Okay, so no creations tonight, but I have lots of pictures. I know this sounds crazy, but I find myself thinking now, "Oh, I have to take a picture of that for my blog!" or "Oh, I hope I remember that tonight!" For someone that was completely against blogging, I have to say, it's so much fun now. I love getting all the sweet comments and getting to share things I find or ideas I have. I feel like every night I get the opportunity to hang out with the best of the best when I read your blogs. You may not realize it, but I am beginning to realize that bloggers are the celebrities of the teaching world.
Anyway, first of all, I found a linky party a few days ago about what's on your desk. I need to find it again, so I can link up to it, but for now, I'll just share with you guys. Here are three pictures of my desk area. As usual, my lesson plan book is covered with so much stuff I can't see it. The first picture is of my entire desk. The second picture is on the right of my desk.
At the beginning of the year, I made a frame and I keep quotes, Bible verses, etc. on the frame to read when I may be having a rough day. This quote says, "If I've lost sight of the people for whom I spend myself, then I have entirely forgotten the heart of why I do what I do." I love that quote because it is my constant reminder that teaching isn't about the pile of papers or all the meetings, curriculum, etc. It is about my kids and serving them to the best of my ability. If I forget I am there for them, then I have lost sight of why I'm there.
I also have a HUGE container of Sharpies, a Coke, notepads, and your typical teacher stuff. I thought you guys would get a kick out of the picture under the remote. It reminds me of clip art, but one of my little girls drew it for me :) It will soon be added to my wall of notes, drawings, and sweet cards.
On the other side of my desk is my computer, my little angel, new notepads from the Target $1 section, and a microphone. My angel is an angel of the heart and is for those that love well and are well loved. A sweet friend of mine gave it to me several years ago and it always makes me smile. I have to say, it's my favorite angel because I've been given three of them by completely different people.
I wanted to mention the microphone because I have a funny story about it. My kiddos were really loud one day last week and I remembered seeing a pin on Pinterest with balls that bounce when the volume goes up. I told them I'd bring a microphone and we'd let them use it to monitor their noise level. Well, day after day after day I kept forgetting. I finally remembered yesterday. The kids couldn't wait for me to plug it up and us give it a shot. Well, let me tell you - it didn't do a thing. The microphone worked and the balls would bounce if you blew in it, but unless your mouth was right up to it, it wouldn't work. Apparently, I need to learn a little more about microphones - oops!!!
So, a few weeks ago I mentioned these awesome journals. They were called grateful journals. Well, I didn't realize this at the time, but you can actually buy a grateful journal already pre-made. I LOVE IT ALL WITH MONIKA WRIGHT makes them and sells them on ETSY. I just saw the cover and thought it seemed like a good idea. Around the same time, I found this website called LIL BLUE BOO that has all sorts of cool crafts and one of them was remaking a composition notebook. So, this week (two weeks after I mentioned it) I finished my grateful journal. Here's a picture of it. Once I have more inside, I'll try to remember to show pictures of it. Each month, I want to add quotes, verses, things I'm grateful for, etc. It really wasn't hard to make. It was just time consuming, so if you don't have time, then definitely check out Monika's site.
Now, here's a tech hint that I thought I'd show you guys. If you are creating anything and save it as a PDF, buy anything from TPT, or even download freebies from me or anyone else, then you can do this. It does require an Activboard and a projector, but I'm guessing most of us have those now. I do this with a lot of my stuff. What you do is you open the file that you need, put it on the page number, and turn on your overlay button. That switches you from the flip charts, to whatever you see on the desktop. On my toolbar, it is the second button on the left. Today, we even managed to change the PDF settings to show two pages at once. My T.A. and I helped the kids answer the questions on the Scavenger Hunt by showing them how to use their story. We highlighted answers, so they could see how we went back and forth between the two. The lesson went great and it was neat to see how by the end, the kids were doing most of it with very little guidance. I don't know if this works the same way with SmartBoards, but my kids LOVE seeing our worksheets on the Activboard! If you have trouble figuring it out, feel free to email me. I would be more than happy to try to help you out.
The other activity we did today was my fraction sort. This is part of my LET IT SNOW packet. What I did is mixed the cards up and put them in the middle. Then, I had the students sort the cards into halves and fourths. I decided to take a quick assessment, so I grabbed my trusty folder and wrote fractions at the top and then wrote down the students that got a DNM, IP, or MS. I got the idea for this folder from Pinterest last year. I would link you to the one I saw, but it's a dead link. You take a folder, tape post it notes to it, and then laminate it. Anytime I'm doing Hands-On Assessments, I use this folder. This way, I can record what I see. The kids loved it and the best part is you see where the students are making mistakes, so it is easy to spend a minute working with them after they complete the task. I did my entire class in around 10 minutes. Oh, and a quick tip - if you write on it with Sharpie, you can go over the Sharpie writing with a black dry erase marker, and a tissue will wipe it off so it can be reused.