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BC Teachers are on Pinterest


 I know Wordless Wednesday shouldn't really have a lot of words, but I feel this picture needs a bit of an intro..... This past week, I teamed up with some other lovely teachers to run a "BC Teachers" Facebook page.  I'm really pleased with our turnout so far - we're over 400 likes!  The conversations have been great and there's been lots of inspiring ideas.  For me especially, being up north, it's not so easy to sign up for every Pro-D conference there is.  They are mostly in Vancouver and require a few days off work and usually about $1000 by the time you add in flights and hotels.  So, this is looking like a great way for me to connect to some more teachers of my province.

In addition to the Facebook page, we've just created a Pinterest account too!  We've got ideas for all grade groups.  There's about 5 of us pinning so far and they are adding up quick.  

Want to follow us?  Click the picture below. http://www.pinterest.com/teachersofbc/ 

My Wordless Wednesday Question: What kind of education pins do you like best?  Links to TpT? Free ideas? Youtube clips?

Two for Tuesday

http://www.theteachingtribune.com/2014/07/two-for-tuesday-72914.htmlI'm linking up with Two For Tuesday today.  If you haven't heard of it - it's great for you!  It's where I put two of my TpT items on sale for 50% off! Because I didn't get to this first thing in the morning, I'm going to leave my items on sale until Friday.
So, what are you going to save on?  I'm picking two poetry lessons, just cause.

The first item is my Jack Prelutsky Poetry lesson.  Kids love Jack Prelutsky!  His poetry is so funny, and a great way to hook them into a poetry unit, in my opinion.  This lesson introduces students to Jack's style, has them searching for rhyming pairs, practices reading fluency and ends with them creating their own Jack-inspired poem!  It's on sale now at half price for only $1.25!

My second lesson is all about Haikus.  It's inspired by the book "The West is Calling".  It's perfect if you teach in British Columbia like I do, but still great no matter where you are.  I'm not going to say too much about it because I blogged about it in detail here. Again, it's on sale half price for only $1.25 until Friday.

Meet the Teacher Monday


This week for Meet the Teacher, Trina is asking for some new workout music.  So, here you go Trina!  Here's a snippet of my current "Workout" playlist on my phone:

Roar - Katy Perry
Whistle - Flo Rida
Some Nights - Fun
We are Young - Fun
Mirrors - Justin Timberlake
I Love It - Icona Pop
Thrift Shop - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus
I Want you to Want Me - Cheap Trick
Evacuate the Dance Floor - Cascada
Beware of the Boys - Panjabi MC
3 am - Eminem
We Made You - Eminem
Scream and Shout - Will.i.am

This list is actually a bit old and needs some updating.... I'm off to go check out some other lists.  Add your suggestions in the comments for me?

Five for Friday

I haven't done a Five for Friday in a while.... I guess I'm usually just so relieved it's Friday, by the time I get home I don't feel like blogging.  Luckily, it is the summer and I have all sorts of blogging time!
If you are unfamiliar with Five for Friday, it's where you post 5 random things about your week or on your blog.  Thanks for hosting Doodlebugs Teaching!

I have been doing some babysitting this summer.  I'm watching the kids of two different families (on different days).  They are all quite young - the oldest child being 5.  It's interesting to see how kids play and interact at home and watch those developmental stages that I don't see at school.  That being said, it's also quite tiring!  I head over to the one home at 6:30 in the morning.  It's only 4:00 now and I'm exhausted and ready for a nap!  Total respect for those of you with young children and teach.  I don't know how you do it.
This week I added a new file to my TpT Store:  Chalkboard Numbers to 20.  This file features cards that display the number in digits, a tens frame and words.  You can pick it up here:

Possibly the most exciting news of the week! My phone went nuts with notifications about this yesterday.  I did a bit of a happy dance.  I'm not sure who exactly it would be at TpT who runs their Pinterest, but this def. made my day!

I'm in desperate search for a rug for my classroom before the school year begins.  I really want a chevron one or a damask one or something cool!  Not the usual classroom rug.  Of course it needs to be lime green, sky blue, black or some variation of to match my theme.  I'm not sure if this is something that will come out of my budget or if my principal will cover the cost.  We haven't chatted about it yet.  So, it has to be affordable.  I really don't want to spend $600.  It also has to be something that will ship to Canada!  I found a few at Target online, but they don't have a Canadian store.  Have you seen anything?  If so - let me know!!!

