Saturday, April 19, 2014

5 Resources for Earth Day

My Earth is pretty important to me! It's my home, and it's the home for my kids (both biological and students) and their children. If we make the effort, we can make our Earth and its resources last!

I plan to make the whole week all about protecting our Earth and its resources.  Here are some of my plans:

1.  Literature! I always use literature whenever I teach a concept.  Here are some great books that tell what happens if we don't take care of our Earth: (Click image for a link to Amazon for more information about these books.)

Here are some more books to bring Earth Day awareness:

2. Freebies!  Flapjack Education has an awesome video and linky party going on for Earth Day! 
Here's the video of many great freebies:

Here's a link to the Earth Day Freebie Linky Party: (Just click the image!)

3. Videos!  Speaking of Youtube, there is a wealth of information out there, and some of it is pretty good!  Here are a few I've found that are great for Earth Day:

Here's one that I just can't seem to embed, but it's a fun song called This is Our World... click HERE.

And here's one of my favorite songs (What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong) with beautiful visuals... click HERE.

4. Be a Role Model! If you want the kids to do what they can to protect our Earth, you need to show them how!  Let them see you reduce, reuse, and recycle! I always warn my students not to use more than their share of paper, not to waste materials, and not to let the water run. They see me being careful about using paper. I even print on both sides whenever I can! If a paper has print on one side, I save it and put it upside down in my printer to use again. We have a recycling box in our class for paper, and save paper scraps, especially construction paper that can be used again on other projects! I also make a point to mention when I see a child being conservative with materials.

5. More ideas!  I have a whole bunch of videos, freebies, valuable products and ideas on my April Pinterest Page!  Here's what I'll be using next week to tie Earth Day into reading, writing and math in my second grade classroom: (Click the image.)
 Here are a couple more Earth Day products of my own, including a couple of freebies!

These Math Story Problems are a favorite! (Click the image.)

This freebie is a song to the tune of Take me Out to the Ballgame! (Click the image.)

Planning on doing some Earth Day writing!  This freebie gives you plenty of choices! (Click the image.)

Can you tell Earth Day is important to me? 

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching with my Five for Friday!  Yes, I know it's Saturday, and yes, I know Five for Friday is typically about reflecting on the past week, but this was the roughest week I can remember, and I'm much better off thinking ahead to next week than dwelling on this week.  (Don't want to go back there!)

Happy Earth Week!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baseball Geography

Experts say that in order for the children to learn, it needs to be meaningful.

What's more meaningful to many of our students this time of year (especially our little boys) than baseball?

Experts also say that skills will develop and knowledge will deepen with "a little bit every day" rather than one big lesson, than never touching on it again. It's important for us to keep coming back to a skill in order for it to "stick"!

Therefore, I give my kids a "Baseball Geography" question each day for them to figure out each morning. I put the question in my morning letter, and make sure the maps are where the children can find them.

Around here, it's all about the Red Sox. I keep track of the Red Sox schedule, and come up with something related to put in the morning letter.

Since they play the same team for 3 days in a row, I have to think of 3 different questions to ask.  That's not too tough!

I've also asked these questions about Texas:

Of course, as the season progresses, the teams come back together.
There are always more questions to be asked, such as:

Yes, my second graders can do this! I have taught the children that the weather gets warmer as they get closer to the equator and cooler as they get closer to the poles.  Once they know that, they can draw some conclusions about weather patterns!

I have found that the kiddos love this!  They can't wait for the next question, and want to spend extra time looking at the maps! Sometimes, they even make up the questions for the next day!
That's my favorite part... when they really start thinking about maps and places!

In a few weeks, I'll add some baseball math :)

Don't you love my little baseball smiley guys by Zip-a-dee-doo-dah Designs?

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

We Have 6 Winners!

The One in a Million Giveaways are over and we have our six winners!

Samantha, Heather, Meredith, Shana, Sandra, and Toni, congratulations!  You'll be receiving some awesome stuff in the mail!

And a great big 
to everyone who entered.

And a great, big, huge
to my blogging friends who helped me out with their donations! 
You're the best friends a blogger could ever ask for!

Here's a wrap up of the winners and what they won:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Plus, thanks to a whole bunch of great comments, I've got some great ideas on what my next blog posts will be about!  Second million views, here we come!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

One in a Million!

During the week this little blog hit a major milestone:

I've had a million views!!!

I think this is definitely a cause for celebration, and what's the best way to celebrate?

Sharing some great stuff with my fabulous readers! 

I started this blog less than 3 years ago, and I've been blessed in so many ways. 
Not only have I been able to share my teaching experiences with some great readers, I've made some incredible friends through this blog! 

Thanks to these friendships, I have 6 different giveaways to share!

Here's Giveaway #1:  You could win: 

Print it and Teach by Lory Evans
Parts of Speech Spring Hunt by Patty Rutenbar
Draw (An Uno Inspired Card Game) Telling Time by Totally Sweet Math Centers by Tabitha
Literacy and Math Games for Second Grade -Spring Bundle by Elementary Matters (Yours truly!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the delightful treats in Giveaway#2:

Winners Choice from Daina Roberts TpT Store
60 Brain Breaks by Rachel Lynette
Fluency With Rhymes (Nursery Rhymes) by Emily Hutchinson
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

You'll want to try for Giveaway#3!

