Friday, July 21, 2017

A Gaggle of Geese

A gaggle of geese = a bunch of geese.

A mischief of mice = a bunch of mice.

My son said something at dinner the other night that started the hamster wheel in my brain turning.  Before I knew it, I was writing a partner play about all the normal, silly and weird names for groups of animals (i.e. collective nouns). It's a rhyming, 2-page play and it's FREE, so go check it out!

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  
Now do you get the title of the play?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

What Would You Do With This? Part 2

Sooooooo, what did/do you think this is?
Hint: it was in the kitchen section of the store in which I bought it.

Here are two uses I came up with:
bracelet holder

iPhone stand

But here's what it actually is:

It's a trivet! 

If you've got something to share that you've found for WWYD (with this), please post it below!

What Would You Do With This?

So the other day I found this thing.  It was so cool.  I've never come across anything like it. I'm not sure how to describe it.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it but I do know I will find a use for it in my classroom!
This thing needs to be seen to be pondered. 



What on Earth do you think this is?  
But more importantly, how could this thingamabob be used in your classroom Leave your guesses and uses in the comments below and I'll fill you in on Monday.

My 4-year-old son has adopted it as his toy for the week that we're here in Bemidji, Minnesota on vacation.  It's been a key, a sword, a remote control and a pirate's treasure X.  And he's broken it once. . .but I fixed it!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday Apps #14

Apps make the world go round....well not quite, but they do make our mobile devices go.  I stumble upon apps, I find apps on Pinterest and Facebook and seek out apps on AppsGoneFree. 

Today I'd like to feature 

You Doodle

I recently worked on a project and was in need of some kind of paint and photoshop app.  So I surfed online and chose this one from a list of the 10 best.  I downloaded the free version and quickly played around with it to figure out how it works.  I soon discovered there were a few features that were only available by upgrading to the pro version.  Since most of my project was saved with this app, I didn't want to start over with another app so I shelled out $4.99 and upgraded.  I'm glad I did!  I absolutely love playing around with this program.  

My favorite things about this app are: the variety of backgrounds, the insert ability (photos and clipart) and the smudge tool!
The only thing I dislike and hope they add is a way to move around clipart, text, etc. after you've added it.  Currently you have to save it and once it's saved, it can't be changed.

Here are 3 slides I made recently as part of a contest to win a class set of laptops:

I can envision using this app in my classroom on our iPads and hopefully touch screen laptops I entered the contest for.  I used to do digital projects with students in our computer lab (using KidPix) but there's just not time anymore to "go down to the computer lab". . .the technology has to be IN the classroom and integrated into small learning groups.

I found this meme while surfing too, this kid is a classic so you might have seen him touting many things!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pocket Monsters

Did you know that the word 'Pokémon' means pocket monsters?

I remember waaaaaay back in the late 90's that these animated creatures took the world by storm.  That was the start of my teaching career and a little boy named John, in my very first class, taught himself to read in English (because I taught at a French immersion school and there was no English in our 2nd grade classroom) by studying the Pokémon poster that was hanging on a wall in his bedroom.  Then the craze faded. . . .and was back with a vengeance in the summer of 2016 with the Pokémon Go app.  This reignited the dormant passion to 'collect' all these different little creatures. It ignited my curiosity as to "what in the heck are Pokémon anyway?!"

The story behind the creation is really neat!  Creator Satoshi Hajiri was fascinated with bugs when he was a kid and turned that passion into "Pokémon".  

My students walked into the 2016-2017 school year all abuzz about Pokémon and I scrounged around for some books to satisfy their passion and curiosity.  To meet that need, I also started creating partner and trio plays based on the characters, game and app to motivate students for "Read With Someone" time during our small reading groups.

I spent a lot of time researching various Pokémon characters and how to play the game.  I added a comprehension component to each play that is part of an overall reading mission for all the plays in this set.

It took me longer than anticipated to complete this new set of partner and trio plays due to the research (which was actually really fun) and switching grade levels this past year AND renewing my National Boards.  But it's done and I'm so excited to share it!

If you do download this pack and use the plays in your classroom, I would LOVE kid suggestions for which Pokémon should be part of Series #2!

Monday, May 29, 2017

School's Out and I'm Baaaaaaaaaaack!

I am officially freeeeeeeeeeee for the summer!
I am feeling giddy that tomorrow I don't have to go to work and can do whatever I want, when I want!  I'll most likely spend it working in my gardens and yard, running to Home Depot and maybe even taking a nap. . .

This year I switched grade levels (up to 2nd), renewed my National Boards in Literacy and had the largest class ever in my 17 years 
(and 90% of my boys were 'squirrels at a rave').

The last few weeks were CrAzY, with everything winding down, putting on a triathlon for kids in our city, creating and distributing our school's yearbook and being DJ for our annual end-of-the-year DJ party. . .all while my husband was in Japan. . .thank goodness my mother-in-law flew up to help me out!

But I LOVE all the FUN things I'm involved with at my school!  Time to have fun in the classroom and at school continues to dwindle and I've had enough so I'm bringing the FUN back in any big or little way I can.

Speaking of fun, have you read the book "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt?  HILARIOUS and clever!  I read it a few weeks back and as I was reading it I said out loud "This story would make a great Readers' Theater play." and everyone cheered.  So I whipped up a script and we performed it for parents in the music room with microphones and a black, velvet awesome!

Click on the image below to get it for FREE and use it with your class, your RTI group, your summer school class, etc.

If you are not yet done with your school year, my thoughts go out to you: