Monday, September 22, 2014

The Hungry Teacher Giveaway!

Hey teachers friends!

Do you know Mrs. Cahill over at the Hungry Teacher? She is celebrating her adorable new blog design and is hosting a great giveaway!  You could win $25 to TpT, her Back to School Packs, and my entire 5th Grade writing Units bundle.  What are you waiting for?  Go check it out!

Monday, September 15, 2014

$100 to TpT! Will You Win?

It's Monday!  Monday always comes so quickly.  Just like the end of our giveaway... less than 4 hours to go!!  Be sure to enter for your chance to win some great prizes... $100 to TpT, an adorable custom pencil by TallahasseeSunday, and fab products by some of my fave bloggers.

Seriously, you don't want to miss this one!

Back to today... I've had quite the Monday y'all.  And you know what Monday means on AppleSlices... Monday Letters!

Dear whoever scheduled a day of training and progress reports due the same day... Seriously?  Don't you realize sub plans and this teacher's cup now runneth over?  It was a 12 hour school day + Dominoes Delivery for sure. 

Dear bright pink paper airplane flying through the classroom... why are you in the air?  Shaped like an airplane?  During reading?  Where did you even come from?  Seriously?

Dear crisp cool weather... You were a much welcomed friend this weekend.  Add a few cups of tea, a scarf or two, and some boots.  I'm ready for you!

Dear Dominoes... Thank you for your gluten free pizza loaded with mushrooms, banana peppers, and onions.  You make me one happy eater! 

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Inspired by Elle & Co., Monday Letters is a weekly installment where I write four letters each week.  Two letters are to my classroom or are school related.  The other two are for anything else in my world during that week.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Place Value Decomposition in 4th Grade

Math, y'all, may be the death of me.  I am a writer.  I love teaching writing.  I get writing.  Lo and behold, I feel comfortable teaching it.  What I don't get however, is math.  And how to get deep-deep-deep-down there where my learners are developing a conceptual understanding.   I try.  I question.  I explain.  I have them explain, share, think, and question.  But in all honesty, I just don't feel like it's getting my mathematicians to the place they need to be.

We've been studying place value as 4th graders.  And although we've been using base ten blocks, place value cards, First to 1,000, and many other strategies, it just wasn't clicking like it needed to.  One of my sweet n' lows just had the most frustrated look during math.  And I felt horrible!  Then all of a sudden, I stumbled upon this gem online somewhere.  Originally I printed it out for my learners.  But I realized that three pages for each student + lots of cutting would take up far too much time for me.  And I wasn't about to cut it all out myself.  Aint nobody got time for that... So I moved to the next best thing, the Elmo, and cut out one set myself.  So simple.  Number cards, and 1's, 10's, 100's, 1,000's, and on and on- up to billion. 

We laid out our cards and I asked the big question... "So, what's the value of this 2?"  "My little one's hand shot up.  SHOT UP, y'all.  "Two thousand" she proudly shared.  And my day was made. 

Obviously I got ahead of myself with this picture- we still needed seven thousands.  But you get the gist!

This also helped reinforce the big idea that each place value to the left is TEN TIMES the previous number.  Which we had a rough time grasping. 

Maybe you're looking for someway to connect this concept with your kiddos too.  Or you want to review a bit.  Grab this simple, simple, simple activity here

Friday, September 12, 2014

Huge Milestone Giveaway!

Y'all- it is time to celebrate!!  I am SO excited to share with you that I have reached a new milestone.  To make the most of it, I have joined together with some amazing bloggers to host a great giveaway!!

You could win $100 to TpT, a beautifully custom painted pencil from TallahasseeSunday, and some AMAZING products from some of the top sellers on TpT!

Check it out and enter, below, friends!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11th in the Classroom

September 11th is a day we need to remember.  A day we cannot let be forgotten.  Unfortunately, many of the students we have in our classrooms, have no idea what happened that day.  It's challenging to find the perfect material to use in the classroom- but in my experience, students have SO many questions about this day.  They want to know why this happened, what has changed since, if this could happen again, and they have many misconceptions.  I mean, MANY misconceptions. 

