Love ♥

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I’m linking up with Moxie for her “Teaching with Moxie” Monthly Photo Challenge!

It’s simple! Link up with a photo of something that fits the monthly theme. For February, the theme is “Love”! The picture can be anything that fits the theme and is teaching-related. Then, write a brief post about the picture, why you chose it, and Link Up! Even better than showcasing your love for teaching will be the fact that you can win a $10 gift certificate to TPT for participating!

Here are my loves (I couldn’t choose just one) 😉

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We are lucky enough to have access to a netbook computer cart. Students are able to use the computers at least once a week to create assignments using Web 2.0 tools, blog, and practice ELA concepts.

Students have created Vokis, mini posters using PowerPoint, Wordles, etc.

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The ActivExpression devices are mini miracle workers! They get the most off task child involved in a lesson and it gives me immediate feedback on whether students understand what we’re working on. I use them every single day! Our school district follows the EDI (Explicit Direct Instruction) model and the devices are perfect for our “Checking for Understanding” component. I embed questions frequently throughout my lessons and it makes the lessons go so smoothly! Students can answer multiple choice, true or false, sequence, and likert scale questions; they can even text in words and/or phrases!

♫Awesome♫

So here are my loves….what are yours?

Until the next time!

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Now That’s What I Call Teamwork! and February Currently

Our sixth grade team of teachers is a real team!  We love our jobs – we love our children and we’d do just about anything to help them become successful.  We work together so well – I AM BLESSED!  I know that our situation is the exception – not the norm – and for that I am truly grateful.

A few months ago, I had a half day meeting at the district office.  Since it is so difficult to get substitutes to agree to come in for 1/2 day, we decided to split our 110 children into three groups.  So these groups were anywhere between 35 and 37 kids….in one classroom…..for 90 minutes!  But it worked! And we’ve realized (after having to do it once last week and twice this week) that we’ve got some really great kids  too!  Our new schedule took away only two changes for the students – but it really made a big deal with their “excitedability”. (Yes, I know that’s not a real word!)

Our SS partner was our sick for two days last week.  We thought it would be only for one day and I was planned for that because students were finishing up a quiz.  But day two…..kinda threw me for a loop.  I thought about it all night, Friday morning, well actually about 15 minutes before the kiddos got there….and Eureka! it came to me.  We were finishing up Euphemisms so I created a mini project for them….Euphemism posters.  Students used PowerPoint to create a poster on a one Euphemism.  See an example below:

 

I am especially proud of this kid for many reasons….:-)

But the #1 reason there is a smile on my face is because of this:  My last period class is a elective class to assist students with preparation for our standardized test.  But since I had mine and my partners, I allowed students who hadn’t finished their project to finish.  And I didn’t have to do a thing!  I printed out multiple copies of the directions and students who had finished their projects helped those who hadn’t.  I was so proud of these students!!  Plus we used DropItToMe for the first time….and it was NO headache at all…. 🙂

 

Check them out here!

Euphemism Poster Creation on PhotoPeach


And now for my February Currently!  Thanks to Farley at Oh’ Boy Fourth Grade for hosting this really neat monthly activity!

 

DD and I are visiting my parents today and they have no willpower!  It’s been NickJr. ever since we stepped into the house. Sigh…..SpongeBob SquarePants has never been a favorite of mine….

My blog has been selected for inclusion in the list of the Top 25 Middle School Teacher Blogs of 2012. If you’re interested, click on the link here.  It took me three years to even get the nerve up to start a personal blog….how excited am I that people are noticing my hard work.

I’ve talked about our 1:1 mobile device initiative in a previous post (I think?) but it’s now really becoming a reality.  My team submitted a group proposal so that all of our students would get the iPads and my principal is pretty sure we’ll be approved.  I also received an email complimenting me on our proposal and was even asked if I would be ok with my ideas being shared in our initiative.  And the final hurrah was being asked to be one of the first teachers for our graduate school class.  Now, it’s not as if I don’t have enough to do (my family thinks I do too much already), but this is a wonderful opportunity for me.  I received my administration degree in 2010 and have been debating what I really want my educational course to be.  Since being back in the classroom after budget cuts – I’m slowly coming to the realization that my niche is technology integration.  I’ve even been contemplating getting an Ed.D in Instructional Technology.  As always, I will put it into the hands of the Lord and allow him to direct my path.  He has never (and will never) steer me wrong!

