Archives for 2015
It has been so long since I linked up with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade! I think I have really neglected my little blog lately, but one of my New Year’s Resolutions has been to work on blogging at least once a week. So here goes!
So, what have I been up to? Well, currently…
I am LISTENING to The Blacklist on TV. I love that show! If you don’t watch it, you should. It has a great storyline and tons of action. I love James Spader who was previously on Boston Legal. It’s a more serious role, but he is a fantastic actor.
I am LOVING my new Alienware laptop. I bought it as a Christmas present to myself, and I have never liked any computer I have ever owned as much as this one. It’s a Powerhouse! Alienware is now owned by Dell Computers. It is really a gaming computer and has tons of RAM and is made for heavy graphics. My computer engineer son recommended it because I like to have about three PowerPoints, Adobe Pro, and four webpages open at the same time. This computer can handle it and never lock up, and it is as fast as lightening! It’s a heavy laptop, and would be a little cumbersome to take with you everywhere, and the battery doesn’t last long, but I have a little podium I put it on in my den, and I keep the battery plugged in all the time. That way I can work on a product when the hubs and I are in the den watching TV and I don’t have to go into my office (which he hates for me to do).
I am THINKING about doing laundry. Sunday is laundry day at my house. I had better get up off my patootie and put a load in. I hate doing laundry. I don’t mind putting the clothes in the washer or dryer, but I hate having to fold and hang everything up! Is that crazy or what? It’s just such a mindless activity, and I always procrastinate with the laundry. Sigh…
I am WANTING to learn Photoshop. I signed up for Adobe Creative Cloud almost a year ago. I love it! I have access to every Adobe program including Photoshop, Adobe Pro, Illustrator, Lightroom, etc. The problem is, the only one I really know how to use is Adobe Pro! I played around with Photoshop, but I couldn’t figure out how to do anything with it, so I bought a book last week on Photoshop, and I am going to start going through it to hopefully learn some new tips and tricks when working with graphics. I love to draw, and I have really wanted to learn how to draw a picture and then scan it into Photoshop to color it and make it look great. We’ll see how it works! I do believe you can teach an old dog new tricks, so I am up for the challenge!
I am NEEDING to get started on gathering all my paperwork for taxes. I am a huge procrastinator on this one. I started going through emails to get receipts for things I have purchased. Luckily TpT has a yearly printout of all my purchases, so I don’t have to go through PayPal and add everything up. When I saw how much I spent, I almost fainted, but hey, I’ve got clipart I will use for years, so I look at it as an investment.
My PAGEANT TITLE would be MS. Dose of Reality. I believe in dreams, and I am certainly somewhat of a dreamer, but I am also a realist. I tend to know my limits and set realistic goals. Many people think realists are pessimists, but I vehemently disagree! I don’t always think the worst will happen, but when I am in difficult situation, I tend to look at things realistically – not what is the worst, but realistically what my options are and what the outcomes might be. Maybe that is why I never like to gamble when we go on a cruise or to Vegas. Yes, I might hit it rich, but realistically I know I will probably lose everything I gamble. I once won $160.00 on a slot machine and quit immediately. I wouldn’t gamble for the rest of the cruise. LOL Everyone else lost their entire gambling budget and I came home with $160.00 and bought a new outfit!
Well, that’s what’s CURRENTLY going on with me. Be sure to head over to Oh Boy Fourth Grade to see what everyone else is currently up to!
Remember to always… Keep ’em Thinking!
Hello everyone! I’m linking up with some of my blogging buddies for a Snow Much Fun Blog Hop, so I thought I’d do a post about snowflakes. What can be more fun than snowflakes?
I love teaching about anything having to do with snow. I guess part of the reason I enjoy it so much is because as a child growing up in Florida it NEVER snowed. I wanted to see snow so badly. When we moved to Montgomery, Alabama, I saw light snow flurries a couple of times, but it wasn’t until my junior year in college, that I saw a real snow. I was so excited. I built my first snowman, and some friends and I got trays from the dining hall and had a blast sitting on them and sliding down hills on campus.
In honor of all things snowy, I thought I’d share with you how to make crystal snowflakes. Kids love to make these, and besides that, they’re quick and easy to make in the classroom, and they require very few ingredients. So let’s get started!
You will need:
a wide mouthed glass jar
Borax crystals – you can find these in the laundry section of the grocery story
white pipe cleaners
a pencil or wooden dowel
blue food coloring (optional)
Step 1: Cut your pipe cleaner into three equal pieces. Connect them by overlapping and twisting them in the center. Don’t worry if they’re not exactly perfect, because they’re not always perfect in nature! Attach a string to the tip of one of the arms. Tie the string to a wooden dowel or pencil.
