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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tell Me More Linky:)

I am linking up with Amy at Step Into Second Grade for the Tell Me More Linky.  How fun!
Also, I am ALMOST (99) at 100 followers!!  Check back soon to enter my giveaway.  Thanks!

1.  The only sport (besides the Olympics) that I watch religiously is NFL football.  I never miss a game when my team is playing.......The Buffalo Bills!!  I have been a fan since elementary school when they had their golden years and stretch of 4 consecutive Super Bowl appearances (which they still hold the record for the most consecutive appearances by the way!).  

I remember being at a party in 6th grade for the Super Bowl (the infamous one where the Bills missed the field goal in the last seconds of the game to the Giants).  Well, it was 6th grade and ALL my friends were running around the house.  Not me!  I sat glued by the TV, biting my nails.  I still am in a terrible mood on Mondays when the Bills lose on Sunday (which is about half the Mondays September to January).  The game they lost to Dallas in Monday night football a couple years ago kept me up all night.  If you have a team you have loved for 25+years, you get it.  I always am the optimist and think this will be "THE YEAR".  But really, this will BE THE YEAR OF THE BILLS!  You just wait.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It (editable schedule cards, journals)!!

I have been a busy little bee and am so excited to be linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!!

I have a blue pocket schedule chart and have always written the schedule with dry erase markers on my laminated cards (I am so boring!).  Then, I saw this on pinterest:

I searched high and low for cards with times that were editable and could not find any!  I am not very tech savvy in taking a PDF and altering it.  So, I gave up and made my own.  They are made using powerpoint and can be downloaded for FREE today at here at my TPT store.  They are fully editable in Powerpoint for your schedule needs.  Please kindly leave feedback:)  Also, the cute font shown below may not download for you correctly.  The font is from KevinandAmanda Fonts and there are directions in the download if you want to get that font for free!

I printed and cut out one at home in black and white (they are colorful but my printer is out of colored ink).  I am going to lay them over top of my old schedule cards and use the nice heavy duty packing tape to cover the new label.  You could also print them on cardstock and laminate!

Fits over top nicely with space to tape:)  I can't wait to get them all printed in color!!!

Next, a HUGE thank you to Tonya at Tonya's Treats for Teachers for the "Making Memories in 4th Grade" (she has all grades available for download) printables.  I printed yellow for the ELA group memories and purple for homeroom.  They can go in the same container to save shelf space.  
Here is a picture:

Friday, July 27, 2012

I LOVE Dollar General!! "Fabulous Find" and Blog Award

am finally linking up for Fabulous Find Friday with Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B!

So, my little town is lacking in the shopping area and when I go to the larger areas, I usually end up at Walmart.  After reading about all of your great finds at Dollar General or Dollar Trees, I decided to go in this little Dollar General (and it was old and little!)........Well, I DID FIND SOME TREASURES!!  Check out this cute lamp for my reading area!!  I think it was $10 with the base and shade.  The base is a transparent purple.

I just love the bright colors.  They had coordinating boxes too!  I am going to use these to store shared writing journals, story stones (still need to make), and other writing materials.  The "owl" themed box on the bottom right is from Family Dollar ($6).  I had to get it to go with my other owl decorations!  The Dollar General boxes were $7, $5, $2, and $1 for the smallest one.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yay for Monday Made-It! (Stool and Welcome Sign)

Well, I did it!  I am linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for my first-ever Monday Made It and I completed TWO projects!!  For both projects I used scrapbook paper.  I love, love to scrapbook in my spare time.  Why?  It lets me be creative even though I am not artistic in the least!  I cannot draw to save my life (it is actually a joke with my students when I try to draw anything and they love laughing at me)........but I can use scrapbook paper, glue, and COPY borrow other people's ideas:)

So, I have recently started pinning two weeks ago when I first entered the blogging world (shocking, I know!).  I started seeing all these stools on pinterest that people paint and thought, I could NEVER do that!  This is from Laurie Cole Designs on pinterest....AMAZING!

Then, I saw this one on I Heart Elementary using scrapbook paper and I began to think I could redo my stool too!

So, I am extremely embarrassed to say that this is what my stool looked like for 12 years:

I started with my supplies (scrapbook paper, acrylic paint, mod podge, spray glitter, and foam brushes):

First, I lightly sanded the stool with 220 sandpaper.  Then, I painted the stool's legs and seat.  The legs took FOUR coats.  I didn't prime first though and I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Need Class Pen Pals? Leave a Comment!

UPDATE:  I posted the information below requesting a pen pal and within no time I had several emails.  I went with the first response from an urban area since my students live in rural NY.  I am excited to have pen pals from Indianapolis next year!

