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Teacher Appreciation Sale

Aloha friends!!! It's teacher appreciation week.  Time to enjoy some fun discount, sales and hopefully a few treats from your staff or parents.

I am joining in with a few bloggy buddies to share out some of our favorite products that you can snatch up at bargain prices.

I have some fun items that are great for the end of the year.

Click on the picture or any of the items to take you to my TpT store.

Enjoy your week and I hope you are pampered and loved more than usual this week!

May Currently

Aloha my long lost friends!! I have been feeling so guilty for not blogging in so long, so I thought I would join up with Farley for her very last Currently!!! I remember joining her linky when I first started blogging and it has always been one of my favorites.

My youngest daughter is such a busy body like her mama and she LOVES baking.  She just pulled out every pan in the kitchen to see which shape she wanted to bake her cake!!  I may have to invest in a new set of bakeware for her.

I am absolutely loving the gorgeous spring weather we are having.  I have been getting out and being more social and surfing much more.  Yesterday I was invited to a Waterman's Ball at Waimea Bay.

It was at a gorgeous house overlooking Waimea Bay.  I loved getting all dressed up and spent the evening chatting with good friends.

We only have 4 weeks left in school!!! It is going to fly by.  We have our annual May Day program in 2 weeks and it is going to be an exciting one.  My youngest daughter who is in 6th grade is going to be the May Day queen!!!  It is so exciting for this mama.  It will be her last May Day as she heads up to middle school next year.  Be ready for a long May Day post!

I am wanting and needing to do more with my blog and TpT store.  I just can't seem to find the time in my busy schedule.  Being on my own with my two girls makes the extra time that I have very valuable.  I have been spending that extra time enjoying the water and time with friends.  I kind of like having a social life again :)

I hope you are enjoying your weekend as much as I am.  Head on over to Farley's page and check out the other fun posts!

Getting Ready for Spring

Aloha friends!  Welcome to Spring! hopefully you are enjoying your Spring Break or it's very close!! I just returned from a wonderful trip to Seattle and loved it!!!

I am back at home now and doing a little prep work for my classroom.  I finally finished some math centers that I have been working on.

I love have new activities each month for my students to use during our Math rotations.  These centers include 10 different skills to keep everyone engaged and challenged. Skills include Place Value, 3 Digit Addition and Subtraction, Measurement, Time, Money, Fractions, Arrays, 2D and 3D shapes.

I copy, cut and laminate each center and place them in manilla envelopes for easy storage.  I also include a laminated copy of the skill sheet to save on paper.  Students can do the work right on the laminated cards/sheets and wipe off with a dry erase marker.  I have also included a black and white version to save on ink!

I also had a request from a teacher who uses Class Dojo in her classroom. She wanted a money system like my Beach Bucks to use in her classroom with a Monster theme.

I had a lot of fun making these and they came out so cute!! I kind of want to use these instead!  I'm pretty sure my friend and her class are going to love these!!

You can check out both of these items in my TpT shop.

I am off the do a bit of Spring Cleaning today and hopefully a bit of napping too!

Getting Your Daydreamers To Focus

Aloha!  It's that crazy time of year right before Spring Break, but still a few weeks off.  Are your students getting a little squirrelly and easily distracted?  There are always certain times of the year when it's hard to keep everyone on track.

However you always have a few, sometimes more than a few, that can't seem to focus and complete their work at any time of year.  This year I have several little guys who are constantly off task.  One is just very hyper active and needs to move constantly.  He gets up and wanders around the room and then doesn't remember what he is supposed to be doing.

My other friends stay in their seats, but are full on daydreamers.  I could be standing right in front of them giving directions and they will not hear a word I am saying until I physically touch them on the shoulder or say their names to get their attention.

I was recently contacted by FokusLabs to review a new product that can help remind students of what they are supposed to be doing.

Basically this wristband is like a Fitbit.  
It vibrates to remind students to focus.

 Students learn to refocus themselves and make sure
they are on task when they feel the vibration.

Well let me tell you I was excited to try this out and see if it would be beneficial for some or even one of my students!

I tried it on my mover and shaker first.  I showed him what it was and told him it was going to help him remember to stay on task and finish all of his work.  I let him know that when he felt the buzz he needed to notice what he was doing and make sure he was completing his work.

I think he felt pretty special wearing it.  I kept my eye on him and noticed that he wasn't talking as much and completed much more work than he normally does.  He didn't seem to be distracted by it either since it is such a simple design.  No lights or sounds to bother him.

I had him wear it the whole week and I saw a significant improvement in his work.  At lunch and recess I had him take it off so it wouldn't get lost or ruined outside.  One afternoon I didn't tell him to put it on and he came to my desk and asked if he could wear it!

The following week I used it on one of my major daydreamers.  Again I explained what it was and why I wanted him to wear it.  It definitely kept him focused and I rarely saw that glassy eyed look he gets when he drifts off.

