Friday, July 27, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop

There is a newbie blog hop out there!  Feel free to join the fun!  It is great to find other educators who are starting out in the blogging world.  There is so much we can learn from each other.
1.  What state you are in?
I teach in the great state of Massachusetts.

2. What is your current teaching position?
I teach 3rd grade in an inclusion classroom.

3. What is your teaching experience?
I have taught 5th grade for 3 years, 4th grade special education for 2 years, 4th grade for 1 year, and 3rd grade for 5 years.  I believe third grade where I have found my home!

4.  When you started blogging?
I started blogging the last week of June when I took a technology course after school got out.  I love integrating technology into my classroom, so this is another professional step for me.  I started a class blog for my students and parents, and 3rd Grade Troops for teachers out there.

5.  Share a blogging tip / blogging resource:
Be yourself- the best part of blogging is that there are so many varied blogs out there, with a different perspective on teaching and learning.

Join the Blog Hop Party!  Click Below to link up.
You are next, click here to enter!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Teaching Tip: Portable Centers

Teaching Tip: Portable Centers

Having space for everything, displaying materials, activities or standards, and saving yourself time year after year is a winning classroom solution.  My quick tip of the day is to purchase portable science fair boards.  Glue or staple a bulletin board border around the edge.  Create a banner, or use pre-made punched out letters to form a title.  Take a center activity that you leave up for a certain amount of time, and attach the task card directions to the science fair board.  You can also use clear sheet protectors to place papers.  When you are done with that theme, lesson or activity, fold the center up and store it away on top of your closet or on the side of a cabinet.  The best part of this portable center is next time or year you want to use this center, all you have to do is pull it out.  It is a huge time saver, and you can put it up and take it down without the hassle of bulletin boards.   
I have portable centers created for each of my science and social studies units.  It is a great idea for fast finishers, or the use of seasonal activities.  ELA focus walls, or math vocabulary could easily be displayed on the portable centers.  Your bulletin board space can then be used for whatever you wish… wink, wink kids love to see their work on display! J

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teacher Back-To-School To-Do List

Teacher Back-To-School To-Do List

I always have a list going of the things that I need to get done to prepare my room, and be ready to start the school year.  Here is my list, and I would love for you to add to the list as well!

1.     Review and update curriculum materials: I always go through my files and units and decide on what activities linked to the standards and engaged my students.  I research new ideas that would add a twist to a unit as well. 

2.   Decide on a classroom theme:  I find having a classroom theme for a year makes learning enjoyable for the students.  Themes I have used in the past include: detective / mystery theme, frogs, popcorn, rock ‘n roll, monsters, ants / picnic, jungle theme, pirate, Hollywood, western, and this year I am doing an army theme, which is the inspiration for my army themed blog!

3.   Create bulletin boards: I absolutely love creating bulletin boards.  I put them up around the school too.  I feel that there should always be some sort of bulletin board or way to showcase student work.  It is important for students to see all of their hard work on display.  One other personal preference, I don’t but things up that are seasonal.  This is because some students do not celebrate different seasons / holidays, and then I am on a time constraint of when I HAVE to change the bulletin board. 

4.    Create nametags, student labels, locker tags, get supplies: Do you spend your summer searching for the best school supplies sales like I do?  Does your week revolve around the penny folder sale at Staples, or the 20 cent Crayola crayon and colored pencil sales?  Oh, how I love bargains!  I think I am a label freak.  I print a sheet of student labels for just about everything: tool boxes, math journals, reading workbooks, notebooks, crayon boxes, marker packets, all 6 six colored folders in their desk, etc.  I use them all year long.  Labels, how do I love thee?
5.   Create new center activities and powerpoints: The summer is the perfect time to let my creative juices flow.

6.   Organize my classroom: Set-up routines that I would like to have in place in my class.  Decide on a desk set-up.  Create classroom center areas for small group work, and fast finishers.  Organize my manipulatives and games to make sure that everything is in order to start the year.
7.   Relax, have fun, and recharge for an amazing school year!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

As much as I am enjoying my summer vacation, I have to admit on the 4th of July, I wish we were in school.  I feel there are so many teachable moments about the true meaning of Independence Day.  So, I ask that if you have kids, teach summer school, or work at a summer camp, that you take a few moments and share a historical trivia fact:

-      July 4, 1776 is when the 13 colonies first declared its independence from Great Britain.  The 13 colonies were not happy with Great Britain’s taxes and their unwillingness to allow the colonists to send a representative to the British Parliament. 

-      The signing of the Declaration of Independence didn’t actually happen on July 4th.  The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it.  There are a total of 56 signatures on the Declaration of Independence.

-      Congress declared the 4th of July a federal holiday in 1941.  It is one of the few federal holidays that is not observed on a Monday or a Friday.

-      The flag with its red, white and blue is one of the most important patriotic symbols that our country has to represent our freedom.  The first flag was sewn by Betsy Ross.  It looks like this:

Write a comment and share a historical trivia tidbit that you feel that is important for kids to know about the 4th of July.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Huge Give Away!

Check out the Huge Celebration Giveaway that Peace, Love & Learning is organizing.  Click on the picture to link to her blog to learn about the awesome giveaways, and opportunity to link up with some other fabulous blogs.  You have a chance to win big! 
Bonus since I am brand new to blogging: 
 If you follow my TpT store and my blog, I will send you the 80 character education banners for free!  You have to send me an e-mail at, so I have your e-mail address to send you an electronic copy of the banners.  This way, everyone is a winner!    
P.S. I am away on a cruise of the Mediterranean Sea until the end of July for my honeymoon.  I promise to send the character education banners when I return!