Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello! New Kid In The Class

Hey everyone!

I feel like the new kid in the class, but a class that is super awesome and nice!

I'm Tanja! You may know me from my blog Journey of a Substitute Teacher.

Hmm, what to say about me. Currently a substitute teacher for grades K-5 and even sub for specialists like music, library (my fave!), and P.E.

 I live in the beautiful (and wet) state of Oregon! Go Ducks!

Tulip Fields

Our Coast

Oh I guess I should post a pic of me before I go further, lol! That's me :)

I help teach 3 classes once a month at my friend's hardware store. Here's from last October.

 If you know me, I can be a goofball (why am I putting this on the internet, I don't know!)

 I love traveling and camping! (Mt. Hood in the background).

 This is my furbaby, Checkers. Love her so much and her little checkered face!

I love cooking and baking. I'm eating healthier now, so I am always experimenting and testing out new recipes (I usually post on my IG account @teacherjourney).

Whew! Enough about me now! I'm so excited and happy to be here, I just had to whip up a new freebie, just for you guys!!!

Click here to grab!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kahoot! Amazing iPad Quizzing Game Tool!

So, if you're anything like me - you're very 'tech savy' as they call us.  :)   I use lots of technology and usually find out about new websites and hot new items pretty quickly, mostly due to all of the blogs and pinteresting I do and read.  So when I come across something I've NEVER heard of... I'm shocked ;)  Clearly, I don't claim to know everything out there - but its rare I come across something I've never heard of AND something I LOVE!!  I found out about this amazing website/device game today and I just knew I had to share it with all of you.  It's called KAHOOT!  

We are going to a 2:1 initiative this year for iPads.  We've never had them so I'm quickly learning different ways to use them in the classroom.  This website seriously got me excited about having these devices in my room.  

I've uploaded a few tutorials to walk you through what KAHOOT is so please feel free to watch them. Basically, Kahoot is a 'game' type website that teachers can use to create quizzes (or surveys & discussions) and students can then take the quiz or interact.  But oh.. It's SO fun!!  If you've ever eaten at Buffalo Wild Wings - its basically just like the game you can play there.  Questions are posted and the quicker you answer, the better your score.  

Here are some photos of some teachers today using the website.  

As you can see I'm using an iPad remotely to play the game.

Questions are displayed and we are given a time limit.  On our device we select the answer and once everyone has answered it shows us the correct answer and gives us a score.

The quicker we answer the more points we get!

After each question, it ranks the students or 'teams' (however you have them logged in) so we can see the standings.

It also shows the correct answer instantly on the student's device and once all of the students have answered, the correct answer and a graph shows up on the teacher's screen.  Seriously, engaging!  

Take a look at the tutorial to learn more about Kahoot!  

Here's the 2nd part!  

If you've used Kahoot before, PLEASE let me know!!  I'd love to hear any advice on how to make it even better than what I already know!  Comment, comment, comment!  I love hearing from you!  And make sure to hop over to Adventures of Room 129 to follow me! :)

And while I have your attention - if you teach grades 2-4 you HAVE to see this deal...

Over 17 different products for only $19.99!!  At LEAST click on the photo above and look through it.  I have 4 products included in the bundle and those 4 products ALONE = over $20.00.  So by spending $19.99 you're practically getting 15 FREE products just based off of what mine are priced alone.  Seriously...amazing!!    

And to top that off, Educents is throwing a HUGE back to school blowout sale.  They are bringing back all of their best selling & popular deals and bundles for just 4 days only!  There's something out there no matter what grade you teach!   You be actin' like a FOOL if you pass this deal up!!  ;)  Make sure to click the photo below as well to check out all of the deals going on.  

I specifically LOVE the writing bundle.  Writing is my least favorite subject to plan and I'm always needing extra help.  This bundle SAVED me last year when it went live and I hope you'll check it out :)  Click on the photo to find out more!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Confession: I Love Class Projects

I'm just going to throw this out there, "I love projects".  It doesn't matter if it's reading, math, science, whatever--I just love projects.  Giving students a large scale (or long-scale) project, seeing them attack problems, deciding where to start, and/or working within a group is one of the best things we can do as teachers (I don't have any data to back that last statement up).  Yes, it takes a lot of work to make sure students are progressing and making appropriate--but it's what we do.

Let me clarify this a little more:  I love projects that take place in the classroom.
I don't always trust projects that go home then come back a little too perfect.  Yes, your parents can get an "A" too.

We also need to bring back science fairs!
/I'm going to step off my soapbox.

Before you get mad and tell me projects are a hassle let me tell you the positives that happen when they're done correctly:
  • Collaboration and Cooperation (two completely different ideas, both equally important)
  • Stirs creativity and imagination
  • Creates problem solvers
  • Allows for immediate feedback from peers and their own self-reflection/assessment
  • It integrates technology more efficiently
  • Connections to the real-world
I've begun creating project based learning activities for my students because I've seen the positive impact in their engagement levels and also allows for multiple modalities of their own learning to be used.  Some of these projects are shorter single day events while other may take a month.  It doesn't matter which kind I use, just that my students stretch their learning potential.

If you're looking to incorporate more project based learning opportunities in your class, might I suggest trying out Geometrocity: A City Made of Math.  This can be completed individually, within a group, or even as a class project.  Your students will literally be designing, planning, and building a city using geometry.

Check out a Preview on TPT or on Google Drive, here.

A great luxury of having a daughter in elementary school is that she always wants to try out what I create. She is my quality control.  So her and a friend spent an afternoon creating building,s using nets, to create 3D model of their city.


        And is it really a surprise that the first building she made was Target?  Nope.  We love Target.


