Sunday, November 17, 2013

Goal Setting & Sarah's Font

I've been saving up to buy an iPad. I'm quite close to my goal for the one I want. Hopefully I'll have it by Christmastime, or mid-January. I'm crossing my fingers for the former. My goal is to only pay for it with earnings from Teachers Pay Teachers or Teacher's Notebook (If I don't state my goal, I may not keep it in the forefront of my mind). 

Because of this goal, I find myself being inspired, almost daily, with new ideas for creations as I'm in the middle of teaching. I quickly jot down my idea on a Post-It and then hope to all hopes I remember where I placed it! After I put my son to bed at night, I fire up the computer and begin working on my latest idea. I find that if I didn't have to work the next morning, I'd probably be up all night working on these ideas. It is relaxing and exciting to have an idea, make it happen, and then find other people enjoy the idea too! I think THAT'S what's so addicting about being a seller on TPT. Hence, my goal. It would be awesome to say, "Yes, I earned this iPad solely through hard work in my spare time."

One thing I'm looking forward to doing on my iPad, is creating new fonts. I'm always looking for the perfect font when creating. It seems the cute fonts aren't necessarily the fonts that students should be modeling. The lowercase a has a hat on, or the I doesn't have lines across the top and bottom, thus creating confusion when copying from the Promethean Board. Or worse yet, the uppercase is just as small as the lowercase.

I have my "go to" font from another seller on TPT, but I had always wanted to create my own. How nice it would be to not have to give someone else credit on my products, right? When I mentioned this to a friend, she kindly let me use her iPad to create my first font. SO EXCITING! I wanted a font that my first graders (and some of my second graders) could read that didn't have the above problems. So I made the uppercase letters not only larger, but bold too! And I made the periods bold as well. This way, when they are copying from the board, they are better able to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase. I also made sure to make the letter "I" look like an "I" and not an "L". VERY important in my book.


I can't wait to create more! Just knowing that it's a possibility, it keeps my goal in my mind at all times. To purchase Sarah's Font at a super cheap price, click the picture above!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nature Inspirations

This year I have an amazing group of students. For the most part, they are well behaved, helpful, self-motivated, kind to each other, and respectful to all. I feel very lucky to be teaching such a great group of kids. When behavior isn't an issue, it's AMAZING what you can accomplish! I don't feel like a broken record and I feel more calm. I have been re-energized and reminded why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place. Such a nice feeling.

With this group of kids, I'm finding myself wanting to incorporate more fun activities and lessons. It seems natural, right? You behave well, you get rewarded. You complete your work, you get rewarded. You're kind to others, you get rewarded. So why not have a fun little art project combined with the beauty of autumn's nature?

I gave each kids a piece of large yellow construction paper. We did a step-by-step drawing of a turkey body. We colored it, then went outside and collected the most beautifully colored leaves and used them to make the tail! So simple, and so adorable!




Monday, October 14, 2013

How To Download a Video From You Tube


Like many teachers, I enjoy using videos in my classroom. You Tube has a wide variety of video resources for classroom use. However, a teacher must ALWAYS watch the video without the students around before showing the students the video. Many times a harmless video is actually a spoof with inappropriate content.

Another annoying feature of You Tube is the ads that randomly pop up moments before your video is to begin. You're able to skip them, but not without waiting for the "skip" pop up to show. 

And don't EVEN get me started about the "you might like" or "trending now" videos that show to the right of your screen. When I'm showing an appropriate video, inappropriate videos pop up there!

AND...it's on the INTERNET, so buffering is always happening. How frustrating!

Well, to get the hassles out of You Tube, you can simply download the video you want! No more pop ups, ads, or waiting for buffering and interrupted video time. This video tutorial shows you step by step how to download videos from the web!
video


Sunday, October 13, 2013

ActivInspire Basics--Video Tutorial


I've learned so much since I began working at my current school. We are a magnet for technology and so I'm constantly on the look out for ways to incorporate technology into my daily teachings. ActivInspire for my Promethean Board is AMAZING! I thought I loved PowerPoint until I met ActivInspire. Using it, allows me to create fun and interactive "flip charts" for my students and me to use. And now that I'm able to do video tutorials, I'm including some ActivInspire basics tutorials on my blog. Today's basics video (although nine minutes long), shows you how to add tools to your toolbox, how to add more colors to your toolbox, how to lock objects, how to duplicate objects, how to manipulate slide layouts, and what the blue/orange button at the top means. Enjoy!