A few years ago I stumbled across this great video by Nickelodeon News.  I had completely forgotten about it until my friend Mrs. Cahill e-mailed me about it! It is created for upper elementary kids and is very informative.  We watched it today but plan on re-watching it tomorrow after students have had a chance to chat more with their families and interview them about where they were when they heard about September 11th.

 Every other video I found had to be edited to remove material that wasn't very appropriate for students.  But luckily I knew this video would be parent & principal approved. What other resources have you used in your classroom with success? 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Letters

Well, it's been three whole weeks and we've been getting to know each other like crazy!  I am SO ready to get started with lessons, conferences, and guided groups.  BUT, I know that this time is precious and must not be rushed.  Building relationships and getting to know my learners (and them getting to know me) is invaluable.  We've practiced, modeled, reviewed, and discussed our routines to death and will continue creating our classroom community for another week or so (and then continue periodically throughout the year!).  What do you do in order to get to know your learners?

How I spent my airport time last weekend!  A teacher does what she has to do...
Dear 4th graders, thank you for responding with "railroads" and "with the pilgrims!" when I asked you "How did Native Americans get to North America".  Obviously I need to get caught up on my history!

Dear classroom floor, I'm sorry for all the desk rearranging and scuffed floors I caused you this week.  I feel like we're finally getting settled into a decent arrangement and I promise not to move desks around any more.  Well, not too much more.  I guess I can't promise. 

Dear football season, welcome back!!  I am so excited to see you again.  You fit into my weekend perfectly with all the grading I have on my agenda.  Hubby and I are both happy!

Dear hubby... thank you for picking up the slack when we come home to a missing garbage can, only to realize we need to set up the service and they won't bring us another one for two weeks.  You have lovingly taken our garbage to the dumpster every other night so that I don't have to worry about it with back to school madness.  You sure do know the way to my Acts-of-Service heart!

Inspired by Elle & Co., Monday Letters is a weekly installment where I write four letters each week.  Two letters are to my classroom or are school related.  The other two are for anything else in my world during that week.

Monday, September 1, 2014

August Currently!

It's Labor Day- quite possibly a teacher's all time favorite holiday, besides Christmas and Spring Break and Thansgiving...

But somehow Labor Day is just so perfectly timed.  Who couldn't use a little break before boosting into September?  {Speaking of the fact that it's September, I actually named my file Currently August because mentally I thought it was August... and I just realized that, well, it's not August anymore... while I was typing this...

BUT, it's September now.  And time for all things pumpkin, scarf, and boots!  Bring it on Fall :)

Hop on over to Farley's blog to check out this month's currently!

Listening... I'm on my way home to South Carolina from Seattle!!  I may be crazy to travel like this on a must needed rest weekend.  But when I studied abroad in Spain five years ago, I met some amazing friends.  And we all live all over the country and once or twice a year we meet up in someone's home-city and have a reunion.  This time it was Seattle!  I needed the laughs, perspective, and nature and feel reenergized and renewed heading back to the real world.  Thank you Delta Wifi for providing me with work time :)

Loving... Travel.  My hubby and I are travelers.  While he didn't make it to Seattle with me, we're always planning our next trip.  Seattle also reminded me how much I love to see new places.  Looks like we will need to start planning when I get home.  Life's too short not to see the world, right?

Thinking... About what else?  My teaching team is amazing and we collaborate frequently to plan for our week.  They save me so much time and effort!  I already had great ideas for the week when I went to check my school e-mail this morning.  Thank the Lord for great support!

Wanting... Some {I'm making up a word- I know} comfiness for my classroom!  We need a few chairs and pillows to spruce it up.  Right now it feels very... sterile?  Not the vibe I'm going for.  But funds are necessary for comfiness factors... so all in good time I suppose...

Needing... a dresser!  Enough with folding clothes on the floor!  I'm ready to be an adult!  Now the real question is, which comes first... the dresser or the comfiness?

3 Trips... All dreams of mine and places I plan/hope/need/beg to visit in the next five year!!  Has anyone ever done any of these??

Well, I'm off to read and take notes for the week!  We're devouring Frindle and loving discussions focusing on the power our words have!

Happy SHORT week!!