I'm excited because I'm off to the movies with a good friend in a little bit.  I stopped by the corner store earlier to pick up some cheaper candy.  Shh!  Happy Weekend!

That's all!  No head over to DoodleBugs Teaching to read her post and those of others. 

Science Fair Season

I've been spending some of my summer moments reading this book, "Science Fair Season" by Judy Dutton.  Let me tell you, it has not been a waste of my time!  This book tells the story of 12 science fair competitors at international fairs.  Judy found out the story behind their projects and there is a chapter for each.  I seriously haven't made it through a chapter without crying (sometimes more than once)!
Okay, I know what you are thinking?  She's crying over a science fair book?  Seriously? 


I'm so passionate about science and the inquiry skills students can gain from going deeply into a fair project.  It's a wonderful opportunity for self directed study into an area they care about.  (How many times have you heard "why do we have to learn this?")  The integration between subject areas is great: language arts, math, philosophy, history....  I don't know about you, but here in S.D. #60, project based learning is huge.  Science fair is one great way to attack this type of learning.
Science is inclusive.  Everyone can be engaged in science regardless of their income, gender, or culture.  Science is all around us every day in so many ways.

I hate it when science fair time rolls around and parents moan and complain about having to buy a few things, or spending time with their child to put finishing touches on their board.  Last year, there was this picture going around on Pinterest of a science fair board with "data" on the turmoil of science fair on parents.  My blood boiled whenever I saw it.  Someone printed it out and put it on the whiteboard at school.  I *may* have crumpled it up, opened it back up, ripped it into pieces, and thrown it in the garbage.

Okay, do you get it now? I love science.

So, back to the book.  I think the story that has touched me the most is one about a Navajo boy, Garrett Yazzie, who lives in a rundown trailer with his family.  They don't have hot water, the walls are leaking.  To keep warm they burn charcoal which wreaks havoc on his sisters asthma.  He designs a solar-powered heater out of a 1967 Pontiac radiator, 69 soda cans, and other junk he found around town.  This is a boy who had no interest in school and no self confidence.  Through his science fair winnings he gained self-worth, traveled beyond his small town (for free!), and changed the health and welfare of his family.  Not to mention the most amazing part: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition surprised his family and build them a new home that runs entirely on solar power.  How cool is that?  Science fair seriously changed this boys life path.  He went on to university, which he likely wouldn't have done before.  Do you see why I was crying?

This book really reminded me of why I put in the long hours for science fair.  If you have any interest in science, or maybe even if you don't, I highly recommend this book.

Check out my Science Fair Pinterest board for more inspiration.

Looking to build your Science resources? Need a low-prep blackline for lab reports? Want a thorough way to assess student knowledge and skills? Get your copy of my two-page lab report and assessment rubric today. These resources will help to make your Science lessons a breeze from start to finish!


Disclaimer: No one asked me to write this blog post.  This book was recommended to me by another member of my Regional Science Fair committee.  (Thanks, Tammy!)

Helping to inspire,
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3rd and 4th Grade Blogs

If you follow my Pinterest boards, you'll know that I have started collecting up some blogs written by grade 3 and 4 teachers.   It's looking like I will be teaching a 3/4 split next year so I will be needing some inspiration.

If you click here, you'll be taken to my grade 3 board. 
Grade 3 Blogs

I just discovered this blog a few days ago.  So far, I'm really liking it!  She is posting lots of great information.

I've followed this blog awhile.  Stephanie is really organized and has great math stations.  If you haven't read about those you really need to.

Mrs. 3rd Grade
Another blog that is new to me this week.  It looks as if she has been teaching 8 years and has lots of good stuff!

If you click here, you will see my collection of grade 4 blogs.  Being that I already teach grade 4, several of these are on my follow list on Bloglovin'.  Three blogs I frequent often are Fourth and Ten, 4th  Grade Frolics, and Oh Boy Fourth Grade.

