Sunday, November 30, 2014

4th Grade Social Studies

This year I am currently co-teaching with a teammate of mine. I chose to teach the social studies standards for my kids (26 students) and my co-workers (28 ESS students). I have already covered  Geography, Map Skills,  Native American's, Explorer's and I am working on the Colonies standards. I have created common assessments for all of these standards as well as task cards. I used the task card's to review after I taught the information and then used the common assessments. The students really enjoyed the task cards for review.

Here are picture of my task cards:

All of these task cards as well as my assessments can be found on my teacher pay teacher store. Lucky for you tomorrow there will be a Cyber Monday sale. Please go and like my page and shop around!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Five for Friday


I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. 

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Happy Black Friday! Who all stood in lines last night in the cold to get a good deal? Not this girl. I have gone out and forged the crowds many times before, but this year I decided to stay at home and do a little online shopping. I am crazy enough to be planning on going to Atlanta today to shop around and have dinner. 

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Yesterday we had Thanksgiving lunch with my family, which was nice to see my niece since she recently moved to Nashville. She is the most precious little being I have ever met, although I am partial to her due to the fact that she is my niece. After lunch with my family, we went to my fiance's families Thanksgiving dinner, needless to say I ate my weight in food yesterday. 
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Since I feel like a fat heifer cow, I must do some sort of workout before I go shopping today. I am working on my bridal boot camp in preparation for June and the struggle is real around the holidays. I frantically found a quick dumbbell workout I may be able to squeeze in here at the house before I leave. The photo is compliments of Pinterest. 

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Currently my store 4th Grade Funky Town  is having a Black Friday sale and also a Cyber Monday sale December 1st. Please go check it out and shop around. A lot of other stores are on sale as well. 
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I am not ready to go back to school Monday after a week long break, but I will find the caffeine to get me there. We have three weeks until Christmas break and I know the time will fly by. After Christmas break it is a down hill spiral, so I am pumped about that since I am getting married this summer. Cheers to that!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Can't Live Without It

I am new to this blogging thing, so I am attempting to link in with Fun in Room 4B. The topic is something that you cannot live without. Since today is Thanksgiving I need to note that I am so very grateful and could not make it without God. First and foremost I am here today because of my relationship with my heavenly Father. Secondly I could not live without Wes, my fiance. He is such a blessing in my life. I don't know that he even realizes how much he makes me to be a better person and my life is complete with him by my side. My family, dogs, job, car, home and many other more things I am so blessed to have. With that said the goal of the linky was to post about teacher products, or other various subscriptions and home products I cannot live without.

Teacher Products:
First would be Mr. Sketch Markers. How would I be able to make such cute anchor charts without my luscious smelling markers.

My iPad, at my school they give each teacher an iPad and I am so grateful for it. I am able to utilize technology in my classroom daily because of this useful tool. My favorite app is Levelbook where I house all of my running records and guided reading records.

Home Products:
My Ninja blender would be one kitchen item I can't live without. We use it everyday to make an assortment of yummy goodies. Our favorite is cauliflower mash (fake mash potatoes). They taste just like the real thing, but are really healthy and good for you.

Black Friday Deal on TPT

Hip hip hooray!! It is time for a Black Friday deal on my teachers pay teachers store please go shop tomorrow. Cha Ching!

In preparation for turkey day, I made grape salad for my famaree (my interpretation of family from The Christmas Story). I got Wes to run out in the grocery buying rush last night to get the ingredients. I have to be careful sometimes sending him to the store. He is awesome about following directions and getting everything I need, but he always comes home with other treasures. For example, he came home with 8 dozen eggs just because they were 99 cents. Well we do eat a lot of eggs, so I shouldn't complain. We normally shop at Costco and purchase a large box of eggs every two weeks, so the 99 cent eggs were probably a better deal, so I shouldn't complain. I will post the recipe below.

