Monday, May 13, 2013

Freebie Alert - Fonts!

I've been playing around with creating my own fonts lately.  Here are my first two!  I've got a few others that I plan on finalizing in the next few days and I'll post them here, too.

As I make more, I plan on bundling them into a pack on TPT with a commercial license, but since these are my first two, you can have them for free!  If you create anything in TPT with it, just give credit to me with a link back to my blog.

So, check them out!  And let me know what you think.  If you click on the buttons below, you can see other previews or try them out with a text editor before you decide to download them.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Mustache Love

Just a quick picture I just had to share. One of my students made this and hung it in our classroom. It lasted about 1.3 seconds before all the mustaches were gone. I should've snapped a pic of all the mustaches taped to the students' faces. Funny kids!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook

I am SO excited to find this resource!  Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook is packed full of resources and organized by standard, this is a fourth grade teacher's dream!  There are over 850 pages of activities and centers!!  Download a sample of the book, and I know you will be as excited as I am to start using it.

Also, check out their great giveaway if you'd like to win it for free!  Act fast, it ends April 21.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Look at the Big Brain on You!!

We've got a little over a month before my students take the NC End of Grade tests in math and reading.  So, we are mixing in a lot of test prep these days - and doing our best to maintain our sanity!  I just refuse to make it totally boring.

We have played a few games in centers using task cards, scavenger hunts, etc. which have been pretty fun.  But, last week, I found a couple of apps and I have thrown these into the mix, too.  These four apps have earned my official seal of approval.  And, even more, my students LOVE them!  A few of them have even gone home to download them on their own.

If you get a question right, the announcer says things like, "Waaaaay to go!" or "Nice work!  You're a star!" And, then there is my personal favorite, "Look at the big brain on you!"  So, you can imagine what has caught on in our class over the past few days, even when we are not playing the game.  I kind of love it.

At $1.99 a pop, you will not be sorry you bought them.  Trust me.  (And, I rarely ever pay for apps - since there are so many great free ones out there!)

So, click on any of the images below to learn more about the one for your grade level.  Or you can search for Lakeshore Learning in the AppStore.  If you decide to buy them, feel free to let me know how your class likes them!

What other fun ways are you mixing it up with test prep?  I'd love to hear some of your ideas!

Language Adventures Quiz Interactive Game Show - Gr. 1–3 for iPhone, iPod touch & iPad
Language Adventures Quiz Interactive
Game Show - Gr. 1–3
Language Adventures Quiz Interactive Game Show - Gr. 4–6 for iPhone, iPod touch & iPad
Language Adventures Quiz Interactive
Game Show - Gr. 4–6
Math Quiz Interactive Game Show - Gr. 1–3 for iPhone, iPod touch & iPad
Math Quiz Interactive
Game Show - Gr. 1–3
Math Quiz Interactive Game Show - Gr. 4–6 for iPhone, iPod touch & iPad
Math Quiz Interactive
Game Show - Gr. 4–6

Monday, March 18, 2013

I've Got the MacBook Sadz.

I got stuck on this dreadful screen this weekend and could not repair it myself, despite some serious googling. Stopped by the Genius Bar today to get the bad news: hard drive corrupted. Nothing can be recovered. Lost everything.

Good news is I should be up and running in a few days. And replacing a hard drive isn't all that expensive. So, here's to the bright side of things. :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Paperless Challenge - Link Up!

I am so excited to link up with Eberopolis for her latest challenge.  And you should be, too!

I swear, she must have read my mind.  I was just talking to some other teachers and getting more and more intrigued by the idea of a paperless classroom.  I am not sure I can imagine it truly being paperless, but I could certainly use a little less waste in our room.  And, I am all for embracing the digital age.  So, let's do this.

I've been using Evernote this year (which I looove), but there is so much more I need to learn to truly utilize all of its capabilities.  And I have been a HUGE fan of DropBox for the last several years.  Life simplified.

I've also really like aspects of Google Docs / Google Drive.  I think my teaching life changed a little the time I planned a class party and had parents sign up for what they were bringing on a Google spreadsheet that was update in realtime...instead of having 25 people sign up to bring spoons and no one bring food!  A realtime spreadsheet.  Where had that been all my life?!

