Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Currently for 2015

2015. Remember when Y2K was a big deal? Recently I saw an add for Skype where it will translate what's being said to allow anyone to speak to anybody else regardless of their language. The person talking about it referred to some kind of automatic translator from the Star Trek shows (I've never watched then so I don't know exactly what it is...). It just made me think of how much that used to be science fiction is reality in 2014, almost 2015. Just amazing, isn't it?

Yesterday my husband and I took a drive to get out of the house, go out to lunch, and shop. We stopped at a barbecue restaurant we'd never tried before and it was fabulous! We were in the mood for hamburgers and they didn't disappoint. I had a Barnes & Noble gift certificate to spend so we went there and I got this
Thank you for the gc, Sherri! I'm about halfway through it and can't wait to get it implemented in my classroom! After that we stopped at a local farm that sells all kinds of fruits, veggies, and wonderful jams, pies, and fresh apple cider. In the fall they have huge piles of pumpkins outside, in December they're replaced by Christmas trees. But after Christmas apparently this is what's left

Today we're at home taking it easy. I just discovered that Farley has her Currently up today and thought I'd join in quickly since I missed it in December.
Listening- Recently on my way home from school I turned on the radio and heard an amazing song! I grabbed my iPad (luckily I was stopped at a light) opened the Shazam app and discovered I was listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride and Joy. How I've missed out on his music all these years is beyond me!
Loving- This relaxing time off is just what I needed. It's also the first time this fall / winter that it's been cold enough (50 degrees today) to wear some of my warm sweaters. I was actually tired of t-shirt weather.
Thinking- about things I should do, and that Wanting to stay right here on the couch and read is going to win out for now.
Needing- I don't know. For now I'm pretty content.
Yes- I really want to get to southern California to see a good friend and her sweet kids, and to northern California to see another friend. We've been friends since college and don't get to see each very often. She's a flight attendant and I'd love to take a trip with her sometime this year.
Maybe and My Wish go together- my husband started a new career in real estate. He's got a few listings and has come very close to selling 2 or 3 properties but things have fallen through due to circumstances out of his control. One person was ready to buy a property- all cash- and the day they were to write up the deal (they even had a scheduled appointment), the man had to cancel because his wife got laid off. It's been things like that that have kept much from going through for him in the last couple months. His reward for both of us when he sells his first house is a trip to Disneyland. Here's hoping it happens soon.

Thanks for sticking with me through all that! I'm going to recharge my computer then check out the other Currently's. Have a wonderful, safe, fun New Year's Eve!

Until 2015... when I'll be back with Technology Tuesday and some freebies for ya!


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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone from my family to yours!
Barbara Leyne Designs



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Monday, December 22, 2014

"Dear Santa..." Christmas Nerd Libs Linky


I just stumbled on this fun linky party and had to join in. I'm a few days late, but hopefully that's alright. I loved Mad Libs as a kid! and they're so much fun to use with my class too. So this was a no-brainer for me. And it's super easy to join in the fun!

If you want to participate, here are the blanks to fill in. Just like before Christmas... don't peek ahead!
Now that you've done that, take a peek at the Christmas nerd lib.

Grab it, fill in the answers, and enjoy reading your letter to Santa.

 Here's how mine turned out

That was fun! Hope you'll join in too!

Thanks to Mel and Gerdy for hosting!



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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tech Tuesday- I'm loving Code.org!


I love Code.org and so do my students! Have you tried it? This week they are sponsoring the event An Hour of Code, hoping to get more students involved in learning to code. When I started my blog I took an online course that included some basics of coding- how to center text, change color, things like that. When I started hearing about code.org I thought "really? even for little kids? hmmmm..." I'll admit I was skeptical that it was something my 2nd graders or k-1 kids could do. Boy was I wrong!

Code.org has courses kids can work their way through. Mine class started with course 1 designed for kids who can't read yet. It seemed like a good place to start to get the basics. It's really simple at first, but it gets more complicated and they can work through it at their own pace. Some of my kiddos do it at home too.

I'm hoping it will make a big difference in my students problem solving and critical thinking abilities. So far it's made a difference in a few students willingness to try to solve a problem by themselves. Code.org is also super easy to use. You can sign up your class to allow students to keep track of what they've done, or just have them go to code.org and give it a try. 

Here are a few videos about coding in case you're thinking of giving it a try. Happy watching! 






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Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Write, Read, Draw & a Christmas Freebie


How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful. Time with family and lots of delicious food! We got back home late yesterday and I've been working on some school things today. I've got a couple new creations to share.

