Monday, April 29, 2013

Instagram Love!

Hey yall!
So, I spent all day yesterday working on my research proposal for the thesis. When I finally emerged from under my mountain of schoolwork, my Google reader was overwhelmed with love for Instagram!
Well, I'm no stranger to Instagram, but had never thought of using it strictly for my blog. Although, most of the pictures that I take have been for my blog anyways, so its not too much of a stretch :)
Just be prepared to see some personal pics as well!
Follow me @teacherytidbits.
Then head over to see the weekly linky party!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday

Hey yall!
Thank goodness its Friday. I didn't quite think I was going to make it this week! But Friday's here and all is well in the world :)
I'm linking up again with Casey.
Here's my random 5 for the week:
1. This little one came up to me during reading one day and said "Mrs. Lemacks, I made a text-to-text connection!" He was so super excited and I couldn't have been more proud.
2. We played this fun math game this week to celebrate Earth Day. This is from the fabulous Kelly Dolling over at Teacher Idea Factory.
3. We worked a lot with our hundreds {and 120s chart} this week. These kiddos were playing tic-tac-toe.
4. The hubs and I spent some time working in our yard this week. We have all these huge bushes in front of our house that we just weren't crazy about. So we decided to redneck it and just yank them out with some chains and the truck :) The hubs was absolutely giddy!
5. The end of the semester is drawing near and I am sooo ready to be done with this thesis class! Unfortunately, I won't be done with my actual thesis until December, just getting through the beginning phases. I'm actually here at my university's computer lab trying to get my research proposal done....see how focused I am????

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vibration Stations {freebie}

Hey yall! TGIalmostF!
I'm not sure about yall, but this has been the longest week ever! I'm sure it has nothing to do with the state testing that's going on this week. Even though first is not a testing grade, our schedule was still wonky this week, so of course my kiddos were 12 kinds of crazy!
But that's okay....because 21 days people!!!
As the end of the year draws near, we are doing a mad dash to make sure we've covered everything we need to cover. And in science, that means we are way behind! Science and social studies always seem to get pushed to the side, even though I absolutely adore teaching science! The 25 minutes alloted in our schedule everyday to cover both is just not enough.
With that said, I try to cram as much information as I can in when we actually do get a chance to get some science in. This week, it's all about sound! And that means.....Vibration Stations!
I blogged about our Vibration Stations last year, but I've changed things up a bit this year. I also gave my oh-so-bland task cards a makeover! I split my kiddos up into four groups and they rotated around the four stations. I gave them only 6 minutes at each station, so they had to stay focused and work quickly.
The littles carried their science journals around to each station and recorded their observations/findings. They also answered the question at the bottom of each task card in their journals. They really enjoyed these stations and were super motivated to get them done in time.
Grab a copy of the task cards below. Of course, you're on your own to supply the rest of the materials, but thankfully they are pretty simple! I actually had *almost* all of the materials already in my class :)
 I'm also dying to share everything we've been doing to celebrate Earth Day this week, but I'm saving that for one big post after tomorrow :) 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five for Friday {with a little freebie}

Hey yall! TGIF!!!
This girl is completely and utterly exhausted! Thank goodness Casey lets us link up with a fun and quick post on Fridays :)
1. Two of my sweet little girls brought me portraits of myself this week. Both are very different, which is why I love them so much! Its funny to see how you look to a first grader :)
This one seems to be more accurate....except for the one leg thing...
Not sure I could pull a dress like this off...but I'm digging the curves she gave me!
2. Our county started the BIG state tests this week, so I made these quick little treats for the teachers administering the tests. Click on the picture to grab the bag topper!

3. We went on a field trip to a local dairy farm today and it was so much fun! My littles' excitement was palpable and I couldn't have been more proud of how they behaved. The shrieks of pure joy made me smile all day long.
Petting the 2 month old calfs {calves???}
Ponies! Notice the stench :)
Cow milking demonstration....this man said the farm had 99 cows and one very happy bull...HA!
Hay ride...they were SO excited to see real life cows out in the pastures!
4. On the ride home, the bus was eerily silent. Then I saw why...
5. Then I came home to this sweet sleeping thing!
Happy Friday, friends!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Do You Dojo?

