Sunday, March 23, 2014

ABC's of the American Revolution

I wanted to share this super fun ABC's of the American Revolution activity I found on Teaching with a Touch of Twang's blog. My students LOVED this activity!

We are in the midst of the unit, so they already have some knowledge about the causes of the war and events that happened during the war. I gave them a  12x18" sheet of paper and they folded it five times. Each box had to have a vocabulary word and a sentence or two that either defines the word or gives information about the vocabulary word. I wanted them to add a few illustrations on their poster, but the boxes were a bit too small. I guess there is always next year!

It was great walking around and hearing them discuss certain events of the war that they were going to use for their poster.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

It's that time again: Five for Friday!

Friday is here!! Whoohoo! I can't wait for tomorrow! I will be heading to a Southern California teacher blogger meet up. It will be awesome to get the chance to finally meet a lot of the amazingly talented teachers in my neck of the woods.

We had a busy week in the classroom! Linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching for Five for Friday!

We've been reading the historical fiction novel, Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. My kids absolutely love it and I heart how it aligns with our social studies standards (American Revolution). It's a lengthy book, but so interesting. We've only got four chapters left. Today we finished reading a chapter and it was time for us to get ready to head home. I caught these two students reading ahead instead of getting their things together. They just didn't want to put the book down. Don't you love it when this happens! 

We finished our ABC's of the American Revolution posters! This idea came from Teaching with a Touch of Twang's blog. I'm planning on blogging about it (along with many other things we've been doing...). It was great to see them so engaged in their learning.

Today we finished up our unit on the digestive and circulatory systems with some science experiments/activities. The students made a stomach and observed what happens to food (cracker) when our stomach acid (OJ) mixes together. I heard quite a few "ewww" or "gross" as they were working. After that they participated in a circulatory system activity in which they graphed their heartbeat while resting, jogging slowly, jumping vigorously, and resting again.

I finally got around to having my students work on a fun project called One Word 2014 I found at A Full Classroom's blog. It should have been completed in January, but you know how it goes...better late than never. Instead of creating a list of new year's resolutions, they think of one word that will define how they want to live this new year by. A word they can reflect upon daily. My kids really enjoyed the activity and they came up with some great words.


I got a little cooking in this week! I made my favorite Brussels sprouts recipe, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and aged balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

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A Year of Sundays!

Heather (Loose Shoelaces) and I are 6 weeks into our year long photo project only 46 weeks left! Every week I look forward to Sundays because it allows me to get out my camera and document a moment of my life.

The photos we took for the last two weeks are VERY similar! We never ever discuss what we will take photos of and to top it off, we don't even live in the same state. That's what makes this project so much fun. We have weeks in which things are completely opposite and weeks in which our photos have commonalities.

Heather's image is always on the left and my image is always on the right.

March 9, 2014

Wowsa!! Heather's adorable nephew and my pooch, Hans, are both smack dab in the middle of the frame. Of course it doesn't stop there, they are both looking straight in to the camera. I can't get over how much these photos are alike. What are the odds of this????

March 16, 2014

Again we were on the same wavelength. Both our images have to do with food/drinks.

This is such a fun project and if you like photography, you should try something like this out!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to Copy and Save a Youtube video to your computer and an awesome 50 states song/video!!

I finally learned how to save a Youtube video to my laptop!! Thank goodness! I was about ready to tear my hair out. The wireless connection at my school (at least in my room) is nonexistent. It will work for a second and then poof it's gone.  I have an ethernet cable in order to access the internet on my laptop at work. Unfortunately, there are times in which it still doesn't work. When I try to show videos to help support the unit we are studying, the video starts and then stops and buffers FOREVER.

But his gal is a happy one, because now I have those videos downloaded onto my laptop and never have to worry about the internet connection again! I love it because now I can put the videos into folders and everything is organized. Ya, I had my playlist on Youtube, but it is much more manageable for me to have my videos in folders. Another bonus to saving the videos to your more adds/commercials that play on Youtube. Definitely easier to make sure nothing inappropriate pops up on the screen.

I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday!

I came across this really cool song/video, "Tour the States" about the 50 states and their capitals last year. It is definitely kid approved, because my students beg me to play it for them on a daily basis. Check out my previous post about the state floats, research paper, and Power Point presentation my students worked on.

