Five for Friday!!

It's Friday again! Let's try Five for Friday from Doodlebugs . It's a linky showcasing five random things from your week!

 OK Wellll... you are not going to believe this! Thursday morning we had an announcement that our school was going into a modified lock-down. We expected something, because we had been informed that a local factory had something going on that was suspicious.

 Within 10 minutes we were told to get students packed up and ready to leave---we were being evacuated since our school is within a five mile radius of the factory. Yep! In the meantime social media had gotten involved and parents were flocking to the school to get their kids- I would have done the same thing! So, our bus loading was a little delayed while the office staff (myself included, as I do not have an assigned homeroom) handled the phone calls and parents and check outs. By 10:45 we were loading buses to take the kids to a middle school. We evacuated four elementary schools and kept the kids safe until parents could arrive! I must say it went much more smoothly than you would think. It was a little scary, we had some tears, we were hungry (teachers missed their lunchtime), but in the end no one was hurt. It turned out to be drugs hidden in a railway car parked at the factory! 

See this picture:

That is NOT my kitchen at my house. That is in my CLASSROOM. And yes, I have tons of clean up and washing dishes with my science lab job. However, I have discovered that I can ask kids to do it and they LOVE IT! Bet their moms would die to see them volunteering to do a chore!

Here's another picture:

Yes, the hubs and I went to see Hunger Games, Part 2! It was really good. We did have a couple of things we noticed that made us, why does Katniss never run out of arrows? And...Peeta is a total bland guy, I'm just sayin'.....

In the meantime in the Science Lab we are near the end of two SPECTACULAR studies. And, I do mean it. Third graders are learning about earthquakes, soil composition, and geo-technical engineering. They have completed erosion experiments, tested for earthquakes by learning to anchor buildings to the ground, and this week they tested soils to determine the best place to anchor a bridge support.
We also completed a little booklet using task cards! It's all about weathering and erosion!

Fourth and fifth graders are learning about cell membranes. This included studying parts of cells and learning how to use the microscopes we have. Then they took a close look at how cell membranes work- by examining raisins. We actually dissected a raisin! (Just say the word dissect to kids and they swoon!) This week we tested materials to find the best item to build a model membrane.

Finally, it's time to get Christmas crafty.

I pinned this a while back and I think it's actually a card, but I think I will make a framed picture.

This wreath idea came from a website that has about 20 ideas for crafts and most of them can be done in your classroom. Click here to see the site!

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Tried It Tuesday!!! A Combo Pack and a Powerpoint Tip!

Thanks for the linky Fourth Grade Flipper!! I have read through these posts on Tuesday many times but not contributed. Thought I'd try today:)

 So, here's what I have tried----many, many times! Non Fiction text features! Seriously, to read text books or magazines kids have to have a handle on this skill. It's Common Core related, state courses of study related, and almost always on those end-of-year state tests.

Like you, I have tried everything
Anchor charts- here's one of my favorites from Pinterest:

I also found this on Pinterest recently:

I use these charts in my classroom:

A Page from Time for Kids with features marked
Posters I Made!
But the best thing I have ever tried was having kids make their own non fiction text features booklets. The kids have a template with two features on it- they find a sample from old textbooks or magazines, cut, and glue.

Great, right? We made these every year and used them for the whole year in so many ways. I promise it is fun and it works.

I recently decided to add the posters I made and some games, too. Take a look:

And then.......what if I combined them!  Yahoo, it's a combo of the best features of both packages and it's super and a money saver. You can't beat that!

Embedding Fonts!
Now, here's something else I tried recently. I stumbled upon this little PowerPoint hint while looking for directions to something else. It came from a great blog about technology which I forgot to bookmark and can't find now-- but anyway, the point is: Sometimes I create something in PowerPoint and need to email it from my laptop to  myself so I can print it out at school. Only when I do that the fonts change. And when the fonts change it sometimes resizes and words stick out of boxes. Very annoying! Well, did you know you can embed fonts???? I didn't! Here's how:

When you get ready to save your document click on File, Save as. Then at the bottom of the window that pops up, find the part that says Tools:
Click on Tools and then click on Save Options. A new window will pop up. At the bottom find a category that says "Embed Fonts in File".

Click on that and then OK and save. When you email that document or transfer it to another computer the fonts go with it! Try it!

Have a great Thanksgiving!
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Five for Friday.......Yikes!

Maybe we should change this linky to Five for the Weekend.....seems I'm always a little late,

Anywayyyy....thanks to Doodle Bugs for the link-up:

And now I will tell you WHY I AM LATE with this link!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Random Thing #1....People, I have had the flu- or the almost flu! It was not pretty....
That's my little cat trying to cheer me up. Doc said it was not flu but still gave me two shots in the rump so what does that mean? I think I had every single symptom ever for the flu and still do not feel great. Missed the ENTIRE week of school.....but I had a lot of time to think about lessons and my lab and what I want to do that's good, right?

