Earth Day Follow Up

Happy Monday:)

Confession........I didn't touch my laptop alllllllll weekend!!!  Not for one second!!!  I was happily gardening and hanging with the fam but now have TONS of blog stalking and pinning to catch up on!!

I wanted to post a quick follow up to my Earth Day activities.  I posted earlier about how I had each of my students write a letter to the Earth, kind of like their pledge to the Earth (you can see that HERE).

Well, we also made word clouds with Tagxedo.  The kids loved these!  I put them in groups of 3 and they each had to come up with a list of 10 words or phrases of things that we should do to help the Earth.....not just on Earth Day but every day.  Then they got to type them in, along with their names, and made their word clouds.  Of course the word cloud had to be a "earthy" shape (like a tree, leaf, Earth, flower..)

I still have a few more to print but they turned out super cute and the kids loved making them....especially picking the theme (color) and font!  We hung them with our Earth letters.

I love Tagxedo!!!  Have you used it???  I would LOVE some other ideas for using this fun tool in the classroom!!

Make every day Earth day!!!  Thanks for popping by:)


Lit. Circles...Up and Rollin!

Warning.....long post ahead:)

Ok, since I posted about my first literature circle set in TPT and TN, I have had a few questions about Lit. Circles and how I do them.  Let me start this by saying.......

a - I don't know if there is a right way or a wrong way....
b - I think you need to make it work for you and your kiddos.....
c - This is just how I do them...I'm sure there are tons of other ways....

Since this is my first year of doing Daily 5, I wanted to try to keep that "routine".  (I also don't do Daily 5 the "traditional" way.  Before I started Daily 5 and was panicking about changing my routine.....cuz I don't deal well with change, I emailed lots of bloggy buds and they all said "Make it work for you".) So, here is how I set it up...

First, I have been buying sets of books for a while with scholastic points..yummy!  Love those points!!! We spent an afternoon going through the books and believe it or not, I let the kids pick their books and groups.  I have 4 different chapter books going right now with the 4 different groups.

Then I gave them each a journal, introduced each of the jobs and showed them the posters to refer to if they forget what they are to do.

Each team gets a bucket with all the jobs cards.  Before they read, they each choose a job.  They also have to do each job once before they can repeat.

Job Posters. (bad  pic, sorry)

I then set up our version of Daily 5 to incorporate the Lit. Circles...
Each group chose a bug name.....don't know why, but as you can see there are 4 groups.  Here are the rotations:

Meet with Teacher:  Here the group comes to me with their journal for group book talk.  Each child shares what their job was (from the previous day) and what they wrote for it.  Then as a group we score their journal entry.  We go around until everyone has shared (Each student has a different job and can't repeat a job until they have done all 7)  Really fun and I love how excited they are to share!  It's kinda like coffee talk without the coffee........well, I have coffee:)  teehee!  They talk:)

Read to Someone:  This is when they meet and read their chapter books.  They usually take turns, a person reads a page at a time.

Work on Writing:  This is when they do their journal jobs on their own.  Before they start reading with their group, they each draw a job card so they know as they are reading what their job is.

Word Work:  Usually not Lit. Circle related.  What ever word or vocab activity I have planned for the day.   Today they did Earth Day Tagxedo projects:) (I'll post about that later when they are done)

Sorry this was soooooo long and hope it is helpful to some:)  Have a great evening all.  


A Little Earth Day and Dreams Come True!

Hi gang!!  Testing DONE!!!  I made it, my kids made it!!!  Wohoo!!! me for just a sec!  I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm worried about my littles cuz I can see the drain on their little faces that this testing week has put there.......So imagine my JOY, surprise, shock, JOY, excitement, revived energy, and JOY when I get home Thursday night to receive an email inviting me to join TBA as an author!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can ya tell I'm a little excited?!!  This is a bloggy dream come true!!  You can see my intro post at TBA


So, with my renewed energy and the test behind me, I searched, thought, and brainstormed (scary....just me with the brainstorm.......yep, me and my coffee) to come up with some activities for some Earth Day learning fun!  Of course all I had planned didn't get done, some not even started , but we will finish Monday.  I still wanted to share what's in the making:)

We started our day with the cutest Earth Day video and then from there, started an Earth Day anchor chart.....(still under construction).  After we talked about all the things we should do DAILY for the Earth (not just on Earth Day), I had the kids make cards and write letters to the Earth.  Kind of like their promise to do their part.