Character Traits-Physical Appearance vs Personality Traits by Chelsea Allen - Flip Floppin Through 3rd Grade
Peas and Carrots by Terri Izatt 
Inspector Inference: An Inference Pack by Journey of a Substitute Teacher
a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait! What about Giveaway #4:

Winner's Choice by 2 Brainy Apples
Math Sorts for Spring by Second Grade Math Maniac
 Commas to the Rescue! Comma Usage Unit by Second Grade is Out of this World

But then, how about Giveaway #5?

Shake, Rattle, and Roll - Upcycled Math Centers by Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
Butterfly Life Cycle Clipart by Whimsey Workshop Teaching

Yet, there's still another giveaway.  You can't miss with Giveaway #6!

Winner's Choice by Hojo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you like the sweet frames I used?  You'll find more if you click this button:

Good luck to you! Thanks so much for participating!
Before too long, there might be another million views!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Currently for April

Today was a great day for many reasons!  It's finally April!  March is always the longest month of the year, and it's finally over.  I had some fun with my kids today for April Fool's Day, and one more thing... I hit 1,000,000 views on this little blog!

That's what it looked like when I got home from school today! There WILL be a celebration!

A new month means a new "Currently".  Here it is!

My gentleman friend and I watch WAY too much Big Bang Theory.  It's almost always on, and it makes us both laugh, so we watch it.

It actually felt like spring today!  There's still a small pile of snow in front of my house, but I'm hoping it's gone real soon.  The kids were very excited about a section of the playground that is finally snow free... right where the good equipment is.  This is great news!

There's never enough time. I always have too much to do.  But you know, if I ran out of things to do I'd go bonkers.  I guess busy is good, isn't it?

I'm almost done with taxes, and I sure could use a refund! Being a single mom with a kid in college isn't easy.  I'm lucky she's such a good kid, it makes it all worth it!

I stay at school much too late.  The kids are there from 8:25 until 3:05, and the last bus finally leaves just before 3:30,  Teacher "official" hours are 8:15 - 3:45. Some people can actually finish everything in that time, I don't know how! I'm determined to finish everything at school so I can go home and relax without thinking about work.  So, of course, I come home and blog about school.  But I rarely bring work home, except during report card time.  Today I got home at 7... I was really behind on paperwork!

June 20th is FAR better than last year. We went until June 30th last year.  It was the shortest summer ever!

Be sure to check out the Currently Linky at Oh Boy Fourth Grade!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Week That Was, and That's No April Fool!

Am I giving away my age by quoting that old TV show from the 60s? 
That was the week that was! 
(Click HERE to see IMBD link to the old political satire show.)

But seriously, it was a busy week!  Here are a few things that have been going on:

1. Trying to squeeze in a full week of instruction into 4 days. We had a Professional Development Day on Wednesday, so we had to do it all in 4 days. Plus, I had a doctor's appointment today, so I really only had 3 days... but today was about reviewing important skills. Somehow I got through all I was supposed to, but it was no easy task! After the kids had Wednesday off, Thursday was like a second Monday... it was a little nuts, but we did it!

2. Spring is hiding, but it's slowly sneaking up on us! There were rumors of snow on Wednesday, while we are still waiting for the winter's snow to melt!  It's almost April, and there is still a whole lot of snow out there!  
But I did manage to share a couple of favorite spring books:

I've seen buckets on Maple Trees, and ads for visiting local Sugar Houses!
We've made it past the Spring Equinox. Now the days are getting longer!
I even saw some crocuses!
No, I didn't see them around here, as we still have too much of a snow cover. But I visited my daughter in Boston last Sunday, and there were crocuses growing outside her boyfriend's building.  I was pretty excited to see spring's first flowers! I think she and her boyfriend thought I was a little wacky when I was crossing the street and suddenly shouted, "Crocuses!!!"

3. Staff Development Day- We had a Keynote speaker in the morning. Now don't you think of a Keynote speaker as someone who will speak for about 45 minutes?  We were there for 3 hours.  Yes, three hours!!!!  No matter how good someone is as a speaker, three hours is too long to sit. Yes, he was good, but my mind really struggled!

I think part of my concentration problems came from my nervousness about the afternoon.  I was presenting 2 workshops:


Both workshops went well, but that's because I was well prepared.
Plus, I got some awesome people in both workshops. Great questions, great ideas!

Both workshops were "by request" by the Staff Development committee.

The "teacher blogs" workshop was one I'd never presented before. I shared TONS of teacher blogs, linky parties, and even a few pictures of when I met teacher bloggers.

As we know, one can get "sucked in" to the world of teacher blogs, and have trouble coming up for air! There are just so many fantastic blogs out there! I had asked some of my blogging friends to share some of their ideas about blogging, and here's what they had to say:

Thanks to all the teacher bloggers who shared!

4. Planning for another substitute- Yes, I had another doctor's appointment, and it takes nearly a day to plan for a day out, doesn't it?  This is what I left with the sub: 

I was thinking of leaving the sub this set, but I think I want to save this to do myself on Tuesday: 

I've also been getting other ideas ready for April Fool's Day. I have a couple of April Fool's Day ideas in post from previous years HERE and HERE! I'm probably in the minority, but I LOVE April Fool's Day with the kids!
5. Nearing a million! Yes, I am very, very close to a million page views here on Elementary Matters.  If you are here reading this right now, you're helping me get there! 

Be prepared for a party real soon!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday.
 The best part:  It's still Friday!

By the way... are  you in the mood for a little Spring Cleaning?  Click the image to load your shopping cart!
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