Here is my grape salad recipe:

Grape Salad Recipe:

1 package of cream cheese
1 8oz container of sour cream
1/3 cup of sugar
3 table spoons of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 lbs seedless red grapes
2 lbs seedless green grapes
3 tablespoons of crushed pecans

Directions: Allow the cream cheese to thaw. Then mix the cream cheese with the sour cream, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Wash the grapes and pull of the stem. Place the grapes in a large bowl and mix the yummy mixture together with the grapes. I decided to leave my pecans for the side, since my niece is allergic to nuts. I wanted her to be able to partake in the yummy goodness. If you do not have a nut allergy in your family then just add the pecans to the mixture and stir it altogether. Enjoy

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Our Field Trip to the Tennessee Aquarium

Last Friday, the day before our Thanksgiving holidays, we decided to take the fourth grade at our school on a field trip. We have roughly in the ballpark of 120 fourth grade students and four teachers. Last year we had five, but due to funding they moved one of the teachers to third. Two out of the four of use were out of town for the field trip which means we had substitute teachers for our field trip. I know doesn't that sound like a headache and a half. Luckily one of the subs was a previous fourth grade teacher at our school, so she was wonderful. The other one was actually a para pro at our school and she had the wild bunch. Fortunately she survived and I'm sure all the kids had a blast. If we would have ridden the escalator up and down all day they kids would have thought we were at Disney.
We are a Title I school, so we were actually able to get our field trip completely  FREE which is always nice. The aquarium we decided to go to is thirty minutes north of the town our school is located in. We left promptly at 8:40 after me having to hold the bus, so that one of my little blessings could get herself checked in and on the bus before we left her. She is a true blessing with a name life Nevaeh (yes, Heaven spelled backwards) how could you not be a blessing. After tending to her and telling her our class was waiting for her with baited breath to get on the bus we traveled to Chattanooga, TN. As we are on interstate 24 going around the ridge cut the students gasped on the bus at the sight of the city. I'm pretty sure most of them had never been out of Dalton and so the sight of the city skyline was what I image when I saw Manhattan for the first time.
After gathering my little ducklings we lined up and went in to first building, which is the freshwater building that houses all the creatures from streams, lakes and rivers a plenty. We spend time with the otters, seahorses, and even giant sea monsters known as sturgeons. Some of them were amazingly large. Next we went on to the salt water building where the kids were able to touch stings rays, butterflies and to see the amazing sights of the jelly fish and every other ocean sea creature. We also spent some time with the penguins, who are quite adorable. After touring both buildings we had our typical school sack lunches outside and rushed to make it to the IMAX theater. When we arrived at the IMAX theater we were ushered to our seats and given our funny looking glasses and sat down to see a movie about The Age of the Titan Ice Age where we learned about the great mammoth and saber tooth tiger. Afterwards, we loaded the bus and headed home. It made for a great day with the kiddos. I was very fortunate to have my aunt help me chaperon my bunch.

Shaving Cream to the Rescue

When in doubt get the shaving cream out. I did this with my kids last year after one of my team mates suggested it to me and she mentioned the cleaning power. I mean who knew shaving cream would occupy my students and have them cleaning while they are learning. Now that is a doubt threat. In taking a break one day when we finished our Engage New York lesson, we whipped out the shaving cream.

I sprayed a blob on each student's desk and had them create an area to work out their math problems. I then gave them a 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication problem for them to practice their partial product and standard algorithm method.

They had an absolute blast. I didn't have much shaving cream to go around, so we only did this activity for about 15 minutes. I told the kids if they brought more shaving cream that we would do it again. I had two more cans the next day. It basically created a white board for them to write on with their fingers instead of an expo marker. When they are finished their is no clean up other than telling them to completely rub the shaving cream into their desk. You should definitely try it sometime you could use it for infinite possibilities.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pookie Tails

I can't believe I haven't introduced the first true loves of my life. Three other little men stole my heart before Wes even came into the picture. They are scruffy, precious, loving little fur babies. The first one was a present for my 17th birthday. Considering I am 29 he is now an elderly little old man dog. He is a Yorkshire Terrier who is named Bentley.

He is a spunky, super smart little dog. He originally lived with my parents when I moved off to college and when I moved out of the dorm I wanted him to come live with me. My mom decided she didn't want to give him up, so herein is where Duncan came into my world.Bentley actually has just started living with me again just recently since my parent's got tired of taking care of him. Duncan is a West Highland Terrier and he is independently, loyal and just all around has a great personality, even though sometimes he is skiddish. Duncan yet again was a birthday present for my 22nd birthday. 

Last and certainly not least is the most spoiled little dog around. Max is a Maltese, he was actually acquired by one of my best friends. At the time he was a gift from my friend's sisters husband to her for graduation. At the time they had a small child and couldn't deal with the extra responsibility of potty training a dog. He was purchased for over $800 and they just gave him to me for free. That's a good deal right?! Wrong :) For the first year of his life he was a terror. By terror I mean pooped, peed, and puked in his cage everyday while I was trying to crate train him. He would wipe his poop on the wall through the cage. Everyday I would have to give him a bath, clean the cage and the wall and whatever else he had gotten his little grummy paws on. He cried all night long like a little baby for an entire year. He was the most stubborn and relentless dogs I had ever come into contact with. The vet told me that is just the nature of the Maltese breed. I thought to myself, well if I can do this I will be prepared to be a good mom one day. Now he is the most precious dog and I truly love him even though we got off to a rocky start. He is a true lap dog who has to be in my lap all the time and sleeps with me by spooning every night with his head on the pillow and he must be tucked in. 

