Just How Many Linkies Can You Do in One Post???

Hmmmmm....well, how about three in one post?

And, how do you spell multiple linky- thingies....linkys, linkies, linkees, not sure.


The first Linky that caught my eye came from Learning is Something to Treasure. I followed that to the originator which is Kickin' It in Kindergarten and the terrific linky is:
It's a great idea and works very simply and will definitely link up a bunch of teachers, which is the point. But best of all, as I looked over the list of teachers already linked up I noticed that the names were all NEW to me. So, I knew I had to jump into this link and meet some new friends!

Here's the rules of the link:
Choose your three top pictures of the year from INSTAGRAM, but ----

1. You can’t link up a product.
2. Make sure to check out at least three other linker-uppers. 
3. Make sure to link up to your blog but leave your Instagram name so others can follow you: (Mine is @cdavis1225. It is a private account, but if you ask I will approve---- it's private because I have students that ask to be included all the time and I don't think that's a good idea!)
Here's my top three pics:

That's my daughter- married in June....that was by far my fav picture. Well, that's not true, the one of her dad walking down the aisle with her and sobbing was a good picture, too.
This makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. I pin a lot of quotes and funnies and sometimes re-post them on my Instagram!
That's my cat, and, yes, he is sitting on top of the chimney on our two story house. He's an extraordinary climber, endlessly curious, and I take a lot of pictures of him doing strange things.
Those are my top three!
I found this link at Learning is Something to Treasure, also, and the originator of it is First Grade Nest.
It's all about the NEW YEAR:

Easy- peasy- get the graphics from First Grade Nest, think about goals for the new year and fill them in. She also has some additional graphics to add even more goals, but I stuck with just the main chart:

You might notice that my resolutions are really simple and actually more year long goals. That makes it less likely that I will not do them.....did that make sense??
Anyway,to explain a few of these more:
1. Keep inventing STEM Lab challenges. This has been super fun this year and I am excited about the possibilities that are in front of me. Creating your own curriculum is challenging all by itself. 
2. Sometimes, you just need to relax. So, a day or two ago, I took some lists of the best books of 2013 and purchased EIGHT new books on my NOOK. I will make time to read them now.......ha!
3. I have tons of cute crafty pins....Hobby Lobby here I come!
Here's one I tried last year:
See, you can turn Pinterest stuff into your own creations!
Here's another one I did last summer:
My version has buttons that belonged to my mom, my mother-in-law, and myself!
4. I do work on TpT stuff all the time. I have FOUR projects going right now......not enough hours in the day....
5. COOK! What!? Yes, I am tired of eating out-- but with no kids in the home anymore it is easier to eat out. Tonight, however, we are having a chicken and rice casserole my daughter made recently that everyone loved!

This one is from Simply Kinder and basically she is just like me..... on these three linkies I am joining today, there are so many blogs that I have never visited. So, this link is a chance to see more blogs and meet new bloggy friends!
This link has no specific story to tell, just link up and meet new bloggers!
Well, that's the morning for me! I have books to read, products to make, a house to clean, school to prepare for, and shopping for chicken and rice!
Have a great last day of 2013!


Thirteen in '13!!

FIRST of all, let me say that this blog is undergoing some new design challenges..... my free template, background, and stuff, is gone for very good reasons....but I am now faced with redesigning on my own or paying for a custom design......it may take a few days to decide....in the meantime I have some temporary background and headers...... which I kinda like.....

HOWEVER! Here's a great Linky idea!!

Thanks to Miss KindergartenDragonflies in First, and A Teeny Tiny Teacher for this look back at 2013! 

Here are my 13 moments of 2013:

I totally began wearing boots--- a lot--- last winter and I'm enjoying it now! Dresses, leggings, jeans..... Here's my favorite pair:
Click {HERE} to see the boots at DSW!

Oh my, there are several from which to choose:
Of course:
I re-read the second book before the movie and loved it! We saw it in a Big-D theater so it was spectacular!
But I also loved:
This is a must-see movie, for sure. you just gotta love Sandra Bullock and for about ten seconds George Clooney is in this movie. See it in 3-D!

Now, this is going to be hard....cause I'm a TV junkie. I loved the ending season of Breaking Bad and I did love Dexter and I really like The Walking Dead, but if I have to pick ONE---- it's:
Normally I watch every show after DVRing it, but not this one. This one I watch LIVE, people, so it must be serious business to actually sit through the commercials......I love it! I'm an Alicia/Will fan--- how about you?????

EWWWWW......this one is hard, cause really, if I am being totally honest, I think pop tarts make a perfectly good meal, but if I get to choose the restaurant we go to it would be:
I also think there is nothing wrong with ice cream for supper.... just sayin'.....

Well, this one is super easy to answer cause it's
TPT !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love my store and working on products, using products, designing pages and covers, everything! The fact that it is somewhat successful after three months makes it even more fun, I must say!

We just returned from a 6 day ski trip to Colorado! This was my husband's gift to the family for Christmas this year! We took our son and his girlfriend and our daughter and her husband.
Copper Mountain was beautiful and it snowed daily. We had a lot of fun!

Really, how can you answer that question---  I pinned about 27 million things this year.......okay here's the favorites but with some categories:

FOOD: It's a Cheese Dip and quite wonderful. Click {HERE} for the recipe!

