Student Blogging Opportunities & ePortfolios

First, I must say I LOVE summertime!!!! I've been having so much fun that I haven't even had a chance to sit down and catch my breath yet! 


Today was our first beach trip of the summer!!!




I was at an amazing technology conference the last three days and I learned some GREAT things that I am so excited to take back to my classroom in the fall!!! I'm also excited to share them with you!


One thing was student blogging...

I did a post a while back about student blogging { here }.

I didn't realize that you're able to use sites like 



and


and 




to create a blog for each individual student that is managed by the teacher... 


I love this idea because they are FREE, and you can choose how secure (or not) you want them. 


I have been having difficulty trying to figure out how to create an ePortfolio for each of my kids (most programs cost $$$ and are really complicated and lots of management), but this could be the perfect solution!!! One place to store, reflect on, and keep student work that they've created throughout the year! And how great would it be for them to look back on this at the end of the year and see how far they've come. Plus, it could follow them to the next grade level (kind of like the big old chunky hard-to-lug-around file folder portfolios we are using now)!!!


Annnnddddd, I was introduced to Quad Blogging. Have you heard of this?!?!?!




You sign your class up, and you're paired up with three other classes around the country and world who also blog to connect and comment. This creates a REAL audience of peers, with different perspectives! I love this idea for my students!!! 


Does anyone use any of these sites for student blogging?!?! If so, I'd LOVE to hear about your experiences, successes, or glitches!!! Any ideas about student portfolios...???


And last but not least, a dear friend over at the Daily Corgi shared this wonderful "Write a Post, Save a Dog" campaign going on through Pedigree: 


Last year, blogger-to-blogger networking generated nearly 3,000 pounds of donated Pedigree dog food for a shelter devastated by Hurricane Irene. Do you blog too? You can get involved even if you're not at BlogPaws (conference)!  For every blog post about the campaign between now and June 30th, Pedigree will donate a 17 pound bag of food to a shelter.  One bag per blog ... so get BUSY my fellow bloggers, let's get those bowls and bellies full!




If you're interested, all you have to do is post the picture & explanation above and link up { here }. Thanks for helping out!!!


Hope you're having a wonderful day!!!! 

:-) 



Multiplication Math Racers & Happy Summer!

Happy SUMMER VACATION!!! I know many of you have been on summer vacation for a while now, but Friday was our last day!!! And I am already LOVING summer vacation!!! Just the feeling of not having to worry about school tomorrow is the BEST! I am looking forward to lots of beach trips and spending time with family and friends!!! 




                                                                                       Source: indulgy.com via Sandy on Pinterest



I am happy to have my Math Racers Multiplication unit posted on TPT today! You can read about my math racers { here } and how I use them in my classroom. :) Here is a preview of the multiplication unit: 






Click the picture to take you to TPT!

I will give this multiplication unit to the first three friends that leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing about summer vacation. :) 

Tomorrow I am off to an amazing three day technology conference with a group of amazing teachers! I am so excited to learn how to incorporate more technology into my classroom next year! Have a wonderful day! And, don't forget!...

                                                                                        Source: theberry.com via Sandy on Pinterest

:)

What a Day!!!

I've been working frantically to get things checked. off. my. list. This end of the year gig is never ending!!! (At least that's how it feels right now!!!)


Here are a few things I did check off my list today!!!


1. Life Cycles Performance


Done! Although I did have one friend FALL ASLEEP during the performance. On stage. In the front row. Sound asleep. I have this on video if you don't believe me... It's actually kind of funny/cute/not sure if I should be mad or feel bad for him... When I asked him about it, he said he was tired because his dog was licking his face all night. Poor guy.  ;-)  


But it's done!!!


2. Cleaning out our desks


Check! This is one (of the many disgusting things we found) and who knows how long it's been in there...


Eeeew gross. Have your kids found anything disgusting in the deep down depths of their desks??? Please, do share. It will make me feel better!


3. Enjoying the little moments... 


Friend #1 (sobbing hysterically): I want my moooommm and daaaaddddd!!!!!!
Friend #2: Here, I'll give you a hug...
Friend #1 (can't even breathe crying): I waaannnttttt tooooo goooo hooooommmmmeee!
Friend #2: I know, I feel the same way.


I wanted to jump in and say me too- I want to go home too. Instead, I cherished the moment of one friend helping and consoling another friend, totally unprovoked. I've got to remember to hold onto these little moments these last few days together rather than all of the craziness!!!


Now off to get ready for a very dear friend's baby shower tomorrow!!! At least I have a helper!!!!


:)

End of the Year Video

I had a few questions about the end of the year video I create for my kiddos. This is the gift I give my little friends at the end of the year.  


To preface this, I should say I am an Apple person. So everything I use to create and record the stuff here all starts with an 'i'...  :) I heart Apple. 


