Always shine by using all your talents and skills!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where Can You Be and Be in Four Places at One Time?

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday!!!  How was it for you?  I am still in awe that on Saturday we embark on December.  If you figure out how that can be or what you did to feel like time was taking it easy on you, let me know ;)  I am also hoping that the winds and weather take a turn; we are expected to get freezing rain tomorrow-that means gray hair and hands clenched in the stirring wheel driving!

Today we worked feverishly with geography-making the Compass Rose, outlining borders of states, discovering similarities and differences with state sizes, discussing our travel experiences, and trying to connect how our village is part of our state, country, continent, and wonderful world!

I have a secret passion for our laminated maps.  On one side is the USA and on the other the world!  We used these maps to put our cardinal directions understanding into play.  I had my Multi-age students find a state, trace its border and then travel East, West, North, or South and outline the states borders.  I also asked them to find the largest or smallest state E., W., N., or South of another state they had already found.  They all wanted to beat one other to be the Map Wizard!  I also asked them to find a certain state and tell me how many states bordered that particular state!  BUT...the hallmark question I ask every year- where can you travel and be in four states at one time (in my years of teaching only one student has found it...this year 2 did).

Where or where can I be in four states at one time?

Put your right arm in Colorado. Put your left arm in Utah .  Then put your right leg in Arizona and your left leg in New Mexico!

Here's one student's attempt-He asks, "Did I get it?  Is it here?"--precious!
Safe travels if your upcoming expeditions mean contending with inclement weather!!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Few Smiles...I Have Been Nominated-twice!

Within 1 week I have been nominated twice for the Liebster Blog Award by Sarah from Wishful Thinking and Lisa from The Lower Elementary Cottage!  THANKS LADIES!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers by established bloggers (less than 200 followers), in order to recognize them, let them know that they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. The rules are:
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)
**So here are 11 random things about me:
1.  I have fallen into a cardboard box in front of my students.
2.  I can hulla hoop.
3.  My favorite animal is a horse.
4.  My nails grow quickly.
5.  My hair is over half way down my's getting long.
6.  I live in a village of 3,000 people.
7.  I chew sugarless gum all day.
8.  I love to write humorous stories!
9.  I have 3 pair of glasses and 2 pair of prescription sunglasses.
10.  My parents are still blissfully married- 52 years!
11.  I am a nonfiction lover!

**Questions from Sarah: 
1. Where did you go on your honeymoon, or where would you like to go for your honeymoon?  Ah...anywhere were my husband and I could grow closer together joined by God's grace and love for us!
2. You're leaving work late, again, and you are just too tired to make dinner. Where do you stop to get a quick bite on the way home?  Subway-healthy and fast
3. Do you sit down and eat your lunch? Or do you have a "working lunch"?  Working lunch

4. What is your go-to thing to do when you need to get away from it all (work up a friend for a coffee date...)?  Exercise!
5. When did you know you were meant to be a teacher?  It was way back when my parents gave me a chalkboard and chalk.

6. If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have been?  Counselor or scientist
7. Do you have siblings?  Many-8
8. Do you have pets? no-but wishing for a horse or dog
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Germany
10. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be? Why?  My Grandparents- to learn more about them

 11. What color pen do you correct student work with?   All different colors :>)
**Here are 11 questions for my nominees: 
1.  When is your favorite time of your teaching day?
2.  What motivates you to teach?
3.  How long have you been teaching?
4.  What is on your teaching Bucket List?
5.  If you could give all your earnings to 1 charity, what charity would it be?
6.  How many hours of sleep do you get on school nights?
7.  What is your favorite writing activity?
8.  What was the last book you read?
9.  What is your favorite place to buy teaching supplies?
10.  What is the best Blog to follow?
11.  When will you retire?

**Here the Blogs I am nominating:
1. hippohoorayforsecondgrade  
2. Blooming in 1st
3. Hoot Hoot Hooray!
4. I Love TWEK, Tasty Technology Treats for Teachers
Resource Room Rules
6. Learning in the Little Apple
7. Lighting a Fire in 3rd Grade
8. Second Grade Chatter
9. Sensational Seconds


(I apologize for the white background behind some of my text.)



Monday, November 26, 2012

Make a Backbone!

HAPPY CYBER MONDAY!!!!!!  Am I the only one who has not Cyber shopped?  I think I might be on the Cyber world's back porch!