I want to talk about my “needing”, but I get anxious just thinking about it!  I told my principal somebody better get me a prescription of Xanax.  I love teaching reading and I love to write – but I absolutely hate….strongly dislike teaching writing to sixth graders.  OMG….nuff said.

So anyway…I’m skipping down to my “Pet Peeves”….

#1 Lazy Kiddos – uggghhh….Middle School is hard……6th Grade is the hardest! Our kids go from having one teacher in 5th Grade to having SIX teachers in 6th Grade! Whew!  And many elementary schools are fond of social promotion.  I have at least one student every year who failed EVERY CLASS last year and was PROMOTED!!! What?????!!!!!  So when they get to us and they have to pass aaaallllll classes it is a great shock. You should see some of those sweet little faces at the end of the year – DISBELIEF!  It’s downright comical in a sad, sad, way….

#2 Tapping – More specifically tapping me on my arm/shoulder and repeatedly calling my name….Mrs. J….Mrs. J…..Mrs. J……..WHAT?  Oh, I absolutely despite it…..

#3 Complainers – We are so blessed at my school and school district. Promethean Boards, ActivExpressions devices, laptops and soon (cross your fingers) iPads! But sometimes (like every day) I hear a complaint about something. “These computers are too slow” (Bring your own from home – oh! you don’t have one), “My device isn’t working right” (Ok, get out your whiteboard then), “$.050 for a pencil??” (Tell yo’ mama to go to the store and buy you some), and on and on and on.  Just once I would love to hear “Mrs. J. we are so blessed!” Just once…..or maybe once a day…..

Alrighty now! If you’re going to link up remember to follow the rule of 3 – Comment on the two blog posts before yours and one after.  Who knows the connections you’ll make?

 

Later guys!

Happy New Year and January Currently

Happy New Year! I cannot believe that it’s 2013 already! What a whirlwind year we’ve had. I’m linking up with Farley at Oh’ Boy 4th Grade for her monthly currently.

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There have been some lazy days in the family! DD usually has a strict schedule (it really helps children with autism), but I haven’t been sticking to it much this holiday season. She goes back to school on Thursday and I’m afraid there’s going to be heck to pay tomorrow night and Thursday morning. Pray for me!! She just woke up a few minutes ago – only to come by and pick up the iPad and climb back in bed. That and put on the bathrobe her godmother bought her for Christmas. Not. understanding the fascination – but oh well…..

DH is not feeling well, so he’s knocked out. I was sick last Thursday – Saturday (really still having a few issues), and I found. RiteAid brand of Tylenol Cole and Sinus that worked great! It has a Nighttime and Daytime formula which I love. You actually get some sleep!!

That’s right – you heard it! We don’t go back to school until January 7th!! Although it was hard going until December 21st….I am LOVING it now! That means two whole days with out the constant “Mama can I have….” questions. DD will be in school….DH will be at work….and I will be all alone….:-)

OMG, I have so much work that I need to do before school starts on Monday! Planning for my kiddos, my room is a mess, and I should begin planning for the PD I am teaching on January 18th that I kinda sorta….maybe…..actually have not much of a clue of what I should do. The class is called “Web 2.0, Apps, and You”. I only have 2 hours, and there’s so much I want to share so I need to narrow it down…

Our district is moving toward a 1:1 iPad deployment. My principal selected me to participate in the district committee responsible for planning the deployment, but I still need to submit my proposal for classroom use. Our 6th grade team is actually submitting a group proposal, but crazy me agreed to do the groundwork….crazy me…..

But, the most pressing thing is that I need to get my butt up and head to the grocery store. All GRITS (Girls Raised In The South) know that New Years Day dinner consists of chicken, collard greens, black eyes peas as staples. We only arrived home from Va. on yesterday and all I have is the chicken. Gotta get a move on! Gonna cook some Mac and cheese too! Mmmmmmm.

OLW – Blessed…..I have a wonderful family, a great job, and pretty good health. The health part I can control. No resolutions, just a plan to get back to what I know works. Healthy eating and exercise. No other words necessary.

Well, I’m off to the grocery store….wish me luck!

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First Quarter in Review and my October Currently

I can’t believe that we are heading in Week Eight of our 1st Nine Weeks! Where did the time go? I’m enjoying my new kiddos and we’re having a good time in class. But, these 60 minute periods are killing me! I know I should be used to it by now – it’s my third year….but eight years of 90 minute period spoiled me!