video


Saturday, October 12, 2013

How To Save a Document as a PDF


When working on a document that you don't want other people to be able to manipulate, or take your work and use it elsewhere, it's always a good idea to save the document as a PDF. You'll need Adobe in order to open the file, so be sure to download that before you save your work. Here is a screen tutorial of how to save your file as a PDF:

video

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Skillz

So...I've been quite busy since the last time I blogged. Like, really busy! And I'm feeling a bit guilty that I've put blogging on the back burner because writing is one of my absolute most favorite things to do. But I thought I'd let you know that while I was on my writing hiatus, I was learning lots of new and exciting things.

The most recent thing I've learned, is how to do a screen recording. That's right, I'm in 2013 and am JUST NOW learning that. And I am happy to say, I've made my first tutorial!!! I thought I'd start with something I use allllllll the time...borders in PowerPoint. I did a step-by-step about a year ago with written directions, have since learned how to do screen shots, and now screen recordings.

So, in short, be prepared for screen recording how-to's! It will make my how-to lessons SO much easier and less time-consuming!

This lesson is...how to do a screen recording!!!


video

Monday, July 29, 2013

How To Change Your Font Using Digital Papers

Sometimes we do things that we don't even realize come as second nature to us. As I click around different blogs and stores, I'm always amazed at the creativity people have! They make it look so easy! Last night as I was creating, I saw something I hadn't realized was available for me to use. Huh? Let me  explain.

When I use PowerPoint, I like to make borders for the things I'm creating. And since I've done it so many times, it doesn't seem too difficult/tedious anymore. So when I'm clicking on things, I generally am clicking so fast, I don't realize there are other options! Last night, I saw an option that I've never explored before. "Format Text". This little beauty has opened my eyes to more creativity. I feel like I've explored a new land. 

"Format Text" allows you to not just change the color of the font you're using, but use patterns (i.e. digital papers) as the text color! AMAZING FIND! Here I will walk you through step-by-step how to format your text using digital papers. You can download it for free (PDF form) here.
















I hope this "how to" inspires you to create something new and exciting!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Broke

So tonight, as I was at the grocery store buying fresh fruit for my son, I realized I also needed cottage cheese, and eggs, and juice, and lunch meat....and pretty soon, I was spending $68 when I had intended on spending less than $20.

Healthy food is so expensive! And my son must be going through a growth spurt or something because I couldn't get him to stop eating today!!! It's the end of the month, and like most teachers, that means I'm broke. I can get through until Wednesday...as long as I don't have to gas up a car.

I watched the nice cashier ring up each item one by one. She made a joke (that reminded me of the "Target Lady" on SNL) about a "pair of pears". I smiled politely and reached for my wallet. After I swiped my card and received my receipt, I went to zip up my wallet. As if on cue (and as a reminder of my current financial situation), the zipper was stuck. I couldn't close it even halfway. I pulled and pulled. Nothing! Then I realized, the zipper was disconnected from the fabric. Gosh, my luck.

Needless to say, I will be hosting a Thirty-One party now in order to earn a new wallet. If you haven't heard of Thirty-One, you are missing out! Their products are a teacher's DREAM! I recently purchased a tote and a tote insert. I use the insert for my Mary Kay products and the large tote (turquoise) for the trunk of my car. It's perfect for grocery bags that tend to fall over, to take to the beach, or even for grocery shopping. I LOVE that the stuff can be monogrammed in cute fonts and colors! It was REALLY hard to choose the pattern. I stood around for about 45 minutes before I finally committed to what I bought.

 Here's a picture I sent to my Thirty-One consultant:
Adorbs, right?

Seeing as how I spent most of my money on my classroom already, I'm pretty excited to host a party next week! It will be the perfect way to remind me that school starts soon and I need to stay out of the pool and more time at work.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mom Mode

So I'm in "Mom Mode" this week. I have successfully loaded and unloaded the dishwasher twice already this week! Wait, WHAT?! Yes. Twice. I think I need a ticker tape parade.

Which leads me to my next thought. Why do these little jobs seem so important when it's summer time? I get excited to see my kitchen counter clean and my sink empty. During the school year, that only seems to happen on the weekends Sundays when my husband is home. Simply because he served in the Marine Corps, and they're good like that.

Did I mention I vacuumed too? The Cheerios never even saw it coming.

