Tuesday, July 31, 2012

App Review: Edmodo

Hi friends! I hope you are squeezing all the fun out of these last few weeks of summer!!!


As we start to think about the upcoming school year, this might be a tool you can use in your classroom!


Have you heard of Edmodo???


It's like Facebook for the classroom (and much safer and secure!!!)


Here's their online schpeel (is that a word??? Don't think so):


I've used Edmodo in my classroom for the past year with my 2nd graders and I loved it! I've primarily used it with writing and reading response. In the beginning, I would post a question or a prompt, and the kids would respond. Once we got rolling, they were able to post their own questions to each other, and respond to other student's responses. (Does that make sense???) Sometimes it was a must do, other times it was something the kiddos could do when they finished their work. Take a look!





In the beginning of the year, I was so disappointed in the responses I was getting on Edmodo. One word, no thought responses. Then I realized I needed to teach them how to respond in a thoughtful and appropriate manner. (A lesson on completed sentences didn't hurt, either! ;-) By the end of the year, I was floored with how much improvement they had made, and about the overall content of their responses. 


Here are some positives about Edmodo:
  • It allows everyone to be heard- even your quietest students! 
  • You can use it with any subject area! Any! 
  • It works on both devices and the website. So, you don't necessarily need iPads or iPods in your classroom to use it! Just computers.
  • It's free! 
  • It's got a Facebook feel to it so the kids like it too!
  • Kids and families can access it from home! 
  • There's an app for it! (Just like everything else, right! :-)
And some negatives:
  • It took a looooooooooog time to teach my 2nd graders how to use this. I think they just weren't used to typing and how to post things, etc. But once they learned, easy cheesy and well worth it! I probably wouldn't use it with kiddos under 2nd grade. (Have you used it with K or 1st??? If so, I'd love to hear about it!) 
And just some little things I noticed:
  • The first thing the kids like to do is go in and change their profile picture. :)
  • It is a great opportunity to discuss appropriate things to post, and how when we post things online, they are there for everyone to see. For example, posting "You are stooped. You are not my frend enymor" is not appropriate. (This could also lead to a great spelling lesson!!!) 
I've used Edmodo in professional developments, I've seen middle school teachers use it to assign homework and assignments and keep in touch with parents...the possibilities are endless!  
Have you used Edmodo??? I'd love to hear about it!!! 

I am linking this post up with the amazing Hope King at 2nd Grade Shenanigans for her App Happy Linky! (Better late than never, right!) :-) Head on over and check out some other great apps for the classroom! Thanks for hosting, Hope! 


Monday, July 30, 2012

Is It Still Monday Made It???

Well, I made something! (Again! Yipee! Good for me!!! Hooray for being productive!!!) 

I saw this 


floating around Pinterest and loved the idea of the giant chalkboard.

I found the tutorial here:


and got to work!

I bought this frame (for $15 at a thrift store! What a deal for such a gorgeous piece of artwork, I know!!!)

(Nosy corgis!!!) 

And pulled it apart

(all  by myself!)

I used this

(2 coats! And don't spray it outside on a windy day!!!)

to spray the frame.

I got a piece of thin plywood from Home Depot

(Again, all by myself!)


***Make sure the piece of plywood fits into the frame BEFORE you paint it!!! Ooops.***

I did one coat with this


and a few more coats on top with this

(The paint is thicker than the spray paint and works much better!)

And put it back together:

(So sorry about the bad pic)

And I finished it just in the nick of time because yesterday was my hubby's birthday!


So fun! I thought about taking it to school (to do I don't know what with...???) but I think I'll keep it at home because it's just so much fun! And I have the perfect place to hang it! 


Thanks again for hosting Tara!!! You're right!!!... It is addicting! 

