Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Love Giveaways!

Kristen over at Ladybug Teacher Files is having an awesome giveaway celebrating 600 followers! Yay Kristen!

She is giving away one of her too cute premade blog designs!

I WANT TO WIN! I plan on having a classroom blog for my next year kiddos, and I would love to have her "detective" theme blog template for that!
So head on over there and enter!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Summer Reading List

I read all throughout the year, but this summer is going to be a little different for me. I am currently reading Regie Routman's Reading Essentials, and in it she writes about sharing your reading life with your students. She keeps a reading log of all the books she is currently reading, has read each month, and books she wants to read.

 Starting today I am keeping a reading log in this cute little thing I got from Target. (it's a mead notebook/journal)
Excuse the horrible picture. I'm laying on my bed, in a semi-dark room, relaxing.

So here are the books I plan to read this summer:

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
I have heard great things about this book!

No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades
Kelley over at Mrs. Randall's Learning Library highly recommended this book!
Angle of Repose (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)Saturdays and Teacakes
Thimble SummerSafe Haven   

What are you reading this summer?


Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm a genius

Ok so I have figured these issues out.

1. Last week, or the week before I can't remember, I couldn't comment on anyone's posts. I always keep my blogger account "signed in" (Log in page- it says "STAY signed in"). When I unchecked that box, I could comment on people's blog posts. This is very annoying because everytime you want to post a comment you have to sign in.

2. Today's issue- Can't see followers
  I played around with the dreaded "Stay signed in box"...AND it worked! In order for you to see your followers, you have to check the "Stay signed in" box.

I see lots of clicking THAT box in our future.


End of the year!

Well today (SATURDAY) was our last day of school . The kids came up to get their report cards, and afterwards I was EXHAUSTED! I'm going to miss my babies!

 Some of you may remember that my classroom has MANY ceiling leak issues! It happend again this past week, and let me tell you..HOT mess! I had to throw away a ton of books and clipboards. Bummer. Now my room smells like sour milk. Hopefully over the summer I will get new carpet. *Fingers crossed!

Here's the good WONDERFUL news....

My very good friend and AMAZING teacher Leigh is moving down to third grade! One of our third grade teachers decided she wanted to retire on Friday. I'm so happy for her, but I will miss her terribly. Having Leigh move down helped me feel better about next year.

Here's the bad news...
Like many of you, I cannot see my followers! People also cannot follow me! Oh no.! And I'm so close to 100!

Anyone know how to fix this horrible problem???

I hope if you're already out, you're enjoying your summer! If you have more time...I hope it goes by quickly!

I plan on posting some summer to do's and a list of things I'm going to try next year soon!

Hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Ok something is terribly wrong with my blogger account. (It is malfunctioning EVEN when I want to post!)
I looked up the issue on google and apparently MANY people are having the SAME problem as I am. I can't post a comment on ANYONE'S blogs.

I need to scream.

So here is what I have been wanting to say on some of your posts:

1. Leanne (Life in 4B)- your kiddos "Ode to Fruits and Veggies" poems are great! I want to do this next year when we are learning about adjectives!

2. Rachelle (What the Teacher Wants)- I do not get to teach about the Civil War in third. (Jealous!) But I passed this along to our wonderful 5th grade teacher who does! I also love your Summer to Do List! Thanks for sharing! You rock!

3. Julie (Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher)- I thought about ya today when I was at CVS. You have me hooked. :)

4. Kelley (Mrs. Randall's Learning Library)- I hope your packing has gone well! I got your email. THANKS!

Love my bloggy friends!

1 full day of school left...plus 2 hours on Saturday.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

AGh help!

For some reason I cannot leave comments on anyone's posts!

I am signed into my blogger account, but each time I try to leave a comment it says-

"Choose an account" I do then I sign in, come back, type in that "save me from spam weird code word thing".

BUT THEN- it sends me right back to the blogger sign in page!

Imma going CRAZY!

