Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dear Teachers Everywhere...

Hey y'all........I'm just dropping by to let ya know about a fabulous post I came across. As educators, I strongly encourage you to read this blog post.
It is incredibly moving and beautifully written. You will walk away feeling abundantly blessed and appreciated.......and you'll probably cry.......

Keep livin' the dream, 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

3rd Grade Blog {LOVE}

Helllloooooo, my fellow bloggin' teacher friends.......I'm just droppin' a short, little post here.....it'll be quick and painless, I assure you.  Megan from over @  I Teach. What's your super power? has a fabulous 3rd Grade Blog Lovin' tab that links up some amazing 3rd grade teachers (I follow everyone on that list, promise!), so I thought I would give her blog lovin' a little shout-out so more of my 3rd grade bloggin' peeps could link up and we could find each other a little easier......and find some new friends to follow :)
Link up.......you'll love it!
Keep livin' the dream,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday!

Hello, dear friends!  With state testing taking up 2 full days of my week.......I am pooped!!! I wish I had more energy to blog and share with you how I "actively monitored", but you'll just have to settle for my Five for Friday linky fun :) 

I will blog tons more next week about the adventures in room 14!!  We will be up to our elbows in science experiments and nature walks and all the other fun stuff we haven't gotten to do because of that STUPID test!!  So.....stay tuned!  

For now, here are 5 random things from my week:
1.  This week was the season finale of Duck Dynasty.  I must say.......I secretly judged my husband when he began watching this show.  I would sit back and think, "My Lord.....who wants to watch these idiot rednecks?!?!"  Now I know......I DO!!!!  I {heart} this show so much!!!! I love that it's kid friendly and we can all watch it together.  I love that they pray at the end of every show.  And.....I love Jase <3
2. You know that finance class that I've been griping about for....oh, I don't know......FOREVER?!?!  Well, I finally got to take the final exam and the class is now OVER!!! 
3.  I noticed this week that Third Grade & Lovin' It's Instagram page has 103 followers!  That just blows me away!  I love Instagram, especially for following teachers.  It gives me a glimpse into their classrooms and since I'm such a visual person, it really blows my mind how creative so many teachers are!  I'm extremely grateful that 103 other people wanna take a look into my classroom.  It's an honor :)
 4.  After 2 days of state testing, it was game day galore in room 14 (for 2 days......ssssshhhhhhh)
5.  As a thank you for a hard week's work, our principal spent some extra mool-ah and paid a few spa ladies to come and pamper us during our planning periods!! Yayyyyy!!  We got exfoliated, massaged, lotioned, sprayed.......the works!  Luckily, my planning/conference time is at the end of the day, so I really let my hair down (literally.....there was a scalp massager tool that I almost took home.  Oh.Mi.Word.  It was heaven!)

So, there was a little tid-bit from my week.  I'm hoping to rest up and catch up on some blog stalking this weekend.  I hope you all have a great weekend.........smooches :)
Keep livin' the dream, 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The time of {the TeSt} is upon us......

It's here.  There's no escaping it.  There's no hiding from it.  The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness is HERE!!  As much as I'm dreading Tuesday and Wednesday (4 hours is a long time for 9 year olds).....I am sooooo ready for it to be over with.  This is my first year to be the teacher in the room, and not just an assistant or a helper......but THE teacher.  The teacher who taught it.  Talk about pressure :(

So, here's the plan. Tomorrow, we are going to create a book.  I got this nifty idea from the delightfully talented Dana over at 3rd Grade Gridiron .  She had her students create "mini math booklets".  They make a table of contents and get to makin' their book.  You can access the specific post here.  It's simple and it's student centered.  Those kind of activities are the best kind!!!  Here are her example pics from her blog {Dana....I hope you don't mind me sharing!!!}

Then, after we get done with that fun.....we are going to jump into some {Earth Day} problem solving fun courtesy of Amber at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher!  I made the task cards last week, so we are ready to go!!
Oh, and I made a little treat for my kiddos :)
Who doesn't love Blow Pops????
Now, I'm off to bed.  This is my reading material.  Be jealous.....very, very jealous! 

Have a fabulous week, y'all :)

Keep livin' the dream,

Saturday, April 13, 2013

{CURRENTLY} and a little Type A personality fun

Hello, all!!  Good Saturday to ya :)  Don't you just love weekends???  God's gift to teachers, I'm just sure of it! 

Today, I'm linkin' up (for the 1st time....yay!) with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for some April {Currently} action!

Here goes nothin' :

1. Listening- my mother made all of us kids a CD of the music that we used to listen to growing up.  My mother was so musically oriented, it wasn't even funny.  Now, when I hear the CD, it almost makes me cry.  But a good cry :)

2. Loving- as much as I love my baby and the joy she brings me......I do enjoy nap time.  The other kiddo is watching some TV and eating my sunflower seeds.  Therefore, I blog!

3. Thinking- Target?  Need I expand on that??  Nope, I don't think so....

4. Wanting- usually, almost 99% of the time, I love school.  I'm a nerd.  I love to learn.  But this class I'm taking now, "School Finance" is going to drive me to drink.  UUUGGGGHHHHH! It's awful. Can't I just run the school and pay someone to handle the finances??? 

5. Needing- my nephew turns 11 today!!  We already bought his gift (which is rare for me, I'm the "day of the party" type of shopper), but I need to wrap it before we meet up for some homemade enchiladas (YUUUMMM)!

6. Advice- it goes without saying, but I have noticed that my memory has failed me too many times to not mention the importance of writing. everything. down.  I can't rely on my own memory any longer.  Sad day :(

Moving on.....