However, I was thinking that maybe other people would like to hook up with someone in the blogging world instead of a "pen pal" site.  I don't know about you, but I feel like fellow bloggers are friends already!  So, if you are looking for a pen pal, post a comment below stating:

  • your grade
  • state
  • rural/urban/suburban
  • number of students 

Provide a link to your blog or email address for someone to contact you.  Look around at the other comments and see if someone looks like a good fit and contact them!  If you find a match, just come back and delete your comment so other bloggers don't keep contacting you.

Help spread the word by copying and posting this on your blog:

Are you looking for class pen pals and are frustrated with trying to find one using websites?  Try your blogging friends!  Just post a comment on the post, "Need Class Pen Pals?" or browse the comments to find your match on Fourth Grade Flipper's blog @  http://fourthgradeflipper.blogspot.com/2012/07/anyone-need-4th-grade-pen-pals-please.html

(You can make a link to the website address with the picture and delete the address if you want.  I wasn't sure my link would transfer when you copy and paste it.)

This was my Original Post Requesting a Pen Pal:
Since I entered this blogging world a few weeks ago, I have "met" so many wonderful teachers!!  My students had 4th grade pen pals last year from CA and, sadly, the teacher is moving to a new position.  So............I have to find new pen pals!  I was lucky last year and found someone reliable by November and we were able to exchange letters three times each before the end of the year.  However, the year before that, I had so many leads from that pen pal website and they all fell through until March when we were only able to exchange once!  I think there are a lot of scammers out there.

My students LOVED writing their pen pal letters and receiving them.  After recently reading "The Book Whisperer" I am even more convinced that this is a great opportunity for students to practice their writing.  It is true...........the students actually LIKED writing their letters and never complained!

If you are a 4th grade teacher and need pen pals, please contact me!  I will have 22-24 ELA students next year.  Preferably, it would be nice to have pen pals from an urban area, southern state, or western state since I am in a small, rural town in New York State.  It is fun to have students with quite different backgrounds.  You can send me an email at lillycharlie2915@gmail.com if you are interested or leave me your email in the comments.  I will update this post when (and IF) I find a pen pal match!!  UPDATE:  I found one!  Thank you!!  Look at the comments below for a possibility for your class pen pals!

Check out The Teacher Idea Factory's Pen Pal Pair Up!!  Comment by August 12th and she will match you up with a pen pal!

Thank you!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

There's a Newbie in Town...

I found this great Newbie blog linky from Janis at Third Grade is The Place For Me!  I am still looking for blogs everyday and this was a good resource to find more.  Fun!

1. What state are you in? New York
2. Your current teaching position? 4th Grade
3. Your teaching experience? 8 years teaching 6th grade math/social studies and starting my 5th year in 4th grade
4. When you started blogging? July 2012!!
5. Share a blogging tip/blogging resource. Um, not really sure.  Many people said to host a giveaway so I think that will be in my near future:)

Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Whoop! Guilty Pleasures Linky!!

I saw this linky party at The Resource Room Teacher and had to participate because I LOVE me some guilty pleasures!

1.  Bachelor/Bachelorette

Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with The Bachelor/Bachelorette.  I honestly don't think I have ever missed an episode since I started watching it in the middle of the very first season.  DVR has really helped with that.  It makes Mondays so much better and I look forward to it all day.  I hate it when the season ends:(  Oh, the Bachelor Pad will be fun this summer after the big season finale on Sunday!  

I think she will turn down both Jef and Arie.  What do you think?  I have very few people that watch the show that I teach with (what is wrong with them??) so I need my blogging buddies to come through on this one.  My friends all look at me like I am crazy when I start talking about it........................

2.  Sweets (any)
I seriously cannot go ONE day without eating ice cream, chocolate, or some other sweet treat.  Almost every night I have a bowl of ice cream.  I don't understand how people that like sweets can have so much willpower to resist them.  Kudos to you if you can resist!  It doesn't count if you don't like them.

3.  Good Reads for Pleasure
I love books and read a lot.  My guilty pleasure is when I read a book that I just cannot put down and have read some series that everyone has read (but, hey, you can't put them down!).  My favorites are: Harry Potter, Twilight, and Fifty Shades.  I could read a Harry Potter book in a day or two before kids and I recently read Fifty Shades (all three) on my spring break.  I can read in the car and we drove 14 hours each way to North Carolina so I was engrossed the whole way!!

4.  Blogging
Blogging is still so new to me that it feels like a guilty pleasure recently.  Every night (and kids' nap time too) I have been blog stalking and working on my own blog.  I have been so inspired but it sure does eat up a lot of time!!

