Wednesday, August 29, 2012

N.O.W. - Number of the Week

I've been trying to make some more centers and get creative with my computer skills! Therefore, I created a "Number of the Week" activity that could really be used for any grade with some editing.  I've realized that my class' number sense is weak as well as their basic math facts, which is why they are having difficulty with a lot of the function tables and rules that go along with them.

If they see the input number is 20 and the output number as 5, they are unable to figure out how they get from 20-->5.  When I look at it, I can easily see the rule being one of two things: subtract 15 or divide by 4. I was trying to think of a way I could practice this, without having a bunch of different activities to practice each skill individually.  Finally, I came up with the idea to do a "Number of the Week" which they could try on their own, and then on Friday, we could discuss it.  To give students more freedom with it, they could even choose the number.

 I feel like this will be a good way to challenge my higher level students as well as practice the fundamentals with my lower students by just giving each group a different number to use. I hope you find this freebie helpful! I'll let you know how it works as soon as I implement it into my own classroom. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My life/summer

Originally this post was far better, but since I am an amateur blogger and lost it, I'll do a quick version of it...

Where I Live in Baltimore (Federal Hill)
This picture was actually taken in Canton and I thought the view of the marina/harbor was beautiful!

View from Federal Hill

A treat from the Orioles game 
(Courtesy of Zach)

My Bedroom
Love the exposed brick in our house. It really gives the place some charm and a homey feeling that you don't always get in the city.

Our Kitchen

Home Sweet Home 
Long Valley, NJ
Good old happy valley!
The house I grew up in and where my parents still live 

 Last year was my first year in 4th grade and boy was it a challenging one! Not only did I have to move into my new classroom and set up within the matter of days, but I also broke my ankle right around MSA time and had to get surgery! It was the most challenging 8-10 weeks of my life! Being on crutches while teaching is NOT fun!  Below you can see the pins and metal rod that will forever be in my ankle to hold it in place.

 Normally my summers are spent babysitting/nannying, however this summer the family I usually sit for didn't need me to.  I just adore the family and the twin boys, who are now in second grade, are just adorable!

Since I wasn't really working this summer, I had plenty of time to spend at the pool, the beach, spending time  with family and friends, reading, relaxing, SHOPPING, and preparing for school.

I kicked off the summer at my brother's Columbia Business School Graduation in NYC where he earned his MBA

The whole family except my sister Nikki who was still in school at UMD (yes all of us kids were/are Terps)!

Congrats to my brother and his amazing girlfriend Jess!

 Merritt Pool where I spent a lot of my summer 

A little summer project: buy patio furniture, plant flowers, and spruce up the back patio

I can't sit still so crafts were a must with all my extra time this summer

Sara, Leah, and I at our normal Thursday girls night.
During the school year I become a hermit, but I'm going to try really hard to have a little bit of a social life this year.

Sara's family has a beach house in Ocean City, MD so we took the boat out there a few times and I pretended to be the captain. 

My boyfriend Zach and I

Zach's family has a shore house in Lavallette, NJ so a lot of weekends during the summer were spent there.

Sonia, Catherine, and Christina 
(Zach's sweet nieces and sister in law)


Zach's nephew Grant on his birthday at the beach in Lavallette, NJ

Beautiful sunset in Lavallette

The girlies on the paddle board

Happy 4th of July!

Lucy's Ready!

A Philly visit for Jessica's Surprise Birthday Party
(Zach's sister and her friend Jenn)

Zach, Jess, Jason, and Keith - Sibling Love!

A trip to North Carolina with my entire family along with my aunts, uncles, and cousins on my dad's side was definitely one to remember!

My AMAZING family 
Mike, Nikki (I call her Pooky), Dad, me, and Mom
Nikki and I

My Aunt Toni who is an absolute angel!

And one with my Uncle Lou

Dad with his girls

Love my brother and sister!

My cousin Greg, my brother Mike, and my cousin Lou.
Oh and my Uncle Joe photo bombing

We went to my cousin's gym and the pool at the gym was unreal! Everything seems bigger and better in North Carolina

My cute cousins, Joseph and Marissa waiting patiently for adult swim to end 

And the obsession with my lil cousin begins! We became SO close during this trip.  I rarely get to see him and he just lights up my life. I literally spent the entire trip with him and on cloud 9. 

How can you not love that face?!

Is he not the most precious thing you've ever seen?

 I could just eat him up! Okay okay, I'm done.

All in all, it was a wonderful summer.  Not making/saving money over the summer is not a smart move considering living on a teacher's salary with my shopping addiction is not possible, however, I truly think I needed this type of summer after my crazy year last year.

I am more than excited and refreshed! Ready to start the school year strong!

Lost my first blog post...HELP!

I'm devastated and discouraged after realizing that my first blog post about me and my summer is no longer there. I have noooo idea what happened to it and it took me forever to do. Okay, I'm done venting, but seriously HELP!

Parent Communication

As a way to increase parent communication in a secure and easy fashion, I decided to use Reminder 101. I originally saw something about it on Pinterest (of course) and thought it looked like a wonderful idea to remind parents of important assignments or due dates without giving out my cell phone number or having to call each individual. 

 The document below shows the directions specific to my class, but if you checkout the website, you can set it up for your own classroom!

iPhone Apps

I'm addicted to my iPhone and even have a folder dedicated to education related apps, so I figured I would share them with everyone in case you're interested!

After going to the common core training and learning a lot of great info about STEM, I was inspired to find many STEM related websites/apps, and quick/easy hands on activities.

Below you will see some of the apps I've downloaded and a few links I found with some great ideas!

Science experiments

Candy experiments

Leak proof bag experiment

Lava lamps

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Life in First

Please check out my friend Elaine's blog! She's an amazing first grade teacher at my school and if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have gotten the courage to start up my blog!

Back to School Night

Our "back to school night" is right around the corner. It will be September 6th at 6 pm and I'm trying to get ahead and think of some ideas for how to prepare. In the past I've put out favor for parents and visitors. I got the idea from another blogger and it turned out great! I printed and laminated popcorn labels that said "thanks for popping in" and taped them to bags of popcorn. It was a nice welcome treat and I think I will do it again this year.

I also took pictures of the student's silhouette and had them write a brief description of themselves. Then I hung the pictures on a string across the room with clothes pins and had parents try to pick out their child. This is also something I'm hoping to do again this year!