Am I the only one thinking about next year......already????  Every time I do my blog stalkin' (which is quite often), I am making a list of things I want to implement next year.  As a matter of fact, just today, I made a Facebook post about my Type A personality.  I am a planner and I cannot help myself! 
Anyhoo......I'm gonna finish getting ready and run to Target.  For what, you ask???  I have no idea.....but I'm sure I'll find something :)

Keep livin' the dream,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday!!

Hey y'all.......I'm linkin' up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Friday linky fun!
1. Just like many of you, we are prepping for our big state standardized tests coming up.  Uggghhh :(  But, with Amber from Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher, we are makin' it fun!!  She has these adorably cute and engaging task cards at her TpT store.  Check 'em out!
2. I have these 2 beautiful, audacious, spunky, vivacious and fabulous daughters to come home to every day.  Need I say more?? 

3. It was National Sibling Day this week.  My siblings are my best friends.  My sisters are my partners in crime.  I don't know what people do who don't have siblings.  "Siblings by chance.  Friends by choice."

4. Amanda from Teaching Maddeness showcased my blog this past Wednesday in her "Budding Bloggers" showcase.  It was so awesome to have someone so experienced and creative and fantastic be so generous to a {newbie} like me.  Loved it :)

5. I don't know what it is about this time of year (actually I do, but nonetheless)......my kiddos are hanging from the rafters.  They are bouncing off the walls at every turn and when I saw this pic.....I couldn't help but laugh and say "Yep....that's about right!"

I hope you all have a fantastic and incredibly relaxing weekend!!

Keep livin' the dream,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Budding Bloggers Showcase!

Hey, teacher peeps!!  I am over at *Teaching Maddeness* tonight.  She is showcasing my blog in her Budding Bloggers Showcase.  Go check it out :)

Keep livin' the dream,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Test Preppin' :)

Is it just me or is time just flying by?!?!  We had our Spring Break early this year and it felt like we had some time to prep for this stinkin' test we've got coming up......but now, it's like "What???  Only 10 more school days until we test?!?!?".  It's crazy.....

Before I begin to tell you about the adventures in room 14, let me tell you why I am able to blog at 11:00 {AM} on a school day.  This morning, at 5:00, we were up and getting ready to take Jaci to get some tubes put in her ears.  My poor baby has had an ear infection every month since she started daycare! The procedure was quick and mostly painless......the anesthesia makes those babies CRANKY!!  Here's my baby in her hospital gown. How cute is that?!?!?
We were back home very soon and then baby girl crashed out!  It must have been all the adorable screaming she did in the car on the way home :) 

While she is napping......I am blogging!!!  Needless to say, we have been busy in 3rd grade these past few weeks.  Who am I kidding?  When are we ever NOT busy??  It was business as usual :)  We are practicing a little bit of everything every day.  I have some "action shots" to show you just what we've been up to! 

We have been practicing reviewing our vocabulary.  We are almost done with our ABC's of Math from Teaching with Moxie
This has been a great refresher.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we are working on our Countdown to STAAR curriculum.  It's a great spiral type of practice, but we also needed some vocabulary, so......on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we do some ABC's of Math.  The kids love it.  I also used another vocabulary resource from Amanda at One Extra Degree.  They are called formative flaps and they are great {and free!!!}. 

I had my kids write their own definitions on the top flap, and then go check their definition with the one in our textbook glossary.  Then, they wrote the official definition on the bottom.  I had so many kids coming up to me saying, "Mrs. Palmer, my definition is just what the book says!".  They were so proud of themselves.  They really know their vocabulary :)

We also do fact practice.  Every day.  It's one of my four math stations. T-teacher time, I-independent work, M-math facts, and E-enrichment.  This week we used a multiplication wheel from Jersey Teacher.  They roll 2 number cubes and add them together and that gives them their first factor.  Then, they move around the wheel, using that same factor and multiplying with the factors on their wheel.  It's great practice and the kids enjoy it. 
We also do problem solving every day.  We work a few problems together, as a class.  Our state test is mostly word problems, so we need all the practice we can get.  And on top of that, we need to be growing critical thinkers.  2 birds......one stone.  You know how that goes!  Normally, I use the document camera, they work them with me.  It's good, but we were getting a little bored with it.  Then, I remembered how much my kiddos like dry erase boards and the boredom problem was solved!  Instead of pencil and paper and document cameras, we put our work on whiteboards.  My kiddos use "Look, Know, Solve" boxes to help them dissect the information in a word problem.  I've blogged about this before, but not in much detail.  With these "boxes", the kids take out the important things they need to solve the problem.  In the "L" box, we put the questions, what are we looking for? I have them write that question in that box.  In the "K" box, we write down the information we are given, or what we know.  In this box, I have them write down the information we need to solve the problem.  We used to have to write down everything, but now we are getting to where we can differentiate between what we need and what is extra information......and I wasn't even pushing for that :) Then, in the "S" box, we solve.  This is my favorite box.  Every "S" box looks different.  I love seeing how kids think!  So, using the white boards instead of pencil and paper, I had them work in groups.  I would read a problem out loud (they had their own copies as well) and then let them loose!  The rules were that they had to talk to each other and each member of the group had to make a set of boxes on their white board and each member had to have them completely filled out.  The group with all their work shown with the correct answer won the point.  They LOVED this!  The conversations were great and the learning was so much fun!!
Dr. Marcia Tate said that the person doing the most talking in your classroom is the person doing the most learning.  Yesterday was such a great example of that.  My kids were talking about the content and so much learning was taking place.....and the kids didn't even know it! 

Well, my baby is back up and is needing some mommy love!  Oh, and be sure to check out Teaching Maddeness tomorrow night!  She is showcasing my blog in her weekly "Budding Bloggers Showcase".  I'm so excited :)))  Hope to see you there!!

Keep livin' the dream,