Sunday, March 30, 2014

13 in 13

Kristin, Hadar and Traci are hosting a fabulous party to recap the year. I think I have participated the past few years. I'm trying to get back into blogging. I've kind of taken an unintentional hiatus. I've been taking some medication that makes me nauseous and it's been hard to do much at night. But I've missed blogging and I feel like something is off when I'm not blogging.

 So here are 13 things from my year:
1. Books I've read:
These are two series that I have really enjoyed this year. I write down all the books I read. I read so much I can't keep up with it if I don't. This year I've read clost to 80 books.

2. Trips Taken:
Chris and I have been on several great trips this year. We went to a comic book convention in Charolette, NC with some friends. It was a blast.
Then we went on vacation just the two of us to Topsail, NC. This is us on our one year anniversary!
Right before school started we went to Charleston, SC with my family. It was a blast going to the beach with my sweet niece. 
Our last trip was a business one for Chris and I tagged along. It was to St. Simon's Island, GA.

3. Summer reading outreach program was something I'm really proud of.  My BFF Cassie and I started this program through the public library. We took books out and read with kids. It was loads of fun. 
4. Summers with Sophie
I was lucky enough to get to keep my sweet girl once a week through the summer. We had a blast on our Mondays.
Here we are the carousel at Dollywood.
Big girl panties were a big part of our summer.
5.  Big News 
We found out in May that my sister was pregnant and I was going to be an aunt again and soph was going to be a big sister. Here's a picture from the dinner where we found out the gender. 
Chandler - Kate will be here January 13. I can't wait.
6. New things I've tried in school this year
I finally cleaned out the sand table in my room and turned into a sensory table. Here's a pic with the corn in it.
I'm also really excited about the fourth grade buddies we've been doing. My friend Cassie and I have partnered up and it's been amazing. I need to post an update with all the fun and learning we've had.
Here are they are working on a Venn diagram comparing themselves.
7. Girls' ministry - this past Fall I started a high school girls group. It is something I had been wanting for a while and it finally all came together. It has been great. Here's a picture from one night where we made scarves from t-shirts.

8.  Favorite picture of the year has to be this picture  from Chris's birthday party Sunday.  We had both of our families over which meant both of the nieces were there. They haven't spent much time together but it's clear they both love their uncle Chris.
9. Favorite Activity with my class was our end of the year party. My class I had the past 2 years was my favorite one so far. It was really hard to say goodbye to them. I have a good class now but there was something special about this last one. I also had room moms that rocked. I could tell them my ideas and they would make it happen. We read the first Harry Potter and then had a Harry Potter party. They decorated wands, played pin the lightning scar on Harry, made owls and ate themed food.

10.  Favorite pin 
I love pinning clothes. I think I've been a lot more experimental with my clothing choices. This is just one of the outfits I love.
10. Instagram love
I've been on Instagram since 2012 but it was his past year that I really have gotten into it. You can follow me at mskerriskrazyklass. I love Instagram challenges. My bloggy BFF, Laura from Kinder Krazinesss  has one starting tomorrow. Be sure to join the fun!

11. My favorite blog post for the year was all about making colored rice for my sensory bin. Check it out here.

12. Goals for the new year
I want to read my Bible more, get healthier and get more organized. This past year I stopped drinking Diet Coke and gave up all forms of artificial sugars. So this year I want to work on exercising more. It has been over a year since I had my knee surgery and it's time to exercise more. 

13. One little word
I mentioned at the beginning of this very long post (I have been working on this for days now), that I've been taking medicine that makes me nauseous. I'm taking this medicine to help with trying to get pregnant. It has been a struggle and I'm hoping in this new year it will happen. My sister gave me a bracelet for Christmas with an anchor and a couple of verses about hope. So my word for the year is faith. I have faith that it will all happen in God's timing. 

