Top 10 Insta Pics of 2014

I do love Facebook, but let's face it...Instagram is quick and fun!  I love getting to see quick glimpses into my friends lives.  And another politics or griping!  I've loved sharing my school side as well as my home side on Insta.  Here's my Top picks from the year for you!  Be sure to check out all of the other Teacher Bloggers over at Teachery Tidbits linky!

Night out! Hope I can make it! #toooldforlatenights
I don't usually get a smile out of my honey, but I got lucky last New Years!  We actually went OUT rather to bed early.  Snore.......I'm usually a sleepyhead!

It's not impossible to get snow in Alabama, but it sure is fun when it arrives!  I thought it was pretty funny to see all the snow around my rain gauge!  I really don't USE this thing, but it is one of MANY frogs given to me over the years.

So glad I didn't procrastinate! 3 Snow Days!#teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers
Near the beginning of my clip art addiction, I grabbed these cute froggies for my kids' Valentine's Day cards.  The kids were ALL about Smencils last year!  I rocked it with this find!

School or home laminating .... Which do you prefer? Me? My 3mm sheets at home! Shiny, bright, durable. 
Anyone else just LOVE their laminator?  So crazy!  I love how it makes things just a bit shinier and brighter!  Its the little things, for sure.

Delayed Christmas to Wicked in Nashville!  Hubby let our oldest go with me for a great girls day.  It was AWESOME!!

Another paper trap tamed today. All set for a little task card fun for tomorrow! 
Miracles do happen.....this was one of those days.  A clean desk!!  I think the next time it was this neat was when....hmmm...... I packed up for the summer!  AAAH!

Had to share! 
Says it all...

Girls wkd kickoff! #girlsjustwant2havefun
Nothing like a little Girls Weekend and some fun, fruity drinks!  Taking time away is a rarity, but I am so blessed to to have such wonderful friends!

My new best friend! Warning, Mr. Robinson!
A temporary extra student in my room.  What is that?  A stinking air conditioner!  I won't helped....but he was very loud.  I was glad when he moved away.

 Back where I started...and everyday in between.  My hubby of 26 years at our first Mississippi State football game.  It's been strange to have both kids away at college.  But the football season was been awesome!! #HailState

Happy New Year Y'all!


A Reason to Cheer in the New Year!

Hi friends!  Who's ready for back to school??  NOT me!  Lots of ideas and my wish list is a bit longer!
You, too? Well......
I'm linking up with Brenda at Primary Inspired for a sale!  Check out the list of participants and see if you can get something from your wish list!!  I can't WAIT to see who all is joining in on the fun so I can STOCK UP!

I have a few Task Card sets to get you started this winter!

All of my newest task cards come with TWO versions included!  
Full-Color and Printer Friendly!

Keep checking back to my Facebook page for something new in my store!  I might have something NEW pop up over the next few days!

Here's the list, y'all!


Gift Idea for Students from Teacher

Hi friends!  Love this time of year!  So much generosity of kindness!  Hope you enjoy some our favorite things this time of year!

 I used to struggle with what to GIVE my kids on the last day before the Winter Holiday.  I've done goodie bags, activity books, little trinkets from Oriental Trading, you name it!  I finally settled upon this item because my students are so very blessed..... that the simple pleasures are forgotten!  I'm often amazed that my 3rd graders don't know common Nursery Rhymes or books that I think are new classics, like Stellaluna!  

I give my kids a packet of Snowman Soup along with a wrapped book and BIG candy cane.  It is so easy, and I've never had a child not react in a positive way.  Most "eye" the mini-marshmallows and ask if they can dig them out NOW!  Excited over 8 little puffs of sugar.  Just precious....

Here is all you need!

I happened upon the Hot Chocolate this year at Publix when it was BOGO before Thanksgiving!  I always end up buying the mini candy canes, peppermint and plain marshmallows on Black Friday while I'm in Walmart.  It's not my favorite store, so when I AM there....I get my Walmart stuff then.  You can get cute little baggies super cheap at Hobby Lobby or at Dollar Tree.  For under $10, I have a great little treat.

All you need is a cute little tag to seal it up!  And......I'm going to give you one that I've put together.  There are hundreds...upon hundreds...UPON HUNDREDS of images on Google that will give you ideas.  Click on the image below to download a cute tag to print on your computer.

For my old friends...don't forget!  I have my December Math Mini-Centers on sale this week! Click the image to see it in my TPT store.

Want more goodies?  Time to hop on over to Mrs. Shipley's Whole Brain Classroom for her post called "A Little Elf Never Hurts"!

Thanks for stopping by!

Quick & Easy Math Centers for December

Hello fellow Monday Made It fans! How I have MISSED you!!!!
This has been the school year BEYOND school years!  So little time for the extra "fun stuff" I enjoy.  We have switched to a Standards Based Report Card.  Ugh.......
It's not that I'm not a FAN mind you, I do like knowing a bit deeper how my kids are doing.  Truthfully, I do.   The paperwork, however, takes me back to when I taught Kindergarten to Pebbles & Bam Bam.'ll get always DOES because that's how teachers ROLL!

Just kidding......
Seriously, how many Mondays have you had this year when you were super glad to have your lunch made with a cup of coffee to go???  We gotta celebrate ALL the victories, right?

Seriously, I've been a pretty good TPT buyer this year, but I haven't had the time to make something special for my kids.  I just LOVED it last year when I would bring out some new game or task card set and they'd ask me...."Did you make this one?".  I don't bake or cook a lot, but I imagine this is the equivalent in my world.  "Home-made" games!!  With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to use my of my favorite tricks to organize my newest centers!

I wanted something super easy to put together, something that didn't take too much time to complete, but I knew would pack a punch in a short period of time!
I am so stinking excited to bring these out for the next two weeks!  It seriously was really quick, considering there were so many little activities.

