Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's been FOR-EV-ER.... FOR-EV-ER

Don't you just love the movie The Sandlot??  I use that quote all the time with my kids.... "Y'all are taking FOR-EV-ER....."   Most of them have no clue as to what I am referring, but I just start smiling. 

Anyway lots of changes going on....

I am now the Children's Ministry Director for my church and I am absolutely loving it.  I love working with  the kids, teaching them about Jesus, and learning myself.  It is definitely a challenge trying to relate things to their level of understanding, but I am enjoying it so much!   The only downfall is my lack of time in blog land.  I need so make myself some kind of schedule or something... hmm.....

Anyway I wanted to leave y'all with a couple of videos that I found on YouTube that have been helping me immensely in teaching fractions (scream you know you want to.... ) and elements and compounds.  I am in the works of planning a time for my kids to make a video based on Mr. Duey's Fraction video.  It's so great when I hear my kids rapping his song, or asking if they can hear the element song again. 

Wait... what was that... you want to learn some more??  Why of course I'll play that video again!  Roll that beautiful education footage!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Least Common Multiple... You Tube Style

In Math we have been going over factors, greatest common factor and least common multiple.  The biggest thing I try to teach is "Why do I have to learn this?  When will I ever use this??"  I think if I can answer these questions everyday to each concept... and with a valid reason (even though I wanna say... "because the state of Texas said so")... then I can get the kids more into my lesson. 

As I was lesson planning I thought.... when do I use LCM??   Duh Leslie- just about everyday (especially at the beginning of the year when making stuff for the kids).  Then I started thinking about packages and things that come in packages which immediately led me to think of the famous hilarious scene in Father of the Bride.

He goes nuts.... taking buns out of the hot dog bun packages, after all hot dogs come in packages of 8 and buns in packs of 12. 
I showed this to my kids (most of who have never heard of this movie) and they loved it!  I asked them to pay attention to how many bun packages he destroys.  Did you see??

He alters 3 packages... taking out 4 buns from each and ends up going to jail.  I asked my kids "How many buns did he want if he destroyed 3 packs by taking 4 out?"  Well he wanted 24 buns.  Well then what should he have done?  Buy 2 packages.... he would not have had security called, saved money, and not ended up in jail!!!!   

Look at how important LCM is!!!!  It can keep you sane and out of jail!  After this video, the kids were asking if they could rent the movie at Redbox.... :)  Don't you love when capture their interest? :)

Have a blessed and laughter filled week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review Jeopardy with Eggspert

I have a love hate relationship with the game Jeopardy.  I love the way it can be used to review for big tests, but I hate having to think backwards.  I know that I got it all sorts of messed up... but I think it will work out still.

I made a review game tonight for my 9 weeks assessment that is on Friday.  We will play on Thursday.  I used the Jeopardy Labs Website to make my template.  It is not a power point- it is a website that I can go back and tweak whenever I want.  It is open to the public (I think) so anyone can use it.  You can find my game here.

We covered data (graphs and mean), GCF, LCM, prime factorization and the order of operations. 

Now here is the game plan..... I need a buzzer.... enter this awesome creation:
  1. Each table of 4 will be a team (5 teams).
  2. Each team will have a mini dry erase board with one marker with one sock eraser.
  3. Students will take turns writing answers on the board.
  4. Students will buzz in when they have the right answer. 
I think if I make them all do the problem then at least they are all working, rather than having one person from each team go to the buzzer and buzz in. 

I am still debating about whether or not I want them to work in groups of 4... maybe I will put 2 dry erase boards at each table and have them work their problem with their partner.  Then they can buzz in.

It's my first time doing this review with the Jeopardy template.  I have played before using the EGGSPERT and I LOVE it!  But for my older kids, I think incorporating Jeopardy will make it more fun.

The prize is a wonderful homework pass and who doesn't want that?!?!

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Going Batty over Gifts!!!