The wristband can be easily charged by plugging it right into your USB port on your computer. When you see the blue light it is charged.  The charge lasts the whole week.  The instructions walk you step by step on how to set it up and change the timer.  There is also a homework mode for parents to use to help work get completed at home.

So what do I think of this little gadget overall?  

I think it is a great tool to help keep daydreamers on task while doing independent seat work.  I found it very useful in the morning, but not as effective in the afternoons.  When I asked my students who used it what they thought, they said that they really liked it and wanted to keep wearing it.  My little guy with lots of energy liked it, but I don't think there is anything that could keep him  focused for longer than a few minutes before he gets up.  A treadmill desk would probably be the best thing for him!!

This would be great for a variety of students with different abilities and ages who have trouble keeping on task. I love that it also lasts a whole week without having to charge it!

What are some cons of this little gadget?  The biggest problem I found was that students forgot to take it off and it went out to recess a few times.  I am afraid it might get lost or damaged. Students also forgot to put it back on when they came back from their breaks.  I am sure a little visual reminder on their desks to take it off and put it back on would help. 

The other thing is the price.  It is quite expensive for teachers.  I will have to write a Donor's Choose project to get a few more of these in my classroom.

Does this sound like something that would be helpful for students in your class?  Check out this video to get more information or check out the Fokuslabs Website to learn more.

Leap Day Sale

Aloha friends!  The end of February is here and with it comes planning for those next few months of Spring activities.  This month is an extra day longer than usual so I am having a Leap Day sale today and tomorrow.

Everything is 20% off! Stock up on all those items you need in the coming months.

Happy Leap Day and Happy Shopping!!

Thinking About President's Day

Aloha everyone! Hope you have had an enjoyable short week thanks to President's Day.  It has literally flown by with all the hustle and bustle in my classroom.

In honor of President's Day we did spend Tuesday morning learning about our two famous presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

I started with a discussion on what students knew about President's Day and why we celebrate.  I had one boy who knew that February 12th was Abraham Lincoln's birthday.  That was about it on their knowledge of this holiday.

I read these books to the students.

I'm pretty sure I have had these books for at least 15 years.  I ordered them long ago from Scholastic.

After we read each one we brainstormed important facts about each of the presidents.

All of the facts came from the books except the part about the money.  We have been working with coins and one of the students mentioned that George Washington was on some money.  Another student then added that Abraham Lincoln was on a penny.  I pulled out my magnetic money kit and we found them on coins and bills. The students then copied these facts into their journals.

Our school has been training this year on how to use and implement Thinking Maps.  Instead of using the typical Venn diagram to compare and contrast I decided to go with a Double Bubble Map.
The kids loved saying Double Bubble.

I drew their names in two bubbles and we started from there.  I chose students to read through their facts and find similarities and differences between the two.  I wrote them out onto the map.

While I was writing on the board the students were following along and creating their own map with me modeling.

I did prepare these by drawing the two large circles before we began.  Much easier to get them started.

The students had to write one more difference and similarity for George and Abraham on their own.

I thought they did a great job and all of them really enjoyed creating their own map.  We decided to color code each side.  Red for George and blue for Abraham.  Red and blue make purple so we outlined the middle in purple.

This activity was not only informative but the kids learned so much creating their own maps.  The goal of Thinking Maps is to have students automatically making their own maps to organize their ideas.

I'm really looking forward to teaching my about the other maps in a variety of subjects.

Did your class do anything for President's Day this year? Always love to hear what others do in their classrooms.

Valentine Day Fun

Aloha and Hau'oli la Aloha!!

I am so happy that our Valentine celebration was on a Friday this year!  My class has been working hard and I have also been out of the classroom a lot.  I didn't get a chance to do any crafts or activities for Valentine's Day during the week.  So we had a Valentine Extravaganza.

We started the day making Valentine card holders.  I had students trace a large heart on a piece of 12x18 construction paper.  They chose either red, pink or white.  I stapled the heart in a few places to another sheet of paper and then they cut it out.

 Then they hole punched around it and "sewed" it together with yarn.

They decorated them and then I wrote their name in cursive and they added glitter.

Next we made some cute heart animals.  I had a few examples I had made.
The students then decided on what they would make.

They all came out really cute!

 Next we did some candy heart graphing.  I have not updated this in FOREVER!
This is from AIMS circa 1987!! Am I dating myself?!

Finally we exchanged Valentines.
The banana was from my principal.  Loved getting something healthy!
I made those cute Star Wars Valentines for my class.

My class spoiled me with tons of goodies.  I am going to stash some in the
freezer for those chocolate emergencies!

I am slowly recovering from my chocolate overdose. I spent the  afternoon
relaxing a bit with a fun gift I received for Valentine's Day.

Anyone else really enjoy these adult coloring books?

How was your Valentine celebration? Are you recovering from a chocolate coma as well?
Hope you are able to recover and enjoy your 3 day weekend!!

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