Here is how you can save Youtube videos to your computer (It is SO simple too!):

1. Find the video you want to save on Youtube

2.  Go to the URL link and type the letters "ss" right before the word youtube.

3. Then pause the video and press enter and it will take you to a new screen that looks like this:
    (A couple times it took me to this screen and said something to the extent of the video/file could not
     be found for a few of the videos I was downloading. I just went back and entered the "ss" again and
     it always worked.)

4. Under the download links title, you can choose the quality of the video you would like to download (I usually just choose the lower quality MP4 360p. It takes less time to download and the quality is fine. Just click the blue file size link and you are almost done! 

5. Once you click the file size, this box below will show up. Click the "Save File" button and then "OK". Your video should start downloading.

Super easy!! I hope this helps out!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Five for Friday

I don't know about you, but I am GLAD it's Friday! I'm absolutely drained this week, physical therapy is kicking my butt!

Linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky :)

Donuts with Dads was a huge success yesterday! I work at an inner city school and a few years ago the principal started Donuts with Dads. This was a way to get the dads more involved in the school. We had over 100 dads and male community members visit our classrooms and read with or to the students. I had 8 awesome dads read in my class! My 5th graders loved it. I wish you could see the smiles on their faces...

We are still working on the American Revolution and my students were so engaged with this great activity I found on Sabra's blog, Teaching with a Touch of Twang. They are making ABC's of the American Revolution posters. It was awesome walking around today and listening to them discuss history and fully involved in research!

Big news!!! Tomorrow we are adopting another pup!! Call me crazy because now I will have three little Dachshunds running around my house. We are rescuing Bella from a Dachshund rescue organization. She is 11 months old and apparently quite the character.  We will meet her tomorrow and take her home the same day. Hans and Buster have no idea that they will have a sister on the way. I can't help it, I LOVE dogs!

This happened 4 days this week. Thank goodness next week I get to go down to three days of week of physical therapy. I must say it is definitely helping, but I feel like I have no time for me. My favorite part of PT is getting heat! Thanks to my amazing physical therapist I am no longer limping! Whoohoo!

I absolutely love receiving nifty little notes/drawings from my students. This one magically appeared on my desk. Apparently, I talk about my boys (aka dogs) a lot! Lol....

Have a  fabulous weekend everyone!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Year of Sundays

We've finally gotten some rain here in CA and I am loving every minute of it!! I'm secretly happy it arrived on the weekend. I'm not a big fan of rainy days at work...

Here are the diptychs for the last two weeks for our Year of Sundays project. I definitely look forward to getting my camera out on Sundays and trying to look at my world in a different light. I love how our February 23 image is so different, yet the colors are similar. Lol, I just realized both of my images have to do with water! It has been interesting to see a few similarities with our images (we never discuss what we will be shooting). You can check out our first two weeks here.

Heather's (Loose Shoelaces) image is always on the left and mine on the right. :)

February 23, 2014

 March 2, 2014

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently March

February flew by and you know what that means....time to link up with Oh Boy Fourth Grade's Currently!

Listening: To the glorious rain! I heart the rain! Unfortunately living in CA means I don't get too many rainy days on the couch curled up with a book and coffee. It's been wonderful! 

Loving: I finally broke down and purchased an Erin Condren teacher planner. She had a 30% off sale which helped me justify forking over the cash for it. I can't wait to use it next year! Right now I carry around a 3 ring teacher binder and it is way too bulky. This little planner has it all! It also came with a free set of colored pens, labels, and coupons! 

Thinking: Since CA made the shift to Common Core this year, we won't be giving the state CST for math and language arts. However, the science CST (given in 5th and I think 8th grade) is definitely happening. I have one more unit to get through by the end of April (life science). I suppose this rainy day is a perfect day for planning. 

Wanting: To enjoy the day and do absolutely nothing!

Needing: My darn knee started giving me issues while on vacation during the beginning of January. Not fun! You don't realize how much you rely on your knees until one isn't working. I thought it would get better and put off going to the doctor. After a month and a half, i finally gave in. It looks like I have a problem with my patella and the tracking of it. I now have physical therapy four days a week for three weeks and then 3 days a week for 6 weeks. I've finished a week and a half of PT so far and it is starting to feel better! Not limping as bad.

??????????: Can you guess the question?

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