Sunday, October 28, 2012

Daily Cafe Conference in Chicago!

We had so much fun in Chicago last weekend attending the Daily Cafe conference!  I haven't had a chance to post yet so here's our weekend in pictures...with some funny details along the way.  

I was in shock when I got into our Toyota Yaris rental car and saw the dashboard empty behind the steering wheel!  The speedometer was in the middle of the dashboard.  That was so strange!  And about 20 minutes into the trip I realized there was no cruise control.  I was very sad about that considering I had a 7 hour drive each way!  
I thought this was a different language and then realized it was really just store hours with some missing letters!! 


The 2 Sisters were going to be in this room!  This was the night before the conference started.  We were so excited just to see the sign on the door so we had to take pictures.  
They are famous after all!  :)  
Me hanging out in front of the School of Rock!  My kiddos are Rock Stars this year so I had to pose in front of this shop.  
Hinsdale was an adorable town. We caught the train here into the city.  It was such a cute little town.  And the weather was beautiful!
photo.JPG of my favorite cities!  
This is my teaching friend Christina posing in front of The Bean in Millenium Park.  It is so much fun to take pictures here! 
Me at Millenium Park.  I had absolutely no trouble sitting up there either!  :)
Our deep dish pizza experience!  It was yummy, but we both decided we like our hometown Ohio pizza better!!
We had to get Best Friend bracelets to commemorate our special weekend!  We had told our kiddos that we were tight and BFF's now so the bracelet was a necessity!  
Chicago at night.  
This is Christina and I posing after the conference with The 2 Sisters!!  We got our picture taken with them and their autographs!  I told them they were like Rock Stars in the teaching world!  I'm sure they already knew that though.  The conference was great and was totally worth being exhausted this past week after lots of driving and not much sleep.  :)

For attending the conference we got a year long subscription to The 2 Sister's website here.  I would highly recommend purchasing this if you are able to.  It is definitely worth it for all of the resources available.  

Something The Sisters highly recommend is one on one conferencing during their reading block.  Christina and I chatted all the way home about how to make this work in our classrooms.  While at the conference they shared their newest creation called Pensieve.  

This program is amazing!  I use my iPad while I read with each student one on one for about 5 minutes.  It's been an eye opening experience to see how beneficial it is to meet with students individually even for a short time.  My kiddos who have a hard time staying on task for any length of time in a reading group are really benefiting from this.  

The Sisters shared that research has shown that kiddos can only stay on task with higher level learning for however many minutes they are old.  So if a kiddo is 6 years old they will be able to attend to higher level learning for about 5-8 minutes at most.  

Last week I began meeting with my reading groups for the first 8-10 minutes of a Daily Five round and then I met with students individually for the next 10 minutes.  The Pensieve program allows you to set up your meetings whether they are one on one or small groups and then you can type notes and give your kiddos a rating for how they're doing.  

I am totally in love with it!  :)  

This was the biggest thing I learned from the conference.  Overall, the Daily Cafe conference was great.  So was our shopping time in downtown Chicago!  It's always exciting to be around so many teachers.  And it was so cool to meet The 2 Sisters!  :)

I highly recommend the opportunity if ever get the chance!  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fantabulous Friday Freebie and Daily Five Conference

Happy Fantabulous Friday!  I'm actually posting my Friday Freebie on Friday.  Woohoo!  

I have such a great weekend planned...I'm headed to *Chicago* in the morning with my friend Christina to attend the Daily Five Conference!! I've also got my winner for my 300 follower giveaway!  

CHICAGO!!  I love Chicago and I love Daily Five so this weekend is going to be amazing.  I'm sooooo excited!  Are any of you headed to the Daily Five Conference?  It's going to be 4 days.  Daily Five on Sunday, Cafe on Monday, Daily Five on Tuesday, and Cafe on Wednesday.  We're just going to the Cafe part on Monday.  We've both used Daily Five for a few years, but want to learn more about Cafe.  Maybe we could have a mini blogger meet-up??

