## Sunday, May 29, 2011

The winner of the \$10 TpT gift certificate is....

I would also like to thank everyone who participated in the giveaway.  I am continuously learning from everyone's blogs.  It looks like I may have to have a 100 followers giveaway much sooner than I expected!

### Room for Improvement

Extreme Classroom Makeover

My third grade team had the wonderful idea to paint three of our classrooms during our inservice days this year.  I imagine that it has been about 20 years since our classrooms were last painted, and they looked awful!   One wall in my classroom was painted a mauve color that had faded and chipped off to show two other layers of paint, and the three walls were white and oh so dirty.  After we bought the paint, moved away furniture, taped off our rooms, scraped hot glue, and washed the walls, we got started.  Almost immediately I was officially dubbed as the worst painter ever!  I wasn't even allowed to touch the colored paint!  After 3 long days, we got the rooms finished, and they look amazing, but I have to admit that I hope it is a long, long time before we do that again.  I took lots of pictures to show off my new room.  Unfortunately, I dropped and broke my camera, but hopefully we'll get it fixed soon.

Multiplication Unit
I've been working on combining my multiplication lessons, activities, and worksheets into a complete unit, and I think I finally finished last night.   I didn't realize how much I had for multiplication until I started grouping everything together into categories!  It should be a big help for 3rd grade teachers especially for those states using the Common Core Standards, because I made sure to make the unit correlated the common core standards for 3rd grade.

Here is a link to the full unit.

There is a variety of hands-on lessons, word problems, and worksheets.  Here is a basic factoring worksheet that I use for extra practice.
Factoring Worksheet From Unit

## Thursday, May 26, 2011

### What I've Learned

Life in Special Education is hosting a Linky Party on what I've learned this year.  It's been fun reading everyone's post on what lessons they've learned this year.

1.  There is a reason that flip flops are against the dress code.  I used to think that was a silly rule until I've had to deal with them breaking, causing students to strip, and having wood chips poke holes in the bottoms of the flip flops.  I never knew shoes could be such a headache.
2.  When a student returns to my room from the book fair with over \$100 worth of books, double check with the librarian to make sure everything was paid for.
3.  How to find and pick out lice.  I never, ever wanted to learn this, but we don't have a nurse and the sweet girl didn't have anyone else to do it for her.
4.  Don't assume anything.  I've been shocked over and over again at the things my students didn't know that I thought was just common knowledge.
5.  Blogs are awesome!  I've learned so much already through the awesome blogs I've found, and I can't wait to find more.
6.  I cannot do it all.  There is just no way that I can do everything that I'm required to do.  I'm learning to do the best I can and let the rest go.
7.  Some parents will never be happy.  I will never be able to please everyone.
8.  Painting my classroom is not such a great idea (more coming soon on this :)
9.  I can learn as much from my students as they learn from me.
10.  I have the best job in the world-full of love and laughter.

## Monday, May 23, 2011

### Giveaway Time

It was such a nice surprise to find that I had my 50th follower this morning!  I'm pretty excited considering just a few months ago I barely knew what a blog was.  To celebrate this milestone and to celebrate the end of the school year I'm hosting my first giveaway!  I had thought and thought about what I wanted to give away, and it finally hit me in the head-what could be better than a gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers!  This will allow the winner to purchase exactly what he or she needs for their classroom !  If you're not familiar with Teachers Pay Teachers I assure you that it will quickly become your new best friend.

Here are two ways to enter the giveaway for the \$10.00 gift certificate:
I will choose a random winner on Sunday 9 P.M. eastern time.

## Saturday, May 21, 2011

### It's Over!

It's official, school is out!!!  Well, we do have 5 inservice/professional learning days, but who's counting?  Those days are usually fun for me, because I love visiting with other teachers and actually being able to go out for lunch like a real grown-up.  I already have an ever increasing to-do list, but I'm not sure when I'll be motivated to get it started.