Here are some pics of us this summer:

In preparation for something blue...

Yes, I got engaged a little over four months ago and I have created a small sweat shop in my spare bedroom. Of course I had a Pinterest wedding board completed before I was engaged, with lots of crafty DIY projects and after Wes and I go engaged I went into freak mode. Here are some of the pictures of my creations:
This is just wall art, probably won't be included in the wedding festivities
I plan on putting this out on a table at our reception
Another home decor just for fun. I bought the actual "P" stand and my mom made the pillow and I copied the "P" onto the pillow with a marker. 

This will be placed at our "Thank You" table at our wedding, with Moon Pies as gifts. 
More decor. I ordered the "P" from and the metal actually came off of my grandfather's barn roof.
This is one of my favorites. The frame is from Hobby Lobby and I stapled chicken wire to it and used gator clips to clip the tiny prints to it. The prints came from printsagram.
These lanterns plus about ten or so more came from Target. That is a whole other story. I originally bought this group at one Target and they were marked on clearance, so of course I was ecstatic to get a good deal on wedding decor. I bought all that they had, so I traveled to another Target to get some more. Luckily they had just the right amount. I went up to the register to check out and low and behold they didn't ring up on sale. I politely asked why they didn't ring up on sale because they were in the outdoor clearance section and were marked on the shelf. They told me I would have to speak to the manager in customer service. I thought, ok well since I am buying so many and I love to save money its worth it. The manager were terribly rude and told me if they didn't ring up on sale that they weren't regardless the section or what the shelf said. I was getting ill at this point. I told the lady I had just bough some the previous night and they were all on sale and she said it didn't matter that every store was different and refused to go to the back of the store with me, so that I could show her the shelf price. Then she proceeded to tell me I needed to wait up front, so she could go back and take a look. Yes I told you before she refused to go look at the price and now she is telling me she is going to check. Ridiculous! She then comes back and says I was mistaken. Normally I would have pitched a fit and told her I didn't want them, but when I need something and I am in a bind to get them because they have to match the other ones I already bought I caved in and paid full price. Yes I know how terrible is that?!?! Let me finish my rant by stating that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Target and I am not trying to downplay their company, just the manager at this particular store. 

This tree slices will be used as center pieces for the lanterns to sit on with LED candles in them. The slices were cut by Wes' uncle after they had a pool built this summer, they had tons of extra trees laying around. 

These little stickers will be places on the Moon Pies :)

These pictures are just a few of the little creations and/or purchases I have made regarding my wedding crap as Wes would call it. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Liebster Award

I was so excited when I was notified that Kayla from Kayla in the Classroom had nominated me for the Liebster Award! It means a lot to me to acknowledged by another blogger in any way. I started this my blog at the at the beginning of October and I have had so much fun learning and discovering new people and getting to know other bloggers! This is another great way to meet great bloggers!
The Liebster Award is is awarded to new bloggers with less than 200 followers. This is a great way to recognize other bloggers with excellent ideas but have yet to be noticed! As a part of the Liebster Award, you get a chance to know me a little better by reading a little about me in 11 short questions I get to respond to! After that, I nominate 11 other blogs that I admire and love! Let's get started:)

1.) Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I actually just started my blog last month. I had a real struggle getting the formatting completed. I wanted a personalized blog which I tirelessly worked on, but soon gave up because I was losing my mind. I am still not completely satisfied with the layout, but it will do for now :)

2. ) What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Expressive. I say that beginning with a way for me to express my inspiration, dedication and frustration with educating and the crazy life of teaching.

3.) Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
I'm so new to blogging. I don't really have anything that I wished I knew due to the fact my blog is yet a month old.

4. )What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
Other than blogging, I love to play tennis. I have played tennis since I was in fifth grade. I currently play on the USTA league and love it. I also have a new hobby of wedding crafting. I got engaged in July and I will be getting married in June. I have made so many Pinterest crafts that I'm pretty sure I could start an Etsy store. I also love to create things for TpT. 