We both told our students that we were going to be traveling to Chicago this weekend together.  I told my kiddos that Mrs. Wagers and I are really tight...they thought that was so funny!  I also told them she's going to sing our phonics poems to me to keep me awake for the long drive!!  

I have several wonderful freebies this week.  I like to share quality freebies that I find through Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers for my Fantabulous Friday Freebies.  Teaching is a very collaborative field so I want to share some of my great finds. 

We have been learning about Cause and Effect during reading this week.  To help with that we have read Laura Numeroff's series If You Give a...  We started with If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, but read lots of others including the original If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  Here is what we used this week:
Katie at Teach Love Laugh created these two activities to go with If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.  They are quick, easy, and fun to do.  Click the picture to go download it.  

Heather at Second Grade Perks created this adorable poster which I used as part of my anchor chart for cause and effect.  Click the picture to go download.  

Cause and Effect Detectives
Mrs. Patmore created this great Cause and Effect Detectives pack.   We used this pack this week too as we became detectives.  My kiddos loved it.  Click the picture to download.  

Enjoy these freebies!  Make sure you come back and visit every Friday for my Fantabulous Freebies!  Also, if you download one of these wonderful freebies, please let the creator know!  It's always nice to hear that other teachers are using your materials and appreciate your hard work!  

Congratulations to Heather Nance for winning my 300 Follower Giveaway!  I will be emailing you soon Heather so I can give you your prizes!  

I'm off to go pack for Chicago.  I have some laundry to finish up and then packing!  So excited to meet The 2 Sisters!  I'm sure I'll be blogging about it once we get back.  If you know of anyone else going, I'd love to know!  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I've Been Boo'd and 300 Follower Giveaway!

I've been Boo'd!  How exciting!  :)

Teresa at 2nd Grade Pig Pen Boo'd me!  That sounds kinda strange to say, but it's a good thing....really! Thanks, Teresa! Cynthia at 2nd Grade Pad started a Boo'd linky.  Click on the picture to go read more about it.  

Here's how you play...Choose a blog that has more followers than you, around the same number of followers, and less followers than you and encourage others to go check out their blogs and stores.  You can share the love by offering them one free item from your TpT store!

Here are the wonderful bloggers I have chosen:

The Inspired Apple
Abby at The Inspired Apple is so creative and fun to blog stalk!  

Tammy at Forever in First always blogs about her great ideas!

 Speech Peeps
Nicole at Speech Peeps is the Speech Therapist at my school.  She is new to blogging and TpT and she is so creative!  Go check out her cute blog with lots of freebies for teachers.  

Go and Boo your favorite bloggers!  It's lots of fun! :)

My 300 follower giveaway is over in a few hours!  Make sure you click on this picture to go check it out!  

Tomorrow is Fantabulous Friday don't want to miss it so come back and visit!  :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fantabulous Friday Freebie- Bats!

Ready for another Fantabulous Friday Freebie on Saturday?!  I should really make it Fantabulous Saturday Freebie, but that just doesn't have the same ring to it!  

This week my kiddos learned a lot about bats!!  We had our Open House and Fall Festival on Thursday evening so we had to get our bats ready for the hall.  They were adorable and the kiddos loved making them.  

