Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Currently with Oh Boy 4th Grade

The summer is going way too fast! I'm sure every teacher is saying that right
about now! I am linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for the monthly currently, here goes:

Listening: It may seem strange that we live in Alaska and watch the Alaska reality shows, but I think my husband watches them so he can make fun of them! I know the Alaska Troopers show is interesting because we recognize a lot of the locations!
Loving: It never gets old that I don't have to think about setting the alarm clock for Monday morning! I am working summer school, but it is only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.
Thinking: My husband is heading to Oklahoma tomorrow night, he is going to spend time with his family and help his mom with some things. I am so happy he gets to go, but I will really miss him the minute he leaves! With all our kids grown up, we spend lots of time together, and things like a simple drive are enjoyable when we are together!
Wanting/needing: So I would like to go with him, HOWEVER, I need to get some things done before I take off! Mainly, finish summer school, I would also like to set up my classroom before I leave. I won't be back to Alaska until the required day. School districts don't really pay you for enough days to be ready for that first day of school!
Tips: My daughter has been teaching me cleaning recipes made from basic household supplies. My favorite one so far is the mixing of peroxide and baking soda into a paste and rubbing it on stain on fabric, rub it in, let it set, rub it in, and so on until it is clean, it works! Also dish soap and peroxide makes an amazing cleaner for everything.

I am going back to oh Boy! now to check out some blogs!

Five for Friday(Saturday!)......June 28, 2013

Whoa! It is Saturday night and I am just now getting my Friday post in! I'll be making it quick since I am feeling the need to sleep!

Here I go joining Doodle Bugs Teaching on my five for Friday! Doodles is taking July off so I don't want to miss out on this one!

1. We had another awesome week at summer school! Attendance is good and we pretended to camp in Wrangell Alaska this week. This happens to be a place I have lived, so I had lots of objects to show and tell with the students. We made a totem pole out of paper towel rolls that turned out so wonderful. I made one with Velcro, so the animals could be removed and replaced as I read the book, Totem Tale A Tall Story from Alaska by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks. It is a story about a totem pole where all the animals on it come to life one night, they have a grand time, at dawn they begin to climb back on the pole but cannot remember how they were sequenced. They are reminded that they tell a story and so figure it out as the sun rises.

The students loved it! and did a very good job with their own totem poles.
Alaska has many fine children's book authors, I love all of them, but this one is especially inspiring! By the way I googled the animals and printed out free clipart to make the totem animals.
2. I finally purchased a tablet! I have been playing with it for a couple of days and although I opted for a very inexpensive one, I am not one bit disappointed, it does everything I wanted it to do.
3. I also purchased my plane ticket for Oklahoma! Wooooo! I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends. I miss them soooooo much.
4. In school we had an awesome graphing activity using paper fish with paper clips and a fishing pole with a magnet! First, we took turns fishing for one fish at a time, it went pretty quick, so the wait time was minimal, after catching the fish, they told me what color their fish was (loud enough for me to hear and understand them).....

Second, they placed their fish on the graph......

and last, I had them read the questions and answer them.
annnnnd..... when we had a few extra minutes...we did more fishing just for fun!
5. My last random thought will be grandchildren of course! My husband put together what my daughter fondly described as a "redneck slip and slide" for the kids to play on. We have actually had some really warm days lately! The kids had a blast and so did grandpa!

They managed to find a muddy spot. (big surprise)
So there is my five! I still have so much to share with you that we are doing at summer school!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Camping Classroom Unit at Summer School...Class tour

Ok, this is how our school district does ESY (Extended School Year): a school is chosen that is sort of a central point for the district, our district is HUGE by the way, mile wise. Then all the students who were signed up for it attend that school with the exception of the more remote locations, they have their own.  We have preschool through high school there all at one time. It is amazing to see, all ages and types of students under one roof!

This year my classroom theme is Camping around Alaska! The Teacher Assistants assigned to my classroom are awesome and jumped right in with ideas to make this the best Summer School classroom ever!

This week we set up the classroom for the 5 week session. The first three days,  the unit is introduced, the routines and expectations are reviewed, we get to know each other.

This year I really lucked out. It is always a surprise which classroom we will be assigned, as well as how much space you are allowed to use. This time, the room is in transition, the previous teacher moved out completely and the new one has not moved in yet...meaning we had practically the whole room available to us!

Campfire area: calendar, counting, story time, whole group activities.

