Fantabulous Fourth Grade!!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rip the Page (fantastic and helpful resource)..........Rip my leg (painful and frightening)!!

What's upper bloggy friends???!!! I have been m.i.a for a while, but the start of school has kept me SUPER busy and super EXHAUSTED, so I had to take time to gather myself and refocus lol. On another note....I am happy to report that my rock stars have been great and I look forward to an exciting year.

I also wanted to share a wonderful resource that has been shared and utilized throughout my district with Language Arts teachers. I think it is a FANTABULOUS tool for any teacher who would like to beef up their students creative writing. It's called Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing written by: Karen Benke.
This book will definitely wash out any reservations when it comes to writing. It is an excellent resource for definitions (broken down by specific topics), writing prompts, word list, and it even includes notes from famous authors to kids. The possibilities of what you can get the kids to produce in writing with this helpful tool is endless. Oh and let's not forget Rip the Page plus a mentor text....all I can say is AWESOME!!

as for the second part of my post today.....................I literally did RIP MY LEG!!

After attending an updated staff development on creative writing, I couldn't wait to get home to start my workout for the day. Yes people I said work out!........Okay so I decided to take a jab at running the bleachers. I ran them (bleachers) a couple of times and decided to take a quick break. I finally decided that I was going to hit the bleachers one more time, but before I could get going, I slipped and fell right through them!! Long story short... I busted my leg open (almost to the bone) and now I have 7 staples to show for it. (sad face here)

Words of advice...STAY AWAY FROM BLEACHERS!!!!! LOL

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Where it all goes down Wednesday: New expectations, new students, and a FABULOUS classroom! So......Let me get my mind right for a ROCKIN' school year!!

This is a post from earlier in the week, but I am hoppin on baord with Blog Hoppin for Where It All Goes Down Wednesday!! Check it out, check it out, check it out!!!

It's a tad bit different today for me to be blogging considering the fact that this is the last weekend to chillax before school starts. I have sat through hours and hours of staff development, rearranged my classroom 50 million times, blog stalked for hours upon hours, created and borrowed (decorations/class necessities/posters/etc.), and read several professional books, so I think that it is safe to say that I am READY!!
Here are a few pics of my finished (well...let me be honest....almost finished) classroom:

First up....FABULOUS ideas from Beth Newingham with my own personal twist!

    Classroom library!! Shout out to Fabulous Firsties for the letter idea

Bulletin Boards

Rock Star Lounge and Computer Center

Writing Center ('s a little dark)

My teacher corner

  Small group table and random areas in the classroom

I am not completely done because there are a few small details that I would like to add to the room to continue to ROCK OUT this school year.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Switch it....change it......rearrange it! My Classroom updates...

Okay so I have to admit that having the ENTIRE school change classrooms can be a bit overwhelming. Moving every piece of furniture (because 1st is different from 2nd-4th and 2nd and 3rd have smaller desk than 4th, and so on), grade level books, computers, manipulatives, other resources, and years of teacher JuNk (see where I'm going with this)..........a lot of work is all I can say to that!!

As the clock continues to tick, the anticipation increases about the first day. I am trying to patiently wait, but I have to admit that I am too excited about the upcoming year. I have gone to the school a couple of days this week and last week to work in my classroom, but I haven't accomplished as much as I would have liked to.

I will continue to work in between staff development sessions (on campus) and use the time that's alloted WISELY!  That's if I am not chatting and catching up with my team or distracted by WHATEVER LOL!

Here are some pics of the progress I have made in my room.

                             This is the view of the back counter from the entrance

View from my desk area

Here's what I have accomplished so far...

view of back counter

       Buddy Reading/Rock Star Lounge area

My corner and the Writing Center

The heart of our classroom....the library!

View from small group table

View from the entrance

View from the back counter

That is all for now (a lot....I know). Stay tuned............

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Finally in First Giveaway!

Jenn at Finally in First is having a fantastic giveaway for gaining 1,000 followers! The giveaway includes fantastic bags from Mixed Bags that are pretty darn cute. Head on over to her amazing blog and check them out.

Bargain Deals for Teachers: Keeping My Ears to the Streets!

Hey guys!  I just wanted to share a great bargain with each of you that I saw in the new sales ads for next week. Don't know about you , but I know I am always down for a bargain. It feels so much better to say that I saved X amount of dollars (when I have to justify my school related purchases) because there are SOOOOOO MANY to justify!

If you didn't know already.....Staples is still offering a 25 item limit to all educators who presents their i.d. at the time of purchase.

Staples will also have Composition Notebooks starting tomorrow (August 7-10 that's Monday through Wednesday ONLY) for 10 cents (did you here me) 10 cents with any $5 dollar purchase. Best part teachers can still get 25 @ 10 cents each!!!

Other bragains at Staples include:

1. scissors @ 50 cents
2. Copy paper @ 50cents

My local Office Depot has been doing a great job of matching any of Staples offers (even the quantity), so if they sell out try other stores that will price match.

Hope this helps! Spread the word guys I know I would appreciate it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Advice for new teachers- Linky Party

Advice for new teachers is Fun in Fourth Grade's first linky party. There's great info and tons of room to share, so join the PARTY!

Advice from Ka'Shawna at Fantabulous 4th Grade....

