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Monday, July 30, 2012

It's a Giveaway!

Designed with teachers in mind- check out what's going on at Miss V's Busy Bees! She reached 200 followers and wanted to share the love!

General Delk and the Common Core Crusaders!

Once upon a time, General Delk decided to embark upon a quest to find out the most she could about the new Common Core standards. (Ahem- It might have been Mr. Evan's doing. But, he's not here so......) In order to learn as much as she could, she had to travel to a far away land called... Memphis!

She called her friends to go with her, for this journey could be fraught with dangers- like crazy drivers and pushy teachers. She (really Mr. Evans....) chose her delegation with care and formed the Common Core Crusaders!

Mrs. Smith- Keeper of the Level Head! If there's a situation that needs calming, she'll be there!

Mrs. Jackson- Keeper of the Lead Foot! No need to worry about getting places on time! If there's a place to go and people to see, she'll get you there!

Ms. Snyder- Keeper of the Latest Fashion! No one on the Common Core Crusader's team is allowed to look anything but their best! Professional, classy, and clean! (She takes this very seriously. Due to lack of a Tide Stick, she had to go buy new pants.) Nothing will get in her way!

Mrs. Skeens- Keeper of Secrets! Need to know where we're staying? Skeens knows! Need to know if Mr. Evans followed through with the registration information? Count on Skeens to know what's what! Better than the scientists who guard the location of Area 51, Skeens will only share on a need-to-know basis.

Mrs. Anderson- Keeper of the Keys! She's ready to roll- move on out! In her rockin' red rover, she'll mow you down to get where she needs to be. Don't expect her to follow, she's a leader all the way!

Last, but not least, General Delk- Keeper of the Sarcasm and Snacks! Because really, aren't both of those things equally important?

Armed with their individual strengths, and a healthy dose of caffeinated beverages, the Crusaders set forth to the land of Blues and Elvis to absorb all they could about Common Core standards and their ties to the Old Ways. (aka- old Tennessee state standards)

Wish us luck, fellow educators! We promise to bring back much knowledge!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Celebrity Story Saturday- The Kissing Hand

Summer is almost gone and it's time to start thinking about going back to school.


Say it ain't so!
When we get back I will no longer be a first grade teacher, I'll be teaching 3rd grade! And my oldest is starting Kindergarten! Lots of changes to come this school year, and I know I'll need something to get me through the first few days.

The story today is read by one of my best friends at Clifton Hills. Mrs. Webb is a teacher's aid, but she is so much more important to the school than the title might suggest. She is a General in the cafeteria during lunch time, a substitute teacher when needed, a traveling technology teacher when the schedule allows, and a good listener whenever a teacher or student needs an ear.

Mrs. Webb asked to read The Kissing Hand, and I saved it until the end of summer to  help us get our brains back in gear.

Click {HERE} to hear the story or watch it below!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Online Storytime

Before school let out for the summer, I had teacher friends read for the camera so I would have a nice collection of stories to use over vacation. Well, I am supposed to have 2 stories left but.... I can only find 1! And I can't use that one yet because it's being saved for the return of school!

What to do? What to do?

Obviously, I still need to provide you with story time.  I've shared this website before, but it's so good that it needs to be shared again.

Storyline Online- the Screen Actors Guild Foundation has famous actors who read stories just for you!

Story Time For Me- has a selection of books that can be read online.

A Story before Bed- a site where you can hear stories read to you (free), and you can record you reading your favorite stories! (for a fee)

Check them out!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Celebrity Story Saturday- Mouse, Strawberry, and Bear

Sorry this post is a little late! My kids and I had a prior engagement this morning and I wasn't able to get to my computer.

Today's celebrity is another of my fabulous relatives! Last week was my sneaky as a snake little sister, today is my Bossy as a Queen Bee big sister! :)

Little sister, me, Big sister

Her name is Jennifer, and she is a stay-at-home-mom to my Super niece and nephew!
 Super nephew, Jennifer, Super niece, Jennifer's hubby- Jason

Before becoming a mom, she also worked for the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville. (which is where little sister works, only in the publishing house)

Jennifer chose to read the book The Little Mouse, The Big Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear.

(Ummm.... it might have had a page missing and I didn't notice when I gave it to her to read. Sorry!)

Click {HERE} to hear the story, or watch it below!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Normal Park- Great Start Program

I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen teachers from Clifton Hills to visit Normal Park school to check out their Great Start program. This is a program like summer school, used to encourage struggling students, and induct new transfer students into the world that is Normal Park Museum Magnet school.

The school is divided into two buildings, and the program is held in the upper level school. (grades 4-8)

I attended with Ms. Roach, who is our newest addition to the 3rd grade team.

