Monday, February 23, 2015

Who Needs A Little Extra TpT Cash?

Aloha friends! Have you heard?! TpT is having another of their fabulous Site Wide Sales!!


Hurray!!  I have quite a few items piling up in my cart and I can't wait to go shopping!

This is the perfect time to grab the items on your wishlist at a huge discount!  Everything in my store will be on sale!!






I want to make shopping a little easier for you, so I am giving away a $20 Gift Card to TpT!!
Just enter the Rafflecopter below, then check out all of my blogging buddies who are also having giveaways!  There are tons of chances to win!! I will pick a winner on Tuesday evening! 


Make sure you visit all of these blogs for a chance to win more prizes!

Out of This World Literacy




Chalk One Up for the Teacher






Monday, February 16, 2015

New Interactive Whiteboard

Aloha friends!! I hope you are enjoying your Monday even if you had to work today.

Many of you lucky teachers out there have the latest technologies in your classroom, specifically SMART Boards.  I have always been jealous of the wonderful ways teachers were using them in their classroom.  Our school does not have any in the classrooms and I don't believe they will be in the budget anytime soon.

Recently on my Twitter account I ran across a tweet from a company called IPEVO.  It was about their Interactive Whiteboard System and I started reading more.  It seemed like a great alternative to a SMART Board and the price was amazing!!



I contacted the company to find out more information about their system.  They were kind enough to send me the system to review and share what I thought of using it in my classroom.

I received the item very quickly and it was in such a small box I couldn't believe it.



I read the quick set up directions and ran the CD in my computer.  Once the software is loaded onto your computer, it's a snap to set up.



Basically you have 2 pieces.  The sensor cam and the wand.  You  can adjust your projector to where you would like to use it in your classroom.

Then you plug in the sensor and calibrate the system.  It literally takes me less than 3 minutes to set it up and calibrate it.  Here is a quick video showing you how easy it is.


I couldn't wait to test it out with my kids!

I used the website abcya.com and we decided to play money bingo.  I had each of the kids come up and play.  They were so engaged and LOVED using it!





They were not at all afraid to use it got the hang of it very quickly.  You have to gently push on the pen and you can see a red light go on to show that it is working.  My class could easily move the coins around to count them and select their answers.

When I am done using it I can quickly unplug it and put it back in the box.

The great thing about this is that I can use it on any whiteboard.  If I were doing a presentation in the library or another classroom I could quickly set it up the same way.  

A few tips:
-It does need to be relatively close to your whiteboard, the farther out you have it the less accurate the calibration.
-I found that I did have to recalibrate it once or twice when the wand didn't seem to be working accurately.  Not sure why, but it only took me a minute to recalibrate.
-I would suggest purchasing the wand extension.  I found my kids had a hard time reaching up on some of the games or that they were blocking the sensor when they went up.

IPEVO Extension Wand for IS-01 Portable Interactive Whiteboard System

Overall I think this is a great system for the price! You really can't beat it, especially if your school has limited funds.  I plan to share it with my admin and staff.  I am sure there will be a few more around my school very soon! 

For those of you who may find it still too steep a price, I would suggest writing a Donor's Choose grant.  The price is right and I can see a project like this getting funded very quickly.

You can check out the IPEVO site here---> IPEVO

I am so excited to be able to have this in my classroom.  How do you use interactive systems in your classroom?  I want to hear all of your fabulous ideas!



Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Wonders Resources

Aloha sweet friends and Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope your week was a good one.

I am home today and so happy to have a 3 day weekend!  This past week at school was busy, but I was glad to finally have  a full week to teach.

Our class in on Unit 4 Week 2 of our Wonders curriculum.  We worked on those tricky words with the /er/ vowel sounds.


I gave them some extra practice with words sorts and some fun games at our Daily 5 rotations.



This week's stories focused on Earth Changes which was perfect since we have just finished up our Rock and Minerals unit.

During my guided reading groups I used the story in the anthology for my high groups.


We read and reread the story together and then they read it on their own. I had  them answer the questions at the end in their reading notebooks to check their comprehension.

For my lower groups I used the leveled readers.


We work on fluency by reading the stories several times.  I then created a short quiz to give them at the end.  The questions are definitely lower level, but these groups really need practice just reading and finding information. 

Just click on the picture to download it.

I find that this is easier to check up on students than giving them the lengthy weekly assessments. This takes just a few minutes and I can get an idea of how they are doing.  My struggling readers are also more successful with these quick quizzes.

I will try to add these freebies here on my page as I continue to make them for my classroom.

If you are looking for more Wonders Resources I have Spelling Lists, Grammar Centers and Morning Work that all correlate to each unit.


I have just finished some centers for Unit 5.  They have a fun Super Hero theme.







I can't wait to get these all printed out for my class. I know they will love them!

My daughters and I are planning a little Valentine BBQ tonight with burgers and brownies (their choice).  It should be lots of fun hanging out with my two favorite Valentines. Hope you get to spend some time today with your favorite Valentine too!




Saturday, February 7, 2015

Terrific Tessellations

Aloha friends!  I hope you are enjoying your weekend and relaxing to get ready for the busy weeks and holidays ahead.

I am trying to balance out my hectic life and still share what has been happening in our class. My husband left for California on Wednesday for two weeks.  That means mommy is cooking for the next two weeks.  Luckily my daughters like peanut butter and jelly and macaroni and cheese (Annie's from a box).


My youngest Diva tried out for a production of Alice In Wonderland and is part of the ensemble.  She has rehearsals now on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons for the next two months. I am so proud of her, but it does involve so much time!  She normally goes to her dance studio on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  My oldest daughter takes riding lessons on Thursdays.  So basically the only night I am not driving somewhere is on Tuesdays!

Ahhh, I remember the days when I used to just go to the beach after school to surf.  I may have to change my blog name to Driving My Daughters Around Through Second ;)

With all of this busy-ness  I still want to share what's happening in my classroom.

Last week I taught an art lesson on M.C. Escher.  I love his amazing art work and it is a fun way to get kids thinking about patterns in art.

I shared a few of his famous pictures- just Google or check out his website.  Some of the students who saw the Night of the Museum Secret of The Tomb remembered seeing one of his pictures in the movie.

We talked about how his artwork is like a puzzle and then we talked about what Tessellations were.  We looked at a few examples and then I had the kids create their own using pattern blocks.






They were so into it.  They could work alone or with a partner.  I helped them to make sure that each piece could fit in and continue on and on.  When they had created their pattern I gave them a shape template (I kept them from Everyday Math).  They recreated their pattern on their papers.  

They worked on them for over an hour! I had to stop them and tell them they could work on it throughout the week.

This week I gave them an easier task.  They got to use these fun shapes that I picked up on Amazon.









The shapes are so fun and they thought it was a piece of cake compared to last weeks lesson! Again I had to stop them and tell them they could continue and finish next week.

I can't wait to see them all colored in. I plan to make a bulletin board display with all of them.  This is such a great activity for kids at this level and higher.  They really have to push themselves to think out of the box a bit and once they see the patterns they get so excited.

I am off to another rehearsal. I guess I should buy some groceries while I'm out.  I think tacos for dinner sounds like a good idea.  I'm pretty sure I can't mess that up :)