Be sure to head over to any of the lovely hostesses blogs and see what everyone else has been up to. I linked up with Hadar at Miss Kindergarten

Technology Tuesday

I love using technology in my classroom and have wanted to blog about it for a while. But sitting down and making me do it is another story. So I'm going to try to blog about it on Tuesdays. Mainly because there is already a linky about Technology on Tuesdays and because I really like alliteration.
Recently we've been able to get youtube videos in the classroom if you don't go directly to the site. If I email them to myself they seem to work better.
So here a few videos we've been enjoying lately in my room. They aren't anything earth shattering.
One of my teammates found these videos on YouTube for each letter and my kids have enjoyed them. This one we watched this week.

My kids are obsessed with this video. We're a little late to the What does the Fox Say craze and this one makes a good brain break.

We enjoy this brain break as well. During the Olympics I enjoyed getting on NBC website and showing the kids the different events and talking about them. I love using videos in the classroom. A short clip can help get them interested in a topic and supplement your activities.

Over Christmas break, my donor's choose project of an ipad was funded and fulfilled. I've been enjoying using it with my students and allowing them to get on there and play games.
One of my favorite apps to use with my kids is Abc - magnetic letters. Check the link out here. I bought the version for $1.99 and have it on both my classroom ipad and my personal ipad. I like the paid version because there are lowercase letters and I don't want my kids to only use uppercase letters. We have been using this app with my small groups and tutoring.
Here are some activities:

  • building words with the magnetic letters
  • making sight words
  • Scrambling sight words. I put all the letters they need for a word on the board and then they put it in order
I thought I had some pictures of the kids using this app but it appears I've deleted them. In this version there are also pictures kids can use. These would be perfect for story problems and practicing addition and subtraction.
We also use the Doodle Buddy app a lot for small group work. Here is a picture from tutoring of the kids writing their sight words. It isn't anything earth shattering but it is a different and a little more engaging way to practice our sight words.

I'm always trying to think of new ways to use technology in the classroom. What new apps or videos have you used recently? I would love to hear from you. I'm linking up with the Technology Tailgate for their weekly party
Technology Tailgate

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fun with Chevron (Creative Teaching Press Review)

So back in January or February when I was home for a snow day, I saw on Creative Teaching Press's Facebook page they were looking for bloggers to do product reviews. Well I jumped at the chance to get some free stuff and blog about it. So I sent an email to them and got to pick out some items from their catalog. They had a lot of new stuff including some great chevron products. I love chevron! Chris says it's my favorite color. (He knows it's not a color but he says anything chevron and I'm all over it.) So I picked out some chevron products that would freshen up my room a bit. Well they sent me that and so much more.
So I kept expecting it and kept expecting the package. I had checked on it and it was supposedly sent off. Well it was but they had delivered it to a neighbor instead of me. I loved the way it was addressed. It made me smile thinking that I have marketing and promotions. 

 Here's all the loot they sent me minus the calendar. I had to crop my feet and Chris's feet out of the picture. I was so excited when it came that I'm sure that I made him come and look at all my goodies.

CTP included some extras in the package like the All About Me Fold-outs and some resource books. I haven't used the fold outs yet because of the time of year. I see this as being a great project to start the new school year off with. I loop with my kids so next year they'll be in First Grade and can complete these more independently. 

When I looked through the catalog, the chevron stuff really caught my eye. I have had the same calendar for the past 9 years. There is nothing wrong with it but getting it replaced for free sounded pretty good. So here's my gorgeous new calendar. Thanks to CTP!

Here are the products shown in the picture:

I love the way my calendar turned out. I didn't order any month headers because I enjoy making my own. 
The next step in my chevron transformation was with name tags. The second half of the year, I usually put their last names on their name tags to get them writing their last name. So I used the Chevron Name Plates and replaced their old name plates with these chevron ones.  (I blurred out the student's name) I love the bright colors. 

I got some labels in this same pattern but haven't used them yet. I'm thinking our field trip next week will be the perfect time to use them.  I also got the labels in Chevron Solid.  I used these to redo the students' cafeteria name tags with their numbers on them. Just added the label to an index card wrote it in and laminated. It's easy but looks good. (By the way, I'm loving editing my photos in iPhoto and blurring personal information out. It is so easy.)