1. Ask questions ~ being a new teacher can be very intimidating and down right scary, but don't think that it's okay to just figure it out on your own or let something go. Find a willing helper and ask, ask, and ask again (most seasoned teachers don't mind because we were once the rookie).

2. Discipline Management from day one is key in any classroom ~ Set the tone day one! You are responsible for your class, so grab the wheel and drive where you want to go. Sometimes even the smallest things need to be addressed so that they don't turn into bigger problems.

3. Take time for yourself! ( there's not much more to say on this topic)

4. Communicate with parents (parents can be very helpful and a great support system), but don't get too personal! Some parents will try and go there with you, but keep it professional.

5. Plan, try to stay organized, and keep organized electronic files of everything (stay away from keeping too much paper because it can get a little overwhelming)

6. Build relationships and have fun....with students, positive colleagues, administration because in my opinion it makes life easier.

Happy teachings and FANTABULOUS blessings!

Reader's/Writer's Notebook With a CUTE Twist or Notebooks to Use for WHATEVER You LIKE!!

Okay guys, I couldn't wait to share this fun, cute, creative, individualized notebook idea that I got from a district staff development a few weeks ago. Our district is making Reader's/Writer's Notebooks mandatory for all classrooms this year. Presenters have been spreading this creative way of decorating those simple composition notebooks throughout the summer and turning them into handy FANTABULOUS creations that will be created by each of our students! Instead of the teachers doing all of the work, making tons of copies, and covering the notebooks with contact paper (needing parents volunteers to help...yikes), students can use their creativity and take more ownership over their notebooks.
                              Two of my notebook creations

Materials needed:
~ tape
~ scissors
~ a pencil
~ Velcro
~ 1 glue stick
~ 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper (any two from a STACK will do)
~ stickers, stamps, adhesive jewels, letters or (anything that will accessorize the notebook for creative flair)

Step 1
Gather two pieces of (stack/decorative cardstock) paper and place one on top of the other. Then place the notebook (opened) in the center of the two pages. Measure so that there's  an even amount of paper left over on each side of the notebook. After you have measured the notebook, remove the notebook to tape down or glue the two sheets together to form one sheet.

edges taped/glued together

Step 2
Trace the outer edges of the notebook. Once you trace the notebook, cut off the top and bottom edges along the traced lines.

Step 3
Take the front flap of paper and pull (as tight as possible) and tape down on the inside cover. After you tape the front flap down, close the notebook. Take the second flap and pull over the closed note book. Place your velcrow under neath the (2nd) flap and voila! You are done with the hard part!

                          2nd flap with velcrow
Additional components-

Table of Contents- this can be very helpful for teachers and students by cutting down the time it takes students to sometimes find their work from previous lessons. The first couple of pages can be dedicated for this section (use front and back) to have students log each page of the note book. This way they know exactly where to find specific activities or information regarding a specific topic. For example, "Students in your notebooks refer back to the (Craft) lesson on using Figurative Language".

Tabs- these can be used to make multiple sections in your notebook
(e.g. vocabulary/writing territories/poetry/craft/generating ideas/word study)

Once you have finished you can do the following to jazz up your notebooks:

~ add pictures, names, quotes
~ add stickers
~ use decorative scissors to cut the overlapping flap of the notebook
~ use scraps to make columns, funky designs/shapes, stripes, etc.
~ use foam letters (best to do after lamination because they won't fit through the laminator)
~ scrapbooking kits

**** Most importantly laminate your notebooks to last throughout the entire school year!

I hope you like the new twist on the notebooks and can find this to be a useful idea to use in your classrooms.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meet the Teacher: First Impression Makes a Lasting One

Are you one of those teachers who tries to top the level of creativity in your classroom from year to year (like myself)? It never fails that I think about things to do for days and sometimes feel like I am doing more than I should, but then I remember...It's all for the kiddos!
I have come across some really great stuff on Pinterest (if you haven't been to this sight boy are you missing out because it is FANTABULOUS... so follow me ), blogs that I follow, and I will add ideas that I use as well, so stay tuned. In the mean time, here are some great ideas for "Meet the Teacher" night/day at your school that I think are pretty darn cool and can be revamped into whatever you like, so enjoy!

 Fabulous FourthGrade Froggies-

                        This cute idea was shared on two different blogs. Check out the links below:
 Amazing Grace

Second Grade Shenanigans
This idea can  be attached to a cute poem used for any level as an o"fish"ial welcome to____ grade. How cute is this!

Fabulous in First

That's it for now, but I will post more later. Time to work in my classroom!

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Kid on the Block: Fantabulous Fourth Grade!

Hello Fellow Bloggers!

I am so excited to have joined this wonderful world of blogging that I decided to jump right into the swing of things. With all of this blog stalking I've done this summer (hehehe)...the new school year is near and I can't wait to see the kiddos reactions to our Rock Star theme this year. I have been using my time off to do a little of this and a little of that and boy have I done a lot to get organized and ready for the year.

I have researched and look up tons and tons of blogs and I have some many ideas and ways to use this blog that I am stealing (for a good cause) from the talented and creative teachers in the blog world that I don't know what to do with myself. I surely hope that the things I post and add to my blog are as helpful and beneficial to you as others blogs have been to me.

Until I really get the swing of things (because this blogging thing is a new world of its own) I will begin to post ideas and other creative finds that I come across. Until then relax and ROCK OUT the rest of your time off!