There are still a few kiddos finishing up and they are turning out super cute!  The letters are adorable.  They had to start it with 
Dear Earth,
They took it very seriously and were super thoughtful in their "promises".  We will be finishing up a few other     
activities on Monday, so check back.  We also started Lit. Circles yesterday and they LOVED them so, I'll be posting about that soon:D 
Have a blessed weekend all!!


Testing and Lorax Earth Day Stuff

Hey all!!!!  We are almost done with the yucky state testing.....(can I say yucky about the test???  Well, I don't like what it does to my littles or to, I think it is yucky!) 

One day left!!!!  If my kiddos get scores based on their effort then I would be super happy!!!  They have been workin sooooooo hard and I am sooooo proud of them:D  I wanna plan something special for Friday....don't know what.....any ideas anyone??????

Now me on the other hand.......I'm a stressed out mess!!!  Thinking it's cuz I don't have enough coffee in my system........and last night I woke up at 3!!!!!  That's A.M. and didn't get back to sleep......cuz I couldn't shut my head off!!!  Hate it when that happens!!

I am too excited to be introducing our Lit. Circles tomorrow after the test.  I'm not quite sure how it's gonna go down with trying to get it in with Daily 5....I'll post about it soon though cuz I've had some questions about how I do it:)  With Earth day coming up....and the test the only thing on my mind.....that's right, couldn't think past it.......I wanted to repost a couple of things we have done recently that would be sort of cute for Earth day activities.......

First, our "If I was a Lorax for a Day, this is how I would make the World a Better Place" paper.  That was the prompt I gave the kids and then after they wrote their paper, they topped it off with a Lorax.  (I read the book to them first and saw these Lorax toppers on Pinterest somewhere....can't remember where...sorry)
Of course these aren't hanging in my room now because of testing and dark, depressing test mode://  But that's over tomorrow afternoon:)

Staying with the Lorax theme I made this worksheet that the kiddos did during Work on Writing in our Daily 5.  I have a ton of magazines (Nat. Geo, Big Backyard, Discovery Kids).  They chose a magazine, then an article and read it and then completed the Fun Facts with the Lorax sheet. 

You can get this free at my Teachers Notebook store HERE.  The kiddos had a lot of fun with it and learned tons too, as a matter of fact, so did I as I was grading them:)  I actually copied this on both sides (saving trees:)  ) so they did the activity on 2 different articles.

That's all I've got for now:) praying to get a good nights sleep tonight:)  If ya hear a YAHOOOOOOOOOOO tomorrow around 11:15ish that will be me and my peeps celebrating the test being OVER!!!!

Literature Circles Starting Soon!!!

Hey all!!!  Happy Sunday!!  I am totally chillin today.....the day before THE BIG TEST starts!!!!  We have FCAT testing Monday - Thursday!  Let me tell ya, I will be one happy camper when it is over......too much stress (yes, I know.....I put a lot of it on myself but still........)

We got an adorable surprise Friday when our cutie patootie Kinder book buddies popped in with good luck posters for my kids.

So cute and my kiddos loved it!  I could eat those little guys up BUT never teach itty least I don't think I could.......Love their visits though.  It was a neat afternoon.  The room was buzzing with all my kids reading to the Kinder's soooooo cute to watch!!

As soon as testing is done we are jumping right into Lit. Circles!!!!  Love to do these with my kids and they are too excited to start.  I usually put my kids in 3-4 groups and each group chooses a chapter book to read. (I have slowly gotten a pretty good selection from scholastic so each kid has their own book)

I normally make their journals out of plain old lined paper but decided to get creative and was totally in LOVE with Michelle's pudgy animal set (HERE) - The 3 AM Teacher,  so made some new posters and journals for my kids to use. (Those pudgies are too stinkin cute!!!!)

I can't wait to start these on Thursday:D  This set includes 7 job posters (that I have named based on the "lingo" I use in my classroom) and explanations, job journal pages, 2 different journal covers, and a blank page.  If you want to check it out, it is at both my Teachers Notebook store and TPT Store.