So this week I'm tackling the biggest "Mom Mode" task. That's right. Potty training. My son will be three next month and I REALLY want him to be potty trained before I go back to work. Everything everyone says about potty training being hard is totally true. And I'll be honest, I was jealous when a friend came over with her little guy who's two months older than my son and he's already trained! She said, "I just told him we're out of diapers and he has to wear underwear now." I personally think it helped that he goes to day care and has peer pressure. I wouldn't have thought this had another friend not told me her daughter is potty trained too. She was feeling the pressure at swim lessons because another kid made a comment about her daughter's diapers (Little Swimmers) under her suit. Didn't realize that peer pressure started so YOUNG!

My cousin is a preschool teacher and also has a one year old. Although she's ten years younger than me, I often find myself asking for her expertise on the inner workings of my child. She gave me the best information yet. She told me that often kids who use Easy Ups (Pampers version of Pull Ups) take longer to potty train. She said they can't feel the feeling of being wet because the Easy Up pulls the liquid away from the body. She also said that if I was worried about taking him in public with just his undies on, I should put them on, then put the Easy Up on over that. This way if something happens, he can feel being wet. BRILLIANT!!!


So...I did that. And won't do it again. My son still wet himself, but didn't care! Also, with the heat wave we recently had, my son's body was sweating like a horse in there! The pee probably cooled him off!

Yesterday I had him in his undies all day and he did just fine. I am one proud Mama. I guess it also helped that I bribe him with gummy bears for going #1 and ice cream for #2 in the potty. Hey, don't judge. Stickers weren't his thing.

Now that I'm done with this blog post, I think my little man and I will go outside and mow the lawn.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Heat

Whew! This week has been nothing but HOT! I've been in my parents' pool every day since Thursday of last week...with the exception of today. Because...I'm home sick today. Yup. Summer fun has finally caught up with this mama. Between play dates, day trips, swimming, BBQs, staying up late, waking up early, trainings for school, chasing a toddler...and the list goes on...It's finally caught up with me.

But... because it has caused me to slow down and stay in bed most of the day, I've managed to allow my creative side to work its little tail off! I managed to create three new things for my TPT store, change my banner for TPT, upload them (with some frustration), and snuggle with my son. <3

Since I'm in such a good mood, I've decided to promote some things that I found this week online to use in my products.

The first I have to give a shout out to, is my all time favorite TPT store: Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Desgins 

The products in this store are AMAZING! I have spent many of my TPT credits and earnings in this store. The item I've been spending the most time using lately is "Clock Face Intervals Clip Art — Every 5 Minutes / Over 140 Graphics!" I like it because it comes with all the clocks at 5 minute intervals, is labeled very nicely, and comes with a clock without hands! This was perfect in designing my telling time unit! One of my favorite features of this artist's work, is that a logo is included with your purchase which makes it easy to credit the store for their artwork. I LOVE THAT!




The next shop I found that was willing to take my money, was My Clip Art Store on Etsy. This store has the CUTEST clip art and digital papers! I was looking for fish and found so much more! I ended up purchasing the ClipArt Combo Surfin' Safari and following the store.

How could you not love that coconut drink and beach chair? I may have to decorate my classroom with some more surfing stuff now that I am using these! Oh the possibilities!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Slacker!? Who, ME?!

Who has two thumbs and has been slacking off in her blogging? THIS GIRL!!!

Yes, it's true, I admit it...my New Year's Resolution has gone by the wayside. But that's okay, I'm human. It's what we do. We slack off work and then tend to pick it back up and continue on our way as if nothing...err...something? happened!

So as my year is winding down, I'm finding myself doing more and more things that make me happy, rather than productive. My newest adventure is makeup. Yes, makeup. But I'm not here to bore you with makeup.

I've been spending a lot of time making things. Messes mostly. I'm doing things that get my easily distracted mind off of all the stress of the last few weeks of school.

As I type this, I should be grading tests so I can start finish report cards! THAT'S where my brain is these days!

ANYwho...

So making task cards seems to be my new favorite hobby. They're my current favorite, too! Telling time! Here's a sneak peek (click the pic):



We are just finishing up the topic of Time in math. I am hoping to get these printed, cut, and laminated so the kids can play it before the end of the year! I plan on making quarter hour task cards too. Look for those in the next few weeks.  Maybe this will help squash the, "When do we go home?" questions I've been getting from the kids lately. Crossing my fingers!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Well, spring cleaning has hit me. And it hit me pretty hard today. I knew I needed to get all the papers and clay and trinkets taken away from kids and crayons and broken headphones and envelopes and candy off of my desk. So I did. And I put it on my students' desks. Well, for a little while, that is.