The item I'm loving the most besides my new calendar is the Chevron Cut outs in size 10 inch.  They are bright colored and the perfect size. I have been wanting to put up a word on the day on my door when the kids come in for a while. We have 6 sight words to learn a week and that's a lot. Anything I can do to maximize exposure to the words the better. So I laminated all the cut outs I got and then they were ready to go when I wanted to do something with them. I used a sharpie to write in the words but if I want to change them I can easily by putting dry erase on top of the sharpie. 
 I made this one Friday so we'll be ready for our plant unit we're starting this week. I wanted a place to put vocal words related to the content we're studying. This was the perfect size to put up on my board.

The possibilities are endless for what you could do with these. I have been thinking of making an author spotlight out of some of them. If I can find the space in my room. 
I thought I was chevroned out only to find out CTP has stickers with chevron too. So I had to stock up on some great stickers. 

Here are the stickers I got:

Looking through the stickers to find the ones I ordered I saw quite a few others I would like to have. I might have a slight problem when it comes to stickers. I'm always stocking up on them. 

The last thing I've really been using a lot of is the resource books they sent me. I love my TPT products but sometimes I have a hard time finding exactly what I need in all the resources I have. Two of the books I have used a lot have to do with sight words. 

I have used these resources for small group work and differentiated. I have also been using the sight word sentences for my writing center and differentiated. Here are some pictures of the pages in action:

Overall I've been very pleased with all the products that I received from Creative Teaching Press. They were really easy to work with and their prices are very reasonable. I love their new line with Chevron and their older lines Dots on Turquoise. (That's what I had in my room to begin with.)
I will definitely be buying more things from CTP. Be sure to head over to their website and check out all they have to offer.

(While I did receive products to review free of charge, the opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five For Friday

It is amazing but I'm actually posting this on a Friday evening. I can't believe it. It's the new computer. I enjoy coming home and getting on the computer now. No matter how tired I am. It makes a world of difference having a computer I love and that is easy to use. It is always set up. I don't have to get it out and figure out where to set up. Anyway, I was not good about taking pictures this week. It was kind of a weird week. I went home a half day Wednesday because I wasn't feeling that great. I haven't really felt great since then. But you gotta do what you gotta do. It's too much work to be at home sick.
So I'm linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly party of fun.

1. First up is my beautiful new computer. I know I know. I've already blogged about it but I haven't actually shown a picture of it in all it's glory. I'm in love! We have it set up on our dining table. We don't eat there unless we have company so for now it will work.

2. As much as I love my computer, I love this man even more. This picture is from last weekend when we kept Soph and took her to a special place. We went and threw rocks in the creek. They had a blast. Chris is truly the best husband and uncle a girl could hope for. He knew how much I wanted a new computer and made it happen. He also is so great with our nieces. He laid in the floor that night and watched Frozen with us.
3. During the last TPT sale I bought Deanna Jump's Nonfiction Interactive Reading Journal (Click here to check it out. ) This week was the first time I tried it out. This particular journal was about main idea and details. We had read about baby animals in our reading book. So we did this together. I did an example using the elmo and promethean board. The students did pretty well with coming up with what to go under the tabs. The hardest part was cutting it out correctly. A lot of them cut out on the dotted lines instead of the dark lines. But we got it all figured out. 

4. Back in February I got the opportunity to review some products from Creative Teaching Press. I've been using the materials for the past month and plan to post a review this weekend about what I got. This is just a sneak peek. I used these Chevron 6" Cut outs and made a word of the day sign for the door. I post a sight word here everyday for the kids to practice when they come in the room. Be sure to check back this weekend to see all the fun things I've gotten to try out.

5. I really didn't do a good job taking pictures this week of what we've been working on in class. But I do have this fun picture to share. My parents' neighbor gave these masks to Soph yesterday so we had to try them out with silly faces. 

So that's my week. Not too exciting but it was a good one. Be sure to check out the party over at Doodle Bugs Teaching to see what everyone else is up to.
I'll be back this weekend to tell you about the goodies from Creative Teaching Press and to give you a peek in what is coming up with my week. (Maybe. We're going to Asheville tomorrow to look for a new tent for camping. I'm so excited.)