September 30, 2012

Facebook Timeline Tutorial

Hi friends! There is something about fall and halloween that makes me so happy. To celebrate, I wanted to change my Facebook timeline on my personal page. Follow these steps below to customize your own timeline photo, remember, this is just one idea. The possibilities are endless,,,,

First, open a blank powerpoint presentation.

Next, add a rectangular box and change the size to 2.8 by 8 inches

Then, I like to add another box on top. In my example, this box is 2.3 by 7.5 

After you get those the way you like them, add some clip art, text, or photos. *tip* do not put your words or design too close to the left bottom. This is where your profile picture goes!

Once the design looks good to you, highlight all the pieces, right-click and group. It is very important that all the pieces are grouped together. 

After you've grouped all the pieces together, right click and choose, save as pictures. Name and save the file somewhere you'll remember (I like to save to my desktop)

Finally, go to your facebook page and hoover your mouse over your current timeline pic. Click on the "change cover" button that shows up and select upload from computer. Add you new photo and you're done!!

I made mine using these adorable graphics from My Cute Graphics and the awesome free fonts from Teaching Maddeness

Here is the one on my blog's facebook page but I have a feeling I will be changing it alot! Speaking of my blog's facebook page, I would love to have you "like" me!! I plan to share great resources there, ask questions and even do some special giveaways just for my facebook fans! So what are you waiting for? Click on over and like me already!!!

Edited to link up with Fern for her Thursday Tech Tips with Teachers linky!
Fern Smith's Thursday's Tech Tips for Teachers

September 19, 2012

My new look!

All summer I had been thinking about getting a new look for my blog. I loved my template but I had seen it on several other blogs and really wanted one that was just mine! When I saw the fabulous blogs Christi was creating over at her site,

Design by Christi
I knew I wanted her to make one for me! If you haven't been to her teacher blog yet, Ms. Fultz's Corner, you need to hop over there too, it's one of my favorites!

Christi was very easy to work with and fast too! I love my new look and it's all mine!

Along with the new blog look, I wanted to start a Facebook page. Click my cute little Facebook link over on the top right to check out the new page. Go on and "like" me, you know you want too!!! HA

September 17, 2012

Manic Monday: Freedom Week

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
It feels like forever since I've linked up with Classroom Freebies for Manic Monday. Today I wanted to share my non-fiction organizer to help while celebrating Freedom Week or Constitution day. For any of you that are planning to show Ssssshhhh, We're watching the Constitution.. here you go!
Click here to get your copy

I love having my kids work on these during movies because it holds them accountable which forces them to listen rather than play with crap stuff inside their desks. Let me know if you plan to use it... I love comments!!

September 12, 2012

Lovin' me some technology!

Have you ever visited I puffy heart love this website. It is completely free and the kids love it. As a teacher you just create an account, add your student names and that's it. The program totally customizes itself to each student's needs. I used it for half a year last year and most of my students made huge gains in their fact proficiency. This "program" can be done at home, school or both. I have access to 4 laptops daily. My kids rotate through so each gets to use the program 3 - 4 times per week. I encourage all of them to use it nightly at home as well, but some of my friends don't have internet access. Look how easy this is!
1. Go here to sign up

2. Add your class. I suggest creating two classes if you are departmentalized! After you add your class names, you can print the parent letters and individual student pins! I tell all my kids to keep their parent letter on their fridge to refer to when trying to sign on from home.

3. I also create an account for myself  so I can model how to use the program correctly. Plus, I was just plain curious last year when I first found it! All students start with a placement quiz. The program then knows which facts are memorized, which are almost memorized and which ones are unknown for that student. 

4. Students see this screen. The ones with a smiley face are known facts, ones with an "x" were missed and the blank ones were not tested. If a student misses a problem (like I did here to model for the kids) the program gives that problem over and over again. Also, if a child answer too slowly or incorrectly, the answer appears in grey and the kids have to type the answer before being moved on!

5. The teacher can view graphs of their progress (or lack there of) which I love for RTI data. 

6. This is another teacher view. You can see the days they practiced, and how they did. There are color codes and symbols in the teacher view to give more detailed information about the student's performance. 