I've got some posters in other themes in the works that I will be posting soon:D  If you're in Florida, good luck on the FCATs tomorrow!!

I'll be giving away a set of these to the first 3 people that leave a comment and their email!!

Florida Bloggers Meet Up!!!!

Attention Floridians!!!  I am tooooooo excited!!!

It's time for some fun in the sun!!

Mor, Jen, and I

bring you a fabulous get together!!

Blogger meet up

All Floridian bloggers & blog stalkers, friends, fans, and followers
Mark your calendars!!!
Join us to celebrate the end of the school year & beginning of summer vacation :) 
Fun little surprises await you.

As soon as we know who is coming & from where, we will pick a location that is central to all of us to make it easy for everyone to make it.

We hope you jon us and we look forward to meeting everyone!

Please fill out the form below.

We would greatly appreciate it if you re-post this post on your blog, twitter, and facebook 
with this button linked to this post to help up us spread the word!


Randomness, Ugh, and Testing

Hello all!  I am here....just haven't had the bloggy spirit this has been a week...............I have been computerless (a word?????) until computer crashed Monday morning, first thing!  Not fun!!!  Learn from my repeat after me.................................................................................

"I shall backup my computer, I shall backup my computer, I shall backup my computer!"

I hadn' least not super recently but God sent "a technology angel" who was able to save all my stuff!  All:)))  Did you hear me???  ALL!  Thought I would die thinking I had lost all my stuff (art, creations, downloads, pics, purchases.....) 

So, one more time to make sure you have it....." I shall backup my computer!"

Getting back my computer without losing everything has been the sunshine of my week....just got it fixed today:)

My girl got the phone call that her labrum(in her shoulder) is torn:(((  We will find out next week how bad the tear is and if she needs surgery:(  That has been a HUGE bummer this week!  So with that, the computer crash, and a few other poopy things I haven't been in bloggy mood!!  So that is the UGH section of my post!

Testing Section:
We have been doing the final "polish" to prepare for that wonderful state test that starts next week.  The kiddos have been working hard and I know we will all be super happy when it is alllllllll over!!!  I had all kinds of super cute stuff downloaded and pinned to make for them but have run out of time without the computer.  I was able to throw these cuties together.
I got them from The Polka Dotted Teacher.  Great little pre-test reminders and each little bag has 3 rolls of smarties for my smarties:D
My classroom is back to ugly, sad testing room.  I have started stripping the walls of everything that HAS to come down.  I glued up some butterflies today so everything didn't look so naked:)  Did I say, can't wait until testing is over???

Finally the random section of this post....I wanted to show a pic of my super cute book recommendation tree.  Adorable idea from Lessons with Laughter.
Now, I'm being kind of a stickler when it comes to adding to this order for them to fill out a recommendation, they have to take an AR test and pass it first.  (I just want to make sure they have read the book.)  So there are a few recommendations and more to come.  I totally love this addition to the classroom.  It's fun, colorful, and one thing I DON'T have to take down for that stinkin test!!

Now, I have TONS of catching up to do in blog stalking and a few emails to write to some super sweet bloggy buds who actually missed me in blogland:) 

Vocabulators - Up Close!

Once of my posts that has had the most views and comments is my post on the Vocabulators I made for my classroom. (My Vocabulators post)  I have also gotten quite a few questions about them...and after a recent panic/question from my buddy Molly at Lessons with Laughter (don't cha just love the name of her blog?!) I realized my original picture may have been a little deceiving.......
so, thought I would go into it a little more detail about them.  I got the idea for the Vocabulators and the containers from a Melissa Forney workshop I went to.  Wonderful!  The containers are quite large.

Like a little over 11 inches and about 4 inches wide.  (sorry Molly, they don't look that big in the original pic)  That's ALOT of rice!!!  I bought the huge cheap bags at Walmart.  I didn't fill them all the way to the top.  There needs to be room so the kids can shake the words around.  I've posted about how to dye the rice but also wanted to show/tell you about some other yummies I added to them.  So here are some close ups of a few of them:

This vocabulator is a Florida has words of all kinds of things you would find in Florida (because I live here of course), there are also little confetti suns, little button sunglasses, and then little animals and tourists you would see in Florida.