Here are some of the bat activities we did this week.  Some of them are free and some of them I paid for but I had to share them because they are so cute.  If you haven't learned about bats yet I highly recommend you do.  The kiddos loved it and I have learned that they're not slimy, gross creatures that are going to land in my hair and suck my blood!  I learned some great bat facts too!  :)
Here are some of the bat books we read.  We discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction.  We also read Stellaluna.
Cara Carroll created this great story map using Stellaluna.  We created a story map this week too as we learned about problems and solutions in stories.  Click here to visit Cara's blog post about bats and get some great bat freebies!! 
We learned that bats can eat 600 mosquitoes in an hour!  Just another reason why we LOVE bats!!  The kiddos loved cutting out and gluing these mosquitoes.  Click here to get this bat freebie pack from Jodi at Fun in First.  :) 
We also learned that the largest bat has a wingspan of 6 feet and the smallest bat has a wingspan of 5 inches.  This is also in Jodi's pack.  Click the link above!
The yarn represents their wings.  My kiddos were amazed at how big a bat can get!   
My friend Christina at Sugar and Spice taught her class about owls.  After both of our classes were experts about our animals we got together and taught each other what we had learned about bats and owls.  It was so much fun!  We created this Venn Diagram together as we learned about similarities and differences between each animal.  Then we hung them up in the hall to share with parents for Open House.  
Here is a close up of the bats we made.  They had diagrams inside and then we wrote bat facts on the inside of their wings.  So cute!  This bat craftivity came from Lita.  Click here to purchase it for only $1.50.  It comes in English and Spanish!!
We posted some bat facts up in the hall on this chart we made.  I heard lots of parents reading it that didn't even have kiddos in my class.  It was very cool to hear parents and other kiddos reading and learning about bats!  They were shocked that bats have thumbs and fingers just like we do!  

We also took a vote to see who was still scared of bats after all we had learned.  I wish I had done this before too because I think we would have had very different results.  Both the bat facts and voting activity can be found by clicking here to purchase this AWESOME bat, spider, and pumpkin unit from Julie!

So this was our week about bats!  We have a few more things to do next week and then we'll move on to spiders and pumpkins.  

Happy Fantabulous Friday Freebie!  Enjoy learning about bats!!  We sure did!  :)

Make sure you visit my *300 Follower Giveaway Post here* and enter to win *4 great TpT products* and a *$25 TpT gift card*!!  Who couldn't use that right now with all of the wonderful holiday goodies out there?!?!  

Good luck and thanks for being wonderful followers!   

Thursday, October 11, 2012

300 Follower Giveaway!!

Yay!!  I have over 300 followers...that is so exciting to me!  I can't believe there are over 300 people out there that follow my classroom happenings and Teachers Pay Teachers creations.  

That just makes my heart so happy!  :)

I'm going to share that happiness with you all too.  I've contacted some of my favorite bloggers to help me out.  They all agreed to donate some goodies to my wonderful followers and I'm giving away a $25 TpT gift card!! 
I want to give away a $25 TpT gift card because I know we are all so busy and have so much going on with school and our home lives that it can be overwhelming!  I know I could spend $25 really quickly on TpT!  I'm sure you could too!  :)

With so many changes in the teaching world and additional duties it never feels like I have enough time in the day to get everything done I need to.  I'm not sure how those of you who have your own kiddos do it!!  My hubby feels neglected and it's just the two of us.  To help you out I'm going to give away this TpT gift card so you can go purchase some goodies that you need and spend some extra time with your family!!  

Here is what you could win from my wonderful bloggy friends:
Lisa at Learning is Something to Treasure is donating *any* item from her TpT store!!

Hello Mrs. Sykes
Jen at Hello Mrs. Sykes is also donating *any* item from her TpT store!!

Liv to Teach
Olivia at Liv to Teach is donating her Math and ELA Vocabulary Cards.  She has them for Kindergarten, First, or Second so you can choose which grade level you need.  

Sugar and Spice
Christina at Sugar and Spice is donating her adorable Halloween Writing Pack.

And I'm giving away a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate!! 

I'm using Rafflecopter for the giveaway.  Love Rafflecopter!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and make sure you come back and visit tomorrow for Fantabulous Friday Freebies to see my ADORABLE bat freebies and activities my kiddos did this week!!  

I'd *love* to know what you would do if you had some extra time in the day!  Good luck and thank you for being such wonderful followers!!  :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fantabulous Friday Freebies- 2 Freebies This Week!!