Hey yall! Happy hump day!
Well, the countdown for summer has been officially on this week...only 27 days left!
However, that also means that student behavior tends to get a little cray-cray! So its that time of the year where you pull out the big guns.
Enter Class Dojo!
I heard about this site last fall when I was in between jobs. I thought the premise was really awesome, but in the hectic-ness of finally getting a job and getting everything together for my classroom, I completely forgot about it! But after my kiddos' awful behavior the week before Spring Break, I just knew I needed to change things up a bit and remembered this little gem!
So I signed up my kiddos and we have been rockin' it out this week! I saw immediate results in my littles' behavior. Seriously!
So, in case you've never heard of Class Dojo before, let me break it down for you.
You start out by adding your kiddos to your class. Dojo gives them some adorable little avatars!
Pardon the blue boxes...gotta protect my babies!
Throughout the day, students can either earn positive points or negative points. Here are some of the things my kiddos get points for:

And yes, I take points away for whining. Harsh? Maybe.... Effective? YES!!!
Whining is seriously a huge pet peeve of mine and I have no patience for it.
I keep my Dojo page up on our ActivBoard all day, so students can see how they are doing. I will usually add or take away points myself, although I may make a big deal of having a student give themselves a point {especially if its one who struggles in earning points!}.
In my class, we have been using a clipchart all year. Students start on green and can move up to blue or purple, or down to pink or orange. I wanted to coordinate the Dojo points with our colors, so they would be familiar with the meaning.
Now, we have been starting out at zero points. If a student ends the day still at zero points, that would give them an orange day, which is the worst. That's right....they have to earn a green, blue, or purple day! No more gimmes! 3 points gives them a green day, 5 points a blue day, and 7 points a purple day. Only 1-2 points gets them a pink day and 0 points or less gets them an orange day.
But its actually not that hard to have a good day, because I give points out left and right. In fact, I've had many students on blue and purple this week, and only 1 has gone home on pink! What, what?!?!
Want to see my favorite part???
At the end of the day/week/month, you can see your students' track records!
This is my whole class report. Check that out! So awesome. They have earned 295 positive points so far this week, and its only Wednesday!
 This is a student that is always on her best behavior :)
 And this is a student that usually struggles every single day! Whoo-hoo!
Check out what he earned points for today....
You can also print out reports and send them home, although our school has our printers on lock down right now, so I won't be doing that. Or you can enter parents' email addresses and then Class Dojo will automatically send them their child's report at the end of the day!
Awesome, right???
So, let me ask you Dojo???

Monday, April 15, 2013

Earth Day {freebie}

Hey yall!
Short and sweet tonight.
First off, I just want to say how shocked and saddened I am by today's events in Boston. My heart and prayers go out to all those involved.
I'm not really sure how to transition smoothly from that so........
I have been seeing all these great Earth Day crafts and freebies around the blog land lately, but I somehow managed to still blank on planning enough activities for it. My kiddos are going to be making this owl craft that I created last year and then I also whipped up a quick and very simple page that I will have them work on sometime in the craziness of the week.
Click on the picture to purchase your copy!
Click on the picture to get your FREEBIE!
This week is the BIG testing week for us, with 3rd-5th grades taking the CRCTs and K-2nd taking the SLOs. Plus, we are having a pep rally tomorrow, schoolwide test prep on Wednesday, and a field trip on Friday. Whew!
But I'm not scurrred....I've got Ryan by my side :)


Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday {Masters Week Edition}

Hey yall! Happy Friday!
I think this is the first Friday that I have ever dreaded....because it means my Spring Break is coming to a close! Waaaaaaaah!
Now just a regular old weekend is left before that 6 am alarm disturbs my precious new sleep cycle. Sigh...
I'm linking up with Casey again to show you 5 random things from my week.
1. Every year during the Masters, a benefit concert is held called Rock Fore Dough. Sometimes there are pretty big acts and sometimes its people I've never heard of. Well, this year my all time favorite Grace Potter was there! I about died when I saw the line up. She was absolutely amazing! If you don't know who she is, go pick up her latest CD here. Seriously, you won't be disappointed!

2. After the show, my girlfriend and I decided to go see another friend at the local Mellow Mushroom. We sat at the bar and had dinner. Well, the next day, I saw this message on FB...
Yes, I was eating in the same restaurant as Grace Potter at the same time and didn't even know it!!! I'm thinking I can still say that I had dinner with Grace
3. The most exciting part about being in Augusta this week is being on the lookout for celebrities. I've heard from friends that George Lopez flew in on Monday, Tiger Woods has been working out in my gym this week, and one of the sexiest men alive was in our local Outback the other night.....
One of my friends that works there posted that he was eating in the establishment AFTER he had gone! Needless to say, we are no longer friends..... :)
4. Well, its snowing here in Georgia! Yellow snow that is.....its pollen season yall! Everything in sight takes on a lovely yellow color. Yuck, yuck, yuck...
5. This little lady is quite talented and is a local Augustan. Want to know what Masters Week is like? Check out her video!

Go link up with Casey, friends!