Throughout the year whenever we have an event, like a field trip or performance, or when we create a class video, (this year we made one on our classroom rules, and we made a class "music video" to a money song we loved) I compile all of the pictures and video from that one event (I either use my Flip Camera or my iPhone to record) into an iMovie project. I dump it all there because it's so easy to create a project. iMovie has some neat templates to use that make the project look super fancy without having to do a whole lot of work.  


As I complete the projects in iMovie, I place them into iDVD. This is just a matter of dragging and dropping the videos I've already created into one final DVD project.


Here's what the menu of our DVD looks like so far... (I still need to put our zoo field trip in there and I will need to put the last video of their 2nd grade Life Cycles performance in next week...)


They can click on the chapters and watch the video that goes with it!


I've found that by doing a little bit throughout the year, it eliminates me having to spend hours and hours and hours at the end of the year trying to compile everything together (because there's not enough to do at the end of the year, right!? ;-) 


Once all of the projects are there, I burn one for each kid and viola... they have a DVD with different chapters to remember the amazing year we've had together! 


PLEASE let me know if you have any questions about this!!! I'd be HAPPY to help! 


Also, I need to apologize for being such a bad bloggy buddy and not having the time to comment on your blogs. I promise, in a week I'll have lots of time to lounge and comment!!! :) Meanwhile, thank you for YOUR comments because they've helped in getting me through these last few weeks of craziness school!


Have a great weekend!!! 

Almost there...


Duncan: Don't go to work!!!
Me: Seven more school days and then it's summertime!!!
Duncan: Cool!


Goodbye, Butterflies

I feel like I'm so behind!!! In everything!!!... Papers to grade, stuff to organize, blogs to catch up on and comment on, shows to watch, chores to do!!! Eeek! I am buried under a never-ending pile of papers this weekend. Luckily in 10 ten days I'll be able to slow down and catch up!!! I cannot wait for a break!!! There are SO many things on my to-do list!!!

Last week it was finally time to let our butterflies go. 

We said a cute little goodbye poem to our butterflies,


then took them out to the garden to let them fly free. 

This year went MUCH better than last year!!! 


This little friend exclaimed, "I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT, BOB!" to this butterfly as it fluttered away. Sooooooo funny. And I miraculously got it on video. Randomly. I just put it in the kid's end of the year DVD. Good memories! :) 


Last year, the birds starting diving as soon as we let the butterflies go. The birds had a nice lunch while my kids learned about food chains and predators & prey. :-/ 


Have a great weekend!!! 

:)

June Currently

I am working working working in my classroom to get it cleaned out and prepped for the end of the school year. It never ends. I just had to take a break before I loose my mind to join Farley's June Currently. :)


I wish I could go back to Napili in Hawaii! We went there on our honeymoon and it was SO much fun!!!

I went ??? I can't thing of anywhere I've gone this year. How sad is that...?... 

But don't feel too sorry for me because I got this email yesterday...


We booked a cruise to the Bahamas this summer!!! I am BEYOND excited!!! That's what I think about when I start to feel like crying because of the insane amount of things I need to get done ASAP. Yikes!!!




I can't wait for the weekend! I need a chance to catch my breath (and catch up in Blogland!!!) 


I hope you've had a great week. And if you're still in school like me, I hope you're hanging on (for dear life like I am!!!)! We can do it! :) 


Thanks Farley!!!

I heart organizing!!!

With the end of the school year only 15 days away!!!, I thought it was time for a little organizing!!! Not my favorite thing to do on a Saturday, but it always feels so great to have it DONE!


Here's what I was working with: 


Before you judge, keep in mind that at the end of last year we had to be o-u-t on the last day of school- we left and gave up our keys when the kids left. So, as a result, everything got shoved into wherever it would fit...

Eeek! What a mess!!!

Yikes!

:-/  That white tub on the floor whacked me in the face when I opened this cabinet!!!

(Miraculously I knew exactly where everything was, though!) 

And after four hours of sweat, blood, tears, and panic ;-)

Here's what I accomplished!!!

There's even an EMPTY cupboard on top!!!!

Ooooooooooo!

Ahhhhhhhhh! Nothing will be hitting me in the face now! 

:)

However, our amazing janitor will probably not be happy to find this outside my classroom tomorrow morning. 


I can't wait for summer!!!!!

Hope you had a great weekend!!!!!!

Thank You, Volunteers!!!

Our volunteer appreciation week is next week! So, to thank our volunteers we made a very special card for them! 


Check out the front of the card: 


And the inside! :)


I saw this idea on Pinterest (where else!?!?!) and loved it!!!


I used the app Diptic on my iPhone to crop the pictures together (super easily!). (If I was going to do this again, I would use a black outline instead of white...)

You can get the letter signs here if you're interested in doing this with your class!
Thank You So Much

Enjoy!  
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