 The Bear Station: meeting with the teacher in groups of 2, working on objectives. (added a small table since this picture)

 The writing tent: writing, fine motor tasks.

 Check in area: turn over tent card and check your job for the day.

Reading Tent: literacy tasks, reading
The Cabin: sensory bin, puzzles, and other fun stuff!

 The Moose Station: independent stations or you might think of them as TEACCH stations.
 Science Table: This is where we display and explore what we find outdoors on hikes, also include items related to the week's camping place. Other items not pictured: magnets and a balance with weighted pieces.
After some trial and error, we came up with the station rotation schedule. There are three adults, and each class session has 5-6 students. We split them up in groups of 2. Each group is assigned to the Bear Station, Writing Tent and the Reading Tent. When finished with the initial station, they can choose to go to the Cabin, Science or the Moose stations. After about 5 minutes, we rotate again. At this time, I have a 30 minute slot for rotating and it is a little short! Our entire session is only 2 and a half hours long. The buses were running late last week, I think they will be on time next week, so we will gain some time.
The next time I will share our schedule, routines and an art project or two!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five for Friday...ESY begins.....June 21, 2013

First day of summer, our longest day of the year, it seems to have arrived too fast!

Joining Doodle Bugs Teaching, here's my five for Friday:

1. ESY aka summer school began this week! I am sooooo tired but pleased with the progress. Everyone loves my theme:  Camping in Alaska! My TAs jumped right on it and helped me set up the classroom, bringing camping items from their homes as well! Here's a peek at our campfire area.......
2. It was sunny and HOT several days this week! Hot to us is 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit...remember we don't have AC, so there were a couple of nights that made it hard to sleep. This Okie girl is not used to heat anymore!
image provided by google free clipart
3. Commuted to school with a friend and co-worker all week, it was great! Besides the obvious benefit, saving gas money, it is also very nice to have someone to visit with to and from work. The school where we are having ESY is about 30 minutes away from my house. I drove this week, so next week I can just sit back and relax!
4.Our landlord brought us another washing machine. YEA!
5. We took drives around the lake several evenings...beautiful!
I am closing with a picture of my daughter and her friend!

Happy summer!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Attention! The Phonics Phenomenon is having a GIVEAWAY!

Calling all teachers!! Phonics Phenomenon is having a giveaway to celebrate her 100 followers...check out her blog at The Phonics Phenomenon 100 Follower Celebration! The winner will receive a $25 TPT gift certificate and her entire TPT store.  Make sure that you get your entries in by the 21st!
Congratulations to Kristy Lutton! 

I am very happy with my 20 followers, thank you to everyone who drops by and leaves a comment from time to time.  I have some new stuff to share with you from summer school! Today one of our assistants said that we had the coolest room at summer school.
More later, Paula

Friday, June 14, 2013

Five for Friday....June 14, 2013

It's time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

This was my official last week of complete freedom, summer school begins on Monday, I am excited and sad all at the same time.

1. This week I spent preparing for summer school, I decided on a theme I haven't used before, so I had lots of stuff to prepare. Thanks to Teacher pay Teachers, I had lots of materials to choose from!
I created a cardboard cabin, see it on my June 8, 2013 post!  I used up all the ink in my little printer and had to buy more to prepare a visual schedule, station rotation chart and attendance/job card chart. Here's the main schedule......
The campfire graphics are from Chassity Klick's camping theme packet at Teachers pay Teachers.

I'll share more about my charts later!

2. I spent a lovely day with my daughter and grandchildren!

3. My husband and I decided to NOT go camping until the mosquito population settled down! I am bummed, but relieved.

4. We bought flowers for our hanging baskets! I love having  bright pretty flowers hanging by the front porch.

5. I went to bed late and slept late all week! I watched marathons of my favorite TV shows-Supernatural, Bones, Castle.
That's all for my five!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Building a cabin with cardboard

I want this to be the most fun summer school class ever! Following the "Camping around Alaska" theme, our centers will be things like tents and camp chairs. Instead of sitting at a typical calendar area, we will sit around the campfire!  With that in mind I started looking closer at this big TV box sitting around our back porch since November, we were reluctant to let go of it, we just knew it would come in handy. I got to thinking "Wouldn't it be cool to have a cabin as one of our centers", it could be just a "front" of a cabin, with a door they could crawl through. I didn't want to spend anymore money then absolutely needed.

To begin, light the mosquito coil so I won't get eaten alive on the back porch!