5. )How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
Honestly, I don't spend as much time as I should have. It is one of those things that I am currently trying to work towards setting a goal of spending "quality time" on blogging and reading other blogs. 

6.) What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
My favorite category of blog posts would be freebies. I mean who doesn't love freebies?!?! I also enjoy the implementation piece of blogs to help mentor teachers like myself (having only taught 2 years) from veteran teachers who know a lot more. 

7. )Where does your blog inspiration come from?
Hmmm... let's see I began blogging after I decided to began a venture on TPT this past summer. I didn't want to waste my entire summer at the pool, so I decided making and selling products on TPT. My friend Lacey Ridley told me about how she had made a decent supplemental income making and selling products, so I was inspired. I spent the summer tirelessly working my buns off to create products to sell. I decided to blog, after I saw how many people had such great resources and success. 

8.) Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
Well since I only have a few blog posts thus far, I would have to say the beginning of where I started my venture in What's in a Name? The history behind 4th Grade Funky Town will always have a happy place in my heart because of my first year group of kids. 

9.) Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now?
Oh yes ofcourse. It is due to lack of time. I am planning on blogging and making more materials and products on my Thanksgiving and Christmas break. I really want to post about all of the lovely creations I have made while getting ready for my wedding. 

10. ) What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
My favorite aspect of blogging would be a way to express yourself freely and to just say what is on your mind. I love that you can connect to other people who share in the same journey. 

11 ) Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most likely to try yourself?
Kayla had a really cute idea to put Washi tape on clothes pins to use for your behavior chart. I currently use clothes pins for my behavior chart, but not fancy ones with Washi tape :)Here are my nominees for the Liebster Award:

1.) A Teaspoon of Teaching
2.) The Fourth Grade Fizz
3.) Teaching with Smiles
4.) The Posh Teacher
5.) Fan-tasche-tic Fourth
6.) Tales and Teacherisms
7.) 4th Grade Dynamic Duo
8.) Going Places in Fourth Grade
9.) 4th Grade Sparkles
10.) Funky in Fourth
11.) Fun in Fourth

To those nominated, here are the rules:1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!) 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Veteran's Day

In an effort to teach my students the difference between a Veteran and a Veternarian I walked them down to the court house for us to admire the lawn. Every year for patriotic holidays our court house puts out flags to adorn their yard.

They always do a great job, so what better opportunity to give my kids a chance to get out of the school and learn about our soldiers who have fought for us. While talking to them about the branches of the military I had one student inform me that the first branch was the judicial branch. Bless it. Yes honey that is a branch of the government, but not the military. Oh our walk around the square, my aunt (who happens to work in my classroom daily) had gone to town to run by the post office. She drove by U.S. And when she saw it was my class parading around she promptly pulled in and joined our March. 
Here she is with my little crazies. Most days I'm pretty sure they would rather have her as their teacher (because she basically comes in to spoil them and leaves me to do the dirty work because oh yeah that is what I get paid to do). I'm planning on using a great resource this week from Bow Tie Guy from teachers pay teachers this week. He has a free resource currently on Veterans Day, go check him out. His products are fabulous!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Engage New York

About a month ago our math coach decided to have us embark on a new journey. This journey, like most, has its ebbs and flows. The program is Engage New York it includes free lesson plans, pacing guides, assessments, and all lessons are common core standards based. My fourth grade team was reluctant at first, but after teaching module 2 we feel a little less apprehensive about it. Module 2 included metric units of measure for fourth grade. It is somewhat scripted lesson plans, but I pick and chose what I deem as important material and what is too much for the kiddos. In the beginning, I felt the need to drink a five hour energy drink before beginning my lessons because I was basically teaching for the entirety of the ninety minute math segment with no individual practice (not because it wasn't offered, but because I felt the kids couldn't work on their own). Below is an example of just the first page from lesson 1 from the module 2 I just completed.
Each lesson includes what they call a problem set (individual with little assistance):
an exit ticket:
and homework:
After so many lessons have been complete there are mid-module assessments and end of module assessments. 
Also I don't want to forget my kids favorite part, within some lessons there are also sprints. A sprint is a timed worksheet that the students have to use their minds to accurate and quickly jot down math facts. The program Engage New York is designed to cover multiple standards within each module. The way the lessons are designed use different tactics and ways to teach and implement the common core standards. I will say the lessons will challenge you and your students, but in a good way. At first you will feel defeated, but I promise it gets better. If your school doesn't have any set of framework and guides lessons, then I suggest you try it out. It is designed for a multitude of grade levels. You can find it here:/