I used Chlorox wipes to sanitize my dusty desk, wiped everything dry and organized everything as if school starts tomorrow. I created a workspace that I can finally use! My desk usually ends up in a dumping ground by the end of the day. And each day I say I'm going to clean it, but there are so many other pressing issues, that it gets pushed aside for "tomorrow".

Since I'm on spring break this week, and my husband gets two days off, I'm taking advantage of his days off to spend with our son while I clean and clean and clean and organize my classroom. Tomorrow is finally today! Thursday will be my planning day. Today I am armed with Chlorox wipes and a determination to feel less anxious about the state of my classroom. So far so good!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yes and.... (A Partner Building Activity)

I can remember years ago playing a team building activity when I first started teaching. It was called "Yes and...". The object of the activity is to stay positive, support your peers, and to not use the word "no".

We were given the task of creating a new cell phone. Now, back then, smartphones weren't really in use just yet, so I'm guessing some of our ideas for the phone wouldn't be as exciting today. However, I'm going to do my best to show you how the game works.

Person A draws a very basic cell phone. Person B says, "Yes, and ______".  They draw this as they are talking about it. Only one thing gets added at a time. If you play this with a group, everyone must take turns. When Person B says, "Yes and..." they might say something like, "Yes, and the phone could be magnetic so it can stick to the dry erase board so we don't lose it!" Then Person A takes a turn:

"Yes and the phone could have a secret compartment in the back to stash your car keys so you don't lose them either." (In this day and age, you can you use your cell phone to find your keys!)

Person B: "Yes, and the phone has a button you can push to change the color of the phone based on your mood."

This goes on and on as the amazing new and improved cell phone gets drawn.

Today, my students started reading about inventors in their anthologies. This reminded me of the "Yes and..." game. I gave them an example of a desk. Here is a picture of the completed desk:

It has a palm tree lamp, an iPad built into the desk, it has four legs so I can take it anywhere, and a water slide for days when I just feel like kicking back!

Since I didn't want my students copying me, I had the students invent a chair. This activity encourages students to gain trust with their partner, practice their drawing skills, as well as their English. They absolutely loved it. After drawing, they wrote about it. Tomorrow they will present their new inventions. I highly recommend this activity!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kitten's First Full Moon

Last week my students read the story, "Kitten's First Full Moon" in their anthologies. What a CUTE story! The kitten sees the moon and thinks it's a bowl of milk. He tries again and again to get the bowl of milk to no avail. But in the end, there is a nice bowl of milk waiting for him at home.

Since my school is a magnet school for art, math, science, and technology, I decided to incorporate the science and art portion into the lesson. In our Treasures anthologies and leveled readers, the topic is space. We talked about the moon and read about some astronauts (as well as astronaut food). We talked about how when the moon is with us, the sun is on the other side of Earth. We talked about the different shapes of the moon (a little bit of math there) and what we can/can't do at night.

I gave each student a scratch board. Now, if you aren't familiar with these, they are AMAZING. I've been using them for years and even entered a few pieces in the county fair growing up. Basically, it looks like a giant scratcher lotto ticket. But when you scratch, there is color underneath. I've used some that are white or silver underneath. This particular packet was multicolored.

Since the package only came with six scratch pencils, I improvised and used popsicle sticks. This worked well. It took a little bit for the kids to get used to it. So we started with drawing the moon first.  We then made a cityscape. Here is one student's rendition:


Since we took a field trip to San Francisco a few months back, my students were excited when I mentioned we would also draw a bridge. Many of them said they were drawing the Golden Gate as they reminisced driving over it in the bus:


Overall, it was a fun lesson and the kids were engaged and excited. I still have a package of scratchboard left and can't wait to plan our next lesson using them!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Solids, Liquids, and VEGGIES?!

We did it! We managed to drink our veggies!!! And we managed to talk about turning a solid into a liquid as well as write about it!!! I SCORED!

This past week our delivery of "Harvest of the Month" was broccoli. Sounds gross, I'm not a fan of raw broccoli, but I played it off pretty well. They brought a cutting board, a knife, and a two heads of fresh broccoli! I told the kids that the next day we would be turning some solids into liquids and drinking our veggies. They were skeptical, but some donated some fresh fruit and veggies for the occasion.