Materials: BIG box, brown paint, medium size brush, black paint or black marker, scrap wood.

Next, cut the box apart.  Paint it brown.   Let it dry.

I started applying the "logs" with black paint...didn't look right. Switched to a black marker...better. My hubby and I looked at it, didn't look all that "log like". Drew ovals in ....better, added "tree rings", even better!
I noticed that it was already developing a weak spot above the doorway, uh oh...will it last 5 weeks,(the length of summer school) maybe with some duct tape reinforcement? My hubby disappears awhile into his "shed", he returns with a piece of scrap wood, light weight, cuts it and viola! reinforced and attached with staple gun.

I think we can have some fun with this! 

Let me know about some of your home made recycling projects, leave a comment and a way to see them. I would do a linking thing if I knew how, so for now just leave your blog address, I would love to see more ideas.

Thank you, Paula

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday....June 7, 2013

It's already Friday again! This is how vacation always! Although Doodle Bugs Teaching is on a real vacation, she is still having the linking party! Thank you!

 We didn't go camping, a big bummer, it seems one thing and then another kept us from leaving. I am sure we will go eventually. What we DID do was.....

1. Improved Rupert's (turtle) and Willie's (rat) habitats....

2. I started making a real effort to improve my health, the eating...not so much...who can resist mac and cheese?? I did start walking, armed with my trusty clip on mosquito repellent, the mosquitos are getting thick and those thingies work great!

We do have a lovely place to no excuses!
3. Although we didn't do real camping, my hubby set up the screen tent so the grand kids could enjoy the outdoors without being eaten by the mosquitos.

4. The washing machine broke down.....  : ( 
5. I added my very first item to my Teachers pay Teachers store, now I am motivated to create and add more items.
I also sat around and did NOTHING!  So there's my five!
Have a great week, Paula


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Getting organized....Freebie...and a kitten!

I am beginning to organize materials for summer school, there are lots of resources available, but first I need to see what the students are going to need. The last couple of weeks of school, I did a quick glance through the special ed. amendments and decided on a theme for my summer classroom.
This week I went over the amendments more carefully. I have a blank objectives form that is handy to list each student's objectives. Last year I also  compiled a list for each session. We have morning and afternoon sessions, the students in each one are usually very different. It is very helpful in planning how the lessons should be presented, what kind of accommodations are needed and so on.

These pics didn't come out too clear, but you  get the idea.  I noticed that my morning class can be pretty academic and that the afternoon class has more social and self help objectives. So now I'm ready to crank out those lesson plans with the theme "Camping around Alaska".
I am now going to link my very first ever "FREEBIE"!! It is also my first item in my TpT store! This is a very simple form for keeping data and is pictured above. Many teachers have all kinds of useful assessment forms out there, I have made more complex ones, but I always return to this mega simple one, so here you are. I also know that you can throw your own together easier then downloading mine, but this was a lesson for me to learn. I still have so much to learn in the blogging realm! I think that's why I like it, I am excited to be learning something new.
I am now signing off with a picture of my daughter's cat.  She is a sweet kitty, her name is Tinkerbell and she was so  happy to be rolling around on the newly made bed! I took a picture of course!
Until next time, Paula

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Giveaway from Hoot n' Holler!

There is a pretty cool giveaway going on over at the Hoots n' Hollers' blog! There are two ways to enter, one for K-2, another for 3-5!

You will need to click the blog name listed in the above paragraph rather then the graphic, because I have no idea how to set that up! Enjoy and good luck! Paula

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Currently

May was so busy it felt like 3 months instead of just 1! Thank goodness it is over, I'm taking a little break until summer school starts. Thank you once again  Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for providing this nice template to write on! I am only beginning to understand how to use Picasso 3 and have no idea how you do these graphics, so I am grateful!

There is NOTHING worth watching on television, not sure why I keep subscribing to TV channels! My husband likes the TV on no matter what, so we are watching a movie that we've seen many times, but it is the best option.

Really looking forward to getting OUT of the house! My husband has been getting our supplies together for a camping trip, it needs to happen soon! Since the lakes just recently thawed out...none of them are warm...but that's OK!!!

Needing... enough said.

Essentials....always sunscreen, I have no tolerance for direct sunshine...burn very easily and we have a lot of daylight this time of year. My iphone  with the car charger must go with me everywhere, I need my Oregon Trial...Diamond! Kindle with all my reading materials.