Grade 4 Blogs

I love Fourth and Ten's TpT page.  She makes the best math files.  Seriously.  I have nearly all of them.  I love them, my kids love them, you need them.
Fourth Grade Frolics 
Fourth Grade Frolics does the "Monday Made it" link up.  I've yet to link up to this party, but I always want to!  I love reading about what she has made and then I click on to see what others have done.  Good inspiration!
Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade does the Currently linky party I usually do.  But, I love to read her blog posts.  She is a funny writer!  Her instagram is enjoyable too!
Finally, if you are so inclined, click here to see all my boards and maybe follow a few or all.
My Pinterest Profile

Meet the Teacher.... Wednesday?


Okay, I know this is supposed to be Meet the Teacher Monday, but in all fairness, I only just learned of it today.  Better late than never right? Ordinary to Extraordinary classroom puts on this linky.  This is the summer edition... sounds fun!  So here we go:

1: What's your summer teacher persona?
She had 4 choices.  I'm totally picking Slacker Teacher.  I do work in the summer - every year I do something different.  This year I'm doing some babysitting.  Last year it was a grocery store.  The year before it was some office temp. work.  It's fun doing random things.  BUT, when I'm at home her description is perfect: catching up on every episode of everything you wanted to watch during the school year.  I love my cool basement and Netflix!

2. It's a sunny day in July.  Your schedule is wide open, so you decide to?
Reading on the back deck, out for a walk, hiding in the basement.  Who knows? So many options in the summer time!

3. What is your favourite summer thirst quencher?
Italian Soda -  Club Soda and flavouring.  Usually I pick lemon or raspberry.  Add some ice and it's the perfect way to cool down!

4. Where will you be soaking up the summer sun?
My backyard? We don't have any big plans.  Maybe a campground.

5. Any summer reads, professional and personal?
Yes.  I am currently reading "Science Fair Season". It is a wonderful book that totally reassures me of
why I put so much time into science fair.  I love the research, the learning and the confidence that comes from science fair.  I recently re-read the "CAFE" book for a little brush up, and I'm part way through "Calm, Alert and Learning".  As for personal reading, I don't have anything specific planned.  There's a few books on my e-reader waiting for me!

6. What does your summer TV habits consist of?
I don't really watch cable tv, but I do love Netflix!  I FINALLY watched the last season of Dexter.  It's been on the list to watch for quite some time.  I just watched Drop Dead Diva (so funny!) and Orange is the New Black (love it!).  I got an email from Netflix yesterday that season 7 of Psych is online now - super happy about that!

7. Favourite Summer Song of 2014?
Come with Me Now - Kongos

100th Post!

Wow!  My 100th post!  It's taken me a few years to get here - but here it is!  I figured I'd better make it a good one, so we're having a giveaway! 

When the school year begins, do you start with some sort of expectations around what it looks like to speak and listen in your classroom? I do!  I'm sure you do too, whether you realize it or not.  In the first few weeks of school, I'm constantly going over what it looks like to listen (to myself or other classmates) and to speak in my room.  

We talk about turning your body toward the speaker and practice doing this in a way where you can't hear your chair move.  We also practice letting go of anything we might be holding quietly and putting our hands together (Whole Brain Teaching anyone?).  When speaking, we talk about when you should stand up, when you can sit, and a clear, loud voice.

See, I told you that you talked about this stuff.  So do my colleagues.  As a result, I've ended up making the same Powerful Speaker and Respectful Listener posters for 3 different classroom themes for myself and friends.  They are all sold individually on TpT for a steal of a deal at $1.50.  

But, I promised a giveaway!

So, for the first 3 people who comment on this post with how they start their year in regards to speaking/listening they can have their choice of the 3 poster sets. Don't forget to leave your email address too.  

Here's a comparison of all 3 files:

These file have hung up in our room all year long to serve as a daily reminder.  They are great for when another adult is in your room too.  Get commenting so you can have your own copy for free!
Happy 100th to me!



Tens Frames: Numbers to 20

This is something I've had unfinished for a really long time.   I started it, and then wasn't motivated to finish for some reason.  It sat on my desktop nagging me.  Well, it's finally complete!
What are ten frames?
Ten frames are visual tools for helping students "see" numbers, understand place value, and learn important strategies for mental addition and subtraction. Overall, when used effectively, ten frames can help students build a strong sense of number.  A colleague of mine who has spent many years sharing her love of math talks of tens frames all the time.  You can read some of her posts about tens frames here.

It gives you the numbers from 0-20 shown in digits, words, and tens frames as posters to display in your room or use as teacher cards with small/whole group lessons.