The next day I brought my juicer, Dixie cups, some red and green apples, a bag of carrots, some celery, green beans, beets, and oranges. We juiced all of the above to much joy and amazement at the ever-changing color of the juice. Even my most skeptical students buckled down and drank a swig of the bright red juice. Most were okay with it. I didn't put very much broccoli or green beans in it, but I could taste them.

Since there were quite a few apples and oranges left over, I told them I'd make them some apple and orange juice. I threw in a few carrots, while somehow managing to convince my most disappointed customer that he wouldn't even be able to taste them. He finally agreed and slurped down his cup!

I felt like the most accomplished teacher EVER! The kids ate the raw broccoli, then wrote about it. They drank their juice, then wrote about it. (It lent itself perfectly to learn about adjectives and our senses.)

And got fresh veggies in their systems!? I'm one happy teacher. They wanted to know when the next round of juicing it. I may have to schedule another one when we visit the farmer's market in a few months.

Monday, March 18, 2013

That "New Class" Feeling

Ever feel like you have so much to say that you can't say anything? Yeah...me neither. I usually have so much to say, so I just end up saying it. This doesn't really have anything to do with anything, I was just thinking about how many blog posts have been slowly taking up space in my mind and I'm finally getting around to posting them. HOORAY!

Although procrastination has always been my strong suit, I am finding that at times it can be a hinderance. Like when I procrastinate on doing laundry, it only makes a larger pile of laundry for me to get to. And when I procrastinate on paying the garbage bill, it only adds to the bill...until I remember to pay it...and can't find it...and then find it...and remember I'm on direct pay, so it doesn't really matter anyway.

So yeah...my life is feeling a little hectic these days.

I remember back in August when my classroom was clean, the desks were straight, the bookshelves were organized, and the pencils were all sharp waiting for students to come get them. I could breathe deeply and not worry about what was on the agenda for the week or when I'd find time to grade the tests, or change my focus wall...or walls. I didn't worry about whose parents I'd have to call to talk about what their student chose to do instead of using the restroom, or how I was going to clean glue off the floor while the guest teacher was visiting. I could just sit in the silence of a sunny summer afternoon and daydream about how perfect my future class was going to be.

*sigh* Those were the days.

And they will be here again soon. The sandals weather I have been experiencing for the past week reminds me...so does all the tattling and boy/girl issues. I am counting down the days. I can't wait for summer. I can't wait for that "new class" feeling all over again. It never gets old.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Solids, Liquids, and Gases

Having never taught first grade science before, I've come across the most challenging unit yet...Matter. I've found a few things on TPT about solids and liquids, but gases are a WHOLE OTHER STORY! 

Here's a little experiment my kiddos did today:

I had them fill out a chart for what they saw, what they predict, and what happened. They drew it, they wrote it....and they were super excited. They were even MORE excited to see that their teacher forgot that the sparkling water had fallen upon entering the classroom. Yeah...the foaming over was quite a sight to see, but also a teachable moment.


We also played a game yesterday. I put signs on four of my P.E. cones. I spread them out on the playground far enough where they would have to run between them. I called out a word and they had to run to the cone that they felt best described it. If there were kids at more than one cone, I'd ask them to explain WHY they chose that form of matter. Some of their answers were quite entertaining. The question mark was there for when they aren't sure. I gave an example of "kumquat". If they weren't sure what it was, they could go to that cone and I'd give them a clue. I told them, "A kumquat is a type of fruit." This helped them in their decision.

I did throw in a few to really get their brains going. Most kids picked blood as a liquid. Then I threw this one at them..."What is Mrs. Magallano?" Several kids picked solid, while the rest picked liquid. One kid picked gas and I secretly laughed. 

One of the students who picked liquid rationalized by saying, "Well, you said blood was a liquid, and there's blood inside you, so I think you're a liquid too!"

I love those moments!

In a few weeks we will be studying how these forms of matter can interact with each other. I can't wait to change some solids into liquids. I plan on bringing my juicer and letting the kids taste some veggie/fruit juice! OH I CAN'T WAIT!!!

If you have any great ideas about how to teach solids, liquids, and gases, please let me know! I'm always looking for good ideas!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fast Pass and Secret Person: How To Stand In Line


Standing in a line is such a huge deal for first graders. Seriously. Like, as important as what superhero is on the backpack. Or what flavor cupcakes to bring to the monthly birthday celebration. Or who to sit by at lunch. Like, that serious.