My school has recently purchased 20 ipads, and I was able to use them a little at the end of the year.  My students LOVED using the ipads, but there were very few apps for my class to work with since the school hasn't purchased many apps yet.  We are going to have to be fairly selective on the apps we buy to save money, so I'm looking for the very best apps out there.  I'd love to know what you think!

Here are the ones that I'm most interested in:
ilive math
Math Ninja
Rocket Math

## Sunday, May 15, 2011

### 5 More Days!!!!!!!!

I cannot believe that I am down to my last 5 days of school.  This is such a bittersweet time, because I absolutely love my class this year.  I don't want to let them go.  However, I cannot wait to sleep late (I never thought I'd think 7:00 was late), stay at home with my daughter, relax, and have time to recharge and work on next year.

Water Balloon Fun
Last Friday my students got to participate in a water balloon fight with my teaching partner's homeroom class.  We started an incentive program during the last 9-weeks of school to help students' maintain their good behavior and work habitats, and students got to earn water balloons for meeting certain criteria.  The event got a little (okay, a lot) bigger than we expected, and we had to fill hundreds of water balloons.  We had parents working all week long to get the balloons ready!  Friday was the big day, and we had so much fun.  Well, at least until our students decided to gang up on us teachers-I think the bruises are almost gone!

I've also given my place value unit a complete overhaul.  It looks much better and now has additional hands-on activities and games, and I've downloaded the place value concentration game to share.  I've been going back and forth on whether or not to add pictures to the cards.  What do you think?

## Monday, May 9, 2011

### End of the Year Movies

I love linky parties!  What's The Buzz has started one on end of the year activities, so I wanted to share my newest project.  This year instead of having my students create a memory book, we are making a class DVD.  Everyone is sharing their favorite memory of third grade and then giving current second graders a piece of advice for the next school year.  I'm in the process of recording right now, and I hope to share some of the videos on my blog when we finish.  It has been so much fun listening to my students describe their favorite part of the year, and I've been really surprised at their responses.  If time permits, I want to burn a copy of the DVD to give to my students for an end of the year gift.

## Sunday, May 8, 2011

I am so guilty of already thinking about next year, but I do believe that all of the time I put in over the summer really makes a difference during the year.  Time For Kindergarten is hosting a linky party to share some of our ideas on ways to stay organized.  Here are some of the things I do to make the new school year easier.  I can't wait to learn some new ideas from others!
• I leave my classroom very organized.  Everything has to come out of our rooms, but I get to leave my things in my bookshelves, desk drawer, and cabinets.  I make sure everything is cleaned out and organized before I leave for summer break, and then I cover it all with old sheets so it doesn't get dusty.
• We are held to a pretty strict copy limit, so if I can find a way to make some copies for next year I'll get started.  I'll try to get my data notebooks and beginning of the year forms ready.
• I'm pretty excited about this one-shop!  I love, love, love shopping for back to school items.
• I take home my lesson plan folders and working on formally modify my lesson plans.  They always have notes and writing all over them after I teach my lessons, but I never have time to make the formal changes until summer.
• I try to focus on one major thing I want to improve on for the next year.  For me, I want to develop an enrichment unit for each of my social studies unit.  These changes help keep things fresh and exciting for me.

### Happy Mother's Day

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day full of family, fun, and relaxation!

My daughter turned 2 today, so we are now officially in the terrible twos.  I'm a little nervous so any advice is greatly appreciated!  My husband and I spent the past two days outside building a playground.  I now think we are capable of building an entire house after that experience!

It was all worth it when she finally got to play.

## Monday, May 2, 2011

### Teacher Appreciation

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, I am throwing a sale.  EVERYTHING in my TpT store will be at a discounted price on Monday-Wednesday.  Don't forget that on Tuesday, you will receive an additional 20% off anything your purchase, so be sure to type in the code TAD11 when you check out for the biggest savings of the year.

I know my shopping cart is full and ready to check out!

For my very special followers, I have uploaded my Spring Fever product from my TpT store.