Tuesday, February 26, 2013

{SNOW DAY!} x 2

Well, they were right!  And we don't say that very often here in the panhandle...
 
We made national news!  It was officially a blizzard with hurrican force winds.  We have 6 foot snow drifts!!  19 inches of snow in one day...that's alot for 'round here :)
 
We got 2 days off {yay!!!!}....and school is scheduled to resume tomorrow.  With the massive amounts of snow still on the ground and the drifts being as tall as they are...I'm not expecting too many kiddos in class tomorrow.  I'm still hoping that I can get out of my driveway and on to the main roads.  Here's hoping :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blizzard....really?? And some fraction fun!

For those of you not familiar with Texas weather...let me give you a quick run-down.  We have days of 70 degree heaven followed immediately by days of below freezing, wind-blowing madness.  It's ri-di-cu-lous...and it causes a wardrobe nightmare.  You can't pack up your winter clothes in the spring because it may snow at any given moment...and you can't pack up your flip-flops in the winter because it may be 75 degrees and sunny....uugggHHH!! We are 2 weeks away from Spring Break in our district and are under a blizzard warning in the Texas panhandle.  FUN!  I'm half hoping for a snow day tomorrow, but I also know that when that day comes in the spring where we have to go to school to make up for the snow day....I will be very, very sad :(

Moving on to more school related fun....

My kids are busy wrapping up our fraction unit.  We have done the heavy lifting and are finishing up with fractions on a number line this next week.  My kiddos really seem to get fractions...which was surpring to me.  I thought they would have more trouble...but they are breezing through it :)

We used a foldable for comparing fractions from Abby Sandlin.  It's a quick and easy way to assess the kids on what they know...and they had fun doing it! You can get it at her TpT store for {FREE}!!




In my plans to use fractions on a number line, I noticed that Abby has some great stuff to use with that also.  It's way cute....and I'm gonna go buy it...NOW!

I hope you all had a great weekend! 






Monday, February 18, 2013

Fractions and Photoshop

As some of you may or may not know, I only teach math.  Well, math and science....but waaaayyyyy more math than science.  I try to weave in science wherever I can, but since our state standardized test (called STAAR in Texas) is in math and reading for 3rd graders, we focus much more on the math!!  I have a great team teacher who teaches the reading/writing/social studies part.  We both have a homeroom, but we each teach 41 kiddos in all.  That's....a lot.....of kids!! 

We have been studying fractions.....all of last week, and I have been pleasantly surprised with how well my kids are doing.  They seem to understand the concept of parts/whole and we played and practiced a lot last week.  Of course, I used many resources that I have found here in blogland.  Some of the awesome things I found were some fraction strips from Math Minds, a few journal pages for a good intro to fractions by Frogs and Cupcakes and a multitude of stuff from this awesome lady Donna Boucher over at Math Coach's Corner.

 
I am going to be using alot of her fraction stuff this coming week for comparing fractions and equivalent fractions.  If you don't follow her blog, you totally should!!!  I follow her on facebook as well and she is always looking for new and exciting ways to teach math.  Follow her....do it....do it now!
 
I am still learning so much about blogging.  I am crying over playing with a trial verson of Adobe Photoshop right now and I am completely, 100% lost.  There are far too many buttons and toolbars.  Is there a manual I can download to figure it out?  I just have the trial version right now, but it came with full access to the whole shebang!  L.O.S.T.!!!!!  I still can't figure out how to add a picture to my blog and make the picture the hyperlink.  I wanted to share some of the pictures of the cool stuff I used this past week, but all I could do was put the hyperlink in the text, not the image.  Lots to still figure out.  I don't consider myself to be completely ignorant when it comes to technology, but this blog experience has been humbling. 
 
Hopefully, by the end of this week, I will have some classroom pics to show you and I will have figured out how to....do more.  Wish me luck!
 

~Mandi



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Surviving Valentine's Day

We all know how overwhelming party days can be.....but....I am proud to say that I have survived my first V-day party in 3rd grade!! WHOO HOO!!! And....so did my kiddos :)  As I was stalking searching the bloggosphere for cute valentine gifts for all 41 of my 9-year olds....I came across this adorable idea from Mandy's Tips for Teachers.  It's cheap and my kids thought they had won the lottery!  They loved, I loved it....it was perfect. 
 
I also threw in a little "No Homework" pass from Elizabeth at Fun in 4B.  I'm not sure what my kids liked more....the chocolate or knowing they had a free night with no homework!
 
On a side note, I would like to give a shout-out to my amazing principal and mentor.  I don't know how many of you get the chance to work for someone who remembers that they are a teacher, first and foremost, but my principal is one of those people.  I worked with her as a first year teacher and she brought me with her when she moved schools this past year.  She has a million things on her plate, but she took the time to come and help me when I needed it earlier this week.  With no lesson plans, no extra time, she came and taught my class one afternoon.  I told her I was struggling with classroom management and how to teach without stations (that is another story entirely....and I will have to get into later....I love stations, but this particular group of students cannot handle the independence).  She came in and taught a lesson on fractions, whole group, from a textbook and the entire class was engaged!  Engaged.....with a textbook.....it was amazing!! You can tell that she just knows what she's doing....and is a natural in the classroom.  I was blown away by what she was able to do with no planning, no materials....just a dry erase board and the tables the students were sitting in.  I'm blessed beyond measure to work for her!
 
I hope you are all enjoying your extra long weekend!!!  I love 3 day weekends....what do you all have planned for tomorrow???
 
~Mandi

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What was I thinking??

Hello there!  I'm sure that there are several other teachers out there...new teachers...that are struggling just as I am.  But, for some reason, when it's happening to you...you tend to feel like you are the only one in the world experiencing it!  So....I have decided to blog a bit about the adventures...the struggles...the laughter as well as the tears in my journey as a 3rd grade teacher. 

I am not a first year teacher, as much as it may feel that way.  I taught kinder my first year and that was an adventure!  I taught 1st grade at the beginning of this school year and then was moved to 3rd grade over Christmas break.  Now, to be fair, I have always wanted to teach older kiddos and my principal knew this.  She saw an opportunity for me to "move up"
 (if we dare call it that) and asked me...I agreed...so I am not a victim of a brutal grade swap, but rather an unsuspecting, naive idiot, who agreed to something she was in no way ready for.


With that being said, I do love my job.  I truly do.  I have wanted to teach since I was in elementary school and I made my siblings play "school" with me.  I remember finding teachers editions and being in love with the idea of teaching.  I still am! 

I follow between 30-40 teaching blogs as it is...and I add to that list on a weekly basis.  I love the community of teachers out there who know how hard our jobs are and are willing to share what is working in their classrooms.  I hope to be "that kind of blogger" one day.  But for now, I will blog about my days in the classroom in hopes that I will get better at what I do.....


~Mandi