    As you all know I have a secret pal.  I think I am channeling all things motherly when I make my gifts for her.  I feel like if I had kids... this is totally what I would be making for them.... little Halloween prizes and gifts here and there.  But until I have kids.... I will spend my time, money, and craftiness making fun stuff for others... mainly my secret pal.  Here is what I made her today....
    I bought a cauldron at WalMart for less than $4.00.  I stuffed orange tissue paper, and bought a 6 pack of her favorite drink... Dr. Pepper.
    I made 2 of these bats.  I saw this idea on pinterest...of course.  Here is how I made the bats...
    card stock and the tape is double sided.  At first I was going to glue the Hershey bar down but then I thought ....how on earth would she eat it!?!?
    Place the bar in the center, fold the sides over and then just cut bat wing shapes out of the sides.
    Add a circular head, triangular ears, 2 googly eyes, and a red glitter mouth and you end up with...
    a cute Hershey bat.
    Pack 2 of them in the bucket.
    Add some antibacterial soap with a fun saying.  Find the fun printable at one of my favorite websites: eighteen25
    Cute cute...

    And there you have it!  This gift was maybe $10... maybe...$12, but its big, fun, festive, and has all the favorite things of my Secret Pal.

    Principal Appreciation week and Pastor Appreciation week is coming up.  You could make something special for those great people in your life.  :)

    Happy crafting and Happy Halloween!!!

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Currently I am....

    Joining a Linky Party.... and this one is awesome!  It is hosted by Farley at

    She has a fabulous template that you can use too!  I had a little trouble getting it to work at first since it is a JPEG, but if you use your handy SNIPPING TOOL under the Microsoft icon (I am a PC), snip it, and open it in paint.  Then I just added some text boxes and wrote my info.  So here it is-- you might have to click on it so you can see it better. 

    Hop on over to Oh Boy 4th Grade and link on up!!!

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Living and Non Living with the LION KING!!

    One of the life science TEKS I have to teach is abiotic and biotic factors, which are just fancy names for living and non living things in an ecosystem.  But more importantly, I have to teach the interdependence biotic factors have on abiotic items and vice versa.

    There is no better way to teach this than through the first 4 minutes of Lion King.  Here is what we did:
    1. Defined and discussed the words: abiotic factor, biotic factor, and ecosystem. 
    2. Worked in our journals from this website about ecosystems and their factors.
    3. Have students make a T-chart in their journal.  One side Abiotic Factors.. the other Biotic Factors.
    4. Watch the Lion King off youtube.com.  Make sure it is just the Circle of Life song, but the volume is muted
    5. Have students list as much as they can-being as specific as they possibly can.  Watch the clip twice without any sound.
    6. Watch it with the sound one last time just for fun :)  It was so sweet to see my 6th graders singing along.  Love them!

    When y'all are done watching it, discuss together or in their small groups and see what they have similarly or differently.   We had a blast and the point was hit home.  I think we will watch it again tomorrow and Thursday when discussing how the biotic organisms rely on the abiotic.  How is that present in this video?

    Have fun teaching this week!

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Clipboards and Post-its

    I think it is a requirement of teachers to...
    1. Love clipboards... and have about 1 million.... you never know when you need one.
    2. Have a near obsession over post-its.  Cant they be used for just about anything!?!? Math... yes.... Science... yes... Reading... always.... Love them!
    So what's a better way than incorporating the two into a great gift for my Secret Pal at school.  She's a teacher.... any by that fact... she must love school supplies.  What teacher doesn't???  The smell of crayons... having paperclips in a wide variety of colors... and when paperclips cant work pull out those marvelous big guns.... the bracket clips....

    Ahhh yes.... teacher supplies.  

    So this is what I made for my wonderful teacher friend:
    It took me about an hour and a 1/2.... because I am a perfectionist.... but I did all 3 in that time! :)  That's 1/2 and hour per gift!  (yes... I am a math teacher... )

    Here are the supplies I needed:

     Lets start with the post-it note holder.... soooooo easy.  Get yourself a cardboard coaster from a place like Chili's.
    Grab your trusty mod podge.  Mine is glossy, but I only used it as a glue.
    The secret to all mod podge: some sort of squeegee!!! You must press out all those air bubbles or your paper will crinkle and it will not be pretty.
    Use an exacto to carefully cut around the edges of the coaster.
    One side was covered in dots, the other in black and white.  After I covered both sides, I dipped my brush in black paint and painted the edges and speckled the side as if I were stenciling.  I really like the effect.

    Then just add a big clip with some post-its and you're done!