:-) 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Favorite Vacation Pictures

Our cruise to the Bahamas was absolutely A-MAZING!!!! I wanted to link this post up with Vicky (my bloggy twin!!!) at Traditions, Laughter, & Happily Ever After for her What Have You Been Up To linky but I'm too late!!! :-( And I'm NEVER late (to anything- at all. Ever. Not even to stuff that's not important!!!) so I am freaking out a little bit!!! Sorry Vicky!!!!


Here are some of my favorite pictures from our trip!!!

Our ship! Cruise ship = too much food (a.k.a. pizza and ice cream!!!) 


Beautiful beaches and clear, warm water!!!

Sandy toes ;-)

LOTS of laughing!!!

Fun watersides at Atlantis!

Amazing sunsets!

So that's what I've been up to- along with spending lots of time with my wonderful family and friends. What have you bee up to???

And now (I guess...) it's time for me to start thinking about back to school. Eeek! It'll be here before we know it!!!


PS- Did you see the corgis in the opening ceremonies on Friday!??!?! ;-)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Congratulations!!!

I'm back from my vacation and happy to congratulate

Congratulations Lori!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will be in touch with you soon!!! :-)

And thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and all of the amazing bloggers who helped me celebrate!!! 

You all ARE THE BEST!!!

I'll be back soon to share some picture from my vacation!!! 

Have a wonderful Friday!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Suffixes Literacy Station { FREEBIE }

Hi everyone! 


I'm sad to say today is the last day of our cruise. I will be home tomorrow to catch up on all my blog reading and get back into the "get ready for back to school" mode. :-(


Here is my suffixes freebie for you today. :)



Just click the top picture to grab it. 


It was designed to help the kiddos start to practice using the suffixes -s, -es, and -est. 


There are two activities: a scoot and a sort. And it comes with recording sheets for each activity, teacher directions, student directions, answer keys, AND three "rule" posters for when to add each suffix. AND there are two different levels: an easier one (with the suffixes already added) and a harder one (without the suffixes). AND it comes in color and black and white!!! :)


These can be used for 1st or 2nd graders, or even struggling 3rd graders. 

I hope you can use them!!! Please let me know! 


Also, today is the LAST day to enter my giveaway, too! :)


Head on over and enter!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homophones Literacy Station { FREEBIE }

Hi everyone!!!

Today we'll be in Nassau, which I've been SO looking forward to because this is where Atlantis is!!! I've always wanted to go here!!! Yipeee!!!


Here is my freebie for you today 


This station was designed to help kiddos practice homophones. 


You can read more about my literacy stations and how they started in my post from Monday! I'm thinking these would be good for 1st or 2nd graders, or even struggling 3rd graders who need a little extra practice. And it's aligned with the Common Core! And they are in color AND black and white too! 

There are two different activities: a scoot (to get those munchkins up and moving) and a memory match game (that can be played independently or with a partner!). 

It comes with teacher directions (in case you have a volunteer), student directions (in case you want to put them in a file folder), recording sheets for both activities, and an answer key! 

Just click on the pictures to grab them. 

If you grab them, let me know what you think! :)

I love your comments!!! :-)


And don't forget the giveaway!!!



:-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sentences Literacy Station { FREEBIE }

Today we'll be in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. 



Have you ever been there???

Here is my freebie for you today!


It will help kiddos practice determining whether a sentence is a complete sentence, or not complete sentence.


You can read more about my literacy stations and how they started in my post from yesterday! I'm thinking these would be good for 1st or 2nd graders, or even struggling 3rd graders who need a little extra practice. And it's aligned with the Common Core! And they are in color AND black and white too! 

There are two different activities: a scoot (to get those munchkins up and moving) and a sort. 


It come with recording sheets for both activities, teacher directions (in case you have a volunteer), student directions (in case you want to put them in a folder), and answer keys. 

If you grab them, please let me know what you think! :)

I love your comments!!!


And don't forget to hop over to enter my giveaway going on right now!


Thanks!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Short a and i Literacy Station { FREEBIE }

Hi everyone!!!


I am so excited to offer you a freebie today (while I am sunbathing on the top of the Carnival Sensation deck) ;-) 



Let me tell you how this started...