Step 2: Boil enough water to fill the jar. Next, pour 2-3 cups of boiling water into your jar. The amount of water you use will depend on the size of your jar. Add 3 tablespoons of Borax per cup of boiling water. Add one tablespoon at a time and stir to dissolve the Borax with each tablespoon you add. You can also add one drop of blue food coloring to each cup of water.
Step 3: Hang the snowflake in the middle of the jar. The pencil will rest across the top of the jar. You can turn the pencil to adjust the length of the string. You need to make sure the snowflake is fully covered by the Borax solution, but you do not want your snowflake to touch the sides or bottom of the jar! If you do this experiment first thing in the morning, your crystal snowflakes will have formed by the end of the school day. If you do it in the afternoon, leave your snowflake in the Borax solution overnight. You will be surprised by a beautiful crystal snowflake the next morning!
Of course, while snowflakes are fun to make. It’s important that we teach the students how snowflakes are formed in nature. I have a fun FREE PowerPoint that your students will love! It is written in simple language even first graders can understand.
Just click on the image to download your free copy!
That’s all I have to share with you today! Your next stop is Emily Nolan at Munchkins Inc.
Click on her button below to go to her post!
Enjoy the hop! I hope you have Snow Much Fun!
Several years ago, I read the book The Highly Engaged Classroom by Robert J. Marzano and Debra J. Pickering. I absolutely love this book! It is filled will tons of strategies to keep your students engaged in your lessons. One of the strategies they talk about is the use of humor and unusual information to pique your students’ interest.
I have used humor in my classroom for years. It has always been a way to help my students retain information. If you look, there are hundreds of books and videos which incorporate humor to make the content more memorable for students.
humor and social studies
When teaching social studies, one of my favorite resources to use is the Horrible Histories materials.
Your students will have a blast exploring this website! There are fun games and activities, horrible jokes, and quizzes and printables. There are over 20 Horrible Histories books now in print. One of my favorite ones is The Awful Egyptians. Ancient Egypt is a unit I have taught for over 20 years to my gifted students, and I have had several editions of this book. It’s always a favorite with the kiddos. They love all the disgusting facts about everyday life in ancient Egypt, especially the information about the mummification process.
There are several Horrible History videos on YouTube. One of my favorites from the Groovy Greeks book is the Spartan Parent Teacher Conference. I like to have my students create their own Horrible History videos in class. This is one of their favorite activities because they get to select unusual, gross and gruesome facts from a culture or historical period and present them in a humorous way.
humor and science
You can also use humor in your science and language arts classes. I especially like to add humor when we are studying animals. Two fun books I used when learning about animal adaptations were What If You Had Animal Teeth? and What If You Had Animal Hair? The follow up activities the students can do after reading these two books are fabulous!
Yolanda, over at Oceans of First Grade Fun has created some adorable activities to use with the What If You Had Animal Teeth book. Click here or the picture to go to the post!
Nancy over at First Grade Wow! has also created some great activities to go with the book. Click here or the picture to check out the post!
Groundhog Day is February 2nd, and I thought it was a great holiday to celebrate and to incorporate a little humor. Thus, Welcome to Groundhog Academy was born. This product includes a slide show which you show to your students to build background knowledge and get them excited about groundhogs, and a packet of activities for your students to complete. I love the slide show because it incorporates humor to keep the students engaged. Chuck, a groundhog, is hidden and asleep on every page, and the kiddos have a great time finding him. Chuck finally wakes up in time to take his final exam and graduate from Groundhog Academy. Here are a couple of the slides to give you an idea of how the slide show is set up. Click on the Welcome to Groundhog Academy picture to view the unit on my Teachers Pay Teachers page.
I’ve also included a number of fun activities to accompany the slideshow. Here is a sampling.
There are activities for students to read informational texts about skunks and porcupines and complete a checklist to see if they are eligible to attend Groundhog Academy. They can also complete a Groundhog Facts book and complete a survey of the predictions of the class to see how many classmates think the groundhog will see his shadow.
Other activities include a Fact and Opinion sort, a Do You Think a Groundhog Would Make a Good Pet? survey, creative writing activities, a Design Your Own Burrow activity and a fun Groundhog Craftivity where students complete an I Am Poem about the groundhog.
Click on the Groundhog Craftivity below to get a FREE copy of the craftivity directions and patterns.
Click here to see the unit at my Teachers Pay Teachers store and be sure to check out the preview to see even more of the activities and slides in this unit!
That’s all I have time for today! I hope you got some fun ideas on ways to incorporate humor into your lessons.