Sunday, February 26, 2012

On "sort" of a roll and 100 FINALLY!!

Hi friends. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. I have been literally working on "school stuff" all day and I feel as though I don't have much to show for it. Do you ever feel like that? At times the responsibilities of a classroom teacher seem never ending. Oh wait, that's because they really are. :)

I put together two sorting activities this weekend for my kiddos. One is for sorting obtuse, acute, and right angles, because that's such an EASY concept for 3rd graders. <insert sarcasm > Angles are such an abstract concept and hard to master. For the most part my kids are "Angle Masters" but I wanted something that they could do this week to keep the skill fresh. We are 7 weeks away from FCAT! *GASPS* I'm doing everything possible to keep EVERY skill we have done this year current and remembered.  If only the school day lasted for 18 hours....then it would be no problem! 

The 2nd one is for transformations: flips (reflections), turns (rotations),
and slides (translations). 

Both of these products are in my Teacher's Notebook Shop
and will soon be in my TpT store as well. 

Check them out! 

Now for some earth shattering news... I have finally reached 100 followers. *MORE GASPS* Alright, Go Ms. V! Of course that means GIVEAWAY time!

I am giving away a $15 gift card to

I heart MyGrafico. They have great clip art collections and I can always find just what I need there. OK, here is what you can do to enter:

1. Follow my blog and comment that you do. If you already follow my blog, just leave me a comment saying so. (One entry)

2. Follow my TN Shop (one entry)

3. Follow my TpT Store (one entry)

4. Add my blog button to your blog (one entry)

5. Blog about the giveaway (two entries so leave two comments)

**Giveaway closes on Saturday night right before bed.**

That's it! Off to go work on more "school stuff" or maybe go pay attention to Mark. I'm starting to forget what the guy looks like. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sort it out!

To review symmetry I created a sorting activity for my students. This activity contains 84 different images which students can sort into two categories: symmetrical and non-symmetrical. There are also headers to sort the symmetrical images based on how many lines of symmetry they each have. This activity can be used for whole group instruction or as a center activity and it's now in both of my stores. :) Check it out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Inventory

Hello friends. Hope you had a great teaching day if you didn't get the day off. I spent the day running errands, having lunch with Mark at our favorite wing place, and doing spurts of nothing!

On Saturday Mark and I went down Ft. Myers. I have a credits and debits system in my classroom for behavior management. Students can earn credits for positive behavior and sadly, earn debits for behavior that is the opposite of positive. On Fridays when they are at Specials I write them checks for their credits. Then, they can take their checks to the bank and receive classroom cash. (I will do a LONG and DETAILED post about this whole system one day...just not today. lol) Every two weeks the class store is open. Students can buy various goodies and small trinkets with their class cash. Mark and I had a blast furnishing the store over the summer. I spent $200+ on the store but I wanted to ensure that it carried me at least to Christmas break. Fortunately it has brought me past Christmas break. Don't get me wrong, I still have a PLENTY in the store but you know how kids have to keep them guessing and keep things fresh! So Mark and I set out on Saturday to replenish our inventory.

I don't know why we enjoy doing this but we do. It's fun to analyze children and how they think. We ask each other "Would you play with this if you were a kid?" "How much would a child pay for this?"  We spend hours in dollar stores, party stores, dollar sections, anywhere!! 

Here is our loot from Saturday's endeavors:

Please disregard the baby tub in the back. It's a gift for someone.

The noise putty (the jars in the back) sells out every time we put it in the store, so we keep raising the price. :) HAHA. It makes for a great economy lesson! Supply and demand. Apart from the noise putty and bouncy balls (what is it with kids and bouncy balls?), everything else are new items. Over the summer we talked about selling candy and how we felt about it. We wanted to stay away from it as much as possible. We do sell lollipops but the kids are over it. We are moving to Air Heads. We are getting desperate! LOL

I also made "Eat with the Teacher" Coupons, which aren't really coupons
because they cost $100. Students can purchase these as well. 

I'll have to take pictures of my class store. It's pretty cool. It covers my entire back table.

Work tomorrow....already? WOW, that was the fastest 3 day weekend ever. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My New best friend

A package was delivered to our room today. A very important package. Our MimioView document camera. *gasps* We were so excited. 

I carefully opened the package as my kids watched in amazement. It was like Christmas morning. I took the camera out. Everyone gasped which was then followed by intense silence. Finally someone said "SOOOOOOO COOOOOL!" 

Here are some pictures:

Of course then the inevitable question arose, "Are you going to plug it in now and starting using it? Pleaseeeeeee!" (oh boy. I don't work well under pressure with 18 pairs of little eyes watching me, especially with technology) It was time for centers and the group that sits with me on Wednesdays promised that they would quietly read their reader's theater scripts, so I could switch out my old camera for the new one. I agreed and they were true to their promise. Installation for this precious gem was as easy as pie. I plugged the USB cord into my laptop and BOOM! Here are some pictures of the camera on my media cart. To avoid overusing my kiddo's expression of "SOOOOOOOO COOL," I will use my own. SUPERRRRRRRR COOOOOOOOOL. This camera is better than I anticipated. I am in love. Maybe more so than the love I feel for my classroom library. Hmmmm. I may have to think about that longer. 