First, a companion to my best selling product Read, Write, Draw with Long Vowels words. I created a very similar pack that covers words with initial consonant R, L, and S blends. It's available in both my TPT and TN stores.
What's included looks like this

What I like about using these worksheets with my students is that they HAVE TO read the words in order to draw the pictures. They also enjoy drawing the pictures instead of just writing the letters. Sometimes, however, I can't quite tell what if the picture matches the word so I have asked many times "How does that (your picture) show that word?" Almost every time the student can explain the picture so that I know they could actually read the word. I'm looking forward to using these as a review this week with my 2nd graders.

Also, here's a Christmas freebie you can grab in my TPT store
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/First-Grade-Found-Me-Chrissy-Heath
There are 1 syllable long vowel word cards that students sort like this (the pic shows the short vowel set, but this works the same way). There are also 20 2-syllable words for higher firsties or 2nd graders.
 Students choose 2 words from each vowel to write and draw a picture of. I've kind of got that "drawing a picture" theme going today, don't I?
 This activity follows another freebie, my Short Vowel Word Sort Activity. It's free too and now with an updated cover. Wow, I looked at the old cover the other day and thought, "I did that?" It seriously needed updating.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/First-Grade-Found-Me-Chrissy-Heath

As I'm writing this post I can't wait to do some cyber shopping tomorrow! My teacher wish list is long and I'm ready to shop! My TPT and TN stores will be discounted for the next 2 days. Have fun with your shopping! Remember the promo code tptcyber to save 28%.

Thank you to Michelle for that cute sale button!


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tech Tuesday- Music

Aaaahhhh... it's Thanksgiving week- yippee! In my district we have the whole week off and it couldn't have come at a better time. I've been so busy with all of our usual busy-ness and so many meetings that I could hardly wait for some time off. So what did I do? Well go to school of course. I spent a few hours Sunday and yesterday cleaning up, reorganizing so areas of my room that were in desperate need (especially my desk!), and changing bulletin boards. Today my husband and I are taking advantage of my time off and heading to Los Angeles for the day. We're headed to a favorite spot for lunch then the LA Car Show. It surprises me that I think that's so much fun, but my husband's enthusiasm was contagious. So off we go!
But before that I wanted to be sure to get in another Tech Tuesday. Today's post is about a favorite music website of mine.
I love this website!
There is so much available for kids to play with on this site! In my school any music education is up to me and let me tell you, friends, I'm no musician. So I feel bad for my students. My elementary school had a music teacher who would come into the classroom and a chorus and band teacher who taught those things after school. This website gives my students exposure to classical music and instruments and they enjoy it.
Students can listen to classical music
Kids can play music
They can play with different instruments to find out what they look like and how they sound.
They can learn about conducting a symphony too.
I've used this website with a few different classes and they always enjoy it so much.

This morning I found the website for the Music Teachers National Association that has a list of many different music websites if you're interested in finding more places for kids to explore and learn about music. Just click below.
http://www.mtna.org/parent-and-student-resources/websites-for-kids/


Have a great day everyone!


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Technology Tuesday- typing activities

Thanks for popping back by for the second Technology Tuesday! This week my students started doing some practice typing. I've found 2 websites that have activities that are fun and simple to give K-2 kiddos practice finding letters on the keyboard.

The first site is one you might already be familiar with. It's abcya.com. Your students can get to the typing activities with this URL: http://www.abcya.com/kids_typing_games.htm or by searching "typing" on the home page of abcya.com.
Here's what they'll see
http://www.abcya.com/search.htm?text=typing
My favorite, and one my students feel very successful with is Type Rocket Jr. Students try to type the letter that appears on each rocket. As they type the letters, the rocket explodes. They're really loving it!

The 2nd site is Learning Games for Kids. There are typing courses that start out having kids type one letter at a time and increase to typing complete words.
http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/keyboarding_games/typing-course.html
Here is the URL for these games: http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/keyboarding_games/typing-course.html

Hopefully you can find some of this worthwhile for your classroom. I'm going to cut things short tonight. I'm a little tired. I had half of another teacher's class in my room today since there was no substitute for her so I had 32 kiddos instead of my usual 23. So much for my lesson plans! It's hard to find room for that many to sit when you're not set up for it, you know? I feel for those of you that have that many students on a regular basis. I really appreciate my smaller class! But we did a little math and a Thanksgiving art project I quickly prepped at recess and it all worked out. Her kids were really sweet. Do you ever have days when there aren't enough subs to go around?

I'm off to get a few things ready for the rest of the week. Have a good one!


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