my class was instructed to bring a bottle filled with 100 things. I bought a case of water and sent home a bottle with each child along with the instructions for this activity (which I found at Read-Write-Think). MARVELOUS! I love, love, love this idea. Kids hid their bottle in a brown paper bag and read three clues about their collection. The class then had three chances to guess it. Objects included; Kibble, toothpicks, beads, spaghetti noodles, cereal, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, popcan tabs...and more! We ended our day with this task, so it was just our class and not the grade ones. I will definitely do this one again. The day after our party, the kids wrote a reflection about their bottle. They had to include what material they used, why they used it and something about it. We used paper with a bottle embossed on it (once again, thank you Dollarama) for the good copy. Kids sketched a picture of their bottle and I took a photo of each child holding their bottle. We'll be gluing the photo beside the drawing, laminating each reflection sheet, and binding them into a class book.

 100 pieces of Kibble

100 Lego
 And, at the end of the day, I went home and had a looooong nap. Any suggestions for next year? I tried to mix things up and have something for all learners but am thinking that some kind of song could be added?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Family Tree Projects BLEW MY SOCKS OFF! & Currently

I have been teaching grade 2/3 for four years now. Each month I like to have the kids complete an Oral Sharing activity (which used to be called "Show and Tell") that is directly linked to our curriculum. Each student then presents their project on their Special Day; which I assign calendar-style in my Newsletter package. It's a lot of work at the beginning of the month to organize it all, but it pays off in spades! Parents know what is going on curriculum wise, kids get an opportunity to build up their oral skills, and I get a homework/participation mark! win-win-win
In January, our theme was making a "Family Tree" (social studies). This year, I also added "One Interesting Fact About My Family." Honestly, this group of kids BLEW MY SOCKS OFF!!!  The family trees are so creative and well done...wowzers.

  One extremely creative/artistic girl made each family member a little lift-the-flap format. Under each flap is a picture, date of birth/death and name. Her mom called me to assure me that she did the project on her own...

This student made a three-d project Christmas-tree style. The decorations were names of her family members!

I provided bristol board to those who asked for it. Kids decorated their trees using materials from home. Every tree was excellent and unique. 

 Another drew symbols beside each family member to represent something special about them. Her dad, for example, had a tie beside his name because he is a teacher!

Kids also brought in photographs to present alongside their family trees. My favourite-a 100 year old picture of a great-great grandfather who may have been "panning for gold or making soup." lol


Here is my February CURRENTLY. Thanks to Farley (again) for a fun, fun, fun linky party.

My RAK was the hardest (somehow, that sounds wrong). I am taking my brother's kids (9, 5, 3) for the day/night. Random because he isn't expecting it. He and his awesomely wonderful wife NEED A BREAK. Plus, I love spending time with my nephews.

Does anyone else do monthly oral sharing projects? I'd love some new ideas for projects/tasks!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Skeletons vs Nets

Sounds kinda like my son's fave game "Plants vs Zombies.." lol  This, however, was a math activity that I did with my 2/3s. We made a cube using toothpicks and little bits of plasticine (I have used mini marshmallows before and they also work really well) and a rectangular prism net from my math resource book. The kids had to assemble each shape. We talked about why one was called a skeleton...lots of talking in groups. The next day, the kids made a Venn Diagram in their Math Journals and compared them.
This was a challenge, as they had to use math language (edges, vertices, angles) so we made a diagram together to get started. Students could then either add more of their own ideas independently, or keep working with the group on ideas together.
My computer has decided to be difficult and won't let me upload the pictures I have of this activity. It turned out to be full of rich, hands-on learning. And, best of all, no injuries from the toothpicks!

Since I am unable to upload the real deal, here is a picture just to give you an idea. The prisms were made out of paper. Kids decorated them and then glued them together.

The skeleton cubes were made from toothpicks and plasticine.

What hands-on learning have you tried with Geometry? I'd love to hear about it!