I can use all the tools within Mimio Notebook while using the document camera. I can use the pen tool to write on sheets under the camera without actually writing on the sheet.
I am in love. <3

Here are some videos. Please don't mind my kids and I...
we sound ridiculous but we were so pumped! 

Let me leave you with this last thought...if you have any say or pull in what technology your district buys in the future, I ask that you consider DYMO Mimio products.
Their products are Kid Tested, Teacher Approved. :) 

Off to go lay down, I FEEL TERRIBLE (Sick again!) but I had to post about our fabulous addition to our class family. :) 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Pinterest...what was life like before this incredible gift? I'm totally addicted and if they had AA for Pinterest, I would nominate myself as the door holder for every meeting. 

I was feeling bold and "heartfelt" tonight, so I decided to do my Valentine's Day gift for my little darlings.

This is what I saw on Pinterest. I said to myself "Hey you can totally do this. It's so simple," and self said back "You got it kid. No problem." Well self was half right..half wrong.

I grabbed my crayons, knife, and cutting board and was ready to SLICE. Right after I put the camera down I had a "HELLO LADY!" moment. Uhhh, Tanya you have to take off the wrapping. OH. For some strange reason that step never crossed my mind. Its as if my prior knowledge on crayons strictly remembered seeing only "naked" crayons. So weird. After I got over my stupidity, I started peeling. WOW. Peeling wrapping off of crayons with nails = NOT A GOOD TIME. I still have crayon under my nails and this was a few hours ago. At first I tried doing it the dainty, girly way but after crayon #2 I was tearing into that thing like a lion who hadn't eaten in 7 days. (Of course this simile is not to be confused with me tearing into the crayon with my teeth but more WITH MY NAILS.)

After some more than 40 minutes...this is what I had. 

I got the molds from Target. Target you are the glue that holds my life together.

There were so many questions during this endeavor....

"Should I cut the crayons into smaller pieces?"
"Should I cut the crayons into bigger pieces?"
"What colors would work the best?"
"Will I ever get the crayon out from under my nails?"
"Why do crayons have a weird texture/feeling to them?"
"I should have tried a recipe from Pinterest instead of a craft on a school night!"

The last sentence wasn't a question, but more a statement I pondered quite a few times...

I popped my little hearts into the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes.
13 minutes in, my oven started to produce an INTERESTING smell. 
Highlight of the night: "EW. I'm not eating whatever you have in the oven." - Mark (he missed the whole chopping crayons up bit and had no idea what I was doing in the kitchen. Oh to be a man and oblivious to life.) 

This is what they looked like when I took them out of the oven. I let them cool completely and then the popping started! 

Finished product:

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. So worth it!! I know my kiddos will love them, and thanks to this craft, I now have built-in crayons under my nails. Go me. 

Off to go work on the template which the heart will sit on and to snuggle with Penny. :) 


I received an email from Mimio last night informing me I was a winner for the Winter Lesson Contest! A BIG ENORMOUS thanks to everyone who helped and voted. My kiddos and I greatly appreciate you! 

This will be the newest addition to our classroom products family:

I'm can't wait to get my hands on this baby! This document camera takes photos and videos which can easily be uploaded into Mimio Notebook. My kids and I will ensure that this camera is put to good use. THANKS AGAIN! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mixed Up Fairy Tales!

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year....the week where we examine all different versions of classic fairy tales. This unit always bring laughter, enjoyment, and creativity! 

We started examining mixed up fairy tales back in November when our weekly reading story fell into the fantasy genre. I had just gotten a new mixed up fairy tale to add to my collection and much to my amazement (to my wallet's disappointment), I discovered that there was a whole set of fractured fairy tales! I called my dear friends at BAM and had them order me the set ASAP. 

My students LOVED THEM! EVERY ONE! Can't say I blame them...they are adorable and hilarious.

They joined our already existing mixed up fairy tale family...

I have others (like 15 more) but I am starting to lose my memory. Hey, it's Monday. So with the idea of mixed up fairy tales on our minds, my kiddos decided they wanted to make their own fractured fairy tales for our new set of class movies. They started today and they are THRILLED! I can't wait to see where these movies take us. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Hello there! Hope all is well. Notice anything new on the right sidebar of my blog? I finally created a TpT store and Teacher Notebook shop! *Gasps* I feel so up to date now. Granted both have hardly anything in them, but its a work in progress. 

I created two fold-able geometry books which I used with my students this week. We worked on plane shapes and polygons this week. Earlier in the week my kiddos were feeling overwhelmed. This group feels as though they need to conquer the material the SAME exact day I introduce it. I explained to them that geometry is complicated, especially the skills that require abstract thinking. Chapter 9 is LOADED with vocabulary. Introducing 4-8 new vocabulary words a lesson is A LOT for little minds! To add some fun and spice to our lessons later in the week (we made Thursday and Friday review days), we worked on these two books. 

Both of these PDFs are available at my Teachers Notebook shop and TpT store. Both books are 2 pages each and I will give away one book to 5 people! The 1st 5 people to comment with their email address and the name of which book they want will get MY VERY FIRST FREEBIE! *another gasp* 

My kids were so into them. I was thrilled. At the end of Friday one of my darlings said "Oh Ms. V I feel so much better about geometry now." (Happy teacher!) 

Personal update - last night I got an iPhone 4. I'm finally cool. :)