Random Thing #2--- My classroom is a science lab and we are focusing on STEM activities. HOWEVER, what I am finding is that as we begin something new the kids need a review or refresher or update on specific things. Example: Recently asked some fifth graders about cells and they stared at me blankly. It took some pulling to finally get one or two of them to go, "Oh yeah, cells are little and they have a brain." Jeez. I went home that day and started looking for resources for a QUICK updating kind of task or activity that would get us going. Of course, I turned to TpT and found TONS of GREAT resources. There are several Science teachers that have some super products and I did purchase a set of task cards about cells. In the meantime, I realized I needed something for chemical changes too and rocks, and erosion, ......need I go on.....PLUS I needed tasks with a little more meat to them.........

AH HA! Brain Pop Moment! (I have these all the time!) I need a system....a plan...something consistent...not just random task cards...I need interactive notebooks....engaging tasks.....writing....applying skills..........BAM! I invented:

My first task card set is about Chemical and Physical Changes and follows my ORBITS plan! I am so excited about this. The tasks are super fun, easy, not much expense. VERY ENGAGING for students. Now, mind you these task card sets are not typical questions with multiple choice answers or look at a picture and write an answer stuff. They are actually tasks- completed with teacher direction. The first packet I developed takes about 6-7 class sessions to complete.
Anyway, I love it! MORE coming soon! I'm working on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Random Thing's the first efforts at task cards. It's Chemical Changes!
Experiments Chemical Changes

The tasks include exploring with a chemical change activity, reading a passage and responding, building vocabulary with a sorting task, investigating with a new experiment, transferring learning with new situations, and finally a culminating experiment that makes kids decide if the result is chemical or physical and support their decision! It's super! Kids loved it! I mean, really, it involves spewing, fizzing, messes, and unexpected results! Kid Heaven!

Random Thing #4 ... favorite pins this week!

I could totally wear that outfit...looks comfy and easy to work in the lab wearing it. Definitely having a problem with what to wear in my science lab!!???

Last random Thing.......I'm guessing I don't have to say much about this one!!

Have a great week!

My Truth Monday- Becoming a Teacher

What a terrific little linky I stumbled upon. It's: 

The point is---teachers respond to basic questions with words from the heart- how you feel it seems. Sadly, I missed this last week when the topic was fitness--although I do not think my truth about that would fit on the template.

This week's Topic : Why Did You Become a Teacher?
Here's my truth:

There you have it! I am constantly reminded that there are teachers out there that do not feel like this, teach like this, or have a dedication to their jobs. My daughter is currently completing her internship and tells me daily about teachers or other interns that do not behave professionally,dress professionally (leggings are not pants), or treat children with respect. Grrrrrrrr.........

Have a great week!

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Currently ~ November!

Awesome- trees around here are prettier than I have ever seen! Beautiful Fall! Here's a shot taken by a co-worker. It's the view from the front of our school- across a water canal that leads to the Tennessee River. Gorgeous!

Time for Currently- thanks so much to Farley for this super fun little linky every month:

Listening- to the Walking Dead replay on the DVR.

 I already watched the episode but it's playing again. Never thought this would be a show I would watch, but it’s fairly fascinating. I will admit, however, that I tape it, read about it on Wikipedia, and then watch it. I can’t stand not knowing who is going to get killed and it’s always a shocker. 

Loving- my new scarf from Nordstrom.

 I ordered it because Pinterest Told Me To! If you have not visited this cute little blog you need to! But, fair warning, you will find yourself buying neutral jackets, scarves, leopard flats, and jeans just because Sheaffer tells you to! (Click on the scarf to go directly to Nordstrom... the scarf is only $20!)

Thinking- about Interactive notebooks.

 I am seriously trying to incorporate these into my STEM classes. I purchased this great little pack of templates and use it as much as I can! Here’s what I am finding, however----it’s hard. I have students for 45 minutes and getting them to cut, glue, and finish is difficult. If they came to my class everyday it would be better, but I only see each group once a week. We are trying though!!!  My next TPT product has an interactive feature. Here’s a preview:
Next week my third grade classes will be completing the erosion stations and I'll add the finishing touches to this great little package! In the meantime..... here's a set of task cards for erosion...this set is being used as a preview/ review for students learning about erosion and weathering:

Wanting- a housekeeper. I mean really! I just looked around and thought.....if I just had a the meantime here's a shot of me furiously working on my house......
Thank you Roomba.... great little invention!

Needing- to share my newest most favorite quote!

 How's that for some truth......well, ok here's one that made me laugh, too!
Finally, for something YUMMY....

It's a super yummy cheese dip to snack on while the turkey cooks! Click on the photo to get the recipe!

In the meantime do check out some Science items I have posted at TPT and a Geography item, and a non fiction features item.

Have a great NOVEMBER!!
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