We are over our knees studying about animals!  We began our unit by identifying everything we could think of about animals' characteristics, habitats, traits, relationships, and behaviors!  We discussed how we knew the information we learned and what we what to discover!  Almost like a KWL!

Next we read one of my favorite authors -Steven Jenkin's-nonfiction publication: (Robin Page-coauthor)

It is an awesome book that allows your students to use their inferencing, prediction, guess and check, and main idea and details strategies and skills!  Best of all my students wanted to read it during their DIRT-Daily Independent Reading Time and put it on their Hot List too!  This is also a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades K-1, Read Aloud Informational Text).

Next we discussed how certain animals have a backbone just like us!  I showed them pictures of our spine-backbone on the Smartboard and then compared and contrasted that to animal backbones that we viewed!  THEY WERE AMAZED TO FEEL IT AND THEN SEE AN IMAGE OF IT!  We proposed reasons for our backbones and why an animal might have one!  We also discussed why a octopus and a jellyfish do not have a backbone.  What can they do that we can not and vice versa!

Finally we discussed the parts of the backbone-specifically the vertrebrae and the discs.  We used a pipecleaner for the spine, soft life savers for the discs, and wagon wheels for the vertrebrae!
Here is a link to a 5th grade teacher's lesson that I adapted:
click here
Just starting

Over half way done

It's my backbone; I just need to shorten the ends of my "spine.'
It was a sit up straight time!!!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Updates On Our Trucker Buddy!

Two days till Cyber Monday; what's on your must click on list?

I must apologize; I put our Trucker Buddy updates to the back of my Blog post ideas!  I cannot praise and compliment his writing and corresponding skills enough.  He has shared his travel experiences with us since September and has sent us many detailed and elaborate letters about his expeditions!  Our Trucker Buddy has also allowed us to meet through pictures and his letters, his wife and pets!  He is a wonderful role model for my Multi-age students and demonstrates the character traits of a successful and outstanding citizen.

NOW FOR THE BEST NEWS to share with you; he is going to visit in the new year!

Our Trucker Buddy and his truck

Correspondences and our Trucker Buddy's hometown

A Halloween card and syrup and liquid sugar samples (he hauls sugar and syrup)

A cotton plant he got on his travels
Enjoy the last day of your Thanksgiving break; Monday morning will be here soon and our alarms will make sure we know it.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Common Core Sites, Mentors and Resources- I THANK YOU!

 You survived Black Friday; what are your feet saying to you?  How about your purse?  Mine-I must admit both are still happy as pandas with my choices today and my courage to resist the swipe of the plastic!  I did, hold on, finally upgrade my phone and now have joined probably all of you with a Smart phone!  Additionally, I braved the bone chilling breeze by the doorway and rang the bell for Salvation Army!  

Today I want to give a huge SHOUT OUT and a cyber pat on the back to all of you who have helped me with Common Core resources, website links, articles, lessons, and a plethora of activities.  YOU ALL GOT MY 4 STAR COMMON CORE APPLAUSE!  Here are a few of my favorites:
The first:

The second (but not even close to meaning 2nd place): 
 The third:
 Unpacking the standards

These are just 3 I have used in the past two days!  Pathways to Common Core is a wonderful and can't put it down yet, read!  I am part of a book study course and we are using this book!  If you click on the link, you will be able to read the first chapter online! 

I will continue to share with you all the drop your jaw sites and resources that I find and others share with me!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Memory Cups

Tuesday has made it and is almost half way done!  Conferences have made it and are half way done.  And, lunch has made it and is over half way done!

Today we made Thanksgiving Memory Cups.  I found a Thanksgiving Memory Basket activity online and changed it to Thanksgiving Memory Cups!  (  click here for the original document  )

to represent the Earth

to repsent Pilgrims' praying hands

to represent the cold biscuits

to represent the trees that the Pilgrims had to cut down to form logs to make homes

to represent the snow and the harsh winter

to represent Squanto who helped the Pilgrims learn how to find food...he was their life saver

to represent how Squanto showed the Pilgrims how to tap the maple trees to get their sap

to represent the wild animals the Pilgrims needed to protect and defend themselves against

Thanksgiving Memory Cups

Monday, November 19, 2012

We Made Butter!!

I'm smack dab in the middle of Parent Teacher Conferences, but wanted to post before the next round!
I hope your conferences went well and you were able to successfully express glows and grows!