QUOTE: Makes me laugh every time.....

SCHOOL-RELATED: My classroom is a STEM Lab and this year has been one of total CREATION! Everyday is amazing, but it has been a ton of work! I have relied on web based sources for ideas for STEM lessons and design challenges. One of THE BEST I pieced together is the Spaghetti challenge! Here are some very interesting structures:

Click {HERE} for more about this challenge in my lab!!!

Welllllll....I flipped back through briefly and this post caught my eye: "PICTURE BOOKS FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL"!
Click {HERE} to see the original post!

This is easy- it's the creation of my STEM LAB!

I worked most of the summer to turn an almost empty space into a SPECTACULAR SCIENCE LAB!  Click {HERE} or {HERE} to see more of the lab!

Another easy one:
My daughter's wedding was in June!

Gotta be the wedding:

My ultimate goal is to be the facilitator of STEM labs in the remaining elementary schools in my city. I'd love to help some schools get started in the coming months and spend the summer equipping labs and collaborating on lessons!


So, how about you?? What one word can you apply to your year?Merry Christmas, y'all!

(Today is my birthday! Dec. 25)


Some TRUTH and some Spaghetti!

Happy Weekend Friends!  I just uploaded some pictures from my camera and had some very excellent shots of a design challenge we did in the lab this week....soooo I decided to bust out a post about two things.....




Here's the truth FIRST....

I recently had to miss two days of school for workshops. I left a fabulous horrible experiment with my sub that involved GUMMY BEARS!

I thought it was GREAT! My sub told me she had fun. The kids I talked to seemed to like it. I even wrote about it on this blog and proclaimed it wonderful enough to create a TpT packet for it.

THEN I tried it with students myself.

Are you kidding me? It was a HUGE amount of preparation, the room smelled truly awful- sweetness and vinegar, yuck!- and worst of all it did practically NOTHING scientifically. It all sounded good on paper but did not prove to be.

Seriously, we used the scientific method and that is about it. We used forceps so that was a little bit sciencey...but in the end, it was not WORTH the prep it took to make all those little cups of salt water, and vinegar, and baking soda water, and soak the bears overnight. After doing it with TWO classes I had a serious rethink and went to my files for a quick one session idea for the rest of the week:

Tadaaaaaaaaaa..... It's the Spaghetti Challenge!!

Here's how it works:

Kids get a bag with 20 spaghetti sticks and a few other supplies. They are challenged to build the largest tower possible with those supplies with one item that must be on the top!

OK, I knew this was going to be fun, but ya'll it is one of THE best things we have done all year. I paid $12 to buy all those blasted Gummy Bears and a box of spaghetti and Wal- Mart brand jumbo marshmallows worked better! Really!

Lots of groups did this- one tiny strand of spaghetti to make a really tall tower- but it doesn't support the marshmallow!

This group worked on adding a cross beam!

It was quite a competition to see who could build the tallest one!

I cannot say this enough! STEM is the greatest KID HEAVEN EVER! After we finished with these structures we had the best talk. Why were we successful? Why not? One group said these words, "Well, we built a great tower but then we realized the mass of the marshmallow needed a much sturdier foundation." What????? Did you hear all that science and design in there?

So, then, I said, "What if you came in tomorrow and had all these supplies again. What would you do?" Oh my, goodness. Well, the room buzzed as they began to plan how they would change the designs based on their epic failures. (We love to use the term epic failure!) Then I added this, "What if you could double one of the supplies and rebuild? What supply would you double?" This is when they started begging to repeat this activity.

And we will.....!

AWESOME STUFF people....... and it was a box of spaghetti and a bag of marshmallows. Learning=PRICELESS!

FINALLY! Monday Made It!

Linking with 4th Grade Frolics for a Monday Made It Idea that I think is a GREAT solution to a HUGE problem! 

Anyway here's the problem: I see seventeen classes of students each week. Groups come into the Science lab and we get busy fairly quickly. HOWEVER, occasionally there are a few minutes of transition time that can be a management problem for me (being OCD, a little!). 

So, I have toyed with several ideas to use this time more wisely, and hooray... I stumbled upon an idea to use task cards.

The idea is that the lab tables will have cards out and we will scoot around to complete the set, go over the answers quickly, and then get busy! It seemed like a great way to review skills of all kinds, make use of the time well, and engage the kids from the moment they sit down. So I tried it recently with a set I purchased from TpT. It worked!!! So, I have now started creating my own sets to work along with what regular teachers are studying in their classrooms or to review what we are doing in the lab.

Here's the first set: 

They turned out nicely! But here's the absolute best part! When I got ready to print this set I took it on a flash drive to my local copy store and the set turned out so VIVID and beautiful. (Saved me some ink, too!)

Gorgeous color! I had it copied on card stock and then laminated the cards. I love them!

Here's the Synonym set!

I am so glad I tackled this because I am quite pleased with the way it turned out! BEST OF ALL- we loved using them as a classroom warm up. I have about ten tons of ideas for new sets and will get busy on that right now! Here's a BRAIN POP I just had (this happens to me all the time)...... what if I had kids write these?? You know, at the end of a study they could write questions and answers as an assessment and then I could make the cards.  THEY would love it!

SUPER idea and Super easy to copy, laminate, and use! Can't beat that!

Have a great week!
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