So when my students are standing in line and not able to function at a first grade level, I've had to come up with tricks. Here is a list of my "Fix-Its":

  • H.A.L.L.S.: At the last school I worked at, we had the acronym HALLS which stands for Hands at your side; All eyes forward; Lips sealed; Low speed; Space. I've carried that with me to my current school. As students are lining up, I say, "Show me HALLS" and then repeat what each one stands for. Most are able to show me HALLS with just saying HALLS. Some still need the reminders.
  • Caboose: To curb some of the "I-don't-want-to-be-in-back" issues, I created a job called "Caboose". The caboose's job is to be at the end of the line. They are also in charge of closing the door as we all leave.
  • Fast Pass: I get much better results focusing on the positive. When I see a student doing a good job, I'll say  "_____, you may have a fast pass." This bumps them to the front of the line behind the line leader. I've been known to give 2-3 fast passes in a row and that usually gets everyone's attention.
  • Secret Person: I tell the students, "I'm looking for a secret person. I will think of someone in our class and if they are able to walk all the way from _____ to _____ with zero noise, and showing HALLS, they will earn 2 points for their team. I will not tell you who the secret person is unless they do a good job. I hope it's you!" It's amazing how well this one works. I've even upped it to 5 points and a clip up for the secret person. If the person who I'm secretly monitoring doesn't live up to the expectations, I don't reveal who it was because the class gets angry at the student (I made this mistake the very first time I did that).
  • Cutting in Line: Cutting, or more commonly known as "He cut me!", is annoying for everyone. So my simple fix it? If you complain about cutting, you go to the end of the line with the person who cut. I don't like tattling, and I don't like dishonesty, so they both deserve to be at the end of the line. 
  • Getting out of Line: If a student gets out of line for whatever reason, they lose their spot. If I ask them to get something for me, they may have their spot back. My reasoning? If you did it right the first time, and remembered your sweater/homework/backpack/lunch, etc., you wouldn't have to do it over again. Next time, remember to get it before you get in line.
  • Running: You run? You walk...to the end of the line. And don't stand there waiting for the line to reach you, either. Not gonna fly with me. You walk to the end of the line. Do it right the first time, and you won't have to waste time doing it over.
If you have any helpful tips/tricks about standing in line, I'd LOVE to hear them and try them out. I'm always looking for fresh ideas to keep my kiddos engaged!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Valentine's Day Revisited (a.k.a. A Confession)

Valentine's Day was well over a week ago. But it's still February and that means we can still have our rooms decorated with cute hearts and teddy bears. I still have quite a bit of chocolate left in my desk, but don't tell anyone. I've even been known to cram a few a mouthful a few mouthfuls in my mouth before walking outside to pick up my kids after lunch. "Whaaaaat? I smell like M&M's? Oh you kids are too funny!"

For our math time on Valetine's Day, we graphed our conversation hearts. I realized then that my copy was quite simple. I remember making it on a whim several years ago. On the day of the big day this year, I was a little embarrassed about it. This could be why I'm just NOW writing about Valentine's Day? I took pictures anyway and today it was my focus for a new product in my store. I just couldn't see myself using that hand-drawn paper ever again!
Click the picture above for a free download!

So I may be a little late getting this to my readers, but better late, than never, right? And since I'm so late getting it out, I decided to make it even sweeter, by making it FREE!

Here are my embarrassing photos:


I'm also happy to report, that I was invited to guest blog on Mercedes' blog Surfing To Success. She has some great upper grades ideas over there as well as a HILARIOUS story and linky. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Harvest of the Month

My school is participating in the "Harvest of the Month". Basically, the district sends us a fruit or vegetable that is in season each month. We also receive information about the farm that sent it to us. Today was the first month. We received enough mandarin oranges for each student to have one. We ate them at snack.

I told the kids when they peeled it, to feel it, smell it, and then slowly taste it...because we'd be writing about it. What I didn't tell them, was how we would be writing about it.

When the students got back in, they each got their iPad. I had them open up the "Drawing Pad" app. They each then drew the mandarin orange they had eaten, along with a slice of it. I had them include the white part too! After that, we described the orange by the way it looked, felt, smelled, and tasted. I had them write that on their iPad too. They LOVED it!!!