I’m working on streamlining my lessons so that I get in all the necessary components – but I just don’t like it. Now, I’m probably about two weeks behind in my pacing guide, but I’m achieving my goal of 80% student mastery of skills. So, I’m doing quite a few things right.

My kiddos are loving the technology. You would think our ActivExpression devices are little piece of magic – and I guess they are. We’ve actively begun blogging (which they have actively dived into) and using VoiceThread; and I’ve introduced them to Animoto, Xtranormal, Wordle, Socrative, and Voki. Skype, Bitstrips and Edmodo are coming up next.

 

 

Here’s our VoiceThread about our school:

I’ve adjusted my homework plan and it’s saving me 210 copies a week….that’s right you read it right…A WEEK! I might actually only have to buy one additional case of paper this year! 🙂

Things are good great! Of course there are always a few things to tweak, but when isn’t there?

And now for my October currently……

I’m linking up with Farley from Oh’Boy 4th Grade yet again (I just love these things!); It forces me to be reflective and aware.

 

I have two iPod touches and an iPad, but I’ve been hemming and hawing about getting the iPhone for about three years. I love my HTC Inspire, which has an Android platform, but the battery life is killing me! I’ve heard the battery life on the iPhones are better. This time next week, I will be the content owner of one – just not sure which one…..stay tuned!

I am such the procrastinator (which I actually plan to stop doing…..tomorrow), but I know first hand how smooth the mornings are when I get clothes ready for the week on Sunday. So – I’m going to bite the bullet and do it…..a little later this evening. 🙂

 

 

We’re participating in The Global Read Aloud, and they are loving The One and Only Ivan. It’s such a sad story and I’m pleasantly surprised how much they care for that gorilla already. If you haven’t heard of The Global Read Aloud, click on the link above and check it out.

My next read will be Wonder. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book and actually downloaded the sample.

But, as I have exhausted my bi-weekly book allowance, I will purchase it next week. A great book about teaching tolerance – from what I’ve read (and heard about) so far.

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Bitstrips – Another Addiction!

I have a friend who is a Instructional Technology Specialist, who blogs over on Techni-color, that got me hooked to this awesome Web 2.0 tool, Bitstrips!

This site allows you to create your own toon and customize it to look like you or whomever you wish it to look like. You can then save those toons and create your own stories. There is also a paid version for teachers to have students create their own avatars, and its like a closed classroom community. There is a free 30 day trial so that you can get a feel for it, or sign up for the free Daily Funnies starring you….check it out!!

Here is a bitstrip that I created to review Point of View. What do you think?

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Monthly Monday Made It #2

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’re aware that my students are participating in a Quadblogging Project. There are four blogs in each group and we spend a week visiting each other’s blogs. This helps to increase readership and get quality feedback from other students located all over the world.

So I’m linking up with 4th Grade Frolics to showcase my Monday Made It!

This month’s Monday Made It is the VoiceThread my students completed to introduce themselves to our quadblogging partners.

They were so excited to complete it! I printed out the pictures that we would use and they created the moderation. Awesome!

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We’re Quadblogging!

Quadblogging is an idea that was created by David Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell thought that it would be a great way to connect and learn more about different classroom and cultures. Here is the concept:

This year our class will be participating in a quadblogging project with three other classes that are completely different. Here are our quadblogging buddies:

Mrs. Harvey: Blogging Along

Mr. Hopper: Class 9, Sheffield

Mr. Hearn: Moreland: Federation Year 6, Bath

Mrs. Jefferson: Mrs. J’s Tigers, USA

We will spend a week with each blog, visiting, commenting, and knocking down those classroom walls. I hope that you’re as excited as I am!

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My Very First “Monday Made It”!

As I’ve been perusing other blogs, I see all the creative things teachers are making….and I am so jealous! Unfortunately the best drawing I can do includes stick figures and asking me to create something with my hands…ummm, just doesn’t turn out the way I see it in my head. So I figured “Monday Made It” (which is sponsored by Fourth Grade Frolics)just wasn’t for me…until…..

Eureka! I’m a tech geek and I make plenty of things using various technology devices so why can’t I use those for my Monday Made Its? So here is a video I created to introduce myself to my students using Animoto.

And now that I’ve found my niche’ there will be more to come….:-)