Next on my list - check out GoodReader and Edmodo.

Any great tools your class uses that embrace being paperless?  Do tell!  I'm ready to learn!

Head on over to Eberopolis, and check out her site.  And link up, too!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I've been fighting off some sort of sickness all week, so I have had a very lazy Saturday to recuperate.  There is a Big Bang Theory marathon on TV, so I have been parked under the electric blanket on the couch, dozing in and out of naps.

Loving: Lazy Saturdays.  Enough said.  :)

Thinking:  Any fun ways to incorporate comprehension strategies into reading?  We have been working on using a highlighter to find evidence from the text (ie, not highlighting every word on the page and then drawing swirly hearts in the margins - d'oh!).  But, we're still struggling with it some, so I'm on the hunt for some fun and rewarding comprehension strategies.  Any that you all like?  Please share in the comments!  

I have been reading more about paperless classrooms lately, and I'm definitely intrigued.  I am not at a school that has a 1:1 initiative with iPads or laptops, but many of my students bring their own electronic devices to class.  I would say about 35% of my class bring some sort of device.  Would love to make it paperless somehow in the next few years!

3/6 Update: I've decided to link up with Eberopolis to take some steps toward a Paperless Classroom.  Want to know more?  Link up with us!!  I blogged about it here.  

To be well.  That is all.  I have been under the weather for almost a week now.  Although the forced down time has been nice, I'm ready to bounce back!

Like - Jewelry

Love - June!  (Don't get me wrong, I love my job.  But I find the summers off are so refreshing.  I am lucky to work in a job that allows me to mentally reset each year.  I love-love-love summer and everything that comes with it, except the NC humidity - yuck!)

Hate - Junk.  I get stressed out when I have too much stuff.  So, getting rid of junk makes me super happy!  Bonus points for when someone can use the stuff I don't need for anymore.

Thanks again for Farley over at Oh Boy, 4th Grade for hosting this month's Currently.
Now, you should go link up here:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Freebie: Black History Month

My class just finished up a project for Black History Month.  Check out the pictures below and grab this freebie. 

I am a big fan of choice boards.  My students really enjoy getting to choose their own projects, and I make sure that the projects are varied for different learning styles.  Win, win.  Here is a thumbnail of the assignment, which you can have for free at my TPT store!  

On the day the projects are due, the students set them up on their tables with a "Compliment Sheet."  I play 4-5 songs and we do a Gallery Walk - where the students walk around writing compliments to each other about their projects.  

My class L-O-V-E-S this song (see link below).  "Baby Elephant Walk" by Henry Mancini.  They beg to hear it every time we do a Gallery Walk.  It's pretty fun.  :)  

When the last song ends, the students return to their seats and are SO excited to read all the compliments.  It's so sweet.  And, it is a great way to share a lot of projects without spending hours and hours on dry presentations.  I still let them all share one or two fun facts with the class if they'd like, but I have become a big fan of the Gallery Walks.  

Here are a few of the finished projects.  Take a look!  And if you like them, feel free to pick it up for FREE at my TPT store!  Enjoy!!

George Washinton Carver:
Notice the collage on the iPad.  The student made the 
collage her background and then left sticky note directions on 
how to see the collage: In case you can't read the note, it says: 

"Press Home button to see."  
"Do Not Touch Otherwise!"  Too funny.  

Wallace Amos, Jr:

Patricia Bath:

Madam CJ Walker:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blogging & Commenting - Like a Boss.

A few weeks ago, I posted my first blog entry.  I was SO excited when people started commenting!  (Seriously, I probably shouldn't admit how excited I got every time someone commented.  I was through the roof!  So thank you for that!)  

And, then I got the sadz.  WAIT.  How are they doing that?!  Almost every one of my commenters had a link back to their blog with their comment.   I could immediately see tons of benefits for doing that.  But seriously, how does everyone in the world know how to do this, but me???  I didn't even know how to google it because I wasn't sure what it was called.  And if I'm being truthful, I still don't.  Hence the 11-word title below.    

