Thursday, July 26, 2012

Toolbox Revisited and Decorated!

Well, my guys all went camping this week and I purchased this toolbox from Amazon and it needed a facelift.  This is it in the "newbie" stage and "before I  got some ideas in my head" stage.  I have a theme in my room this year of the seventies and so I found some adorable papers at Hobby Lobby with peace signs, stripes, paisleys and with stickers and letters.  I wanted one where all the drawers were all the same size and some of you will get it and some will just say "good grief".  I had originally purchased the one with the mini drawers on top and the size drawers you see here on bottom.  When it arrived I decided I didn't like it and gave it to my son to use in his wood-shop.  So all day yesterday I worked on this one and I had it all done except for one row.  I started with the first row and got the papers on but didn't think about putting the labels on until AFTER I had done the first row, UGH!  

So, now the question is this, "do I put the labels on and forget about it", or "do I redo the entire row of drawers"?  Okay, since I was the one that wanted all the drawers the same size you have probably already figured out the answer to that question.  Yes, I am redoing the drawers right after breakfast so it shouldn't take long.  I did not use a laminator to do the papers and used a large packing tape dispenser to eliminate some steps and work.  The tape works great but don't buy packing tape that is not the invisible kind because it pulls the paper off of the table with static electricity and ruins everything.  A few disasters along the way but the finished product looks like this.  What do you think?  Have you done a cabinet like this and what are your "TIPS AND TRICKS" to decorating one? 

Can't wait to get her filled up with goodies!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Techy Teacher "Linky Party"!!!

Hyperlinking Pages in PDF Format using a Mac

OK, Here is what you do if you want pages to hyperlink to each other.  
It is a start anyway.....
I am a MAC (Office 2011) user just so that is clear and I use PP.  
Before you save it as a pdf you may want to insert an "action" button 
(under "shapes" in PP) on each page of your PP somewhere so that 
you can hyperlink it once it is being worked on and in PDF format.  
You DO NOT need to hyperlink it in PP.
Helpful Hint:  At the top of the product opened in preview mode there 
are four squares: One is for "content" and you will see that if you 
hover over with your cursor.  The second one called thumbnails is 
the view you want so you can hyperlink easier.

Step One:  Find the PDF file you want to hyperlink, right click and
open in "Preview" and not anything else.
Step Two: Click on the "annotations tool" at the top that looks like 
a pencil
Step Three: Click on the "Link" button and it will turn blue. (it is active)
Step Four:  If you have inserted an "action button" from PP this is the 
easy part. 
Step Five: Capture the action button with a left click and hold to 
capture the specific part/graphic you want to hyperlink and the 
little black elongated oval will pop up that gives you a choice of 
"Page" or "URL" in the drop down menu.
Step Six: Choose "Page" and insert the number of the page you 
want it to go to in the middle and then click "done". Repeat until 
all pages are hyperlinked and check your work.
Step Seven: When you are done hyperlinking just unclick on the 
hyperlink button and it has automatically saved your hyperlinks. 
Step Eight:  I am sure there are some technical items I left off like 
letting your readers know that this contains hyperlinks so that they 
will know and can use the PDF properly like you intended.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study - Chapter Six

This is a continuation of our book study “The Daily Five” by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  We are continuing with Chapter Six, “Work on Writing and Word Work”. 

Work on Writing:

When you are doing the “Work on Writing” segment in your day the students
should be working independently or with a partner.  Some of the ideas that I use in my classroom are persuasive writings. An example of that would be to persuade me if I should be a “Country Mouse or a City Mouse”. We start with reading the book and the students have to do a writing piece to persuade me to be either one or why I should be one or the other. We also have “book buddies” every Friday and they come in and read to each other the stories they have written and their book buddies are allowed to help them with their writing. They also work on a drawing together to finish their writing pieces. During special times of the year we make and create cards for our Book Buddies.  Writing in my classroom is so many things it is difficult to capture in one single post. 

You always begin your “Work on Writing” by bringing a purpose to it and talk about why it is so important to write every day. If you are a “whole brain” teacher this is a great time to insert “teach, ok” while you are discussing.  I have a “share chair” in my room, which is where each student can share their ideas about why it is important to write every day. Our “share chair” is also a time where you can “take the mic” and use it to read a finished piece. (I have a voice enhancement system in my room with a microphone) I always let them make a choice whether or not they want to share or not.  We want our children to care about why they are writing and people who are reading it. 

Focus Lessons are important because this is a time when modeled writing is shown to the class on things to do if you get stuck on a word. These simple steps are critical in enabling our students to be independent writers.  We need to model to our students what to do if they get stuck on a word by underlining it and coming back later and that it is okay to do so. Talk with your students about what “Working on Writing” looks like since this is already a part of some of the other Daily 5 elements. Make an anchor chart with their ideas on it and hang it up in the room so that they have a visual reminder. In the other components of Read to Someone and Read to Self they have already built up enough stamina that a three minute writing time is not that so difficult. 

Word Work
I don’t know about you but I think this is one of my most favorite parts of the Daily 5 because it can be so much fun and highly interactive with peers and materials. If we are going to create readers and writers then word work is a critical element in the Daily 5 time. This time allows students to experiment with words, work on those high frequency words, implement spelling patterns and working on those “break the rules” words. This is a time to focus on spelling and vocabulary as well as writing. You are going to want to launch Word Work as a time to go over what it looks like, what is done during this time and talk about stamina. What can I do during Word Work time with my students?  What are some activities that I can do to keep it interesting and not run out of ideas?