My district uses Houghtin Mifflin LA curriculum. You know, the really super duper old one. This one:



Check out this picture from "A Trip to the Firehouse"




:-/ eeek!! A little outdated, right? (Okay, I'm pretty sure that's NOT how dispatchers send firefighters to a fire, anymore. I'm just saying...) 


Does anyone else out there use this curriculum??? 


Anyways, each week, there is a new story, and each story is embedded within a theme. 


So for each story, there are different skills we are supposed to always teach. I've always felt like if my kids could just get a little more independent practice in with these skills, they would master them a lot faster and with more confidence. So... I created these literacy stations to go with our first story- (which is Dragon Gets By by Dav Pilkey- which I love) but they can be used even if you don't use HM (lucky, lucky, you!- not that you can use them...that you don't use HM!!! :). They are dinosaur themed (because I couldn't find any cute dragon clip art) so they can be used pretty much anytime. 


My hope was to create some basic stations, of activities the kiddos can (eventually) do independently. I'll teach them how to do these stations in the beginning of the year, and hopefully they'll be able to do them on their own as the year progresses. 


I'm thinking these would be good for 1st or 2nd graders, or even struggling 3rd graders who need a little extra practice. And it's aligned with the Common Core! And they are in color AND black and white too! 


This one is for short a and i. There are two different activities: a scoot and a sort. 


It also includes recording sheets for the kids, teacher directions (in case you have a volunteer), student directions (in case you want to put them in a folder), and answer keys (so the kiddos don't bother you). If I missed something, please feel free to let me know!


Please let me know what you think if you grab them!

I always love hearing from you!!!


Don't forget to check back tomorrow for another freebie! 


And you can also head over and enter my giveaway! :)



Have a wonderful Monday! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bon Voyage!

I am SO exited!!!

Tomorrow we will be heading to Florida to go on a CRUISE!!!! To the Bahamas!!!!



                                                                                          Source: google.com via Lupita on Pinterest


I am so ready and so thankful for some relaxing time away!!!

                                                                             Source: caribbeantravelmag.com via Stephanie on Pinterest


Since I am SO excited about my trip, I thought it would fun to offer you some freebies for each day I'm cruisin'. :-) I hope you can use these!!!


Make sure you check in each day and grab them (starting on Monday!)


Also, if you haven't entered my giveaway, please head over and enter!!! You have until Thursday! 



:-)

Bon voyage!!!

Wow!!!! A Giveaway!!!

I cannot believe my little blog has reached 300 followers! This is so exciting, because when I first started blogging I wasn't sure if anyone would actually want to read it!!! I'm pretty sure in the very beginning, my mom and Lisa from Fourth & Ten were the only ones to read it. :) (And I appreciated that SO much!) 


I think the very best part of blogging has been the ability to collaborate with some amazing teachers across the country, as well as the bloggy friendships that have developed. You all are truly amazing!!! 


I appreciate the comments, encouragement, and inspiration you have all provided... more than you know!


So to celebrate, let's have a giveaway!!!


Some AMAZING bloggers have generously offered to help me with the celebration! (THANK YOU ALL!!!) 

Start off the new school year with some great stuff here:

From Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants


From Lisa at Fourth & Ten




From Michelle at Apples and ABC's 


From Kristin at Teeny Tiny Teacher


From Amanda at The Teaching Thief


The Teaching Thief


A really GREAT set of handmade Back to School Bookmarks!

From Hadar at Miss Kindergarten 


Anything from her TpT store! (Lots of awesome stuff there!!!) 

From Traci at Dragonflies in First


A product from from Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher's TpT store!!!

(ALL of her stuff is AMAZING!!!) 

From Tammy & Christy at Fluttering Through First Grade 




AND!!!!


And from me: 




All you have to do is enter with the Rafflecopter below. 

Easy cheesy, right???

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll announce the winner next Friday, the 27th!

And thank you again!!! So much!!!