I bought these cute little gift baggies for @ $4 for five of them.  I'm sure I could have gotten them cheaper at Dollar Tree, but I wasn't AT Dollar Tree when I needed them!  LOL!

After I laminated the pages with my little best friend, I taped a cover sheet to the bag.  Then, I just had to cut out three little pages...put them in the gift bag...and BAM!  Center is ready to go!

So, while I watched my Sunday night favorite, "Once Upon a Time, I had all the centers I wanted to use ready to go!  Just needed a few more bags...OR... I'll use 5 one week and 5 more the next week!
No picture (SORRY!), but I ran off a stapled bundle front to back of the answer documents so that they won't lose them, they're kept together, and can complete in ANY order!

Hope you like my tip for spicing up your December Centers!  
  1. Pull out the task cards you need to do a spiral review while you work in a small group to enrich and remediate.
  2. Put them in some cute gift bags
  3. Staple the answer sheets together
  4. Done!  Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
My kids went NUTS when I brought them in last week and keep asking...WHEN CAN WE DO THE PRESENTS GAMES????

That's it for me!  If you're looking for some centers, click on the image to see these December Math Mini-Centers in my store.  I've got them marked down for a short time, if you need something fresh! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!


Using Padlet in the Classroom

This is the third year that our district has been implementing a Digital 1:1 with students.  Third graders here have laptops that they use in the classroom and take home each night.  Classroom management and a consistent routine are key features needed in all classrooms, but it is especially important when you add devices.

I use two tools on a regular basis that have proven to be tried and true for me!

First of all, I use Symbaloo Edu to organize all of the websites for my students.  Don't know about that one?  Pop over to my blogpost during a Tricks & Treats Bloghop at 3rd Grade Pad to read how I use it.

Secondly, I use Padlet WITH my Symbaloo.

What is Padlet?

Padlet is a Web 2.0 tool that allows the user to create a space, much like a bulletin board, to stick website links, pdf & word files, and there is a web camera option (that I've never used!).  It is a perfect tool to share a variety of sources in one cohesive location.

Before I show you how to make one, let me share the ways Padlet is used in my classroom, keeping in mind that my goal is to share links and files in one location for my students.

Weekly Reading Padlet

If you will notice in the screenshot above, I have a button that is labeled Reading Street with the name of the Unit and Week of study. This is a quick link to get to my Padlet page.

As you can see on this Padlet, I have my Spelling HW for the week, a copy of the heading for the Spelling Sort homework, Grammar homework for Monday and Wednesday, Family Times Newsletter, and the Unit Spelling List.  My parents quickly appreciate the routine in format.  Students are able to work ahead on their homework and see the week in one location.  This is a paper AND a time saver for me.  My kids do homework in folders, so there are no worksheets to print.  If you will recall from my Symbaloo post, a whole year of tabs of these Padlets are waiting for the school year.  I created them each week LAST year.  I am reusing them each week THIS year.  I may change it up a bit, but I have the bones ready to build!

Final Project Padlet
I also create Padlets for my kids to submit their final projects.  These start as a blank slate for kids to submit their work when they are ready.  For example, last year my kids created PowerPoints of American Symbols.

Rather than save them on a thumb drive, line up at my computer to submit them (which I've done....NIGHTMARE and a time suck!), kids add a tab on the Padlet themselves.  This would also work with the all important writing that we want our kids to do!!!  The beauty is that:
1.  The projects are in one location and can present to the class on the Promethian board.
2.  Kids can look at each other's projects outside of class.
3.  I can sit at my computer to grade with my rubric.  No paper to take home!!

Once we are done with the projects, I can remove the Padlet link.

Learning Pad
I have one blank Padlet that I leave available to my kids.  I use the blank one for Exit Slips.  Sometimes, I just don't want to spend the time preparing formative assessments.  I can display a task card from the topic we are teaching on my Document Camera.  Students will answer on the Learning Pad.

They will:
  1. Create a spot
  2. Enter their class number in the top portion
  3. Enter their final answer in the bottom portion.  (Oh!  Lightbulb going off!  They could take a picture of their white board work and submit that!!)
I have also used my learning pad as a place for kids to submit their stories or creations to share with their classmates.  Last year, I had a student share a 500 slide PowerPoint that she created.  She was dabbling with the idea of tapping on the next slide quickly to create motion.  I would have never known of her interest if I hadn't given them this creative spot.  She started teaching other kids how to create them on our inside recess days after that!

My Learning Pad has also been a place where I can leave videos from Educreations for my kids.  Sometimes I teach something that I KNOW they are going to be a little fuzzy about when they get home.  This gives a "taste" of me at home, and parents can give the added support in knowing how "Mrs. Watson" does it!  Below is a screenshot from the fall.  And look what I found?   A message from one of my babies from last year who moved away!  How sweet is that!

Themed Padlets
Sometimes we have a short unit when I want all the materials my kids will need in one place.

We always do a Bird Research project to prepare for one of our field trips.  This particular year, we decided to narrow the choices to Alabama birds.  They began with one of the sites listed.  Extra sites were also on the page.  By putting the pre-approved sites on the Padlet, it saved class research time.  (And wasted time popping from site to site and not getting very much done).  It really helps to keep the kids focused on the task.  There is also a document that they can use to ensure that they are following the rubric.  

I also created a collection of Math Games for my kids.

My rule for getting free time for "math games" is that it HAS to come from my page.  It makes it pretty easy to let my kids have 5-10 minutes of free time, if I know that I have set the parameters.

Setting Up Your Padlet
It is pretty straight forward setting up your Padlet page.  However, you can view this video to view a quick tutorial!

That's it for me!  I'd love to hear how YOU use Padlet in the classroom!  Comments make me smile!