Anyone have any hints?


Monday, May 23, 2011

Giveaway over at Education Journey!

Ashleigh at Education Journey is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 50 followers! It is a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers! Yay! Head on over and check out her too cute blog and great ideas!Education Journey

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Author Quotes

Image of Gary from Guts

Next year I plan on posting quotes from authors around the room. I want to introduce a quote from an author once a month. This is the one that inspired me! And eventhough next week is the last week, I feel as though my kids NEED to hear it!

Gary Paulsen:
   The most important part of writing is to read. I tell young people,
   "Read like a wolf eats, read when they tell you not to read, and read what they tell you not to read."
   If you read enough, ultimately when you sit down to write, that information is in your head and you can
   write...The rest is learning mechanics, which you can learn from reading too.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Follow me by Email...

Kristen at LadyBugTeacherfiles has an easy tutorial on how to add the Follow by Email. (I just never thought of adding that.)

Follow by Email
Follow by Email
Make it easy for readers to follow your blog by email.
I added it over there ------->

Hope you had a great week!

I have 4 more days with kids, 1 Admin. Day, and one 2 hour Saturday for kids/parents to come pick up report cards. (This is our flood/storms make up schedule.)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wonderful Website Wednesday

My sweet teacher-friend, Leanne Bongers emailed me this really neat website the other day!


It's a site for kids on cyber safety. Kids have to make a Woogi and they go through a series of games to learn how to stay private, secure, respectful, etc. online.

So head on over there! Also if you have not visited Leanne's blog, go now! Life in 4B When I first found it I stayed on there for hours reading and taking notes. She is amazing!

My end of the year countdown---6 More days...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cicada Unit is Finished!

Here are some pictures of our research on cicadas. We also took a little field trip (outside our classroom) to observe some nymphs falling from the trees and digging down in the ground. I really wish I had my flip camera to film that! (I HATE big bugs, but this was very amazing!)

First we made predictions about why we think the cicadas stay underground for soooo long! (13-17 years).

Then we discussed what we already knew about cicadas and any questions we had.
We made a chart listing all of our new knowledge.

The kids wrote what they thought was most important or interesting on their graphic organizer.
This afternoon we wrote from the perspective of the cicada nymph living underground for 13 years. I told them they had to explain what they were going to do to pass the time. I forgot to take pictures, and I wish I had remembered. They were hilarious!

Well...THANK goodness I am finished with this mini-unit. They had fun, and I wish they could be into other things like they were this!


Monday, May 16, 2011

If you need a good laugh...

PLEASE, stop what you are doing and go over to Erica Bohrer's blog!
 H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! I am so doing this next year!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Little Sneak Peak

I don't know about ya'll but here in Tennessee those crazy cicadas are back! The last time they came out I was 13. To me this is a great teaching experience. (Especially when it's the last two weeks of school.) My kids have not stopped talking about them, or....bringing dead ones in to show me. I'm taking advantage of their fascination by doing a mini unit. Here are the two sheets I'll be using on Monday. I thought I'd share sooner than later just in case ya'll need something to do to grab their attention the last few days.  I will try to post more activities and pictures Monday-Tuesday.

Post your email in the comments box if you want me to email you the powerpoint I made. ( I can't send it until Monday morning though.)

Cicada Writing

 New Learning about Cicadas

Friday, May 13, 2011

Slowly getting to 100...

I have been slowly but surely inching my way to 100 followers. Just 24 more to go. WHEN I get there, I will be having a fabulous giveaway...so come on...share the love with fellow bloggers!
No, I do not wear fleece in May. (Picture from the winter) I just had to make it go along with "inching my way to 100".


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wonderful Website Wednesday!

My principal came across this website, Book Adventure which is maintained by Sylvan learning. Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. (The description is directly from the website.) I'm actually going to play around with it tonight, but it sounded so exciting that I had to share immediately!

 I hope ya'll are staying cool. It got up to 90 degrees with 1,000% humidity.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More fun than write offs....