In my classroom we have an ongoing list of ideas to do during Word Work and they can go and pull an idea off of the chart. What you will find out as students adapt and build stamina during Word Work is they can come up with some really good ideas of Word Work ideas of their own. When they do make sure it goes on the chart of ideas to make them feel very important. Oh, this is also a great time to have parent volunteers in from the beginning so that they learn what Word Work is and become really good at assisting you by the end of the year. It also teaches them how to teach their own children. Unfortunately the most important things in our lives, our children, don’t come with a manual. 

All around the list of Word Work ideas we take pictures so that students remember what it looks like and it is an excellent tool for your visual learners or struggling readers. I am in a Title I school so this is something that all of our teachers have to work on every year. I always tell my students “practice makes better, not perfect”. Practice is a key word here in teaching your students and modeling with other students (which they love being a teacher helper) how to do a particular activity. Word Work for about three to five minutes and gather back together to make any additions to our chart that we need to make. 

Before I forget, some things that you will find really important to have on your anchor chart are: clean quietly, if you touched the materials you help clean them, find the picture of the materials so you know where they go back in their place and other ideas that will make your closing time easier. 

OK, now lets have some fun and I am having a linky for Working on Writing and Word Work ideas. If you have one on your blog please add yourself to the linky so we can all share our FABULOUS ideas! Remember this needs to be a link to an idea on your blog only. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Teaching With Love and Laughter: Are you a no-reply blogger?

My friend over at "Teaching With Love and Laughter" just did a really good post about being a "no-reply blogger"  You should read it and follow her very good directions on how to NOT be a "no reply blogger".  Thank you Lori, for sharing such good information for bloggerland!!!

Teaching With Love and Laughter: Are you a no-reply blogger?: I absolutely love to receive comments on my blog. I always take the time to read every single one. I appreciate the kind words and I've lear...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

QR Codes For My Classroom Parents? Really?

Scan to go to QR Website

I was rambling around on Pinterest today and got lost in all the fabulous teacher ideas that are out there.  Raise your hand if you don't get lost when you are on Pinterest!  See, I knew no one would be raising their hand or did you?  I found this fantastic idea for sharing information with parents instead of having to hand out business cards with my information on it.  QR CODES!!!

Who knew that someday I would be having my parents scan these weird looking creatures that would then transfer information to their phones?  (OK, the "Outer Limits" song just popped into my head and why did that happen?) 

OK, so back to the information I want to share with you to save your life or just a little bit of time?  If you go to this website you can create your own information QR codes too! (happy dance time)  Do you have a QR reader?  Well, there's an app for that! (ha ha ha, had to throw in a funny, sorry) No, there really is an app for that so you can read QR codes everywhere! 

When you get to the website it will look like this:

If you want to share just information about yourself then you need to click on the "Text" button. Type in your information and click on "Generate FREE" to have it created into a QR image.  I typed my name, the school's name and other information which I will not share because this is a public blog.  I then right clicked and saved the image to my desktop. I then transferred the QR code onto a document that will be hanging in various places in my classroom.  I also created another QR code image with the same website.  This time I used the "url" button and typed in the site where my school supply list is so parents would have it on their phones too. (I have now saved an entire tree)  
Creating a QR Code

We have 21st century kids so why shouldn't we be presenting them and their parents with 21st century technology?  Our time is up and I enjoyed sharing my new found technology ideas to help save you time and maybe even impress your parents?  Thanks for stopping by AND if you have an idea of how to use QR codes a different way in the classroom would you please share?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Kindergarten Center: My Very Own 500 Fabulous Followers Giveaway Galore...

My friend Amy over at The Kindergarten Center is having a GREAT Giveaway so go and visit her blog to see all the fantastic items!!!

The Kindergarten Center: My Very Own 500 Fabulous Followers Giveaway Galore...:   Ya'll I've finally made it to 500 fabulous followers!  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Teacher's Wisdom!

Come on and join in and share your WIT and WISDOM from all the years you have been a teacher.  We all started at some point and should probably send a "sympathy" card to the very first class we ever had.  So share some of your fabulous wisdom and join the fun!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Pinterest Deadend? NOOOOOOOOO!!!

How many times have you been to Pinterest or Blogs and when you click on the picture it tells you that it can't be fetched or the Blog picture wasn't a link?  I have had it happen to me so I know it can be very frustrating.  When it does happen it is something that I REALLY liked or wanted to get more information on.  Well, I found a little secret (if you have an image) where Google can help.  The next time you find something you REALLY like and the picture won't take you where you need to go, here is what you do.  Right click on the image (mac users) and "copy image address".  Then go to Google's main page and up in the upper lefthand corner click on the word "images".  Now you have a screen that looks like this: 

If you look real close you will see a camera inside the search box.  This is where you will place the image address that you retrieved earlier and paste it into Google's search box.  Begin your search by clicking on the blue box with the magnifying glass and Google will find images that are exactly like the one you just entered and other "similar" images as well.  It isn't perfect but each time I have tried it I have found my answer at last!!!  Here is a picture of my search for the best little organizer idea ever:

See how easy that was?  So the next time you are on a quest your search should end "Happily Ever After"!!!  
P.S. If you want to find the organizer that is pictured above just click on the picture and it will take you right where I found it.  Thank you Linda at Down the Learning Road Blog for being the best guinea pig ever!!!