What is your guilty pleasure?  Link up!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Math Book Linky

Well, I headed over to Amanda's page at One Teacher's Take and was reading about her knee surgery as well as some math book recommendations when I saw a blog hop.  I quickly jumped on the bandwagon (I am still new to this blog hopping thing) and then I realized the blog hop was for writing about your favorite math book:

This is a linky party from Diana at the Math Coach's Corner.  Anyway, when I started thinking about it, I could not pinpoint one math book that was the best I ever read.  I absolutely LOVE math and taught 6th grade math (we were departmentalized) for 8 years before going to 4th grade.  I always loved math in school and I share that passion with my students using various resources pulled from everywhere.  Since I couldn't think of one particular "book" that blew my mind, I started thinking about resources I love to use.  One resource that always stood out was Hands-On-Equations.  

No, that is not me in the picture.  It is the creator of Hands-On-Equations, Dr. Borenson.  Here is a nice blog link to a description of the program:

I used this with my 6th graders when learning how to solve equations and it was amazing!!  They really got a grasp of what solving equations means and it was wonderful for the students who thrived when using manipulatives.  With the way the curriculum is headed, I am sure 4th graders will be solving multi-step equations too.  Actually, some of the test samplers for next year could be solved with a two-step equation and students are expected to use variables.  Bring it on!  

Foursquare Exterior Big Porch Redo...

This is my second post sharing the journey we have had remodeling our 1916 American Foursquare home in New York.  We absolutely fell in love with the large front porch on our home.  The size was great but the blue rug was not so pretty.  We decided to redo the floor and found that 2x4's were holding up the porch!

 The columns needed work too and you can see the lovely blue carpet here...

So the demolition began...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Classroom Pet Without the Mess?

Well, after my first week of blogging, I really wanted to link up with 4th Grade Frolics Monday Made It, however, I have been too busy blog stalking!  Having a 2-year old and 5-year old to chase around doesn't help matters either.  I did buy my owl fabric today for a table skirt and coordinating colors to make for the window valances.  I went to my classroom and measured a bunch of things looking for ideas based on all the great ideas I have read from everyone!!  So, while I was in my classroom, I took pictures of our class pet, Lilly:

She has been the 4th grade class pet for four years going on number five!  I know she shares the name of my daughter but my class four years ago came up with a bunch of names and voted on it.  I love it (of course) and thought it fits with the frog theme anyway:)

I hesitated sharing my little class pet with the blogging world because I always think the things I do are so boring and mediocre compared to the AWESOME ideas I see from all my fellow bloggers.  Then, I thought....."There are some teachers out there somewhere that might get inspiration from my little class pet," so I went for it!

She travels in a bag with a journal and students sign her out on a calendar I have posted in my room.  I thought Lilly or the journal would probably end up lost or ruined and she has lasted!!  The journal is still surprisingly in great shape after four years and I will be sad when I have to get a new one.  It is so fun for the students to look back at several years of entries when they take her home.

Lilly started with one skirt four years ago and slowly students added clothes to her bag and made things for her:

It is so cute watching how excited students get to take her home and PLAY...kids being kids even at age ten.  I LOVE it!!  Students are supposed to free write in Lilly's journal.  They write their name, date the entry, and then describe whatever they did with Lilly.  As I have been reading the Daily 5, this seems more along the lines of the free choice students have when working with writing.  Students ENJOY writing in this journal because they are writing about what they choose, even though they are doing it at "home".  Many students also include pictures of their travels with Lilly:

As with any activity, there are always those couple students who are reluctant to take part.  I made sure everyone signed up for at least one overnight with Lilly this year.  In the past, I didn't really monitor it.  Students always share their travels with the class when they return with Lilly and I felt it was good practice for public speaking.  It should be something they are comfortable sharing too.  So, here is an entry from one of my reluctant students that I had to strongly encourage to take Lilly home:

At least it is something:)  So, if you are reading this, please share any ideas or similar stories you have regarding a traveling class pet.  "Real" pets scare me (not literally, but the maintenance, mess, etc. scares me!) but I would love to hear your story.  Thanks so much!!

Giveaways to Mention!!

There are two fantastic giveaways that I want to blog about so I can have a better chance of winning!!  I love their blogs too, so check them out!
Fourth Grade Fanatics is having a 100 Follower Giveaway.  She is giving away a Thirty-One organizational tote!
Forkin 4th is having a 30 follower giveaway!  She is giving away a Sunflower unit that looks so awesome!
Good luck everyone!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

WOW!! People are noticing MY blog!

wow...I can't believe people are noticing my little blog that I just began!  Everyone has been so helpful and friendly.  I LOVE this blogging community!  This morning I woke up and found that two fellow bloggers gave me blogger awards that I can proudly post on my blog!

Thank you to Crystal from Ms. Jones' Junction and Jessica at Fabulous and Fun 4th Graders for the Versatile Blogger Award!!  Check out their great blogs!

So now here are the requirements for the Versatile award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Thanks to Ms. Jones' Junction and Fabulous and Fun 4th Graders!

