Thursday, October 30, 2014

Student Self Evaluations-Getting Ready for Conferences

Time is flying by and many of you are getting ready for Parent-Teacher Conferences. As a teacher, I had a love/hate relationship with conferences. I loved being able to share with the parents what was going on in their child's life. I loved the insight I gained from the parents when we met together.

I hated the long nights, teaching all day, meeting all night, and then teaching the next day again...It made for a very long week leading up to Thanksgiving. To make things easier I created a Student Self Assessment.(Free in my TPT store.)

I created this form to help students evaluate themselves and to give me a starting point for conferences. We all know some conferences are easier than others to hold. Having students share what they need to work on in their own words was a great way for me to get started. It is amazing, because most of the time the students knew the exact thing they needed to work on, and parents were more perceptive to anything "negative" because it was their child's idea.

 What do you do to get ready for conferences? What does your conference schedule look like?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Teaching Children about September 11th.

For many of us, September 11th is a day that causes us all to stop and remember. We trade stories about where we were when we heard the news and morn the losses that happened that day. Many of our students weren't alive for 9/11, either that or they were too young to remember. That makes this topic something important to discuss with our students. Below is my post from last year sharing what I did to teach my students about 9/11.

To start this conversation I ask my kiddos to tell me what they know about 9/11. We listen and talk. As the conversation turns into more questions than facts I play a video from BrainPOP.
The video is normally the featured video on Sept. 11th, so even if you don't have a BrainPop subscription you can still show the video for free.

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey
After the video the kids and I read the story Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey. The students and I talk about the book, and how normal people became heroes that day. Fair warning to read it first before you read it to your kids...I get choked up every year.

September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right
Then we read September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right. This book was written by a first grade class. It shares how the students knew everything would be okay. Many of you know that I am in a private school, so I am able to share with the kids that we can trust in God when bad things like this happen. I remind them that it isn't a surprise to God, and that even though we don't know why He allows bad things to happen we can trust that He will help us through it. It's a good lesson for me to remember too.

How do you explain 9/11 to your students? What are your favorite activities to do with your kiddos to help them deal with such a heavy topic?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September Currently

It's September already...where has the time gone? I hope those of you that have started back to school are enjoying your new classes. It is so weird for me to not be in the classroom this year. I'm thankful to be home with my daughter, and don't regret my decision at all, but it is weird to not be teaching each day. Here's a few new pictures...sorry, but I'm a proud mom.
2 weeks old

8 weeks old (yesterday)

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for September's Currently.

Since my schedule is crazy now with a newborn I have started watching shows via Netflix. I'm currently rewatching Bones.

I'm loving being a mom and my daughter is such a good baby. I really can't complain, but I am tired, and so is my poor husband. I at least can take a quick nap during the day, my poor man has to get up and head to work. He is exhausted right now, so I think we are going to let him sleep in this weekend. I know once Abigail sleeps for longer chunks at night I'll have more energy to get back to blogging and my TPT projects.

I love to travel, we have a Disney Cruise booked for December (it was booked before we found out we were pregnant) so we will be taking a four almost five month old on a cruise. Any tips for flying/traveling with a baby would be helpful! Ireland and Italy are two places that I want to go...they are on the bucket list.

What are you Currently up to?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Speical Delivery-Baby girl has arrived!

Happy Wednesday friends! Time has flown by, and I now have a two week old baby girl! Abigail and I are doing very well. She is such a good baby, we are very blessed to have her.

She arrived on July 9th, 2014 at 2:03 pm weighing 6 pounds 1 ounce and measuring 19 3/4 inches long.

 That means that Laura had the closest guess to her actual birth date and she is able to pick out any item from my TPT store. Laura, be on the lookout for an e-mail from me! Thanks to those of you that played!

Once baby girl and I get into a routine my posts will be more teaching related. Thanks for celebrating with me for now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Let's Play a Little Game...

I'm 37 week pregnant today...and I am sorry for you, my blog readers, but I have baby on the brain right now. Instead of fighting it, I thought you could embrace it with me by playing a little game.

My due date is July 29th. The doctors have said that they will not let me have baby girl late, due to the health stuff they have been watching us for, but they haven't set an induction date yet. So the question is...

When will Abigail arrive?

How to play: In the comments section of this post, leave the date you think Abigail will arrive. The person with the closest date or correct date will win any item (excluding bundles) from my TPT store. If more than one person picks the correct date they will all win an item from my store. You can only pick one date...

Happy guessing! Right now your guess is as good as mine!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July-Giveaway Winner Announced

Happy 4th of July everyone! It is a rainy day here in PA due to Hurricane Arthur churning off the coast, but I'm so thankful for what this day represents and to have my husband home today.

I am happy to announce the winners of the Simulation Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations Ursula and Elizabeth! Please check your e-mail for an e-mail from me so you can pick your prizes!

Just a reminder, if anyone has an simulation suggestions for what I should make next I'd appreciate them. If I use your idea (and you are the first to suggest it) you will receive a free copy when it is finished!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tried it Tuesday/Wednesday-Zoo Design

While I was on my unintentional blogging break, I was not allowed to work the second to last week of school, and I was put on "light duty" at school for the last week. That means that I was allowed to go in for a few hours each day, but that was it. While my body and baby needed me to be on light duty...that meant that I needed to to make sup plans for at least half a day (some days all day) for the last two weeks of school.

It isn't the easiest thing to come up with plans that will keep the kids engaged and focused. While I was picking out things for my kiddos to do I stumbled across a wonderful project that Matt from Digital: Divide and Conquer had shared with me earlier in the year, Zoo Design: Area and Perimeter.
I had already taught my students how to find area and perimeter of polygons earlier this year, so I was able to copy the pages in the packet, as well as the directions for the sub, and leave it in a folder for them to do one morning. I came in after the students had been working on this for a little while. The students were still busy working, and enjoying the activity.
Since it was the last week of school, I wasn't planning on grading this activity so I let the students work with a partner if they wanted to. It was great to see them enjoying and reviewing their skills so close to the end of the school year. I wish I had taken pictures of the project, but totally forgot! If you are looking for a fun, engaging, and differentiated project for your kiddos to do to practice area and perimeter this is just what you need!
What activities/projects do you use to end the year? Looking for some more great things that people have tried? Check out Holly's blog for Tried it Tuesday!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!