Did I mention this totally differentiated program is free? I love it because the kids are only working to beat themselves and they don't need to wait on anyone else. The program begins with addition as a default but you can change it to subtraction, multiplication or division if you'd prefer. Last year I had a friend pass all the levels quickly (at 5 seconds per problem) so I reset it for him at 3 seconds a problem, he loved the challenge and I loved being able to provide that for him without being stressed about one more thing on my plate! 

Here is a little math certificate to give your friends when they've mastered their facts! 

Do you use Xtramath? How do you manage it? Are you going to try it for your friends?? Let me know, I could use some comment love. Thanks,

September 10, 2012

Best Pencil Sharpener Ever!!

So, I was seeing these pencil sharpeners all over bloggy land and I had to check it out myself! You can go ahead and believe the hype!! This thing is awesome... quiet, easy to use, and the pencils get super sharp! My third graders were amazed today when I showed them how to use it. Then I had a problem, kids wanted to break their pencils so they could sharpen them again. HA! Here is one of my friends trying it out for the first time. I wish I didn't have to "blur" him.. his expressions were priceless!

It even sharpens those stupid beautiful, glittery plastic ones! So, I am going to call him Mr. Green (super original) and let him live near my guided reading table! Go on, get one... you won't be sorry! With this quiet guy, I may even change my rule about NO sharpening after the bell. Maybe. 

September 8, 2012

Loving Science and Interactive Notebooks

I am loving science so far this year! The kids really enjoy it and I feel like it is one part of our day were we can still have some fun (is that a dirty word in education?) Anyway, for the last 2 years I have used an interactive notebook for math and science. This year I am going to do a reader's/writer's notebook as well! I have gotten better each year at using the notebooks and finding ways for the kids to really interact with the material.
At the beginning of the year we go over science safety, scientific tools and the scientific method. I didn't have anything I really loved for scientific tools, so I created a unit! I used it on Friday with my class and they LOVED it. We had some great predictions about what different tools were called or what they did. My class especially loved making the toolbox to include in their notebook. Check it out in my TpT store if you are interested.

                                                       an example of the kit being used

                           I included 2 different versions. One where the picture, word, and definition were already matched up so students could just cut and glue their cards to add to their kits, and the other version where everything is mixed up so they have to figure out which pieces go together.  I also included several ideas of how to use the pack as a whole class or as a station!

Do you use interactive notebooks? I would love to hear about them! I plan to post a lot this year about how we are using them in third grade... I know it always helps me to see other examples so I hope I can do that for other teachers as well. Have a great weekend,

Update: Click here to see how my friend Krista from Stellar Studnets used this product in her classroom!

September 5, 2012

Currently and a Freebie

I am hooking up with Farley for this month's currently. 

I have the most wonderful husband (I need to remind my self of this at times!) He gives the kids a bath every night so that I can blog, read blogs, pin, grade, etc... He does the laundry, and cleans the bathrooms too. I am spoiled, right?

I am feeling SO overwhelmed with school right now. It has been 4 years since I have taught the ELA block and this year I am self contained. Planning for every subject is taking hours and I am just not comfortable planning for ELA yet, I am hoping it will become easier as I go. This is only the second week. I also put a lot of pressure on myself to create items for my classroom so there is always a to do list a mile long... I need to be okay with not reinventing the wheel!!! Another stressor is this blog. I am so proud of it and I hate the fact that I am going to need to change the name because I am back to teaching third. What do you think about Kickin' it with Class?

I was loving having a 3 day weekend. Need I say more?

My funk. Hmmm. I am working hard to shake it and love being self contained for all the perks it offers but right now I am missing my teaching partner and I am looking around ready to switch classes every day around 2:30. HA

Okay, have y'all seen this pin for apple dip? I made it for the first day of school for my kids' teachers. It is AH-mazing. I am talking eat by the spoonful good. Make it, you won't be sorry. It was so good I had to make another batch this weekend. You don't need the fancy containers, when I made it for myself I just put the cream cheese caramel mixture in the bottom of a pie plate. Topped it with the remaining caramel and added the Heath bits. So YUM!

Okay, if you are still reading. Here is your freebie. Our third graders always come to us not knowing how to "make 10" quickly. This is such an important skill for number sense and mental math. We play lots of games with decks of cards but I wanted a dice game. Here is a solution for anyone who does not own a 10-sided die. Kids roll, figure out what number they need to add to make 10 and roll again. Simple practice. Click the picture to get your copy!