We did one of my favorite science experiments today...turning heaving whipping cream into butter!
Let me back up a tad and give you the first steps in our lesson before we got to the butter!

First we brainstormed ideas about the first "feast" using a bubble map.  The students worked with a partner and came up with wonderful and insightful ideas.  We then shared our thoughts and added to the class' brainstorm of what we knew.

Next, we read This is the Feast by Diane Z Shore!   This is a phenomenol read about the voyage, hardships, and challenges of the Pilgrims!  It also has a poetic rhyme verse and beat to help capture the reader's attention!  This helped us add other information to our bubble maps-clams, oysters, dogs, cold, death, birch, squash, and corn.


Then I had them draw and label our science experiment materials:  knife, heavy whipping cream, oyster crackers, and  baby food jar.  Then they needed to predict in their journals what we were going to do, how, and of course why.   Their predictions were almost straight on, but they were not for sure how it happens.  Next,  we used heavy whipping cream and poured it into the baby food jar and shook, shook, and shook until the liquid turned into a solid- and you have butter!!!!!  (in about 4-5 minutes).  We discussed the results-how and why did the liquid turn into a solid.  Of course we had to eat the butter with something...and out came the oyster crackers (Can you guess why we choose oyster crackers?)  Of course this was not a feast, but they got a feel of life and taste of life in the 1600's! (with a tad of whipping cream)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Common Core Treasure!

HAPPY Thursday!  FOR US IT'STHE 50TH DAY OF SCHOOL!  Let's Twist about that!!!
(I will be posting more about that in a later post).

How are you doing with the Common Core Standards?  What resources are you using to match the standards?  I cannot thank all of you enough for all the links you have shared and lessons you have posted!  I AM AS THANKFUL AS A TEACHER WHO JUST WON A PACKET FROM DEANNA JUMP :-)

Have you seen or used this:  edutopia   It's is a Common Core treasure!


Monday, November 12, 2012

1-2-3 Syllables!

HELLO!  DID you survive Monday?  Well of course you did, you are reading this?  Perhaps it was with a mega mug of Java or a few pieces of chocolate from you Halloween stash.  But, you did it!

We have been working or should I say counting, clapping and touching to identify how many syllables a word has.  Do you know every syllable has to have a vowel?  Did you know there are 6 types of syllables?
My Multi-agers are developing their understanding of syllables and how knowing syllable types and the quantity of syllables can help them spell and read!

Here are the methods I have used:
*Clapping the syllables
*Putting one's hand under one's chin to feel their jaw drop for each syllable
*Touching one's wrist for the first syllable, elbow for the second syllable, and shoulder for the third syllable.  Finally one takes their other hand and glides up the wrist to the elbow then to the shoulder to blend the syllables together to form the word.  For example- highlighter  high-touch wrist, light-touch elbow, er-touch shoulder then blend all together to get highlighter (they love this method).

One student came up with his own version:
*Touching the finger tips for each of the syllables.  It works well for him and know he is spreading the technique!

Here are a few sites on teaching syllables.  ENJOY:
Peggy Barzilay's thoughts
Learning games


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dear Village President,

Hello!  Ok...I need to give a shout out our weather.  IT'S 61 degrees on Nov. 11th!  Tomorrow I will probably give a shout out to today again because tomorrow is supposed to be 30 and snowing!  Yes, I live in Wisconsin; how did you know?  We never get bored here- the weather keeps us busy!

Next, Happy Veteran's Day!  I'm amazed at the sacrifices they have made in the past, today, and will make in the future!  They honor our flag, defend our freedom, and put I behind you and me!  I salute you!

Now, reflecting on a writing activity my Multi-agers did on Thursday and Friday (and some are still illustrating).  We wrote our first persuasive writing piece.  We wrote to our Village President to propose an idea for a lot of green space across from our school.  Last year we had a horrible fire in our village and it destroyed the building that was across from our school.  Now, the lot is busy with grass!  We want it busy with a bowling alley, a pool, a mall, salon, amusement park, etc.  (just a few of our ideas).

I was impressed by their clever suggestions and the reasons why the Village President should choose their idea. (we discussed at length how one needs to support their proposal with reasons, facts, figures, etc.)