Michaels has tubes of plastic animals with different themes: ocean, penguins, they are great to use in the vocabulators....especially because they are so big!  All the confetti I got from LTM Party store.  They have confetti in almost every color and shape and it's a quick, colorful, cute addition to the vocabulators!

This vocabulator is filled with words to use other than happy (which the kiddos totally over use).  Other than the words, this one has daisy and smiley face confetti.  The big daisy heads were poppers that I took the bottom off of.  Anything to add fun and color to them:)

This vocabulator was another themed one.  Yep, you guessed it.....ocean water(rice), little confetti fish, the words, and the little plastic animal ocean tube creatures.  That tube had fish and coral, a diver, octopus.....all kinds of goodies:)

This vocabulator was words to use instead of cold.  It was also filled with little snowflake buttons (there are 2 in the pic but they are upside down), penguins (Michaels tube), some fun big clear jewels from the Dollar Tree (you can't see those in the pic), and then I used some kind of florist bead filler stuff, also from Michaels.  Fun to look at because it looks like little ice cubes but not nearly as cheap as the rice!!  Remember, if you get the containers from Melissa Forney, which are wonderful, they are HUGE!

The last one I wanted to show you is all color words.  Great descriptive words that stretch the kids instead of just the regular red, blue, yellow.............and as you can see, I filled this one with gumballs from the Dollar Tree.  Kinda different, fun, and cheap!!

I hope this little blurb helps answer some questions and inspires you to make some for your classroom.  This would be a fun summer project!!  The planning and collecting all the things for inside each one is the fun part!!!

I'm not sure if I will post again before Easter.  My girl is coming home tomorrow after her Dr. appointment.  Praying that her shoulder is just irritated and not torn.........she's bringing home her quad mate who is from Trinidad and a total doll!  So, if I don't post again before Easter, I hope you all have a wonderful relaxing weekend and a very blessed Easter filled with love and family!!

Currently for Me:D

So I am joining the fab currently linky for April with my girl Farleykins:)  She's famous for these!!! 

They are always too fun and creative BUT I have struggled with this one!!!!!  A super power....that threw me......I had to think and think and think and..............................I didn't want to read other posts yet because I was afraid I would "copy".........SO, if my super power is like yours.....sorry but promise I didn't copy!!
Now, for the if I could have a  super power...............................................................I had several that went through my mind and felt that my super power switched as my days were going and things were happening to me.......

Like driving.....driving this time of year in Florida is a NIGHTMARE!!!  We have SO many snowbirds  visitors...some are crossing 3 lanes of traffic without looking..... driving way over the speed limit and cutting people off.....Farley already has the Diarrhea button (brilliant!!!) so can't use that but have many times in the past, wished, OUT LOUD, that I had a monster truck....(true story, ask my kids).  Now, with the Monster Truck button, I want you all to know I would never hurt anyone.......just smash their car that cut me off  or swerved at me or sped by me.....especially those who ride my bumper (I'm not a pokey driver) and then endanger both our lives passing me, cutting me off and then guess what?!?!?!  Guess who is right beside me at the next light?!?!?!?!?  Yep.....not so friendly we were both in danger so you could still be right next to me....really???????

Then I thought you would all think I was terrible and the snow....I mean visitors are leaving soon( and it's not just them I might add) then I thought about a Skinny Button.  Wow, would that be more diet.....but I worried that I would hit it one too many times and disappear (it would take several pushes....) no to that.

Next, I thought of a Speedy Gonzales button.  You know, so I could clean the house in 5 seconds, shop in 1 get the idea.  Oh how happy I would be!!!

I even thought of a Magic School Bus button so I could take my students or family ANYWHERE at any a calgon moment but not......

See....they change depending on what is happening to me at that moment ( I must have ADHD super powers and I haven't even had my coffee yet) the Fix It button that I decided on is simply that.....when someone is hurt.....push the button, they're fixed.  When someone is sad, push the button, they're happy.  Simple.  So I am going with the Fix It button as my final answer!!
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