To see more pictures and pages jump over to my blog and check it out.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

hello from alaska

I am so excited to be a part of this collaborative blog with some of my favorite bloggers! I actually got to meet a few of them in Vegas #dontbejelly #starstruck #luckyduck

So, first post...ahhh the pressure...of course, if you don't know who I am or have never heard of the Tongass National Forest, you're probably giving your computer screen a sour face at the word "Tongass" right now. It's okay, I'm about to get your head out of that gutter. It's pronounced "tawn-gus." Now, can we move on and never remember how you used to say it again?? Here's some proof in case you're still doubting it's actually the name of a forest.
A few things about me: I teach 2nd grade (this upcoming school year will be my 7th year). I started making and selling clipart almost exactly 1 year ago. I have been married 4 years, have a 2 year old son and am expecting another baby in November.
So, a little history. My great great grandparents arrived in Skagway, Southeast Alaska during the Gold Rush.  My great great grandfather made his living running a pack train (leading mules with people's luggage and supplies) on the Chilkoot Trail.  They eventually made their way to Juneau (not far away) and my family has been here ever since.
I work in an elementary school in the middle of a valley know as the Mendenhall Valley, which was carved by the Mendenhall Glacier.  This is one of the best views of the glacier...check out those beautiful and gigantic fireweed flowers in the foreground.
And here is a pic my brother took of the northern lights above the same  glacier (different viewpoint) was at 1:00 in the morning, I was sound asleep :)
And if you visit Juneau in the winter, you can even hike right across that same glacial lake and into an ice cave!
Or maybe posing in cool introspective thought next to an iceberg frozen on the lake is more your style...
A few misconceptions I should address sooner rather than later:
We do not live in igloos. We do not use dog sleds for transportation.  We accept the dollar.  Alaska is part of the United States, not a territory, but a STATE. It is connected to the rest of the continent and not in a little box next to Hawaii as your map might lead you to believe.  It is HUGE. Bigger than Texas.  If you know someone in Barrow and ask me if I know them, I might ask you if you know someone on the other side of the country. Yes, our population is small (Juneau has about 30k people), but we are spread out on a large scale.

The funny thing about our state, is that in addition to being shown as small on a map, it is never shown in the correct location.  Every year, students LIVING IN JUNEAU, think that we are an island off the coast of California (this is usually how a map displays Alaska).  Here's a little Alaska humor showing how crazy it would be if we just showed inaccurate maps everywhere:
 There are many very different regions of AK, and Southeast AK is along the coast...ocean, gigantic mountains everywhere, glaciers, spruce trees, the works.  Northern AK (Anchorage and beyond) is where you might picture tundra, moose, Eskimo, Iditarod....Juneau is very far way from that area and in fact, land-locked (travel in and out only by ferry or airplane).  I cannot count the number of times I have been talking to a customer service agent for a company that tells me "There is a store in Anchorage, you could go there."  Not likely, buddy.

Weather: We are in a rainforest, which means it rains. All. The. Time. Seriously. An average of 62 inches a year and during about 2/3 of the year. But...on the bright side, when it's sunny, you are reminded how lucky and fortunate you are to live in a tourist destination (we have anywhere from 2-5 cruise ships arrive daily from May-September).
 It snows on and off from about November to March, rains on and off throughout the other months.  May, June and July are our summer season months.  It is light out until about 10 or 11 pm in the summer, and is only dark for a few hours before the sun rises again....a crazy feeling when you are camping and the birds are singing in the middle of the night because it is getting light at 3!
Thankfully, I am able to take advantage of this beautiful city on occasion with my 2nd grade class. Last year, we were given a free whale watching cruise (courtesy of a super sweet grandparent who works for a boat charter company) #donthateme
So, if you ever decide to take a trip to Alaska, first, make sure it's May-July if you want a good chance of sunshine, then make sure you stop in Juneau and at least say hello to me!

You can follow my Facebook by clicking my logo below and Liking my Facebook page :) You may want to head over there right now and collect some clipart freebies from me and my clipart friends...look for the tab that says "Clipart Craze" and enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Math Journals

Today I am getting all my journals ready for my kiddos that are coming to me in two weeks!?!?!  I found this pretty impressive product for 4th grade math prompts last year and never ended up using it.  Well this year I'm going to give it a shot!
They have tons of great resources!  Including journal prompts for each grade (K-5) that are typed out onto a document that prints perfectly onto Avery label sheets.  Now all I have to do is print off the journal prompt I want on an address label sheet and my kids can peel and stick and be on there way!
Here is the website where I found the prompts:
Thanks to my hubby who cut these composition notebooks in half with his table saw, I was able to get these perfect sized notebooks to use!

Click on my button to head on over to my blog to get a more in depth look at the parts of the journal, what the math journal product entails and more!  Hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy 4th Blogging Birthday, Mrs. Wheeler!

Hi everyone, it's Megan from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade!  I'm celebrating 4 years of blogging!  That's right. 4 years.  I began this blog 4 years ago, with not a clue as to what I was doing!  All I knew was that I loved teaching and loved helping other teachers.  I remember being so excited when I had just 10 followers on my blog!  I would update my mom each week as I kept gaining followers.  I was like a kid on Christmas every morning, racing downstairs to "check" the computer.  Who knew that my little 'ole blog would become a useful tool for so many teachers around the WORLD?!  In keeping with tradition, I'm celebrating my milestone with all of you!  Head over to my blog to enter!  Tons of prizes!  Tons of winners!  Be sure to look at blog posts from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for your chance to enter!  All winners will be posted July 27th!  Good luck!