2. Include a link to their site. (see above)      

3. Include the image award on your blog.

4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
  • I have a HUGE sweet tooth and could eat only sweets all day!
  • I started a kickboxing/MMA class for women 2x a week last fall and I am totally addicted!  It is a great stress relief kicking and punching things:)
  • My guilty pleasure is never missing a Bachelor/Bachelorette episode (well, I DVR).
  • I love to bake and my husband loves to cook.  We make a great team!
  • I always have had some type of "job" every summer even after having kids.  My "job" for the past eight years is lifeguarding at the outdoor pool 2 blocks from our home.  I teach wee woozles where my 2 year old son swims with me, one American Red Cross lesson, and aquasize classes.  It is only 5 hours a week but it keeps me on a little schedule.  I love schedules!
  • I thank God for everything wonderful in my life.  I am blessed with wonderful family and friends!!  My two children teach me something new everyday and make me a better teacher.
  • Fall is my favorite season because I love the start of a new school year, fall in NY is beautiful (I hate the heat and humidity), my favorite team (BILLS!!) and sport is on every weekend, and all the new seasons of great TV begin again!!

5. Nominate other blogs for the award.
4.  Learning's a Hoot (this is different than the one above:)

6. When nominating include a link to their site.

7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

Next, thank you to Jessica at Fabulous and Fun 4th Graders for the Liebster Blogger Award!!  Check out her awesome blog!

This award is named for the German word "Liebster," which translates to "beloved" or "favourite", and is given to "new, up and coming blogger."

Here are the rules:
1.  Link back to the person who gave it to you
2. Post the award to your blog.
3.  Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers
4.  Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

I am giving the award to:

Check out all their blogs.  They are super!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Classroom Theme: The Ever So Popular OWLS!

All of this blog stalking reading has inspired me to do another first.......try to make a "theme" for my classroom!!  I am super excited!  I am linking up with Surfin Through Second for this linky party:

So, I know the owl theme is everywhere right now and really popular, but it is SO cute!
Don't you agree?  I might as well choose something that I find just adorable for my little theme
and I hope my fourth graders will like it too.  I want to make my classroom more "homey"
and I think this will do the trick.  I just ordered a bunch of supplies like these cute owl cutouts from Carson Dellosa:
I really liked this classroom door on Pinterest and will use it as my inspiration:

I want to make a valance for a small glass block window in my room and two more curtains (if the fire code guys will let me) for two of the windows that are not the fire escape window.  I like this fabric and am going to try to find it at a fabric store this weekend:

Also, I like the idea of adding some owl wall decor to my reading area and just purchased this decal!!

I purchased some owl themed paper for sending home notes:

I like the acronym O.W.L. (Outstanding Well-Behaved Learners) that I saw at Susan's blog, Learning Is a Hoot!  One more purchase I am going to make is some of these bins with lids from Lakeshore:

I have some towers that fit four bins and they could use an update.  I like the colored bins because I am going to make labels for them using my cricut and some cute owl stickers from Carson Dellosa to match my theme.  The clear bins are nice because you can see inside them, but I am just a little type A and I don't like it when crayons or other materials mark up the clear sides and then it just looks messy to me.  The solid colors look nice and uniform for my taste:)  The bins are nice too because I will often take a bin out and move it where I need it in the room whereas storage units with drawers are more difficult to take out and move around the room.  

I will take pictures of my room as I start to set it up and post later.  It won't be nearly as inspiring as what I have seen from all you fellow bloggers, but I will post regardless because it will be an improvement.  We New Yorkers don't start until after Labor Day so I have more time left than some of you to get ready:)  If you are feeling a pang of jealousy, don't worry......I feel it every year when my southern friends are done come June and I still have a month left:)  Until next time, happy blogging!!!

My VERY FIRST Currently:)

Here is my very first "Currently" as I am very new to blogging!  I hope I can get it to work and manage to follow the rules:)  I absolutely live the blog, Oh Boy! Fourth Grade!  So here is my currently:

Yay!!  I think I did it!  More about more "reads" choices:
1.  I LOVE to read for enjoyment (blogging has been taking over my reading time the past 2 weeks).  It is difficult to choose an all-time favorite book but I usually go back to my favorite childhood book series.  I love this series and all it represents.  It reminds me of the time when I really started to take off with enjoying reading and getting in trouble for never being able to put a book down:)

2.  I have my Step-Up manual easily accessible at all times and am constantly looking for refreshers and templates.  Fourth graders jump leaps and bounds in the writing category from third grade and this program makes it manageable for me and my students on all different levels.

Now that I think I was successful linking up, I am off to comment on the two posts before mine:)
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wild About Teaching Giveaway!

Lacey at Wild About Teaching is having a massive giveaway to celebrate 500 followers!  Check it out!