    Paint the sides first.
    Cut your paper to the size you want.  I wanted to use 2 different types of paper.... I started with the bottom and worked my way up.
    Mod Podge only the bottom.  I used mine only as a glue; I did not put a top layer of it on.
    Use that squeegee to get it nice and smooth with no bubbles.
    The toughest part was cutting around the silver head area.  You could paint the top black and skip all the cutting, but I only wanted it covered in paper. 
    I used the same painting technique around the board like I did on the coaster.  Then add a little bow... so cute!
    I used stickers to spell out her name and some kinda paper boarder sticker that I glued on to add a little whimsy to the area where the 2 papers meet.  The back of the board looks close to he same as the front.  Only difference is I didn't add her name to the back.
     Ta-Da! Done.  And if you want to know more about the teacher survival kit... you can find that post right here.  Or a little more about secret pals.... you can check here.

    Have fun crafting.... and if you don't have a secret pal, maybe make something special for that wonderful custodian or secretary who we all know the school would burn down if we didn't have either of them :)

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Light Bulb Moments are NOT just for Kids...

    I have them too!!! As I am sure you do as well!  And when that bulb goes off you automatically go.... DUH!!!! Why didn't I think of that earlier!?!?!

    The old saying comes to mind.... 
    Work SMARTER... Not HARDER.

    Well that's the kinda day I had, and it will roll on like that for the rest of this week!  Here is what I did:

    We have been covering factors, common factors, and GCF (greatest common factor) for the last 3 weeks including word problems asking to find the GCF.  (You would think they would know that 27 is not a prime number... and it has factors such as 3 and 9, but you would NOT BELIEVE how many of my students tell me it's a prime number!!!!  All I gotta say is after 3 weeks... I better not have 27 being prime anymore...I might pull out my hair....)  

    What am I talking about?  Oh yes... my light bulb moment... sorry for the ADD time....

    Anyway after spending 2 days on word problems using GCF, I told the students today that they would work with their table members (4kids) to come up with 2 word problems using GCF and 2-3 factors.  Each problem though would be written on a separate sheet of notebook paper. It could be as creative as they wanted, but the GCF had to be greater than 1.

    After writing their word problem, they would have to show the answer along with a diagram showing what each group would look like. 

    Here is one of their problems:
    "In the haunted house there are 48 ghosts, 60 zombies, and 32 vampires.  What is the biggest amount of groups that they can be divided equally for a Halloween party?" 

    Now why we need 12 ghosts, 15 zombies, and 8 vampires traveling in 4 groups to a party is beyond me...but I enjoy the fact that my students are challenging themselves with larger numbers, finding numbers with more than 2 common factors, and using key words in their word problem construction (divided, equally, groups).

    Now here is where the light bulb went to major watt-use:

    I informed them that one problem would be used during a station rotation review on Thursday.  Now they have 5 word problems that they can go and visit and practice on.  The other problem that they turned in would be used to make their Friday quiz!

    HAHAHAHA!!! The students have become the teachers... making the problems... making the review... making the test!!!  I have turned into the master delegator, and I get to go around and monitor them and listen to their math discussions.  Totally smarter....not harder.... Lord knows I make my life harder than it has to be :)

    Now I am starting to think.... where else can I make my students become the instructors???

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Googly Eye Picture Frame.....

    Brought to you by the one and only !!!!!

    My exclamation marks look ridiculous next to that gigantic word.  
    What am I blogging about???  Ahhh yes.... my googly eye picture frame!  So my school does "Secret Pals" for teachers at school.  You fill out a simple questionnaire and then give it to the "head person in charge."  She goes around with all the questionnaires (folded up so no one can see) and you draw one of the papers and that is your secret pal.  Then you send weekly little gifts to your pal with little notes encouraging them for the week or day.    Did any of that make sense?  Anyway... on the question asking "what do you collect?" my pal said "frames."  
    So the light bulb went off and I decided to make her a picture frame similar to 

    Easy easy easy.  I found a frame a Hobby Lobby for 50% off... so I spent $5.00
    I placed the different size eyes first in a small area.

    Using one of the best inventions of all time... the hot glue gun.... I hot glued my googly eyes onto the frame.

    I used 3 different sizes.  There was one smaller eye but my friend reminded me that I was likely to burn the crap out of myself if I used the tiny eyes.  I am sure she is 100% correct.

    After the googly eyes were glued on, I found some lime green card stock and some of my favorite sticker letters.  I cut the card stock to fit and spelled "EEK!"

    The finished product!  I really like how the eyes even lose the googly eye look and become a pattern.  

    I want to sneak it into her room, but I'll probably drop it by the office and ask the secretary if she could have an office helper deliver it to her.  

    SO excited for her to get this gift!!!

    Happy blogging and crafting!