So, this is not some huge nugget of wisdom for most of you bloggy experts.  But for the rest of you, the new bloggers, those still learning how to make things make sense in the blogosphere, here you go.  This was my first small blogging victory.  Maybe it will help you, too.  :)  

How To Include a Link to Your Blog in a Comment:

1. Open a text editor, like Notepad and copy the following nonsensical gibberish.  I am told this is html code.  

<a href="Website URL">Text to display</a>

2.  As Randy from American Idol would say,  now you've got to "make it your own."  So customize it for your blog.  For the blue part, type in the name of your blog.  No need for the "http://" part.  Just type in your web address with no spaces (  Then for the pink part, type in the name of your blog (Twenty-Six Minutes for Lunch), or your name if you'd like.  

3.  Save this little document someplace handy, and keep it open when you're blogging.  Then when you're commenting, you can easily copy and paste it in after your comment.  Voila.  Now you're a pro. Blogging. Like. A. Boss.  

Fun Fact:  Everything that happens in my 4th grade class right now is "like a boss."  My students are OBSESSED with that phrase, so we're rolling with it, even though we know we are late to the punch with this one.  Yesterday, someone "long divided like a boss."  And another student said, "Dude, bosses don't have to do long divide. They have calculators for that!"  Hilarious, and also true.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Roses, Fancy Chocolates & Mustaches

Who is feeling the LOVE today?!  Is there anything more adorable than celebrating Valentines Day in an elementary school?  I think not.

My tradition for the past few years is to make a Valentines video by asking the students "What is Love?".  Best answer this year:  Love is roses, fancy chocolates and mustaches.  They are such a fun group!  Here's to hoping your Valentines Day was filled with as many roses, fancy chocolates and mustaches you can imagine!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What is Love & a Linky Party!

Happy Valentines Week!  How are you celebrating in your class?  Last year, we made this video.  I am planning to do another one this year.  Hearing 4th graders talk about love is pretty fun.  "Love is pizza."  You gotta love that.  Enjoy!  

I'm pretty excited to be linking up with Farley from Oh Boy, 4th Grade for my very first linky party.  I've been a fan of hers for a long time, even before I started blogging.  She is hilarious and has wonderful resources for teachers!  

Listening - I'm not completely watching the Grammys, but it's on in the background.  Not bad lesson-planning background noise.  I could listen to Kelly Clarkson sing "Natural Woman" on repeat forever.  And Mumford & Sons was awesome, too!

Loving - I've become a blogstalker.  After perusing many blogs today, can I just say that teachers rock?!  I already knew that, but as I read some of your blogs and see such good ideas, I am so thankful to be a part of a community that shares.  I am learning SO much!

Thinking - Being in NC, the snow we get is laughable, at best.  But I love snow so much!  So, I'm hoping for at least one more chance of snow this year!  But, nothing like Nemo.  That was just cray.  I hope everyone up north stayed warm this weekend.

Wanting - Asking for a laundry fairy to come fold and put away my laundry isn't too much to ask, is it?

Needing - I just want to sit around all day and make fonts, clip art, backgrounds, etc.  The only one I actually know how to do is fonts, but maybe soon I'll be able to play around more with graphics!

Pet Peeves - I. Need. Structure.  Especially at work.  I can relax like a champ on the weekends, but I really like to have clear structure & expectations at school.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blogging? What?

So, I guess I'm blogging now.  Weird.

Tonya, from Tonya's Treats for Teachers, has done a great job helping me and our friend Carla get started by teaching us some of the tricks of the trade. Here we are geeking out on our computers discussing ideas after dinner and hanging out.

I have had SO many questions about how to make things, get graphics centered (still working on that one, eek!), and make things look the way I want them to look. Basically, google and I have become BFFs. I still can't figure out how to get text on my header, so let's just call this blog a work in progress. Also, I have a newfound respect for all you other teacher-bloggers. Your blogs look so amazing!

Tonya told me I should link up with folks through Linky which I asked, "What the heck is a Linky Party?!" But they sound fun, so if I can get that figured out, maybe I'll connect with more of you soon.

In the meantime, let me know your tips & tricks for a new blogger in the comments! So far, I have just set up my blog and put up two items in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Feel free to check them out. Both are free, and we all love free!