Now, we just need to send them!  I am hoping he will respond to our proposals!  Definitely purposeful and authentic writing!  (two samples...they are illustrating their proposals on separate paper)

1st sample

2nd sample


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Directions and the Compass Rose

It's Thursday!  AHHHHHHH...I just got home from class; I am enrolled in a book study class!  We are reading
Product Details
Have you read this?  Very interesting and informative read!  We jigsawed the 1st chapter!  I'm always a happy camper student/learner when I am able to discuss the material I have to read versus just trying to absorb it with my own digestive system.

Now, on to directions and the Compass Rose!  I love teaching N, S, E, W and don't forget the intermediate directions-NE, SE, NW, SW (can't leave them out).  I integrate them into our entire day.  Print your name on the north part of your paper.  Look south to find the page number.  Who is sitting to the west of you?

Yesterday, I taught my student a song (ok...they helped me get in tune once they got the beat down and new the lyrics).  It goes to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. 
North, South
West and East, West and East
North, South
West and East, West and East
North and South
and West and East
North, South
West and East, West and East!

Are you singing it yet?

Oops, forgot the motions- For North touch your head; for South, touch your toes.  West is your left hand extended and East is your right hand extended. 

Got it?

Here are some additional links for you to try:
Interactive Map
Geography games

Now, I am headed Northeast to go to the fridge to get some YUMMIES!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tour the White Hose...Interactive Style!

WE SURVIVED ELECTION DAY WITH OUR is your heart still racing as you watch the counts and who is taking each state?

As many, we did many election related activities.  First, we wrote about what we would do if we were President.  I WAS SO PROUD, as would be Mr and First Lady Obama if they would have seen my Multi-agers answers to this prompt!  THEY EVEN USED SEQUENCING/TEMPORAL WORDS!!! WAY TO GO MULTI's!  


We also went on an interactive tour of the White House!  Ok, so my students (and I) wanted to take a tour of every room wish upon a Presidential Star that someday we would get a personal invite to tour!  Here is the link:   Inside the White House    (click on Interactive Tour)   My students enjoyed seeing the kitchen...noting this was right before lunch!  The also were all smiles when they saw the movie theater and bowling alley!  They could not believe the President is so blessed to have all of this!

 Here are some random facts for you: (compliments of the site)
  • There are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the Residence. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.
  • At various times in history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.
  • Presidential Firsts while in office... President James Polk (1845-49) was the first President to have his photograph taken... President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) was not only the first President to ride in an automobile, but also the first President to travel outside the country when he visited Panama... President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45) was the first President to ride in an airplane.
  • The White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d'oeuvres to more than 1,000.
  • The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.
Make sure to get some zzzzzzzzzzzzzs tonight...tomorrow might bring another day of.....!!!


Monday, November 5, 2012

How Are They Different Is The Question?

Happy Monday...tomorrow is the BIG Day ('s not CHOCOLATE LOVER'S DAY...sorry to disappoint you).  Are you losing any sleep over the election mania?????????

Ok...onto science!  We have started our animal unit-one of my all time favorites!!  We CHIRPED off the unit by webbing all that we knew about animals in our science logs!  For many, their prior knowledge led them to have an overloaded web- but this is a wonderful thing to SQUAWK about!

Next we discussed and identified the animals that laid eggs and why they laid eggs.  I gave each pair of students two eggs and had them do the following:  draw, measure, weigh, and smell them, listen to the eggs, feel the eggs, and note any similarities and differences!  THE ULTIMATE QUESTION TO ANSWER-How are these two eggs different? 

Here is what they came up with:  different shades of weight, temperature, size, and weight differences, one one bumpy the other smooth, they smelled differently, and one might have two yolks instead of one.  I asked them if they knew if the eggs came from the same animal or if it was a girl or boy who laid the egg and why?

WOW, they generated a CHICKEN FEED BAG of ideas but, the main way they are different was inside the egg.  THEN...hang on...they got to spin their eggs. one spun like it was a hyper speed egg and the other like it forgot to have its V-8.  Quick and slow!
But, why? 

The Ta-Da moment-I cracked them open-THAT'S WHY-one is hard boiled and one is not!!!  THE LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!!  Or, should I say the CHICKEN COOP LIGHT IS ON!  The hard boiled spins quickly and the one that is not, slllllllllloooooooooowwwwww!

Taking notes and reasoning how the two eggs are similar and different

Weighing the eggs

Spinning the eggs
There next step, trying it at home...of course getting their parents permission and of course participation!