Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Regions Brochure Project

Happy Tuesday, blogger friends! I'm super busy and not feeling too hot, but I wanted to put up a picture of our completed North Carolina region brochure bulletin board! My sprouts did an AWESOME job with their brochures...they worked in groups, completed a TON of research, and learned how to use a detailed rubric to solidify their chances of getting a good grade! 

Clearly an iPhone picture, but you get the gist :)

If you like the idea of a state regions brochure project, here's my rubric on TpT! Check it out if you get a chance! I would love your support and feedback! As a matter of fact...the first person to comment on this post will get a copy for free! Have a fabulous first day of May tomorrow! :)

<3 Kelsey

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness

Good evening! I hope you had an amazing day at school, at home...wherever you spent your time! :) I'm linking up with Ideas by Jivey's Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness party! My first linky...yay!

I can't lie, I've been SO blessed to have such a kind, tolerant group of students for my first year teaching. What's really something is that they all come from strikingly different backgrounds, and still meld together beautifully. One sweet memory that pops up is when I was walking down the hallway with one of my parent volunteers. Her son popped out of the art room with another boy in my class, who could be considered a wreck by some standards (horrible home life, rough appearance, hyperactive/hyper-impulsive, the whole nine yards). This boy called out to his mom, "Hey! I wanted you to meet ********...I love him, he's my brother." My other boy was just smiling from ear to ear...I doubt even some of his family has proclaimed that kind of care for him. It was such a sweet, genuine statement that my heart just melted.

We recently started an advocacy project in social studies - I am having each student choose an issue that they want to positively impact, and they will make and present informative posters. During a discussion on possible topics today, one of my students told me that they couldn't choose just one topic, because they want to help with many. It made me want to jump out of my chair and sing! I think being cognizant of the world around us and driven enough to make a positive difference is SO important, and my sprouts are sharing that belief! Let's all spread peace, hope, love, and kindness!

<3 Kelsey

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Finding Balance...

Hello! I hope you had a FABULOUS week and weekend, and that you're looking forward to Earth Day tomorrow! We talked a bit about Earth Day on Friday afternoon, and I challenged my sprouts to think about some ways they could personally show their love for our Earth. I hope they put their thinking caps on at some point during the weekend, because we'll be working on a fun writing assignment tomorrow morning! They should turn out very cute, I'll be sure to post pictures!

Administration sent out an e-mail the other day, informing us that we have 27 school days until our EOG tests, and 35 school days until summer vacation. What I am gleaning from this information is that we are finally in TESTING SEASON! (When I type those words, I envision myself as an Elmer Fudd-type character, and all my little sprouts are silly little hound dogs.) We spent the bulk of last week taking benchmark tests and practice EOG's...not the most exciting activities for any party involved, BUT a necessary evil. 

Since it is my first year of actual state test preparation, I am really trying to find a balance between introducing new subject matter and reviewing 27 weeks' worth of information! My principal offered to disaggregate our grade level's student data by class based on the practice EOG's completed (not like he has a million other things on his plate...seriously, super nice of him), and I am using the information he provides to make whole-group and small-group review materials. My stations will be primarily review materials as well! I'm also going to have to find more ways to help my sprouts practice bubbling, which we admittedly don't do very often outside of our ACC Math program (blame that on me, womp womp). How are YOU getting your students ready for testing? I'd LOVE any of your input and advice! As a special thank you, the first two people who give me feedback will get...

A) A bear hug from me (through cyberspace)
B) One product of your choice from my TpT store for FREE! :)

Since this was a long and rambling post, here is a picture of me locked up in "jail" from our school's Spring Fling this past Friday :)

Have an amazing week!

<3 Kelsey

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME! :)

Happy Saturday! I hope you are having a fabulous weekend so far! Today is actually my birthday...I hit the big 2-3! I spent Friday night and most of today in Raleigh with my boyfriend, and we had an awesome time as usual! Over the course of our visit, we ate at Piebird, saw the Evil Dead, went to the flea market, ate at the Yard House (Google it...my FAVORITE restaurant), and rode around on the motorcycle after getting home...lots of fun!

A funny birthday story from yesterday...while I was eating lunch, one of my girls came up to me and informed me that 22 years from Saturday, I will be 45. What? At least she WAS applying math in a real-world situation! :)

I'm done talking about me...here are are couple of things my sprouts worked on at the end of the week!

Our "creative" small group activity for point of view...I wrote all over my kidney table to make a giant sort, and then the sprouts categorized some passages based on their point of views. It was a great activity, but it further proves the point that I am essentially a graffiti artist in my classroom. ;)

We created a simple four-flap foldable to keep track of some of Earth's landforms! We are going to start talking about different bodies of water this upcoming week. I am excited for more opportunities to compare and contrast...I am clearly trying to reinforce that reading objective as much as humanly possible! Speaking of comparing and contrasting, one of my little sprouts came up to me on Thursday and informed me that he was comparing and contrasting two texts by the same author! Cool, right? I looked over at his desk and saw he had two different Big Nate books out...I then watched him read one page of one, and then one page from the other. It cracked me up! At least he was trying to demonstrate mastery of one of our objectives, right? :)

I hope you have a happy, relaxing Sunday tomorrow! :)

<3 Kelsey

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break Shenanigans & A Very Important Question!

Today, I am blogging some bittersweet news...it is Sunday, the very last day of my Spring Break. Please don't get me wrong, I am SO excited to see my sweet little sprouts and my awesome coworkers tomorrow! It's just...I DON'T WANT SPRING BREAK TO END. I've gotten used to sleeping in until 9:30, puttering around, eating lunch for as long as I'd like...waking up tomorrow at 5:15 is going to be an epic struggle! I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of things quickly though!

Anyways, here are some things I did over my Spring Break...

I spent a few glorious days back home in Williamsburg, Virginia...it was SO good to see my family! While home, I took advantage of my historic hometown and sent postcards to all of my little sprouts...I hope they liked the surprise! The ONE thing that I will never forget about my fifth grade teacher was that she sent me a postcard from Vail, Colorado over a break. It made such an impression on me that she thought about me inside and outside of school, and I want my sprouts to feel the same way!

Tomorrow we are having Mathapalooza...the third grade classes are rotating through all of the third grade classrooms, and we are each teaching a fun lesson on a topic that will be covered on our benchmark tests next week. I am reviewing 3.MD.1 with all of the little nuggets...I can't wait to scrape all the rust off of their little brains when it comes to elapsed time on a number line! I made a fun Four Corners review game for the students to play...I will be posting it on TpT soon!

Today was a balmy 75 degrees in good old Fayetteville, so I laid out at the pool! I want to warn you to put on sunglasses before you look at my shocking whiteness...oh well, have to start somewhere!

Woo Hoo!

Here is my important question I would LOVE to have answered...how do you link up with/participate in linky parties? I have no clue how to grab a button or get ahold of one of the big graphics to edit (i.e. the Currently... that everyone likes to do) I know it's a dopey question, but please bear with me! I'd love your help and input! I hope you have a fantastic day!

<3 Kelsey