I used to have my students write their spelling words off a certain number of times for homework once a week, but not anymore!

I saw our wonderful first grade teachers doing this awesome activity last year, and I just had to borrow the idea!

Picture or Math Fact (Spell) Homework

Here are some pictures the kids' multiplication with 4's practice from last night:
Here is a more close up view. You can see that they just write their facts with answers pretty close together so that it forms a line for a picture.

I really wish I would have taken pictures of our spelling words picture spells, but oh well...
So here is how you do it:

1. Google coloring pages..must be black outlined, (or use pictures torn out from Coloring books; I have done a few from Spongebob, Phineas and Ferb, and Charlie Brown coloring books. The kids love them!!!!!!)
   *Sidenote-- I tend to do holiday pictures. We did simple ghost outlines, a pumpkin, cornicopia, candycane, hearts, snowflakes, four leaf clovers, umbrellas, etc...
You could even do the outline of your state! GO VOLS!

2. When you make copies of the sheet, make it as dark as possible. Have the kids flip over the copy and notice the black lines from underneath. Tell them they will not trace the lines, but make "lines" with their words or math facts.
3. They color the insides of the pictures aftwerwards...if they want to. Some of my kids don't want to, so I don't force them. They end up looking so pretty, and the kids enjoy doing this rather than most other forms of spelling or math fact practice.

***I only do this about twice a month. I don't like to burn kids out on one thing. HOWEVER--- I always have extras in a folder so that if a child wants to do one at home or over the weekend they can.

Hope ya'll are having a great week!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Another Giveaway !

One of my favorites- Kelley- at Mrs. Randall's Learning Library is having a giveaway to celebrate 200 followers! She is giving away a $25 gift certificate to my favorite home store....POTTERYBARN!
Pottery Barn Logo

Head on over to her wonderful blog to learn how to win! She also posts tons of fabulous free printables that she uses in her classroom. LOVE HER!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Great Giveaway!

Kristen over at Ladybug's Teacher Files is having a fabulous giveaway! She is giving away an oh-so-cute Thistlegirl Designs blog design!
   The blog design comes with a coordinating signature, grab button, and other buttons as well: TpT, Facebook, and Twitter .You can have up to 5 chances to win. Each of the following can be posted as a separate comment, for up to 5 comments:

1. Follow
Ladybug's Teacher Files (or comment if you already are).
2. Follow
Ladybug Teaching Resources, my store (or comment if you already are).
3. Like Ladybug's Teacher Files and Resources on Facebook
(or comment if you already are).
4. Follow me on Twitter (or comment if you already are).
5. Blog about the giveaway and provide the link in your comment here.

The giveaway will end on Wednesday, May 11th. The winner will be announced on Thursday, May 12th.Head over there if you have never visited her site! It is AWESOME!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wonderful Website Wednesday...

Well today is Wednesday. It's usually the day I post a website I have found that is amazing or super useful! However.. It has rained here in TN for 2 weeks straight, and I need to go outside and bask in the glory of the beautiful sunshine!

So because I don't know how to set up a linky party, let's keep this simple. If you know of an AMAZING site that you love or use often, post it in the comments box! I would love to see your favs! 

Going to lay outside in the sunshine before it goes down!

Love all of you and your fabulous ideas!
Amanda K.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Must Buy!

I purchased One Extra Degree's -Amanda's Chris Van Allsburg Author Study packet on TPT last week. Two Bad Ants was already in our reading textbook, and it is one of my favorites! I am telling you, this unit is a must buy! I absolutely love it! She is extending the sale due to the TPT maintenance....so go buy it...now. Tut-Tut!

Here is the link to read more about it on her blog: Chris Van Allsburg Study

Here is here TPT store: One Extra Degree TPT
One Extra Degree

You will love it!

Also---anyone else spend a fortune at Lesson Plan SOS's TpT?
Lesson Plan SOS
LOVE them!