Happy Fantabulous Friday Freebie on Saturday!!  I got home really late last night and could not hold my eyes open anymore so I had to go straight to bed.  I think I walked through the house with my eyes closed I was so tired!  :)

I'm going to share 2 freebies with you to make up for it.  We have been talking about nouns in my class the last couple of weeks.  I found these adorable pictures on Pinterest and knew we had to do this!

I forgot to take a picture of our nouns, but ours are hanging up in the hall and they're so cute!  I had to create a template since there wasn't one provided so I'm sharing mine with you!  It's nothing fancy at all.  It is just a leaf and an acorn, but it will make it real easy for you to get started and to make them quickly.  Click here if you want that freebie.  Click here if  you want the poster I created to hang in the hall.  

My kiddos wrote 4 nouns so there are 4 lines on the leaf- 1 person, 1 place, 1 thing, and 1 animal.  

I'll take a picture of ours on Monday and share it.  I love them!  :)  

While I was searching through some of my favorite blogs for some noun activities I found Amy Lemon's Noun Adjectives Freebie!  
You definitely need to go and download her noun freebie.  It has a noun sort, common and proper nouns chart, and finding nouns around your room activity.  It's great and my kiddos loved it.  If you download it, make sure you show your thanks!  :)

Everyone needs to go visit Amy's awesome blog.  She has LOTS of other goodies too!

Your kiddos will really be nuts about nouns after all this noun work!  Make sure you follow my blog so you can catch all of the Fantabulous Friday Freebies!!  :)

Before I go I need to announce my Math Activities Pack Giveaway Winners.  Here are my 3 winners:
Congrats, ladies!  I'm emailing you my Math Activities for Small Group Math Pack right now!  :)

Enjoy this week's freebies and make sure you visit back next week for my *300 follower* giveaway!!!  It's going to be an EASY, but BIG giveaway!  :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Currently and Friend's Giveaway

Happy October!  It's time for another Currently from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade!  Go link up with your own Currently!  :)

I went to a Language Arts Common Core workshop today and I really enjoyed it.  The speaker was great.  I left with a lot of information and one thing I know for sure is that I need more time in the day to create new Common Core assessments ready to use with my kiddos!!  

I love The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything.  I always use it as a Reader's Theater with my kiddos.  They love doing the motions with me as we read the book and then performing for other classes.  

My hubby wears *size 15* shoes so I always bring in a pair for the kiddo who plays the shoes to wear.  They love it!!  It's so funny to see my first graders wearing size 15 shoes!  :)

Make sure you stop by my friend Brandi's blog and enter her giveaway!  I'm donating my October/Halloween Activity Pack and there's lots of other goodies plus a TpT gift card to win!!

I'm off to go work on this Common Core stuff.  Going to be a crazy busy (but hopefully full of growth and 'stretching') year!  :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Math Activities for Small Group Pack Giveaway

My kiddos love math time!  We use our dry erase boards a lot, all sorts of manipulatives, and play fun math games.  What's not to love?!  

To help my kiddos who struggle with number sense I created a Math Activities for Small Group Math Pack to use during Daily 4 guided math groups back in the spring.  It needed some updating and I just finished it.  

Here is what it looks like now:

This pack focuses on Number Sense (120’s chart, more than, less   than), Missing Numbers (before, between, after), 10 Frames and Skip Counting (by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s), Hundreds, Tens, and Ones (printable manipulatives and number chart), Addition and Subtraction (single and double digit addition and subtraction, 3 single digit addition, fact families, equal math sentences), and Flashcards to 120 (blue are even, red are odd).

I am going to give away 3 of these Math Activities for Small Group Math packs!!  All you need to do is follow my blog and leave me one comment with your email address letting me know what you use with your kiddos during guided math groups!  I would love to hear about what other teachers do!!  :)

I'll choose 3 winners by Thursday, October 4.  It's been awhile since I've had a giveaway so I thought I would have one with this updated math pack.  You can also click here to go straight to my TpT store and purchase the pack.  

Good luck!