Together, we observed Mrs. Hassler who taught a group of up-and-coming 3rd grade students.

I won't bore you with all the notes I took. I'll go straight to what I'm taking back to the Hills with me.

The Daily 5
This is not a program adopted by CHES, but I have heard about it from other educators, and of course from the mighty Pinterest. Today I was able to witness what all the fuss was about. 
Here are the posters Mrs. Hassler uses in her room.

These are 4 of the Daily 5 topics. The last topic is Listening, but Mrs. Hassler informed us that she didn't feel that was a good use of her time. These are used in place of typical "centers" or "literacy stations" that students complete during small group reading time.

They look easy enough, and I plan on including some aspects of the Daily 5 into my classroom. What I loves the most was their notebook. (I forgot to get a picture. Dang it!) It was divided into the different categories of the day. (Daily 5, writing, math, module) I like this idea, and will implement something like it and use it as a portfolio for each student.

I admit that I'm a little shaky on the particulars, but as far as I could tell a module is what they call their science/ social studies time. It is based on a unit of study and the culminating activity includes showcasing, or exhibiting, their final projects. A module will cover a variety of topics, all related to one central theme, and lasts around 9 weeks. (one grading period) 

For the Great Start program, students researched a topic for 3 weeks, and their exhibit is tomorrow. Ms. Roach and I were lucky to be around for the trial run today! The class we observed studied Swamp Habitats for 3 weeks. The students were kind enough to allow me to take some pictures. :)

Each student was to take an aspect of swamp life, do extra research, create a visual to match, and write a brief summary of their findings. 

 Here is an alligator

 Picture and summary of why keeping the swamp clean is important.


 Swamp diagrams describing the water and forestry found in the swamp. 

 Alligator snapping turtle

 Cypress tree

 Red tailed hawk

Lily pads

I love this idea! Units of study are my favorite way to teach, and I think that the Common Core standards that are coming down the pike lend themselves well to unit study.

Here are some other exhibits that can be found around the school.

Study of India- and poetry!
(Pictures were taken with my phone, so they aren't the best quality. Sorry!)

Students studied the aspects and genres of poetry, and combined their knowledge with their study of India. Students took pictures from Indian culture, and created poems about them. Students were allowed to choose the form of poetry the best suited them, but they also had to type a short explanation as to why they chose their particular form. Pictures and poems (cut up) were glued to a canvas and displayed proudly!

This is a 6th grade project and presentation, but can you see me doing something like this with my class of 3rd graders on the topic of Chattanooga? ME TOO! It's going to be epic. 

These are the writings about the importance of poetry.

Going Green with the Lorax

A 4th grade study of conservation, life/ water cycles, and habitats. Visual projects and written explanations of each project.

 Metamorphosis of a bee

 Metamorphosis of a dragonfly

 Food chain of an owl

Metamorphosis of a ladybug

Persuasive writing with 8th grade

I like this idea for teaching the different styles of writing. Their creativity was most impressive!

Civil War with 8th grade

I did not get as many pictures of this exhibit as I should have. I apologize. My eyes were drawn to the battle scenes. I have no doubt that the scenes were placed on order, but the pictures won't be.


 ???? (can't read the plaque)

Bull Run 


 Fort Sumter


A quilt of Influential People of the Civil War

6th grade Energy Pyramid

I apologize for not getting any closer shots. Each level of the pyramid is full of clay animals, created and painted by students, along with a typed description of each animal. 


It's going to take a while to process all the ideas I'm bringing home with me. It's nice to be able to visit other schools to glean the wisdom of fellow educators. 

Thank you, Mr. Evans for allowing me to get out of my house!

Thank you, Normal Park and Mrs. Hassler for sharing your amazing style!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Celebrity Story Saturday- If You Give a Moose a Muffin

Here's a special treat for everyone today! I was at a family gathering last weekend and I had not 1, but 2 volunteers for our Celebrity Story Saturday reading!
The first volunteer will be aired this weekend and it is the One... the Only... Sneaky as a Snake Sister!

You might remember my mentioning my sister in {THIS} post when we studied similes and metaphors. And, you'll remember, we are friends now!

My sister's name is Joanna and she is an editor at a publishing house in Nashville. Her company, Upper Room Books, recently had a very popular book published; My Story, My Song, which was written by Lucimarian Roberts, mother of Robin Roberts.

Joanna even got to meet Lucimarian and Robin Roberts at a tea and book signing!

So you see, my little sister is practically famous! And she's here to read you a story!

We used another book in this series to practice cause and effect. As you listen to the story, see if you can identify the causes and effects!

Click {HERE} to hear the story or watch it below!