Video Conferencing Etiquette {FREEBIE}

Hi there! I hope you're having a great week! We have Open House tonight and then THREE more days until our Spring Break!

I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!! I've got big plans to spend time with this not-so-little-anymore guy.

The CUE conference this year was amazing!!!! I presented with my dear friend and teaching partner, got to spend some awesome time collaborating with and catching up with old friends, and met some new friends too! Our presentation went well too (I think!)! 

I always leave CUE feeling inspired and energized and this year was no different. 

One of my big AH-HA's (aside from overcoming my Twitter fear) was the idea that we HAVE to get kids collaborating and communicating with others outside of our classroom walls. I want my kids to be able to share their work and thinking and learning with others- not just with me and each other. The world is a big place and what better way to get them to understand and collaborate than to video conference!? 

I've video conferenced before with my kids, and they always flip out the first time. When I say flip out, I mean the other classes probably think we have no rules in our classroom, and my kids seem to have forgotten all forms of common courtesy (just because they are so incredibly excited!). 

I'm hoping these posters will help!

{Click the picture to download} 

Do you Skype? Google Hangout? FaceTime with other classes? I'd love to connect my class with yours! Leave a comment or email me!!!!!!!!!! Maybe we can "meet up" soon!!! Mystery Skype? Mystery Number? Poetry reading? Just to say hi!? We're up for anything!   

Learning About Adjectives with Flipagram {FREEBIES}

I've had so much fun getting ready to present at the CUE conference this year with my *amazing* teaching partner Kay! We're presenting a session on digital photography in the classroom, and this Flipagram project is one of the projects we'll be sharing!

My students always have a hard time distinguishing parts of speech- they can never remember what nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are. I was hoping this lesson will help adjectives "stick." To start off, we talk about how adjectives are describing words, and how adjectives describe a noun. I read a bunch of "baby" books ;-) to the kids like these ones and have the kids try and pick out the adjectives.

Then I focus on how feelings can be adjectives because they describe us. We talk about lots of different feelings and I pull up a chart like this one:

Then the fun part begins. :) Kids use this organizer:

{Click to download}

to write down the name of ten friends and ten different adjectives they will show. The only rule is they can't use the same friend or the same adjective twice.

Once their sheets have been checked off by me, they can start taking their photos of their friends using the photography skills we've learned in class (like holding the camera steady, being a good friend and not cutting off friend's foreheads, and using a simple background- that's what the random paper around the classroom is for).

Once they have their ten "head shots" complete, they use Skitch to label the picture with the matching adjective and save it to their camera rolls.

Then on to Flipagram where they compile the pictures together and add music (I have the latest KidzBop album for them to choose songs from).

{Oh my goodness- can you see the "sik" kiddo with the trash can!?!?!!?}

***In order to save the Flipagram files to the camera roll, you have to be logged in. I logged my students in and had them save to their camera roll, and then logged them back out.***

When our adjective Flipagrams are finished, we share them on our class blog, on our class Instagram account (@PattersonsClassD8), and our class Twitter account (@Patterson_D8).

We also use this rubric to evaluate our work:

{Click to download}

You can learn more about our digital photography session HERE and see some other great projects!

Will you be at CUE??? Will I see you there??? 

Modern Calligraphy Class

I had so much fun yesterday with my sweet friend Molly from Lessons with Laughter!

We took a modern calligraphy class with Jenna from Mon Voir and we had such a wonderful time!!! It was inspiring, relaxing, and we got a chance to feel like real "artists" for a few hours. 

This definitely reminded me of the importance of incorporating creativity and expression into my classroom!

Now all I need....

are more hours in the day!!!!!! 

Force and Motion Fun {Some Simple, Fun, Low-Prep Ideas}

We've been busy learning all about force and motion these days. We started off with lots of vocabulary, and then of course the best way to learn about these abstract concepts is by doing some hands-on activities and experiments. Here are a few easy, fun, low prep activities you can do with your class to learn about gravity, friction, force, and simple machines. I set all of these activities out for my students one afternoon, and they rotated around. Have fun! 

This is an amazing book! Get it now if you're teaching about force, motion, gravity, etc! 

Click the picture for the link to Amazon! 

If you have access to iPads, or even an iPad, students can drop different objects and then use the slow motion setting on the camera to see how objects will hit the ground at the same time, no matter what their weight. (This brought up some great discussions when students tried to drop a tennis ball and their hat {facing down}, and why the hat fell "slower"...which led to more questions and great conversation and more experiments with parachutes...) 

(Oh my goodness- please ignore the disgusting dirty floor!!)

An easy way to measure weight- tie different objects to rubber bands and hold them up at the same height. Easy! The kids could do this for hours it was so much fun... Another fun way to show weight is to simply bring in a scale. Kids love to see how much they weigh! 

To show gravity- watch honey fall from a spoon. Simple. Messy. Sticky. Fun. Kids loved it. 

If you're learning about simple machines, kids can experiment with this game we found through BrainPop Jr. Kids can experiment with how using simple machines help make work easier and how using a simple machine requires less force.  

(You do not need a BrainPop account to play this game!) 

I love showing kids The Sandlot when the boys use the pulley & wheel & axle to lift Yeah-Yeah over the fence. This is a perfect example of how a simple machine might be used. ;-) It's at 1:09:15 in the movie if you're interested! 


If you have class iPads, I always encourage my students to record whatever they're doing or learning. This serves two purposes: #1 They're able to go back and review and revisit the learning. And #2 They can compile all of their learning together in one spot like a portfolio. Our favorite apps to do this are iMovie and Book Creator! 

And if all else fails, just chuck stuff up in the air ;-) to show gravity!

Next week, we're going to be making ramps using simple household items (empty cereal boxes, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, etc.). If you need a letter to send home requesting these items. here you go!

Just click the picture to download! 

Do you have any other ideas for force and motion! I've LOVE to hear about them! 

Winter SoCal Blog Hop & Giveaway

I'm so excited to be a part of the SoCal Winter Wonderland blog hop to ring in the New Year with my favorite SoCal bloggers and friends!

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be a better blogger... We shall see ;)   

Over Christmas break we had all sorts of holiday fun over here with my little guy (I'm so sad break is almost over!!! How many days until Sring break now....?!) There's something so incredibly special about spending our first Christmas together as a family of three! He gets so excited about seeing all of the magic of this time of year- lights, music, SANTA!!! Someone asked me the other day what they best thing about being a mom is- one of my favorite things is definitely seeing the world through their little eyes; everything is amazing and special and exciting and it's truly magical to watch his eyes light up as he sees new things! I love this picture of him seeing "snow" for the first time with my sister...

(Love you Seester!!!) 

Here are a few other pictures of the fun we've had this break! 

Looking at Christmas lights! 

Cade's first Christmas treeeeee! 

Opening empty boxes kept him busy for hours! (I'm serious!) ;-) 

What do you think he's asking Santa for...?!?! 

We went to Winter Wonderland at our local baseball stadium and it was so much fun!

 I used this easy photography tutorial from Abby at the Inspired Apple found {HERE} to take these festive pictures! 

I love Instagram and am always posting pictures there (of my little guy and school stuff!) You can follow me @soaring_through_2nd and @sandy108

I hope you've enjoyed your break with family and friends! Did you do anything exciting??? 

To ring in the New Year right, I have a fun to-do list for you to help keep you organized as we head back to school!

Just click the picture to download! 

And make sure to enter the wonderful giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now head on over to see Martha at Two Smart Wenches for another fun freebie!

Follow on Bloglovin